Oliver, age five months, enjoys his first taste of steak.

Baby-Led Weaning — Part I

Baby-Led Weaning — Part II

Baby-Led Weaning — Part III

It turns out that Oliver was ready for solids sooner than we expected. Particularly in the last couple of weeks, he has been showing a lot of interest in our food, and while he hasn’t completely mastered the skill of sitting unsupported, he can sit quite upright with minimal support (such as that provided by his highchair). He now has two teeth, with a third that appears ready to emerge any day. He can reach for and grasp items of interest, and can release his grasp on one item in order to pick up another.

While we had, on a couple of occasions, given him slices of apple or pear to taste/suck, this was our first time formally introducing solids in a meal setting.

We were very fortunate to find a secondhand Tripp Trapp highchair (complete with baby set) on Craigslist for an excellent price. I guess it was meant to be, because I had been unsuccessfully looking for a nice wooden chair for weeks before this one came up for sale. Oliver sat comfortably in the chair — without any fussing — for the entire meal!

We gave him one strip of ribeye steak, a broccoli floret and a cauliflower floret, along with a small amount of water in a bottle. He absolutely LOVED the steak, and sucked on it contentedly for more than 10 minutes, until it was cold and devoid of any juices. Much to our surprise, he also enjoyed the broccoli and cauliflower (though he had a little bit of trouble handling the cauliflower because the stem wasn’t long enough). We helped him to drink water before and after the food, and we helped to move his food back in front of him whenever he (inadvertently) knocked it out of reach. Otherwise, we left the process up to Oliver, and he didn’t disappoint.

Was it messy? Yes. There was an inordinate amount of drool (see — J isn’t the only one who drools over a good ribeye steak ;)), and Oliver repeatedly smeared things back and forth across the table. Some food fell on the floor. We learned that the cats like ribeye too. But the whole mess — including Oliver himself — took only a couple of minutes to clean at the end of the meal.

All in all, the experience was a success!

8 responses to “BABY-LED WEANING PART IV

  1. We used the highchair from Ikea and loved it. We literally hosed it off after meal time or washed it in the shower. We did BLW too and used to put a painting tarp down on the floor at mealtime. We even took it to restaurants with us. Got some strange looks but the staff loved us for it!

    • After tonight’s spaghetti squash (which may or may not have taken longer to clean up than it did to cook :)), I’m contemplating using old bedsheets underneath the chair for messy meals. Then we can just fold them up and throw them right into the washing machine.

  2. He really enjoyed the steak! Makes me miss having one so much! 6 weeks preggers now and I’ve been keeping away from steak because I like mine done rare and I don’t think that’s safe to eat now. Did you have steak when you were still pregnant, and if so, how well did you have it done?

    And for babies, are there any guidelines as to how cooked the steak should be?

    • I did eat steak throughout my pregnancy, and I mostly ate it medium-rare. I’m fairly sure that the government recommendations say all meat should be cooked through (medium, I guess?) during pregnancy, but I personally did not feel the risk was high, since it’s only the outside of the steak that gets “dirty.” As long as the meat is not spoiled, there should be no issues with the inside part of a steak being a little rare; however, this definitely DOES NOT apply to poultry, pork and ground meats — all of which should always be cooked through.

      I would guess the same rules apply to meat for babies, but again, we have been giving Oliver medium-rare steak (and seared rare tuna) with no problems. As a parent (or parent-to-be), you have to use your own best judgement on things; consider any potential adverse outcomes and decide what level of risk you are prepared to accept. Because we get our beef directly from a small family farm, and I am confident that it is clean and safe, I am probably more willing than most parents to give Oliver rarer pieces of meat. He loves it 🙂

  3. The first food my son truly ate was ribeye & broccoli as well. However, he wasn’t the least bit interested until a little after 10 mths (he’s 2 now). Despite my pedi’s claims that parents who do BLW/don’t introduce solids until after 6 mths end up with “picky eaters”, DS clearly enjoys his food – unless it is slimy or pureed. 🙂

    • Yay for ribeye and broccoli! 🙂

      You make a very good point about the importance of waiting until a child shows interest in solids. I would argue that introducing solids to an uninterested child could adversely affect his relationship with food, and that waiting for the opportunity to harness his natural curiosity is more likely to result in a “good” eater.

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