Who said baby food has to be pureed? When it’s time to start bub on solids, look to these seven 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 7 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 the recipes? Let’s go!
Baby-weaning recipes that the whole family will love!
1. 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…
2. Vegetable fritters
The whole fam 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.
3. Banana pancakes
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.
4. 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 at 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!
5. Oven-roasted veggies
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!
6. Yoghurt melts
Here’s another fun cool snack (they melt in your mouth!) that you can make for the little ones. Greek yoghurt makes up the base of the ingredient, and you can then use practically anything for flavour. Fruits and veggies are the most obvious; otherwise, baby puree can be used too. We followed this simple recipe from My Kids Lick The Bowl and we’re obsessed! A healthy sweet treat that we want to keep feeding the bubs.
7. Mango and passion fruit cooling ice pops
Nothing helps beat this country’s heat and humidity than a nice, cooling popsicle. Plus, ice pops as baby-led weaning food are much easier to consume. This recipe from Baby Led Feeding is easy to follow and naturally sweet from the mango and passion fruit. We also like the idea of hiding fruits inside this treat for those picky eaters!
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.
We’ve also tried this fish pie bites recipe from BBC Good Food and everything gets finished up the moment these are served. The bites are easy to hold, and bubba gets all the important nutrients (Omega 3 and Vitamin D) from the salmon. Not to forget that they’re yummy too!
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
You’ve got this, parents!