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!

Graphic for post - 125 baby-led weaning starter foods and easy recipes. Images are in a grid with colorful plates and utensils.

Medically reviewed by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).

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!

baby in highchair eating food with his own hands.

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.
baby led weaning starter vegetables

Starter Foods

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.

Vegetables

  1. Broccoli
  2. Peppers (Red, Yellow, Orange or Green)
  3. Corn
  4. Zucchini
  5. Asparagus
  6. Cauliflower
  7. Cherry Tomatoes
  8. Radishes
  9. Sweet Potatoes
  10. Parsnips
  11. Beets
  12. Carrots
  13. Peas
  14. Cucumber
  15. Green Beans
  16. Squash (butternut, acorn, etc)
  17. Pumpkin
  18. Potatoes
  19. Turnips
  20. Mushrooms
  21. Eggplant

Iron Tip: it’s a great idea to offer baby iron-rich foods as some of their first foods since their iron reserves start to run out around 6 months of age.

baby led weaning starter fruits.

Fruits

  1. Apples
  2. Honeydew
  3. Strawberries
  4. Blueberries
  5. Peaches
  6. Nectarines
  7. Plums
  8. Raspberries
  9. Pineapple
  10. Kiwi
  11. Oranges
  12. Banana
  13. Blackberries
  14. Grapes
  15. Mango
  16. Pear
  17. Cherries
  18. Apricots
  19. Watermelon
  20. Cantaloupe
  21. Avocado
  22. Papaya
baby led weaning starter proteins and carbs

Protein

  1. Scrambled Eggs
  2. Chicken
  3. Turkey
  4. Sliced Cheese
  5. Black beans
  6. Chickpeas
  7. Hard-boiled Eggs
  8. Tofu
  9. Salmon
  10. White Fish
  11. Beef
  12. Ricotta
  13. Edamame
  14. Feta
  15. Shrimp
  16. Lentils
  17. Meatballs
  18. Ground Meat
  19. Sausage
  20. Eggs some other Ways
  21. Nut Butters
  22. Hummus

Whole Grains

  1. Rice balls
  2. Quinoa
  3. Toast
  4. Waffles
  5. Millet
  6. Farro
  7. Pancakes
  8. Pasta
  9. Couscous
  10. Barley

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.

Breakfast

Lunch

  1. Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Bites for Toddler
  2. Mini Bagel Pizzas with Pepper “Sprinkles”
  3. Tortellini-on-a-Stick with Marinara Dipping Sauce for Toddlers
  4. Curry Pasta Salad for Baby + Toddler (great for Baby-Led Weaning)
  5. Summer Pesto Finger Salad for Baby + Toddler
  6. Green Finger Salad for Baby + Toddler

Snacks

  1. Veggie-Loaded Hummus Baby Food or Toddler Dip (recipe grows with your baby:)
  2. Warm Peach Chunks with Nutmeg
  3. Healthy Strawberry Yogurt Dip
  4. Whole Grain Cheese Crackers (Baby + Toddler)
  5. Beets + Orange + Mint Toddler Finger Food

Dinner

  1. Crispy Salmon Bites for Baby + Toddler (Baby-Led Weaning)
  2. Easy Veggie “Fried” Rice for Baby + Toddler
  3. Taco Tuesday for Baby + Toddler
  4. Mexican Sweet Potato Boats for Baby + Toddler
  5. Baked Seasoned Chicken Tenders for Baby + Toddler
  6. Baked Seasoned Tofu Nuggets
  7. Kale Pesto Chicken Quesadilla for Baby + Toddler
  8. Baby’s First Bolognese
  9. Easy-Peasy 5 Veggie Pasta for Baby + Toddler
  10. Roasted Root Vegetables
  11. Chunky Summer Veggie Pasta for Baby + Toddler
  12. Crispy Seasoned Fish with Pineapple & Avocado Chunks for Toddler + Kids
  13. Family-Favorite Pumpkin Pasta
  14. Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Risotto
  15. Butternut Squash ‘Mac and Cheese’ for Toddler
  16. Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Green Bean “Fries” (toddler, kid + adult approved)

Top-Rated Recipes for Baby-Led Weaning

Banana pancakes for baby - pictures of a purple plate with small banana pancakes on them.

3-Ingredient Banana Pancakes for Baby

5 stars (76 ratings)
Made with only 3 simple ingredients – banana, egg and flour, yet these pancakes are fluffy, soft and perfect for baby, baby-led weaning and toddlers!
Get the recipe
Graphic for post - broccoli baby-led weaning - 3 easy recipes - 6+ months. Images are in a grid with colorful baby plates.

Broccoli for Baby-Led Weaning

5 stars (4 ratings)
These 4 easy-to-make Broccoli Recipes are great for Baby-Led Weaning or as a Finger Food for your baby. You can serve the broccoli cooked and whole or mashed and with a self-feeding spoon!
Get the recipe
A silver muffin tin filled with broccoli egg cups with one cup on the white surface.

Broccoli Egg Muffins

5 stars (24 ratings)
Handheld and portable, these egg cups are great for baby and toddlers on-the-go. These savory cheddar cheese and broccoli breakfast cups can be served warm at the breakfast table or packed cold for a morning playdate or school lunch.
Get the recipe
A stack of spinach pancakes against a white background with strawberries on top and on the side.

Easy Spinach Pancakes

4.65 stars (137 ratings)
These Spinach Pancakes are a great way to get spinach into your baby or toddler. Plus, there are two different ways you can make them.
Get the recipe
small white bowl filled with baby led weaning pasta with Bolognese sauce on top. Bowl has blue fork with pasta sitting on top of bowl.

Baby’s First Bolognese

5 stars (18 ratings)
A thick and hearty bolognese sauce with added veggies is the perfect way to introduce this classic sauce to your baby. This sauce is versatile and can be served over your favorite pasta, brown rice, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. 
Get the recipe
Spinach waffles sitting on a cooling rack.

Freezer-Friendly Spinach Waffles

5 stars (21 ratings)
Warm and wholesome waffles made with nutrient packed spinach!
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2 white round plates on top of a yellow napkin. one plate has a sweet potato boat the other plate has the same sweet potato boat but without the sweet potato peel. finger food for baby and toddler

Mexican Sweet Potato Boats

5 stars (3 ratings)
These sweet potato boats are a family-friendly way to serve sweet potatoes to the entire family – including those picky eaters.
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graphic for post - avocado for Baby - puree and blw. Images are of 4 ways to serve avocado to baby - hand holding a wedge of Avoado, mashed in a bowl, pureed with banana and stripes rolled in puffs.

Avocado for Baby – Puree & BLW

5 stars (13 ratings)
Avocados are a superfood and great first food for babies 6 months and up. Serve them pureed, smashed, or as a finger food for baby-led weaning.
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small white bowl filled with pasta and vegetables. Sits on top of a green and white checkered napkin with a green and yellow fork filled with pasta

Easy-Peasy 5 Veggie Pasta for Baby

4.89 stars (27 ratings)
This wholesome baby-led weaning meal is made by tossing together your favorite pasta, a whopping 5 different veggies and a simple yet delicious basil dressing. Everything is the same finger food size for easy eating for baby. 
Get the recipe

Graphic for post - 125 foods for baby led weaning with a grid of recipes and foods for baby.

Get the recipe: 125 Baby-Led Weaning Foods: Spinach Waffles

4.8 stars (20 ratings)
Here is the ultimate guide of 125 starter foods and easy recipe ideas for baby-led weaning! This recipe for warm and wholesome waffles made with nutrient-packed spinach is perfect for baby 6 months and up.

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (see notes below)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce or apple puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed spinach

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

Age: 8 months and up
Freezer-Friendly: take any leftovers and place in a freezer zip-lock baggie and freeze. To reheat, place in toaster and toast until warm. The waffles will last 2-3 months in the freezer.
Notes on Flour: you can use all-purpose, white whole wheat or whole wheat flour in any combination that you prefer, I will usually use a combo of 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat or 2 cups white wheat flour. You can also make these gluten-free using a gluten-free flour mix. If using whole wheat flour, you may need to add in extra milk to thin it out as whole wheat flour is extra absorbent. 

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