Who said baby food has to be pureed? When it’s time to start bub on solids, look to these five baby-led weaning (or should that be ‘winning’?) recipes the whole family will love...
Bub starting solids? Keen to introduce them to some handheld, finger foods they can feed themselves with? If you’re looking for some delicious (and easy) baby-led weaning recipes, then look no further. We’ve tracked down five of HoneyKids HQ’s favourites. The best news? These aren’t just baby-friendly recipes. In fact, these tried-and-tested delights are absolute winners with our entire families, including fussy tweens, stroppy teens and hangry husbands.
FYI: it goes without saying that the usual safety tips apply: keep finger foods soft and squishy to avoid choking, always supervise your baby during mealtimes and ensure they are sitting upright and are well supported. Oh, and obviously make sure they are developmentally ready to start on solids (your health professional can advise you more on this if you’re in doubt). Ready for recipes? Let’s go!
Chicken and apple meatballs
These are good. Like, seriously good. In fact, they’re so good that our littlies are in danger of going hungry every time we rustle them up, because we keep on popping ‘em in our pie holes instead of on their plates. These savoury morsels marry chicken, onion and shredded apple – but don’t think for a second they’re sweet, because they’re not. What they are is juicy, moreish and versatile (you could make the mix into a chicken burger too for older family members i.e. us). Annabel Karmel’s recipe is the original source of this great-tasting finger food find. Now our kids are older, we serve them with spaghetti and sauce, with some grated cheese on top. Mmm, we’re getting hungry just writing about them…
The whole famalam will love these vegetable fritters, but they also make great baby-led weaning food. My Lovely Little Lunchbox has a yummy recipe and handy step-by-step instructions, but the great thing is you can adapt it to use any veggies you like. Pea and sweetcorn, or carrot, zucchini and mint, are personal faves of ours. Get your confidence up with creating the batter base, then let your imagination run wild. And cheese. Cheese makes everything better.
Hello, two-ingredient recipe! Busy parents can bust this one out in record time – My Fussy Eater’s recipe calls for just eggs and bananas. Great for little hands (and big fists, too). Our older kids love these with some fresh berries on the side, and a drizzle of maple syrup if we’re feeling generous.
Roasted sweet potato and parmesan wedges
True story: when we made these for our teeny tot to munch on, they didn’t last long. Not only did Bub DEMOLISH them in record speed, but any leftovers vanished faster than a shelf full of hand sanitiser, thanks to Mum and Dad’s snack attacks. Round of applause to the wondrous Annabel Karmel for this one!
Get your napkin ready, because these bad boys are positively drool-worthy. Roasting your veggies is always a good idea in our book and, if you want to encourage your little ones to eat their greens, we absolutely recommend giving this a whirl. Jenna Helwig has an easy-to-follow guide on rustling up some roasted yumminess, including carrots, green beans and zucchini. And don’t be afraid to use flavour – a little ground cumin, for instance, can make a huge difference!
Also worth a mention…
One Handed Cook’s recipe for tomato risotto balls is a winner dinner in our household – the family can enjoy the risotto as is, while bubs can enjoy the rolled-up-and-breaded version. You can adapt the basic principle to include lots of ingredients: mushrooms and parmesan, or pumpkin and feta, for example.
Other first foods (that also double up as finger foods suitable for baby-led weaning) your bub could try:
- steamed green beans
- steamed broccoli or cauliflower florets
- banana (try cutting it in half, then removing an inch or so of peel from the top)
- slice of ripe peach
- strips of chicken
- toast, cut into fingers
- roasted pumpkin
- kiwi fruit
- sliced mango