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December 6, 2013 / ginavoskov2013

Chew on this.

It turns out that the scariest thing about motherhood so far has been to realize that Edie needs to learn to chew and swallow. Now that she is six months (today!) we can really start to introduce solids. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about Baby Led Weaning (which, when said fast, sounds a lot like “baby linguine.” And that’s what Dennis keeps calling it whenever I tell him to read about Baby Led Weaning, for crying out loud, and his response is always to say “Baby linguine!” So I know he’s not actually reading about Baby Led Weaning.) BLW is all about letting kids experiment with whole foods so that they learn to chew them, instead of pureeing all sorts of fruits and vegetables. This means giving kids slices of apples, chunks of broccoli, toast sticks, and as one message board proclaimed–spaghetti bolognese. So I just dived right in and gave Edie an apple slice which she sucked on to her heart’s content a few weeks ago. It was awesome to watch her eyes light up at the new flavor! I continued with pear, avocado, clementine, anything that I was sure she would just love.

Then she realized that if she really put her energy into gumming the fruit she could get some meat out of it, and that’s when I started hovering my finger near her cheek anytime she had a piece of food she was sucking on just in case I needed to sweep it out of her mouth.

I regret that every single time she’s bit off a piece of food larger than a snowflake I have reached in and taken it out of her mouth. I know she has to learn to chew things, but watching her gag on the smallest little fragment of food is SO scary. She doesn’t have any teeth, but according to BLW philosophy that shouldn’t be a deterrent from giving kids food to experiment with. I haven’t stopped giving her whole fruits to suck on because she loves them so much and I don’t want my fear to get in the way of her learning

So I need to hear from you. How did you teach your kids to eat?


One Comment

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  1. meeshie / Dec 7 2013 7:14 pm

    We still don’t have it down and Poet turned 8 months. He’s not a big fan of the eating yet. The choking, yeah, it’s terrifying but unless he can’t breathe then I leave it alone. Normally he just spits out the offending food.

    Just… be patient. It can take a few months for him to get a hang of things.

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