The 80 best baby-led weaning first foods to get ahead with weaning

So you know you want to have a go with baby-led weaning first foods, but do you know how to start? 

What foods should you try your baby with? Which ones are safe? Which ones are nutritious superfoods? Should some be avoided? What sort of shape should you make them, and how do you stop them becoming so slippery so your little one has a chance of picking them up?

In this blog I’m going to answer all your questions and go through some key considerations you should know about BLW too.

A baby reaches for a banana on a pink plate, illustrating a baby-led weaning approach with first foods.

What is baby led weaning?
Baby led weaning is offering your baby finger sized food and letting them feed themselves. 

This self-feeding method is an increasingly popular weaning method to introduce babies to solid foods and an alternative to spoon feeding pureed or mashed foods. 

Baby led weaning teaches babies how to chew (or gum) foods and swallow more solid consistencies. It also gives your little one more control over the foods they can choose.  

A barefoot toddler in a high chair explores first foods, eating from a patterned plate in a baby-led weaning session.

What are some of the advantages of baby led weaning?

Baby led weaning (BLW) could help promote good eating behaviours, from a young age. This can help with setting the foundations for healthy relationships with food long term. 

Babies weaned with the BLW method may be more in touch with their hunger signals and recognise fullness easier, than those weaned via the spoon fed method. 

Research has also shown that toddlers weaned with BLW, may be less likely to eat food for reasons other than hunger

BLW has also been linked to lower levels of childhood obesity and weight gain later in life by some research. One research study found spoon-fed babies were just over 2 lbs heavier at 18-24 months, than those weaned with BLW

Parents also claim BLW is easier as you don’t need to make up purees or buy special baby food. Baby-led weaning first foods are often things that you already have and cook for the rest of the family. 

A child in a yellow bib self-feeds with a spoon, practicing baby-led weaning with first foods in a high chair.

When can I start baby led weaning?

The latest recommendations are that weaning (including baby led weaning), is not started until your baby is developmentally ready which is usually around 6 months. This ensures your baby has enough skill so that they can safely cope with solid foods. They should be able to feed themselves and move food around their mouths in order to safely swallow it. 

If you want to check if your baby is developmentally ready you can download my FREE guide here that goes through three checks you can do at home to see if your baby is there yet.

If they are developmentally ready, babies can be introduced to baby led weaning from the start of weaning. By six months most babies can sit up by themselves and grasp objects bringing them to their mouths. 

Consult a Dietitian for advice, if you are unsure if your baby is ready to be weaned or which method is most suitable for your little one.


A baby in a high chair is being spoon-fed, complementing the baby-led weaning process with first foods.

Can I combine spoon feeding with baby led weaning?

There’s no reason why you can’t combine the two methods of feeding your little one, in fact it’s a great idea. Many parents successfully swap between the different styles of feeding. Giving your little one pureed food such as yoghurt, alongside the baby-led weaning first foods, gets them used to both types of textures. 

If your little one hasn’t experienced pureed or smooth textures early on, they may be reluctant to try this type of texture later. It also starts to get them used to spoons for later on. 

Introducing as many different textures and variety as possible is a great way to prepare your baby for a healthy, varied diet.

A mother tenderly cradles her infant before starting baby-led weaning with first foods.

Should my baby still be having breast or formula milk too?

At first, babies will be exploring food and textures and only eating small amounts of food. This stage is all about learning through playing with food, rather than eating lots. 

At 6 months, they will still be getting most of their energy and nutrients from milk and for the first 12 months, milk will continue to be important. Breastmilk or formula should be your little one’s main drink for the first year. 

Milk feeds are especially important for baby led weaners who are likely to be eating less than puree fed babies for much of their weaning journey.

Once your little one is around 7 months, I recommend around 600ml of breast or formula per day. This amount should continue until around 10 months, when your baby is likely to be eating 3 meals per day with pudding and the milk feeds will reduce to around 350-400 ml daily.

Your baby should also have sips of water from an open or free-flow cup during meal times, from 6 months onwards.

This will help your baby practice with a cup but don’t expect them to drink much at first. Your little one will be getting lots of fluid from their milk feeds.  Open cups are recommended as these help your baby learn appropriate drinking skills and are better for your little one’s teeth. 

A messy baby in a high chair enthusiastically explores spaghetti, embodying the hands-on discovery of baby-led weaning first foods.

Will my baby be getting enough to eat?

Feeding yourself can take a bit of getting used to and hand to mouth can be a little ‘hit and miss’ at first. 

However baby-led weaning first foods are not expected to provide the majority of the nutrition your baby needs. So they do have a bit of time to practise! 

A toppled bowl and scattered cereal on a wooden floor capture a common scene during baby-led weaning first foods.

What are the disadvantages of baby-led weaning first foods?

Baby led weaners tend to consume more salt and sugar than traditional weaners (puree fed babies), as they are more likely to be eating similar foods to their family like bread, cheese and foods aimed at adults, rather than homemade or shop bought baby foods. 

It’s important to be aware of this and take steps when cooking to minimise the amount of salt and sugar you add to food and check food labels for foods you buy in tins, packets and jars. 

We don’t know the long term effect of early exposure to salt and sugar. 

The mess! There’s no doubt baby led weaning can be messy, which really shouldn’t be a problem. You also have to respect your little one’s eating speed, as playing and exploring your food is quite fun and in terms of development it’s actually how little ones learn.


A smiling baby sits ready in a high chair, awaiting baby-led weaning first foods.

Is baby led weaning safe?

With baby led weaning choking can be a concern or fear for parents.

Much of the research into baby led weaning has not shown an increased risk of choking with BLW, compared to being weaned with puree). 

However, baby led weaning may not be suitable for all babies. For example if your baby was born prematurely they may not have the three signs of developmental readiness and so BLW would not be safe for them.

Making sure your baby is developmentally ready is important. They need to be able to sit upright in a high chair, have good head control and be able to pick up objects. 

For safe weaning, make sure you follow my advice below on the best baby-led weaning first foods.


A family shares a joyful moment at the table as they introduce their baby to first foods, starting the baby-led weaning journey.

Top tips for safe baby led weaning;

  • Make sure you are supervising your baby at all times, never leave your little one alone with food
  • Start with foods that are soft, easy to smash a finger sized 
  • Allow your baby to control how much they eat and to self feed
  • Avoid foods that are round or coin shaped, too sticky or can easily be broken off into small or crumbly pieces
  • Stay away from potential choking hazards such as grapes, hot dogs, raisins, popcorn, raw vegetables, and sticky, crunchy nut butters (a thin layer of smooth nut butter is ok, but to be sure you can thin it further with a little milk)
Milk bottles and eggs displayed next to the words "FOOD ALLERGY" emphasize the importance of allergy awareness when selecting baby-led weaning first foods.

What about food allergies?

The latest research recommends not holding back from potential allergens and introducing these to babies as early as possible from the start of weaning.

Some foods that can cause allergic reactions in babies and children, include; dairy, eggs, nuts, fish, seafood, soy, wheat and sesame.

The best way to introduce these are small quantities, one at a time and monitor your little one carefully. 

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include; difficulty breathing and swallowing, itchiness or rashes. These can occur minutes or hours or even days after eating certain foods. 

If you think your baby has had an allergic reaction seek medical treatment immediately. 

How to start baby led weaning?

Start with a small amount of solid food once per day, choose a time that suits you and your baby best. 

Here are some top tips to get you started:

  1. Make sure your baby is sitting upright and comfy, a well supported highchair is ideal
  2. Make sure they are not too distracted, so remove toys and turn off the TV
  3. Be prepared for the mess! A splash mat under the highchair may be a good purchase. I found that a fleece picnic blanket worked well as I could shake off the food and pop it in the wash at the end of the day and dried quickly overnight
  4. Put food straight onto the highchair tray for your baby to explore 
  5. Start with suitable finger foods for baby, these are pieces of food that are easy for your baby to hold. Think ‘thick chip size’ pieces around 5-6 cm in length. Your baby needs to be able to close their hand around the food so avoid making it too thick.
  6. Using a crinkle cutter can help your little one get an even better grip on the food 
  7. Smaller sized pieces of food come later, once your baby has perfected their pincer grip (or pincer grasp)
  8. Let your little one have control and choice over what they eat, deciding if and in what order to eat the foods you give them. 
  9. Sit with your baby and eat your meal with them too. They need to learn what to do with the food and the best way for them to learn is to see you

Baby led weaning should be a positive experience for both you and your baby which will strengthen the bond between you


A variety of green vegetables are arranged on a dark wooden surface, showcasing nutritious options for baby-led weaning first foods.

Baby-led weaning first foods

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to offer foods singly for the first few weeks. In fact, if you do, your baby could run into nutritional problems. It’s really important to think about balancing meals right from the start, as soon as those first tastes have been accepted.

First tastes

‘Veggies first’ is the recommendation from the Nutrition Society. Because babies are born with mature sweet taste buds and will always have a preference for sweet foods, it is recommended that their first foray with food should be with bitter tastes. Hence veggies first.

Vegetables however, despite being packed with lots of lovely vitamins, don’t contain a lot of the actual nutrients that are needed by babies from around 6 months.

My advice is to do veggies first but for no longer than a week or two, to help you move from 1 meal a day to 3 meals a day but after that, it’s really important to consider how to plan a balanced meal for your little one.


The infographic outlines baby-led weaning in three simple steps, highlighting first foods rich in iron, energy, and vitamin C for a well-rounded diet.

Meal planning

Building your baby-led weaning first foods meal is a three-part process. 

  1. First, you need to start with a protein food and if you can make this an iron rich one too that’s even better.
  2. Next, add in your veg or fruit. This is your vitamin C source which can be really helpful in terms of helping absorb the iron.
  3. Finally, you need something that’s going to give them energy, usually, this is a starchy carbohydrate food (and some of these are iron-rich too) but can also be healthy fats. 

My baby led weaning foods list

For baby-led weaning first foods not having teeth isn’t a problem as you will want to start with soft easy-to-eat foods anyway.

A vibrant array of fresh vegetables

Vegetables

Steaming vegetables is the best way to avoid losing too many vitamins in the cooking process. Vegetables should be cooked to make them soft, avoid raw vegetables at this stage.

Some great baby-led weaning first foods include;

Carrot

  • Why Great: Rich in beta-carotene (for eyesight), easy to grip.
  • 6 Months: Cooked until very soft, served as sticks for easy holding.
  • 9 Months: Cooked until soft but chopped into bite size pieces.
  • 12 Months: Offer grated raw carrot for a new texture experience.

Broccoli Florets

  • Why Great: High in fibre and vitamins, natural handle for babies to hold.
  • 6 Months: Steamed until very soft.
  • 9 Months: Slightly firmer texture, can introduce roasting for a different taste.
  • 12 Months: Small, bite-sized pieces that are still soft but encourage chewing.

Sweet Potato

  • Why Great: High in vitamins A and C, naturally sweet.
  • 6 Months: Mashed or served as soft sticks.
  • 9 Months: Can be cut into wedges or cubes, still soft but more solid.
  • 12 Months: Introduce roasted cubes or slices for more texture.

Peas

  • Why Great: Good source of protein and iron, small for fine motor skill development.
  • 6 Months: Mashed or as part of a soft mixed puree of baby-led weaning first foods.
  • 9 Months: Whole peas (ensure they are soft), encouraging picking up small objects.
  • 12 Months: Introduce in different dishes, like mixed with rice or in a pasta sauce.

Butternut Squash

  • Why Great: High in vitamins A and C, sweet and appealing.
  • 6 Months: Mashed or served as soft sticks.
  • 9 Months: Can be roasted in cubes, still soft.
  • 12 Months: Offer in small, bite-sized pieces as part of mixed dishes.

Cucumber Sticks

  • Why Great: Hydrating, cool, and good for teething.
  • 6 Months: Serve with the skin removed, in long, soft sticks.
  • 9 Months: Can be served in larger, chunkier pieces.
  • 12 Months: Include the skin for extra fibre (ensure it’s well-washed).

Pepper Strips

  • Why Great: Rich in vitamin C, crunchy texture.
  • 6 Months: Cooked until very soft.
  • 9 Months: Can be offered raw in thin strips for a little crunch.
  • 12 Months: Diced or in small pieces, raw or cooked, in mixed dishes.

Courgette

  • Why Great: Mild flavour
  • 6 Months: Steamed or boiled until very soft, in stick form.
  • 9 Months: Can be grated or served in chunkier pieces.
  • 12 Months: Small diced pieces, can be mixed with other foods.

Pumpkin

  • Why Great: Rich in vitamins, sweet and creamy texture.
  • 6 Months: Mashed or pureed, very soft.
  • 9 Months: Soft-cooked cubes or wedges.
  • 12 Months: Roasted pieces or incorporated into soups or stews.

Beetroot

  • Why Great: High in nutrients, interesting colour.
  • 6 Months: Cooked and pureed or mashed, very soft.
  • 9 Months: Soft cubes or wedges.
  • 12 Months: Small diced pieces, can be mixed with other foods for flavour and colour
A mix of strawberries, mangoes, and blueberries

Fruit


Choose fruits that are soft and ripe or cook harder fruits if needed. Pieces should be around 5cm or more in length to make them easy to grasp.

To reduce them from being so slippery, you can wash and leave the skins on fruit. For example the bottom half of a banana, melon and avocado. Washing the skin is important however, as they will end up in your little one’s mouth!

You can also roll finger sized pieces of fruit in desiccated coconut, almond flour or oat flour to make them easier to grip. 

It probably goes without saying but before serving remove pips, seeds or stones and the core of kiwi fruit which can be woody.

After your baby has eaten the fruit, remove the skins, as they require some chewing and could pose a choking hazard.

Banana

  • Why Great: Easy to digest, high in potassium.
  • 6 Months: Serve in large chunks with the peel partially on for grip.
  • 9 Months: Smaller pieces or mashed for self-feeding.
  • 12 Months: Sliced or diced for finger food.

Avocado

  • Why Great: Full of healthy fats, creamy texture.
  • 6 Months: Sliced with the skin left as a ‘handle’.
  • 9 Months: Mashed or small chunks.
  • 12 Months: Cubes or slices, easy to pick up.

Apple

  • Why Great: High in fibre and vitamin C.
  • 6 Months: Steamed or baked until very soft.
  • 9 Months: Grated or small soft chunks.
  • 12 Months: Very thin raw apple slices such as matchsticks with the skin for added fibre.

Pear

  • Why Great: Gentle on the stomach, sweet.
  • 6 Months: Soft, cooked slices.
  • 9 Months: Raw but ripe and soft slices.
  • 12 Months: Small chunks or grated.

Peaches

  • Why Great: High in vitamins and naturally sweet.
  • 6 Months: Soft, cooked slices or mashed.
  • 9 Months: Ripe and raw in manageable pieces.
  • 12 Months: Diced or whole slices for more advanced eaters.

Plums

  • Why Great: Full of antioxidants, sweet taste.
  • 6 Months: Cooked and pureed or in very soft slices.
  • 9 Months: Ripe and soft in small pieces.
  • 12 Months: Whole pieces as finger food.

Mango

  • Why Great: Vitamin-rich and sweet.
  • 6 Months: Soft slices or mashed.
  • 9 Months: Small, manageable pieces.
  • 12 Months: Cubes or slices for self-feeding.

Blueberries

  • Why Great: High in antioxidants, small size for fine motor skills.
  • 6 Months: Mashed or simply squeezed between your fingers.
  • 9 Months: Continue to flatten blueberries but a little less
  • 12 Months: You should continue to flatten them until your child’s eating skills mature.

Papaya

  • Why Great: Easy to digest, rich in vitamin C.
  • 6 Months: Mashed or in soft, large pieces.
  • 9 Months: Small, bite-sized pieces.
  • 12 Months: Cubes or strips for self-feeding.

Watermelon

  • Why Great: Hydrating, fun to eat.
  • 6 Months: Large chunks without seeds, easy to gum.
  • 9 Months: Smaller pieces, always seedless.
  • 12 Months: Cubes or small wedges, ensuring no seeds.
Assorted proteins including salmon, chicken, and eggs

Protein foods

Soft Cooked Chicken

  • Why Great: High in protein, important for growth.
  • 6 Months: Soft large chunks such as roasted chicken. Some advocate chicken on the bone but this is a choking risk and I don’t recommend it.
  • 9 Months: Soft chunks, suitable for grasping and chewing.
  • 12 Months: Diced or in small strips, can be mixed with other foods.

Tofu

  • Why Great: Plant-based protein, soft texture.
  • 6 Months: Soft, plain tofu in sizable chunks.
  • 9 Months: Lightly pan-fried or scrambled for texture.
  • 12 Months: Cubes or strips, can be included in mixed dishes.

Lentils

  • Why Great: High in protein and iron.
  • 6 Months: Cooked and mashed or in a very soft stew.
  • 9 Months: In thicker soups or stews.
  • 12 Months: Combined with rice or vegetables in small, chewable sizes.

Chickpeas

  • Why Great: High in protein and fibre.
  • 6 Months: Mashed or as part of soft dishes.
  • 9 Months: Whole, soft-cooked then flattened chickpeas for picking up.
  • 12 Months: In small patties or mixed into dishes.

Boneless Fish (like Salmon)

  • Why Great: Contains omega-3 fatty acids, good for brain development.
  • 6 Months: Large flakes and thoroughly checked for bones.
  • 9 Months: Small chunks.
  • 12 Months: In fish cakes or as part of a fish pie.

Minced Beef

  • Why Great: Rich in protein and iron.
  • 6 Months: Cooked thoroughly and served as large meatballs or mini burgers.
  • 9 Months: In soft meatballs or patties broken into bite size pieces.
  • 12 Months: As part of pasta sauces or in small meatballs.

Turkey

  • Why Great: Lean source of protein.
  • 6 Months: Soft-cooked, minced or as large, tender pieces.
  • 9 Months: As small meatballs or in soft, chunky pieces.
  • 12 Months: In sandwiches or mixed with vegetables.

Steak

  • Why Great: High in iron and protein.
  • 6 Months: Cooked very soft, served in large finger shaped, chewable pieces.
  • 9 Months: Tender, small cubes or strips.
  • 12 Months: Can be offered as chopped pieces, always ensuring it’s tender.

Casseroled Meat

  • Why Great: Soft texture, easy to chew, can absorb flavours well.
  • 6 Months: Soft, stewed meat in finger size pieces.
  • 9 Months: Small pieces as part of a casserole with vegetables.
  • 12 Months: As part of chunkier stews or casseroles.

Avoid giving your young baby highly processed meats like sausages, hot dogs, shop-bought meatballs, burgers, goujons, nuggets, ham, or bacon, as these contain excessive salt levels and are unsuitable for their diet.

Assorted dairy products including milk, yogurt, and cheese

Dairy Foods

Full-Fat Yogurt

  • Why Great: Rich in calcium, good for bone health.
  • 6 Months: Plain, full-fat yoghourt, possibly mixed with pureed fruit.
  • 9 Months: Can be served with small chunks of soft fruits.
  • 12 Months: With more textured mix-ins like small pieces of fruit or soft granola.

Hard Cheese 

  • Why Great: Good source of calcium and protein.
  • 6 Months: Thinly sliced
  • 9 Months: Can be cut into shapes or sticks for easy handling.
  • 12 Months: Grated or as part of sandwiches.

Cream Cheese

  • Why Great: Soft and spreadable, high in fat.
  • 6 Months: Spread thinly on soft bread or crackers.
  • 9 Months: Can be mixed with fruit or vegetable purees.
  • 12 Months: Used in sandwiches or as a dip for veggies.

Mozzarella Cheese

  • Why Great: Soft and easy to chew.
  • 6 Months: Thin slices.
  • 9 Months: Torn into small, easy-to-handle pieces.
  • 12 Months: Shredded or as part of finger foods.

Yoghurt is a great food to offer your baby and can be truly BLW if you give them their own spoon. It’s OK to load the spoon for them.

A basket of fresh eggs

Egg

Eggs are great baby-led weaning first foods. So great that they have their own blog!


Let’s explore the benefits of these egg-based baby-led weaning first foods and how to serve them to babies at 6, 9, and 12 months.

Boiled Egg

  • Why Great: High in protein, easy to prepare.
  • 6 Months: Serve as soft-boiled egg yolks, cut in half lengthways.
  • 9 Months: Hard-boiled egg, sliced or quartered.
  • 12 Months: Whole hard-boiled eggs 

Omelette

  • Why Great: Can include various nutrients from added vegetables.
  • 6 Months: Plain, thinly sliced, or in large, soft pieces.
  • 9 Months: Add finely chopped vegetables, cut into strips or cubes.
  • 12 Months: More textured with a variety of ingredients, cut into bite-sized pieces.

Eggy Bread

  • Why Great: Combines eggs and bread, easy to hold.
  • 6 Months: Soft, cut into large strips for easy grasping.
  • 9 Months: Can be a bit firmer with a slightly crispy edge, cut into smaller pieces.
  • 12 Months: Include a light spread of fruit puree, cut into bite-sized squares.

Scrambled Egg

  • Why Great: Soft texture, easy to eat.
  • 6 Months: Very softly scrambled, in large enough pieces to hold.
  • 9 Months: Can be cooked with a little more texture, in smaller pieces.
  • 12 Months: Cooked with added ingredients like cheese or vegetables, in small chunks.

Various grains and bread

Starchy carbohydrates & grains

Crumpets

  • Why Great: Soft texture, easy to grip.
  • 6 Months: Served plain, cut into quarters for easy holding.
  • 9 Months: Can be lightly toasted with a thin spread of unsalted butter or fruit puree.
  • 12 Months: With various toppings like mashed avocado or a thin layer of cream cheese.

Sweet Potato

  • Why Great: High in vitamins A and C, naturally sweet flavour.
  • 6 Months: Roasted or steamed until very soft, served in large, graspable pieces.
  • 9 Months: Cut into cubes or wedges, can be slightly firmer.
  • 12 Months: In the form of small, bite-sized pieces, roasted with a hint of cinnamon.

Potato

  • Why Great: Rich in carbohydrates and fibre, versatile.
  • 6 Months: Boiled or steamed until very soft, served in finger shapes.
  • 9 Months: Mashed with a little unsalted butter or milk, or as soft potato wedges.
  • 12 Months: As small potato chunks or homemade wedges with a light seasoning.

Unsweetened Breakfast Cereal

  • Why Great: Usually fortified with vitamins and minerals, easy to eat.
  • 6 Months: Soaked in milk to soften, or as a soft cereal porridge.
  • 9 Months: Slightly crunchier texture, can be mixed with yoghurt or fruit puree.
  • 12 Months: Dry as a finger food or with milk for a more traditional cereal experience.

Whole Grain Bread

  • Why Great: Good source of fibre and B vitamins.
  • 6 Months: Toasted and cut into large strips for easy gripping.
  • 9 Months: Soft bread, possibly with a thin layer of spread like mashed avocado.
  • 12 Months: Small sandwiches with soft fillings.

Pasta

  • Why Great: Easy to eat, versatile, and energy-rich.
  • 6 Months: Cooked until very soft, in large shapes that are easy to hold like penne or fusilli.
  • 9 Months: Can be offered with light sauces, still well-cooked but firmer.
  • 12 Months: More variety in shapes and sauces, cut into bite-sized pieces if necessary.

Brown Rice

  • Why Great: Rich in fibre and minerals.
  • 6 Months: Soft-cooked, possibly mashed with other baby-led weaning first foods.
  • 9 Months: As part of a soft rice dish, like risotto.
  • 12 Months: In small, chewable clumps, served with other foods.

Oats

  • Why Great: High in fibre
  • 6 Months: Cooked to a very soft thin porridge consistency, maybe mixed with fruit puree.
  • 9 Months: Thicker texture, can include small pieces of fruit.
  • 12 Months: In soft oat bars with fruit.

Quinoa

  • Why Great: Complete protein, high in essential amino acids.
  • 6 Months: Soft-cooked, can be mixed with purees for easier self feeding.
  • 9 Months: As part of a meal mixed with soft vegetables.
  • 12 Months: In small patties or as a side dish.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

  • Why Great: Whole grains, can be made with added nutrients like fruits.
  • 6 Months: Soft, plain, and cut into strips.
  • 9 Months: With added mashed fruits, in smaller pieces.
  • 12 Months: As mini pancakes with various toppings.

Polenta

  • Why Great: Soft texture, easy to eat.
  • 6 Months: Softly cooked, in larger pieces for easy gripping.
  • 9 Months: Firmer texture, can be mixed with cheese or tomato sauce.
  • 12 Months: Cut into shapes or cubes, with added flavours.
Olive oil being poured onto a spoon

Fats and oils

Don’t be afraid to cook with fats and oils, babies are growing tremendously fast and so need these energy-dense foods as a normal part of their diet.

It’s OK to toss their steamed broccoli in unsalted butter or Olive margarine before serving or stir fry foods with olive oil. Healthy fats are those from vegetable or seed sources such as:

  • Olive oil
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Oily fish such as salmon, gives your baby healthy fats too.
Honey dripping from a dipper

Baby-led weaning first foods to avoid

  • Honey until 12 months of age. Honey may contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning in young children.
  • Sugary, salty, or very processed foods. Babies are unable to process too much salt and this can lead to kidney damage. Consider the salt content of foods such as ready made sauces. Don’t use gravy or stock cubes as these are both high salt. Choose low salt foods for your little one . Sugary baby-led weaning first foods can also cause damage to teeth or tooth decay.
  • Cow’s milk as a main drink until 12 months of age as it is not as rich in essential nutrients such as iron, as formula or breast milk. You can safely use cow’s milk for cooking. 
  • Low fat products – babies need the fat content of foods

A cheerful baby holding a spoon and bowl, ready to try baby-led weaning first foods.

Recipes for baby led weaning

Here are 30 recipes to get you started with baby-led weaning:

Breakfast recipes for baby led weaning

Lunch recipes for baby led weaning

Dinner recipes for baby led weaning

So there you have it! Are you planning on baby led weaning? Pop a comment below with your questions or if you have already started let me know how it’s going.

Sarah Almond Bushell MPhil, BSc (Hons) RD MBDA – Registered Dietitian & Children’s Nutritionist
Sarah Almond Bushell MPhil, BSc (Hons) RD MBDA – Registered Dietitian & Children’s Nutritionist

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meet Sarah

I’m Sarah, a Registered Dietitian, Children’s Nutritionist and mummy from East Sussex. My blog is to guide & inspire you with information about weaning, nutrition, food and toddler feeding. Learn more about me here.

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