Firstly I had better introduce myself…
My name is Kaori King, mum of beautiful daughter IM (a description for her for the sake of this blog but fortunately for her not her real name!). One of my passions (besides being a busy mum, business woman, wife and avid traveller) is food and I absolutely love tantalising my tastebuds with delicious and interesting meals from all around the World. Therefore, one of the most important things for me was weaning IM in the best possible way, so that from as early as possible we could start eating out together and continue to be ‘ladies wot lunch’ until she’s old enough to be treating me!
I was fortunate to be brought up with very particular table manners and would not be allowed to leave the table until I had eaten everything in front of me, this has put me in great stead because thirty-odd years later and I still do that. I eat anything and everything and in countries far from the UK I have even sampled delicacies such as grasshoppers, spiders and sheep brains! Call me mad if you like, but you only live once so put a new experience in front of me and more often than not I’ll take it. Ok, now you’re learning a bit more about me and how I live my life, so you can probably see why it was so important for IM not to be fussy and to be able to come along with myself and my husband, friends and family and be part of our dining experiences. How cruel would it be to take IM out to fabulous restaurants and before we eat plates of scrumptious food we spoon feed her jars of pureed mush! For one, my dinner would probably be cold by the time I got to it and then IM would probably be getting restless by the time I get to my second course! The only way I could think to avoid this was by introducing Baby Led Weaning at six months.
I have to admit waiting until IM was six months before she tried more than just milk was tough! I was chomping at the bit to give her some solid food! The first thing she tasted was cucumber and I knew she was ready to go for it because she grabbed a huge finger shaped piece out of my hand and immediately started gnawing on it with her gums. This was where it started and from there she quickly tried most fruits and vegetables and now she eats anything. In fact she has rarely refused anything and if there is ever any food left on her plate by the end of mealtimes it probably meant i gave her far too much or she couldn’t quite manage her second or third helping! She adores big flavours, as we have always cooked from scratch and used herbs and spices (including chilli) to give her as many new taste experiences as possible. She absolutely loves chilli con carne, spicy curries, asian noodle dishes, sushi, meatballs, pasta dishes, every kind of meat and fish and the list goes on! The only thing that she didn’t have until she was well over a year was added sugar, salt (plus we never used anything with more than 1.5g of salt per 100g when cooking or giving her snacks and still try not to as there is no need) and honey. Too much salt can be dangerous for children, in particular under one year of age as their kidneys simply cannot cope with it. So think again when you next give your little one a bag of quavers (2.21g per 100g) or wotsits (1.98g per 100g) as these snacks really are too high in salt. Think about some plain organic rice cakes as an alternative, cheaper too! Now, you’re thinking ‘why not honey?’ and I had exactly the same thoughts when i discovered this too, as to me honey is one of the most natural things you could ever eat. However, I learned from my Baby Led Weaning book that honey can contain a bacteria that can cause botulism, which is life-threatening so this is serious stuff folks!
So, now you know my reasons for going down the route of baby led weaning and it really worked for us. IM eats more or less everything we put in front of her and we’ve taken her out to eat many times (in this country and various places abroad) and have always been able to give her something from the menus. She is 2 now but I am keen to keep up to date with what others are doing and to regularly share the experiences that we had and are still having when it comes to her eating habits, of which I will do on my Facebook page so that you can see our progress and examples of what other Baby Led Weaned children are eating and their reactions to certain foods.
I hope you like what you have read so far and if you think you’d also like to try baby led weaning check out our tips page first. Good luck and keep me posted on how you’re getting on!
Thanks for reading.
Best Wishes, Kaori