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Like many moms, I’m not a huge fan of starting solids. It’s time consuming, messy, and requires a lot of extra attention! Especially with four kids: solids was something I put off as long as I possibly could.
Also like many moms, though, I’ve found that using Baby-Led Weaning makes the entire solids process so much smoother.
Considering starting baby-led weaning? Here’s my simple guide!
Want the best high chair that easy-to-clean? Here’s my favorite high chair for Baby-Led Weaning!
Want some great food ideas to get you rolling? Keep reading!!!
I saw signs that Spear was ready to start solids, but he wasn’t quite able to sit up unsupported yet and usually that’s when I really start with my kids. I decided to go ahead and give it a go as he approached 7 months old (I started during his 3rd week of his 6th month).
With Spear haven been adopted I was more mindful in spreading out his first foods since I don’t know if there is a family history of any food allergies to be aware of (you can read more about Spear’s entrance into our family here and my thoughts on medical history when related to adoption here). With my previous babies I didn’t wait as long between introducing things but with him I took it slowly. It’s a personal decision on when to introduce what foods, in what order, and with how much spacing!
Other than an awesome high chair, other things I recommend as “must-haves” before beginning solids are: a sippy cup (this is my first kid using this cup and so far I like it!), easy to wash bibs (these are my FAV), and some easy-to-handle baby spoons (yes, even for baby-led weaning)!
He did pretty well with the water intro! It took him a minute to understand that he can hold it himself but once he “got it” he was so proud!
There are many opinions out there about a great first food. I’ve done a variety of things with all of my kids and decided to go with avocado this time around!
It is best to cut foods into long stick shapes for easier holding for self-feeding. Spear was close to being 7 months old and really took to eating solids very quickly and easily and I’ve yet to find a food he won’t eat!
It’s also recommended to space out new foods when introducing for the first time and giving a few days between each. If you were to follow what we did then this list of 30 foods, spaced out with three days between, would give you 90 days worth of solid food options:
2. Egg Yolk
Great source of protein, yolk only (the whites are actually what kids tend to be allergic to)
3. Red Pepper
The advice now is to give a variety of flavors and seasonings early on!
I steamed fresh broccoli but roasting works well too!
Great for teething babies…nice and cool on their gums!
6. Sweet Potatoes
I steamed them and left them in the steamer too long so they were too mushy to hold…
But this gave a good opportunity to give Spear a spoon to try out! It can be tough for toddlers to master utensils after being so used to eating with their hands so allowing Spear to feed himself with a spoon when it makes sense to do so gives him a chance to learn this skill early on.
This was a first for me as a baby food item but it’s great to allow for flavor variety and a healthy option to put on vegetables. I used broccoli as a dipper.
I try to stick to a lot of vegetables early on because once kids taste the sweetness of fruit they always prefer them over veggies!
Messier but another good one for a variety of flavor and texture.
I try to introduce both pears and peaches early on as they help with digestion and often babies can get constipated when first eating solids.
And yes, I use fresh fruit and leave the peels on. It’s so neat to watch him use his little teeth to scrape off the fruit from the peel!
This took a little time for him to figure out how to eat!
Another fresh fruit with peel on!
These are among his favorite fruits as he gobbles them right up.
I do cut them in half as I get nervous about choking and it’s good to work on his pincher grasp as well!
I cut raw carrots into long stems and steamed them.
17. Cottage Cheese
I always choose full fat dairy options and offer the spoon with the cottage cheese on it for more spoon practice!
I took the peel off of the kiwi but leaving it on would have made it easier to hold for him as it’s slippery!
19. Cheerios / Egg White
With Cheerios it’s important to make sure not to give the honey-nut kind. I gave multigrain Cheerios and I also had a little bit of leftover scrambled eggs I’d made for the other kids so I gave them to him as well. This was his first time having egg whites and first time having the Cheerios.
(he’s eating a banana as well in the photo)
Almost immediately after eating he broke out in a rash that seemed to get worse and more spread out. I gave the lowest dosage of Benadryl and it helped. I debated what could be the cause since it was a first time for both the Cheerios (first wheat even) as well as the egg whites. I decided to not offer any new foods for awhile and slowly try Cheerios again and egg whites again later on to see if he had any potential allergy concerns.
Another great food for the pincher grasp practice!
Grapes are a HUGE choking hazard so I make sure to cut them into fourths.
22. Greek Yogurt
Again, I get the full fat version and use a spoon as his dipper!
It’s messy but FUN! I rinse him off in the sink after these sort of meals!
I do not cook it and just give it to him raw.
Prunes are great for digestion and I cut them very small to avoid any choking since they are so chewy.
You can really tell he’s doing great with being able to pick up smaller items and has a clear understanding on how to eat them!
25. Green Beans
Another smaller item. I cook these with a pressure cooker and gave him some that we’d had for dinner so they were seasoned. I avoid salt and anything that I have previously seasoned with it I do rinse prior to feeding him.
A fun summer treat that’s easy to eat!
27. Whole Wheat Bread
I tried Cheerios again after a week or so from the first time and he had no reaction so I went ahead and toasted some whole wheat bread with humus spread on it and he did great with it as well!
I steamed fresh asparagus and as soon as I even handed it to him he snatched it and immediately put it in his mouth! He loves green veggies!
When boiling some chicken to shred for a casserole I left a few pieces larger and didn’t season them and offered them as his first protein. Most of my babies haven’t instantly liked chicken or meat and Spear was no different!
Egg Whites Try Two
We had a doctors appointment for two of my older children one morning so I thought it was a good time to offer up scrambled eggs again as if Spear had a reaction, I was already going to the doctor. I had assumed the first reaction was due to the egg whites since it is such a common allergen among children. However, he gobbled up the eggs and didn’t have any signs of any sort of reaction at all! I’m not sure what caused it the first time but I’m feeling like it must have been a fluke or somehow unrelated to the food I’d offered!
30. Butter Beans (baby lima beans)
Butter beans are a staple in our family so this was a perfect 30th first food for him! He even liked them cold!
Spear is now only a couple weeks shy of being 9 months old so I have no hesitations in moving forward with offering a variety of foods. With him dropping his evening catnap soon he’ll start enjoying dinner with the family and eating whatever we eat!
Spear is my first baby to suck his thumb and I do think it’s been a BIG advantage in helping him eat his solids. He will get the food in his fist and suck his thumb and then suck the food in too. I think it’s been a benefit in this transition!
Eating solid on the go can be a tad tricky. I keep it simple and only take foods with us that aren’t messy (red peppers, slices of fruit, etc). It’s great that a baby-led weaning baby can totally feed themselves as I’m able to ENJOY my meal while he’s enjoying his!!!
I LOVE seeing our sweet boy enjoying food! There are so many benefits to being a mom four times over and being confident in my parenting and having so much base knowledge is a HUGE plus! Baby-Led Weaning makes introducing solids such a breeze and I’m excited to continue to introduce him to new things 🙂
Want more baby-led weaning content?
- The Best Baby-Led Weaning High Chair
- My first experience with Baby Led Weaning
- Britt’s First Solid Food (my 2nd baby)
- Britt’s First Month of Solids (my 2nd baby’s experience)
- Tess’s First Month of Solids (my 3rd baby’s experience)
- A toddler update on Baby Led Weaning