Our second daughter is now 6 months old and we have started weaning her, and she is really enjoying a change from plain old milk. The thing is… with our first daughter, weaning was a big deal for us and I would spend hours reading books on concocting the perfect nutritious purée, but this time round I don’t have the same luxury. I often need to give the baby something to chew on while I get a meal in front of the eldest. The good thing is, she loves feeding herself much more than being fed.
I read about baby-led weaning a couple of years ago and recently read an article about it in the Guardian. It is apparently very popular in Holland (as usual the Dutch are a bit more advanced than the rest of Europe). The theory is that you give your baby food they can pick up and then let them go crazy: steamed vegetables and fruit, bananas, and avocado all work. You feed them whatever you can cut up into big chunks and soften so that they cannot choke on it. At the end your table will look like a vegetable battle field, but your baby will have had the best time.
I don’t know how much food actually gets eaten, so I am still feeding my daughter purées, but I do believe she is getting to enjoy food and develop her motor skills whilst having a great time with the rest of the family at the dinner table.