Why consider baby led weaning?
To me, it’s the most chill approach!
A hybrid approach is my style
- I first offer my baby tiny bits of chewed up food when he seems interested (since he’s not feeding himself, it wouldn’t technically be baby led weaning). Later when he can pick up food with his fingers, and swallow soft food on his own, I’d put chewed up pieces on his plate.
- Since purees are usually you feeding the baby (or it’s all over the floor, ceiling, and who knows where till they are older!), it’s not full throttle baby led weaning to use them. However, it’s totally fine to and I definitely have!
You may also love: How to use your purse as a diaper bag
Baby led weaning foods my baby has had by age 1
- Fresh fruits
- Steamed veggies
- Whatever I’m eating
As he has gotten teeth and a better ability to swallow, he can now snack on things I used to be afraid to give him like cereals or on the go Gerber snacks!
How we have started solids differently with each of our 3 kids
You may also love: 8 things I’ve stopped doing to be less busy as a mom
The easiest way to transition your baby to solid foods
Pre-chew whatever you are eating that you want your baby to eat.
You may also love: 20 Best Bath Toys for Toddlers
Signs your baby may be ready to try solids
It’s recommended by the World Health Organization to not introduce solids before 6 months, and then to start incorporating table foods while still breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.
Every baby is different but sometime between 6-9 months you will see them interested in table food and reaching for it. That’s a great sign to start offering these baby led weaning foods!
- Reaching for what you have.
- Interested in being in a high chair at the table.
- Can sit up on their own.
- New teeth, although tons of babies without teeth are interested in soft solids.
- Grunting every time they see you eating and not sharing.
- You have tried putting something pre-chewed and tiny in their cheek and they are able to swallow it.
Baby led weaning foods and snacks we love
Here, at meals, my baby gets whatever we make for dinner and if needed I chew it up a bit and put it on his plate. So tonight, that was rice, steamed broccoli, and chicken that I had to chew up a little for him first. He still nurses a lot so snacks are mostly for when we go out places.
In addition to the balls of pre-chewed goodness I put in his mouth or on the plate, I try and carry some easily snacks new eaters can have for outings. Especially like at church or the park when I could tell he was getting hungry but didn’t want to breastfeed right then and there.
You may also love: Start an easy one line a day journal for busy moms!
One great choice I found for on the go were Gerber Puffs, Yogurt Melts and Lil’ Crunchies! They have a huge variety to keep babies happy and snacking smart. With babies and toddlers every little bite counts and plays a meaningful role in their nutrition as well as being able to self-feed. Gerber has good-for-you ingredients like whole grains, real fruit and yogurt, with none of the “bad stuff” like artificial flavors and synthetic colors. Plus they are easy for my boy to grab and also to chew on with his 4 teeth. And I have to say I tried them all and no wonder babies love them, I would too!
Did you know:
- Little ones 8-24 months get about 25-30% of their daily calories from snacks.
- 1/3 of 8-24 month olds are not eating whole grains on a given day.
- 90% of 2 and 3 year olds fall short on MyPlate recommendations for whole grains.
Like cut up bananas, chewed up pieces of apple, cut up strawberries, blueberries. It will depend on what your baby is able to mouth without gagging. There’s no set age I’ve found as every baby seems ready on their own time sometime between 6-12 months.
We steam broccoli, carrots, and feed him veggies in soups I make. Now that my son has 4 teeth I can give him little pieces of soft veggies and he can chew it or gum it, but when he was first starting solid foods I chewed even soft veggies first before putting it in his mouth. I think that helped him learn to swallow with pretty much no incidents of choking/gagging.
If we make some these are easy to give him pieces of!