Welcome to Week 3 of our free series on nutrition in the first year of life. This week I set out to look in more detail at the pros and cons of baby led weaning, and some of the difficulties that can accompany puree spoon feed introduction to solids. After thinking about the potential pitfalls of both approaches and after much discussion and thought, myself and another paediatric dietitian colleague Leah Vandervliet have come up with the new term and approach called

“Responsive Introduction to Solids”.

This evidenced based approach came naturally to us as we feed our babies, but we are lucky to have the benefit of years of experience in paediatric dietetics behind us, as well professional development, training and skills in reading and interpreting the literature in paediatric nutrition. The approach does differ from both baby led weaning and traditional introduction to solids. Responsive introduction to solids is all about;

– The importance of baby cues in choosing appropriate textures of foods and having a flexible approach to supervised introduction to various food textures rather then set time-frames
– The importance of baby cues, and a relaxed, non -controlling i.e. no pressure or restriction toward your baby to eat more or less food, feeding style in helping your baby learn about and not override natural appetite regulation
– Having a relaxed, fun, supportive, structured family meal environment that promotes a) learning about taste, smell, look, feel and how to eat family foods b) creates a strong space for families to have regular positive social interactions, where a sense of safety, importance and belonging are developed
– Is based on wholesome, nourishing family foods and ensures babies are offered and eat appropriate range of nutrients, especially nutrients which we know are common causes of deficiencies in the age group such as iron.

We will definitely be discussing this approach in more detail in our upcoming book – we will keep you posted! In this video and the last where I got down to work in the kitchen, I discuss some of the evolution of these ideas by exploring the pros, cons and key ideas in conventional feeding and the baby led weaning approach. I hope you enjoy.

Video here