Favorite Baby-Led Weaning Recipes

blw steak and Green beans on pink kids plate.

Find the easiest baby-led weaning recipes for babies 6 months and up, with nutritious options from each food group. I share serving suggestions, storage tips, and more to help make this phase of baby food easier and more enjoyable for your family!

blw steak and Green beans on pink kids plate.

Baby-Led Weaning Recipes

Starting solids with baby is a fun milestone but it comes with a large side of, “wait, now what?” To help, I’ve put together all of my favorite baby-led weaning recipes in this one post so you can easily find ones to make for your little one.

You can find the best first foods and a primer on how to start Baby-Led Weaning (also known as BLW). For breakfast-specific options, head to this Baby-Led Weaning Breakfasts post. We typically start solids around 6 months, or when baby is able to sit up mostly unsupported and has good head control.

You can try any of these foods after that point using the baby-led weaning style of feeding, where you offer baby finger foods right from the start. The key? The foods should be easy to hold, so they are usually cut into sticks about the size of one or two fingers to make them easy for a baby’s hand to grasp. The food should be soft enough to squish between your fingers to ensure baby can safely gum it (other than pieces of meat and toast that baby can gum). And all food should be served to a baby sitting upright in a high chair.

This guide to starting solids has more information, too. (Want to incorporate purees? This No-Cook Baby Food post has you covered.)

Your toddler won’t eat? Help is here!

Sign up for our email updates to get tips and ideas sent to your inbox. 

baby-led-weaning-banana-and-omelete-on-pink-plate

BLW Proteins

Proteins such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, chicken, turkey, fish, beef, nuts, and seeds can be a staple of baby’s diet from the time of starting solids. Meat and chicken are also good sources of iron, which baby needs to be offered in their food since the iron stores they are born with start to run out around 6 months of age.

Find easy recipes for baby-friendly proteins below.

hard-cooked-egg-yolk-on-toast

BLW Eggs

In addition to serving strips of omelet, you can hard-cook eggs and spread the mashed yolk onto toast fingers. Easy and yummy!

Easy Egg Yolk Puree (with BLW option)

This is an easy method to introduce eggs to baby, whether they’re starting solids on purees or with the baby led weaning approach. Adjust the number of eggs up or down as you like.

Get the recipe

egg-puree-and-toast-on-plate-for-baby
egg-cups-on-plate-with-toast

Egg Muffins

These Mini Egg Muffins with Cheese and Veggies are a go-to for quick and easy toddler breakfasts on busy mornings. The savory muffins are packed with nutritious ingredients and are so quick to bake up—and they work so well to make ahead!

Make-Ahead Egg and Cheese Mini Muffins

These soft breakfast egg cups are packed with protein and vitamins—and can be made ahead of time! Add any veggie you like, whether carrots, butternut squash, broccoli, or spinach.

Get the recipe

egg-cups-on-plate-with-toast
zucchini slice in storage container.

Zucchini Slice

This is such a fun way to use zucchini since it slices into bars that are easy to hold and dip. That means it’s a great baby-led weaning breakfast, it is an easy lunch or snack for any age, and it’s perfect to make ahead and stash in the fridge until everyone is hungry.

Easy Zucchini Slice (to Share with the Kids)

Transform basic ingredients—including a pile of zucchini—into this protein-packed Zucchini Slice to share with the kids. It’s an easy breakfast or lunch that stores well and is easy to make ahead. (See the Notes for options to up the flavor as desired.)

Get the recipe

Zucchini slice with veggies on pink kids plate
2-ingredient-pancakes-4-flavors

Baby Pancakes

Blend up a fruit or veggie with an egg for the fluffiest, easiest, healthy pancakes for kids. These 2-Ingredient Pancakes use one simple method for all 4 flavors and are a perfect baby pancake or toddler pancake.

The Best 2-Ingredient Pancakes (Baby and Toddler Approved)

This recipe makes one small batch of super tender 2-Ingredient Pancakes. It usually makes 1-2 little-kid-size servings. To make more, simply double the recipe. These are delicate pancakes with a texture that’s sort of custardy like French toast, so be gentle when flipping them. See the NOTES at the bottom for the flavor variations.

Get the recipe

2-ingredient-pancakes-4-flavors
healthy-meatballs-with-spaghetti

Beef Meatballs

With three kinds of veggies and the texture and flavor your kids expect, this Healthy Meatball recipe is a perfect family dinner option. And since the baked meatballs taste so good, the kids will be happy to tuck them into their plates! (Bonus: They freeze well, too.)

Healthy Meatballs (with Hidden Vegetables)

With the texture you expect from a traditional meatball but added nutrition from three types of veggies, your whole family will love these.

Get the recipe

healthy meatballs in large bowl and small kids bowl
butter-chicken-on-kids-and-parents-plate

Shredded Chicken

Shredded chicken thighs made incredibly tender in a rich tomato sauce with hints of Indian spices…oh yes! This Instant Pot Butter Chicken is an easy family dinner that everyone at the table (babies on up) can enjoy.

Easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Forget takeout—deliver this popular Indian dish to your table instead. Shredded chicken thighs are coated in a rich, buttery sauce with hints of tomatoes, ginger, and garam masala—a messy but very flavorful finger food. Adapted from The Multi-Cooker Baby Food Cookbook.

Get the recipe

instant-pot-butter-chicken
baked-chicken-meatballs

Chicken Meatballs

With just four simple and affordable ingredients, you can make tender Baked Chicken Meatballs to share with the kids. Bonus: You can tuck a veggie into the mix and they are perfect to batch-cook and stash into the freezer!

4-Ingredient Baked Chicken Meatballs

Serve with Marinara sauce, Pesto, Cheese Sauce, or with a side of ketchup or any other favorite dip. We like to have these on hand to use an easy lunch component or have them with pasta.

Get the recipe

baked-chicken-meatballs
chicken puree on toast.

Chicken Puree

Learn how to make iron-rich baby food with this easy recipe for Chicken Puree with three flavor combinations and easy storage tips. This works as a Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3 baby food.

Easy Chicken Puree

This chicken puree is a nutrient-rich baby food that’s easy to make and packed with flavor. It’s a quick blend of chicken and sweet potato that’s versatile, so you can make it as a Stage 1 or 2 baby food.

Get the recipe

chicken puree in small bowls with baby spoon
Turkey meatballs after cooking on baking pan.

Turkey Sweet Potato Meatballs

Offer a whole or half meatball to baby to feed themselves, or you can mash and serve on a preloaded spoon.

Turkey Sweet Potato Baby Meatballs

With just a few nutritious, flavorful ingredients, you can make a batch of Baby Meatballs (for a baby, toddler, or parent!) with turkey and sweet potato. They freeze well and can be served plain or in marinara sauce.

Get the recipe

Turkey meatballs on plate with side of marinara sauce.
applesauce-overnight-oats-in-jars

Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats are a perfect breakfast recipe to make ahead. They pack protein, probiotics, vitamin C, fiber, and healthy fats—and all you need to do to make them is to stir the ingredients together and let it hang out in the fridge while you sleep! Offer this on a preloaded spoon or in a pouch.

Easy Overnight Oats with Applesauce

You can easily double (or triple!) the recipe to make more servings. It uses a 1 to 1 ratio of yogurt to applesauce so you can easily scale it up. Mix these up the night before you plan to serve them.

Get the recipe

applesauce-overnight-oats-in-jars
cottage cheese dip on plate with fruit and graham crackers

Cottage Cheese Dip

This Cottage Cheese Dip is simply blended smooth with a few flavorings, so the result is super versatile. And the flavor is so good.

Creamy Vanilla Cottage Cheese Dip

With a smooth and creamy texture and a nice amount of protein and fats to fuel little bodies, this cottage cheese blend is perfect for spreading or dipping.

Get the recipe

cottage cheese dip on plate with fruit and graham crackers
plain yogurt with mix-ins in small bowls

Whole-Milk Yogurt

Confused by the ever-growing yogurt aisle in the grocery store? Me too, which is why I put together a list of the best yogurts for babies and toddlers—those that are low in added sugars but still taste great! Plus: You’ll find yummiest ways to naturally flavor plain yogurt.

Best Yogurt for Babies and Toddlers (Recipes + Tips)

Try these favorite yogurt options for baby (or your toddler). You can use one add in or more than one according to your preference. Nutrition information will vary accordingly.

Get the recipe

plain yogurt with mix-ins in small bowls
salmon-cakes-on-parent-and-child-plate

Salmon Cakes

Learning how to make Salmon Cakes is easy—and it’s a convenient and affordable way to serve healthy fish to a family. They can be made with pantry ingredients that are easy to keep on hand. Serve over a salad for you and with simple sides for the kids. And don’t forget the dip!

Easy Baked Salmon Cakes (Salmon Patties)

These tender fish cakes make a quick and easy pantry meal when you haven’t planned ahead for dinner. Recipe updated slightly to ensure moistness in June 2021.

Get the recipe

salmon-cakes-on-parent-and-child-plate
tofu for baby led weaning on plate

Baked Tofu

Tofu is one of our favorite plant-based proteins since it’s so budget-friendly and easy to flavor in any way you like. It’s especially great for babies since the texture is soft and so easy to chew—so it can be easier to eat than a lot of meat options.

Easy Pan-Fried Tofu (for Baby, Big Kids, and Parents)

Learn how to make tofu for babies and big kids with this easy pan-fried tofu recipe. It’s so easy and yummy that parents enjoy it too!

Get the recipe

pan fried tofu in skillet
peanut-butter-puree-on-baby-spoon

Peanut Butter (and Nut Butter) Puree

When can baby have peanut butter? That’s such a common question among us parents, and it’s normal to be worried about allergic reactions. Thankfully, there are easy ways to offer peanut butter to a baby and simple tips to keep in mind when introducing it for the first time.

So Easy Peanut Butter Puree

This fluffy peanut butter puree should have the consistency of yogurt and be easy for a baby to move around in their mouths. Remember to offer just a little at a time.

Get the recipe

peanut butter puree in small bowl with baby spoon
Acorn squash slices on baking sheet.

BLW Vegetables

You can mash any cooked vegetable or use a vegetable puree, such as Pea Puree or Spinach Baby Food, as a spread on a toast finger. Hand to baby to self-feed as an easy veggie exposure and taste.

Ripe tomatoes can also be cut into thick wedges and served fresh.

roasted broccoli on purple plate

BLW Broccoli

Try this super easy side dish recipe for family dinner as an easy way to change up how you serve broccoli. This Roasted Broccoli requires just three ingredients, takes less than 20 minutes, and is slightly sweet and caramelized in the end. So yummy!

Easy Roasted Broccoli

This Roasted Broccoli is tender, a little nutty, and a little sweet. Serve this as a simple side to go with dinner. Or make them ahead and warm them throughout the week to go with lunches.

Get the recipe

roasted broccoli on purple plate
Green bean baby food in bowl and green beans on side.

BLW Green Beans

Green beans are such a common veggie and one that can be flavored in so many ways that it’s a wonderful option for baby. I love making the puree and offering a whole bean as different texture experiences, so you can choose the one that works best for where you are in your baby-feeding journey.

Easy Green Bean Baby Food

Learn how to make quick and flavorful Green Bean Baby Food as a baby-led weaning food or as a Stage 1 or 2 puree. Plus, find tips on how to store and mix the puree with other flavors to make yummy baby food combinations.

Get the recipe

Green bean baby food in bowl and green beans on side.
sweet-potato-baby-food-on-blue-towel

BLW Sweet Potato

With one super simple cooking method, you can roast sweet potato wedges to serve in one of three yummy ways—BLW style, mashed, or pureed into classic sweet potato puree. It’s so easy to make sweet potato baby food. (And the rest of the family can enjoy it, too!)

Favorite Sweet Potato Baby Food

You can serve this as wedges, a thick mash, or a thinner puree to your baby or toddler. (Adults will love the wedges, too!)

Get the recipe

sweet-potato-baby-food-three-ways
zucchini-baby-food-puree-and-blw-zucchini-on-plate

Zucchini Sticks

Zucchini is always available as an easy veggie option. And it’s such a great baby food since it’s quick to cook, endlessly versatile, and easy to serve baby-led weaning style or as a puree.

Favorite Zucchini Baby Food

Learn the easiest way to make flavorful Zucchini Baby Food—with options for baby-led weaning zucchini and also zucchini puree—with one simple method. Plus: Find storage and serving tips.

Get the recipe

zucchini-baby-food-puree-and-blw-zucchini-on-plate

Roasted Butternut Squash

Turning winter squash into a fun and delicious side dish is so easy—and learning how to roast butternut squash means you can turn it into fun shapes, serve as “fries,” and even add flavors like brown sugar or rosemary. And all in less than 20 minutes!

How to Make Roasted Butternut Squash

Cut the squash into cubes, shapes, or “fries” based on what your kids may like to make this easy veggie side dish fun (yet still easy).

Get the recipe

roasted butternut squash shapes on plate
carrot-fries-on-white-plate-with-ketchup

Roasted Carrots

This Roasted Carrots Fries recipe is a vegetable side dish you should bookmark for future family meals. Made with just three simple ingredients, it comes together in under 30 minutes—and most of that is hands-off time when they’re in the oven and you can be doing other things!

Easy Roasted Carrot “Fries”

These baked carrot fries are a simple side to go with burgers or chicken and pair perfectly with ketchup.

Get the recipe

baked carrot fries
Cooked asparagus stalk heads on grey plate for baby led weaning

BLW Asparagus

Asparagus is a great option for BLW since it’s already the right shape for a baby to easily hold and feed themselves. We’ll just prepare it to ensure it’s soft and easy for baby to gum and eat.

Favorite Asparagus Baby Food

Learn the easiest way to make flavorful Asparagus Baby Food with a method that makes both baby-led weaning asparagus and asparagus puree. Plus: Find storage and serving tips.

Get the recipe

Pureed Asparagus baby food in bowl with cooked asparagus stalks on the side
Acorn squash as puree and slices on plate.

Roasted Acorn Squash

When fresh winter squash like acorn squash is available, it’s such an easy option to make it and share it with babies and toddlers. It’s wonderful as a baby food since it has a naturally sweet, yet subtle, flavor—sort of in the same realm of flavor as butternut squash.

Acorn Squash Baby Food

Learn the easiest way to turn fresh acorn squash into Acorn Squash Baby Food as a puree and a baby-led weaning finger food. This can also work as an easy side dish for the entire family, or you can easily freeze portions for future weeks.

Get the recipe

Acorn squash as puree and slices on plate.
quick cauliflower with cheese

Steamed Cauliflower

Enticing the kids to eat their veggies can be a challenge, but often, keeping it simple—like this Steamed Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese—can be a little easier on everyone. This recipe is delicious and easy for everyone in the family to eat.

Steamed Cauliflower with Parmesan

Use as much cauliflower as you need to feed your family. Store any uncooked florets in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Get the recipe

quick cauliflower with cheese
avocado-toast-and-orange-slices-on-blue-plate

BLW Fruits

There are so many delicious fresh fruit options for feeding baby. Mango, kiwi, avocado, pear, peach, plums, and more can be served ripe and soft in finger-size strips to a baby. And many fruits can be cooked until soft and served for baby to self-feed.

For more options on fruits to offer in the BLW style, see below.

Banana in different forms on red plate for blw banana

BLW Banana

Serving bananas to baby is an easy meal option since they require hardly any prep work, taste great, and are a naturally soft texture that’s perfect for babies. I’m going to share how to serve bananas in the baby-led weaning style in three different ways—in segments, as a half banana, and mashed on a spoon.

Easy BLW Banana

Learn how to serve BLW banana so it’s easy and safe for your baby to hold and feed themself baby-led weaning style. There are three easy options here so you can pick the one that works best.

Get the recipe

Banana in different forms on red plate for blw banana
sliced-baked-apples-on-plate

Baked Apple Slices

Transform normal apples into refined sugar-free Sliced Baked Apples with this super simple method that takes just 5 minutes to prep. They’re a healthy topping for oatmeal, yogurt, and pancakes—and are also perfect for baby-led weaning!

So Easy Sliced Baked Apples

We like these apples warm or cold out of the fridge, so see what your kids like best!

Get the recipe

baked apple slices on plate
sliced-baked-pears-on-plate

Baked Pear Slices

With a super simple method and a most delicious flavor, these Baked Pears are a favorite snack for babies, toddlers, and us parents. I love that they are yummy both warm and cold and that they’re a great way to use up pears.

So Easy Baked Pears

We like these apples warm or cold out of the fridge, so see what your kids like best. They work as a simple snack or served with yogurt, oatmeal, or roasted meat.

Get the recipe

sliced-baked-pears-on-plate
cinnamon apples in three bowls and pan with spoons.

Cinnamon Apple Slices

We love apples prepared in all sorts of ways, including Sliced Baked Apples and Sautéed Apples. And this new version is sort of a mix of those favorites, with an easy pan-cooked method that delivers tender, flavorful apple slices that work for any age in just minutes.

Quick Cinnamon Apples

These quick stove top Cinnamon Apples cook in under 10 minutes, are perfectly tender, and can be served with or without added sugar. They’re a delicious snack or topping for yogurt or oatmeal—and they taste like apple pie filling!

Get the recipe

cinnamon apples in three bowls and pan with spoons.
oranges-for-baby-on-purple-plate

BLW Oranges

Fresh oranges are a food that taste so great on their own but need to be served with some awareness when given to babies and young toddlers. Oranges are rich in vitamin C and flavor, but served the way adults commonly eat them, they are a choking hazard for little kids.

Oranges for Baby

Learn how to safely prepare oranges for baby with baby-led weaning options, finger foods, and tips for how to adjust for toddlers.

Get the recipe

oranges for baby on purple plate
quinoa patties on white plate.

BLW Grains

Pasta, oats, rice, quinoa, and more grains are perfect foods to include in baby’s diet from the time they start solids, as they are rich in B vitamins and complex carbohydrates. Many of these foods can be prepared for the whole family and shared with baby at mealtime.

coconut-rice-in-bowls-on-pink

Coconut Rice

I love making whole grains for my kids, but wow, they can be so messy! Learning how to make Coconut Rice can be a game changer because it’s much less prone to winding up all over the floor since the grains stick together. And also: It’s simply delicious!

How to Make Coconut Rice

Make this without the optional flavors for a simple, yet yummy side dish that’s easy for your little ones to eat since the grains hold together well. Add just ginger, or add ginger and the optional spices at the end for more flavor. We like adding raisins to the mix when we add the extra spices!

Get the recipe

how to make coconut rice
cheesy rice with cauliflower

Cheesy Rice

This Cheesy Rice recipe has four options to add in veggies and has been a staple of my youngest kiddo’s diet for the past year. It’s SO easy, versatile, and simple to store in the fridge. And it’s downright delish!

Easy Cheesy Rice (with Veggies!)

Choose one veggie to add from the flavor options below according to what you have on hand or what your family likes best.

Get the recipe

cheesy rice 4 ways with veggies
baby-pasta-in-four-white-bowls

Baby Pasta

Serve up a filling, yummy baby meal with this easy Baby Pasta. It includes a tomato-based sauce with extra veggies and beans blended in for an iron-rich meal perfect for lunch or dinner. Plus: The sauce freezes so well so you can have a stash of future meals ready and waiting!

Extra-Veggie Baby Pasta (with Iron)

Adding beans and extra veggies helps make this easy baby pasta satisfying, nutritious, and yummy. Serve it more or less saucy as you like. (You can even freeze the sauce for easy future meals.)

Get the recipe

baby-pasta-in-four-white-bowls
baked-oatmeal-cups-on-plate

Oatmeal Cups

You can simply make rolled oats or instant oats into oatmeal and serve it on a preloaded spoon or for baby to eat with their fingers.

Cinnamon Raisin Baked Oatmeal Cups

Transform plain oats into a yummy and easy to eat finger food with this baked oatmeal recipe. You can double the recipe to make more if desired.

Get the recipe

baked-oatmeal-cups-on-plate
quinoa patties on purple plate

Quinoa Patties

With just a few ingredients, including quinoa, broccoli, cheese, and eggs, and a super fast method that allows you to make a batch in under 10 minutes, these Quinoa Patties are a favorite meal to share with the kids.

Easy Quinoa Patties (Favorite Quinoa Cakes)

These quick Quinoa Patties are a delicious way to serve quinoa to kids—and adults! Plan to make the quinoa ahead of time so these come together in minutes.

Get the recipe

quinoa patties on purple plate
mini-baby-muffins-with-ingredients

Baby Muffins

Made with a nutrient-packed ingredient list, these tender Baby Muffins are a perfect first muffin. They are easier to chew than a regular muffin, have three kinds of produce, are added-sugar-free, and boast a solid dose of healthy fats—exactly what the littles need!

ABC Baby Muffins (Apple, Banana and Carrot!)

These are deliberately very moist (and moister than regular muffins) to ensure they are easy for baby to chew and swallow, so expect that from the interior. If you’d like to make them sweeter for older kiddos, add ¼ cup sugar to the batter.

Get the recipe

mini-baby-muffins-with-ingredients
stack-of-apple-pancakes

Apple Pancakes

Combine fresh apples and whole grains for a nutritious breakfast of Apple Pancakes for the whole family. Bonus: You can make them the traditional way on the stove top or as one giant sheet pan pancake!

Fresh Apple Pancakes

These apple pancakes are hearty and filled with freshly shredded apples and oats, so expect them to have a lot of texture!

Get the recipe

stack-of-apple-pancakes

Yogurt Pancakes

These pancakes are fluffy and really versatile—you can pick one flavor to make for the whole batch or add in a few pieces to each pancake as you go to make a few different flavors. That can be a great option if some in your family love banana pancakes and others prefer chocolate chip.

Favorite Yogurt Pancakes

With just a few ingredients and the option to make these on the stove top or in the oven as a sheet pan pancakes, these Yogurt Pancakes are versatile and so yummy!

Get the recipe

yogurt-pancakes-on-three-plates
French toast sticks on kids plate with sides.

French Toast Sticks

These are a versatile, affordable alternative to buying frozen ones at the store—and they take less than 15 minutes to make and reheat in 2 minutes!

Easy French Toast Sticks (Freezer-Friendly)

Use this easy method to make the best French Toast Sticks to share with your kids. They freeze so well!

Get the recipe

French toast sticks on kids plate with sides.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I introduce potential food allergens to a baby?

You can find the best method for introducing potential food allergens so you know what to do. Always talk to your pediatrician, too.

When can I add herbs, spices, and sauces?

You can add seasoning to foods right from the start. Many babies prefer flavorful food. You may want to avoid spicy-hot foods and keep added salt to a minimum.

When should I offer solids and when should I offer breast milk or formula?

You can start offering solids once a day, then add 1 at a time as is easy for you. Do it near mealtimes or in between as works with your schedule. Keep the normal schedule for milk feedings as you start solids as that will continue to be baby’s main source of nutrients. Find more on baby feeding schedules to help.

All different baby food storage containers all stacked on countertop

How to Store BLW Foods

Store leftovers or meal-prepped foods in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or, place into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Label each bag so you know what’s inside.

Best Tips for Success

  • Serve small portions to prevent waste and to prevent overwhelming baby.
  • Review the basics of Baby-Led Weaning and Starting Solids before you start.
  • Share the recipes with baby and sit and eat with her so she can watch you and learn how to eat each food.
  • Make sure baby is sitting upright in a high chair. A bib may help.
  • Serve purees on a preloaded baby spoon that baby can use to feed himself. (The Lalo First Bites set is a great option for gear to get you started.)

Related Recipes


I’d love to hear your feedback on this post, so please comment below to share.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat