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! 

The Easiest Three-Ingredient Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet

This recipe for Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet is so easy and requires only three ingredients. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and sour and the ultimate refresher for a warm summer’s day.

An overhead shot of three servings of Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet and a bottle of Raspberry Syrup lying next to them.
This post is brought to you in partnership with my friends at Sonoma Syrup Co. Although I received compensation for this post, all thoughts and opinions are mine and I wouldn’t share them with you if I didn’t absolute love these products. Thanks for supporting the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

 

What do you get when you combine fresh raspberries, tangy Meyer lemon juice and sweet Raspberry Syrup?? The most luscious, refreshing and flavor-packed Three-Ingredient Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet! And you’re in luck, because I’m sharing the super simple recipe with you today.

Not going to lie, if I’m given the choice between ice cream and sorbet, I’ll almost always take the creamy stuff. HOWEVER, there are certainly times when I prefer the lighter, more refreshing taste of sorbet, especially when it’s homemade and I know exactly what went into it.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’ve been partnering with Sonoma Syrup Co. for quite some time and sharing my love for their all-natural flavored cane syrups, extracts and more. I can totally get behind a company that prides itself on quality and its use of whole foods, and that makes a product that’s not only a welcome addition to many baked goods and sweet treats, but also to cocktails.

When they challenged me to come up with a summer-y recipe featuring their Raspberry Syrup with Meyer Lemon, I knew a homemade raspberry sorbet was exactly what I needed to make. We’ve been stuck in June gloom here in Santa Barbara for what seems like months now (which in non-Santa Barbarian speak means the overcast marine layer lasts ALL DAY), so I’m taking any excuse I can get to bring a little summer into my life.

Three clear glasses full of fresh Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet, garnished with fresh mint.

I’ve got to tell you, I could not be more thrilled about the little spark of sunshine this Three-Ingredient Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet provided for me. So let’s get to it and I’ll tell you how it’s done!

WHAT YOU NEED

You can tell from the title that you’re only going to need THREE ingredients to bring this Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet to life:

Raspberries
Meyer lemons
Sonoma Syrup Raspberry Syrup with Meyer Lemon

That’s it!

But you’re also going to need some equipment:

A blender
A fine mesh sieve
An ice cream maker (but an 8- or 9-inch loaf pan could also work in a pinch)

[These are affiliate links.]

Once you have the ingredients and equipment ready to go, your sorbet will be ready with very little hands-on time and a little bit of patience.

A hand holding a scoop of Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet in a sugar cone.

HOW IT’S MADE

The first important step in making this easy raspberry Meyer lemon sorbet is making your raspberry puree. To do this, you’ll simply whir the raspberries in a blender until liquid, then pour the mixture through your sieve to get out all the seeds.

Many classic raspberry sorbet recipes ask you to make your own “simple syrup” out of sugar and water to mix with your raspberry puree, but this is where we’re taking things up a notch. By adding Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Raspberry Syrup with Meyer Lemon, we’re getting double the flavor you would get with plain old syrup. Plus, you don’t have to waste time making the simple syrup on the stove!

Since we’re amplifying our flavor here, this recipe wouldn’t be complete without adding some extra Meyer lemon flavor. Fresh Meyer lemon juice is perfect. It’s not too tart and rounds out the sorbet beautifully.

Once the three ingredients are combined, simply add the mixture to an ice cream maker or pour into a loaf pan to freeze. You’ll have to wait a few hours to enjoy the fruits of your not-so-difficult labor, but it will be sooooo worth it in the end.

An overhead shot of three glasses filled with Three-Ingredient Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet garnished with fresh mint.

This Three-Ingredient Raspberry and Meyer Lemon Sorbet is the perfect treat for kids and adults alike. And if you’re over 21, I highly suggest adding a scoop to your next glass of sparkling wine 😉

Three-Ingredient Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet
Prep Time
20 mins
Freezer Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 20 mins
 

This recipe for Raspberry Meyer Lemon Sorbet is so easy and requires only three ingredients. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and sour and the ultimate refresher for a warm summer’s day.

Course: Dessert
Keyword: dairy-free, dessert, ice cream, lemon, raspberry, sorbet, summer
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 192 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 6 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups Sonoma Syrup Co. Raspberry Syrup with Meyer Lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice Sub regular lemon juice if needed
Instructions
  1. Place raspberries in blender and puree until liquid. Strain through sieve into mixing bowl, using the spatula if needed to push liquid through.

  2. Stir in syrup and lemon juice.

  3. Add mixture to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions, or pour into loaf pan and place in freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Medium

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! 

Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate

This Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate is just the recipe you need to kick your guacamole up a notch. You’ll never want plain guacamole again!

An overhead shot of Festive Guacamole in a bed of tortilla chips.

Don’t get me wrong – I love me a good traditional guacamole – but when it comes to stepping it up a notch, what better way to do so than with salty, crumbly cotija cheese and tangy pomegranate seeds? (Okay, besides than with kimchi and bacon).

This recipe takes me back to my Napa days, and the one semi-classy Mexican restaurant (now defunct) that we had in our little ol’ town of St. Helena. It was a regular spot for us to take a long work lunch or meet up for an early Happy Hour, and one of the signature dishes was none other than a guacamole sampler, complete with three or so different spins on traditional guacamole. My very favorite spin – that I still think about now, over six years later – was the pomegranate and cotija version. So naturally, I had to try making it myself!

Guacamole is one of those classic party dishes for which you always need to have a good recipe up your sleeve. I’m now in a position where I’ve made it so much that I do it completely off-the-cuff without any sort of reference. BUT, I’ve made an exception for you, and when I whipped up this Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate I made sure to write down every portion and ingredient so that you can now have your own go-to guacamole recipe on hand whenever inspiration (or a tailgate, backyard BBQ or 4th of July get-together) comes along.

A wooden mortar filled with Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate, surrounded by a platter of tortilla chips.

It is, in most senses, a classic guacamole recipe, it simply gets dressed up with cotija cheese and pomegranate seeds at the very end. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, though, because its flavor meter is through the roof.

Cotija cheese seems to be fairly widely available at grocery stores these days (I found mine at Sprouts), but if you’re having trouble tracking some down, queso fresco would also be a great substitute.

This dish is fantastic as is, but if you’re so inclined you could also add some toasted pepitas at the very end to add a little extra savory crunch. Though it could easily be loaded into tacos, nachos or burritos, I find that Festive Guacamole is best enjoyed simply piled on top of fresh tortilla chips.

An overhead shot of a wooden mortar filled with Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate nestled in a bed of tortilla chips.

I hope you’ll give it a try, and let me know how it turns out in the comments!

Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

This Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate is just the recipe you need to kick your guacamole up a notch. You’ll never want plain guacamole again!

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: appetizer, guacamole, Mexican, pomegranate, side dish, snack
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 147 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
  • 3 medium avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils
Instructions
  1. Combine onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, avocados and lime juice in a medium mixing bowl, using the fork to mash up the avocado as you stir. 

  2. Stir in the salt, add more to taste if necessary.

  3. Scoop guacamole into whatever dish you will be serving it in and top with cotija cheese and pomegranate arils. Serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Low