5 First Foods for Baby Led Weaning

baby led weaning first food baby eating breastfeeding

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When we introduced solids to the Bigger Little Bear (BLB), we took an approach called baby led weaning. BLB had so much fun learning the different textures of food. Baby led weaning is such an amazing sensorial experience for little ones!

Many parents wonder what the best foods to start with are. Generally speaking, you want to start with soft foods that baby can easily mash in their mouth, but that is also easy to grasp. Here is a list of 5 foods my Little Bear was eating (read: playing with, sucking on, throwing, gnawing, mashing all in his hair, and occasionally consuming) at 6 months old.

1. Carrots

Never, ever under any circumstances hand a raw carrot stick to a baby who is just learning how to eat (though they can make awesome teethers later on!). Instead, make sure your carrot stick or baby carrot is cooked thoroughly so that baby can easily mash it with his tongue in his mouth. Carrots are great because they are healthy (of course!) and easy to hold!

2. Sweet Potatoes

My Little Bear absolutely loved sweet potatoes! I would cut them into chunks and cook them well, tis they were soft and washable. Though he ate more sweet potatoes than he wore, these were definitely a big hit

3. Beef Roast

Oh yea. That Little Bear was eating good! His grandma made her signature Christmas Roast and Little Bear chowed down on it with all of us! He mostly sucked the flavor off, but he gnawed on it too! This is a great way for babies to start adding a complementary source of iron to their diet! Even without fully ingesting the meat, just processing it in the mouth allows baby to absorb some nutrients.

4. Broccoli

This kid LOVED (still does, actually!) broccoli! Steamed broccoli was (still is...) a go to dish for him at home and out and about! Now I'm not making any guarantees about what your kid will or won't like... but I definitely accredit BLW to my Bear's affinity for this green veggie!

5. Scrambled Eggs

We didn't start scrambled eggs right away, as they're tricky to grasp at first, but once his coordination was well developed, this bear loved his eggies. Egg Yolk is often encouraged as a first food because the many nutrients are great for brain development!

Believe it or not, I used to make cheesey, onion, kale scrambles and this kid would DEVOUR the meal.. every last bit. Kale and all.

At the end of the day, there aren't too many rules on what they can and can not eat!

Things to Remember:

- Hot dogs and grapes should always be halved or quartered to prevent choking

- Always offer breast feeds BEFORE table food for the first year

Some tools I really loved for easy cleanup with BLW, were the IKEA Antilop High Chair and these plates and utensils (once we introduced them closer to 12 months - you could totally introduce sooner!)

If you did baby led weaning, what foods did you introduce first? Were there any foods you were uncomfortable letting baby try? Or did you take the "whatever is on my plate" route, and let baby steal your dinner? Share your experiences!

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