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The Best Finger Foods for Baby Led Weaning

July 12, 2022 3 min read

Baby lead weaning (BLW) has become a popular approach to starting solids in recent years. This is where parents are able to give their baby fingers foods right from the start, allowing them to feed themselves.

This approach can be wonderful for babies to explore their food, and it allows them to develop their feeding skills while stimulating them with new textures, shapes and tastes.

One of the most important factors to consider when using this approach is to always use texture appropriate foods that are big enough for your baby to hold. This means they need to be soft and squishable without falling apart when your baby picks them up.

To help you on your way and give you some easy Baby Led Weaning ideas, here are a collection of my favourite finger foods and some helpful tips for starting solids:

 

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables BLW

  • Favourites include roasted carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli and zucchini
  • Ensure to cut the vegetables into batons or large pieces so your baby can hold it in their hand with a small portion sticking out the top to chew on
  • You can also some olive oil to these before roasting to make them more energy dense

 

Slow cooked meat

  • Slow cooked meat or chicken is a wonderful source of iron and by slow cooking the meat it ensures that it is tender and soft for your baby
  • Make sure you serve big pieces that your baby can hold
  • You can also flavour the meat with homemade stock (made without salt) or using different herbs and spices

 

Tofu Fingers

  • Tofu has a beautiful soft texture for babies and can be cut into ‘fingers’ that are a great size for your baby to hold
  • Tofu is also a great vegetarian source of iron
  • You can also fry these in a pan with some olive oil and flavour with herbs and spices

 

Banana pieces

  • Bananas naturally have a great texture for babies, and they can be easily split into 3 pieces (from the middle), that can be cut into fingers
  • Sometimes banana can be slippery and hard for your baby to hold. If this is the case, you can try rolling it in baby rice cereal or some ground nut powder (such as LSA or you can grind your own) to make it easier to grasp
  • If using nut powder it is important to know that it can be a common allergen. Allergens can be introduced right from 6 months, just take care to introduce one allergen per meal and keep a close watch for any reaction

 

Avocado pieces

  • Avocado is another food that naturally has a great texture for babies and is high in unsaturated fats which makes it a lovely energy dense food
  • Similar to banana, it can be slippery so rolling it in some baby cereal or some ground nuts can be helpful

 

Toast soldiers

  • Toast is a wonderful base for so many toppings and can be easily cut into soldiers that are the perfect size for your baby to hold
  • Again, just note that wheat is another common allergen so take care to offer only this allergen in the meal the first time they have it
  • You can try topping the toast with mashed avocado, vegetable or fruit purees, nut butters, hummus, cottage or ricotta cheese just to name a few

 

For more information about introducing allergenic foods, you can read the Infant Feeding and Allergy Prevent guidelines here ASCIA Guidelines for infant feeding and allergy prevention - Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

 

Nicola is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and the owner of kids nutrition business, Grub for Kids. With over 8 years of experience as a dietitian and 3 young kids of her own, Nicola aims to educate, inspire and reduce the stress of parents when it comes to feeding their kids.

You can connect with Nicola via the links below:

https://grubforkids.com.au

www.instagram.com/grubforkids

www.facebook.com/grubforkids