Continuing on with our journey into baby led weaning with Holland! If you didn’t check out part 1 all about her weight and why we pushed to get solids going more quickly be sure to check out starting baby led weaning part 1! For part 2 I’m going to chat all about the foods she’s been eating!
What is baby led weaning?
Baby led weaning is an approach to introducing solids that allows the baby to guide themselves through eating. It’s different from spoon feeding purees where appropriate foods for baby are offered, and they learn to feed themselves with the family foods. I love this approach so much! I find it empowering for babies and gives them the reigns in feeding. Plus I find it much easier for me because I am not making purees, buying them or actively sitting and feeding her. That means I can eat a meal at the same time!
What foods are important for baby?
Holland is breast fed and at 6 months the iron needs increase for breast fed babies because the amount in breast milk really isn’t enough at that point anymore. For that reason iron rich foods are a must! Beef is one food she eats just about every day because it is such a great source of iron. I opt for grass fed for our family, but any source of beef will give awesome iron amounts.
Eggs and sardines are a couple other foods I find nutritious and important to incorporate.
I also loaded up on fats for her because they are calorie dense and I wanted to ensure that when she’s eating something, she’s getting a big bang for her buck calorie wise. (You can read more about increasing calories in a healthy way in this post) When she’s have veggies I always added extra butter, coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil. Plus including fats with vitamin rich foods (colorful veggies) will help her body absorb fat soluble vitamins too!
When do you introduce allergens?
We jumped right into them. One of her first foods was whole eggs. The recommendation based on research about allergies is to actually introduce allergens (in a smart way) once solids are established and before 1 year old. We don’t have any allergies in our family so I’ve never gone in with a concern. She’s 7 months old and she’s had eggs, seafood, dairy, shellfish, peanuts, nuts, gluten and soy with no reactions (yay!).
Holland’s first foods
Now onto what shes been eating and how I make baby led weaning work in our family of 6! Here’s a list of 25 plates I’ve been serving up. I always include something with fat in it and try for protein as well!
- scrambled eggs and banana
- banana custard oatmeal (sometimes with natural peanut butter added)
- whole plain milk yogurt and roasted sweet potato
- pork carnitas and roasted pumpkin
- ground beef and steamed butternut squash
- avocado toast and scrambled eggs
- ground beef and pink rice
- mashed sardines with mayo and roasted pumpkin
- sardine sandwich and steamed green beans
- flank steak (cut in tiny bits) and sauted asparagus
- quiche and banana
- beef burger and roasted carrots
- almond flour blueberry pancakes and chicken sausage
- pork carnitas and roasted sweet potato
- ground beef taco meat and avocado
- scrambled eggs and raspberries
- buffalo chicken dip and roasted spaghetti squash
- peach, avocado and hard boiled egg
- fried rice and roasted carrots
- salmon and steamed apples
- korean ground beef and roasted sweet potatoes
- ground beef and mashed potatoes
- scrambled eggs and canteloupe
- mashed sardines and tuna and roasted sweet potatoes
- banana and plain whole milk yogurt
She definitely has favorites: banana, whole plain yogurt, roasted pumpkin, steamed butternut squash, ground beef, sardines mashed with mayo and raspberries
When I roast up a vegetable or have extra ground beef I keep it on hand in the fridge so we always have soft enough food for her to gum on hand in case we eat a meal that requires extra chewing.
I hope this as helpful and gives you some baby led weaning food inspiration!