How do you start baby led weaning?
The day has finally come and your beautiful baby has reached the six-month mark and is ready for solids. This is literally the best fun ever but baby led weaning also comes with lots of worry for parents. Will my baby be o.k feeding by himself? Won’t he choke? What foods should I start with? I’m worried….HELP!!!!!
These are all the concerns and questions I get from parents every day and so I wanted to put together a post with my top tips and recipes that will help you get started and totally put your mind at ease.
My 10 Favourite Recipes & Tips to Get you Started with Baby Led Weaning/Feeding
APPLE AND CINNAMON SUPER BREAKFAST MUFFINS
This was one of the very first breakfasts I gave to Oscar. I wanted to get as much goodness into every single bite so these muffins are loaded to the brim with nutritious ingredients.
Find the recipe here: Apple and Cinnamon Super Breakfast Muffins
Tip 1 – Don’t overload your babies plate at any meal.
Place one muffin in front of your baby and let them get to work. Add in a few raspberries or a few blueberries (gently squashed) on the side for a perfectly balanced breakfast.
HEALTHY STRAWBERRY BLONDIES
Breakfast time should be easy and delicious too and what better way to wake up than with the smell of these warming in your oven. Make a few batches and freeze so you always have a handy and nutritious breakfast for those crazy mornings. These are great for picnics too or to just throw into your bag when you’re heading out and about.
Find the recipe here: Healthy Strawberry Blondies
Tip 2 – Introducing smooth nut butter
Once there is no history of nut, egg allergies or eczema in your family then your baby can be introduced to nut butter. If you are worried about giving your baby nut butter, give them in front of your doctor or public health nurse.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH PANCAKES
Pancakes are a great way of getting lot’s of goodness into your baby, especially when you make savoury ones and fill them up with nutritious butternut squash. These pancakes are so delicious and one of the very first foods I gave to Oscar when he was just six months old. Serve these with a floret of softly steamed broccoli and a side of sour cream for dipping.
Find the recipe here: Butternut Squash Pancakes
Tip 3 – Batch Cook and Freeze
This is one of the biggest time savers ever! I freeze most things I cook and then place into freezer bags and label. With pancakes, cook a big batch, allow to cool then place a little piece of parchment paper between each one and layer them up. To defrost, just pop one into a toaster and voila, warm pancakes in less than 3 minutes.
Soft and savoury pancakes are great for lunch and they even work cold when you’re out and about. The pancakes are great as a first food because the vegetables are soft and super easy to manage and they also have all the goodness of a yummy pancake mix.
Find the recipe here: Vegetable Pancakes
Tip 4 – You should be able to squash food between your finger and thumb!
Even without teeth, your little babies gums are strong enough to chew food. To be safe just make sure you can squash food between your finger and thumb. Roasting vegetables is a great way to ensure this, peppers become really soft as does sweet potato, butternut squash and even carrots
SPINACH, GOAT CHEESE AND THYME MUFFINS
These delicious muffins are packed with goodness including iron rich baby leaf spinach. They also contain goat cheese which is a great cheese to give to babies due to its low salt content. Make a large batch of these and freeze as they are the handiest food ever to pop into your bag when your going out and about with your baby.
Find the recipe here: Spinach, Goat Cheese and Thyme Muffins
Tip 5 – Include lots of iron rich foods into your babies diet
By the time your baby reaches the six month mark their iron stores have depleted and so it is really important to always include lots of iron rich foods into their diet. Non-heme iron (the one found in green veggies) needs vitamin C to help it release into the body, so include a few strawberries chopped up after eating a muffin.
MEXICAN QUINOA BITES
Quinoa is a great addition to your babies diet as it is a complete protein meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in vitamins B and E and a great source of fibre, calcium, magnesium and manganese. It is also the least allergenic of all grains so if your little one is intolerant to gluten it is a great alternative.
Find the recipe here: Mexican Quinoa Bites
Tip 6 – Your baby’s tummy is the size of their fist
Rember that your baby doesn’t need an adults sized portion of food. One of the best natural instincts is self-regulation. Your baby will stop eating when they are full, so don’t overload their plate, start with 1 quinoa bite and 2 spears of soft avocado and let them eat. When they are finished check for signs that they might still be hungry and only then offer more. It can take a few minutes for our brains to tell our tummies that we are full.
LITTLE BABY LASAGNE
These little lasagne’s are super soft and filled with goodness for your baby, from iron rich beef with cheese sauce and soft fresh pasta. They are cooked using a mini muffin tin and they are really great for freezing too. Offer one of these with a little lightly sauteed kale or spinach on the side.
Find the recipe here: Little Baby Lasagne
Tip 7 – Trust your instincts
If you don’t think that it feels right, then don’t do it. Foods for your baby should all be soft enough to squish between your thumb and index finger, if they can’t, then don’t give it to your baby! Cut vegetables and fruits into the size of thick chips/fries to make them the ideal size for little baby hands to manage. Little babies won’t have developed the pincher grasp so you don’t want to frustrate them by giving them foods that they can’t pick up.
CHEESE & CHIVE STUFFED BABY POTATO SKINS
Baby potatoes have much softer skins than the regular potatoes and so these little bites make a perfect first food. I pack the potato with lots of goodness including broccoli, shallots, milk and cheese to get as much nourishment into every bite.
Find the recipe here: Cheese and Chive Stuffed Baby Potato Skins
Tip 8 – Go easy on yourself Momma!
It is absolutely normal to worry about the methods you choose to feed your baby (or in this case, let your baby feed themselves). You are both learning so take deep breaths and ease yourself into it. Starting with really soft foods cut into spears, avocado, banana and soft pears are great. Spears of softly roasted butternut squash or sweet potato work well too.
HEALTHY PIZZA MUFFINS
These muffins are delicious and not only taste like pizza but are also packed with kale goodness. They are great for baby led weaning and make a yummy lunch served with softly roasted peppers and spears of cucumber flesh (without the skin).
Find the recipe here: Healthy Pizza Muffins
Tip 9 – Don’t Forget Milk!
Breastmilk accounts for 75% of your babies nutrition until they are 1 years old, so keep boobing (if you’re a breastfeeding, Momma). Between the age of 6 months and 1 year, I breastfed Oscar about 1/2 an hour before he was due solids. That way he wasn’t starving hungry and meal times were really enjoyable. For those bottle feeding your baby your baby should be drinking around 600ml of formula each day (*HSE). You will need a little water in a sippy cup to quench their thirst and prevent constipation.
SWEET POTATO CHOCOLATE MUFFINS
I like giving my kids a treat especially if it these goey chocolatey muffins. These were a staple food in our home until Oscar reached 2 years old and he really considered them a treat. I always have a batch of these in my freezer for picnics and little kiddies love them!
Find the recipe here: Sweet Potato Chocolate Muffins
Tip 10 – Still Nervous?
Yes, even I was nervous when Oscar started to eat solids. So I eased myself in..slowly. I placed a spear of softly roasted sweet potato in front of him, then sat on my hands and just watched. He touched it and looked very inquisitively then picked it up and squashed it in his hands before sucking it through his fingers.
BUY THE BABY LED FEEDING COOKBOOK
The Baby Led Feeding Cookbook is a number one bestseller and the only book you need to get you and your baby started with Baby Led Feeding. It contains lots of tips to start your food adventure and will completely put your mind at ease. I have also included money saving tips, allergy substitutions and 164 recipes that the entire family will love. It is available in all good book stores including Amazon but if you buy on the Book Depository there is free shipping worldwide!
Buy the book here: Buy on the Book Depository