Friday, November 25, 2011

Gear: The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook

What is it?
The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook, but Gill Rapely & Tracey Murkitt.
How does it work?
I'm sure you know how a cook book works, so I'll explain what the title means. Baby-led weaning is a way of introducing your child to solid food without purees. At about six months, babies are able to pick up food & feed themselves--there's no need to blend everything into mush & spoon feed them. In fact, starting with finger foods (chunks of steamed veggies, fingers of toast, etc) right away at six months is actually safer than waiting. Because their gag reflex is so far forward at that age, babies will push food out of their mouths before it gets anywhere near their throat if it's too big to swallow easily. By the time the gag reflex has moved further back, they've learned to manage food with their teeth & tongue, making them less likely to choke. 
Besides the safety issues, baby-led weaning is also so much easier: no pureeing, no spoon-feeding while you try no power struggles &  trying to get 'the airplane in the hangar'. The family can eat the same thing (with the usual exceptions like honey, nuts, etc for the first year) at the same time. Children introduced to solid foods this way are often more adventurous with food & less likely to be picky eaters.
Why is it good?
The book's full of information on baby-led weaning & 130 great, simple, nutritious recipes for the first few months (years?) of eating with baby. The food isn't baby food, it's food that everyone will like & babies can easily eat too.
How much does it cost?
Free if you borrow it from the library. $23 at Chapters.
Where can you get it?
The Vancouver Public Library has 14 copies. Amazon & Chapters sell it online.

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