I really enjoyed being able to share family meals when my daughter started weaning. She refused to touch anything on a spoon so baby led weaning was the only option!
Sometimes though I struggled with baby led weaning dinner ideas that the whole family would eat. They still had to be something my 4 year old might like and as my daughter didn’t have teeth until she was nearly one sometimes I’d get a bit stuck for things she could actually eat rather than just suck.
These ideas are all meals that we ate as a family while doing baby led weaning and which both of my kids would eat some of!
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Baby Led Weaning Dinner Ideas
A huge favourite with my kids. I use this recipe but add peas and sweetcorn when I’m cooking the rice to get more vitamins into it.
Mash potato and chunks of fish are great for small hands to hold as well as being really heathy! Using salmon or adding hard boiled eggs cut into quarters as well as sweetcorn and peas are great ways to increase the nutrition in this dish but if your child is under one it’s recommended that you give shellfish a miss.
Ahem. I’ve taken a bit of a public bashing before for admitting that pizza was one of my daughters first foods. In fact it’s one of her favourites.
Pizza is really easy for babies to hold though and it’s easy to add lots of vegetables to them to help your baby try new flavours, sweetcorn, chopped pepper and onions are all great.
If you’re worried about what’s in a shop bought pizza it’s pretty easy to make one yourself using passata for the sauce and if you have older kids then it’s a fun activity for them too!
If you do take your kids out to restaurants then I used a travel booster just like this one and it was brilliant for shoving in the bottom of my buggy and using if the highchair in the restaurant wasn’t that great.
This is possibly the most popular meal in our house! Fry slices of onion and pepper (plus whatever else you have) with strips of chicken, add some spices for flavour while its cooking then mix with cooked rice. Just make sure you don’t make it too spicy, I often save a bit of plain rice and mix that in with the Biriyani rice to make sure it’s not too spicy for the kids but still interesting enough for me and my husband!
I find that when my daughter eats rice a lot of it tends to get dropped (even more than other meals!) but these bibs are brilliant for catching spills and she can pick the food out of them too to eat.
Meatballs in tomato sauce and cous cous
I’m going to be honest and say that every time I serve my kids cous cous I swear I’ll never do it again (the mess!) but they enjoy it so much I can’t help myself.
Make the meatballs from a good mince and bake in the oven, make your tomato sauce by frying chopped onion and adding a tin of tomatoes and some herbs and make up your cous cous.
The meatballs are much better for little hands if you chop them in half before serving and the cous cous will get shovelled in by the handful!
A classic family meal in most homes, just make sure that you don’t add any salt or stock cubes to the sauce (salt can be very damaging) and if your baby has problems eating spaghetti then change it to fusilli for something that’s much easier for little hands to grip!
I love making the sauce in a slow cooker when my daughter has a nap so I can serve it whenever we are ready!
Grilled pork with two types of chips
Chop normal potato and sweet into strips about an inch thick, boil for twenty minutes and then transfer onto a hot oven tray and cook for another twenty minutes or so until browned. Grill the pork and cut that into strips for your baby to gnaw on.
Pork Chops with Roasted Pears and Potatoes
I love this Jamie Oliver recipe and thankfully the kids enjoy it too. This is nice enough that I’ve served it when we have guests round, just skip the salt and cut the pork into strips for your little ones. This might be the perfect Baby Led Weaning dinner?!
Fusilli pasta with chicken, broccoli and peas
Fry a chopped clove of garlic along with strips of chicken and add dried herbs, olive oil and cheese if your kids like it.
Stir Frys are great for baby led weaning! Use strips of meat and add vegetables like carrot, mangetout, baby corn and spring onions. Whatever you think your child will be able to hold! Be careful with dressings, things like garlic are great but soy sauce is best kept for the adults due to the salt content.
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