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Feeling disillusioned about BLW - 'they eat what you eat' isn't quite true is it?

(27 Posts)
PickledLily Thu 08-Nov-12 19:09:58

It sounds so easy, just giving baby Pickle whatever we eat, but I'm finding the reality isn't quite so straight forward. Maybe I'm being too cautious. Or lazy. Or I'm doing it wrong. I'm not sure. But it's definitely not just a case of giving whatever I eat, is it?

Eg today I had muesli for breakfast, soup for lunch and pasta with fresh meatballs from our local butcher for supper. So I give DD porridge or toast at breakfast instead and bits of veg/fruit at other times, but our other meals just don't seem suitable.

Or am I missing something? Will she choke on pasta (penne etc)? Chorizo? Rice? Homemade pesto? Is bread too salty? What about butter? And how on earth do you cook something edible without some salt or wine?

Can you help me feel fired up again about BLW please! (And for the record, I'm not anti-spoon or purees, but baby Pickle is doing a pretty good job of refusing both).

CMOTDibbler Thu 08-Nov-12 19:18:12

Muesli is tricky (though it depends on the type, but many have big nut lumps), but any cereal would have worked (shreddies, wheatabix are v good), then the rest of your meals would have been fine.

All of those foods you mention would be fine, you can cook with wine, and just add salt to your plate rather than the pot - its a good opportunity to cut down on salt yourself. But don't get too hung up on incidental salt - the amount they eat is pretty small, so just try and avoid when you can. But lifes too short for unsalted butter

OhThisIsJustGrape Thu 08-Nov-12 19:21:59

Your other meals are BLW perfect! soup is great with Chunks of bread dipped into it, pasta and meatballs were BLW staples in my house! Salt added after cooking just to your plate. Wine is Fine as the alcohol burns off during cooking.

Just go for it!

AndMiffyWentToSleep Thu 08-Nov-12 19:22:06

I agree it is easier if you adapt what you eat slightly.
She won't choke on pasta - but may find fusilli easier to pick up.
I think she's unlikely to eat a whole slice of bread so salt-wise it should be ok. Butter is fine. Rice is hard to pick up until they get their pincer grip (9-10mths) unless you try risotto or sticky rice.
Add salt at the table rather than during cooking.

forevergreek Thu 08-Nov-12 19:22:12

Musli is ok but might find tricky so maybe another cereal

Soup is fine ( help spoon, let them dip bread in and eat that way, offer spoon) , pasta and meatballs is fine

If you have a diner kebab maybe pass but otherwise they are fine!

bigkidsdidit Thu 08-Nov-12 19:24:44

The amount of salt in a lot of food makes it tricky, and no wy would I give DS what I'm often having - ahem, gin and toast - but if you cook every evening it's fine. Pasta and meatballs is fine for a baby.

I limited DS to one slice of bread a day as an under one and now he is nearly two he has max two slices as it has a lot of salt in. It's good discipline too I think to cook more - porridge rather than toast, soup rather than sandwiches etx.

Pesto is great, chorizo I always worry about and don't give as it seems chokable to me. But I do make casseroles wih it in and just pick out he big bits of chorizo before he has his portion.

Indith Thu 08-Nov-12 19:25:03

What CMOT said. wine is fine, add salt to plate or take baby portion out to cool and add to the pot after. meatballs are great, they can hold them. Pasta is fine too. I usually make sure we also have a side veg like green beans or broc or peas once pincer grip is good enough. soup is yummy, soak chunks of bread in it and let her eay those. bread has salt in yes but so long as you don't add salt to other things then it is fine. Kallo do good low salt stock cubes for soups if you don't want to make your own stock, baby stock cubes taste of shit.

HannahBerry Thu 08-Nov-12 21:11:32

What do you do with meat e.g. chicken? Cut into tiny portions or big enough to hold pieces?

pookamoo Thu 08-Nov-12 21:14:47

Big pieces, Hannah, kind of sausage / chip shaped.

OP, I was having a similar conversation with a friend the other day. The amount of salt in a home made meal is so tiny compared to processed/ready meal. You just don't add it to the pot - if you really want it, you can put it on your plate. You might be pleasantly surprised though.

MoreBeta Thu 08-Nov-12 21:17:22

Thinking a long way back - DS1 used to have things off my plate although he had baby food jars for a fair time as his main meals.

I found that I had to mash and chop things for him off my plate and it was more of a sort of social thing 'eating with Dad' than an actual full scale meal.

Just relax a bit - BLW is just learning to eat and gradually merging what they eat with what you eat. IME they can't just eat what you eat straight off - they still need normal baby food too.

Djembe Thu 08-Nov-12 21:17:33

I think of BLW as upside down pureeing so use big things that get smaller, rather than starting with smooth pointless things that get bigger! So chicken - I do goujons with those strips of chicken breast you get, just dunked in egg then flour and fried, DS loves them. You can add Parmesan if you want. Lovely grabbable yums.

Djembe Thu 08-Nov-12 21:18:40

MoreBeta jars and purees area super successful marketing scam - babies don't need them, they can manage normal food fine.

CMOTDibbler Thu 08-Nov-12 21:21:05

Big strips of meat are best - then they can gum and suck them to death. I well remember ds as a 6 month old eating steak with vigour. Only for sad, grey bits of connective tissue to be ejected.

MoreBeta Thu 08-Nov-12 21:26:00

I know, I know, I know..... but as I said on another thread today. Sometimes grabbing a jar of Organic Hipp when you have a really hungry child just makes life easier to organise. Sometimes they dont want to eat when you eat and then are starving later.

I just feel that eating is as much about social time as 'food'. I liked the mix and match approach because it could be more relaxed when we were all sitting and eating as a family and not worrying too much if DS didnt really eat much or struggled with a food we were eating. He could just munch on a few bits of bread or veg if that is all he wanted at that moment.

TempusFuckit Thu 08-Nov-12 21:28:09

Also bear in mind that a large proportion of jar purées is water, so it appears they're eating more than they actually are. Not in itself a bad thing, but it can make you a bit panicky if you start comparing them with BLW meals.

Re salt - bear in mind that baby does actually need some, albeit in tiny quantities. My DH has actually got quite ill recently, since I cut down our salt drastically for BLW, and a cardiologist has told him to eat more.

Marzipanface Thu 08-Nov-12 21:32:42

They don't HAVE to eat exactly what you are eating. Personally I would have given my daughter some porridge, perhaps toast fingers dipped into a little bit of soup for lunch and some pasta chopped up with veg mixed into it.

poocatcherchampion Thu 08-Nov-12 21:34:05

Lots of great advice here and useful for me as well. I don't think you said how old your dc is.
My dd is 8 months and has long had pincer grip - can eat peas , crumbs etc. she often has bread for lunch for eg cooked tomato on toast and I had bacon on toast today, (hm bread). Beware shop bought soup - not sure whether you are buying or making but shop bought has loads of salt o the extent that I'm rethinking buying it for me.

We use different types of pasta and spaghetti, have a pile of risotto ready in little containers for her in the freezer if there is nothing on offer that suits. Haven't tried chorizo, guess a bit worried about choking etc, nor grapes for choking. They are the size that might get stuck not rice sized iyswim.

Will post more if I think of it.

Djembe Thu 08-Nov-12 21:34:26


Ah, that explains my craving to eat a whole tub of Pringles tonight then grin it's adult-led-eating <nods wisely>

MoreBeta but surely as long as you give them an eating opportunity 3 times a day, and keep milk intake high enough, they won't go hungry? Although to be fair DS 11mo is only just now beginning to be taking in enough calories from food that I can cut down his bottles. I'm finding it all a lot easier than I expected tbh.

TempusFuckit Thu 08-Nov-12 21:49:31

Djembe your heart will thank you for it wink

BLW has ruined halloumi cheese for me though - it's waaay too salty now sad

ShhhhhGoBackToSleep Thu 08-Nov-12 22:09:03

Love adult led eating smile

Those meals would have been fine. As other posters have said, its all about a normal diet with a bit of adaption where necessary.

So muesili is fine, or another cereal instead like shredded wheat, Cheerios etc.

Soup is fine, with big chunks of bread. A shallow wide dish helps soup to cool down and easier to wipe up with the bread. I used to dunk some for them and then leave some for them to do. Thicker soup is better.

Pasta and meatballs is brill for BLW! Perhaps cut in half if they were really big, shells or fusilli easier than penne but really, anything goes.

BLW does not mean you must give organic salt free veg only at every meal. A bit of salt is fine, far better to be eating a varied interesting adventurous diet with normal levels of salt than a boring limited salt free diet. Just balance it out over the day/week, so if they have sausages for tea don't have bacon for breakfast etc etc.

Chorizo wouldn't be any riskier than sausage, and both are fine if you make sure they aren't cut into width wise chunks with the skin on, just cut them the other way. Ditto grapes, whole nuts etc.

TheFantasticFixit Thu 08-Nov-12 22:22:28

I echo everything said here regarding tips - my 11month old is BLW and there have been many times when i have doubted it admittedly.. BLW babies tend to be a bit more slender than puree fed. I'm so glad i pushed those worries to the back of my mind though now because i have a healthy daughter who absolutely LOVES her food and doesn't refuse anything. Sure, we still get a little bit of mess from time to time but in the main she clears her plate. We don't add salt to cooking - or if we do, we take her portion out near the end and then season. She has wine in cooking, pepper, chilli etc. She loves scooping porridge into her hands and eating it all sloppy through her fingers and really, there is nothing now that we can't manage. She literally will eat anything as well - from olives to smoked salmon (although is a HUGE fan of the baby choc biscuits). Not only that, but she sits and eats her meal with NO fuss.

I totally disagree though that a jar of babyfood is easier - I don't understand this at all, it's not. A handful of grapes, cherry toms in a pot, some bread, etc etc and you have a little mini buffet of lots of fresh fruit in chunks for them to eat with very little preparation. And if it really comes to it, I order something relatively plain or ask the restuarant not to use salt when cooking my meal. It's not hard at all! MoreBeta, you are really talking about mixed, normal weaning there - NOT BLW.

OP have you seen the fab cookbook by Gill Rapley? Loads of great, easy ideas in there that work for the whole family. smile

PickledLily Fri 09-Nov-12 03:57:49

Wow! Thanks for all the positive replies!

So I am clearly being a wimp about BLW [panicked first time mum emoticon]. DD is 7mo and can pincer grip things ok but I do worry about her choking on smaller rounder things and of course for cereal she can't have cows milk (what do you use instead?) Slightly wary as there is a history of allergies in the family.

Also, the salt thing is a worry. We don't eat much and although its not processed food, our meatballs/fishcakes etc are made by someone else so no control over the salt content. Not keen on cooking all our own meals, just don't have time energy just now and the meals we buy are very good quality.

But the cookbook sounds a good idea, I'll take a look, thanks!

mnistooaddictive Fri 09-Nov-12 04:37:17

They can have cows milk in things such as cereal, they just can't have it as their main bottle. If you are nervous of allergies you can buy sits milk or goats milk.

HollyMadison Fri 09-Nov-12 05:45:44

I don't have a preference for BLW or traditional/spoon but, having tried both, my opinion is that if you are lucky to have a "good eater" you are laughing either way. If you are doing BLW do watch what they are choosing to eat on their plate and make sure they select things which require chewing and don't just go for soft stuff every time. My DS would only select melt in mouth food and didn't properly develop the muscles to chew and speak properly so needed Speech and language and feeding therapy. He was a spoon refuser so we really had no control over what he was eating. So make sure there's a mix of textures there and if you are able to pop something in his mouth yourself occasionally I think this is a good thing as you will be able to help him experience different sensations with confidence.

Our feeding therapist said not to worry too much about salt in bread as they eat so little in the early stages.

amarylisnightandday Fri 09-Nov-12 06:09:55

Hmmm. I did blw successfully but I wouldn't say dd ate exactly what I ate. I started her off with bits of banana and toast at breakfast time and steamed veg the other two meals. When she started eating more I'd fob the same but add bits of what I ate depending what it was. I always took stuff out with me for her just in case - sometimes unisex it sometime I didn't - depending what I ordered. All the blwers I know do the same.
I thought it was better she ate healthier food the majority of the time with simpler flavours. She lived things like steamed asparagus and got so excited about it - I bloody hate it and she would have missed out in so much if I restricted her to what I eat.
I was a v fussy eater as a child and I wanted her not to be hence the blw - I felt I had to offer her as many kinds of good as possible - I still do.
Also some foods are just so much easier for them to pick up than others!

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