Weaning is a word that strikes fear into a lot of new mums. Just when you’ve got your baby into an established milk routine, you have to introduce REAL food. We sit, ready for action, with a carefully measured portion of quivering puree in one hand and a chart to record how much they actually eat, in the other. Who knows how much they should eat? It’s a stressful time. But there is another way…….
Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is based on the idea that by feeding themselves, babies will eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. We’re personally still enjoying using the mix method with Max, feeding him purees whilst letting him explore with finger foods at the same time.
If you are planning on going down the BLW route then the key to your success will be picking foods that are ‘finger friendly’ – something that your baby’s little hands can easily manage to grasp. You’ll find some great examples of ideal first finger foods below, all of which are suitable from 6-7 months.
Mango slices are rich in vitamin A and help keep your baby’s eyes healthy. Leave the skin on as it will make it less slippy and easier for your baby to hold.
Banana is a classic BLW food and can be chopped into pennies or chunks for your baby to eat. It’s a great food to take if you’re out and about.
Other raw fruits like pear, peaches and melon also make great finger foods. There’s no need to steam these, as long as they are ripe they’ll be nice and soft and easy for your baby to gum their way through.
Pancakes make fab finger food and are a great texture for your little ones to experiment with. Add some fruit for a fun and filling breakfast.
The texture of steamed broccoli is great for babies and their tree-like shape is ideal for your baby to pick up and hold. What’s more, broccoli is rich in vitamin C, which our bodies needs to absorb iron.
Firm mild cheeses like Edam are great, simply slice into sticks. Cheese provides an excellent source of calcium, which your baby needs to develop strong bones and teeth.
Chicken or turkey strips are a a great source of protein, which will help your baby’s growth and development.
Steamed carrot chopped into batons are an excellent first finger food. Carrot contains vitamin A, which is great for your baby’s skin and eyes.
Mashed potato is great to give your baby and let them explore it with their hands, or with a pre loaded spoon. They may put it in their mouth, they may flick it at the walls – it’s all part of the fun.
Toast fingers are a food your baby will probably gum at it until it’s a soggy mess, but they will enjoy the texture. It’s great for teething babies and is a quick and easy weaning food.
Omelettes are a great source of protein. Whisk up an egg, fry in a tiny bit of vegetable oil, then cut it into 3cm long pieces.
If you’re planning on going down the BLW route I wish you lots of luck. Relax, enjoy and prepare to get messy!