The 8 best blogs for baby led weaning recipes

I spend a lot of time looking for delicious recipes for the families that I work with to help them be inspired when weaning, so I thought why not write a round-up of all of my favourite blogs.

There are 8 blogs that I visit often and it’s because the recipes they create are not only delicious but they are super easy too. So important when you are a busy mum.

Here you go, enjoy!

Baby led weaning (BLW), involves giving your baby whole pieces of food right from the start of weaning, allowing them to feed themselves. I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail about baby led weaning as I have it here
and here
.

Do you need special recipes for baby led weaning?

No. One of the biggest benefits of baby led weaning is being able to cook one meal for the whole family and that’s why I love it.  

You don’t need special recipes as long as you are aware of a few key ingredients that all babies must avoid such as salt, sugar and honey. You can get a full list in my blog here. 

I definitely recommend you embrace your creative side and try lots of new recipes, you’ll find a list of my favourite recipe bloggers below. Variety is what makes weaning fun and exciting for your baby and is key for optimising nutrition too. 

Do you need specific shapes and sizes?

Your baby will use their whole fist to pick up foods at the start and so the shape and size are important so that they can feed themselves.

Long stick shaped foods around 5-6cm are a good size. Examples are:

  • Toast cut into soldiers

  • Omlette strips

  • Strips of chicken meat

  • Carrots steamed till soft

  • Banana

Ball or cubed shaped foods are good too:

  • Meatballs

  • Egg muffins

  • Whole strawberries

  • Cubes of cheese

How to reduce the choking risk with baby led weaning recipes

Your baby is not at a greater risk of choking because you are baby led weaning. Research shows that both baby led weaning and traditional spoon weaning hold the same level of risk. [3]

Here are some steps you can take to minimise risk: 

  1. Ensure that your baby is seated in an upright position in a supportive highchair

  2. Always keep your baby under close supervision while they are eating

  3. Allow your baby to control the amount of food they put in their mouth and the pace at which they eat it

  4. Ensure that chunks of food can be easily broken down in baby’s mouth

To learn more about this, check out my blog on how to make baby led weaning foods safer.

Can you do a mix of baby led weaning and traditional weaning?

Absolutely! Please feed your baby in a way that feels comfortable to both you and your baby.

You may start with one idea but find your baby has another.  

14 years ago when I was weaning my son, I had prepared ahead (it’s a dietitian thing!). I had all the Annabel Karmel books and cooked up a huge batch of purees only to find that after 3 or 4 weeks he refused to be spoon fed and wanted to do it all independently. 

This was before people really knew what baby led weaning was and I found myself having to put together a nutritious finger food buffet 3 times a day!

The most important part of any type of weaning is that you follow your little one’s cues and respond to them appropriately.  

Make sure you notice their “I’m finished” signals like turning their head away, keeping their mouth firmly closed or pushing the spoon away.

Never try and persevere with feeding when they do this. It will lead to unhappy mealtimes, food refusal battles and a toddler who is a master of fussy eating! 

What if my baby doesn’t eat during baby led weaning?

It’s totally normal for babies not to eat a lot at first, or even to not open their mouth at all! 

Babies learn to eat using their sensory system and exploring how food looks, smells, feels (in their hands, in their hair) and sounds (when it splats on the floor) is all part of the learning process before it ever reaches their mouths. 

These messy exposures are an important part of the journey.

However, nutrition is important from 6 months onwards as breastmilk and formula are no longer nutritionally complete. Therefore, teaching your baby how to get food up to their mouths and eat it is an important part of baby led weaning that some food bloggers forget to mention.

Let your baby see you eat. Bring your baby to the table at each and every mealtime and make sure that they can see you eating. Sitting opposite is ideal as they can watch you bring food to your mouth. 

To help them, you can take big exaggerated bites while they’re watching and explain what you’re doing.  

Babies learn best from copying their most trusted adult – you!

How important is nutrition when baby led weaning?

Nutrition is very important to support the demands of growth and keeping your baby’s immune system in tip top condition.

But as healthcare professionals we also fear that baby led weaning babies eat less food and, therefore, take in fewer nutrients than those that are traditionally weaned. 

Careful meal planning is actually really important and offering your baby meals based around nutrient dense foods
will help them meet their nutritional needs. [4]

How often should I be feeding my baby?

At 6 months, your baby will not be eating very much at all.  If they are enjoying the experience, there’s no reason why you can’t bring your baby to the family table each time you eat.

Around 7 months, aim for your baby to be established in eating breakfast, lunch and dinner alongside their milk feeds. 

It’s at this stage that I recommend feeding by routine rather than on demand, as you may have done when they were younger. This is because babies need to start to learn hunger and fullness signals so that they can interpret appetite cues. 

Somewhere between 9 and 10 months, things change again, and your baby will be having less milk and more food. Some babies need a gentle nudge, particularly if they love their milk feeds.

You can take a look at my suggested routines. There is a 7-9 month mini guide and a 10-12 month version available in my shop
for £9.99.

At 1 year, your baby will be taking less milk than before and having 3 meals a day plus 2 healthy snacks
alongside their milk.

What does baby led weaning food look like as your baby gets older?

The pincer grip develops around 9 months or so. This is where babies no longer use their whole fist to pick up pieces of food. Instead, they use their thumb and forefinger.  

This means your baby will be able to feed themselves smaller foods such as peas and cut up cherry tomatoes (5). Small pieces of unsweetened breakfast cereal such as Shreddies can be a great nutritional addition to your baby’s diet as they are often fortified with extra vitamins and iron.

At around 12 months, your baby will be able to eat most foods without a problem. If they have teeth, then hard foods such as raw carrot, celery, and apple, and hard chewy foods such as strips of dried mango are really useful foods to practice improving their chewing skills. 

Now is a good time to begin giving baby cutlery to eat with if you haven’t already.

Believe it or not, weaning continues till around 2, but most of the weaning advice stops at one! If you’re not sure what happens next, I can help you there with my Happy Healthy Eaters Club
. Not only does nutrition change, but you have the added complication of food refusal, tantrums at the table and refusing to sit still to content with. I’ll teach you exactly what to do.

The 8 best blogs for baby led weaning recipes

Here’s a list of the 8 best blogs for you to check out for baby led weaning recipes:

Mummy Cooks

This site is full of healthy homemade food that the whole family can enjoy.  The recipes are designed to be quick and fuss free to fit in with family life. Siobhan Berry is a mother to two children, so she really understands how important it is to be able to create time-saving meals that children will enjoy. 

Some of our favourites were the slow cooker tikka masala
, an ideal way to introduce soft meat to your baby, and the baked salmon fingers
, which would be perfect for serving alongside a dipping sauce to practice a new skill!  Siobhan has extended her range to include some really practical weaning storage pots – a great all-rounder!

My Fussy Eater

Ciara from My Fussy Eater is a cook, a cookbook author and a Mum. So when you’re looking for tasty family-friendly recipes that your baby will enjoy, you know that you’re in safe hands. My Fussy Eater specialises in tried and tested recipes for fussy eaters, and they are presented in colourful and imaginative ways with some great examples of how to make food fun. 

The blueberry and lemon Weetabix muffins
are a super way to get some fortified breakfast cereals into your little one without offering just another bowl of cereal. And the chicken and broccoli fritters
are perfect for little hands getting stuck into baby-led weaning.

Annabel Karmel

Annabel Karmel is a household name in the weaning world.  Her experience spans over 25 years, and she is a number 1 best selling author. There’s no doubt that she knows what parents are looking for when it comes to weaning recipes.  

Some of Annabel’s recipes introduce little ones to ingredients that you may be more unfamiliar with, such as quinoa in the cod, salmon and quinoa balls
and her kale and tomato omelette
. If you haven’t already looked through this site, you’re missing out!

Healthy Little Foodies

Amy Whiteford has a degree in food science and is a Mum to two boys. What I like about this site is the ‘for babies’ series, such as apples for babies
and bananas for babies
. While these recipes are simple, they tell you just what you need to know to prepare everyday foods for baby led weaning to keep your little ones safe.

My Kids Lick the Bowl

Stacey from My Kids Lick the Bowl is a self proclaimed kids’ food expert and I must say that I agree! She has 4 children and holds a degree in human nutrition and a diploma in dietetics. 

Stacey has a great imagination when creating healthy and nutritious recipes, and she uses vegetables in ways that you may not have thought of, such as her carrot muffins
and cauliflower cheese egg muffins
. These baby friendly recipes are bound to be a hit with the whole family, and you just know that your children are being nourished.

NHS Healthy Start

Now, I know that I don’t need to introduce you to the NHS, but while this one technically isn’t a blog, did you know that the NHS has some great baby led weaning recipes?  The NHS site takes you through the stages from 1-3 with simple and tasty recipes that are designed to feed just one portion, making it easy to whip up for a quick meal. Try their cheese and mushroom cakes
as an easy way to introduce mushrooms or their lemony chicken unwrap
for a balanced finger food meal.

Mummy to Dex

Mummy to Dex (otherwise known as Nicola) is very passionate about baby led weaning, and this comes across in her well thought out recipes.  While she hasn’t got a nutrition background, she is always quick to point readers in the direction of evidence based resources. From beetroot eggy bread
to cheesy pumpkin pasta
, there’s lots for your baby to get stuck into.

The Children’s Nutritionist

Did you know that there’s a recipe section on this blog?! If you don’t know already, I’m Sarah. I’m a registered dietitian and children’s nutritionist, and when it comes to feeding babies, I know just what to do!  My cheese and courgette polenta muffins
have been a huge hit with babies, and if your little one is eating plant-based or has allergies, I have plenty of free-from recipes too, such as these banana oat pancakes
.

Sarah Almond Bushell MPhil, BSc (Hons) RD MBDA – Registered Dietitian & Children’s Nutritionist

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