When choosing to start Baby Led Weaning – from six months onwards – it can be quite daunting. You can give your baby almost anything to eat – the same things you eat, right from the start – apart from a few baby led weaning foods to avoid that you should worry about like honey, shellfish and a very small amount of salt. But when told you can give your baby ANYTHING to eat, with so much choice, how do you decide what to give them for their first foods?
I’ve made a couple of lists of baby led weaning starter foods as well as finger food recipes and ideas that are easy to give at the start of weaning, before your baby can cope with eating the same food as you, sitting together for a family meal. These lists may look like I’m teaching people to suck eggs but the idea is to prompt you to give things you may not have thought of or in a different way. The first list I have is basic finger foods for babies – fruit and vegetables and off-the-shelf type items where very little preparation/cooking is needed but where the baby can still learn to feed themselves.
Baby Led Weaning First Foods
We give rice cakes and toast fingers with something spread on them and give toasted sandwiches cut into chunks or fingers – and left to cool thoroughly. We also give sandwiches cut in half and then into fingers and find that squeezing the sandwich down before cutting helps the middle stay in the sandwich when Little Man is eating it. One other thing that we find easy to do is pizza toast where you get a slice of toast, spread one side with tomato puree and then add toppings – ours generally have cheese and then toppings!
I’ve written a list of things you can spread on toast or a rice cake, things you can put in sandwiches and toasted sandwiches and toppings for pizza toast. Again, I hope this isn’t seen as teaching you to suck eggs, just things you may not have thought of. There are baby weaning recipes online for baby friendly humous and I’ll try to blog a recipe at some point. Low salt baked beans are also available. We never really give mayonnaise but use cream cheese as a good alternative to stick things together to spread or put in a sandwich!
Baby Led Weaning Food Ideas
We also use some baby foods as desserts offered on a loaded spoon which we’ve given since the baby can start solids although we have never fed the babies ourselves. We use loaded spoons to give them independence, improve their coordination and get them used to wetter solid foods at the same time.
As I’ve said already, these are just basic finger foods but I’ll be blogging baby friendly weaning recipes going forward – watch this space! I also have a post of my Top 10 Tips for anyone starting Baby Led Weaning too and hopefully this will help you add more variety to the usual steamed sweet potato or butternut squash that parents end up feeding little ones traditionally when they’re starting solids!