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Introducing solid foods to your 6-month-old baby can be an exciting and challenging time for both you and your little one.
Baby-led weaning (BLW) is my personal favorite method of introducing solids to your baby. BLW consists of you offering your baby safe whole foods and allowing them to feed themselves. Versus the more traditional way of spoon-feeding where you’d be in control of feeding and you’d feed more pureed-based foods.
One of the reasons I love using BLW to introduce solids to your baby is because it introduces different tastes, textures, and smells to your baby from the first bite. Plus, it encourages the development of feeding skills (like chewing, and bringing food to their mouth) from the get-go.
You can read more about the benefits of BLW here.
Without diving too deep into the strategies behind BLW, one thing I want you to keep in mind is that these first couple of months of solid food introduction are mainly for sensory development and exploration.
Your baby is still receiving all they need nutritionally from breastmilk or formula. So don’t stress about their actual intake (it’s likely not going to be much), but focus on letting them explore the food you offer.
Today I’m going to give you a few nutritious recipes that you can use to introduce new foods to your 6-month-old baby – breakfast, lunch, and dinner! But remember at this age your baby only needs 1 solid food meal per day. I suggest choosing a meal time when you (or the entire family) are able to sit and eat with them.
BLW Breakfast Recipes for 6-Month-Old
If you chose to offer your baby a solid food breakfast I would make sure they have nursed/drank a bottle beforehand. Maybe wait 20-30 minutes after the milk feed before offering a solid breakfast.
You want your baby to come to the table with the motivation to eat, but not starving.
As I mentioned in the introduction they’re not going to be actually ingesting much and they’re still learning these skills. So if they’re too hungry and unable to eat as fast or as much as they’d like it can cause frustration and meltdowns during mealtime.
Here are a few BLW breakfast recipes to start your baby’s day off right:
#1: Avocado Toast Fingers
Mash an avocado up and add whatever herbs and seasoning you’d like – just avoid adding salt. Lightly toast a piece of whole grain or sourdough bread. Spread the avocado mash onto the lightly toasted bread. Cut into strips (or “fingers) and serve to your baby.
#2: Banana Oat Pancakes
Here is a 3-Ingredient Banana Oat Pancake recipe.
These are super easy to make and perfect for your new eater. Cut these pancakes into strips. Avoid offering syrup until your baby is over 12 months of age.
Some great accompaniments for pancakes at this age include – nut butter (if already introduced safely), homemade jam, or mashed fruit.
#3:Blueberry Banana Oat Muffins
Nutritious muffins are a great breakfast or snack option for your BLW baby. These Blueberry Banana Oat Muffins are a great option.
When looking for muffin recipes for your baby avoid using any recipes with honey and sugar. Look for recipes that sweeten the recipe with fruit, maple syrup, or dates.
#4: Spinach and Cheese Omelets
Omelets are the best way to offer eggs to your 6-month-old baby. You can serve a plain omelet or add veggies, meat, or cheese to the omelets. Cut the omelet into strips (or “fingers”) to make it easy for your baby to grab.
Remember that eggs are a top 9 common allergen. So when offering for the first time try a small amount and make sure they are plain. If your baby handles the eggs okay then you can start to serve larger portions and add all the mixins in.
BLW Lunch Recipes for 6-Month-Old
Fruits and veggies are great first food options for your 6-month-old’s lunch. You can offer steamed or cooked veggies and raw fruit safely) or if you want to get fancy here are a few ideas:
#5: Sweet Potato Fries
Cut a sweet potato into large wedges or fries and toss in avocado oil. You can add herbs or seasonings, but avoid salt. Roast in the oven until the fries are softened.
#6: Roasted Vegetable Medley
Some great first veggies for your 6-month-old baby include carrots, zucchini, broccoli, yellow squash, and green beans.
You can offer your baby a medley of veggies for lunch by tossing any of these veggies in avocado oil + seasoning (avoiding salt). Roast until the veggies are softened.
You can also steam a medley of veggies until softened and offer them this way too.
#7: Butternut Squash + Apple Puree
You can still offer your baby pureed foods using a BLW method of offering food. You can learn more about the 3 Ways to Offer Your Baby Food With BLW here. One of my babies’ favorite purees was butternut squash + apples.
Steam your diced butternut squash and apples until you’re able to mash them. Add steamed fruit and veggies to a blender with a little bit of breastmilk or formula. Mix until completely pureed. Add more breast milk or formula until you reach the desired consistency.
#8: Steamed Carrot Sticks with Hummus for Dipping
Carrot sticks are the best first food for your baby. You’ll want to make sure they are steamed to the point where you can easily smash the carrot stick between your fingers. I’d avoid using baby carrots because you want to make sure the carrot is long enough that when your baby grasps it the carrot is still sticking out from the top and bottom of their fist, so they can explore.
You can place a small dish or a dollop of hummus on your baby’s tray to level up the sensory experience. You can also pre-dip the carrots into the hummus too if you’d like.
BLW Dinner Recipes for Your 6-Month-Old
Dinner time typically tends to be the most common mealtime to start offering your baby food. It’s usually the one time of day when the entire family sits together to eat.
This is largely important to the success of your baby’s BLW journey – as sitting and watching you eat and partaking in the social aspect of mealtime is a large part of the experience.
You can make this super easy and offer your baby 1-2 things you’re already making with dinner. If you’d like to be a bit more prepared and intentional with your dinner here are a few recipes that work great.
#9: Carrot and Lentil Soup
Here is a super yummy recipe. You can offer this soup to your baby on a pre-loaded spoon, although it’s highly likely they’ll spill it before it ends up in their mouth. What I like to do is mix in brown rice, quinoa, or blended oats with a small spoonful of soup, so it’s more like a mash.
You can then pre-load this mash onto the spoon or offer it to them in a bowl where they can scoop it up with their hands.
#10: Broccoli and Cheese Quinoa Bites
These Broccoli + Cheese Quinoa Bites (omit the salt) are a great side to add to your dinner, plus you can serve them as is to your 6-month-old baby. Little veggie-based muffins or bites like this are an easy way to start offering your baby veggies and are a hit with the entire family.
#11: Slow-Cooker Beef Stew
I love a good slow cooker recipe for busy weeknights. Here is one of my favorite recipes. I would avoid offering your baby stewed meat until they have more teeth and have developed a strong chew because the meat is considered a choking hazard. But the slow-cooked veggies and broth are the perfect BLW dinner recipe for 6-month-olds.
#12: Roasted Chicken Drumsticks with Mashed Cauliflower and Peas
Drumsticks are a great first way to introduce your baby to chicken. You can offer them the whole drumsticks, ensuring to remove any skin or lose bones, and allow them to explore and gnaw on the drumstick.
A great side to offer with the drumstick, although a side isn’t necessarily needed at this age, is mashed cauliflower and peas. Make sure to smash or mash the peas as well to eliminate the risk of choking.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Baby-led weaning is an excellent method to introduce solid foods to your baby as it allows for the exploration of different tastes, textures, and smells right from the first bite, while also encouraging the development of essential feeding skills such as chewing and bringing food to their mouth.
Remember: Your little one is still primarily getting their nutritional needs from breastmilk or formula, so it’s not necessary to stress over how much they’re actually consuming. Instead, focus on offering a variety of foods and letting your baby explore and interact with them in their own way.
If you’re unsure of what to offer your baby who just started solid foods or feels like you’re offering the same few foods over and over again, then I encourage you to try out some of these recipes and experiment with others!