So I've decided to do blw with DD as I can't be bothered faffing around with purées. I tried her with a bit of banana yesterday and today I introduced cucumber. I cut them into chunks so she could pick them up but it wasn't very successful in that she just bashed them about a bit! She did sometimes try and pick them up but she didn't try and put them in her mouth. At this rate she won't be eating anything. I guess milk is the main source of nutrition but surely she'll need to eat some solids at some point?
Is this the right approach? Should I carry on until she eventually starts feeding herself or am I fighting a lost cause?
At the moment they have no concept of the difference between food and a toy. Eating together can help as they will model their behaviour on yours, so when you sit down to eat, sit her with you (either on your lap or at a high chair) so that she gets a concept of food and meal time.
Some people introduce baby friendly food like banana chunks or cooked carrot stick but other go down the route of family food straight away (so giving a bit off their plate of whatever they are eating). I did a bit of a mixture, so I did things like make vegetable stew where all the veg was cut in to finger size pieces so she could pick them up easily or choose broccoli and asparagus rather than peas with our fish pie so that she had something she could hold on to.
Yep just carry on as you are until she gets the hang of it. There really is no rush and milk is their main source of nutrition until 1, so she's got plenty of time to figure it out. If you do want to try offering things she's more likely to be able to pick up, you just have to be a bit creative. Things like cucumber or banana can be slippery, so sometimes they struggle with those at first. I always found bigger pieces were better, so I cut bananas into thirds so it was like a little mini banana about 2-3 inches long, or offer the whole banana with the peel on and peel a bit for her to be able to eat at the top, cucumber sticks are good rather than chunks, plain cooked pasta (it's slippery with sauce), toast fingers with whatever on it, a plum or nectarine cut in half with the stone removed was an easy on to pick up at first. Also, things she can stick her fingers in and lick them, like yogurt, porridge, blended soup (also good with toast fingers). It won't be long before she gets the hang of it, but it doesn't happen right away. I think it was probably 2 weeks before my daughter ate anything and she was still mostly just playing and mushing and dropping stuff on the floor and eating a bit until 9-10 months and then it really took off. So really, it will likely take at least a month or a couple months to really start to get it. But you're teaching skills and an appreciation for real food that will last her a lifetime, so no need to worry it's taking too long or rush it. My 3.5 year old is now the most amazing, adventurous eater. She eats things even my adult friends are picky about! That's really what you're aiming for down the road. So just hang in there for now. Sounds like you're doing a great job so far.
I am doing BLW and struggling a bit as well because I just want to help her all the time. I find it helps both of us if I don't really pay attention to her while she is 'eating'. I offer her banana, cucumber, pineapple, tomato, steamed carrot sticks, strips of chicken, apple sauce, oatmeal, bell peppers, avacado, and hummus. Tonight for dinner I am going to offer her asparagus and broccoli. The only thing she really eats is tomato and cucumber, everything else she just plays with. This morning I mixed oatmeal and apple sauce with some expressed milk and then loaded it onto a spoon and handed her the spoon which she tried to put in her mouth. Most of the food ended up on her or on the table, but she was pretty good with the spoon and actually ate some if it. I struggle with worrying about her choking but so far she has been good, she does gag frequently though. I am not a patient person so I just want to feed her instead of watching her spend 10 minutes trying to pick up a piece of tomato! A few days ago I tried spoon feeding her some apple sauce and she was not pleased with me. She refused to sit in her chair or touch any food for two days afterwards so I learned my lesson and now just try my best to leave her be. She will figure it out in her own time. So long as you are still offering milk as her main source of nutrition then just keep on doing what you are doing!
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