Five great foods to start baby led weaning with

Monday, 16 March 2015

About two weeks shy of six months, Roo started sitting up unaided... and then she started trying to eat things.  She was particularly interested in my coffee in the morning.   Although she wasn't quite six months it was time.  She was showing all of the signs of readiness and so I decided to give her a try.  Given that the core concept is letting kids play with their food and knowing that very little will get in, I couldn't see a problem with starting a little early.

Baby Led Weaning is a different way of weaning as developed by Gill Rapley where babies feed themselves.

I did Baby Led Weaning with D and it took him a little while to get to grips with it but I was amazed by how quickly he learned the basic skills - including how to use a spoon with a surprising amount of success for one so small.

Although I was completely sold on the concept I can't deny that it's a bit frightening letting your child put food in their mouths and gagging.  It's easier for me this time around as I know that she can deal with it.  D is finding it a little worrying though, bless him.

Already, Roo has learned so much.  She's getting food to her mouth, chewing and swallowing.  On occasion she gets a bit frustrated with not being able to get it all to her mouth first try and I have handed her the odd thing to feed herself with.  I've been amazed with how she's worked out that she needs to use one hand to guide the food to her other hand and that she has moved on from just clutching it all close.

So, if you're looking for some ideas for first foods, here's what I suggest: -

Tenderstem broccoli was one of Roo's first foods.  It's great - as it has the right shape required.  It also isn't quite as messy as 'normal' broccoli florets.  

Plum.  For this, I cut the plum into sixths.  I did not remove the skin.  Roo dealt with this really well, sucking off the flesh and rejecting the skin.  Plum is definitely a favourite so far.  

Pea purée on rice cakes.  For this, boil 50g of peas with half a teaspoon of dried mint.  Drain and use a stick blender.  Allow to cool before spreading on the rice cake.  Stores in the fridge well for a couple of days.  Beautifully green.  Roo loved sucking the spread off of the rice cakes.

Also on rice cakes, mashed banana.  So much easier than giving chunks of banana.  However, Roo has coped quite well with banana chunks too.  This video gives helpful advice about how to separate a banana into fingers if you want to give it a try.  

Vegetable chips are always popular.  Best so far have been sweet potato but parsnip has also been appreciated.  For these, cut into chips, brush with olive oil and roast in the oven at gas mark 8 for 18-20 minutes.  

I'm starting to pin other ideas to try out on Roo now that she can have gluten and dairy.  I really like the look of these Roly Poly sandwiches - what a clever idea!  These Chickpea patties look really tasty - and should appeal to D too.  D would also love these muffins!  

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