125 Baby Led Weaning Foods (Starter Foods + Recipe Ideas)
These 125 Baby Led Weaning Foods are going to be your ultimate guide if you are doing BLW with your baby! Filled with over 80 starter foods and 45 easy recipes that are perfect for babies 6 months and up!
Baby-Led Weaning Foods
In this guide, I’ll share over 125 starter foods and recipes to help you get started with baby-led weaning! Starting from tips for starting baby-led weaning, to when to start baby-led weaning, this guide goes over it all. I will also share over 80 starter foods, and over 45 easy starter baby-led weaning recipes, and much much more! This guide is great for babies 6 months and up!
You can also check out my best-selling cookbook for even more information and recipes!
The goal of baby-led weaning is to expose your baby to delicious and nutritious foods in their natural state (without pureeing them first) to give your baby the freedom to explore the taste and textures of the food on their own timeline.
But sometimes it can be hard to figure out what exactly to serve baby, especially those first few weeks of starting solids 🤷♀️.
This post has got you covered! From starter foods to full meals, these BLW ideas should get you started without skipping a beat.
Plus, all of these recipes are so good, you will want to eat with your baby as well! ❤️
Just starting out doing Baby-Led Weaning? Then I would suggest that you start by reading my very in-depth Complete Guide to Baby-Led Weaning – which covers what exactly is baby-led weaning, to every parent’s concern of baby-led weaning and choking, this guide goes over it all. I will also share how to know when baby is ready for BLW, the top 10 best first foods, a helpful sample blw feeding schedule, helpful tools to have on hand, and much much more! You can also check out my best-selling cookbook for even more information and recipes!
Baby-Led Weaning Video
Not sure what baby-led weaning actually is, then watch this video to find out more!
Helpful Baby-Led Weaning Tools
- easy to hold fork and spoon
- bowl or sectioned plate
- open lid cup
- bib with catch pocket
- sleeved bib
- splat mat to cover the floor
- wavy crinkle cutting tool
- grape cutter
- baby wipes
Learning Resources: looking for the best high chair, cups or spoons for your baby? Then we’ve got you covered! Here you will find How to Find the Best High Chair for Baby, an easy guide on Best First Open Cups for Baby (plus 4 tips when introducing a cup) as well as 3 Tips on How To Spoon Feed Baby (plus – our favorite spoons for purees or BLW).
Tips for Starting Baby-Led Weaning
- Be okay with Play: baby-led weaning is all about playing and learning to eat solid foods through exploration. So prepare yourself with the fact that this is sometimes a messy process. Have some baby wipes ready and just go with it.
- Don’t Over Think the Nutrients: for the first few months, don’t get too wrapped up in serving the perfect portion of proteins, fruits, veggies or grains. Just serve baby wholesome and colorful food. While you want baby to get all the proper nutrients, in these beginning stages, most of the food will make it everywhere but into their mouths;). It’s all about the learning process for baby. Plus, until the age of 1, baby will get a majority of their nutrients from breast milk or formula.
- A Gag is a Gag, Don’t Worry: there is a huge difference between when baby gags on a piece of food and when they are choking. Baby will gag on food when they are learning to eat finger foods, which is good, because that is how baby learns how to move food around their mouth and swallow foods.
- Sit with Baby: a great way to bond with baby is to sit down with them while they are learning to eat and eat the same foods yourself. Show them how it’s done and encourage them through the process.
When To Start Baby-Led Weaning
Whether you decide to use a baby-led weaning approach, spoon-feeding (often known as traditional weaning), or a combination of both, look for these readiness signs in your baby:
- Around 6 months of age
- Sitting with minimal assistance
- Good control of their head and trunk
- Bringing hands and toys to their mouth
- Appears interested in food, possibly by reaching for or leaning forward towards food
Before you start weaning your baby, you should consult with your pediatrician to make sure your child is developmentally ready.
Feeding Tips for Baby-Led Weaning
- Watch for signs that your baby is ready to start solid foods, usually around 6 months of age. Look for sitting with minimal assistance, good control of their head and trunk, bringing hands and toys to their mouth, and appearing interested in what you are eating.
- Serve and cut foods to help with grasp and minimize frustration – cut food into 2-3′ strips or sticks (about the size of 2 adult fingers) for babies 6-9 months old. You can shred or cut foods into pea-sized pieces once your baby reaches 9-12 months old to promote fine motor grasp.
- Be aware of changes that may be needed in your own diet. Foods prepared for adults may not always be suitable for infants, especially depending on sodium levels, seasonings used, or style of cooking.
- Have a plan for making clean-up easier, such as bibs that double as “food catchers,” a large mat underneath the highchair, a good vacuum, or a helpful dog!
- It might feel tempting to do so, but hold off on wiping your baby’s face and hands until the end of the meal. You might even consider taking your baby to the sink and letting them rinse their hands and face there afterward.
Below you will find over 80 nutritious starter finger foods for your baby! I divided them into four categories – vegetables, fruits, grains and protein. In The Ultimate Guide of Finger Foods, I go into way more detail about different cooking and chopping methods. Please note that some of these foods in their raw or whole form can be a choking hazard for baby so be sure you are serving it in an age-appropriate way.
- Peppers (Red, Yellow, Orange or Green)
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Beans
- Squash (butternut, acorn, etc)
Iron Tip: it’s a great idea to offer your baby iron-rich foods as some of their first foods since their iron reserves start to run out around 6 months of age.
One of our favorite products that helps your baby eat purees and thinner foods all by themselves! Thicker, contoured handled baby spoons designed to comfortably and securely fit a child’s hand.
- Scrambled Eggs
- Sliced Cheese
- Black beans
- Hard-boiled Eggs
- White Fish
- Ground Meat
- Eggs some other Ways
- Nut Butters
- Chia Seeds
Baby-Led Weaning Recipes
These 45 recipes are perfect foods for baby-led weaning. They are easy to make, nutritious, delicious and most importantly they are all easy for your baby to pick up and eat themselves. All are great for babies 9 months and up.
- 3-Ingredient Banana Pancakes for Baby
- 6 Baby-Led Weaning Breakfasts
- Freezer-Friendly Spinach Waffles for Baby + Toddler
- Grinch Mini Muffins for Baby + Toddler
- Broccoli Egg Cups for Baby + Toddler
- Avocado Egg Toast for Baby + Toddler
- Almond Butter + Banana Toast with Hemp Sprinkles for Toddler
- Wholesome Blueberry Sheet Pan Pancakes For Baby + Toddler (allergy-friendly)
- Cheesy Egg Roll-Ups (for baby, toddler + kids)
- Whole Grain Pumpkin Waffle Dippers
- Golden Milk Waffles
- Easy Blender Spinach Pancakes for Baby + Toddler (Allergy Friendly!)
- 3 Fall Blender Muffins for Baby + Toddler
- Spiced Blender Pancakes for Baby + Toddler
- Toddler Breakfast Oat Cups – 4 Tasty Ways
- Sweet Potato Waffles for Baby + Toddler
- Rainbow Peppers + Feta Quiche
- Avocado + Blueberry Yummy Toddler Mini Muffins
- Spiced Blender Pancakes for Baby + Toddler
- Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Bites for Toddler
- Mini Bagel Pizzas with Pepper “Sprinkles”
- Tortellini-on-a-Stick with Marinara Dipping Sauce for Toddlers
- Curry Pasta Salad for Baby + Toddler (great for Baby-Led Weaning)
- Summer Pesto Finger Salad for Baby + Toddler
- Green Finger Salad for Baby + Toddler
- Veggie-Loaded Hummus Baby Food or Toddler Dip (recipe grows with your baby:)
- Warm Peach Chunks with Nutmeg
- Healthy Strawberry Yogurt Dip
- Whole Grain Cheese Crackers (Baby + Toddler)
- Beets + Orange + Mint Toddler Finger Food
- Crispy Salmon Bites for Baby + Toddler (Baby-Led Weaning)
- Easy Veggie “Fried” Rice for Baby + Toddler
- Taco Tuesday for Baby + Toddler
- Mexican Sweet Potato Boats for Baby + Toddler
- Baked Seasoned Chicken Tenders for Baby + Toddler
- Baked Seasoned Tofu Nuggets
- Kale Pesto Chicken Quesadilla for Baby + Toddler
- Baby’s First Bolognese
- Easy-Peasy 5 Veggie Pasta for Baby + Toddler
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Chunky Summer Veggie Pasta for Baby + Toddler
- Crispy Seasoned Fish with Pineapple & Avocado Chunks for Toddler + Kids
- Family-Favorite Pumpkin Pasta
- Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Risotto
- Butternut Squash ‘Mac and Cheese’ for Toddler
- Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Green Bean “Fries” (toddler, kid + adult approved)
Top-Rated Recipes for Baby-Led Weaning
Get the recipe: 125 Baby-Led Weaning Foods: Spinach Waffles
- Preheat: plug waffle iron and turn to medium heat.
- Dry Ingredients: in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- Wet Ingredients: in a blender, add in the eggs, milk, oil, applesauce, vanilla extract and spinach. Blend for 1 minute on medium speed or until the spinach is completely blended.
- Mix: add the spinach mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Cook: pour waffle mixture onto waffle iron in 1/4 cup increments and bake according to the waffle maker's instructions.
- Serve: let cool slightly and serve, or store in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer.