Book Review: Baby-Led Feeding


Baby-Led Feeding bookHave you heard the buzz around a baby-led weaning (BLW) approach to feeding infants? If not, get started here with “What is Baby-Led Weaning?” . This popular feeding method is no longer just a trend, it’s here to stay. If you’re digesting your way through the many articles around why (Here’s 5 Reasons Why) you should consider a baby-led feeding approach, and deciding to give it a go let’s add a book to your registry list, Baby-Led Feeding: A Natural Way to Raise Happy, Independent Eaters  by Jenna Helwig and with nutrition consulting from Registered Dietitian Natalia Stasenko.When I first noted that Helwig was writing a cookbook devoted to BLW, or as she refers to it as baby-led feeding, I instantly got excited. Helwig is an excellent chef and food editor, and also the author of Real Baby Food (another great option for those interested in a traditional path in feeding babies).

Top 5 Reasons Why We Enjoyed the Book

  1. Pictures, Pictures, and More Pictures: As a food editor it’s clear that Helwig and Stasenko went all out on their food images, and quite frankly they nailed it!
  2. Delicious Recipes for the Whole Family: It gets a bit annoying picking up a cookbook that only serves up foods that (maybe) a child wants to eat. Real food for the whole family, meaning food that you could serve to your neighbors, not just a baby.
  3. The Layout: Knowing which foods to serve up and when can be confusing for a lot of parents, and the authors did a great job of breaking chapters down by the age of your baby.
  4. Allergy Concerns: They did an excellent job creating a flow chart to spot allergic reactions (on a side note, if you have any concerns stay off social media and just get head to the doctors immediately to find out!)
  5. Feeding Schedule and Serving Sizes: Last but not least, this little chart is definitely helpful for the first time parent trying to figure out when and how much. Of course, we recommend really tuning into baby and following their lead by remembering the Division of Responsibility laid out by Ellyn Satter, this article will help clarify if baby is getting enough food.

Even if a baby-led approach is not the path you want to start with this book still is helpful. Even when starting with pureed foods a baby still needs to advance to solids and finger-friendly foods, in fact it’s recommend that an infant only has pureed foods for about a month. Helwig and Stasenko give tips on how to serve up the recipes to meet a variety of texture.

First Recipe

Simple Poached Salmon (from the cookbook Baby-Led Feeding, Helwig & Stasenko, 2018)
  • 1 Lemon, halved
  • One 6-ounce fillet salmon, rinsed and any bones removed
  1. Choose a lidded pot in which your salmon fillet can lie flat. Fill the pot about halfway with water. Cut one half of the lemon into thin slices and add them to the water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Add the salmon. Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and remove the lid. Let the salmon sit in the water for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the skin.
  3. Cool to room temperature or serve chilled. Flake with a fork for easier grabbing and spritz with lemon juice from the remaining lemon half before serving.
Makes 6 servings
make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Age It up:
Poached salmon is delicious at any age. Serve it with lemony mayonnaise for dipping or flake it over pasta drizzled with olive oil and dressed with lemon.
The first 1000 days of baby’s life are critical for food and texture introduction, and having a cookbook on hand to guide kitchen adventures can be invaluable in hitting these milestones with your baby.
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