5 Foods to Start Baby-Led Weaning

If your baby is ready to start solids, you may want to go the Baby-Led Weaning route, relying on table foods rather than purees. Here are five finger foods to start with—no special cooking required. 

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It's All About Finger Foods

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It's All About Finger Foods

"The ultimate goal of introducing solids is to provide a variety of tastes of real foods to educate your baby's palate and let them learn to like the foods that your family is enjoying," says Natalia Stasenko, a pediatric dietitian and mother of three. To get babies on board the family food train even earlier, many parents are following the baby-led weaning (BLW) method. BLW skips purees and lets little ones self-feed as soon as they start solids. If you try BLW, expect a mess, don't worry if your baby seems to not actually eat much at first, and be sure to talk to your doctor about when to introduce potentially allergenic foods like eggs and nuts. 

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Soft Fruit

Amy Palanjian

Soft Fruit

Long, easy-to-grasp pieces of soft raw fruits like banana, peaches, very ripe pears, melon, avocado, and strawberries are a great option for early eaters. Stasenko recommends washing bananas and avocados and serving them partially peeled to make them easier to hold.

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Cooked Eggs

Amy Palanjian

Cooked Eggs

Eggs are a good source of protein, iron, and fat—which babies need everyday—and they are incredibly easy to prepare. Babies can dip a toast soldier into a boiled egg, eat scrambled eggs, or nosh on omelet strips.  

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Meat and Fish

Amy Palanjian

Meat and Fish

Cooked meat and fish provide the iron, protein, and fat babies need at this stage of development. Stasenko likes soft meatballs, thin slivers of steak, or chicken. "Your baby will may end up only sucking and gnawing which is fine—that's how she'll learn eating skills." 

Get our favorite meatball recipes.

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3 Dips for Babies & Toddlers

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Super Foods for Babies

Superfoods for Babies: 6 Months and Older

Super Foods for Babies

These nutritious and delicious foods deserve a place in your little one's diet. 

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Toast Sticks

Amy Palanjian

Toast Sticks

Cut toast into long graspable pieces, whether plain or smeared with a little butter, olive oil, hummus, or nut butter for some extra nutrition. "This can be a relatively mess-free breakfast or snack," Stasenko says. Toast the bread just lightly to prevent it from becoming too dry.

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Broccoli

Amy Palanjian

Broccoli

"Broccoli florets are easy for little hands to handle, plus they are a wonderful introduction to savory foods," says Stasenko. Just be sure not to steam them to the point of mushiness since that will make them hard to hold.

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