General Practice 2022

Método BLW: what é, benefícios and how to get started

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Método BLW: what é, benefícios and how to get started
Método BLW: what é, benefícios and how to get started

The BLW method, which in Portuguese means weaning guided by the baby, is a type of food introduction where the baby takes the food cut into strips or pieces with his hands and eats alone, which helps to improve his coordination motor skills, their connection to food and interaction with family.

This method can be used at the beginning of the baby's complementary feeding, which should occur from 6 months onwards. During BLW, the baby eats, without a spoon, the same meals as the family, avoiding the offer of baby food, juices or purees.

However, to practice this method, the child must be able to sit up without support, support the head and neck well and hold the food well with the hands, bringing it to the mouth.It is worth remembering that feeding should always be supervised by parents, or guardians, who should be aware of the baby's signs of hunger and satiety, in addition to avoiding possible choking.

Benefits of BLW for Baby

The main benefits of BLW for baby include:

  1. Stimulate motor coordination, as the method promotes the baby's agility and movements when looking, picking up with his hands and bringing food to his mouth;
  2. Improve food acceptance,as the baby interacts directly with meals, being more participatory and becoming familiar with the different flavors and textures of foods;
  3. Stimulate speech,as the mouth and jaw muscles develop better when the baby chews food;
  4. Help prevent overweight and obesity,as the baby gradually gets to know when he is hungry and when he is full.

In addition to BLW, there is the BLISS method, known as Baby-Led Introduction to SolidS, which is similar to BLW, but with some additional recommendations, such as ensuring a food source of iron in all baby meals; prepare food to avoid choking; and always try the food before giving it to the baby, to see if it is possible for him to chew.

How to start the BLW method

To start the BLW method, the baby must be at least 6 months old, which is when the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics recommends the introduction of complementary feeding. In addition, it is important that the baby is able to sit up by himself, hold it with his hands and bring the food to his mouth.

During the method, the baby must be seated at the table and have meals together with the parents or guardians. It is necessary that the baby is fed only with natural foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins and cereals or tubers.

It is also essential to make the baby comfortable, interacting and getting dirty with food if necessary. Just as you should let the child eat at his own time, without being pressured.

What the baby can eat

Some of the foods that the baby can eat alone from 6 months are:

  • Cooked vegetables,such as carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, chayote, green beans, cauliflower, beets, or kale;
  • Boiled tubers,such as yams, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams or cassava;
  • Cooked cereals, such as corn, pasta, or rice;
  • Protein,such as large strips of chicken breast, boneless fish, or halved boiled egg;
  • Fruits,such as whole bananas (peel halfway through), sliced ​​mango, pear sticks, peeled oranges or sliced ​​melons.

Food must not be overcooked/soft and fruit too ripe, as this can make it difficult for the baby to take the food.

Meals can be grilled, roasted or stewed, using natural seasonings such as parsley, chives, garlic, onions and parsley. Hard foods, such as apples and cucumbers, should be cooked to prevent choking, and it is important to offer foods equal to or larger than the size of the baby's fist.

Even if he doesn't have teeth yet, the baby has strong gums and can crush food. However, if in doubt whether or not the baby can knead food with the gum, parents or guardians can put the food in their own mouth and try to knead the roof of the mouth with their tongue.

Foods that baby should not eat

Sweetened foods, such as ice cream, sugar, sweets in general, and industrialized foods, such as sausage, sausage, nuggets, cookies and any type of fast food, are not recommended.In the same way that meals with s alt and rich in fat should not be offered to the baby, as they can create an inappropriate eating habit, causing diseases such as obesity and diabetes in childhood or adolescence.

In addition, honey is not recommended for children under 1 year of age, because this food can cause botulism, an infection that can lead to complications, such as difficulty swallowing, breathing and moving, which can cause death.

It is important to note that it is not necessary to completely avoid textures such as purees, yogurts or soups when opting for this type of method for the baby, because these foods are not nutritious, he althy and tasty.

How much food to give

The amount of food to give varies according to the age and acceptance of the baby. For a 6-month-old baby, lunch or dinner should contain an average of 2-3 tablespoons of all foods, including protein, vegetables, cereals and pulses.As for the baby at 7 months, you should give between 3 to 4 tablespoons at lunch and dinner, for example. See how baby's food should be from 0 to 12 months.

The amount of fruit to be offered to the baby should be between ½ portion in the morning and afternoon snacks and, if the child wants, the same amount can be offered after lunch and dinner.

However, it is important to remember that the baby will not always eat the entire meal.

How to know your baby has eaten enough

The baby usually stops eating when he is full or loses curiosity about the food on the plate. One of the ways to know if the baby is eating enough is to check that he is growing and gaining enough weight at each visit to the pediatrician.

Another way to know if the baby has eaten enough is to pay attention to the signs of hunger, when the child points or gets excited when he sees the food, and satiety, when the child eats more slowly, pushes the food or it takes time to swallow.

How to make sure your baby doesn't choke

To prevent the baby from choking, it is important that he sits at the table during meals, paying attention to the food he takes and takes to his mouth. In addition, the baby should never be left alone, lying down, walking or with distractions such as when playing or watching TV while eating.

To avoid choking, you should avoid offering foods cut into slices or rounds, such as grapes, raw vegetables, raw apples, oilseeds such as almonds, peanuts and walnuts and popcorn, for example. However, it is also important for parents or guardians to know what to do if the baby chokes, how to call emergency services and remove food from the child's mouth with their fingers.

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