Listening to on anothers needs
I was reading about baby lead weaning or in my opinion better named baby led feeding and I love this idea and though I didn't know this is what we were doing this is what we did with Aidan. It's another example of how much my son has taught me. When I'm listening he really does communicate what his needs and preferences are. He began doing this so early that I couldn't help but acknowledged and respect those needs and wishes. Anyways we did purees for his first few reall food experiences- none of the cereals as we had already ruled them out as being to gross and empty of nutrients. but Aidan had been watching us eat and started grabbing at the spoon and trying to feed himself within these few feedings. He also started refusing his purees and pointing to whatever was on our plates. We were traveling at the time so we stopped bringing an extra food with us for him and just let him sit on our lap and eat from our plates. Or we would fill his plate with a little bit of everything for him to try. I'm not saying this is exactly the same model and I know we did cute some of his foods small instead of leaving them big for ease of handling. It worked like a charm and if we have another child I will certainly be doing this in a more developed way...unless they make it clear they was to eat a different way!
I think being open to hearing and meeting your child's needs for independence and autonomy early can really make so many things easier for us as parents. At least this is were my experience have lead me.