Baby Weaning: Healthy Snack Ideas

Healthy Snack Ideas for Baby Weaning

Please use your own judgement with the following snack ideas. I’ve simply listed them as suggestions, they may not be suitable for your baby right now.

As your little one grows and becomes more capable of managing finger foods I hope these ideas will be useful…

1. Fruit
Fruit cut into slices, with a little of the skin left on. This helps baby to grip better, since it’s not so slippery.

sxc.hu: nosheep

Anything goes, but apples, pears, or peaches cut into fingers are good.

Satsuma or nectarine wedges work well.

A banana sliced diagonally, or simply given with the skin pealed back and eat as is (if age appropriate).

For smaller fruits, like grapes, cut them in half, so they are easier to manage.

Dried fruit is also an option, although a very concentrated source of sugar. So, don’t give too often to prevent tooth decay. Also, choose a non-sulphured option, if possible.

Some authorities recommend you don’t give dried fruit to children under 3, due to the risk of choking — but, many parents do give it sooner, with no issues. If you choose to give dried fruit, take precautions by cutting into smaller pieces, so as to prevent a ‘plug’ forming, and also give in small portions, rather not handfuls.

If you are really enthusiastic, you could dehydrate your own fruit pieces. You can buy dehydrated fruits too, but check the label, as most have additives which you may prefer to avoid.

2. Vegetables
Just like fruit, any type of vegetable makes a good snack option for babies.

Try lightly steamed vegetable fingers, such as broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, baby corn-on-the-cob, asparagus tips.

These can be steamed the night before, then kept in a container in the fridge for snack time the following day.

Roasted root vegetables are also good options for snacks. Try roasted carrots, parsnips or sweet potatoes, cut into fingers.

3. Carbs
Toast fingers, bread sticks, oat cakes, rice cakes, pita triangles, naan bread fingers, and sandwiches are all nutritious options.

Go for wholemeal options, where appropriate, and perhaps try spreading or dipping these into some of the dips and spreads suggested below.

Cold cooked pasta shapes are also a great snack idea. If you’re having pasta in the evening, just make a little extra for the following days snacks.

I’ve been using pasta spirals, as they seem easy to handle. Recently I put a little grated cheese on top while still hot, which melted and give a bit of flavour when eaten cold later on.

You could also add vegetables, or use the pasta for dipping into something like avocado or salsa dip.

I also like dry breakfast cereal as a snack. Again, remember to check labels, and go for a low sugar, low salt version.

Pre-loaded spoon

4. Dairy
Cheese wedges, natural yoghurt, Greek yoghurt, or fromage frais work well as a baby snack.

Just remember to buy the full fat version, and make sure they don’t have lots of sugar or artificial sweeteners added.

I have recently started loading Elissa’s spoon with natural yoghurt, giving it to her, and she then feeds herself, rather than the traditional spoon feeding method. She enjoys this very much!

5. Dips and Spreads
Babies love to dip things, or just eating the dip off their fingers, if you can stand the mess.

Try offering a dip for vegetables, bread sticks, fruit, etc.

Things like hummus dip, mashed avocado, roasted, mashed sweet potato or butternut squash, cream cheese, natural nut butters (e.g. almond, cashew), homemade dahl (lentils), and natural yoghurt all work really well as a dip, or for spreading.

Baby snacks on-the-move
When you’re away from home, meal and snack time can prove difficult. But, it doesn’t have to be, with a little forethought.

I find fruit is a great fallback option. We also love steamed, cold vegetables, such as broccoli or carrots. And, natural yoghurt is a nice easy snack option too for on-the-go snacking.

The good thing about fruit and yoghurt, is you can find them easily in shops, if you happen to be away from home longer than expected.

Baby Weaning Recipe

Here is a recipe I’m going to try for Elissa (and us too) in the next few days…

Banana, Blueberry and Strawberry Muffins
Adapted from the Baby Led Weaning Forum

Ingredients:
9oz wholemeal self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 oz caster sugar
3 fl oz sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large ripe banana
handful of blueberries
handful of strawberries, cut into chunks
2 medium eggs
125ml/4fl oz soy milk

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large bowl, add caster sugar and stir through.
  2. With a fork, mash the banana, then beat together the eggs, vanilla extract, oil and soy milk in a second bowl. Add the blueberries and strawberries, then stir through.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and add the egg mixture, stirring roughly with a fork (don’t over mix), until it is a lumpy paste.
  4. Set paper cases into muffin tins, and spoon in the mixture until almost full.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins come away from the side of the pan when touched. Rest the muffin tray on a wire rack for 5 minute, then remove, and leave on the rack for another 5 minutes before serving.

What are your favourite baby weaning snack ideas?

If you have any queries about baby led weaning leave a question below, or contact me. Alternatively, share your personal experiences… I’d love to hear from you.

Email address

Pages: 1 2

About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?


Free Book: The Secret Behind Optimal Health!

Join +17,936 other smart people by entering your email address.
This will send you my book, which is a brief guide to Life Mastery.
It's absolutely free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Not convinced? Read 7 Reasons to Subscribe!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzannah May 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Hi Melanie,
This sounds interesting, and I’m glad you’re having success with it! Eli’s just turned 5 months, but he’s a big boy and always grabbing at my food and wanting to be up at the table with us. I’ve tried giving him a few little bites of watered down baby rice cereal, but most of it comes back out. He’s happy to chew on one of those long baby rusks as well, under my supervision. He’s still ultimately on breastmilk though, and will be for the next month.

What I don’t understand is how they don’t choke! If you’re giving Elissa things like cherry tomato halves and pasta spirals, is she actually chewing them up and swallowing them? I do suppose she has a couple of teeth by now.

You’ve got me curious though. I’ll have to see if I can find a book on it!
Thanks :)

Reply

Melanie May 7, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Hi Suzannah,
Good to hear from you.

Elissa was the same, grabbing at food and really interested in what we were eating before 6 months. That’s a great sign.

In terms of choking, advocates of baby led weaning claim choking is actually more likely when babies are fed from a spoon, due to the sucking motion they use to take the food from the spoon — food is sucked straight to the back of the throat, and is more difficult to handle.

However, when babies feeds themselves this is less likely to happen, as they have complete control over what goes into their mouths, and how quickly they eat it. By using the gag reflex they instinctively get rid of any food that may cause a problem.

It appears as long as simple safety rules are observed, choking is no more likely than with any other methods of introducing solids.

Now, I’m just spewing exactly what BLWing advocates will tell you, however I haven’t had any issues (yet) with Elissa, in terms of choking.

With the tomatoes, she will suck the insides out, then spit out the skin. It’s amazing to see her do it. With pasta some seems to get swallowed, and some comes back out. It varies from day to day. Some days she eats more than others. She does make a chewing motion, though I don’t know how effective it is, but she is definitely eating something — the nappies are a sure sign, lol.

Go onto YouTube and take a look at some of the BLWing videos of babies eating apples, etc. It’s pretty interesting.

I don’t know if you can get this book in Australia, but this is the book I got, “Baby led weaning, by Gill Rapley.

Reply

Suzannah May 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I did check out some videos on YouTube. Amazing! There was one video with this baby who stuffed a huge piece of broccoli in his mouth and it just disappeared! Don’t know that I’m game to try it yet (Eli’s not old enough anyway), but I’ll definitely be reading more about it. Thanks for some great snack ideas!

Reply

Melanie May 10, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Haha… it’s an interesting subject at the very least. That baby must have been enjoying his broccoli, I think I’d be a little concerned if Elissa stuffed a whole piece in her mouth right now, though :-)

Reply

Nicola peel May 11, 2010 at 11:10 am

Hi

Your snack ideas seem great! It’s great that anything goes. My LO is 8 months and loves meat! ESP Roasts where she sucks and sucks on the fattiest bits.

The clear ups are easy now that I have created a 360 degree bib to ‘Bridge the Gap’ between the baby and highchair tray! I can even put LO to bed after her tea without bathing her. TBH the thought of the mess made me put my thinking cap on and my sewing machine out to create my design registered ‘Bridge It Bib’ (B.I.B)

Seriously makes your life easier – unless you have a dog to eat up the mess

N

Reply

Melanie May 11, 2010 at 11:19 am

Hi Nicola,
I am so excited about your product, thank you for sharing it! I’m just wondering which bib you would recommend for us — I have a DanChair so no tray, would you be able to attach the 360 bib onto the kitchen table?

Reply

Kelly May 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Baby led weaning is such a doddle! :) I did this with my now 2 and a half year old son. It is so easy to just let him eat when he wants. He still is breastfed and I think if you are breastfeeding it gives you a nice security blanket while they wean.

My son didn’t show a huge interest in food until he was 14 months and only then did he start to eat lots and lots. Before that he had food on hte odd ocassion and loves holding fruit on his own and eating it :)

He now tends to pick and choose how he eats. Sometimes he will sit and eat lots but most of the time he just eats really quickly and then gets on with what he is fascinated with. He can be quite sporadic. He has lots of energy too and doesn’t refuse trying anything. If he doesn’t like it he will spit it out anyway lol.

My son is definitely a fruit and vegetable lover though.

I just thought I would share a little of my experience. I know around when my son was a year I started to worry he wasn’t getting enough but from what I have read of others experiences its really normal. It can be quite hard to trust your child and yourself to do it when everyone around you is stuffing their children with jarred baby food as soon as they hit 6 months, but I think over time you just get more confidence :).
.-= Kelly´s last blog ..Postponement & The 5 Major Poisons Inherently Found In Animal Foods =-.

Reply

Melanie May 14, 2010 at 8:33 am

Hi Kelly,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I’m definitely a BLWing convert!! I suppose it doesn’t matter what route you take in weaning, your child will have those days when they eat very little.

When did you notice your son dropping a breastfeed after you started weaning. I can’t really say I’ve noticed much difference yet, and Elissa is 7 months now — too early perhaps?

Reply

Gail May 16, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Hi Mel, This is brilliant. Thanks x

Reply

Melanie May 17, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Hi Gail,
You’re welcome. Glad you liked.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: