40+ Foods your baby can eat before they have teeth

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!

ideas for finger foods and baby led weaning*This post contains affiliate links*

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?

40+ Foods your baby can eat before they have teeth

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.

You may also like:

Baby Led Weaning and Parenting

31 Comments

  1. 30th December 2014 / 8:02 pm

    Oh but she is such a cutie! My littlest sprog got his first tooth two days ago, but has been at the baby lead weaning for a few months now, noshing away (or rather gumming away) at everything he can get his hands on. I’ve been so much more lax on the appropriate foods for consumption than I was with the toddler, though, sugar and sweet things have entered his diet substantially younger, ha ha. Ah well, got to be some perks of being the younger one…

    • 1st January 2015 / 8:01 pm

      Frankly, even if she’d agreed to eat of a spoon I’m not sure how I would have found time (or energy!) to make any purees 😉

  2. 6th January 2015 / 7:08 pm

    Im so glad that both my kids had their teeth before six month old and weaning is so easy.
    Great ideas!

  3. 10th January 2015 / 4:07 pm

    What lovely pictures, and some great ideas and guidance as well. Cheers for joining in with the Parenting Pin it Party.

  4. Sarah
    10th January 2015 / 6:58 pm

    Great list, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s little one refuses to be spoon fed. At 11 months with just one tooth so far his favourites are raspberries, nectarines, asparagus, green beans and field mushrooms cut in long strips. X

    • 11th January 2015 / 9:00 am

      Oh I totally forgot about nectarines! They were really popular here too, but hit and miss with the asparagus but hey I like it so it was a good excuse to buy it 😉

  5. ewa
    11th January 2015 / 7:17 am

    So sweet she is 🙂
    My 2 girls have tooth before 6 month but 3rd one is 8 month and still non out. Was worry what to give her. Thank u so much. I see big shopping coming lol

    • 11th January 2015 / 8:58 am

      Oh I’m glad it helped 🙂 I felt that my daughter should be able to eat everything but actually some stuff like carrots is pretty much impossible, all depends on how close their teeth are!

  6. Amanda
    14th January 2015 / 6:21 pm

    Thank you for the list, it is great, but to be honest I don’t feel all of those foods are suitable for babies wiwithout teeth. For instance pizza, broccoli & cauliflower. I could understand the veggies if cooked through, but other than that, those foods need quite some strength to bite through. My child is 13 months though with 8 teeth & working on his molars so this list is perfect for us, but just a thought!

    • 14th January 2015 / 9:48 pm

      These are honestly all foods that my daughter managed to eat some of without having any teeth 🙂 Broccoli and Cauliflower were actually two of the best for us, she could hold onto the stalk and little bits of the floret would break off on her gums so she could eat them! The cheese and tomato sauce from pizzas got eaten and she’d work on the crusts until they softened up, plus you can put lots of veggie toppings on them! All kids will be different depending on how close their teeth are to breaking through, but these were definitely all eaten at least in part 😀

      • Kristin Ferero
        21st March 2016 / 2:29 pm

        I am a little nervous about the list as well… My 7 month old has no teeth and has been teething for months now. He will eat purees but I am looking for fruits and veggies for him to chew on to help ease the pain. I’m afraid he will choke on fruits such as blueberries, grapes, and raisins. Have you had any instances of this happening? What do you think about apple slices since they are cold and not too messy?

        • 21st March 2016 / 4:11 pm

          I think apple slices are a great idea! Yes, my daughter did choke on a couple of things, chicken mainly. Anything stick shaped is great for starting – toast, cucumber, crumpets, fusilli, bits of satsuma that sort of thing. My daughter didn’t get teeth until she was nearly one so she had plenty of time to learn how to eat if you know what I mean. I’m afraid even apple can get a bit messy though – sorry!

  7. Leigh
    16th January 2015 / 3:36 am

    Thanks for this list! My oldest ate no problem; had teeth at 4 months but he’d eat anything (he’s since developed food allergies unfortunately). My youngest is 7 months and will not eat off a spoon for anything! He has 4 teeth and won’t chew. He only wants his bottle. I’m going to try some of the fruits and veggies you listed and see what he does.

    • 16th January 2015 / 8:40 pm

      Hope it helps, kids really are all different aren’t they!

  8. Anj
    18th January 2015 / 1:38 am

    Thank you so much for this – found it on pinterest as am totally out of my depth as a FTM of a 10 month old who refuses to be fed purees and is only cutting a tooth now.
    Out of interest – did you cut the small fruits like blueberries? Also did you de- skin the grapes? I find myself in a dilemma when thinking about trying those fruits as finger foods for her.
    I given her broccoli and cauliflower but with the steamed veggies – they are so soft she mashes them in her hands and thats the end of it!! How did you manage to get your LO to eat without making a mess!!
    Thank you so much for giving me the courage to try new things with her…..

    • 19th January 2015 / 8:45 pm

      Anj, I cut the grapes in half so they’re less of a choking risk but the blueberries are served whole. Broccoli and cauliflower are cooked when we’re eating them so at ‘normal’ softness if you know what I mean, I do them in a steamer for about 5 mins? Depending on how distracted I get by what my kids are doing!! Oh, and it’s VERY VERY messy. Sorry about that. Get a plastic sheet for under their highchair, in fact maybe get two 😉 cous cous is the worst, every time I promise myself I’ll never serve it again!

  9. Jennifer
    19th February 2015 / 7:09 pm

    I’ve actually never heard proponents of BLW say children won’t gag. They definitely will. I’ve only seen them differentiate between choking and gagging (not the same thing – gagging isn’t harmful), and that the gagging reflex is a positive thing while they learn about eating and putting things in their mouth. Many babies make themselves gag on purpose through exploration of their mouth.

    • 25th February 2015 / 10:17 am

      There’s actually a big TV campaign here in the UK at the moment about what to do if your baby chokes, I think it can be an issue although obviously it’s not something that happens to everyone (thankfully!) I also think there’s a difference between gagging that makes your child cough and gagging that makes them vomit. As usual though it’s up to the parents to decide what they’re happy with for their child as they’re the best ones to judge.

  10. Sam
    25th February 2015 / 12:58 am

    Kate,
    Thanks for the list! I have a 7.5 month old girl, and am doing both purees (gasp :-)) and BLW. When I started BLW she would gag and throw up at every meal, I backed off for a couple weeks, tried again, and now she’s ‘eating’. I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one going through the gag and throw up thing. Every day she gets two meals of purees and then two meals BLW style. We’ve been going strong for a couple weeks now, and I feel like she takes little bites of only a couple things, and then plays with the rest. I know this is normal, but when should I expect her to eat more? Is this something that will naturally come, or should I do something different to move it along?
    I also know that there is a lot of stuff coming out that says you should expose your child to peanut butter and peanut products younger because that may prevent an allergy. How did you first expose your children to peanut products?
    Is it safe to give babies deli meat? I know that this is a no-no during pregnancy, and was just wondering if it’s safe if I put it in an omelet?
    Thanks for your site and your feedback!

    • 25th February 2015 / 10:13 am

      Glad it helped! I did both BLW and purees with my eldest child, I think you have to go with what’s right for yo and what’s right for your child. A good rule of thumb is ‘food before one is just for fun’ so if they’re still gaining weight at the normal rate I really wouldn’t worry. To be honest, thinking about it I don’t think either of my kids have eaten peanuts yet! I’m not avoiding it, we just don’t eat them so I’ve never had it in the house. My husband has a kiwi allergy though, I tried a bit with my son when he was about 8 months and made sure it was on a day that if he was ill I’d be able to cope. I haven’t tried it with my daughter yet but that’s because again I don’t really buy them as they make my husband ill!

  11. 29th May 2015 / 8:55 pm

    My daughter is 14 months and still doesn’t have a single tooth! To be honest, I haven’t found anything she can’t eat yet – she even manages to chomp on apples – gums of steel, lol! I do obviously watch her though, I don’t know how she does it! x

  12. Cody
    12th July 2015 / 5:05 am

    Awesome thank you for this! I have been looking for ideas of food to give my little guy. He loves to eat what we do but he only has a tooth but I don’t want him to eat mush stuff if he’s interested in real food

  13. 18th September 2015 / 2:17 pm

    This is help me alots for giving me more info about some food that I can cook for my little princess. Thank you so much for writting this post for us

  14. 5th November 2015 / 2:15 pm

    What a great list – my babies always loved avacados

  15. Katherine
    15th March 2016 / 3:04 am

    I loved how you mentioned how people told you that blw only works for breastfed babies. My baby is a bf baby and doesn’t take to blw but my nephew who was formula fed took to it.

    • 21st March 2016 / 7:20 pm

      Yes! Like with a lot of things we have to remember that kids are individuals and don’t always follow ‘the rules’. If it works for your baby, great, if it doesn’t, it really doesn’t matter that much. All that matters is that your child gets nutrition, puts on some weight and is healthy. Looking at my kids now you can’t tell which one did BLW and which didn’t.

  16. Kristine
    20th March 2016 / 8:59 am

    Cake, seriously?! Why not list ice cream as well? Wouldn’t happen in Sweden…

    • 21st March 2016 / 7:15 pm

      Oh I think she probably had ice cream too! Yes, cake. We eat as a family. I have an older son, we often have desert. This post talks about my daughter up to the age of one, I’m not saying give kids jelly, ice cream, cake and a diet coke for breakfast, I do however think it’s ok if they have a small portion of the same thing that everyone else in the family is eating, as long as that’s not a Big Mac at six months old. I think most parents are sensible enough to know that though? At my son’s birthday party would I really want to be the woman refusing to let my daughter have a tiny bit of cake because it’s a terrible and awful thing? It’s up to each parent to decide what is right for their kids, I’ve seen parents be super strict about sugar in front of their children and acting like its The Worst Thing Ever, it didn’t end well.

  17. Michelle
    21st May 2016 / 12:18 am

    Great list but babies should not eat round foods, which are choking hazards, until age 2. So that means no raisins, peas, blueberries or slippery grapes, even cut in half. 🙁

    • 23rd May 2016 / 5:52 am

      Oh I haven’t heard that before and there’s nothing on the NHS site about it. I know that different countries can recommend different things though?

  18. Abi Aswegen
    9th June 2016 / 4:11 pm

    This is such a great list! We had a slow teether too, with a voracious appetite! Other things that worked really well for us were boiled eggs and avocados.

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