The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook {Review & Giveaway}

When I first started feeding Charlie real food it was at the age of 6 months and everything was pureed or steamed for him to explore his food whole.
I have never even heard of Baby-Led weaning until months, months, months after.

I was recently sent this book to review and I never turn down a cook book.  Cook books are one of my favorite things in life yet I rarely get them gifted to me..hmmm.
I liked the recipes in this book.

The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook is based on self-feeding allowing babies to use their natural abilities to explore taste, texture, colour and smell. It encourages independence and confidence by allowing them to experiment with foods at their own pace and helps to develop hand–eye coordination and chewing.

The Authors

Gill Rapley worked as a health visitor for 20 years and has also been a midwife and breastfeeding counsellor. She initiated the current trend for baby-led weaning after conducting a study as part of her MSc.

Tracey Murkett is a freelance writer who used the baby-led weaning approach to introduce solid food to her own child.  

 My thoughts
This book does have great, valuable information and is a great read.  I do recommend you pick it up or look through it to see if it suits you.

I understand the notion of this book, is it for me?  I don’t know because I pureed my sons food and I don’t think spoons are a bad thing either.  I know there are thousands of parents out there that do Baby-Led weaning so I would like to hear from you!
Why did you choose this way and how has it worked for you? 
I think parents need to find what works for their children. Some may like this approach and some may not. 

A point that I do agree or see their point of is on pg.3. 

“Sucking pureed food from a spoon doesn’t prepare babies for chewing; the best way to develop chewing skills is to practice them on food that actually needs chewing-in other words, ordinary, unmashed food.”

We know that most 6 months old don’t have much for teeth but their gums are super chompers, they do talk about safety in this book and The Gag Reflex.  Gagging is what scares me the most about this although in the book it says baby actually carries on quite happily eating after it has spit out the food causing the gag. Again this book covers everything about Baby-Led Weaning from what to do and not do and what to expect.  There are endless amounts of pictures of babies looking quite happy as they explore the food that is presented to them.

When exploring this way of feeding baby common sense is required as not leaving baby alone with food, not letting anyone except baby put food in their mouth, removing skin, small bones, pits and seeds and to make sure baby is sitting upright and not slouching.

The Recipes
For breakfast classic recipes are suggested such as scrambled eggs, pancakes etc.  The dips and spreads section of this book are fabulous such as Yogurt and Cucumber dip and Bean Spread.
I personally love new ideas when it comes to feeding my son and there is a salad section.  I have never thought to feed him cooked salad.  I recently gave him some of salad and he ended up playing with “the leaf”.  The recipes in this book are based on a serving of 2 adults and 1 baby.
Now if you have a toddler as I do these recipes are great  for that which is why I was up to reviewing this book because his chewing skills are in place.
The Book

Full of healthy, delicious meals the whole family will enjoy, and beautifully illustrated throughout, The Baby-led Weaning Cookbook also includes:

  • simple advice on how to start
  • essential at-a-glance information on nutrition and food safety
  • ideas for quick snacks and lunch boxes as well as desserts and family dinners
  • anecdotes and quotes from parents

* Links and other reviews for Baby- Led Weaning can be found here
* Look inside the book here
* BUY IT, click here

Win it!
*Share with us your thoughts about Baby-Led Weaning, what do you do or tell us your baby’s favorite recipe or food at the moment. Please comment here on the blog.
Contest is open to Canadians only, ends May.19/2011
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  1. April | 12th May 11

    Introducing solids to my first baby was very scary for me, I was worried about food allergies and adverse reactions since she already reacted to a variety of foods in my milk. I went the traditional “cereals” route. My second was a voracious eater who was picking things off our plates, and I was much more relaxed, so my approach with him was somewhere between. With my third, I probably will follow a “somewhere between” approach with a combination of mashed veggies/fruits and finger foods. He already has a variety of allergies (gluten, dairy), so I will need to be careful, but I devour all the resources I can get my hands on!

  2. jmjohnson74 | 12th May 11

    My daughter is 5 months old and we havent started food yet. We are trying hard to wait until she is 6 months. This book is perfect for us as I am looking into various ways of introducing food to her

  3. Librarianess | 12th May 11

    I wish I had followed baby-led weaning. I attribute my son’s reluctance to move on to later stages of food (i.e., mashed, chopped, etc.) to force-feeding him mush for so long. I also started cereal too early, and rice cereal at that, due to external pressures (“Surely breast milk isn’t enough for such a big boy!” “Only breastfeeding him is why he is waking up at night,” etc.) Even now, he refuses most textured food and is only starting to get interested in feeding himself at 14 months.

    I’d love a copy of this book — maybe there’s hope for us yet? Or at least as reference for the next!

  4. Little Miss Kate | 12th May 11

    right now we do toast, carrots, peas, blue berries and baked sweet potato fries – but I am looking to branch out and try some new things with DS

  5. Amy V | 13th May 11

    My little guy will be 4 mo old tomorrow and is exclusively breastfed. I think it’s each mother’s choice, but I personally will let him lead the weaning process. I think he will know when he’s ready. He’s already looking pretty interested in table food so it will probably start to happen sooner rather than later. I’m all for letting him decide.

  6. Bon | 13th May 11

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Bon | 13th May 11

    My little one is just a few days shy of 6 months. She is exclusively breastfed. We have just recently started putting food on her tray at dinner. She has tried finger slices of sweet potato, white potato and cucumber. She enjoys playing exploring the different textures and trying to eat it. This evening I took a drink of water from my glass and she reached out for it so I helped her try to drink too. I like that she can decide when she is done and what she would like to try. It makes dinner time fun.

    bn dot whittington at gmail dot com

  8. Eco Baby Mama Drama | 14th May 11

    My baby is 15 months old and still eats quite a bit of baby food. I think it is a mix of teething and he like it. Sometimes he wants to eat what we (the rest of the family) are eating but a lot of the time he wants baby food. A lot of people are very judgmental of me for not having him completely on table food but honestly I think as long as he is healthy I am not worried~and my husband supports me in that! Heck if I worried about all the judgements I wouldn’t be so crunchy!! Cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and blogging about it! Thanks for letting me vent a little. :o)

  9. Mummy Kim | 14th May 11

    We have done baby led since 5 ¾ months old. My daughter LOVES it! This was the right fit for her and us because she is an independent little pea. It has made the entire food experience a relaxed and fun one. She has very quickly progressed and now at 7 months can pick up and eat small bites of food very efficiently. Sometimes she eats variations of our dinner and sometimes I make up some fruits and veggies just for her. Either way she loves it, can eat and her own pace, eat the amount she wants, and explore all at the same time. I am hoping this will encourage good eating habits, a love for food, an adventurous spirit, and lots of independence. mcintosh dot kimberley at gmail dot com

  10. Manager to Mom | 14th May 11

    We are just starting our daughter on solids now (she is 5 1/2 mth). So far we *have* fed her pureed food from a spoon but I like the idea of BLW – letting baby go at her own pace, choosing what and how to eat, and discovering for herself that food is A Wonderful Thing! I think our DD would take to it well as she is really curious and hands-on. I would love to learn more about BLW and it sounds like this book would be a great resource!

    kristy dot anstett at gmail dot com

  11. Olivia L | 14th May 11

    My little is 14 months old and eats pretty much what we eat, including curry, spicy food, and other ethnic foods. We started offering solids at 6 months (never needed to puree), and she has always had the choice what and how much to eat. She’s still nursing, so I know that she won’t have any nutritional deficits, and I love that I’m helping her form a healthy attitude towards food and eating!
    olivia.lasting at gmail dot com

  12. Natasha Elliott | 14th May 11

    My wee little nursling turns 5 months on Monday, and although hes showing signs now, we’re still waiting til 6 months to start the baby led weaning. He tried snatching some steak of Daddy’s plate this morning. lol.
    With my tweens, I did the whole pureed thing, but this time around I think this will be an easier go, I really like the everyone eats the same thing concept. Perhaps I can convince Daddy to eat more veggies too…..but not likely.
    Great review!

  13. Momarabbit | 14th May 11

    Our youngest daughter is 7 months old. We use a combination of finger foods, mashed and purees. She loves eating cheerios that have been softened in formula, cooked sweet potato chunks but also is more than happy with mashed banana or puree fruits and veggies. I am comfortable with some baby-led weaning but not all food options. It works well in our house and with 2 older girls (9 and 3) it worked as well. They are adventurous eaters and always willing to try out new foods!

  14. Librarianess | 18th May 11

    It’s hard to ignore our instincts (Baby is gagging — something is wrong! S/he’s going to choke!) and trust those of the babe. I didn’t do baby-led weaning, but now I wish I did because my son has such texture issues and is only now starting to gain a real interest in food at 14 months. He took longer than a lot of babies, and that’s fine. I used to just repeat “Food before one, just for fun” for the longest time when he would only eat mush or refuse to eat altogether, but in retrospect, I wish I had taken a very different approach.

  15. Claudia Yeung | 18th May 11

    My 6 months and 3 days old have been watching us eat and drink since he was 4 1/2 months old and he wants to get a hold on almost anything that I eat or drink. As he is our second child, we thought we have to go through the same steps we followed with our first … cereal, then puree, then cubes, blah blah blah. But with a four years old running around the house there is just no time for the puree, plus, the lil one hated the things we give him via the spoon and he just wanted our food.

    About half a month ago, as we were having post-dinner fruit time, I gave him a slice of apple to try out and he just loved it and wants to hold on to the apple slice on his own. I was feeling ever so guilty about offering him the apple without cooking/puree-ing it so I cooked another apple and made fresh apple sauce for him the next day … and guess what, he won’t take applesauce!

    And the days go by, me feeling guilty to give him food off my plate, until I find out about BLW from my friend’s facebook page. Now I feel so much better for offering him the apple, the rice rusk, the bun and the carrot sticks and everything else on my plate. Thanks BLW for letting me know that I am not alone and I was not “wrong” in doing what I have done!

  16. aperry | 19th May 11

    We have been using baby led since lo was 7 months old. We started with Avocados, bananas, and blueberries. Since then lo eats whatever I am eating. We love it and it just makes sense.

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