Ever wondered what the first foods for baby led weaning should be? In today’s article Kim from HimMeAndThree.com is going to share her top tips about those first foods perfect for BLW.
So your baby is ready to start solids and you’re wondering where to start. There are a few different routes you can go. You can puree your own food, buy baby food, or, you can try out baby-led weaning.
What is baby-led weaning, you ask? It’s a way to introduce fresh foods to your baby. Baby-led weaning saves you time and money because the baby will be eating a little bit of the meals you are making for yourself and the rest of your family. It also allows the baby to learn the important skill of feeding themselves and helps them experience different textures.
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Learning about Baby Led Weaning
I have done both. With my son, I fed him purees for his first few months of eating solids. He did great with them, but I remember how time-consuming it was to puree foods on my own. I also tried buying baby food, which was much more convenient, but expensive.
When I was pregnant with my daughter I read about baby-led weaning and just had to try it. Not only was I excited for the opportunity to be able to put her at the table with us and eat together, but I was looking forward to seeing her taste these new foods.
Seeing how my kids eat now, I often wonder if my daughter’s adventurous eating is because of baby-led weaning? My son, on the other hand, has a love for the most basic foods and is finally starting to grow out of being a super-picky eater. I’m sure part of the difference between them is just how they were born to be, but I also believe that baby-led weaning had to have some hand in developing my daughter’s palate. She is only 4 and will eat, or at least try, anything we give her.
If you feel like baby-led weaning is right for your family, make sure your baby is sitting up unassisted and is able to grab the food on his, or her, own. It is recommended that your baby be at least 6 months old before introducing baby-led weaning. Follow your baby’s cues and let them each as much, or as little, as they want to eat.
Always make sure to watch your baby carefully when they are feeding themselves. Some babies will tend to gag themselves when they are first learning to eat on their own. Know the difference between gagging and actually choking.
First Foods for Baby Led Weaning
- Apples: Wash and peel the apple and then cut it into large slices. Let the baby chew on the apple or you can bake the apple and mash it up. Make sure the consistency is thicker than applesauce, so they can experience the texture.
- Avocado: sliced, diced or mashed
- Bananas: In order to control the amount of banana that the baby can shove in their mouth, it’s usually best to start with mashed bananas. Once they get the hang of eating you can proceed with giving them halved or whole bananas, but please remember to watch them carefully.
- Beets: Soft cooked
- Broccoli: steamed
- Celery: Steamed
- Carrots: Soft cooked
- Eggs: Scrambled egg yolks or whole eggs
- Green beans: Steamed
- Melon: ripe and soft
- Rice: Cook and let them enjoy! This one may get a little messy, but you’ll be able to add it to other meals down the road.
- Peaches: ripe and soft
- Pears: ripe and soft
- Peas: mashed
- Plums, ripe and soft
- Peppers: roasted and cut into strips
- Pineapple: fresh and sliced
- Potatoes, Sweet: baked and then slice or mash them
- Toast: whole-wheat and cut into fingers (Note: avoid un-toasted bread, as it can clump and cause choking)
- Yoghurt plain and avoid added sugar
As your baby gets more comfortable with food, you may want to start letting him or her sample food from your meal. Below are some of the best foods to give your baby from your meal when you first start:
- Roasted chicken, dark meat is best that has been cut into large chunks
- Pasta, avoid store-bought sauces, as they have added sugar
- Fish, cooked and bone-free
By 9 months of age, or so, your baby should be able to eat the majority of the foods that your family eats. Make sure to avoid adding salt to your meals and try to serve as much fresh food as possible. You can even make some great BLW recipes that your entire family will enjoy.
If you have an iPhone, make sure to download Baby Led Weaning Cookbook. I use it regularly to find dinner inspiration. With over 200 quick and easy recipes, you’ll be sure to find something to delight your whole family! I am not an affiliate for this app, but do use it many times a week and have found it to be very helpful. Baby-led weaning will allow your family to sit down for a meal, with your baby, and all enjoy it together!
Like what you see here? Visit me at HimMeAndThree.com for articles like this one and more about being a mommy of three!
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Kim is a digital marketer with 15+ years of experience, mommy-blogger, wife, and mother of 3.
She enjoys travel, photography, coffee and anything sweet.