You can introduce your child to real food by serving your baby pureed vegetables and fruit. But you can also opt for the Rapley method. In this method, your baby learns to eat by yourself in a playful way. Do you want to know how to use this method? We tell you!
What is the Rapley method?
If you are going to give your baby supplementary feeding according to the Rapley method, let your baby pack the food yourself and put it in the mouth. Instead of feeding mashed vegetables or fruit, put pieces of fruit and vegetables for your baby, and wait for what he or she puts into the mouth. In this way your baby learns in a playful manner different shapes and textures of food. Your baby can decide what and how much he or she eats.
When to start with the Rapley method?
Between 4 and 6 months it is good to introduce your baby to other foods than breast milk or artificial nutrition. These are also called exercise snacks. Always make sure that your baby is ready for other food.
Does your baby always look very curiously at your food? Maybe you can give it a try. If you start from 4 months onwards, it is good that your baby shows no interest in the food for him. That is not bad. Always offer it. Your baby really should start with the supplement if he or she is 6 months old.
How does Rapley method work?
Always eat together with your baby at the table so that your baby also sees that you also eat everything. That arouses the curiosity. For your baby you cut some vegetables into pieces that your baby can properly grab and chew (ie boiled vegetables). For example narrow strips, slices or small cubes. A good vegetable, for example, is broccoli. You put the vegetables down for your baby. It can be on a sign, but usually it is quickly on the ground. That is why it is sometimes better to put it on the table.
Try starting with vegetables and keep the choice small at first. Like 2 types of vegetables. Babies usually find fruit better because it is sweeter. If you let them know this first, they no longer like the vegetables. The vegetables you can give include broccoli, potato, cauliflower, pieces of cherry tomatoes, peas, cucumber, pumpkin and string beans. If your baby has tried the vegetables and likes it, you can add fruit such as apple, banana, mango, melon, strawberries, pear, plum and peach.
If your baby is more accustomed, offer multiple choices at the same time and vary in color and texture. Let your baby choose what he wants to eat and how much. You do not indicate the food! The point is precisely that your baby will discover everything. So you do not keep a diet plan, but your baby just offers a few choices for dinner.
Handy tips to stimulate food
You do not give your baby food, except the solid bottle food or breastfeeding. The intention is for your baby to discover the new food itself. To stimulate your baby a bit you can do the following:
- Always eat at the same time as your baby so that your baby sees what you do.
- Let your baby clearly see what you are doing.
- Never force anything, but give your child time.
- Make it fun and cozy, so your child likes the eating moments and that encourages you to participate.
Is the Rapley method dangerous?
With the Rapley method, the chance that your child suffocates in the food is sometimes greater. You can prevent this by making sure that the food is always baby-friendly. This means that your little one can chew the food without teeth. So hard pieces of raw carrot or nuts can not be given. In addition, always cut the vegetables or fruit nicely. So in small and small pieces, which your baby can easily grasp. Do not forget to cut the grapes and cherry tomatoes in quarters and also remove all the seeds or seeds from the food. Also make sure that you are always there and that your child is sitting upright.
Rapley method benefits
Proponents of the Rapley method indicate that these are the advantages:
- It seems that babies who learn to eat through the Rapley method learn to eat faster and become familiar with different textures of nutrition. Possibly they will later also eat with the pot.
- Your baby learns to chew well so that the jaw muscles are developed.
- It saves you as a parent because you do not have to make separate food and do not have to feed your child.
- Your child becomes more independent because he or she immediately learns to eat by yourself.
- Your baby learns to listen carefully to the feeling of satiety and can stop more easily if he or she is full.
Rapley method disadvantages
The disadvantages of this method:
- It's going to be a big mess because your child is experimenting with food. This will end up in many other places than in the mouth.
- The chances of choking are slightly larger. Usually your baby will solve it yourself by gagging. This is a very natural and even good reaction.
- As long as it concerns supplementary feeding, there is nothing to worry about, but if you switch to meals via the Rapley method, your child can get a shortage of nutrients more quickly.
- The food takes a bit longer, because your baby needs time.
A good book with lots of recipes to eat together with your child.