Green Beans for Baby-Led Weaning
Green Beans make for the perfect finger food for baby-led weaning! You can serve them as a baby food puree on a self-feeding spoon, cooked and in long sticks for baby-led weaning or cooked and chopped for a finger food. Plus, this guide has nutritional benefits, FAQs, 3 ways to prepare green beans, feeding tips, and so much more! Great for babies 6 months and up.
Medically reviewed and co-written by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).
Green Beans for BLW
Looking to serve green beans to your baby, but not sure how?
Then this guide is for you!
In this guide, we will go over all the information you need to serve green beans to your baby as a puree, as a finger food, or for baby-led weaning. Below you will learn the benefits of green beans for your baby, how to prepare green beans in 3 easy ways, and feeding tips for baby-led weaning.
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!
Reasons to Love Green Beans for BLW
- Delicious baby food purees – 6+ months
- 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 eat – spoon-fed or self-feed
- Easy to make – minimal prep work required
Health Benefits of Green Beans
Green beans are chock full of vitamins and other nutrients to keep your baby healthy and growing like a beanstalk.
- A good source of fiber to help keep the digestive system regular
- A great source of vitamin C to help support your baby’s immune system and iron absorption
- A good source of vitamin K to help strengthen bones and help with blood clotting
- Contain vitamin A for healthy eyes
Spices to Add
Adding spices to your baby’s foods is a great way to introduce more complex flavors at an early age. Some great spices and herbs to add to cooked green beans are a pinch of garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, or a splash of fresh lemon juice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Green Beans can 100% be your baby’s first food if you want it to be. It is recommended to wait to introduce the top eight allergen foods to your baby once a few other well-tolerated foods have been introduced, but otherwise, foods can be introduced in any order, so choose whatever you are most excited for your baby to have.
No, green beans 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.
They can be a choking hazard for your baby due to their round shape. Make sure you cook them until they are soft and cut lengthwise to reduce the choking hazard. Always be near and supervise your baby when they are eating green beans.
How to Prepare Green Beans for Baby-Led Weaning
There are several different ways to prepare green beans for your baby. Here are some of our favorite ways:
In a medium pot, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. Add the trimmed green beans to a steamer basket, cover, and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool slightly.
Toss green beans with a little olive oil and any seasonings you want to use. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook in the oven until tender and browned in spots, about 15 minutes at 425°F.
Place green beans into salted boiling water. Cook them for about 5 minutes. Drain the green beans and add any seasonings. The goal is to cook the green beans 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.
Green Bean Puree: You can offer purees and still allow your baby to lead the way with self-feeding by offering the puree on a self-feeding spoon, by placing a few spoonfuls of the puree directly on the tray or in a bowl for your baby to dip their fingers into, or you can even use the puree as a dip for solid foods such a banana or piece of toast.
Here are some products that help you make and serve green beans to your baby even easier! To find even more products that I love, make sure to check out my online shop.
- Steamer Insert with lid
- 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
Baby-Led Weaning Feeding Tips
- Always cook green beans until they are soft, as they can be a choking hazard for your baby due to their round shape. Additionally, you can also cut them lengthwise to reduce the choking risk.
- Try serving green beans with a dip, such as hummus or yogurt. Toddlers and kids love to dip foods!
- Around 12-18 months, your toddler will be ready to start practicing self-feeding green beans with a fork. You can pre-load the fork with a green bean to make it easier at first.
How to Serve Green Beans for Baby-Led Weaning
Green Bans can be a choking hazard for your baby, regardless if you are doing baby-led weaning starting at 6 months or during the finger foods stage at 9 months, so it is important to cook and serve them properly.
Long Sticks – cooked (6+ months): Make sure they are cooked until soft and serve whole green beans in the shape of long sticks, which will be easier for your baby to pick up at this age and will reduce the risk of choking as your baby chews.
Chopped – cooked (9+ months): Baby starts to develop the pincer grasp around this age, so serving chopped pieces will help give them practice. Continue to cook them until soft.
Sticks or Chopped – raw (12+ months): Baby should be able to handle to the texture of raw green beans at this age, but of course, you can continue to cook them if you prefer.
Foods to Pair with Green Beans
Green beans can be paired with just about anything for a well-rounded meal. But since they lack protein, include a protein source to help with the fullness factor. And because green beans are a great source of vitamin C, which helps with iron absorption, try serving it with a food high in iron to maximize the iron that baby gets.
- Proteins: chicken, beef, fish, shellfish, pork, turkey, yogurt, beans, tofu, quinoa, lentils, eggs
- Iron foods: chicken, beef, fish, shellfish, pork, turkey, beans, tofu, spinach, peas, chickpeas, quinoa, strawberries, enriched bread and pasta, whole wheat bread and pasta, oats, brown rice, whole grain bread, broccoli
You can store these cooked green beans in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Get the recipe: Green Bean for Baby-Led Weaning
- 2 cups green beans, trimmed
- 1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, bring 2" of water to a boil over high heat. Add a steamer basket and add the green beans, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Squeeze a little lemon juice (if using) on the green beans and toss, then cut in an age-appropriate way.
- Place a few spoonfuls of purees directly on the tray or in a bowl for your baby to dip fingers into. Model how to dip your fingers into the puree and bring them to your mouth, to taste some.
- Offer your baby a pre-loaded self-feeding utensil and hold it out for them to grasp or set on their tray.
- Use a solid food as a dipper. You can also offer a soft stick-shaped piece of food, such as a soft roasted carrot or bread lightly toasted and cut into strips to dip into the puree.
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