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Do BLW babies really choose to eat healthily later on?

(74 Posts)
mentalblank Sat 07-Jan-17 14:11:40

We are doing BLW with DD (8mo) and have noticed that, although she (sometimes...) eats a lot, she seems to have a definite preference for the unhealthier end of the food spectrum (eg. sweet things like fruit as opposed to vegetables). She can spot broccoli a mile off and has become very good at carefully dropping it over the side of her tray smile

The impression given by the BLW book is that BLW babies end up automatically eating a healthy, balanced diet with no need for encouragement. But is this really the case? ie. will a toddler weaned using BLW really eat whatever's put in front of them? I would have expected that, just like adults, they'd prefer certain foods over others. And if so, as the BLW philosophy seems to be to let them eat what they like, how do you then get them to eat healthily?

GieryFas Sat 07-Jan-17 14:14:44

By controlling what goes on the plate. I've read that it's the parent's job to offer food, and it's the child's job to decide what to do with it. So I offer a balanced plate, and my kids decide what (if anything) to eat from it.

If I have a pudding to offer (which I very rarely do) I put that out at the same time, and they might choose to eat it first and then fill up on the main. I'd rather they did that than eat more than they want or need because they know they have to clear their plate to get pudding.

But in general, it works fine if you offer a smallish portion of a balanced meal, and then they either eat it and ask for seconds, or don't. I'm very careful not to comment either way, other than to ask them to stop if they're full.

ijustwannadance Sat 07-Jan-17 14:15:14

Some children are fussy and some aren't. DD would eat anything at 1. At 5 she's a pain in the arse over food.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 07-Jan-17 14:16:06

No sad

KarmaNoMore Sat 07-Jan-17 14:16:07

BLW was not even coined as a term when DS was weaned, but I noted that he really craved broccoli after we removed milk from his diet due to allergies. Months later I realised broccoli has as much calcium as milk.

Having said that, he also craves gluten like mad even when he shouldn't have any due to health reasons.

GieryFas Sat 07-Jan-17 14:17:00

BTW, my BLW'd kids are now 5 and 8, and are pretty good at listening to their bodies, stopping when they're full, noticing when they feel like fruit etc. I don't know if they would be like this anyway, and with dd1 it took a few years of me having to limit sweet stuff at parties as she would eat until she had tummy ache, given the chance. But now she's very good at stopping when she's full.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 07-Jan-17 14:18:33

No. Did the same with both of mine and ds is super fussy but dd eats anything.

Ime they get really picky (or not) at about 2yo.

bastedyoungturkey Sat 07-Jan-17 14:18:43

I agree with previous poster. DD was breastfed and then we did blw m. She's now 4 and while she loves junk as much as I do the next person she's very good at not overeating. And when she asks for snacks, is content most of the time with fruit. Also, when she does have sweets or crisps she really doesn't have very many.

GraceGrape Sat 07-Jan-17 14:19:42

My experience: Dd1, weaned traditionally, eats most things, will try anything.
Dd2, did BLW. She's still only 4 but although she ate almost anything as a baby she's been extremely fussy since about 18 months and although offered the same food as the rest of us, generally lives off bread, potatoes and rice! So, in my case, BLW did not make for a less fussy child.

GraceGrape Sat 07-Jan-17 14:21:38

Dd2 also has an incredibly sweet tooth and would eat chocolate,sweets and biscuits all day if we let her.

RNBrie Sat 07-Jan-17 14:23:12

My blw 5 year old would happily live on cake and sausages if I let her. But she's very good at trying new things and likes some pretty strange flavours like olives and pickled onions.

redfairy Sat 07-Jan-17 14:25:15


Hedgehog80 Sat 07-Jan-17 14:28:03

I didn't do BLW with my 4 dcs

3 of them eat incredibly healthily and 1 is very challenging when it comes to salad and veg so o don't think it really makes a difference

KarmaNoMore Sat 07-Jan-17 14:29:28

DS was not BLWed but he is very good at listening to his body, doesn't over eat, even if he really likes a food. He is not fussy at all.

We always operated the rule that the house was not a restaurant, so no a la carte orders or sending plate back so mummy and daddy prepared him something different. He could chose not to eat a food as long as he had at least 2 spoonfuls before rejecting it.

He is not fussy at all, and given his allergies I think we could have caused a lot of damage if instead of gradually introducing foods we had allowed him to choose whatever he wanted.

My ex's son had very similar allergies and they always let him to choose to eat whatever he wanted... the poor kid was surviving on fish fingers, petit Swiss and grapes ONLY until he was 8. You wouldn't believe the tantrums if you feed him anything other than that.

Tootsiepops Sat 07-Jan-17 14:31:14

My little girl was weaned exclusively on jars and pouches. I had every intention of doing BLW but my mum died suddenly just as my daughter was ready for solids and I could barely get up off the floor for months.

Now, she eats very well. Contrary to what the NCT would have had me believe, at nearly 14 months old, she would pick broccoli and peas over chocolate. She threw buttered toast on the floor in favour of avocado and she looked at me like I was mental when I offered her birthday cake when she turned a year old.

LikeSilver Sat 07-Jan-17 14:31:19

Same as RNBrie. My two (both BLW) would happily live on baked potatoes and/or chicken nuggets if allowed, but they are very easygoing about trying new things, and they are both very aware when they're full. Both eat a reasonable selection of fruit and vegetables daily, which is more than I did as a kid, so I'm happy.

ParadiseCity Sat 07-Jan-17 14:31:24

My BLW is 10 and would live entirely on cheese and mince pies if I let her.

missyB1 Sat 07-Jan-17 14:32:39

Nope BLW isn't some magical way of making a child prefer healthy choices. Whether you give mashed / pureed food or not the parent still chooses what is offered to the baby . And unless anyone is force feeding a child they will all let you know when they've had enough.

we did Annabel karmel and ds (now age 8) is great at trying anything new, and loves all seafood / shellfish etc i do believe thats because he was introduced to so many different flavours from a very young age. BUT like most kids he also loves anything sweet - especially cake!

Tftpoo Sat 07-Jan-17 14:33:33

I have ID twins (the perfect control study!) who were both BLW and have have the same food offered to them at every meal since they were eating solids. One eats prettty much everything including a range of veg and the other is pretty fussy and would happily exist on bread and cereal if I let him. So I think that some children are just fussier than others regardless of what you do.

YoScienceBitch Sat 07-Jan-17 14:35:43

My 2 year old will eat absolutely anything you put in front of her. Just not a huge amount. She only eats until she's not hungry, not till she's full which I think is a good habit.

JanisNedob Sat 07-Jan-17 14:39:22

Tootsie flowers must have been very hard

FutureMrsRanj Sat 07-Jan-17 14:44:40

I did blw with both mine, oldest also had large range of specially cooked foods so she didn't 'only' like my tastes as well pfb, moi? both are now incredibly fussy, exactly the kind of children you wouldn't invite round for supper twice.

VeryPunny Sat 07-Jan-17 14:44:41

The only peer reviewed study on BLW involved about 20 babies, IIRC. I think there are many advantages to BLW but the idea that it raises healthier eaters is not backed up.

WhiskyAndTwiglets Sat 07-Jan-17 14:45:40

My BLW baby is now 8.5. She is still atrocious using cutlery and prefers using her fingers 😂 But she does have a fairly wide palate.
She eats until she is full and then stops. I love love love that about her.
My purée weaned baby ate about the same at 8. Not as adventurously as when they were both toddlers, but then she suddenly ordered lobster and salad (the salad was the shocker!!!!) a year or so ago so I have decided that ALL children come round in the end but BLW is great for them.

Jokeaboutmyhotchoc Sat 07-Jan-17 14:47:07

Nah, BLW is fine but I really think the perceived benefits of that over traditional weaning are nil

You're only ever going to get anecdotal evidence. Incidentally, I was weaned on puree and love vegetables grin

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