Baby led weaning is choosing to feed your baby real, whole foods rather than pureeing food into traditional baby food. I learned about it when my oldest daughter was 4 months old and it was the first time I’d ever heard of such a feeding style. I've since fed each of my three kids with this method and they are truly amazing eaters-- will try anything as long as it's vegan!
The idea freaked me out at first, but it also intrigued me. How could she possibly eat a whole pear without choking? I’d only ever seen parents spoon-feeding their babies from jars or homemade pureed steamed vegetables. Could it possibly be safe to let her pick up her own food and eat as much as she wanted?
But it struck a chord with me. I believe in real, whole vegan food and its power to transform a human. I wanted my child to love and respect healthy food without having an emotional attachment to it that caused her to overeat as an adult. It makes so much more sense for her to decide for herself how much to eat, rather than me randomly deciding she’s done.
It also turns out people have been feeding their children this way since time eternal. It’s actually more of a modern tradition to puree everything before giving it to a baby learning to eat.
After I read more about it, I dove right in. I found a few great books and websites about baby led feeding (a better term in my opinion as it really has nothing to do with actual weaning off breastmilk,) but I could not find much about people feeding just plant foods. I had to really research to make sure I gave her everything she needed and was balancing her diet well.
There was no book on Baby Led Weaning for Vegans, but now there is. This has 50 completely vegan recipes that you can serve to any age person, from 6 months on up.
These are healthy recipes we use all the time and love and all can be whipped up in under an hour, from snacks and salads and soups to beans and patties and whole grain dishes.
Some of our favorites are PB&J smoothies, fettucine alfredo with shiitake bacon, and oozy vegan mac-n-cheese. Enjoy!