When you first start baby led weaning it’s a huge learning curve for baby and you. There is so much to be figured out in terms of meal timings, meal ideas, and nutrition for baby. Going out with a baby is tricky in those early baby led weaning days. Here is a list of baby led weaning finger foods for when you are on the go.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you navigate the initial months of baby led weaning when your baby is still learning how to eat.
BABY LED WEANING MEAL SCHEDULE (6-12 months)
This is what we did;
1 meal a day at 6 months,
2 meals at 7 – 8 months
3 meals at 9-10 months
4 meals at 11 months
and finally 5 meals a day at 12 months (3 meals and 2 snacks)
Now, there are families that jump right into 3 meals a day at 6 months and add meals every month at a faster pace compared to the route we followed. Feel free to choose a schedule you are most comfortable with.
The WHO recommends breastfeeding on demand for 2 years and beyond along with;
2–3 meals per day for infants 6–8 months of age
3–4 meals per day for infants 9–23 months of age plus 1–2 additional snacks as required;
The entire idea is to add complementary solid foods gradually alongside breastmilk/formula.
BABY LED WEANING GEAR WE USED ON THE GO
In my diaper bag, I pack lots of ;
- wet wipes
- organic cotton cloth napkins
- crumb catching bibs
- ziplock bag (to collect all the food messes neatly in the bag once he is done eating)
- sippy cup
For more on how to pack a diaper bag, read here.
BABY LED WEANING FINGER FOODS IDEAS (6-9 months)
When we first started complementary feeding, I planned my time outside the house around meal times. We would make it a point that we feed baby solids before stepping out so that outside the house it was convenient to simply breastfeed.
However, there were situations when we needed to be out for longer than 2- 4 hours. For such trips I carried the following finger foods;
- Steamed veggies like broccoli or cauliflower
- Boiled/Baked sweet potato
- Baked potato fries
- Patty made with potatoes and veggies cut into rectangular pieces packed in an airtight container. Here is a quick lentil patty recipe for babies.
- Food pouches – these reusable pouches can be used to carry homemade oat porridge or dal khichdi on the go.
- Oat Pancakes
- Ragi Pancakes
- Parathas – Keep the ratio of potatoes more compared to the wheat flour for younger babies to be able to easily bite into.
- Fruit – steamed apples, pears, oranges, sweet lime, bananas, watermelon are all travel-friendly. Prep them before leaving and pack in an airtight container.
- Avocado slices – to make the avocado slices non-slippery, dip in shredded coconut or roasted ground flaxseed powder.
BABY LED WEANING FINGER FOODS IDEAS (9-12 months)
With the development of the pincer grasp and advanced chewing skills, you can now carry more food options when you hit the road. Include all the above-recommended ideas plus;
11. Homemade cottage cheese. – Sauteed and cut into finger length pieces. If you have a family history of dairy allergies talk with your doctor before you start baby on cheese.
13. Boiled or Baked taro/sweet potato
15. Quinoa egg fingers – cook an egg yolk omelet and add cooked quinoa to it. Stir and mix quinoa into the egg. Place a lid on the pan so that the egg cooks completely. When the omelet is ready, cut into finger-shaped strips.
16. Idli (Steamed rice cakes)
19. Thalipeeth – Make a thalipeeth flour for baby sans the spices, only using coriander powder
20. Homemade Muffins
21. Gram flour (besan) pancakes
22. Boiled peas – always smush the peas and serve
23. Fruits like blueberries and raspberries cut appropriately for baby.
24. Chappati with ghee or nut butter
25. Homemade hummus with falafel balls
26. Homemade baby friendly cookies
27. Homemade waffles with nut butter – carry the waffle and nut butter in separate containers.
28. Boiled egg – If an egg is tolerated well, you can start carrying boiled eggs on trips outside the house. Talk to your doctor about when and how to start eggs for babies.
For more baby led weaning snacks ideas and recipes you can buy The Easy Toddler Snack Book. The book contains our favorite snack recipes for 6 months to 99 years.
These recipes are built using Whole Foods ingredients, you can modify them for baby led weaning by skipping the salt and honey.
I made sure to include healthy wholesome ingredients that can fill in the nutritional gaps as children enter the picky eating toddler years.
For the first year, it is best to stick to homemade and natural foods, without processed ingredients and added sugars.
There is a lifetime for your baby to try restaurant foods and packaged snacks. Focus on introducing wholesome and home cooked meals in the first year. Thereafter, gradually you can introduce other family favorite foods to baby.
Always keep in mind young babies need a lot of vital nutrients for their proper growth and development.
Use this phase as a chance for your family to eat healthier and share in the joy of healthy meals.
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Hopefully, these baby led weaning finger foods ideas can help as you pack your diaper bag for your next outing with baby.