Mommy Wars: Pureé vs. BLW

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You know there are certain things–parenting styles–that divide the masses and provide fuel for what is sometimes referred to as “The Mommy Wars”. Topics of debate include breastfeeding, vaccinations, sleep training, co-sleeping, circumcision, and many more. I’m not inclined to get into politics on any of these. I really don’t care what anyone else does as long as it doesn’t affect MY kid (so ok, I’m pro-vaccinations since that does affect my kid, but I digress…)

What I’d like to share with you today is my experience with introducing solids to BG. There appears to be two opposing methods of introducing solids, one being pureés (a.k.a. babyfood) and the other being the more haute and trendy baby-led-weaning (BLW) method.

I always knew that I wanted to do babyfood. In particular, that I wanted to make my own fresh organic pureés. Most of the women in my mommy group are academics (think professors, PhD candidates, and other sorts of intellectuals–I live in a college town). They’re all hipsters too–craft beer brewing, community gardening, beard loving, festival-going, biking-instead-of-driving *hipsters*. Which I’m like whatev, that’s cool, I used to be super liberal myself. But seeing as BLW is the hip trend at the moment, that’s what they’re all doing.

And some of them are pretty *smug* about it.

They think it’s greeeeeeat because “Baby can eat whatever we’re eating”–that’s the main point they keep bringing up–no need to tote around jars of babyfood or prepare a separate meal, no need to rebuff your poor child when they reach for whatever’s in your hand (which, btw, they do that regardless if the item you’re holding is edible so it doesn’t indicate a desire for food).

And (although you all know how combative I can be) I just smile and nod. Because what’s the point? There’s no harm in BLW…

Except for choking.

I was eating watermelon–BG was nearly 6 months old–and she was looking at it wistfully. So I held a piece to her mouth and let her suck on it…until she nommed a bigass piece off and I floundered to fish it out of her mouth and scared the begeezus out of both of us. It happened again with cantaloupe. *Facepalm*. And that sort of ordeal is not uncommon with BLW, from what I’ve heard.

So that sealed the deal for me. I started researching babyfood making systems and pieced together my own based on reading reviews and price. What I bought (all from amazon.com):

1. Kidco electric food mill

I’m a fan of Kidco products–we also have the Kidco Go Pod and I use it every day. This food processor does a good job of making a smooth pureé with very few (if any) chunks. You don’t want to be feeding your baby and have them choke on a chunk of carrot that got lost in the crowd. I do still have to watch out for chunks in some foods (beets, carrots, peaches & pears come to mind). It’s easy to take apart and rinse out.

2. Mumi & Bubi freezer food storage trays (set of 2)

Love these things! Each cube measures 1oz of food. They fit in the freezer easily. The cubes pop out easily. They rinse off easily. And I put hot beet pureé in them the other night and it didn’t even leave a *hint* of a stain. Bravo!

3. Sage Spoonfuls 4oz glass storage containers (set of 6)

These are cute and fit neatly in my cabinet/fridge. Nothing terribly special about them, I just dig ’em.

4. Oster 5 quart food steamer

This thing is great! Doesn’t take up too much space, breaks down easily, easy to clean, and it works like a charm!

I got a few other trinkets too, like some mini spatulas that come in handy to transfer food from the food mill to the cube tray.

So anyways, my handy new gadgets make it easy to cook and store nutritious organic pureés. It’s easy. And when the cubes are frozen I pop them out and keep them in a labeled plastic freezer bag. I currently have ample stores of:

Peaches, pears, plums, apple, banana, sweet potato, purple carrot, peas, green beans, beets, lentils, acorn squash, and pumpkin.

At mealtimes I just pop a couple cubes in a jar and heat them up briefly in the microwave. BG loooooves food and she’s up to 4oz per meal (or more). She ate 8oz this morning! And how great is it that she had organic peaches, pears, sweet potato, purple carrot, lentils, apple, and oatmeal/prune juice ALL in ONE meal?!

Cuz guess what? If I did BLW she wouldn’t be eating a lot of that stuff. I’m tattling on myself–I don’t eat that healthy most days. And I don’t have the energy or motivation to fix myself nice meals when Mr. MLACS is away. I eat a lot of soup.

So I love love LOVE the fact that I have an easy, no-fail system to feed BG the best possible foods. I say no-fail because here’s another tidbit–BLW babies don’t know how to eat. They have to learn. So at first they only consume a little (if any) of what they are fed, whereas BG scarfs down her pureés with gusto.

Oh and that’s another thing. It’s vain. But since I feed BG from a spoon, there’s very little (if any) mess to clean up. One of my BLW buddies has lamented that she has to bathe her son after every meal, since he eats with his hands and smears it ev-ery-where.

Now I do realize that I will have to start letting BG try to feed herself in the near-ish future. I know there will be peas in places that they don’t belong. But I can see that BG has learned to eat and has developed a lust for lots of healthy foods, so when the time comes I will let her flap her little wings with confidence.

So here I stand: Pro-Pureé.

XOXO,

MLACS

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22 thoughts on “Mommy Wars: Pureé vs. BLW

  1. I’m soooo sad because Levi refuses to eat purees. He only like to eat chucks and feed himself. It’s his own version of blw and it’s not at all what I planned. I made Truett’s purees and supplemented those with store bought but I enjoyed making it and feeding him. Levi doesn’t let me feed him baby food and it makes me so sad. Plus, it’s messy. 😦 And he doesn’t take in much.

    • Oh dear! Another friend of mine just today was telling me that her son only wanted to feed himself and enjoyed chunks! That honestly never occurred to me–that some babies won’t eat babyfood. But of course whatever leads to a happy baby is the best choice! XOXO

      • Yes, I didn’t realize that was a thing babies would do either. To be honest, I feel kind of cheated out of the joy of making him food and feeding him and watching him enjoy it. But like you said, happy baby. 🙂

  2. Um. Yeah. I’m just going to say it. I hate beards. I hate pretence. And fads and warring over them have no place in parenting damn it. I also really hate my kids choking and the resulting shock to my system a near-miss creates. I actually have fed baby A some steamed veggies from my plate but only after I mashed it (without a gadget mind you but that mill sounds handy). I tried BLW briefly with MT. Stress and lack of consumption resulted. Enough said.

  3. I did it all. If we were eating something O could eat, I’d share, or mash it up and share. I made babyfood and used store bought. We were “exclusively” nothing. Lol. As long as babies are eating, you’re good.

  4. Right there with you. One of my girls has a health condition which makes swallowing hard food very difficult, so I had no choice but to feed her purees. But honestly she is so healthy because of it. I can pack so much nutrition into what she eats and she loves everything. Now that she’s a toddler I basically make healthy stews with meat and veg and grains and then just whiz them up.

  5. A few thoughts on this!

    I was also intimidated by BLW because, choking, and also I’m not surrounded by a bunch of crunchy moms so the people around me didn’t really validate my desire to try it. I got judged harshly for skipping rice cereal and moving right to organic fruits and veggies. I can’t TELL you how many times I had to explain that rice is nothing but sugar and the human body does not, in any universe, require grain.

    But I digress.

    I started Molly off with purees, as I said. Had every intention of making my own, but then life got in the way so I just bought the organic jarred variety. The thing I did a little differently was to try my own modified version of BLW – I started out with scrambled eggs and other soft foods carefully torn up into tiny pieces that she could easily grab and eat, but began this earlier than most people would as a supplement to the purees. Eventually, as she got used to solids and the spoon feeding seemed to take up more time and energy than I needed to spend, we worked our way up to just solids.

    I HATE the idea of “kids foods” because they’re mostly unhealthy and unnecessary. Molly has a healthy appetite and I’d like to take partial credit for her willingness to try new foods that other children won’t touch. She loves veggies, sweet potatoes, all kinds of meats, and will basically try whatever you put in front of her. To this day scrambled eggs is her favorite meal, and I feel good about feeding it to her because I do believe that the egg is nature’s perfect food.

    Now, does she like chicken nuggets and grilled cheese? Sure. But at least I don’t have to make her special (unhealthy!) kid meals whenever I cook! She eats what we eat. And she’s proud of herself when she does.

    Also… for the messiness… I’ll admit that I intentionally avoided avocado because of the green mess, even though it’s a BLW favorite. In general though, kids are either messy or dainty eaters naturally, it’s the luck of the draw. Molly is pretty good about it and most of the time these days I don’t even bother with a bib.

    Screw the judgy bitches, if you’re feeding your kid and making an effort to feed them good food, then everyone needs to relax. BLW is cool but it’s not the only option.

    • No bib?! I’m impressed! I’m with you–not doing rice cereal, so far just fruits and veggies and occassionally GF oatmeal (that I grind up myself).
      So far nobody has been a b*tch to me about anything–hope it stays that way! XOXO

  6. So nervous to comment on this one … I am a lazy mom – no bottles or purees… Worst thing about blw so far is the high hand eye coordination that has the wee picking up stuff and trying to eat whatever it is before I can get there…to each their own but I would have to say there is something to blw more than trend or granola.

    • Don’t be nervous! I really like my pureés but I still believe BLW is a very valid choice. I was just being snarky about the hipster mommies–they’re cool and I like hanging with them and their littles. XOXO

      • I’m old and so not a hipster mom. Just lazy and happy to not have the blend anything or mix a bottle… Lazy and it works. Blending anything without liquor at this point sounds like work! But seriously I’d just settle for more sleep and a few other seasoned moms. Hipsters make me even more tired!

  7. Thanks for the food making tips! It’s something I’ve wanted to do for my mister and I’ll be taking a look at these products. And no way I’d do BLW over here because he’d be eating like a poor college student. Last night we were so spent (thanks teething!) we had max and cheese (the yellow powdered kind) for dinner.

  8. We did a hybrid, both purees and whole foods. Eventually we phased out the purees, though she still does enjoy pouches now and then – store bought (oh, the horror! LOL). But even at 14 months, she can’t always eat what we eat. Steak? That’s not happening for years. Anything spicy? Nope. In those cases, we usually have leftovers she can eat, or, in a pinch, prepackaged toddler meals. There’s no right or wrong way to feed your kid!

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