How do you start with BLW/pick food?🥕🍗 🥑
Tips on what to think about when you start with BLW or pick food.
1. Make sure your baby shows signs of being ready for solid food. She must be able to sit upright by herself in the chair and show an interest in food. Maybe the baby reaches for your food or looks fascinated at your plate, then there is probably an interest!
2. Give it time. Although the ability to feed oneself is something we are born with, introducing solid food through self-feeding does not happen overnight. It is a process - from the first bite that the baby may barely touch, until the baby actually picks up the bite and eats it. The process may feel long and winding but it will be fine! See the first time as a learning experience rather than him eating a lot.
3. To you parents - keep calm even when things get a little scary! Your baby will be "gagging" (also called "gagging" in English), that is when the vomiting reflex is triggered by them getting food a little further back in the mouth. There is VERY little chance of them biting your throat, but it can look scary. So keep your fingers out of your mouth and let them handle it. This is how they learn to handle food in their mouths and completely normally. However, it's easier said than done, I know. Therefore, it can be good and safe to read the difference between clawing and putting in the throat, as well as what to do in the unlikely event of an accident.
4. Consider offering foods that are reasonably soft but easy to grip. For example, sticks of sweet potato, bars with sliceable liver pate, boiled broccoli or omelet/pancake in strips. Even sandwich rolls with butter and/or liver pate are perfect for practicing motor skills. Slippery foods that are difficult to grip can be rolled in seeds or sandwich crumbs. For example, avocado or banana. But in general, it's good to offer the baby what the rest of the family eats as often as possible!👊
5. Think big/long pieces! Small babies don't have a tweezer grip, so it's "go big or go home" that applies in the beginning. The pieces should be longer than their palm because small babies (6 months) often cannot open their palm on demand. It may feel scary but it's actually safer with bigger pieces than smaller pieces when it's a small baby! If they take too big bites, they spit it out again.
6. Eat together with the whole family and offer the same food that everyone else should eat as much as possible. This is important so you can model for your baby how to eat. Let him see that you eat the same food and that you put it in your mouth and chew.
7. Continue breastfeeding/giving compensation as long as the child wants (if it works). This is important because the baby may not take in much food in the beginning (first months of solid food). But don't give it too close before a meal, then the baby probably won't be as interested in the food. A small baby should not be ravenously hungry when he is going to explore and eat solid food, but not full either.