Most parents think that they need to start their baby on solids using pureed food. But maybe you've heard that you can skip the mush and start your baby on finger foods from the start! It's called baby-led weaning, and it allows you to enjoy your meal along with your baby.

As a registered dietitian mom of three, I teach parents to start solids using baby-led weaning in a way that's both safe and nutritious. Today, I quickly wanted to cover five benefits of baby-led weaning and why I love baby-led weaning so much:

Faster dexterity development. Your baby develops muscles of the mouth and finger sooner with lots of practice handling and eating real foods.

It's a good start to developing a healthy relationship with food. Baby-led weaners have full control over the amount of food they eat, and they really are the best judges of their own appetite. There's no parent encouraging the baby to finish the jar or playing here comes the airplane with a spoon filled with food they just aren't hungry for.

Baby-led weaning is easy and less expensive. There's no need to spend time making or buying baby food or spoon-feeding your baby while your own meal grows cold.

Baby-led weaning parents are less stressed about feeding their baby. Surveys show that they use less pressure and restriction, and they're less worried about their baby's weight compared to pureed feeders.

Kids who are started solids using baby-led weaning may be less likely to be picky eaters when they're older. This is partially due to lack of pressure to eat at mealtime. And because the early exposure to different flavors and textures right from the start.

If you've decided that you want to use baby-led weaning but have no idea where to start, check out my free webinar "How to get started with Babyled Weaning"

Jennifer House is a Registered Dietitian, author and owner of First Step Nutrition in Calgary, Alberta. Jennifer works with moms to help them nourish their growing families with confidence! Whether it's dealing with picky eaters, starting baby on solids or getting organized with meal planning, Jen helps her clients decrease food overwhelm through online and in-person programs.