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Advice please. 'BLW' of sorts at 28wks. Raw apple?? rice cakes?

(12 Posts)
picc Sun 16-Aug-09 21:19:07

Sorry. A long post! but I'm really confused.... I'm a first time mum, and know very little about weaning, so had started tentatively down the puree route.

However, DS was very keen to feed himself with the spoon, and he tends to grab at food, so the last couple of days I've tried leaving bits of food for him to help himself to.He has really enjoyed this. However, I'm a bit worried that they seem to be foods that people advise against.

He loves raw carrot sticks and raw apple (long, cylindrical pieces, cut out of the apple using one of those corers. Skin removed at each end). He'll chomp away at these for hours. The apple, especially, will start to change shape slightly, so I think he is eating bits of it!

Why is it we're advised to steam/soft boil fruit/veg even with BLW (if I understand correctly! It may be that I've got all this wrong)

And why is it that every time I try to read about raw apple/carrot for babies, I read things telling me these things are a definite thing to avoid for the next few months?

Also (!!) he really loves chomping away on rice cakes. He kind of gums away at them for ages before stuffing the whole thing in his mouth. This obviously makes him gag, but he either spits it out or finds a way of swallowing it. Am I doing something wrong here? And is it okay that they are wholegrain rice cakes? (no added salt obviously)

Sorry for all the questions, and any advice gratefully received. I would really like to do a bit more of this, rather than simply shovelling in purees....

dinkystinky Sun 16-Aug-09 21:28:20

I think raw apple is definitely a choking risk as is so hard if they bite pieces off - the same for raw carrot - so if you steam them then the choking risk is reduced. I think you can grate apple and carrot for babies if you dont want to steam them though but they'll have trouble holding it at such a young age.

Sorry cant advise on rice cakes - think if he's finding a way to eat it its fine by him though. Am sure someone more knowledgeable will be along soon...

greensnail Sun 16-Aug-09 21:29:17

The worry with raw apples and carrot is that small pieces can break off and be a choking risk. However, DD has had these as well and loves them. Are you confident that you'd know what to do if he did choke? Personally, I've decided its a risk that I'm willing to take as dd seems to manage these food fine and I'm confident that I'd know what to do if she did choke. Its up to you whether you feel the same way.

The rice cake thing sounds fine - with practice he'll work out how to eat them without making himself gag. DD used to love wholegrain rice cakes (has gone off them a bit now that she's discovered lots more tasty things!)

greensnail Sun 16-Aug-09 21:31:02

I think the apple thing depends a bit on what variety of apple they're having as well - some are crunchier than others.

iwouldgoouttonight Sun 16-Aug-09 21:34:56

I've only been doing BLW for a couple of weeks so I'm no expert but as far as I know its better to steam carrot and apple to make it softer and easier to eat. In the baby-led weaning book I read they said you can give raw apple but I would personally be worried about choking, but if your DS is sucking at it he's probably making it soft enough to swallow. My DD sucks at celery, which is too hard for her to 'bite' but she seems to just enjoy sucking the juice out!

Re rice cakes, they're perfect for BLW as they go all soft when they suck them so they can normally eat the whole thing. My DD loves them and they're the least messy food so good for snacks when you're out.

picc Sun 16-Aug-09 22:09:21

Thanks for the replies

I thought it was the choking thing. That makes me feel a bit better in a weird way. As long as the raw fruit/veg itself isn't 'harmful'.

The thing is, that also confuses me. Because, from my point of view, it's as easy for a bit of rice cake to break off and choke him as it is for a bit of apple to drop off.

Oh well... I guess this is just the first of many decisions I'm going to have to make as a parent! You're right greensnail, will have a think. He likes it so much, I'm reluctant to take it away. And I do watch him like a hawk. So maybe I'll just go for it.

Thanks everyone for the really speedy responses.

Aranea Sun 16-Aug-09 22:18:46

I think it might partly depend on whether he's got any teeth yet. If he's got teeth he could bit off a choking-sized chunk of apple or carrot. Otherwise I think he's more likely to gum it till it goes soggy enough to swallow. And bits of rice cake are too soft to choke on, I think. They might make him gag but I don't think they could really lodge in his throat.

I tend to give my baby cooked veg as otherwise she can't get enough to eat and gets frustrated. It's all very well gnawing on a carrot stick but if she's hungry she wants to actually eat!

Aranea Sun 16-Aug-09 22:19:58

bite off, sorry for typo.

picc Sun 16-Aug-09 22:23:00

Ah yes! teeth! grin

Hadn't thought about that!

Thanks. That makes sense.

And you're right, he tends to happily gnaw away at apple/carrot, but only after he's actually fed (BF or rice cake or puree or whatever).

Okay... am getting my head round this slowly. Thanks for all this

moaningminniewhingesagain Sun 16-Aug-09 22:30:17

DS is a very keen eater with BLW, I have given grated apple - he grabs handfuls and shovels it in, I cook carrots in sticks or very diagonal slices IYKWIM but I think the choking risk is because raw apple/carrot can be very hard if lumps break off. I've also sliced apple pretty thin so it was pretty safe but then its harder to pick up.

A crinkle cutter like for chips is handy for slippery stuff - I use it for pears/peaches/melon so he can grab it easier. I would give rice cakes happily, your confidence grows as you see them managing well, most things just fall out of their mouths if they can't swallow it.

picc Sun 16-Aug-09 22:36:14

Thanks. That's a good tip (the crinkle cutter).

Will definitely try grating some stuff and see how he goes with it.

You're right about confidence. I've come to this VERY slowly because he gagged the first couple of times I tried (2 weeks ago) and it terrified me.
Since then, I've seen him gag with puree once or twice... and I've seen him deal with a mouth full of gummed rice cake (he looked slightly shocked for a few seconds but then swallowed it!)

I guess it's just a question of trying things and seeing how he deals with them.

JJ1471 Mon 17-Aug-09 13:17:49

I find that steaming sticks of carrot and other veg, and segments of apple, peach, pear etc. (I leave the skin on the fruit) makes it much easier for my baby to pick up and eat, with the fruit he sucks the fruit off the skin and quite a lot seems to go in. He hasn't got any teeth yet though.

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