3 Finger Food Recipes Perfect for Baby-Led Weaning

Baby-Led Feeding book cover
If your baby is self-feeding, try these safe, nutritious, and easy-prep finger foods from the Baby-Led Feeding cookbook.

Skip the tiny jars and pouches of bland baby food for more natural, flavor-filled, easy-prep finger foods from the "Baby-Led Feeding" cookbook.

Lauren Volo
Lauren Volo

Easy Avocado

Avocados, full of fiber and beneficial unsaturated fats, are an incredible first food for babies. Naturally soft, they are ideal blended into a smoothie, spread on toast, or even mashed and licked off a spoon. That said, they can be challenging finger foods—so darn slippery! Here’s the trick:

Halve, pit, peel, and slice a ripe, but not mushy, avocado into 8 slices. Place panko bread crumbs, unsweetened shredded coconut, and/or ground flaxseeds on a small plate. Gently press the avocado into the mixture to adhere. The coating will give your baby something to hold on to, so the avocado actually makes it into her mouth, not just on the floor.

Lauren Volo
Lauren Volo

Cinnamon-Banana Pancakes

These sweet cakes contain no added sugar and no flour. Serve plain or spread with a thin layer of peanut butter of almond butter for an even more substantial snack or breakfast. Refrigerate these pancakes for up to 3 days. Reheat briefly, or just serve cold or at room temperature.

1 egg

1 ripe banana, mashed (about ½ cup)

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

1. Break the egg into a medium bowl and beat with a fork. Add the mashed banana and cinnamon, and stir to combine. The batter will seem very runny.

2. Melt the butter on a large griddle or in a large, preferably nonstick, skillet. Drop the banana batter by tablespoonfuls onto the pan and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes on the first side and 1 to 2 minutes on the second. Cool and serve.


If your baby is self-feeding, try these safe, nutritious, and easy-prep finger foods from the "Baby-Led Feeding" cookbook.

Lauren Volo
Lauren Volo

Veggie Parmesan Bread

Tote this savory snack to daycare or on the road. It also makes a satisfying breakfast. If you’re making this bread for toddlers, big kids, and/or grown-ups (and you should!) add 1 teaspoon of salt to the batter.

Nonstick cooking spray

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup cornmeal

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup canola or olive oil

1 cup grated zucchini

1 cup chopped cooked spinach (start with frozen, defrost, and drain well)

½ cup grated carrots

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, Parmesan, baking powder, and baking soda.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and canola oil.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Stir in the zucchini, spinach, and carrots. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.

5. Bake the bread for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on the rack. To serve, slice and cube. Store in the fridge.

Makes 12 servings

Recipes and photos excerpted from Baby-Led Feeding © 2018 by Jenna Helwig. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. 

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