My youngest child is a prolific eater. Prolific. But she didn’t cut her first tooth until a week before her first birthday. We did baby led weaning as she refused to be spoon fed (and boy did I try!)I would go crazy trying to think of food babies can eat without teeth and as I had quite a bit of time to find some things she could eat, I thought I’d share a list for anyone else who finds themselves in the same situation!
Some background stuff
A lot of stuff I read about baby led weaning said your child won’t gag or if they do they’ll be fine. Not the case for us. My daughter is prone to vomiting (reflux, viral endued wheeze) and has also made herself throw up with a bit of chicken. Twice. I’m not saying that baby led weaning or finger foods will make your child gag, but you should always be in the room with your child when they eat, just in case.
Some of the foods I fed my daughter are super healthy. Some of them aren’t. Salt is a big issue for babies so use your discretion, a bit of cheese is fine alongside some vegetables. Just be sensible, yeah? I also didn’t wean my daughter until she was six months old, the picture at the top is of my daughter eating her first food which was some fruit toast in Starbucks that she grabbed off me!
I read a lot of stuff saying ‘oh your kid will only do baby led weaning if they’re breastfed / they won’t get much food in and will be super skinny.’ For the record, my daughter was bottle fed from day three and is on the 91st centile so not the case here. All of the foods I’ve listed here are ones that, to the best of my knowledge, she actually managed to consume, rather than just taste.
Two things that I found really helpful for baby led weaning (or any kind of finger food stuff!) were The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook for food the whole family could eat and these explora bibs which I used for both my kids and are great for stopping food falling everywhere!
You might also like to read my post What is Baby Led Weaning and is it right for your family?
Food babies can eat without teeth.
Fruit: Strawberries, melon, grapes (cut in half), satsumas, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, pears, bananas, avocado.
Vegetables: Cucumber sticks, mashed potato, sweet potato chips, peas, sweetcorn, baked beans, broccoli, cauliflower.
Meat and fish: Salmon, cod, haddock, chicken (though I’m going to admit that one was the biggest struggle on this while list), mince.
Carbohydrates: Toast, pizza, pasta (fusilli was the best for us), polenta, cous cous, rice, naan bread, pitta bread, fruit toast, noodles.
More food ideas: Cheese, rice cakes, crackers, scrambled egg, biscuits, shreadies, cake.
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