VEGAN BABY LED WEANING

Our baby led weaning experience: Fun for all the family, but also the cause of 94% of all food waste

We like to keep our own diet healthy, which means Baby Vegan can eat what we eat without us thinking it through much at all.  Indeed, Baby Vegan would not accept any other arrangement.  Baby Vegan is also keen to get involved in cooking and cleaning, having seen both parents participate in this.  Nothing is just Mummy's food or Mummy's job.  

Baby Vegan's eating journey began with an altercation over a strawberry at 5 months.  Baby Vegan noticed they had been left out while the bigger children at playgroup tucked in.  We let them hold a strawberry and squeeze it into a pulp on my leg.  After this we always had to give them something like a carrot to hold while we ate something better.  At 6 months Baby Vegan officially started eating at a family gathering, which made the event an extra special occasion.

Baby Vegan's palette is wide, and we encourage them try everything (unless it's very spicy, salty or sugary).  They love seaweed, olives and sauerkraut, for example.  If they find a lemon they will squeeze it over their plate because this is fun.

Baby Vegan has long been aware that meal times are a social ritual.  We all enjoy eating together as a family. 

Dinner is also a time when we practice naming foods in our second language, and do a gratitude reading and chat.  Baby Vegan has recently instigated holding hands and singing too! We're a little community.

Listen to my interview with Kirly- Sue's Plant Based Kitchen

A great free PDF download vegan baby led weaning recipe book and meal planner is the The First Steps Nutrition vegan guide.  Fat Vegan Baby links to some of the science behind Baby Led Weaning.

Child Eating from Bowl
 
Image by Gabriel Crismariu
 

VEGAN BLW

Table

Daddy Vegan sawed the table in half and we all sit around it on cushions.  This is good because:

  • Baby Vegan feels included but not restrained

  • We do not need to lean off a chair onto the floor to pick up discarded baby cutlery. 

  • Plates do not break so easily when dropped.

  • Baby Vegan can be asked to lay the table and offer to carry their plate afterwards.

  • Outside of meal times, I leave leftovers or snacks and a drink on the table for Baby Vegan to take when they want. 

  • I place a little tub by the snacks and ask Baby Vegan to fill it in preparation for going out. 

  • Sometimes Baby Vegan helps prepare vegetables for dinner.  I bring them over to the table where we can both reach. 

At other times, Baby Vegan also helps with cooking or washing up by standing on a chair (supported) in an apron, or swinging in their carrier.

The table is also used for art and to rest a xylophone on.

Chair

Baby Vegan started out in an 'Ingenuity Baby Booster Feeding Seat' on the floor (it also attaches to a chair).  Once they learnt to climb out of this they moved onto standing, leaning on the table.  Next, they learnt to walk and disappeared for a few months.  We didn't let it worry us; they ate from a buggy table attachment when on their travels.  Baby Vegan has now resurfaced, and can sit on a cushion or little stool.  When out at a playgroup or restaurant, they sit in a more conventional, more still fashion.

Cutlery

Baby Vegan's eating life began by playing with spoons while we ate, and cups while they bathed.  Baby Vegan mostly feeds themselves, but er help too.  We've always given cutlery as an option besides hands for eating.  Our Baby Vegan gets a sense of satisfaction and self worth whenever they have the opportunity to learn a skill.  At 15 months they have recently grated some carrot and spread hummus on a rice cake.  Genius knows no caution.

In our experience, a little fork made from moulded bamboo broke.  Some baby spoons are too flat and don't scoop up food so well as adult ones.  Cutlery made from lumps of bamboo are chunky, which might be easier to hold, but not necessarily to pick up food with.

Cup and crockery

Many cups have broken.  The Munchkin cup is good for both the table and travel.  Baby Vegan also has a little adult cup with a small amount of water in, so that it doesn't matter if it spills.  I can now safely have my own cup of tea on the table and am allowed to finish it.

Baby Vegan began using a combination of little moulded bamboo crockery which we were given, and things directly off the high chair.  They now use the same things we do.

Home lay out

I find it very helpful that our kitchen, living room and dining room are effectively all the same room.  Baby Vegan's toys and books are all kept there too.  This enables us to keep check of one another when working on different things.  Since we live in a flat, I am never far away if I need to get things done while Baby Vegan sleeps.  Baby  can easily help me lay the table or carry plates back to the sink after eating.

Mess

To eat, baby wore an apron with sleeves for some time.  One tied with string, which was a faff but has lasted.  The easier one had velcro, but this wore out. 
Over the apron, Baby wore (and usually still wears) a bib with a pouch to catch food in.  It is wipe clean silicon and fastens easily.

Mess

On the floor there is an attractive cork mat which is of some effect. 
Beside the mat is a handheld vacuum cleaner and steam cleaner in the cupboard.  These double as toys for Baby, and I might reintroduce the dustpan and brush for added fun. 
Baby likes to help wipe the table and floor.

Snacks

Some dry things which can be left in a bag:

Sheets of nori seaweed are light to carry.  Little torn of strips dissolve in Baby Vegan's mouth and provide a source of iodine

Dried fruit such as dates and apricots can entertain baby for a while and provide some iron

Peanut buttered rice cakes with no added salt (peanut is not advised before 1 but we ignored this) a nice thing to crunch new teeth on

Plain adult rice cakes are fine.  If you want them to be smaller just break them in half.

Dried green vegetables- broccoli, okra, kale

Nut and fruit bars (Baby Vegan has been known to try and shoplift these)

Choking

VEGAN NUTRITION, MEAL PLANS AND RECIPES

 

DINING

vegan baby led weaning

Vegums_Starter_Packs_1_month_supply_60_G

VEGAN CHEWABLE VITAMINS

Vegums

plastic free, UK

TheVeganKind

vegan child vitamins

VEGAN CHILDREN'S VITAMIN CAPSULES

Wild Nutrition

plastic free, UK

vitamins-nature-nurture-baby-vitamins-ge

NATURE&NURTURE

vegan baby vitamin drops

UK

baby vitamin

NATURES AID

vegetarian baby vitamin drops

UK

liewood-merle-cape-bib-in-panda-stone-gr

LIEWOOD

long sleeves, cape, apron, smock bib
keeps arms semi-clean

India, GOTS factory
polyester recycled, oeko-tex

liewood-tilda-silicon-bib-2-pack-panda-2

LIEWOOD

pocket pouch bibs
catches some food

India, GOTS factory
silicon

childrens stainless steel cutlecry

ARTHUR PRICE

children's stainless steel cutlery
baby thick forks didn't work for us

plastic free, UK

Screen Shot 2020-08-01 at 18.59.18.jpg
Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 22.40.49.jpg

OMOS FALCON

children's tea cup non breakable
baby can practice drinking with small amounts

plastic free, enamel

Munchkin Stainless Steel Miracle Cup 10o

MUNCHKIN

no spill baby cup
for when you've had enough of drinking practice

steel

bamboo pasta bowl

JOHN LEWIS

bamboo pasta soup bowls
why buy bowls & plates when you can have plate-bowls for all the family

A bowl/ plate hybrid, also called a dinner bowl, salad bowl or deep plate.  Bamboo fibre, corn powder and resin.  

Camping plates also have a rim, and come in steeltitanium, steel, white enamel or blue enamel.

sharing plate steel

JOHN LEWIS

family sharing tray plate
less washing up, more mess on the table

Hammered stainless steel, India
A nice flat plate, I can't help thinking pretty plates with compartnemts pander to fussiness

il_794xN.1497975753_1kdn.jpg

ROOGA

wipe clean cork mat rug

cork, plastic free, natural, Israel

Find plastic table cloths at John Lewis

toddlekind-ammil-weaning-mat-in-sunshine

TODDLEKIND

wipe clean weaning mat

stain resistant, wipe-clean floor mats

Ingenuity Baby Booster Feeding Seat, Sla

INGENUITY

baby booster feeding seat, floor or chair with detachable table- uses less space than a high chair
baby has less far to fall when escaping

12514183-9694763180401410.jpg

ALESSI

handheld vacuum cleaner
baby can clean their own mealtime crumbs...

certified B corporation

a handheld steam cleaner can be handy too

coffee table

7MAGOK

round coffee table
child size, no sharp corners
room feels larger with small furniture

Reclaimed wood. 100cm.  UK.

adjustable foldable table.jpg

ZEMPIRE

height adjustable folding table, with matching benches sold separately

for if you need a coffee-dining table which packs away

Made have a (normal height) table which folds out from the wall

aluminium, bamboo

montessori learning tower toddler kitchn

MONTESSORI LEARNING TOWERS

toddler kitchen steps, forif you don't want to use a chair
no, this one isn't space saving

Wooden

DINING

vegan baby led weaning

Vegums_Starter_Packs_1_month_supply_60_G

VEGAN CHEWABLE VITAMINS

Vegums

plastic free, UK

TheVeganKind

vegan child vitamins

VEGAN CHILDREN'S VITAMIN CAPSULES

Wild Nutrition

plastic free, UK

vitamins-nature-nurture-baby-vitamins-ge

NATURE&NURTURE

vegan baby vitamin drops

UK

baby vitamin

NATURES AID

vegetarian baby vitamin drops

UK

liewood-merle-cape-bib-in-panda-stone-gr

LIEWOOD

long sleeves, cape, apron, smock bib
keeps arms semi-clean

India, GOTS factory
polyester recycled, oeko-tex

liewood-tilda-silicon-bib-2-pack-panda-2

LIEWOOD

pocket pouch bibs
catches some food

India, GOTS factory
silicon

childrens stainless steel cutlecry

ARTHUR PRICE

children's stainless steel cutlery
baby thick forks didn't work for us

plastic free, UK

Screen Shot 2020-08-01 at 18.59.18.jpg
Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 22.40.49.jpg

OMOS FALCON

children's tea cup non breakable
baby can practice drinking with small amounts

plastic free, enamel

Munchkin Stainless Steel Miracle Cup 10o

MUNCHKIN

no spill baby cup
for when you've had enough of drinking practice

steel

bamboo pasta bowl

JOHN LEWIS

bamboo pasta soup bowls
why buy bowls & plates when you can have plate-bowls for all the family

A bowl/ plate hybrid, also called a dinner bowl, salad bowl or deep plate.  Bamboo fibre, corn powder and resin.  

Camping plates also have a rim, and come in steeltitanium, steel.

sharing plate steel

JOHN LEWIS

family sharing tray plate
less washing up, more mess on the table

Hammered stainless steel, India
A nice flat plate, I can't help thinking pretty plates with compartnemts pander to fussiness

il_794xN.1497975753_1kdn.jpg

ROOGA

wipe clean cork mat rug

cork, plastic free, natural, Israel

Find plastic table cloths at John Lewis

toddlekind-ammil-weaning-mat-in-sunshine

TODDLEKIND

wipe clean weaning mat

stain resistant, wipe-clean floor mats

Ingenuity Baby Booster Feeding Seat, Sla

INGENUITY

baby booster feeding seat, floor or chair with detachable table- uses less space than a high chair
baby has less far to fall when escaping

12514183-9694763180401410.jpg

ALESSI

handheld vacuum cleaner
baby can clean their own mealtime crumbs...

certified B corporation

a handheld steam cleaner can be handy too

coffee table

7MAGOK

round coffee table
child size, no sharp corners
room feels larger with small furniture

Reclaimed wood. 100cm.  UK.

adjustable foldable table.jpg

ZEMPIRE

height adjustable folding table, with matching benches sold separately

for if you need a coffee-dining table which packs away

Made have a (normal height) table which folds out from the wall

aluminium, bamboo

montessori learning tower toddler kitchn

MONTESSORI LEARNING TOWERS

toddler kitchen steps, forif you don't want to use a chair
no, this one isn't space saving

Wooden

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Contact or partner

livingwithwarmth@gmail.com  Lancaster, Lancashire, UK

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