5 Meals for Baby-Led Weaning

By the time I had Forrest, I hadn't heard about baby-led weaning. Which is surprising, because I'd read about just about everything else. I didn't learn about baby-led weaning (or, BLW) until almost 6 months later, when moms in my mom group were starting to introduce solids (or talk about the unnecessary introduction of purees, same difference, I guess). 

I introduced solids at 5 months (I know, blasphemy), which is pretty controversial in the mom world. Most pediatricians recommend not starting until 6 months OR when a baby can sit up. Well, Forrest wasn't sitting up by 6 months, but he WAS eating me out of house-and-home with formula, so, you know what? Solids it is. 

We started with purees and kept with purees for a long time. Whole foods made me nervous. Babies can choke on just about anything, including rice cereal, which is approximately the texture of thinned out Elmer's glue, so I wasn't 100% sold on the idea of handing Forrest a piece of chicken. 

As Forrest got bigger, and started eating stage 2, 3, and 4 purees, I realized he was ready. He was ready to try this BLW thing. He was 7 months old by then and eating just about everything I offered him on a spoon. 

We started having toast in the mornings with him--toast with avocado or just butter or occasionally peanut butter--and he loved it, often eating an entire piece of toast on his own. Forrest has only choked on one thing and that's a meatball; and, to be honest, it's because he was shoving pieces of it into his mouth as fast as he could. 

I recently was writing down the foods he has the easiest time eating and I realized other moms who are nervous nellies about introducing table foods might appreciate these. Here they are. 

1. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Who doesn't love a nice grilled cheese? I make Forrest's two different ways: either with olive oil, 1 slice of bread (cut in half), and cheddar cheese; or with cream cheese and mashed fruit. He likes both and while yell if I don't hand him pieces fast enough. 

2. Quesadillas

A common thread among these foods is that they are easy to pick up and chew on for him. Quesadillas are one of those things. I usually mash up refried beans, avocado, and cheese (plus any veggie puree I have on hand to make it healthier), spread on half a tortilla, top with the other half, and then grill until a little crisp, but still soft. He will eat the entire thing if I let him. 

3. Toast

Toast, like sandwiches and quesadillas, is easy to pick up. We do avocado on toast, mashed banana on toast, fruit puree on toast, peanut butter, butter, jam, cream cheese... whatever I've got on hand, if it spreads on toast, he's probably eaten it. 

4. Roasted Carrots

Okay, this isn't really a meal, more of a snack. Available finger food baby snacks out there are very... binding. It's rice puffs or corn puffs or generally processed stuff that kind of, well, gross. And if it's not rice puff things, it's straight up choking hazards; those yogurt melt drops for babies are seriously gag-worthy and I've heard of way too many babies choking on them! I cut up two big carrots into sticks, roast them, and keep them in a container in the fridge. I can microwave them for a few seconds and give them to Forrest to gnaw on while I finish his dinner. 

5. Fruit Smoothies

Fruit smoothies are easy to make and it helps babies learn to use a sippy cup. I make mine with a pouch of fruit puree (usually whatever is leftover from breakfast), a scoop of Greek yogurt, a bit of apple juice, and water to thin it. I just shake it up in Forrest's sippy cup and let him go. If you use a puree pouch, it often has veggies in it too, so you're basically supermom. 

Have baby-led weaning tips of your own? Send them to me on Twitter!