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When can I start solids with Babyled Weaning?

"My baby is six months or older doesn't sit unsupported, so I'm not feeding him solids yet." I hear this over and over in my Babyled Weaning Facebook Group. There's seems to be this myth out there that baby needs to sit on his own independently for a minute, two minutes, maybe five minutes - before starting baby led weaning or self feeding. I'm not sure where this came from. Even Gill Rapley, the creator of the term "Baby led Weaning" has an article on her website and she explicitly states there's NO "60- second rule".

Two of my own babies didn't sit fully unsupported on their own for any length of time until they were eight, maybe closer to nine months. But certainly they were able to self feed before this age. I've also confirmed this with the Occupational Therapist that I work with: baby does not need to sit unsupported on their own before starting solids.

They do, however, need to be able to sit with support. Your baby does need to have enough strength in their trunk or body...

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Introducing Dairy to Baby

The newest guidelines reviewing when to introduce allergens to babies suggest that all foods – including dairy- can be introduced at 6 months. There’s no greater risk that your child will develop an allergy if you introduce a food at 6 months instead of 12 months (and actually earlier might be better!). I recommend starting dairy with plain full fat yogurt. You can mix in a fruit puree for flavour, if you like. Then grated cheese that your child can pick up on his own. Followed by full fat cows milk. However for fluid milk, It IS recommended to wait to feed your baby cows milk as their main milk source until they are 9-12 months old. This isn’t related to allergy, but to iron status. Cows milk is low in iron, and can inhibit iron absorption.

So when can you introduce milk as a main milk source for your baby? Is 9 months better, or 12 months? It depends on how much they eat. Do you have a baby that eats plenty of solids and gets lots of iron from their diet? Then...

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When can I introduce allergenic foods to my baby?

One of the most common questions I get from parents starting solids is "When can I introduce allergens like eggs/peanuts/dairy/wheat to my baby?

Even for high risk babies, the recommendations are now to introduce high risk allergenic foods fairly soon after starting solids, around 6 months of age. You can read the Canadian Pediatric Society statement on that here.

I created a video to share more details about introducing allergens to babies. Watch it here:

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Is Food Before 1 Just for Fun?

"Food Before 1 is just for fun." If you have a baby who's recently started solids, you've probably heard this saying many times! Is it really true? Watch my video here to for more details:

Here's the link to my Top 3 Mistakes with Babyled Weaning" video I mention.

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New Guidelines for Introducing Peanuts to Babies

The National Institute of Allergy & Infections Diseases just released some new guidelines about introducing peanuts to infants, to decrease the risk of peanut allergy. Headlines read "Introduce peanuts by 6 months of age, to prevent peanut allergy." The "by 6 months" part isn't totally what the research shows, or what the guidelines currently recommend. Watch my video below, where I break down:

  • The guidelines and what is actually new (the recommendation to start allergens around 6 months has been around since 2008).
  • The studies that support introducing allergens at 6 months, and do they support introducing allergens earlier at 4-6 months?
  • How to introduce peanuts into your baby's diet.

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4 Tips to Avoid Lead in Babyfood

First arsenic in infant cereal and now lead in baby food?! As a parent, you want your baby to be able to grow and develop to their potential - and a good start with food is one step in supporting this. Lead-free food, that is! There's no safe detectable level of lead in our blood. Even low levels of lead in humans have been linked to lower IQs and behavioural problems.

A new report from an independent organization called the Environmental Defense Fund analyzed 11 years of Food & Drug Administration data in the United States and found that food was a source of lead contamination.  14% of  all 1o,064 foods analyzed contained lead. Even more concerning is that a higher proportion of baby food (20% of the 2,164 baby food samples analyzed) also contained lead.  This is a problem because babies are smaller and developing quickly, so at a higher risk of being damaged by lead exposure than adults.

Lead was found most often in fruit juices, especially grape juice...

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Choking & Babyled Weaning

You may be terrified of feeding your baby finger foods: “Won’t my baby choke if I feed him “real” food?”

Yet many proponents of Babyled Weaning (BLW) believe babies are actually at less risk of choking if they feed themselves rather than being spoon-fed by a parent. This is because the baby is in full control.

In fact a new study "A Baby-led to Eating Solids & Risk of Choking" found that Babyled Weaners do not choke more often than babies who start solids with purees.

Another benefit of BLW and introducing full foods sooner, is that the gag reflex is further forward in the mouth and it moves back as baby ages. So the gag reflex effectively keeps larger food pieces near the front of the mouth, only allowing very well-chewed foods to the back to be swallowed.

Yet choking is a risk, no matter how you start solids. The #1 food Babyled Weaning babes choke on is full apples. Choking occurs when the air tube is blocked. If your baby bites off a perfectly...

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How do I stop my Baby from Throwing Food?

One of the most common questions I get in my online Facebook Babyled Weaning group  is: "How can I stop my baby from throwing his food?!"

Throwing food is a stage most babies go through, at least once. Early on, they are learning to open and close their fist and might drop food on the floor while they practice this new skill. Later on, they are still developmentally learning what happens to food then they drop it. And if your toddler is throwing food, it's likely to illicit a reaction from you! Toddlers love your attention - whether it's positive or negative.

While it's a stage that will eventually end, throwing food still super-annoying. Nobody likes cleaning spaghetti sauce off the curtains!

Here are 5 tips to deal with baby's food-throwing stage:

  1. Don't over-react, as it will encourage the behaviour. You can calmly say: "food stays on the table" rather than screaming: "no throwing!" If older siblings react (often with laughter, egging on the throwing!), try your...
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