Here is a list of some favorite foods for 6-month-olds (including recipes) – perfect for when you’re just starting out on your baby-led weaning journey.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the 6-month mark and your baby has exhibited all of the signs that he or she is ready to start solids. I’ve covered the topic of the Best First Foods for Baby-Led Weaning in an earlier post, but today I wanted to personalize things a bit more and let you know some specific foods that my little one absolutely loved at this age.
I know it can be hard to get creative when you’re worried about your child even being able to chew, so I’m taking the guesswork out of things and arming you with tons of ideas. Some of these will be repeats of what I’ve already told you about, but you’ll get the idea.
Aside from oatmeal, this is the very first food we offered to Raia on her baby-led weaning journey. Like you, I was nervous to give her anything that required too much chewing, especially because she had no teeth. I also love the nutritional benefits of avocado. To this day, it is still one of her favorite foods (although now she calls it “ah-co” and has mastered spearing it with a fork.) As they get their chewing skills down, avocado also turns into a great healthy spread for a turkey sandwich or the quintessential avocado toast!
As I wrote in this post, Raia was exhibiting all of the signs of being ready to start solids when she was a little less than 6 months old. Breastfeeding wasn’t going so well for us and she was wanting more. Because of this, we decided to start her on oatmeal at a little over 5 months old (in addition to a combination of breastfeeding and formula-feeding.) I’m not going to lie, it’s messy! But it’s certainly fun to see your little one exploring the food – touching it, smearing it, attempting to scoop it. It’s just too cute. A quick note: Although we did use a specific BABY oatmeal for a while, it certainly isn’t necessary unless your babe is low on iron (most baby rice cereals and oatmeals come fortified with iron). You can just as easily make a batch of rolled oats from your own stash or whip together some freezer oatmeal cups (pictured above), just make sure they do not have any additional ingredients like sugar, salt, etc. Quaker Instant Oat Packets are not the answer here.
#3 HEALTHY BAKED DONUTS
If you continue reading these posts all the way up to the 18-month mark, you may see a pattern of healthy baked goods. I’ve spread them out a bit, but alllllll of these donuts, muffins and pancakes have literally been saviors in our baby-led weaning journey. From 6 months on, I started making these baked goods as a fun way to sneak more nutrients into Raia’s diet and, you know what? It totally worked! Most of the recipes I’ve used include eggs, oats (or whatever type of flour you prefer), ground flax, bananas, some sort of vegetable (spinach, beets, carrots and pumpkin are favorites) and whatever herbs and spices you like. Mix it up between donuts, muffins and pancakes, try different types of veggies every week, and pop the batches in the freezer once they’re cool. When you’re little one is in need of a healthy breakfast or snack, simply pop the frozen good into the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute and you’ll be set. So easy!
I think this is a no-brainer for most new moms, but I had to say. This is another food that Raia still absolutely loves. In fact, we’ve had to limit her to one “nana” a day because otherwise I think she’d turn into a monkey! What’s also great is that, with baby-led weaning, you can give your little one the entire (peeled) banana and just let them go at it! It’s so fun to watch them learn how to eat it.
#5 BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Butternut squash is a common first puree for babies (if you’re following that route), but did you know it’s also a great first food for baby-led weaning? You may think it’s too hearty for a baby to eat right away, but it all depends on the cooking method. As with many vegetables you prepare for your little one as they’re just starting out with baby-led weaning, you’ll want to slice your squash into easy-to-pick-up sticks. I’ve found the best way to cook the squash is roasting it in the oven, and simply roast it until it is very fork tender. Now, do you want in on a little secret? I just buy the pre-cut Butternut Squash Zig Zags at Trader Joe’s and roast those with some olive oil and a little seasoning, 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. So easy! Some of my favorite ways to season butternut squash are curry powder and a mixture of cinnamon and nutmeg.
And there you have it! I hope this list makes you feel more comfortable and ready to embark on your baby-led weaning journey with your little one. As he or she grows and has mastered the foods listed here, be sure to check out the next post in my series: Top 5 Favorite Foods for 9-Month-Olds!