Baby-led weaning is all about offering your baby only finger foods and allowing them to feed themselves. Let me tell you now… this shit gets messy! You use this method right from the start rather than spoon-feeding them puréed or mashed foods. You can offer them a huge array of different small, finger-sized pieces of food.
Some parents prefer to use the baby-led weaning technic however, some mums prefer spoon-feeding. I personally like to combine the two together. There’s no right or wrong way to do this and it’s important to remember that ‘food is fun before one’. The most important part about feeding is that your baby eats a wide variety and gets all the nutrients they need.
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Being a first-time mummy I had no clue when it came to baby-led weaning foods. Don’t get me wrong, I understood the milk part (just about) but food!? Where do I even begin? I was brought up watching babies eat pureed meals however, now it’s all changed.
Ever heard of Baby-led weaning or BLW? no, me neither! not until Alexis came along anyway. Now Alexis is 9 months old and we have just about got the hang of things. It’s important to remember that there’s no right or wrong way to do it and that food is fun before one.
So without further ado here are some of our favourite quick and easy meals. These meals will take you no longer than 10 minutes to make which makes them the perfect choice for a busy mum!
These are a super quick and easy snack to make. I have given these to Alexis many times as a lunch dish and she’s loved them. Although you have to mould them into pattie shapes to cook. I usually cut them into long finger-shaped pieces once they are done. That way it’s a lot easier for Alexis to hold them herself. I even gave these a try myself and they tasted pretty good if I do say so myself. All you need to make these cheesy sweetcorn fritters are 5 simple ingredients and then you pan fry them.
- self-raising flour
- cheddar cheese
- tinned sweetcorn
- whole eggs
- sunflower oil
I have seen so many of my mummy friends make these tasty treats for their little ones. As soon as Alexis began her food journey I just had to make them for her too. The thing I like most about pinwheels is that you can make them with whatever filling you want. So far we have tried tomato, ham and cheese and pesto, cheese and chicken. They actually taste so good that even I have been eating them. Which is something you have to be careful with because apparently adult-led weaning isn’t a thing? Yet for some reason, I keep on trying to make it happen.
The ingredients you need for these are just as simple and still only take 10 minutes to make. However, this can vary depending on what type of pinwheels you are wanting to make.
- Puff pastry (ready rolled makes it so much easier and quicker).
- Tomato puree,
- Olive oil,
- Grated cheese.
Just pop them in a preheated oven for around 10 minutes or until they are golden and crisp. After that, they are ready to go. Whether you want to eat them straight away whilst they are warm or you want to save them for when they’ve cooled down. They taste pretty good both ways!
PICCOLO’S BABY PASTA
I’m sure you could use just normal pasta but we are currently loving Piccolo’s baby pasta. It is the perfect size for Alexis to chew and eat without me being scared shes going to choke. We currently have the 7 months + mini stars which have lasted us ages. You can also buy little packs of the stir in sauces which do us two meals at a time. However, if you’re a gourmet chef you can always whip up your own sauce (I’m just not that good).
Again, this only takes 10 minutes to cook and can almost be mixed up with anything. Giving you a variety of different sauces, tastes and textures.
Oh, we do love a good bit of toast in this household. I like to give Alexis toast as I feel that the hardness really helps with her teeth coming through. Plus, she really does love her carbs! I do panic that I’m not giving Alexis the correct nutrients but as long as I follow the weaning guidelines I will be fine. The way I see it is that everything is ok in moderation.
We have toast with lots of different spreads. I am yet to try her with butter but I have given her jam, peanut butter, and avocado. Avocado is her favourite so far and makes a great substitute for things like butter.
HOUMOUS AND PITA
Houmous is a firm favourite with everyone in our household making it a necessary purchase. It is a healthy yet tasty snack mostly made from chickpeas. You can use houmous as a dip or even as a spread giving you a variety. If I’m giving this to Alexis as a dip I will cut up finger-shaped pieces of pita bread. If she is having it as a spread then she absolutely loves having houmous sandwiches. Although it’s ok to start introducing houmous around 8-9 months old it’s always good to be cautious. Some ingredients within this product can cause allergic reactions but this all depends on the brand and type you buy.
This is a little something I whipped up on a whim one day and Alexis absolutely devoured it. I take it chef mummy did well that day because it’s been one of the favourites ever since. This is another super easy meal that can be switched up depending on what you’ve got in the fridge. I tend to finely chop up a little bit of onion, peppers, mushrooms, tomato and carrot. After this, I will then fry them in a little bit of oil whilst I have the couscous heating on the stove. I like to add one of the Piccolo baby stock cubes into the pan to give it a bit more flavour. These stock cubes are fantastic and can help to make any bland baby meal tasty!
- Veg – such as carrot, peppers, onion, mushroom
- Tomato (don’t forget tomato is a fruit hehe)
- Piccolo baby stock cube (Either the chicken and the veg one)
- Dash of olive oil
We have only just begun introducing egg into our diets and not for any other reason than I hadn’t got around to it. They are so easy to prepare for a meal and are extremely convenient for time. This healthy source of protein and fat will make the perfect addition to your little babies diet. From the age of 6 months old, you can give your baby the entire egg either pureed or mashed. Then from around 8 months, scrambled egg pieces make the perfect finger food. I tend to add just a dash of her normal baby milk to the mixture before I cook it and she loves it.
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Now that she is 9 months old it makes eating out as a family so much easier. When we go out somewhere a jacket potato is the perfect meal. You can get these almost anywhere which makes it a much more stress-free experience. A jacket potato with beans and a little bit of cheese if you’re feeling nice is a great choice. There are also many other fillings that they can try such as tuna, sweetcorn, mayo, ratatouille and so on.
AND MAKE SURE TO REMEMBER THAT FOOD IS FUN BEFORE ONE!
I just want to remind you that I am not a dietician nor am I an expert when it comes to babies. These are just a few ideas that I’ve seen other mums cooking up and decided to give them a try myself. Although some people begin weaning at 4 months the NHS doesn’t recommend until at least 6 months old. I’m also not sure if this is different for breastfeeding babies as my little one was only ever formula-fed. My best advice would be to always double-check with the NHS guidelines.
All of the above have gone down a treat with my little Lexie Loo and we’ve had no problems at all. If you’re stuck for ideas you could always give a few of these a try and see how they go. I am just another first-time mum who quite often looks for advice online so it’s nice to be able to give some back for a change. I am always looking for new ideas myself so if you’ve got some make sure to let me know in the comment section below.