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Ultimate Guide to Baby Led Weaning (and Best First Foods)

Amy Palanjian
Below are some of the best first foods to start baby led weaning. Choose one at a time to offer and make sure that the fruits are ripe so that they are soft and taste good. (Nutrition will vary based on the specific foods you offer.)
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 28 kcal

Ingredients
  

Banana

  • 1 small ripe banana with peel on

Roasted Sweet Potato

  • 1 small sweet potato + 1 teaspoon olive oil

Roasted Apple

  • 1 small apple + 1 teaspoon butter or neutral oil

Roasted Broccoli

  • 1 cup broccoli florets + 1 teaspoon olive oil

Sauteed Green Beans

  • 4 green beans 1 teaspoon olive oil

Melon

  • 1 small piece watermelon or cantaloupe

Avocado Toast

  • 1 slice whole grain bread
  • 1 tbsp ripe avocado

Avocado Spear

  • 1/8 ripe avocado

Lamb or Beef

  • 1 lamb chop, roast, or steak

Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs

  • 1 chicken thigh
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, optional

Instructions
 

Banana with some of the peel still on

  • Cut a banana in half. Use a knife to gently cut around the peel about 2 inches down, leaving some of the peel on so that the banana is easy for baby to hold and less slippery.

Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Wash and dry the sweet potato. (You don't need to peel it.) Cut in half, then cut lengthwise into strips. Cut each strip in half again until each is about 1/2-inch thick. Slice in half horizontally if the sweet potato is very long. (Each strip should be about the size of your finger.) Place into a bowl and toss with the olive oil. Spread onto prepared baking sheet and roast for 22-25 minutes or until soft. Let cool slightly and serve.

Roasted Apple Wedges

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place the butter or oil into a pie plate or baking dish. Warm in the oven for a few minutes to melt. Remove from oven. Slice the apple into approximately 1/2-inch slices and discard the core. Place into the baking dish with the oil and toss to combine. Add cinnamon if desired. Bake for 28-34 minutes, or until tender when poked with a fork.
    Let cool slightly and serve.

Roasted Broccoli Florets

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the broccoli onto a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, coating and mixing well until all of the florets are a little shiny and coated with oil. Roast for 15-18 minutes or until tender. Let cool slightly and serve.

Sauteed Green Beans

  • Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans and stir. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes. Remove cover and taste one to see if it’s soft enough. Cook for an additional minute or two as needed.

Melon slices

  • Cut into a thick stick or a wedge and offer to baby.

Avocado Toast

  • Mash the avocado very smooth with a fork. Spread a thin layer onto a toast stick and serve.

Avocado Spears

  • (Make sure the avocado is ripe and soft): Cut a thick strip of avocado and offer to baby. You can leave the peel on if that makes it easier for baby to hold (just wash it first).

Lamb or Beef

  • Prepare a roast, steak, or chop without salt and with butter or olive oil until cooked medium well. Offer a thick slice at least the size of your finger or a drumstick.

Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs

  • Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken thigh and top with a few slices of fresh garlic, if desired. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove cover. Flip over and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes uncovered or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F.

Notes

  • Add spices like garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, or any other non-spicy flavor you like to make these more interesting.
  • Offer just one piece at a time when starting out.
  • If baby gnaws a piece down into a smaller piece, replace it with a larger one to avoid her putting a chunk of food into her mouth.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat briefly if needed.
  • Remember that it's normal for babies to take time to actually ingest the food. Part of the process is exploring all of the senses related to the experience of eating.

Nutrition

Calories: 28kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 75mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 23IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
Keyword baby food, baby led weaning foods
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