Baby-led Weaning, Race, and Class

photo of a Kenyan baby holding a piece of an omelet
Lukundo Angela. Photo by Musyani Sichalwe.

How we’re making baby-led weaning accessible to all

I just read an article about how the virus is bringing out issues of race and class. And I couldn’t help reflecting on how inaccessible baby-led weaning is to many people. 

First, let’s be honest: the majority of resources available to moms interested in baby-led weaning are PRICEY. And they require a good amount of time to complete. 

I know back when I was getting started—before we were a full on team of food+feeding experts—I paid $59 for a popular online course that frankly, I never finished. And then I signed up for a free webinar by another dietitian who spent the whole time trying to sell a package somewhere near $200.

And can we be REALLY honest for a moment? The majority of BLW resources are offered by privileged white people (present company included).

And then you have the issues of daycare and caregivers: daycare facilities that won’t do baby-led weaning; parents and mother-in-laws who don’t support it; and even if you can do blw at daycare and home with a caregiver, the FEAR that they might not know what they are doing and that your baby will choke.

My friends often ask me what my long-term goals are with Solid Starts and my answer has always been to build an institution—a coalition of respected doctors, allergists, dietitians, nutritionists, and feeding therapists—that makes it possible for every mama to feed their baby real food. And yes, we sell guides. But honestly, the guides just package existing free information on our website in easy, thematic formats. And the critical ones are less than five dollars.

In the coming days, I will make our Starting Solids bundle (which gives you access to all Starting Solids guides—past, present, and future) completely free to those who face economic hardship. This will be a permanent program. Details to follow.  

When I set out to build Solid Starts, I had a choice: I could lock the First Foods℠ database behind a price wall, or I could make it free. I chose the latter. Because parenting is already hard and expensive. Feeding our babies shouldn’t require a graduate degree in investigative journalism. Or $200 in the bank.

–Jenny Best, founder, Solid Starts

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