Tag Archives: France

Well, they are obviously not French!

Today was a beautiful day in Provence. The sun was shining and it was a perfect spring day so we set off to the picturesque village of Roussillon, Provence which is classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. It truly is. We decided to stop for lunch on a lovely terrace overlooking the village. It was perfect. The sun was shining, the restaurant had a high chair for BiP and the menu was Baby-Led Weaning friendly.

DSC_3875-300x199Once we had settled in the restaurant started to fill up. BiP was enjoying being outside and then lunch arrived. She sat in her high chair and proceeded to chomp down her lunch with the same enthusiasm she always does without any interference from us. The terrace went silent.  BiP had a large strip of steak that she was chewing on which was causing quite a stir.  We were talking English so quite oblivious to attention BiP was getting until I heard someone gasp (in French) “OMG! The baby is eating steak! By herself!” I decided to not react … this was fun… I gave her an anchovy from the Salad Nicoise which she promptly popped in to her mouth and devoured “Oh she likes everything” exclaimed another diner.

At this point more people had realised what was happening, yes, my baby was feeding herself and more people started to turn and look at BiP. She didn’t care, she wanted my green beans and some potato which I put on her plate and she continued.  Then I heard “Look at that! They are obviously not French” – I smiled to myself.  After BiP finished her lunch it was time for me to feed her, breastfeed her – so I cleaned her up and proceeded to nurse her whilst I enjoyed my coffee in the sun “OMG! She is NOW having the breast” cried the diner next to me to which his partner dismissively said “Well, they are obviously NOT French!” (It’s true, we are not, but is it that obvious?)
When BiP was done it was time to get going, she wanted to walk a bit around the terrace which is when I overheard the couple, who decided we couldn’t possibly be French, debating her age – I then turned around and replied in perfect French “Elle a dix-mois et demi, presque onze mois*” … the blush and the jaw drop was priceless.

I have no idea what they would have said had they seen me ECing BiP in the forest!


* -Translation: “she is 10 and a half months old, almost 11 months”

Baby Led Weaning in France

“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.

The BLW Bible ... every parent should read this!

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!

Bon Appétit!