Get Ready to Start Baby Led Weaning: And reducing food waste!
Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is becoming increasingly popular among parents looking for a way to introduce their baby to solid foods in a way that aids their development and helps to nurture confident and happy little eaters. But what is Baby Led Weaning? In this blog we will cover all of your major Baby Led Weaning questions including the , key signs your little one is ready and how to save on food waste with Baby Led Weaning. So, let’s get started!
What is Baby Led Weaning?
Baby Led Weaning is an approach to introducing solid food that gives babies control over what they eat and how much they eat. With Baby Led Weaning you offer them a variety of soft finger foods that they can pick up and feed themselves. You can offer a range of food including a vegetables, soft fruit and small baked goods - check out some of our food preparation guides and recipes here
How to spot when my little one is ready to wean?
When your little one is around 6 months old they will begin to show signs they are ready to start weaning. According to the NHS (start4life website) here are some of the signs they suggest looking out for and the commonly mistaken signs that indicate your little one isn’t quite ready to start weaning:
Signs they are ready to start weaning:
- Your little one can sit unassisted in the seating position and can hold their head steady.
- They have coordinated movement – so they can look at their food, pick it up and put it in their mouth, which is key to baby development for your little one with Baby Led Weaning.
- Swallowing rather than spitting food out.
Signs which can be confused with your little one being ready:
- Chewing their fists – this could be a sign they are teething or are just exploring their own body
- Wanting extra milk – this could signal a growth spurt
- Waking up in the night – again this could be signs of your little one teething or just growing and developing.
Top tips for saving food waste with Baby Led Weaning
We know Baby Led Weaning can be messy and one big downside is the food waste it can generate. But don’t let this put you off following the Baby Led Weaning approach! we have some great tips to help you reduce food waste whilst weaning.
- Meal planning for the week can help reduce food waste whilst weaning and save money by only buying what you need – this can also help plan family meals and track how often your little one has tried the same taste to see if they like it or not. Remember if your little one refuses food this doesn’t mean they don’t like it, they may just be full.
- Be mindful of portion sizes – SR_Nutrition has some great advice around portion size for your little one whilst weaning. Take a look at this reel for her top tips.
- Use a bib that catches food. Our award-winning Bib & Tray Kit offers the best protection from Baby Led Weaning food waste available on the market by catching food in the bib and preventing food from falling onto the floor. Any food caught on the tray or bib can be offered again to your baby at the same mealtime, preventing frustration and aiding their food discovery journey. And of course, stopping food from falling onto the floor helps to prevent all that lovingly prepared food from going to waste (not to mention reducing all that post-mealtime clean up!)
- Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers to use again – we love doing this, as it makes another day’s mealtime much easier. When you’ve had a crazy busy day it’s great to know you can offer your little one a meal which is right for you, straight from the fridge or freezer. Jenna Brown has some great tips around how long you can keep food for and how to reheat in this blog.
- Make the same meals for yourself and your baby – this is another way to encourage your little one to enjoy mealtimes. Mealtimes should be social so eating the same meal as your little one will not only cut down on waste but will support family social time and provide you with the chance to demonstrate using cutlery and chewing. We have some great weaning recipes which can be adapted to suit all the family.
Baby Led Weaning is an exciting and rewarding way to introduce solid foods to your baby. By giving your baby control over what they eat and how much they eat, you’ll be helping them to develop healthy eating habits for life.
It’s important to do your research before getting started with baby led weaning, and to make sure that you’re following safety guidelines. With our food saving tips you’ll be ready to embark on this exciting journey with your little one. If you’re ready to get started with Baby Led Weaning, make sure to check out our award-winning Bib and Tray Kit! It’s the perfect way to start your baby on their journey of self-feeding and to make mealtimes that little bit easier for both of you. Happy feeding!
For more great tips and advice on food waste take a look at our blog on How to Reduce Food Waste When Baby Led Weaning