Clara’s current favorite eats and a toddler food Q&A

In those first early months with a baby, we are all obsessed with what they are eating. Is she (or he) getting enough milk? Is it time for solids? What should (or shouldn’t ) be those early foods?

It took me three tries to find my way, and still, feeding our Clara took time and care to ensure she was getting the best of the best. She is a tall, lean baby, and so of course I always get asked a lot of detailed questions about her diet at her doctor’s visits. What do I tell them?

She eats more than her brothers.

Clara's favorite foods on simplebites.netPhoto by Tim Chin.

Well, at least half the time anyway. At fifteen months old, Clara is a well-rounded, voracious eater. We’ve barreled past the cautious, exploratory stage and have settled into easy: easy to please, at ease to chew and swallow foods, and easy to serve from the dishes on the diner table.

Today I thought I’d share some of her favorite foods and how I prepare them, then we can open up the questions in the comments.

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Baby-Led Feeding (BLW) with Clara: a 10-month update

This update has been a long time in coming, but I think the reason is that our baby-led method for feeding Clara seems so natural I don’t think to write about it. She eats what we eat and it couldn’t be better.

Of course once I actually sat down to share our progress, I discovered I had quite a bit to say on the subject. Funny how that seems to happen with topics I am particularly enthusiastic about! Feeding babies nourishing, whole foods is certainly one of those passions.

If you’re not completely familiar with baby-led feeding (or Baby-Led Weaning, as it is actually called), I wrote about embracing this method for introducing solid foods to baby last September. Since then, Clara’s progressed quite a bit. I’ve had many great discussions on the subject and a few of my friends have even gotten on board with their little ones.

I frequently get asked about what exactly Clara eats, so today I’ll share about her diet at 10 months old.

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How I discovered and embraced Baby-Led Weaning/Feeding (BLW)

A few weeks ago I sat at the dinner table and watched Clara furrow her brow as she focused on a centimeter square piece of omelet that was sitting on her dinner tray. She reached a chubby arm and closed her dimpled hand over the egg, raking it closer, before clutching it in her tight grip and transferring it to her mouth. It took some effort, but she succeeded, and thoughtfully chewed and swallowed the omelet before looking around for more. I actually blinked back a few tears in awe and pride.

Clara is not quite six months old and is eating on her own like a little champion. She is slow, messy, and doesn’t actually ingest all that much, but gracious me, she is not picky! In fact, quite the contrary, she wants to eat everything. In solid form, too.

How did we get here? No drippy rice cereal? Brown-colored puree? Well, while I was still pregnant with Clara, my doula tipped me off to a method for introducing solids called Baby-Led Weaning, or as I like to call it, Baby Led FeedingI have no intention of weaning Clara yet, but have been supplementing her diet for a month or so now using BLW.

Baby-led feeding is the common-sense practice of giving your baby soft, palatable whole foods and letting her feed herself her first ‘bites’, while continuing to breastfeed. The theory is that babies will experiment and discover food at their own pace, as well as develop new abilities including chewing and keen hand-eye coordination.

I’ve certainly seen firsthand the benefits of skipping purees and moving straight to solids. Not only is it less work in the kitchen, but Clara is continually astounding us with her early ability to chew and participate around the dinner table. And of course I’m hoping in the long run that she’ll be open to a much wider range of food than my boys were.

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