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146. Starting Solid Foods Safely: Baby Led Weaning With Guest Katie Ferraro

Around six months your baby starts solid foods, but how? Come learn all about baby-led weaning and making the transition to solid foods with my guest Katie Ferraro from Baby-Led Weaning Made Easy

Say "hi" to Katie on Instagram @babyledweanteam
Listen in to her podcast Baby-Led Weaning Made Easy
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Read the full transcript here:

Welcome to the Breezy Babies podcast. This is episode 146. Starting solid foods safely. Could you use more confidence as a parent? Welcome to the happy place for boobs and babies. You're in good hands. Breezy babies is where we ease your transition into parenthood because it's a bumpy road. Am I right? I'm your host Bri the IBCLC. And if you'd like to make life as a parent more breezy, you're in the right place. I'm here to deliver small bite sized tips and tricks so you can crush your parenting and lactation goals. I'm honored to be on this journey with you. Let's go. Hey there friends. It's so good to be back with you for another week. I was out of the office last week. So I feel like it's been forever since I have been able to chat with you. I am so excited to bring you a great guest today I will introduce her to you. She is going to be talking about starting solid foods safely with babies baby led weaning making the transition to solid foods, it's going to be good. So if you have a baby who is approaching six months soon, or you are just ready to be prepared for that stage, or maybe your baby recently started solids and you would just like more tips and tricks on how to do it then today's podcast episode is for you. Before I get into that though, I would like to read a podcast review to you. This review is titled travel while pumping it's from a wise gal. And she she said this travel welcoming episode was so helpful and the words needs to and the word needs to get out. For all of the working slash traveling moms who can't take their babies slash toddler along it's very stressful planning a trip away from home and even more challenging when you're navigating lactation and milk supply. Thank you so much for this I learned a lot of new tips. Thank you so much i wise gal for taking just a minute to leave a podcast reviews review that means everything to a small business like mine. And as a small thank you if you send me an email to Bri at breezy I would like to send you one of my digital downloads for totally free. Okay, so today we are talking about starting solids, which is a topic that I get questions about often. In fact, I will meet with my clients around the time that their baby is turning six months to talk them through the specifics of starting solids while still maintaining their milk supply as an IBCLC. That is my place when it comes to this topic because your lactation goals absolutely do not have to go out the window just because your baby is starting to eat table food. That's because breast milk or formula is a baby's main source of nutrition in the first year. So when I hear things like oh, my nine month old just prefer solids. I'm not really nursing anymore. I must admit I get a bit nervous. It can be hard to break the news that know that family may need to supplement while they work to get their milk supply back if possible. If that's their goal, of course, that's where my expertise lies, maintaining your milk supply while starting solids. But when it comes to the specifics of what the feeding of solids actually looks like for your little one, I know my dietitian and nutrition friends are the experts there. And today, my guest just happens to be a dietitian and I can't wait to share her with you. But before I do that, I just want to give you a huge thank you. Yes, you. Thank you for listening in. Thank you for the suggestions you give me for future episodes. Thank you for your support. And for the reviews you leave. Every week I get an email that tells me how many downloads this podcast gets a week and it blows my mind every time to think about the 1000s of families that are listening in. I run into my podcast listeners in my community and sometimes even on cruise ships across the United States is crazy to me. I had a dream to start a podcast four years before I finally pulled the trigger. And now I'm 146 episodes in. That's 146 weeks, which is almost three years that I've been recording a new episode for this podcast every single week. It is a crazy commitment. But every time I hear from you, that you listen in or you share it with your friends, I am just so honored. Even on the weeks that I feel burned out and I wonder what will I talk about next or how will I get this episode out on time? I Just take the next step on the work and it comes together somehow. So a huge thank you to you for being here to listen and it means the world and please keep saying hi to me if you run into me out in the real world. Okay, today's podcast episode Her name is Katie. She is a registered dietitian. I can't wait to tell you more about her. This is what she says in her bio. She says she's on a mission to help parents and caregivers give their babies a safe start to solid foods without spoon feeding. Katie is a registered dietician a mom of seven you guys seven she has quads, twins and a singleton. Can you even imagine? Holy cow supermom here. She is a baby led weaning expert. She is the host of a top rated parenting podcast called Baby led weaning made easy. In addition to her work educating 10s of 1000s of parents about baby led weaning Katie is an associate professor of nutrition at the University of California San Francisco Graduate School of Nursing, and an assistant clinical professor of nutrition at the University of San Diego, of San Diego School of Nursing and Health Science. She is a lecturer in the exercise and nutrition science program at San Diego State University and has authored a number of textbooks and chapters on clinical and infant nutrition. So we got an expert on our hands here. She is so smart, so trained and what she's talking about today. I can't wait to for you to hear from Katie so I am going to turn the time over to her right now.
Hello breezy baby fans. My name is Katie Ferraro, I'm a registered dietitian specializing in infant feeding and baby led weaning. I'm a mom of seven and I host the baby led weaning Made Easy podcast and the baby led weaning community on Instagram at baby led weaning team and I am so excited to share my three top tips for starting solid foods safely with your baby. Tip number one. Remember that starting solid foods is a slow process. And I mean painfully slow sometimes, but I don't want you to stress. If your baby is not eating much at first, learning how to eat solid foods takes time. And your baby doesn't just magically wake up on their six month birthday and know how to safely eat solid foods. And his parents and caregivers were programmed to worry about our babies. Oh my gosh, they're not getting enough, we think. But I want you to remember that every time your baby touches that food or picks it up or smashes it or stuffed it in their ear or smells it sniffs it. That's all part of the full sensory experience that is learning how to eat. With the baby led weaning approach, we don't shove arbitrary amounts of pureed food down the baby's throat with this boon. Instead, we wait until the baby is showing us their reliable signs of readiness to eat. And we allow the baby to eat the safe, wholesome prepared foods that their caregiver makes for them. And this as a term baby led weaning is relatively new, it's not even 20 years old. But as a parenting phenomenon, the baby led weaning approach and the philosophy is millennia old, right? Different cultures and ethnic groups around the world have historically offered and continue to offer their babies modified versions of the same foods that the rest of the family eats. And we contrast that with commercial baby food, a largely Western invention that's really only been available and marketed since the earlier part of the 20th century. We really see that well. Baby led weaning is a natural approach to starting solid foods that allows our babies to explore the family's favorite foods and our cultural food flavors. And naturally gravitates towards a wide variety of foods. And that's what we want for our kids. Right. I remember when I was doing baby led weaning for the first time with my quadruplet baby. So I had had a singleton that I struggled immensely with her for offering solid foods we were spoon feeding with her. My next set of babies, the quads, I decided to do baby led weaning because I just couldn't handle having to force feed four babies at once. And I remember watching all four of the babies sitting in their table, and one of the quadruplets Henry he did not want to participate. For the first six weeks, his siblings all around him were picking up foods and feeding themselves. And he just kept his head down while the other three were eating and then one day, he picked his head up and he just started to pick the food up and feed himself. And it's a reminder that all babies get ready to start solid foods on their own schedule. So be patient and trust the process. Keep on keeping on even though it may seem counterintuitive at the beginning, you're like why am I offering this food if my baby's not eating it? Remind yourself that starting solid foods is a slow process. It will get easier I promise don't give up. Tip number two, give your baby time to learn how to eat. Okay, babies need lots of time to learn how to eat Please do not worry about how much your baby is eating early on, it may be helpful to remember that most of your baby's nutrition comes from infant formula, or breast milk for the first six months of life, right, we call that infant milk. Okay, and as you start solid foods, that infant milk will continue to provide your baby with the majority of their nutrition even when you're transitioning to solid foods. So one thing you can do is gradually build up your baby's ability and interest in sitting in their highchair and eating foods. So when your baby turns six months of age, and you start solid foods, I would encourage you not to skip days of solid foods. And a schedule that you might, you know, consider working towards. And this works for a lot of families is that when your baby is six or seven months of age, try to offer solid foods one to two times per day, at eight to nine months of age, if you're ready, bumped that up to two to three times per day. And by 10 months of age, we like to see babies eating three times per day, if that matches the family meal pattern. And ideally what we're working towards is a goal that by 12 months of age, most of your baby's nutrition can be coming from food. But again, that doesn't happen overnight. Right weaning to solid foods takes about six months of age. So please, especially early on, Do not stress about how much your baby is eating. rather focus on giving them lots of time to practice learning how to eat Alright, your baby is not going to magically wake up on their first birthday, knowing how to eat all the solid foods and different textures unless unless you give them that practice time in the six to 12 month period. All right, tip number three babies can eat so many more foods than we give them credit for. Okay with conventional spoon feeding. That's where the parents push the purees into the baby's mouth. Those babies by the time they turn one have generally only 10 or 15 Different foods under their belt. And we know that going into the second year of life that toddlers, most of them will experience some degree of food neophobia or picky eating right, that's developmentally appropriate. But if your one year old only has 10 or 15 foods under their belt, and then you lose those 10 or 15 foods to picky eating, that becomes a very challenging child to feed. On the other hand, if you can offer your baby a much wider variety of foods and the baby led weaning approach allows us to do that. Let's say your baby tries 100 foods before they turn one. If you lose 10 or 15 of those foods too picky eating, it's really not a big deal, right? Because you still have 85 or 90 foods that your baby will eat. So in 2016, I created the 101st foods approach to starting solid foods with baby led weaning where we help families get their babies to safely eat 100 Different baby foods before they turn one. And these are real foods that we modify and make safe for babies. And using my five step feeding framework. We introduce maybe to five new foods every week, one a day from each of the five food categories on the 101st foods list. So a week might look like on Monday we introduce a new fruit. Tuesday we do a new vegetable Wednesday, we do a new starchy food. Thursday we do a protein food. And every Friday starting in week one, we do an allergenic food. Then as you cycle through five new foods a week, that's 20 foods a month, in five months, your baby's eaten over 100 foods. And this is wonderful because it's helping your baby achieved diet diversity. Okay, and that's great because research shows us that the greater the number of foods and flavors and tastes and textures that your baby can eat early and often. That's going to help you raise an independent eater and it also helps reduce the risk of picky eating. And no, you do not need to wait three to five days between foods. That's an outdated recommendation with no scientific basis, you can safely do one new food per day or multiple low risk foods in a day. So I want to encourage you to really work on pushing your baby's palate during this all important flavor window. The flavor window is this period of time where your baby will like and accept a wide variety of foods. And I know it's a lot of work to offer a variety of foods early on. But I promise you like you have to feed this small person for the next 17 and a half years of its life. It's totally worth it to do the work now and help your baby establish a wide variety of foods that they know how to eat and they like and they accept. And with this baby led weaning approach, you can help your baby develop a healthy relationship with food from their first bites, and even have some fun along the way. If you want to learn more about how to give your baby a safe start to solid foods using baby led weaning, I teach a free online workshop each week called Baby led weaning for beginners. This is a one hour online video training will walk you through what the first two weeks of baby led weaning look like how to safely prep the foods, how we can help reduce choking risk, how to introduce allergenic foods. Plus, I give everybody on that free workshop a copy of my 101st foods list so you'll never run out of ideas of foods your baby can safely eat. You can sign up for this week's workshop times and grab your copy of that 101st foods list by going to fortified That's fo r TIFIE D F A To get signed up for the baby led weaning for beginners worksheet, grab your copy of the 101st Foods List, and I hope to see you there.
There you have it isn't Katie, so great. If you want to say hi to Katy get to know her a little bit better. You can check her out out on Instagram at baby led weaning team. You can check her out on her podcast baby led weaning made easy. I will link both of those in the shownotes along with her free online video training on baby led weaning. Again, all of that will be linked in the show notes. So just to recap, can you talk to us today about signs of readiness for starting solid foods safely with baby led weaning those top three tips that she said she that she shared today were number one, starting solid foods is a slow process. Number two, giving your baby time to learn how to eat is more important than how much they eat. And tip number three was babies can eat so many more foods than we give them credit for. I hope today's episode was helpful for you. I can't wait to share next more with you next week. I'm back every Tuesday with a fresh new podcast episode for you. And of course I'm gonna leave you with you are strong, you're smart, you are beautiful. You are good friend to all catch you next time. If you would like more help check us out at breezy It's the happy place for boots and babies where you can take an online workshop on topics from breastfeeding to baby gas. Learn baby massage, get a pumping plan before returning to work and even get one on one lactation help from our IBCLCs we meet with families both in home and also all over the world via secure video and guess what? These lactation consultations might even be covered by your insurance. Click the link in the show notes or visit breezy to see if you qualify. Also connect with us at breezy babies on Instagram and YouTube.


Bri’s introduction.

Starting solids while maintaining milk supply.

Thank you so much for listening.

Introducing Katie Ferraro.

Tip 1 Remember that starting solid foods is a slow process.

Give your baby time to learn how to eat.

What Is baby-led weaning?

Pushing your baby’s palate.

Recap of the episode.

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