If you have a little one at home and you have learned how to incorporate complementary feeding into their diet, you have probably heard the term B aby Led Weaning . Although it is a term that has become fashionable recently, this technique of incorporating food in children was already used by most of our grandparents.
In the following lines, I am going to explain to you what the Baby Led Weaning BLW consists of and the benefits it brings to children.
From my experience in the nutrition consultation, I know that one of the main concerns of mothers (especially new mothers) is the transition to complementary feeding of their babies. In fact, I myself have become more interested in this topic as a result of my pregnancy and future motherhood. It is completely understandable that there is some uncertainty, since each pediatrician gives different guidelines and the recommendations have changed significantly in recent decades. Years ago, the World Health Organization recommended the introduction of complementary feeding from the first 4 or 5 months of babies. However, current protocols recommend exclusive breastfeeding up to the first 6 months of age. This modification is largely due to the fact that babies have more developed motor skills by the time they are 6 months old.
There are many benefits of this type of diet. By this I do not mean that our children cannot be fed porridge or mashed foods at certain times. Creams and purees are one more food that does not have to be avoided at all costs.
The main benefits to highlight would be:
- Allows babies to experiment with flavors, textures, smells… of the foods that they will later include in their regular diet. This also helps them learn to differentiate between foods separately, something impossible in the case of baby foods that include mixtures of several foods at the same time.
- The child incorporates the family’s eating habits at a very early age by eating the same type of food and in an independent way, that is, by himself.
- In the future, the baby will be more open to accepting new foods and it will be easier for him to assimilate a more complete diet.
- It is important to note that we are not forcing the little one to eat a certain amount of food, but rather that she eats based on her appetite. This is also associated with lower rates of overweight and obesity in future ages.
- It stimulates the psychomotor skills of the baby, who does not have to wait with his mouth open for the spoon, but he must pick up and put the food in his mouth.
I’ll leave you a talk with my partner and expert in infant feeding Patricia Nevot
The BLISS method or Baby Led Introduction to Solids is a variant of Baby Led Weaning. In this case, the method of introducing foods is the same, but focuses on those that are rich in iron and energy. According to the BLISS method, each meal should have:
- A sufficient supply of energy (through carbohydrates for example or fat)
- A food rich in iron (through iron-rich animal or plant foods)
- A vegetable or a fruit
Like the BLW, it shares the idea that the food that is given to the child is of adequate texture and shape to avoid choking. It is also specified not to burden the child with a large number of foods at the same time (maximum 4).