One of my biggest parenting failures is that my children are terribly picky eaters. When the twins were babies, I was so paranoid about them getting enough to eat that if they didn't like something, I quickly made something else. If they didn't like that, I made yet another meal. In addition, because Marko and I are terribly boring eaters (we like the same few meals all the time), the children have not been exposed to a variety of tastes, smells and flavours. As a result, they only eat very few things. Adam is the most adventurous, he will at least try new things. Kate eats almost nothing. Not only doesn't she eat any proper meals, she doesn't even eat burgers, nuggets etc - food that kids are supposed to love! She eats pizza, but without the cheese, without the tomato base, without any toppings except for a bit of garlic butter. With the garlic scraped off. In other words, an almost dry pizza base. Great. Max is just as bad. Which provides overwhelming evidence that it isn't them, it's me.
So one of the things I tell new moms is don't do what I did! Try to get your children to be a bit more adventurous in their eating habits. Don't pander to their pickiness. Do as I say, definitely not as I do.
And so when my good friend who has a 8 month old baby told me a bit about baby-led weaning, I thought it sounded like an excellent idea! In essence, it is about putting food in front of your baby (from about 6 months) and letting the baby play with and taste the food, eventually letting the baby feed herself. No mushing or pureeing.
The problem is that she is getting a lot of resistance from friends and family. Objections range from "what a load of nonsense, what is wrong with the way we were brought up?" to "it is extremely dangerous and irresponsible, SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN AND IT WILL ALL BE YOUR FAULT!". Like any new mom, my friend is trying to do her best but is also filled with doubts herself - is she doing the right thing? The naysayers are making her question her instincts. And making her cry, which is really horrible.
So I said I would ask all of you for your advice and input. What is your experience with baby-led weaning? Have you done it yourself? Do you have any good resources for her? Is there anyone who is open to emailing my friend for a bit of advice and support?
Being a new mom is damn hard, we need to help each other out where we can, not make each other cry. After all, it takes a village.