Transcript: Tips to Help You Get Started with Baby-Led Weaning

This is a text transcript from The First Time Mum’s Chat podcast. The episode is called Tips to Help You Get Started with Baby-Led Weaning and you can click on the link to view the full episode page, listen to the episode and view the show notes.

Helen Thompson: This is Helen Thompson. Thank you for being here today. If you are already subscribed to the show, thank you so much mums. You always are amazing and if you are here for the first time, make sure you subscribe to the show. Google Podcasts will shortly be closing permanently, so if you are subscribed via Google, please subscribe via another platform so you don’t miss out on each episode.

You will find First Time Mum’s Chat on all the main platforms. including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, as well as now on YouTube.

Just try to imagine for a moment commencing your parenting journey and having 7 children aged less than three years of age to feed and look after. Can you even begin to imagine the daily stresses and mayhem?

This is exactly what life delivered to this week’s guest, Katie Ferraro. Katie had been struggling with feeding her first child only to discover that she was pregnant expecting another 4 babies at once. Yes, you’re not hearing things, quadruplets. Not surprisingly, her immediate worry was how was she going to feed another four needy little ones when she was struggling with just one.

During our chat, you’ll hear Katie explain how she came across baby-led weaning and utilised her background as a nutrition professor to develop her hundred first foods approach. You’ll hear Katie share many great tips and insights during our interview, including how a baby-led weaning approach will save you both money and time, how baby-led weaning helps your baby to develop a foundational love of food, and why snacks and too much milk are the biggest saboteurs of the toddler diet, and much, much more.

Hi Katie, and welcome to First Time Mum’s Chat. I’m delighted to have you here today and I’m very much looking forward to hearing all about your journey with your seven little ones that rapidly descended on you. Can you start by telling us about your story and how it led you into the world of baby-led weaning?

Katie Ferraro: Well, thank you so much for the invitation. It’s great to chat with you again. You were on my show, which is about baby-led weaning. That’s an alternative to conventional adult led spoon feeding. I found out about this approach the way a lot of other parents do, which was after struggling with spoon feeding my oldest.

We had a horrible introduction into solid foods. I started way before she was ready. I just did what my doctor said to do. Many pediatricians here in the United States still mistakenly are telling parents to start force feeding them white rice cereal at 4 and 5 months of age and my daughter hated being spoon fed, she hated purees, mealtimes became a downright battleground and when my husband and I were kind of at the peak of our feeding frustration, I found out that I was pregnant.

Now we had been doing fertility treatment, so I knew the risk of multiples was there, but I certainly wasn’t expecting 4 babies and I remember, we were struggling so much with the spoon feeding at home. The first thing I thought when I saw all 4 babies on that ultrasound for the first time was, Oh, my gosh, how am I going to feed 4 babies at once, when I can’t even feed the one baby that I have at home right now.

So fast forward, our quadruplets were born at 34 weeks, which here in the US is as long as they’ll let you go for a pregnancy. It’s a 50% chance of major handicap, average gestation is 28 weeks. So I was scared and we made it though, the quads were born and they were in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and growing and getting stronger. A colleague was there helping us feed the babies and she said, how’s it going feeding your oldest at home?

I said, honestly, it’s terrible, she hates food, she only wants milk, I feel like such a failure and that friend said to me, well, why don’t you try baby-led weaning? And I said, baby Linguini, what are you talking about, I never have heard this. She said, well, it’s an alternative to force feeding babies by spoon where you wait until they’re 6 months of age or older and they’re showing the other reliable signs of readiness to eat. You make them age appropriate finger foods, they pick the foods up and feed it to themselves and you eliminate the mealtime battles that you’re dealing with right now. You don’t have to short order cook and make different foods for different kids. There’s no force feeding. It’s much more convenient. It’s more affordable. It’s more natural and I think, oh my gosh, this sounds like the answer to all my prayers.

I’m a college nutrition professor and at that time was working at a college in the San Francisco Bay Area. I remember immediately contacting my friends in feeding, there saying, is this baby-led weaning thing real? Is this just some woo woo flash in the pan parenting technique and they said, no, there’s a real incredible body of evidence that supports this as a safe and effective alternative to conventional adult led spoon feeding. So I just threw myself into learning everything I could about it and when it came time for the quadruplets to start solid foods, we did baby-led weaning.

It was hard at that time, there were no good resources on how to do it. We read Gill Rapley’s book. She’s the founding philosopher of the baby-led weaning movement, and she’s the co-author of the original baby-led weaning book. I loved the philosophy, but how to actually make the food safe was something that we struggled a lot with, but we pushed through, persevered.

Thankfully, I have a background as a dietician, so I made a lot of mistakes, but also a lot of adaptations to food so that by the time the quadruplets turned one, I realized they’d eaten over a hundred different foods. So this whole experience was so transformative for myself, but also my whole family that I actually shifted the whole emphasis of my nutrition career to focus exclusively on baby-led weaning and this idea of the hundred first foods program, which I created back in 2016 was born. When the quads were about 18 months old, my husband and I went on to have one more set of multiples. We had a set of twins. So we had 7 kids aged 3 and under for a while there. It was insane.

Honestly, mealtime, as much as we struggle with a lot of other logistics, mealtimes have always been relatively painless. We did the hundred first foods approach with the twins. I turned that into a digital program. We’ve now helped tens of thousands of families all over the world use this approach to help babies build what we call diet diversity and we can chat a little bit about that today.

This idea of helping babies be exposed to such a greater variety of foods and flavors and tastes and textures when that all important flavor window is open. It’s a brief window of time where your baby will like and accept a wide variety of foods. And this approach has been so helpful because what you’re essentially doing is helping your baby develop a foundational love of food and that’s all parents want. They don’t want to fight with their kids at mealtime, they don’t want to short order cook and make different foods for different kids. They just want their kids to eat real foods and that is possible and it can happen, but it starts with your baby’s first bites.

Helen Thompson: Yeah, somebody said to me ages ago, and this is something you were saying about it, choking. A lot of parents say to me, Oh my God, baby-led weaning, if I give them solids and stuff that aren’t pureed, are they going to choke? I don’t agree with that, because I think you take it slowly, and you watch them and you observe them, but choking is not a hazard, but it doesn’t have to be that way, does it?

Katie Ferraro: Yes and choking is certainly, no matter what approach you take with starting solid foods, choking and the fear of choking is parents biggest barrier to offering their babies finger foods but we know from a developmental standpoint that it’s very important for babies starting around 6 months of age, to start experimenting with finger foods.

Actually, if you look at the research, you’ll find that it’s the babies who have had the least amount of experience with finger foods that are actually at elevated risk for choking. So for parents, when we talk about the research and showing that, listen, there is a real incredible body of research that supports this and if you look at the research, we know that there’s no higher risk of choking when you start solids with a baby-led approach compared to conventional adult led spoon feeding but that only holds true if the parents are educated about reducing choking risk. So that’s what I, as a dietician specializing in baby-led weaning, I do. I teach parents how to reduce the risk of choking so that you can safely offer this wide variety of foods. To be honest, putting anything in a baby’s mouth, including a spoon can be a choking hazard. So we teach parents how to utilize what we call the preloaded spoon approach. You can honor the self-feeding principles of baby-led weaning and still offer pureed foods like yogurt and unsweetened apple sauce and oatmeal. We do that by loading the spoon, putting it in the baby’s hand and then letting the baby be the one who guides the foods to their mouth. So you can incorporate puree but as Gill Rapley pointed out when she kind of established this entire field of infant feeding, it’s not that babies dislike the food that is being fed to them, they dislike the feeding that is being done to them.

So if we talk about starting solid foods, as a responsive feeding method, right? Parents learn all about responsive bottle feeding and breastfeeding. When your baby is full, they turn their head away from the bottle or the breast. Why then at 6 months of age, when we’re starting solid foods, do we just rip away that baby’s autonomy and start shoving arbitrary amounts of pureed gook down their mouth! Just because you can shove a spoon of pureed food down a baby’s throat at 4 months of age doesn’t mean that you should. So baby-led weaning honors your baby’s autonomy and their inborn abilities to listen to their body, to know when they’re hungry, to stop eating when they’re full.

This process takes about 6 months. I think sometimes we live in this instant gratification era, right? People want all the knowledge in 6 seconds on Tik TOK, or like literally three seconds at this point and they want their babies to eat a hundred foods overnight. We say, your baby doesn’t just, magically wake up on their first birthday and know how to eat a hundred foods. We use the weaning period from 6 to 12 months of age, it’s this long runway. It’s this practice period where your baby’s going to go from 6 months of age, a hundred percent of their nutrition is coming from infant milk, but by 12 months of age, most of their nutrition can be coming from food. That’s only if we practice, if we prepare food safely, if we’re offering babies lots and lots of opportunities to learn how to eat. That 6 to 12 month period, it’s remarkable and it’s life changing because they’re shifting the source of nutrition from infant milk to food and we’re there as the guides making sure that they do it safely but to kind of circle back, there is no higher risk of choking provided that the parents are educated about reducing choking risk.

Helen Thompson: It’s interesting you talk about autonomy, because I come from a baby massage and child care background, and it’s so important that you allow the baby to say no. If a baby turns away then I respect that and it’s the same what you were saying about baby-led weaning. It’s not force feeding them. Let them choose what they want to eat, when they want to eat.

Katie Ferraro: Yeah, but it is not instant gratification, right? Especially at the beginning, they’re not eating very much and parents freak out. There’s, Oh my gosh, they’re not getting enough. But we have to remember that even when we start solid foods, infant milk, be that breast milk and, or formula, that still remains your baby’s primary source of nutrition. So you’ve got this long 6 month period where they’re learning how to eat, but you’ve got that insurance policy of the infant milk providing most of the nutrition until they get the hang of it. It generally takes most babies between 8 and 12 weeks after they start solid foods until they really get into it.

So in our program, we teach the different phases. Phase one of baby-led weaning is the first 8 weeks where parents are like, this is ridiculous, they’re not eating anything, I’m making all these different foods, I’m reintroducing them and you think nothing is happening. But every single time that baby is sitting in the high chair and being allowed to interact with and explore the foods, that’s all part of the little baby steps that all add up to them learning how to feed themselves and then about 8 to 12 weeks in as you move into phase two, parents will be like, Oh my gosh, you were right, it totally clicked, now we’re dropping a milk feed, now that baby’s bringing more foods to the mouth, now we’re starting to eat 2, 3 meals a day.

There’s some days in the 9 and 10 month mark where your baby might even eat a breakfast that’s bigger than you as the parent might. They get really proficient at it, but not unless they’re given the space and the time to practice. So it does take time and I think that’s sometimes what’s hard for parents to grasp because they want them to be proficient eaters overnight but we have to remember this is a new skill for your baby and they need a lot of practice and practice makes progress.

So it does happen if you stick with it. On day 3, some parents will be like, this is dumb, I’m done, I’m just going to shove the spoon, I want to make sure they get enough. Well, if you shove it in their mouth and they don’t like it, they start to have negative associations with food and feeding, or they start to reject it, or God forbid, they have a choking incident. Now they’re associating food and feeding with choking. Now there’s food refusal, there’s food aversion.

Then these are the babies that end up in feeding therapy. As my feeding therapy colleagues will openly express, the majority of what they see in feeding therapy in the toddler years, they say, this absolutely could have been prevented, if the child were allowed to experiment with different textures and feed themselves from their first bites.

So again, baby-led weaning is honoring your baby’s ability to do that. It’s about us needing to back off and be like, you know what the baby can actually do this. They just need a lot of time to practice learning how to get good at it.

Helen Thompson: Yeah, and in your YouTube videos you mention that a baby should be able to sit up before you start baby-led weaning. Is there a particular reason for that because I know some mums start too early?

Katie Ferraro: Absolutely, yes, and I did the same thing. My daughter was barely able to sit on her own. She was slumped over in the high chair and I was like, you know, how on God’s green earth do you expect this child to be able to swallow something safely if they don’t have the head and neck control and the trunk strength, that’s what we’re indicating, when a baby can sit relatively on their own, they’re showing you, I have the head and neck control, I have the trunk strength to facilitate a safe swallow. That doesn’t come until six months of age or even longer and that’s sometimes the spoiler alert for parents. Not all babies are ready to start solid foods right on their six month birthday.

A lot of babies can’t sit on their own until six months plus one week or six months plus two weeks or even six months plus three weeks. If your baby was born prematurely, you have to wait until their six month adjusted age before they’re even going to be demonstrating those reliable signs of readiness to feed.

So if that term is is unfamiliar to you, for those of you with premature babies, I’ll use my quadruplets as an example, they were born six weeks prematurely at 34 weeks gestation. So I had to wait until they were six months plus six weeks. So they were seven and a half months chronological age before they were even starting to sit up. I was hearing from everyone, those babies need to eat, you need to feed those babies but if they can’t sit up on their own, they’re not ready to start solid foods and the risk of choking goes through the roof if you try to make a baby eat who is not yet ready to eat.

So I always tell parents, there’s no rush. I mean, you don’t want to wait until nine months to start solid foods. We sometimes see parents like, Oh, I want to wait till they’re really ready. By around seven months, most babies are sitting relatively on their own and it’s always safer and certainly more fun to feed a baby who is really ready to start solid foods and that won’t happen until the six month mark.

Here in the United States, our American Academy of Pediatrics. Globally, the World Health Organization. They all advocate for exclusive breastfeeding until six months of age. So when parents are hearing messages like, Oh, start solid foods at four and five months of age, I maintain that that’s an anti-breastfeeding message because you are telling the mom your breast milk is not sufficient or your baby’s not getting enough from that and that’s not true. Only in very limited medical conditions would a child need to have their diet supplemented prior to six months of age and in that case, you should be working with a pediatric dietitian who most certainly would be fortifying the milk supply, not telling you to start solid foods early.

How’s a baby going to use food to meet their nutrition needs if they don’t even know how to eat food yet. So when you hear things like start solid foods early before six months of age, you need to remember, wait a minute, breast milk is sufficient to meet my baby’s needs until six months of age or formula if you don’t breastfeed. So we want to keep that top of mind when we’re feeling pressure to start solid foods early because there’s no benefit to starting solid foods early. There’s only negative consequences that can occur.

Helen Thompson: I also think allowing your baby to keep breastfeeding even when they’re one or two, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Katie Ferraro: No, not at all. Around the world, globally, the age of weaning is between four and five years of age. You never would see that in the United States. I teach college nutrition, and you tell a college kid about a two year old breastfeeding, and they’re like, Ew, gross, what’s gross about that? That is still continuing to be a valuable source of nutrition.

Oftentimes, in certain parts of the world, the most nutritious food that child will have. We want to encourage, if that works for mom and baby. There’s many instances where a mom can’t breastfeed, or she chooses, or she has to stop, or she has to go back to work and it’s just not working out and that’s why babies get most of their nutrition from food at one year of age but the benefits of delayed breastfeeding beyond that are numerous.

From a nutritional standpoint, we do need to acknowledge that breast milk is not sufficient to meet your baby’s needs beyond six months of age. We have to introduce those weaning foods, the foods with iron, the foods that are going to have the different textures that help the baby learn how to chew and swallow. Breast milk is still a very, very important adjunct or complementary source of nutrition as your baby gets more proficient at eating.

Helen Thompson: Yeah, when I was in childcare, I used to see a lot of mums that babies were two years old and this was way back in the eighties and I saw them breastfeeding still and I poo pooed it but having the experience that I’ve got now, I realize, well, what’s wrong with it? It’s good. As long as they’re still getting solids, as long as they’re still getting other foods on top.

Katie Ferraro: I agree. I think reminding parents that you know your baby best, you know your baby’s ability, you know when your baby is sitting up and showing you that they’re strong enough to start solid foods, but we all know that healthful food doesn’t magically appear on the table. Babies don’t just wake up on their first birthday and magically know how to eat a hundred different foods. It is on you as the provider to make the food and I always tell parents like listen you’re gonna have to feed this small person for at least the next 17 and a half years of their life and even longer, so you might as well do the work now when your baby is willing and open to trying a wide variety of foods and flavors and tastes and textures.

So that’s why I put together a hundred first foods list in case parents are running short on ideas of foods that babies can eat because oftentimes they’ll come out of the gate real strong with baby-led weaning. Like, yes, I’m doing avocado, banana, sweet potato and then you check in a few weeks or months later and they’re still only feeding avocado, banana, and sweet potato.

While those foods are great for the first few days of baby lead weaning, there’s no iron in there, there’s no different texture opportunities, they’re missing other parts of the nutrition, like avocado, banana, and sweet potato that’s not complete nutrition. We need to be offering protein foods, iron foods, the different allergenic foods. So I created this approach where we offer five new foods a week, called the five step feeding framework. You offer a new fruit on Monday, you offer a new vegetable on Tuesday, we do a new starchy food, lots of whole grains on Wednesday, you do a new protein food, we do both animal and plant based proteins on Thursday and then on Friday you try a new allergenic food.

In the United States we have the top nine allergenic foods. So those are the nine foods that account for about 90 percent of food allergies. We do one of those every single week for the first nine weeks. So right as you’re entering phase two of baby-led weaning, your baby’s already eaten all of these allergenic foods. If you do five new foods a week, that’s 20 foods a month. In five short months, your baby’s eaten a hundred different foods and the reason why that’s so important is because if we look at conventional adult led spoon feeding, the babies who only eat purees might have at most 10 or 15 foods under their belt by the time they turn one.

You know, Helen, from your experience in child development, that after they cross that one year mark children become picky. That’s developmentally appropriate. You did not do anything wrong. If you lose those 10 or 15 foods that your baby has to picky eating though, that becomes a very challenging child to feed.

Those are the babies that end up in feeding therapy but if your child has a hundred different foods that they can eat and you lose 10 or 15 of those to picky eating, it’s no big deal, because you still have 85 or 90 foods that the child will eat and that’s the magic of the hundred first foods approach.

There’s nothing magical about the number 100 other than it’s a really good benchmark for parents to strive towards because it means your baby’s going to be getting a variety of textures, a variety of nutrition, you’re going to get the protein foods and you’re going to do the allergenic foods.

Your baby’s going to have fun experimenting with all of these different foods. Sure, at the beginning, they sniff it and they smash it and they put it in their ear and parents get stressed out by that. We say, listen, learning how to eat is a full sensory experience and all that smooshing and smashing and sniffing, that’s part of the full sensory experience that is learning how to eat.

So when we force children to suck purees out of the pouches, they don’t see the food, they’re not smelling the food, there’s no texture opportunity there. Not to mention that it’s not developmentally appropriate for children to have to suck out of a pouch. There’s lots of problems with pouches. We want children eating and learning how to eat real food. The point here is that for generations prior to the advent of commercial baby food, there wasn’t a whole aisle of pouches at the grocery store for you to buy, right? Babies have always eaten modified versions of the same foods the rest of their family eats.

So this is a very natural return to the way we taught children to eat prior to the advent of commercial baby food, which costs a lot of money, is not developed mentally or nutritionally complete and oftentimes delays the inevitable skills that we want the children learn how to do, which is learning how to chew and swallow a variety of different foods and you can do it safely starting from your baby’s first bites.

Helen Thompson: I agree with you. I’ve seen the fussy eaters and I’ve also seen the eaters where if they don’t like it they won’t eat it and there’s nothing wrong with that. They’re not necessarily fussy. They’ve just decided they don’t want that food and some mums have said to me, you know, I’ve given them sweet potato for the last four days and they’ve loved it and now, I’ve given them something else and they don’t like sweet potato. That doesn’t mean they don’t like it. They’re just enjoying the new flavour.

Katie Ferraro: Exactly, we say that don’t have preferences yet. My big kids laugh at me, mom, why do you love teaching babies. Babies don’t talk back to you, they literally eat everything you put in front of them. It’s amazing, but you have to put it in front of them. So you have to make the foods, you have to make the effort, but the payoff is huge because your child will have a hundred different foods that you can rely on or more. You can go to restaurants, you can travel. You don’t have to buy special foods or make special foods. I would argue this saves money. It saves time because you’re not making separate foods for different kids. It saves your sanity because they’re eating the foods that you actually make. Now, the caveat there, a lot of times we run into problems in toddler age. Parents will say, yeah, my baby used to eat everything, but now my toddler won’t. Snacks and too much milk are the two biggest saboteurs of the toddler diet. At least in our country, children are constantly plied with snacks and parents feel like I got to be giving this kid a snack, their stomach is so small. They’re pumped full of snacks all day long and they drink way too much milk. So if your toddler’s belly is full of snacks and full of milk, there’s no way in heck they’re ever going to sit down and eat the meals that you’re preparing them.

So we really, really caution parents on offering snacks to babies. Babies do not need snacks. The infant milk that you’re offering in between solid foods serves as their snacks and then really just keep a cap on how much milk you’re offering, especially when you make that transition to cow’s milk, which we do here around the one year mark.

We offer whole milk, so not reduced fat products. They need that fat for their still developing brain but we cap it somewhere between 16 and 24 ounces. So, we have some families like, oh my gosh, I give a 12 ounce bottle of milk to my 18 month old three times a day. Well, no wonder they’re not eating because they’re so full of milk.

So we encourage parents to go right from the breast or the bottle to the open cup and totally skip the sippy cups. Sippy cups are not developmentally appropriate, they promote overconsumption, they promote dental caries, constant drinking and sucking on milk and having that milk sugar bathing their teeth is not good for dental health.

Not to mention they don’t need that much milk. If you practice out of an open cup, parents say well they can’t drink that well out of an open cup. That’s the point. They’ll learn how to drink as much as they need, and they’ll be getting most of their nutrition from food at one and just a small amount of nutrition from milk and that’s what we want because while milk, In many cases could be considered a quote unquote healthful food, too much of a good thing is not a good thing and we see that a lot with toddlers and I don’t know if that’s a problem you see in Australia, but the overconsumption of milk here. Parents just don’t pay attention. Oh my kid loves milk, it’s good for them. Well, too much of a good thing is not a good thing and it’s taking up valuable room in their stomach and preventing them from eating or feeling what I call casual hunger at mealtimes and we have a whole generation of parents terrified to let their children feel hunger.

Allowing your child the opportunity to experience this casual hunger at mealtimes is the greatest gift you can give your child because then you’re letting them tap into their inborn abilities to eat when they’re hungry and stop eating when they’re full and baby-led weaning as a responsive feeding method supports that.

Helen Thompson: Yeah, just a comment on that. You mentioned the dentist stuff, and I know you did a wonderful podcast that I listened to with a dentist, and she mentioned all that. And I thought that was amazing because it’s so true that babies do. Some parents give babies milk at night and I know that’s not a good thing to do, because it is not good for their teeth to have that sweetness just before bed.

Katie Ferraro: Oh, there’s the overlap between dental hygiene and nutrition, especially in the earlier years. I know as a parent and I asked Ashley this, like, who cares their baby teeth are going to fall out. Oh my gosh, the worst thing you can say to a pediatric dentist but they have a laundry list of like, here’s why it’s bad for your baby to have poor dental health and so much of it is tied to nutrition. Even chronic disease development, not that you need one more thing to worry about, but there are certainly benefits to taking care of your baby’s oral hygiene from an early stages and proper nutrition also aligns with good oral health.

So you’re serving your child in many different facets when you offer them real food as opposed to foods with artificial or added sugars or high amounts of sugars, even if they’re naturally occurring sugars. We don’t offer babies fruit 24×7. We’ll hear parents say, oh my gosh, my baby only eats fruit. C’mon If you’re only offering fruit, they’re only gonna eat fruit. So in my program we do something it’s called a fruit vacation if we need it. There has been no documented case of a baby dying because you skipped fruit on one meal or even one day or even multiple days in a row. We can help our children learn how to like, for example, the taste of bitter vegetables, but only if we’re offering it to them because a child may need to see a food 10 or 15 times before they like or accept it. That’s a often cited statistic. It’s kind of a compilation of a variety of different sources, somewhere between 10 and 15 times. The point is, you don’t just do broccoli once and be like, Oh, my baby hates broccoli, I’ll just only give them bananas for the rest of their life. It doesn’t work like that. We need repeated exposures.

So this hundred first foods approach not only allows you to to continue offering a new food every day to your baby, but it offers a way for you to reintroduce familiar foods from previous days so that they’re getting that repeat exposure, so that they will learn to like and accept. You’re not forcing them. This is nature. This is biology. They will eat the foods that are out there if they’re safe and prepared safely. That’s your job as the parent though, to make sure that that happens.

Helen Thompson: I agree, I think that’s a very good point there. So where can my audience go to learn more about your work and your podcast, which I highly recommend to people.

Katie Ferraro: Well, thank you so much. Well, if you’re an audio learner, I do have a podcast called Baby Lead Weaning with Katie Ferraro, we’re at, but if you’d like to see how to prepare the foods safely and lots of visuals of babies feeding themselves and sometimes just sitting there not eating because that’s what’s typical and to be expected as well, I do teach a free online workshop called Baby Lead Weaning for Beginners, and I’ll show you sample menus for the first two weeks of baby-led weaning, how to prepare the food and I’ll also give everyone on that free training a copy of my original hundred first foods list so that you never run out of ideas of foods your babies can eat.

You can check that out, it’s all on my website at BabyLedWeaning.Co. I’m also on Instagram or baby-led wean team. I’m here to support you through this important transition to solid foods, because I know it can be stressful and I know it can be overwhelming, but if you put the work in now, it will come back and pay you back a hundred times over as you help your child develop a foundation of food where they love or even like actual food but know how to eat it safely because it is so important.

It sets the stage for so much in the rest of their life and you as a mom or a caregiver, you can develop that confidence that you need to offer your baby this wide variety of foods. Again the website is babyledweening. co if you want to check any of that out and thank you again for covering this topic, Helen.

I loved learning about baby massage from you. I appreciate all of your expertise and I know that a lot of your audience as first time moms are interested in the transition to solid foods and I think educating yourself and learning from credentialed experts is important in the United States. A registered dietician is the expert in food.

I know you also have credentials in Australia or wherever you might be listening to this, but if you’re feeling like gosh, there’s just, bloggers on social media trying to show me how to do solid foods, really just take a close look at where you’re getting your information from. I know you have a lot of other experts on your show as well, which I think is just a wonderful resource for parents.

Helen Thompson: Well, thank you for being here. I’ve enjoyed talking to you, and I’ve actually watched some of your YouTube and I’ve seen your quadruplets sitting at the table eating, and your resources are excellent, so thank you so much.

Katie Ferraro: Thank you, Helen.

Helen Thompson: I highly recommend checking out Katie’s free baby-led weaning for beginners workshop, her website, social media, and other resources mentioned during our chat and also be sure to subscribe to her Baby-Led Weaning podcast. I’ve included links to all of these in the episode show notes.

Thanks mums, you’re amazing, and I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you haven’t done so already make sure you hit the subscribe button because in the next episode I’m chatting with mom of 3, certified family and infant sleep specialist, Heather Boyd, about understanding infant development and developing strategies for supporting you and your baby.