Introducing solids is an exciting milestone in your baby’s life. From sweet and creamy mango to soft, savoury cheese, there’s a wondrous world of textures and flavours to discover, and starting solids is the first step.
While purees seem like a natural progression to solids, a growing number of mums are choosing to do away with spoon feeding and skipping straight to finger foods — a popular approach known as baby-led weaning. Unlike spoon feeding, baby-led weaning encourages self-feeding, giving your little one control over what — and how much — they put into their mouths.
No matter what weaning approach you choose, we want to help you feel empowered to wean as nutritiously as possible. So, in celebration of Weaning Week — an initiative that brings together experts and real families to talk about all things weaning — we’re sharing our favourite baby-led weaning recipes below!
Baby-Led Weaning Recipes
As your little one progresses through their baby-led weaning journey, you should aim to introduce different foods at different stages. Slices of ripe bananas and avocados are a simple way to ease into solid foods, while meats, dairy products and grains are best served around 6+ months. Your baby should be ready to handle harder finger foods — such as raw apple and carrot slices — at 9 months, and, by the time they celebrate their first birthday, you can start making meals for the whole family (baby included!).
Starting Baby-Led Weaning
For those very first foods, start with soft fruits and vegetables that are mild in taste and easy for baby to digest. Pieces of banana and avocado are great options, as well as steamed broccoli and carrots or baby cereal. As a general rule, the food you give your little one should be soft enough to mash with gentle pressure between your thumb and forefinger. Raw, hard fruit and veggies should be avoided at this point, so be sure to pop them into a steamer first.
Baked pears are the perfect bite-size snack when you’re just beginning to introduce finger foods. With no added sugar or sweeteners, this recipe is healthy and oh-so simple, leaving pears naturally sweet and delightfully soft.
Find the recipe here: Baked Pears
Apple and Cinnamon Super Breakfast Muffins
Super-soft, easy to digest and full of nutritious goodness, these tiny muffins are perfect for little ones who are starting out on their baby-led weaning journey. They’re made with a handful of simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, and you’ll only need to set aside 35 minutes prep and bake them.
Find the recipe here: Apple and Cinnamon Super Breakfast Muffins
Baby-Led Weaning Recipes from 6 Months
Once your little one gets used to soft fruits and vegetables, you can start to introduce a greater variety of foods, including cooked eggs, meat and fish, dairy products and a range of carbs — from bread to pasta, rice and couscous.
Baby-Led Weaning Egg Muffins
Packed with yummy and nutrient-dense ingredients, these egg muffins are a brilliant way to introduce eggs into your little one’s diet. Best of all, this recipe makes 24 mini muffins (or 12 large), so it’s easy to whip up a big batch and freeze some for later.
Find the recipe here: Baby-Led Weaning Egg Muffins
These meatballs are perfect for baby-led weaning as they’re soft and nutritious — and they’re the ideal size for those tiny hands to pick up and put into their own mouths. Serve with some steamed veggies, boiled rice and a drizzle of olive oil, and you’ll have an easy and flavoursome dinner any night of the week!
Find the recipe here: Chicken Meatballs
Two-Ingredient Banana Pancakes
When it comes to baby-led weaning recipes, it doesn’t get much easier than this! You’ll only need two ingredients for these pancakes (banana and egg), and you can throw them together super quick — just 10 minutes from bowl to plate!
Find the recipe here: Two-Ingredient Banana Pancakes
Baby-Led Weaning Recipes from 9 Months
Your baby is now ready to explore other meats and grains, along with combinations of food and small portions of family meals. You can also start to add harder finger foods around the 9-month mark, such as slices of raw carrot and apple.
Mexican Quinoa Bites
Quinoa is a fantastic addition to your baby’s diet as it’s a complete protein (meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids), and it’s high in vitamins B and E. Mixed with veggies and flavourful spices like cinnamon and coriander, it makes for a nourishing meal that’s healthy and easy for little hands to manage.
Find the recipe here: Mexican Quinoa Bites
Pea Pesto with Pasta Shapes
This recipe is a great option for when your child starts to move onto heavier and more substantial meals. It calls for cooked pasta topped with homemade pesto that’s loaded with vegetables, healthy fats and magnesium-rich pine nuts. Just be sure to stock up on bibs before you make it!
Find the recipe here: Pea Pesto with Pasta Shapes
Baby-Led Weaning Recipes from 12 Months
Around this age, solid food is now the main source of nutrients, and baby is ready to tuck into whatever the rest of the family is enjoying.
Salmon Fish Fingers with Chunky Chips
Need a healthy recipe that’s quick, simple and delicious too? This one ticks all the boxes! Not only are these salmon fish fingers high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but they’re also a great way to get your kids to eat more fish.
Find the recipe here: Salmon Fish Fingers with Chunky Chips
Super Healthy Pizza Muffins
These wholesome pizza muffins are easy to grasp, incredibly tasty and, best of all, they’re loaded with finely chopped kale for an extra boost of iron and vitamins A, K and C. Serve them with sticks of cucumber and voilà — you’ve got a nutritious meal your little one will love!
Find the recipe here: Super Healthy Pizza Muffins
At PreciousLittleOne, we have everything you need to set the stage for a fun and successful weaning journey. Browse our range of baby mealtime products to stock up on all the weaning essentials you could ever want, from bibs to highchairs and loads more!