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The Best Foods for Baby-Led Weaning

Baby-led weaning is an approach to introducing your baby to solid food. These are the 20 best foods to ease your little one into baby-led weaning.

There are many choices when it comes to how to feed our little ones. Often, moms are so consumed by feeding in the first few months of a baby’s life - whether it be through breastfeeding, coordinating bottles, pumping, or a hybrid of any and all options - that the introduction to solid foods can sneak up on us. An approach to the introduction of solid food called baby-led weaning is a wonderful option to consider, but it’s one that takes a bit of time and research to get fully acquainted with. 

What exactly is baby-led weaning?

Baby-led weaning is an approach to introducing your baby to solid food. Ideally, your little one, who is at least six months of age, joins the rest of the family at meal times. You offer her regular food that is shaped in a way that is easily handleable by her little hands. The baby then feeds herself what she would like from this selection.

The idea is that babies learn about food naturally, learn to eat safely, and simultaneously gain confidence as eaters.

How do I know my baby is ready to try baby-led weaning?

The baby should be at least six months of age and display certain specific signs of readiness. Signs of readiness for solid foods include:

  • sitting up well without support 

  • losing the tongue thrust reflex where the baby’s tongue pushes the food out of the mouth instead of helping it go in. 

Other signs of readiness are: 

  • reaching for food on her own  

  • showing signs of interest when people around her are eating 

  • developing a pincer grasp where the baby can use her thumb and forefinger to pick things up.

What foods should I start with for baby-led weaning?

Your baby can try eating almost anything that your family is eating, but here are 20 foods that we recommend for ease as you get started with baby-led weaning.

  • Steamed carrots

  • Sticks of cucumber

  • Avocado slices

  • Toast sticks

  • Crinkle cut bits of mango

  • Multigrain rice cakes

  • Hummus - Babies love to dip many of these foods!

  • Banana

  • Roasted sweet potato wedges

  • Roasted apple wedges

  • Steamed green beans

  • Soft-cooked broccoli

  • Soft-cooked cauliflower

  • Very ripe pear slices

  • Egg omelet strips

  • Hard-boiled egg slices

  • Steamed zucchini spears

  • Peas

  • Pepper slices

  • Sliced cheese

For more tips, click here: https://www.familyeducation.com/the-best-foods-for-baby-led-weaning

Produced with permission from: familyeducation.com