Starting from 6 months old, you can introduce any solids to your baby, according to BLW principles, except for salt, sugar and honey (because of the risk of botulism). If there is no history of allergies in the family, the child can be given egg whites, exotic fruits (pineapple, kiwi, mango, etc.), citrus pulp, wheat (gluten), yogurt, meat, fish, white berries and more. The authors of “Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food”, Tracy Gill Rapley and Murkett, encourage parents to have the same food with the baby as long as it is healthy cooking without salt or sugar for the little one.
There are some foods with higher risk of choking: apples (preferably steamed for BLW), nuts and whole nuts (you can use them grinded in the composition of other dishes), grapes (can be cut into two or four longitudinally), raw carrot (recommended boiled for BLW).
I started with steamed vegetables and fruits, not very mellow, cut in the shape of rods or fingers (finger food) so baby can grab them easily. We also introduced yogurt, egg and chicken meat or turkey early in BLW. For the yogurt I loaded the spoon and he took it to his mouth.
Ideas for first meals:
Steamed or baked fruit and vegetables :
- Carrot sticks and broccoli florets (broccoli is ideal for BLW because it has perfect shape for easy grabbing).
- Parsnip and sweet potato sticks.
- Red pepper strips and sliced zucchini.
- Steamed green beans.
- Baked pumpkin.
- Slices of apple and pear steamed or baked.
Raw fresh fruit:
- Avocado slices (cut with a wavy blade to not slip in her hand).
- Banana (as is or sliced).
- Mango slices.
- Seedless grapes (cut lengthwise, remove grains to avoid the risk of choking).
- Pears (mellow ones).
- Watermelon red , cantaloup.
- Pitted cherries cut into 2 or 4 pieces.
- Pineapple (cut in finger shapes).
- Bio yogurt – goat or cow (with fat like 3.5% – Babies need fat for brain development).
- Organic eggs – hen or quail.
- Strips of chicken or turkey, baked or boiled (organic).
- Goat cheese or homemade cow cheese.
- Butter (82% – 85% fat).
- Olive oil.
- Whole milk (only in the composition of other dishes not served as is).
Pseudo cereal and cereal (gluten free):
- Quinoa (hydrate it for at least 2 hours, rinse thoroughly and simmer 15 minutes, then leave covered for another 15 minutes. You can mix pieces of fruit or vegetables with it).
- Buckwheat (e.g. used in dough for brioche).
- Oat flakes (not more than 1-2 teaspoons once or twice a week and really well soaked in hot water or boiled).
- Pasta from durum wheat.
- Whole grain pasta (whole grain products must not exceed 50% of the total quantity of cereals consumed by babies, because it prevents the absorption of some nutrients).
- Cornmeal (e.g. polenta with cheese and cream).
Then, following 1-2 month, I started to make more “complex” dishes:
- Soups (cream or not).
- Mini omelets (egg, cheese and various vegetables: spinach, broccoli, peppers).
- Mini puddings.
- Pasta with different sauces (some recipes here and here).
- “Sweet”muffins with fruit, no sugar or sweeteners.
- “Salted” muffins with vegetables, without salt.
After 1 year of age, I tried to cook for the whole family the same dishes. That meant eating healthier. I further avoided sugar and salt because many foods contain it naturally. I try to postpone as much as possible the exposure to the sweet taste derived from sweeteners (sugar, agave syrup, maple, honey, xylitol, etc.) to prevent tooth decay and bad eating habits. Also, when kids discover sweet taste, they became obsessed with it and refuse other foods.
Food must not be fried, only steamed, cooked and baked in the oven. If you want to fry something in the pan, use water instead of oil and add the oil only at the end after you switched off the fire. I make pancakes in an non stick pan without using any fat or oil.
This blog contains general information and guidelines regarding Introducing solid food to babies or Baby-Led Weaning (BLW). The information provided here is not a substitute for medical advice from a specialist. Consult your doctor about all the above and do not neglect your child and family health