Top 5 Favorite Foods for 8-Month-Olds

Here is a list of some favorite foods for 8-month-olds (plus recipe ideas!), when your little one is well on his or her way in their baby-led weaning journey.

Title graphic for Top 5 Favorite Foods for 8-Month-Olds

You’ve made it to 8 months in your baby-led weaning journey, your little one has had his or her first tastes of solid food, and you’re ready to start introducing some new and exciting flavors. If you haven’t introduced them already, here is a list of five great foods to offer your baby at this stage, with tips on how to prepare each one.

Read on for more!

#1 WATERMELON

Slices of fresh watermelon are a great food for 8-month-olds!

Watermelon is a great, soft fruit to introduce at 8 months. It’s easy for your little one to hold on to (albeit messy) and does not require any teeth to chew. Just be sure to keep an eye on your babe when he or she is eating it, though, as it is something they can choke on if they get too excited to eat it and don’t chew it properly. When Raia experienced this with watermelon once or twice, a simple sweep of my finger in her mouth got the troublesome piece out with no issue. To minimize the chance of choking, simply cut the watermelon in long, skinny strips so the risk of is even lower. Also, be sure you buy seedless!

#2 ZUCCHINI

One zucchini partially sliced on a cutting board with a chef's knife in the background. Zucchini is a great vegetable for baby-led weaning!

I’ve mentioned this in other roundups, but zucchini has always been (and continues to be) one of Raia’s favorite foods. When first introducing her to it, I peeled it and cut it into strips before seasoning with olive oil and garlic powder and roasting in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Once she got a little older, I started leaving the skin on, and once she got even older I started cutting the zucchini into discs. Now I alternate between the oven roasting method and a pan-frying method where I sauté the discs in herbed garlic butter. If you struggle with getting your little one to eat just plain zucchini, mix it into something fun like pancakes! I have a great zucchini pancake in my book 30 Freezer-Friendly Recipes for Babies and Toddlers.

#3 SWEET POTATO

Sweet Potato Zucchini Blender muffins are sure to be a hit with your 8-month-old.

Sweet potato can also easily be started as early as 6 months, because it can be peeled and roasted soft enough for toothless eaters to get down safely. My progression for preparing sweet potato was quite similar to that of zucchini – peeled strips first, then strips leaving the skin on, then discs. I almost always just roast these in a 400-450 degree oven with olive oil and spices for about 20 minutes. Some of my favorite spices to pair with sweet potatoes are cinnamon, nutmeg and curry powder. And if you’re looking to mix it up, you can find a tasty recipe for Sweet Potato Zucchini Blender Muffins here!

#4 MUFFINS

Okay, I’ve already mentioned them above but I’m including muffins in my recommendations for more than one age group because they have been SUCH a hit with my daughter. There are tons of great recipes for healthy, baby-friendly muffins out there. Some of my favorites include these Beet and Oat Banana Muffins from Inspiralized and my own Super Simple Pumpkin Carrot Muffins. They’re a great portable snack to have on hand in the freezer that can be ready at a moment’s notice. There are also endless options of healthy fruits and veggies you can mix into the batter!

#5 SMOOTHIES

A messy-faced toddler smiling after enjoying a smoothie bowl. Smoothie bowl are a great part of meal prep!

Once your little one has learned to drink out of something other than a bottle, it’s great to start introducing healthy smoothies (with very little sugar added, of course). Nourish Move Love has a great post on how to make smoothies that are baby-friendly. I find these are another great way to sneak in hidden nutrients like veggies!

And there you have it! ICYMI, I’ve been recapping my favorite foods at many different ages. If your little one is younger than 8 months, you can check out my 6-month favorites here. As you continue on your baby-led weaning journey, be sure to check out my 9-month, 10-month, 12-month and 18-month favorites as well!

Top 5 Favorite Foods for 6-Month-Olds

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.

Title graphic for Top 5 Favorite Foods for 6-Month-Olds featuring Freezer Oatmeal Cups and butternut squash.

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. 

#1 AVOCADO 

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! 

#2 OATMEAL 

An overhead shot of Freezer Oatmeal Cups - an easy breakfast to have in the freezer for your 6-month-old!

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 

A stack of healthy carrot cake donuts showcase another great recipe for 6-month-olds.

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! 

#4 BANANA 

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 

A whole butternut squash sliced in half on a cutting board.

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! 

Your Ultimate Guide to Baby- and Toddler-Friendly Finger Food Recipes

This Ultimate Guide to Baby- and Toddler-Friendly Finger Food Recipes is your go-to resource when you’re looking for healthy recipes for your little one(s). It’s a comprehensive round-up that’s updated frequently, so you’ll never run out of ideas!

Title graphic for Your Ultimate Guide to Baby- and Toddler-Friendly Finger Food Recipes.

As a busy mom and entrepreneur, I know all too well the struggle to consistently have healthy meals and snacks on hand for our little ones. Heck, I even develop recipes for a living and still struggle with it! That’s why I’ve created this Ultimate Guide to Baby- and Toddler-Friendly Finger Food Recipes featuring creative, nutrient-packed recipes from some of my favorite mom bloggers.

This is a fantastic collection of both savory and sweet recipes that are easily portable and hand-held, because as moms I know we’re all about convenience. I will be updating this recipe collection regularly as I stumble across more great recipes, so be sure to keep checking back.

To start, I’ve broken the recipes down into two sections: Sweet and Savory. At this point, I hesitate to break them down further as I feel there are so many that can fit into multiple categories, but I’ll continue to break them down as I add more links if I feel it’s necessary.

If you like the looks of these and want more recipes ASAP, be sure to check out my e-book where I have 30 additional recipes that are all freezer-friendly.

Here’s my list so far!

SAVORY BABY- AND TODDLER-FRIENDLY FINGER FOOD RECIPES

Baked Butternut Squash Fritters with Parmesan
A stack of Butternut Squash Fritters on a plate. The perfect baby- and toddler-friendly snack!
by The Clever Meal
Breakfast Egg Muffins
Breakfast Egg Muffins are laid out on a table with a wholesome breakfast spread.
by Hungry Healthy Happy
Green Monster Crackers
Green Monster Crackers overflowing from a bowl. Another great snack for toddlers!
by Love in My Oven
Quinoa Frittata Muffins
A stack of Quinoa Frittata Muffins - a great baby-friendly finger food!
by My Kitchen Love
Mini Turkey Apple Meatloaf Muffins
A stack of three Turkey Apple Meatloaf Muffins - a great toddler-friendly snack!
by Haute & Healthy Living
No-Fry Crispy Quinoa Bites

by The Belly Rules the Mind

Cheesy Zucchini Tots
A plate of Cheesy Zucchini Tots with a side of dipping sauce is the perfect toddler-friendly finger food snack!
by Lemons and Zest
Baked Lentil Veggie Nuggets
A plate of Baked Lentil Veggie Nuggets - a healthy, baby-friendly finger food!
by This Healthy Kitchen

SWEET BABY- AND TODDLER-FRIENDLY FINGER FOOD RECIPES

Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies
An overhead shot of a stack of Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies on a wooden cutting board.
by CaliGirl Cooking
Mini Sweet Potato Muffins
A stack of Mini Sweet Potato Muffins next to a glass carafe of milk. A perfect finger food for babies or toddlers!
by Love in My Oven
Super Simple Pumpkin Carrot Muffins
These one-bowl Pumpkin Carrot Muffins are super simple to make, freezer-friendly and naturally sweetened. They're both adult and kid-friendly!
by CaliGirl Cooking
Banana Blueberry Fritters
Hands holding a plate of Banana and Blueberry Fritters - a great finger food for babies and toddlers!
by Healthy Little Foodies
Air Fryer Apple Chips
An overhead shot of a plate of Air Fryer Apple Chips - a fun snack for babies and toddlers!
by Recipes From a Pantry
Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes
Make a batch of these Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes the next time you do food prep and you'll have healthy kids' snacks for the rest of the week!
by CaliGirl Cooking

Do you have a favorite baby- and toddler-friendly finger food recipe?? Share it in the comments below and I may add it to this list!

Top 5 Favorite Foods for 9-Month-Olds

Here is a list of some of my favorite foods for 9-month-olds, plus links to recipes! 

An overhead shot of a dish of beet and berry baked oatmeal, one of the best foods for 9-month-olds!

Nine months old is such a fun age with the journey to solids, particularly in regards to baby-led weaning. Your little one is just getting used to the idea of feeding him- or herself, and you start to see how much fun it is to introduce them to new flavors and textures. Plus, it’s before they get too much of a mind of their own about what they do or don’t want to eat – they’re just happy to be eating at all. 

I’ve mentioned it in a couple of my other baby-led weaning related posts, but Raia didn’t even get her first tooth until after she was a year old. That didn’t stop us, though, from feeding her a whole slew of foods when she was completely toothless. It’s amazing how much a child can chew with just their gums 🙂

That being said, we were still keeping things fairly soft at this point. Here is a list of Raia’s top 5 favorite foods when she was around 9 months old: 

#1 SAUTEED ZUCCHINI 

Sauteed zucchini is still, to this day, one of Raia’s favorite foods. At this age, it’s best to cut the zucchini into spears before sautéing or roasting, so that it’s easy for your little one to pick up and feed themselves. Once he or she gets a little older and their manual dexterity improves, you can slice the zucchini into disks. You can learn more about preparing vegetables for your little one here, but some of my favorite seasonings for zucchini are dill, oregano, or (if you can find it) a salt-free garlic-herb seasoning [affiliate link]. 

One zucchini partially sliced on a cutting board with a chef's knife in the background. Zucchini is a great vegetable for baby-led weaning!

#2 BAKED OATMEAL 

Once your baby gets the hang of chewing (and isn’t gagging quite as much), it’s nice to work in some more easily handheld foods, so mama has less of a mess to clean up! Baked oatmeal was a great way for me to get Raia the oatmeal that she loved without the splattering of oatmeal all over her face, her chair, the floor, the dog…you get the idea. Baked oatmeal is also an easy way to sneak in some veggies. The first recipe I experimented with was this Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal, omitting the pecans. It is so good! Once Raia got a little older, I created my own recipe for Beet and Berry Baked Oatmeal (pictured at the top of this post), which you can find in my 30 Freezer-Friendly Recipes for Babies and Toddlers e-cookbook. I’ve also made a savory baked oatmeal that’s a great twist on your traditional sweeter versions! 

#3 RASPBERRIES 

I found raspberries to be a great first fruit. They’re fairly soft, easy for (9-month-old) little hands to pick up, and I didn’t worry so much about Raia choking on them. They’re delicious served plain, of course, but you could also simmer them into a no-sugar-added compote that you can use to mix into chia pudding (see below)top oatmeal, spread over pancakes, etc. Just let them simmer on the stove with some water and any other flavorings you like (perhaps vanilla extract or orange or lemon zest) until they burst open and reduce down to a luscious sauce. 

Raspberries are a great food for 9-month-olds.

#4 THIN-SLICED GRILLED CHICKEN 

Our little girl has always loved her meat…Maybe that’s why she’s off the charts in height and weight? I mean, I swear she was born with quad muscles. Needless to say, we found that thinly sliced grilled chicken was a great way to get some animal protein into her. It’s easy for the little ones to pick up, easy to bite into and easy to chew. We didn’t usually put too much seasoning on the chicken, but she didn’t seem to mind! 

#5 CHIA PUDDING 

Not going to lie – this one is messy – but Raia absolutely LOVED chia pudding at this age. If you’re willing to pick chia seeds out of your little one’s hair (and ears, and nose) for days to come, I urge you to give it a shot. Raia isn’t lactose-intolerant, but I still love experimenting with alternative milks when I’m cooking for her. One of my latest obsessions has been oat milk, so I developed this tasty Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote for her and she gobbled it down on multiple occasions. I love that you can prep everything the night before and simply pull it out of the refrigerator and serve the morning of. Try storing individual portions in Mason jars! 

This Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote is a perfect food for 9-month-olds!

After your babe has mastered (and devoured) all of these foods and is ready for more, be sure to check out my post on 12-month old favorite foods as well as 18-month old favorite foods! 

And I also want to hear from you! What were your child’s favorite foods at 9 months old? Let me know in the comments below! 

Savory Baked Oatmeal (Baby-Led Weaning Approved!)

Baked oatmeal has become a popular meal prep breakfast – and for good reason! This Savory Baked Oatmeal puts a unique spin on the classically fruit-forward dish and is a great option for baby-led weaning. A baking dish of Savory Baked Oatmeal, the perfect family-friendly breakfast!

Let me hear it from all my baked oatmeal fans out there! For someone who has found and fostered her love for meal prep over the last couple of years, baked oatmeal has become one of my favorite meal prep breakfast recipes. I love that you can bake it up the night (or even a few days) before you want to enjoy it, and that it’s easy to microwave up for a warm, hearty breakfast that tastes like it took days to make.  I’ve seen a lot of fruit-forward baked oatmeal recipes out there, and even included one in my e-cookbook (with hidden veggies in it, of course), but I thought it would be fun to mix things up with a tasty savory version! I’ve already made a standard savory bacon oatmeal recipe with eggs for you all, and If you’ve not tried savory oatmeal yet, you’re missing out. It’s so good and sticks to your bones even more than the classic fruity versions. And let’s face it, sometimes you’re just craving a little something savory for breakfast. 

I made this Savory Baked Oatmeal with my little one in mind. She (like most toddlers) will take fruit over vegetables any day, but she also happens to adore baked oatmeal. Let’s be honest, her parents love it too because it is wayyyy less messy than classic oatmeal served in a bowl!  

A plate of Savory Baked Oatmeal garnished with two cherry tomatoes.

In case I haven’t mentioned it yet, rolled oats have been such a lifesaver in our baby-led weaning journey. I use them in soooo many recipes and buy Trader Joe’s 2-pound bags on the regular [*affiliate link]. I’ve used them in muffins, pancakes, donuts, cookies and now this! They’re a super-substantial food that has a ton of health benefits and I feel good using them as a base for so many recipes I make for my little one.  

While this Savory Baked Oatmeal takes a little while to bake in the oven, it’s incredibly easy to throw together so there’s very little hands-on time. It’s my favorite kind of recipe, and I’m sure you other mamas can relate.  

I also love that the recipe is totally adaptable. I went the Italian route this time, but feel free to mix in other savory herbs, spices and ingredients. 

Some other fun combinations might be: 

  • Ham, cheese and peas 
  • Kale, bacon and sweet potato 
  • Ground turkey, bell peppers and onion 

Use this recipe as your guide and run wild from there! 

An overhead shot of a baking dish of Savory Baked Oatmeal and a serving scooped out onto a side plate.

Do you have a favorite baked oatmeal recipe? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments below! 

Savory Baked Oatmeal
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Baked oatmeal has become a popular meal prep breakfast - and for good reason! This Savory Baked Oatmeal puts a unique spin on the classically fruit-forward dish and is a great option for baby-led weaning.

Course: Breakfast
Keyword: baby-led weaning, breakfast, kid-friendly, meal prep, oatmeal
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 240 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of your choice
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 links cooked breakfast sausage, cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 2-3 quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder, salt and dried basil. Stir in the milk and egg.

  3. Place a large saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once oil is heated, add the sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and garlic. Saute, using the tongs to mix everything together, until spinach is slightly wilted, then remove from heat immediately.

  4. Add the spinach mixture to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients along with 1/2 cup water. Stir until combined, then pour mixture into prepared baking dish.

  5. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed and oats look set. Let cool slightly before serving.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Medium