Child-led diversification (CLD)

Traditionally, parents diversify their children with fruit compote or vegetable puree, offering one food at a time. The DME method, developed by Gill Rapley, a British doctor, consists of making the child a player in his diet by letting him control his consumption of solid foods from the start of diversification.

 Child eating


The recommended age for starting dietary diversification has increased from three, to four, and now six months. Many parents wonder at what age they can offer solid foods.

Our first ancestors, carried by their mother, learned to grasp the food that was available to them, so 'they started to eat solid foods.

< / span> The best time to start introducing solid foods is therefore the one that the child will choose, if given the possibility he will indicate when the time comes. is ready for solid foods by picking from his parents' plate and eagerly bringing the food to his mouth. If it is not ready, it will reject any food offered.

The general development of a baby follows the development of his ability to control the food in his mouth, and to digest it. A baby who has difficulty getting food into his mouth is probably not quite ready. It is important to resist the temptation to “help” the baby in these circumstances.


Even though the diversification age has been delayed, the classic diversification method is still suitable for a three month old baby. By six months hand-eye coordination has developed so that they can grab food with their hands. You can present to your child several foods that can be easily held in the hand, (The food must protrude from the baby's fist.) Such as cooked broccoli florets, cooked carrot sticks, raw cucumber sticks, tomato wedges…

And then let it choose. Offer him what you eat yourself, as much as possible, so that he feels a part of everything that happens. Babies feed themselves in a balanced and healthy way when they are trusted in the choice of foods. There aren't really any rules, listen to them and listen to you, and enjoy watching your baby learn to feed and develop psychomotor skills in his hands and mouth during the process.

It is important to keep the element of play and exploration rather than focusing on the 'eating' aspect. This allows a natural transition to solid food.

The advantages:

Babies who feed on their own with the food they handle can easily participate in family meals. They tend to accept a diverse range of foods and would be less likely to refuse food, possibly because they do not focus solely on the flavor of the food but also come into contact with the texture and color as well as the food. with the size and shape of the food. They also have the option of leaving foods that they don't seem to like or don't like and are more likely to try new textures and flavors that come to the table.


Your kitchen floor will be littered with food! Place a rug or newspaper under your baby's chair é for easy cleaning.

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Are there any risks?

If your baby sits up straight, if you do not intervene by putting food directly into his mouth, the risk of choking is minimal.

Until he is able to take food on his own, he will not be able to bring it to his mouth and therefore swallow it askew. Once he is able to do this he will have developed the necessary skills to chew and swallow it.

Babies do not need teeth to bite and chew, even with their gums they can !

However, remember that babies should never be left unattended while eating.

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