Food Fear

Even though it was only just over 5 months ago that I became a mom, it seems that the days filled with the constant apprehensive questioning are long gone.  In those early days in a mere 20 minutes I might wonder, ‘Is she getting enough food?  Should we give her a dummy?  When do we introduce a bottle?  Is she spitting up too much?’  Now, we just wake up and get on with it.  I generally know what to expect from her and I think she knows what to expect from me.  And so it seemed those new parent nerves had passed and we’d both just settled into parenthood.  Until recently.

As The Duchess approaches her sixth month, we’ve decided to begin the weaning process.  After reading a bit about Baby Led Weaning (BLW), we thought we’d give it a try.  BLW weaning is practiced by parents both in the UK and in the US, but nevertheless you may not have heard of it.  Here are our reasons for giving it a go:

  • It’s less fussy (even if more messy) because she eats when we do, feeds herself, and more or less has some of what we are eating
  • She eats as much as she likes and decides when she’s full rather than the two of us trying to get her to finish off the bowl in front of her
  • It helps with things like hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills and it’s fun to explore all of those new tastes and textures herself (and to watch her do it!)
  • It means we all eat together as a family and she learns that meal time is a time to socialize with us.  Mealtimes are really lovely, rather than being stressful from trying to feed her, bath her, get her to bed and then to cook for ourselves, eat and clean up afterwards. (This is our top reason)
  • She’s eating fresh foods.  Nothing from a jar, but food as it comes.   It helps usto eat healthier meals and hopefully helps us to feed her better food.

    Shovelling it in: The Petersiks did BLW with their daughter Clara. Read more at

Even with all of those reasons, I have found that the apprehension from the early days has come back.  I keep thinking, ‘Okay, I’ve given her steamed apples this morning and she’s had broccoli this evening.  Am I giving her enough?  Should I be giving her more?  Should I be mixing foods?’  If you saw her attempts to feed herself at this early stage, she is only about 5% successful.  She gets it to her mouth and nibbles at times, but the other 95% of the time she smears it into the table, bangs it on her highchair or throws it on the floor where The Big Brown One eagerly awaits (He is LOVING BLW, by the way – I fear there may be disastrous results from the amount of broccoli he ate tonight).

Thankfully, I have a very relaxed husband and tonight when I turned to The Native and started rattling off food related questions about how much and what kinds of foods and whether we should lock The Big Brown One out of the room, he calmly replied in a very British manner, ‘We’ve just started.  It’ll be a slow start, but she’ll pick it up.  Stop worrying and just let her get on with it.’

Thank goodness I married him.

Let’s get on with it.


11 thoughts on “Food Fear

  1. Sara

    Hi friend! Miss you. has a great entry about BLW. I follow that blog like crazy now (and they write for babycenter…their photo is the one you used in your post.) Just thought I would say hi. Love keeping up with you and your adventures. 🙂

  2. Lauren

    I’m sure you know this already, but just in case…thought I’d offer a suggestion on the “should I be mixing food?” question. I’ve read and been told that when you start introducing little ones to new foods, just to do them one at a time for a few days so you can watch for allergic reactions. If you try a bunch at once, you won’t know what food is the problem if there is a reaction. I’m sure the Big Brown One wouldn’t mind a little variety though! 🙂

  3. Christy Staats

    Good thing you have the Big Brown One to at least clean up the floor even if the table and your daughter are a mess! 🙂 Grin. Yeah it sounds like the best idea. My sister in law did that with my nephews. Healthier food overall. I can’t believe our parents did things like jars of baby food. What a bad idea and waste of money is that?!

  4. Alex

    We did this with daughter number two, partly because I didn’t have time for all the endless pureeing with a grizzly toddler clinging to my leg. Anyway, it worked really well and at 20 months, she’s a great little eater now (just wish I’d had a Big Brown One to hoover up all the slops on the floor).

    1. Living Life as an Expat Parent Post author

      That’s encouraging to hear, Alex. Thanks for the comment. I’ve omitted it from this post, but I tend to call it ‘The Lazy Method,’ since I do not have a toddler clinging to my leg and yet still make excuses for not making purees. Haha.

  5. dillytante

    Hello. I’ve done BLW with both kids and it has been fab. You have to make a pact with yourself that food won’t be a battleground and try and relax. I expect you’ve seen the BLW blog run by a mumsnetter ( I think). There are some fantastic forums on there with general support and recipe ideas. The sugar free banana loaf is a regular feature in my house!

    1. Living Life as an Expat Parent Post author

      I hadn’t seen it! Thanks so much for the suggestion. I’m now starting to relax when she shoves food into her mouth, which was quite unnerving at first, and we are genuinely enjoying mealtimes together. My struggle has been what food to make. I hate thinking of what we are having for supper on a regular day so thinking about how to do sugar/salt free suppers makes my head spin. I’ll be sure to stop by and check it out!

      1. dillytante

        I wouldn’t be too paranoid about salt if you are cooking from scratch. Regulars in our house are pasta and pesto with various veg, sausages and mash, cheesy pasta, chicken curry (made using tikka paste, coconut milk and passata) and veg, scrambled eggs, rissotto (using salt free stock), stir fry with noodles, salmon and rice. We gave her all of this from six months.

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