This is NOT a must for every family. Some choose different foods from these offered groups and in a different order. I only wanted to share as an alternative to the commonly suggested commercially-bought cereals. Please consider your family’s diet and preferred foods that you, yourself, are more used to. Chances are your baby will agree with you more.
This is how I chose to introduce first foods with my second child after getting burned on rice cereal with my first. And we both couldn’t be happier.
Some good Information found in this article:
“Baby Led Weaning First Foods – Fruits
Banana – this is best served in large chunks for baby to gnaw, as they will be easier for him to hold.
Pear- this can be served raw (if soft, ripe and juicy) or lightly steamed if the texture doesn’t seem ‘gummable’.
Avocado – we call it ‘nature’s perfect baby food’… and with good reason! An excellent source of healthy fats that requires no cooking, avocado is another food best served in larger chunks for baby to get his gums into!
Apple – the texture is somewhat harder than pear, so raw apple is not ideal for toothless tots just getting started with solids. Steam or bake chunks of apple until tender before serving.
Peaches/nectarines – these can be given to baby raw (if nice and soft) or lightly cooked.
Foods like banana and avocado can be notoriously difficult to pick up and become more slippery the more they are handled. A good solution is to roll the pieces in wheat germ or sugar-free crushed cereal – or cut them with a crinkle cutter, which makes ridges and gives your baby something to grip!
Once your baby has developed the pincer grip then you can move on to fruits like blueberries and cut grapes, which may be difficult for younger babies to pick up.
Baby Led Weaning First Foods – Vegetables
Sweet potato – steam in chunks or bake whole in its skin – a highly nutritious food that little ones love!
Butternut squash – another great source of beta-carotene, chunks of cooked butternut squash are wonderful for baby to gnaw on.
Zucchini/courgettes – be careful to cook these just right! Chunks of zucchini need to be done just enough to be tender enough to gnaw on, but not to the extent that they are watery, squishy and hard to pick up!
Carrots – steam chunks of mature, larger carrots which are richer in nutrients than ‘baby’ carrots
Eggplant/aubergine – rich in antioxidants, pieces of cooked eggplant will really help expand your baby’s menu and develop those taste buds! Do try the eggplant before serving, however – it can sometimes be bitter and this can irritate the lining of your baby’s tummy.
Green beans – these are a great shape for baby to grab in his fist… although getting the other end into his mouth may present a challenge at first! Cut longer beans in half.
Baby Led Weaning First Foods – Other Ideas
Meat or chicken/turkey – these are best served in chunks for gnawing. Little cubes of cooked meat may not only be difficult to pick up before baby develops the pincer grip, they may also pose a choking hazard. A good alternative is to make meatballs.
Scrambled egg – the advice about introducing whole eggs has changed recently, although some pediatricians still recommend offering the yolks only (which can be scrambled by themselves) until baby is 12 months of age. This is because egg whites can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Pieces of cheese – cheese can be served in chunks, or grated/shredded.
Tofu chunks – a good source of protein, calcium and iron, tofu is easily cut into manageable pieces for baby.
Brown rice – far more nutritious than white, brown rice is easy to eat with the fingers when slightly overcooked… you can then stick the grains together in ‘clumps’.
Cooked pasta – use whole grain varieties wherever possible.
Cooked fish – triple check for bones!
Bread – very soft bread can stick to the roof of baby’s mouth, forming a dense clump that can pose a choking hazard – so beware! We’ve always found that lightly toasted bread is easier to handle. If you buy commercially made bread, stick with whole wheat varieties, but avoid brands with large, uncut seeds, as these may present a choking hazard to younger babies. Alternatively, try some homemade whole wheat bread, nan bread or chapati!”