“Hmm… that’s not very French!” is what I hear whenever someone asks me about the way BabyinProvence eats. We are doing Baby Led Weaning as our preferred method of introducing solids and I have received countless raised eyebrows and dismissive comments!
SO what’s it all about? Baby Led Weaning (or BLW as it is often referred to) is the gradual weaning from breast milk or formula to solids. There are no purées and spoons involved.
From around 6 months, when your baby can sit up unassisted you start by offering the same food you are eating (provided it is fresh, salt free and unprocessed). You allow your baby to choose what they are eating by offering a balanced diet and allowing them to feed themselves. The method is fun, at times messy, but amazingly, allowing your baby to take control of their dietary needs results in healthy and enjoyable mealtimes. As a parent you think more carefully about what you put on your plate and in turn, the whole family starts eating a healthier, more balanced diet
More information on BLW can be found here
Now that we have that covered, BLW was my choice for BabyinProvence’s weaning to solids, a decision that was met with quite strong reactions as I have mentioned. My paediatrician was keen for us to start on a traditional method of purees and stages, all of which contradict the BLW ethos. Eating out was fun for us all yet many stared at BabyinProvence in shock at how a 6 month old baby with no teeth was able to gum a steak and enjoy every bit! Yes its messy but it is also fascinating – it blows the food pyramid you see in every doctor and nutritionists office out of the water! BabyinProvence has days when all she wants is protein and other days she binges on carbs – these binges usually correspond to what she needs versus what she wants. I have yet to meet a single person in France who has heard of BLW which led me research this further, and in turn become a bit obsessed with the whole thing.
How do I get started with BLW my baby?
Firstly, I suggest buying the book Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
How do I describe this to my French friends and family?
A good description in French is here although the translation is lacking it does give the vocab needed to explain your stance
I have yet to have found any support in France for BLW but that has not deterred me. BabyinProvence enjoys her food and has sampled more foods than many adults I know!
If you have any questions about BLW please do not hesitate to ask me … I promise to reply!