When your little one is ready to be introduced to solid foods for the first time, alongside their regular breast milk or or formula diet, there are variety of ways in which you might choose to do this. Some parents decide to spoon feed purees – this is a convenient and less messy way to introduce a baby to food, ensuring you are feeding responsively and watching for your little one’s cues that they have had enough. Others opt for baby-led weaning (BLW), where the child offered foods that they are able to pick up and explore themselves, and are in control of what they eat.
There are benefits to each method of weaning, and many families will end up using a combination of the two, ensuring that at least some food ends up being eaten and not on the floor, while little ones still enjoy an exploratory, sensory experience at mealtimes. For baby-led weaning in particular, some foods are easier for babies and young toddlers to eat than others. Here we share our favourite first foods that encourage exploration and independent feeding.
Fruit and vegetables: cut into pieces or strips that are approximately 2-3 inches long and finger width, to make it easier for young babies to grasp. Steam vegetables such as broccoli, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato or green beans so that they are soft enough for babies without teeth, but not so soft they fall apart completely. Do the same for harder fruits such as apple or pear. Banana, melon and avocado are great examples of fruits and vegetables that can be offered with no prior cooking necessary. You may choose to make any of these foods into a puree to spoon feed alongside offering as a finger food.
Egg: a fabulously versatile food which will provide your little one with plenty of protein, iron and other great nutritional benefits. Make an omelette and cut into strips for your little one to pick up and self feed, make scrambled egg and let them practice their pincer grip, or try a soft boiled egg with toast soldiers for fun dipping!
Toast: not just for breakfast, toast is a firm favourite with babies at any time of day, and is easy for little hands to grip and practice navigating to their mouth. Take the opportunity to experiment with different toppings so your baby gets to experience a variety of sweet and savoury tastes, such as soft cheese, smooth peanut butter, marmite, low-sugar jam, fish paste, mashed avocado, or whatever takes your fancy!
Foods for scooping and dipping: whether you’re the one doing the scooping or you’ve given your little one free reign with a spoon, you’ll find some foods better than others for this… thicker foods like Greek yoghurt, Weetabix, porridge or mashed potato will stay on the spoon and cause less frustration than more watery, runny foods such as soup. When teaching your baby or toddler how to use a spoon to feed themselves, you might opt to preload it to begin with, before showing them how to scoop independently.
Promote self-feeding and fun with Bibado
Whether you’ve been doing pure baby-led weaning from the start or you’re ready to move on from spoon feeding your baby, Bibado’s range of egonomically designed weaning cutlery will make the process stress-free and fun for both you and your little one. Our ground-breaking Dippit™ allows even the youngest of babies to fully participate in their own feeding, with its unique dual-ended
design and multi-grip handles. It’s easy to pick up and bring to the mouth without any need for wrist control, encouraging babies to be fully engaged and curious at mealtimes, able to explore without inhibition.
Find out more about the Dippit™ and how it can help make your weaning journey easier here.
For slightly older babies, our Handi Cutlery sets are the ideal introduction to using a fork and spoon, while still being suitable for small babies with chunky handles that are easy to grasp. Our clever design allows them to be attached to your Bibado coverall weaning bib, so while your little one might still drop their spoon occasionally while they’re getting used to self-feed, it’s easy for them to retrieve themselves and won’t end up on the floor. Learn more about Handi Cutlery here.