When eldest was born in 2006 I did a lot of reading about babies and at first assumed I would do the then standard thing of purées made by myself and carefully spoon-feed the baby one new veg a week and then slowly start to add lumps a few months later. But I started seeing references to a then fairly new idea called baby led weaning.
The idea behind baby led weaning is if you wait until your kid is 6 months old and able to sit up, they can bring food to their own mouth and you can skip purées and start with finger food. This sounded like a great idea to me – not least because by the times eldest was 6 months old I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep and all the careful cooking and whizzing and freezing in ice cube trays that books talk about just seemed like way too much work. I was also helped get through my dubious stage by a blog which just consisted of a mother writing down every food she offered her kid and how they reacted. I think the blog was what turned into Babyledweaning,com and it amazed me with the stories of a 7 month old eating asparagus and edamane and other foods I thought of as adult.
So I went for it and have never looked back. Both my kids have learnt to eat by having what we are having from the start. The only thing you have to avoid is honey until they are a year, don’t salt the food for the baby and don’t give them chicken on the bone because the bones can shatter. Lamb chops are fine and both girls have enjoyed gnawing on them.
This is the point where I could massively over generalise and claim the broad food tastes of my kids is all down to baby led weaning. But actually, I believe that we’ve just been lucky and the number one way to ensure your kids eat a lot of different things is to have kids that are born liking lots of different foods. Eldest is old enough that I can say that sometimes she is adventurous with food and sometimes she only wants to eat food she is familiar with. Youngest is still in full on enjoying novelty stage, but it will probably change at about two. The more food she’s tried before then, the less likely it will she will end up with only 2 things she is willing to eat.
However, I do think that eating the same food as us right from the start avoided giving them the impression there is kid food and adult food. Which I regret every time I get the bill when I take eldest daughter for sushi.