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…
Fruit cut into slices, with a little of the skin left on. This helps baby to grip better, since it’s not so slippery.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Set paper cases into muffin tins, and spoon in the mixture until almost full.
- 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?
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