These 4 Delicious Apple Recipes for Baby-Led Weaning are the perfect finger foods for your baby! They are healthy and easy to make. Great for 6 months and up!

Graphic for post – apples for Baby that we need, for delicious ways – 6+ months. Images are in a grid of cooked apples and colorful baby plates and bowls.

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

Apple for Baby-Led Weaning

Apples are full of essential nutrients and are a great food for your baby!

Plus, apples are super easy to make into finger foods for baby-led weaning! 🖐

Below 👇 you will find 4 of my favorite ways to serve apples to your baby!

First time making homemade baby food? 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!

Apple for Baby-Led Weaning Video

Watch this video to see how easy it is to serve apples to your baby!

Reason to Love Apples for BLW

  • great for baby-led weaning – 6+ months
  • also great for the finger food stage – 9+ months
  • full of essential nutrients for baby
  • different ways for baby to self-feed
  • easy to make
4 colorful bowls and plates with 4 different ways to serve apples to baby.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can babies eat apples?

Apples are a great food to introduce to your baby at 6 months. Apples are bursting with essential nutrients for a growing baby. You can serve apples to your baby as a smooth baby food puree or as a finger food for baby-led weaning. Either way is a great option, and one is not better than the other. The ultimate goal for the first 100 days of introducing solid foods is to serve as many flavors and textures to your baby as possible.

Are apples a common allergen for baby?

No, apples are not a common allergen, however, as with any food, start with a small portion and be aware of any signs that might be an allergic reaction after introducing it.

Do apples cause constipation for babies?

Applesauce may cause constipation in babies, however raw apples and apple juice may actually help alleviate constipation. 

Are apples a choking hazard for babies?

Yes, raw apples can be a choking hazard for babies and children. For safe ways to prepare apples for your baby, see my recommended recipes below. And always be near baby or toddler when they are eating apples.

Hand holding apple.

Benefits of Apples for Baby

Apples are full of essential vitamins and minerals for your baby.

  • high in fiber to help build a healthy heart and aid in digestion
  • has a good amount of vitamin C, which is important for skin, eye, immune and brain health
  • contain the nonessential mineral boron, which is important for building strong bones and supporting brain function
  • apples are a high-antioxidant food and have a very significant source of flavonoids that help combat free-radicals

Best Apples to Use

I recommend using a sweeter apple such a Pink Lady or McIntosh, but really can you use any apple you prefer or have on hand. 

Here are some great options:

  • Pink Lady
  • Kanzi
  • Honeycrisp
  • Fuji
  • McIntosh
  • Jazz

The only apples that I have found are a little difficult to work with are Golden Delicious and Red Delicious (get too grainy and soggy) and Granny Smith (too tart), but other than that you can go with whatever you can find in your local grocery store.

Apple Tip: since apples are on the EWG dirty dozen list, I would recommend serving organic apples to your baby if your budget allows.

Helpful Tools

Baby-Led Weaning Feeding Tips

  • 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. 
  • Understand the difference between gagging and choking – including the signs of each and how to respond.
  • 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 baby reaches 9-12 months old to promote fine motor grasp. 
  • 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.
Hand holding a purple bowl with sautéed apples slices.

How to Prepare Apples for Baby-Led Weaning

There are several different ways to prepare apples for your baby. Here are 4 of my favorite ways:

  • Sautéd Apples Wedges with Cinnamon
  • Grated Apples
  • Steamed Crinkle-Cut Apples
  • Mashed Apples on Self-Feeding Spoon

The goal is to cook apples until they are soft enough for your baby to eat (or gnaw on) yet still firm enough for your baby to pick and self-feed. For babies 6 months and up using their palmar grasp, you can serve cooked apples in wedges, thick strips of steamed apples, or cooked apples mashed and served to your baby on a self-feeding spoon. While it is completely safe to serve baby grated apples at 6 months, most babies are still working on their pincer grasp, and picking up tiny pieces of apple may be frustrating for some babies.

Sautéed Apples Wedges with Cinnamon

These Sautéed Apples Wedges are a simple and flavorful recipe that your baby, toddler and even you will devour. For your baby, I have found that leaving on the apple skin makes them a little easier to pick and eat, but you can also peel the apples if you prefer.

To make: cut wedges of apples and sauté them in a little butter (coconut oil will also work) and add a little cinnamon and gently cook until tender.

Grated Apples

An easy, and almost instant recipe is to simply grate apples into small pieces. If you are feeling extra, you can definitely add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the grated apples before serving. I also love adding grated apples to yogurt or oatmeal.

To Make: take an apple and grate roughly one-third of it on a box grater. If the grated pieces of apple are too watery and hard for your baby to pick up, simply take them and place them on a paper towel or clean dish towel and gently squeeze out any excess liquid.

Steamed Crinkle-Cut Apples

A great way to make softly steamed apples easier for your baby to pick up is by cutting them into a crinkle texture. By crinkle cutting the apple, this allows little notches in the apple that provide your baby with a little grip. If you do not have a crinkle cutting tool, you can make these apples by just using a sharp knife.

To Make: start by peeling and crinkle cutting half of an apple. Then gently steam the pieces for 1-3 minutes, or until tender. This will not take long. Let cool and serve to baby.

Mashed Apples on Self-Feeding Spoon

These mashed apples are both delicious and also easy for your baby to eat. Mashed apples are a great way to transition your baby from smooth purees to chunkier foods. They are also a great way for your baby to self-feed themselves apples that are not as big as a choking hazard.

To Make: take sautéed or steamed apples and pulse in a blender or food processor for 5-10 seconds until chunky and serve to baby on a self-feeding spoon.

More Baby-Led Weaning Recipes

Or watch a shortened version of this video here.

4 colorful bowls and plates with 4 different ways to serve apples to baby.

Get the recipe: Apple for Baby-Led Weaning

5 stars (3 ratings)
Great recipes to serve apples to baby! You can serve them cooked and whole or mashed and with a self-feeding spoon.

Ingredients 

Sautéed Apples Wedges with Cinnamon

  • 2 medium apples, cored and cut into 12-16 wedges
  • 1-2 tsp butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp water

Grated Apples

  • 1/2 medium apple

Steamed Crinkle-Cut Apples

  • 1/2 medium apple, cored and peeled

Mashed Apples on Self-Feeding Spoon

  • 1 medium apple

Instructions 

Sautéed Apples Wedges with Cinnamon

  • In a medium skillet, add the butter and heat on medium heat. When the butter is melted add the apples and cinnamon and stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Then add in the water and stir again. Turn heat down to medium-low and sauté for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the apples are tender when pricked with a fork.
    Note: I prefer to leave the apple skins on as they make an easier handle for baby to hold onto, but you can peel the apples if you prefer.
    White skillet with apple slices for baby.

Grated Apples

  • On a cutting board, using a box grater, grate the apple until you have a handful of tiny apple pieces. If the grated apple is too watery, place the grated apple into a paper towel and gently squeeze to get rid of the excess liquid.
    cutting board with an apple being grated.

Steamed Crinkle-Cut Apples

  • On a cutting board, cut the half of an apple using a crinkle cutting tool or a sharp knife into 1/2" thick and 2-3" long strips.
    A Cutting board with a waffle knife with sliced apples for baby.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring 2" of water to a boil over high heat. Add a steamer basket and add the apple slices to the basket in a single layer. Cover and cook for 1-3 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork. Remove from heat, and place the apple slices on a paper towel or clean dish towel to cool.

Mashed Apples on Self-Feeding Spoon

  • Using either the steamed apple or sautéed apple recipes from above, take the cooked apples and place in a small blender or food processor. Pulse for 5-10 seconds or until you have a chunky puree. You can also make a smooth puree by blending for 1-2 minutes.
    Note: you can easily have 3 different textures of apples to serve baby! Start by making a batch of the steamed (use an entire apple) or sautéed apples, set aside a portion for baby. Take the rest of the apples and pulse into a chunky puree, set aside a portion for baby. Then puree the rest of the apples into a smooth puree for baby.
    Small blender with chunky puree for baby.

Notes

Age: 6+ months
Yield: 2-3 small portions for baby
Storage: you can store these recipes in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Adding a small squeeze of lemon juice will help preserve the color. 
 

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