I already did a post about spaghetti, but with such a vast change in the procedures for eating it, I decided it was a topic worth re-addressing.
I’m a big fan of noodles. Really, grains in general. If I had to pick one part of the food pyramid that’s my favorite it would probably be either produce or grains depending on the day. Needless to say, we eat a lot of grains in my house. My husband loves red meat so grains + red meat = frequent spaghetti eating. Since we eat spaghetti frequently, I decided to use it as the example for how eating behaviors for Baby-led Weaning babies change over time.
It starts with a mess. As I’m sure most of you know (or are soon to know), Baby-led Weaning is messy. This is a picture of Peanut after eating spaghetti from around 7.5 months old. Back then, I would strip off all of her clothes and even her diaper to eat spaghetti. She would grab handfuls of it and try to shove it in her mouth, inevitably smushing it all over her face and body in the process. She’s always loved spaghetti, but at this time it seemed like a big hassle.
This picture is from about 9.5 months old. By this point she had decided that she needs to eat each individual part of the spaghetti separately. It’s something to really explore and experiment with. During this stage she takes every food and runs it through a series of test. Can I smash it between my fingers? If I rub it on the table, does it leave a mark? What happens if I put it on the floor and step on it? One of the reasons we do Baby-led Weaning is because it helps her to learn about food and form a healthy relationship. When she throws it on the floor, I’m not assuming that she’s being defiant or testing me, but rather she is seeing what happens when she throws it on the floor.
Here she is hitting the noodle on the table like a whip. Not only is she exploring, but it’s fun too!
Now we’ve gotten to the stage where she’s trying to use utensils for eating. Sure, she’s still messy and still likes to explore and play, but I feel like we’ve crossed some threshold and now she’s more of an mini-adult eater. Really, it feels like she’s becoming more of a mini-adult in many ways. I’m sure that we still have far to go with our Baby-led Weaning adventure, but it’s amazing to look back and see how far we’ve come.