One of the best parts of no longer having a heavy focus on my acting career is that I CAN EAT ANYTHING I WANT. For years I second-guessed everything I put in my mouth because the camera adds 10 pounds, and I'm short, and my arms and face get puffy if I eat too much bread. Which is sad because I love food almost as much as I love Maeby.
But now, I'm happy to report that I'm eating what I want, when I want.
Which brings me to my topic of the day: Feeding your baby! And specifically, baby-led weaning. To be honest, I didn't even know this was actually a movement with a name and a book, as I have been doing it intuitively for years.
Baby-led weaning promotes feeding your baby real food from the get go: no mush, no ice-cube trays, no rice cereal, no pre-made jars with weird fruit-and veggie combinations. You know what you're having for breakfast? Cut it up real small and give some to your baby. Let him hold it and mush it and stuff it in his mouth. Especially by 6 months old, babies are perfectly capable of eating real food and feeding themselves. In the earlier months, squash up a banana, cut up some spaghetti real small, mush up some black beans. The options are endless!
The more options you give your baby to try when they're little, the less likely it is that they will live a life of chicken nuggets for the next five years. Don't be afraid to put spices in their food, use complex flavors or give them notoriously kid-hated food like leafy greens. Make green smoothies for them! Babies love smoothies. It's easier and cheaper to give your kids real food. You're eating anyways, so just let your baby have a go at some of it! Who needs rice cereal when you can just give her some oatmeal with smashed blueberries. Babies actually have spectacular gag reflexes and can push out bits of food that are too big for them. Now obviously, don't tempt fate, you need to cut that shit real small. But don't be afraid! Trust that your baby can handle it. Even if at first it seems like your baby doesn't like a specific food, keep having them try it. It can take around 14 times for a baby to realize they like it!
Getting your baby to eat can be really difficult and frustrating at times. One week they gobble up everything in sight, and the next they look like you are trying to poison them when you give them the exact same thing. It can be super disheartening and frustrating, so it's really understandable how easy it is to fall into the trap of feeding them butter pasta for every meal for the next three years. But I promise in the long run it's worth it to continue giving them new foods to taste, challenging their little palates, and encouraging them to be a part of the family meal, no matter how young they are!
If you need ideas, just look to any cookbook in your home! Or, you can check out the cookbook inspired by the movement. I'd love to hear any baby food tips you have and what your little ones like to eat.