Easy First Foods Baby-Led Weaning
Here’s 12 easy first foods to introduce to your baby and how to serve them using a baby-led weaning approach.
- Sweet Potato
- Mashed Beans
Cook: Steam or roast sweet potato until it’s very soft and can be easily mashed between your fingers. I’ve found that baked sweet potatoes are really easy, but I also like cutting sweet potatoes into large wedges, tossing them in a little olive oil and roasting at 375°F for about 30-40 minutes, or until fork tender. You can peel the potatoes beforehand, but I usually leave the skin on because it peels right off after roasting.
Serve: Cut the sweet potato into finger-sized strips or chunks that are easy for your baby to grasp. You can also mash it slightly for a different texture.
Prep: Simply peel and remove the pit from a ripe avocado.
Serve: Cut the avocado into slices. If the avocado is too slippery for baby to pick up you can roll it in hemp seeds or flaxseed or spread mashed avocado on lightly toasted whole grain bread for added texture.
Prep: Peel a ripe banana.
Serve: Offer lengthwise strips of banana that your baby can easily hold and eat. Bananas naturally break apart into thirds and doing this actually gives the banana more texture and makes it less slippery than slicing it with a knife. You can also leave the peel on a banana, cut it in half and then use a paring knife to cut off some of the peel at the top, exposing some of the ripe banana but also giving baby something easy to grasp onto.
Cook: Cook boneless, skinless salmon fillet by baking, grilling, or steaming until it flakes easily. You can season it however you like, just be mindful of added salt. We actually use make air fryer salmon for Tucker. It’s so quick and easy.
Serve: Cut the salmon into large soft pieces that your baby can pick up and enjoy.
Cook: Peel and core a sweet apple (like Fuji, Pink Lady or Honey Crisp), then steam or cook until it’s soft. I find that steaming apples works best because they get soft throughout. I’ve tried roasting apple slices but the outside became a bit tough. For steaming, I recommend peeling and coring the apple and slicing into quarters or eighths. Place apple pieces in a steamer basket fitted inside a pot with water and steam for 8-10 minutes or until apples are nice and soft and can be pierced with a fork.
Serve: Cut the cooked apple into large slices or offer mashed apple for a different texture. Make sure the pieces are soft enough for your baby to chew with their gums. You should be able to mash it between your fingers.
Cook: Make hard boiled eggs or scramble eggs until fully cooked and well-set, but still soft enough to squish between your fingers.
Serve: Cut the hard boiled egg into quarters. Break scrambled egg into small, manageable pieces or offer a small omelet or egg strips that are easy for baby to pick up.
Prep: Wash and remove the stem from a ripe, soft strawberry.
Serve: Give baby the whole strawberry. Large strawberries are best because they’re less of a choking risk.
Cook steak: Season steak lightly with a pinch of salt and any other desired seasonings. Grill, broil, or pan-sear the steak until it’s well-cooked and tender. Avoid overcooking to prevent it from becoming too tough.
Serve steak: You can leave steak on the bone or cut into a large strip (the size of two adult fingers pressed together). Be sure to remove any large chunks of meat that are falling off or pieces of fat. Baby will suck and gnaw on the steak and get all the juices out. We gave Tucker steak like this early on. It kept him entertained/eating for about 20 minutes and he loved it.
Cook hamburgers: If using ground meat, you can mix it with a small amount of breadcrumbs or cooked oats to help bind it together. Avoid adding too much salt or seasonings that may be too strong for baby. Form small, flat patties from the ground meat. You can also make meatballs if you prefer.
Serve hamburgers: Cut burger patty into large strips for serving.
Cook: Steam or boil broccoli until it’s tender. Larger pieces of broccoli are better for young babies and I liked keeping the stalk on Tucker to use as a little handle. He would gnaw on the floret and leave the stalk.
Serve: Larger pieces of broccoli are better for younger babies and I liked keeping the stalk on Tucker to use as a little handle. He would gnaw on the floret and leave the stalk.
Cook: Cook beans (like chickpeas, black beans, or lentils) until they are soft and easy to mash. I typically take the lazy route and use canned beans (no salt added or low sodium) that have been drained and rinsed.
Serve: Offer a small portion of mashed beans that your baby can pick up and explore. You can also spread mashed or pureed beans on whole grain toast.
Cook: Steam or roast zucchini until it’s tender and can be easily be pierced with a fork. I cut mine into spears, add a little olive oil and roast at 375°F for 20-30 minutes or until soft.
Serve: Cut the zucchini into two adult finger-sized strips. You can also offer mashed zucchini for a different texture.