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Baby Led Weaning (BLW) Feeding Ideas

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My favorite foods to start when doing BLW

It is important to remember that with BLW, the key is SAFETY!

When you’re starting BLW, I would want you to make sure that anything you give them can be squished between your finger and thumb (mimicking how their gums would mash it down). If you can’t squish it, it’s not safe.

The idea is to start with one item at a time (example: veggies) and continue to introduce other items and combining food groups as they learn and explore!

You can aim to make veggies and items into spears or wedges, but make sure they are soft according to the rule mentioned above – and for extra safety, pieces can be cut into the width of your pinky.

Reminders when starting BLW:

  • Watch for signs of readiness.
  • Try to incorporate allergenic foods (unless clearly instructed not to by a clinician).
  • Remember, you can incorporate this with purees if you want a combo of self-feeding and spoon-feeding when starting out.

If you do a grain for lunch, alternate to a protein for dinner or vice versa. Introduce an allergenic food like peanut butter, tree nuts, eggs, dairy or hummus every day.

BREAKFAST

  • Oatmeal, Yogurt, Avocado, Egg or Grain
  • Fruit

LUNCH

  • Protein or Grain
  • Veggie

DINNER

  • Protein or Grain
  • Veggie

BLW: Sample Veggies

  • Cooked and mashed peas
  • Cooked green beans (uncut)
  • Steamed asparagus
  • Cooked halved carrots or grated carrots
  • Cooked zucchini in spears
  • Steamed cauliflower

BLW: Sample Fruits

  • Cooked apple halves
  • Steamed pears or very soft pears in spears
  • Ripe bananas
  • Sweet potato wedges
  • Mashed berries
  • Avocado spears

BLW: Sample Grains

  • Oatmeal
  • Infant Multigrain Cereal
  • Corn on the cob
  • Well-cooked pasta

BLW: Sample Dairy

  • Unsweetened greek yogurt with live-active cultures (probiotics)

BLW: Sample Proteins

  • Ground turkey
  • Grilled chicken patty or ground chicken
  • Ground beef
  • Avocado spears
  • Hummus/chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Eggs: Rectangular omelet pieces, boiled and in wedges, or scrambled

Keep these foods in mind as you want to avoid them under one year of age

  • honey
  • fruit juices
  • unpasteurized foods
  • smoked and cured meats
  • high-mercury fish (shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish and fresh tuna)
  • choking hazards (Always something to monitor)

And remember the PedsDocTalk Motto with meal planning when starting purees:

  • Keep it simple.
  • Don’t stress yourself out. If you’re feeling stressed out, simplify it more.
  • Meal plan if possible, and freeze or store food as needed.
  • Feed them what you eat, and you will get diversity without overthinking this too much!
  • Rotate around various fruits, veggies, grains and proteins from this list every week you go shopping or however often you go shopping.
  • Make sure to incorporate iron-rich foods: meats, beans, lentils, iron-fortified cereals, fish, tofu, eggs, leafy greens, or nuts. Some meats can be hard for them when starting out, so offer lentils in puree form, and encourage self-feeding with a spoon.

Need more ideas and want to be part of a community?

Check out the PedsDocTalk Toddler Nutrition Guide to learn how to make sure your toddler is getting all the nutrition their growing body needs! Also check out the PedsDocTalk Toddler Snack Guide for the best snack time food list, bed time snack ideas, and different food considerations to keep in mind!

P.S. – Sign up for the PedsDocTalk newsletter to stay updated on the latest news on all things child health and parenting!

Dr. Mona Admin

Hi there!

I’m a Board Certified Pediatrician, IBCLC, and a mom of two.

I know the ups and downs of becoming a mom and raising kids.

I help moms ditch the worry and second-guessing so you can find more joy in motherhood.

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