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Baby Bites: Baby Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

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Baby Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

I get a lot of parenting questions sent my way (which I find highly amusing, because, um, hi, I’m totally clueless), but none more than the volume of questions I get about baby led weaning.

Baby led weaning (or BLW for those in the know) is an alternative method of introducing solids to babies. Instead of doing the more traditional baby food/pureed food step, you skip that entirely and start off your baby with “real” food with modifications—pieces that are large enough to not be a choking hazard, food that is soft enough to get “chewed” by gums, skipping family allergens. More or less, you and your baby are eating the same foods at each meal time.

There is a great book out there that gives you the run down of why BLW is a good option to consider (although, it’s important to note, BLW isn’t for every family or every baby), so I won’t rehash that here. I will tell you why we decided to do BLW—we’re lazy. Ha! Not having to prepare or buy separate baby food really appealed to me. And it’s been so wonderful to just be able to make Juniper’s meals at the exact same time I’m doing ours. It also just felt more natural to me, you know? I highly doubt parents in the olden days were whipping out their blender to puree sweet potatoes and chicken together. Or running to Whole Foods to grab jars of organic baby food. They probably fed their kids the same food they ate. Baby led weaning just felt “right” for us.

Juniper High Chair

We started BLW about a week after Juniper turned six months old (back in December), and her first taste of food that wasn’t breastmilk was a strip of cucumber. She put it in her mouth, chewed on it a little, and then threw it on the floor. And this was how BLW continued for months. We kept offering her food, and she kept showing little to no interest in it. But slowly, she started to find some foods that she enjoyed (both eating and playing with), and now, at almost 11 months old, she’s an eating rockstar. She has enough teeth and enough eating skills now that she pretty much can eat anything—and does. For the most part, we’re past the choking stage – she has five teeth and has gotten the hang of chewing – but we are still modifying her foods to mostly be choking hazard-free just to be safe.

When we first started BLW, I really struggled with figuring out exactly how to modify what we were eating to give to Juniper. All the books and blogs say, “just give them what you are eating,” and that’s true to a certain extent. But I’m obviously not going to give my six month old a bowl of piping hot soup, you know? So now that we’re more well-versed in the day-to-day of BLW, I thought I’d share some of our favorite meal ideas. My plan is to do a post for each of the meals in a day, we’re going to start with the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Juniper always nurses when she first wakes up, and then within the hour, she eats breakfast. Here’s some of our favorites:

Quick and Easy Baby Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

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Mommy and Daddy /// Whole Wheat Banana Muffin, hard-boiled egg, strawberries, green smoothie

Baby /// Whole Wheat Banana Muffin, banana (with half the peel left on for easy grabbing), whole milk yogurt with unsweetened applesauce, hemp seeds, and strawberries

One of the biggest benefits we’ve seen with BLW is a really remarkable increase in her motor skills related to eating tasks. She’s been using a spoon to scoop up yogurt for months now. And she’s developed an excellent pincer skill (the ability to pick things up between your thumb and finger).

Bananas can be super slippery, so leaving on half the peel is a great way to make it grab-able for little fingers. It took Juniper a few bites of the wrong side to realize it wasn’t yummy, but she learned quickly! If you don’t normally buy organic bananas, I would recommend getting organic ones until your baby gets the hang of the fact that the peel side isn’t for eating.

Sunday Morning Pancakes

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Mommy and Daddy /// Whole wheat pancakes with strawberry rhubarb sauce, strawberries

Baby /// Mini whole wheat pancakes, strawberries and kiwi

Juniper is a huge, giant, massive fan of anything carb-y (pancakes, bread, pasta, etc.). That’s my girl! Sometimes we serve her pancakes with something for dipping in and sometimes we don’t—it really depends on how much we are willing to clean up after breakfast. This time, we skipped the dip and gave her some fresh fruit to eat on the side.

Savory Flavor

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Mommy and Daddy /// Whole wheat pitas with scrambled eggs, black beans, cheese, salsa, avocado and cilantro

Baby /// Scrambled eggs, avocado pieces, black beans

One of my most favorite things about BLW is that there really isn’t very much that is off-limits for babies. We’ve been conditioned that babies should eat bland, mild, boring food until they are older. But there is no reason for them not to eat the same foods we have—babies like flavor, too! Juniper has eaten étouffée and chili and everything in between. She loves it all! We gave her some salsa to go along with her breakfast here—a deconstructed breakfast burrito.

Other Baby Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

Here are a few other breakfast ideas that we have a lot in our house:

Oatmeal /// Baby and parents have pretty much have the exact same thing on oatmeal mornings. We just leave any nuts out of Juniper’s bowl (a choking hazard and big allergen) and skip honey (botulism risk), but she eats pretty much the same bowls we have. We give her a spoon and let her have fun.

Juniper High Chair

Toast and Fruit /// We eat a lot of toast in our house! Mommy and Daddy normally have toast with peanut butter and spreadable fruit, but we normally just butter Juniper’s toast (or add some jam or fruit butter) and give her fruit on the side. This girl loves her carbs! Sodium content in store-bought bread can be an issue for small babies, so we try to mostly feed her bread we make at home so we can control the salt.

Yogurt Bowls /// Similar to oatmeal, we make yogurt bowls that are pretty much the same for Mommy and Daddy and for baby. We try to not use a lot of added sugar with Juniper, so usually we sweeten her plain yogurt with unsweetened applesauce. Works like a charm! It’s a ton of messy fun.

Juniper High Chair

In case you were curious, we use the Becothings Bamboo Baby Feeding Set and OXO Tot Feeding Spoons. We love them both! We’ve been using them for five months now everyday, and they’ve held up wonderfully. We also use the Abiie Beyond high chair, which we for the most part, really love (I really like that it grows with her—even turning into an adult chair), but I could do without the white pads—seriously, who makes high chair pads white? They are already so stained from spaghetti sauce and beet fingers!

The low pressure style of BLW really works with our family. Mealtimes are so much fun for us! No stressing about how much food Juniper is taking in or what kinds of foods she’s eating. We know she’s experiencing a ton of variety of different tastes and textures, all while still getting all the nutrients she needs from nursing. I’ll be back in a few weeks with some lunch ideas!

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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24 Responses
  1. MJ

    This is a wonderful breakdown with some solid examples of how to incorporate baby into family meals. I’ve been digging online a ton for my baby and I have to say your post is one of the best ones yet. Would love to see more (esp. for dinners!). Thank you and good job! 🙂

  2. CHRISTINE

    Thank you for the ideas! My son is doing really well with BLW. He is 6 mo and he loves to eat. I just need to find food that will satisfy his hunger! I was told there was study done on peanut butter and early exposure reducing chances peanut allergies.

  3. Suzanne

    I am breast feeding and doing BLW with my 8 month old. She is is the top like 9% weight wise and my health visitor has said I should withhold milk and push food more. I currently offer meals and snacks but just let her eat as much or as little as she wants then nurse again as much or as little as she wants. What is your opinion ?

    1. Cassie

      Your doctor knows your unique family situation (and if you don’t agree with the advice your doctor is giving you, I recommend getting a second professional opinion). That being said…

      I’m a big believer in nursing on demand—I still do with my 2 1/2 year old. And part of that means sometimes she doesn’t want milk and wants a ton of “real” food. And sometimes she doesn’t want anything but milk. I personally don’t want to undercut my kid’s instinctual ability to regulate her own food intake—I want her to feel confident that she can and should make her own food choices now and when she’s older—so I don’t love the idea of withholding/pushing anything. But I’m also a hippie dippie crunchy granola mom. 🙂

  4. Amy

    HI! did you ever get around to the Lunch/Dinner options?? My problem with BLW is making things that i can adjust to suit my LO too. Maybe its more my mental block, or i just dont like veggies (probably the veggies) but i cant seem to get the hang of making something the husband and i both will eat, that can accommodate her as well.

  5. Amber

    Thanks for this post! We’re getting ready to start introducing some solid foods in about a month and want to go the BLW route. These are great ideas! Can’t wait for the lunch ideas 🙂

  6. Yay for BLW! I am going to do it as well and even though Carson is a couple of weeks away from 6 months, I have been letting him experiment with huge chunks of food. He loves playing with everything. He also has two teeth that have popped through and he loves to bite down on frozen strawberries!

    I hope more mom’s read about BLW and give it a shot. The book was so informative.

  7. Ashley

    she. is. the. cutest. thing. ever. and. i. want. to. squeeze. her!!!!!

    Love this post! Funny how the opposite is my case — I’ve done purees because it’s easier for me to make them and feed her than BLW! I did more BLW with my first but just my work/cooking situation these days makes purees easier. I plan to switch her over to more solid solids soon though. I will keep your meal ideas in mind! Can’t wait for the rest of these posts. I’m a total fangirl of your Juniper posts, I love your parenting style and methods. I wish our kids could be friends IRL! I also hope that didn’t sound creepy, I did not intend it to 😉

    I want to second the previous commenter on the allergens. It’s now recommended by pediatric allergy specialists (physicians and dietitians) to introduce the top 8 as soon as possible. Fun fact: one of the lowest peanut allergy rates in the world is in Israel, and one of the very first foods every child there has is something similar to a puffy Cheeto that is made from peanuts. I first gave it to both my girls mixed in oatmeal. If you are worried about any of the allergens, something one of my close friends, a pediatric allergen dietitian, does when she does allergy challenges in her office is rub the food on the back of the child’s upper arm. Wait a bit and see if it turns red. I did this with all the allergens with my kids just for peace of mind before I fed it to them.

    Longest comment ever award goes to me 🙂

  8. I can’t say enough good things about BLW. I love getting to eat together as a family instead of one parent having to do the whole “here comes the airplane” routine!

    The main thing that appealed to me was getting Nora introduced to our family foods right away. I really don’t like how many moms seem to function as short-order cooks these days, so I’m hoping to avoid that. Nora loves everything so far (Indian food, lots of spicy bean stews, etc), but I’ve heard they can start getting picky in the second year. 🙂

    Have you read the new studies on how early introduction of allergens might prevent the development of allergies? Our pediatrician (who is pro-BLW by the way, yay!) recommended introducing things like peanut butter right away because of it.

    Banana tip: if you peel the banana and press your finger down in the center of the tip of the banana, it naturally splits into three long pieces that are easy for babies to hold – it doesn’t get slick like it does when you cut it with a knife.

    1. Cassie

      I haven’t seen those studies! I’d love to read more. We don’t have a lot of allergies on either side (I have a slight kiwi/banana allergy, but it doesn’t stop me from eating them), so she should be good. And I’d love to get her on the PB train! 🙂

      1. Dani

        I was actually just going to ask this! Our pediatrician told us (actually after I had already read up on it) that the AAP is not recommending to hold off on introducing the major allergens anymore. The Allergist groups have come out and say that it’s wrong to wait, it can actually be worse. Ben is 10 months old and has been getting eggs since 7 months, and fish and peanut butter since around 8 months. I love to smother pancakes in PBJ for him. And he loves it too!

    2. Stephanie

      Yes, here in Canada they’ve changed the recommendations and say to introduce possible allergens early and often (obviously talk to your doc, and be extra careful with a family history). My thirteen months old has been enjoying eggs, shellfish and nut butters for a long time now. And loves them all.

      I love posts like this for ideas! Can’t wait to read the next one 🙂

  9. Kelsey

    We’ve done BLW with 2/3 kids, and love it. I always laugh when I take my babies out with friends who do the purees. They are cutting their children’s food into tiny pieces until they are quite old, and I’m handing my 11-month old baby a half a pita. One friend’s husband got super panicky when my little one started to gag, and I just said “she’ll figure it out. Babies have a strong gag reflex for a reason”. And sure enough, she did just fine. My two BLW also kids eat a much wider variety of foods than my oldest, who was on traditional baby foods. I believe it’s the true “traditional” way of feeding babies. I’m expecting #4 and welle he doing BLW again, for sure.

  10. Ashley B C

    Thanks for posting these great ideas! Our BLW attempts have been mostly unsuccessful. I started after baby C’s 6 mos check up, and stopped because she seemed disinterested, I think I’m ready to give it another go and just be mindful of having no expectations other than for her have fun. It’s also an incentive for me to reestablish healthy eating habits (real food, eating a table, not in front of screens, etc.).

    C’s also had some choking/gagging incidents that resulted in massive pukes (not fun in a restaurant). Did you guys have any issues with that? My girl may just have a super strong gag reflex (she also puked on the nurse who administered her oral vaccine). I’ve tried purees, and funny enough, she really dislikes sweet or tart flavors. Fruits are mostly out, but mashed up veggies from chicken noodle soup, spaghetti and red sauce, mushy beans are winners.

    Do you give J a sippy cup when she has food? Due to our gagging issues, I keep a straw handy to drip water into C’s mouth when it looks like she’s having trouble moving food around, but I haven’t transitioned her to a sippy cup.

    1. Cassie

      We did have some choking/gagging incidents in the first few months, and they were terrifying, but just as long as she could obviously still breathe (making sounds), we let her figure it out on her own. And pretty quickly, she learned how to move food around her mouth and only take bites she can handle. That is one of the HARDEST parts of BLW—metaphorically stepping away and letting the baby figure it out. It’s such a struggle, and more than once, I wanted to swoop in and pull a big hunk of food out of her mouth, but if I did that, she’d never learn.

      And they do learn! Craig and I were just talking a few weeks ago about how we don’t worry about choking at all anymore! She’s super adept at chewing and moving food around her mouth now—and the second she takes too big of a bite, she spits some of it back out. We figured she had to learn to deal with solid food at some point—either from the get-go or after purees. So might as well skip a step!

      We don’t give Juni anything to drink when she’s eating. We keep eating and drinking as two separate things for now. 🙂

      1. Georgia

        Thanks for this post – with my first on the way, I’m sucking up all the info I possibly can. BLW seems like such a sensible approach to take for so many reasons. May I ask how you know what (sizes, textures, etc.) does and does not represent a choking hazard? Clueless first timer here! Thanks 🙂

  11. Please keep writing about BLW! I have my first baby on the way and I am researching as much as I can- I always love your recipes for adults and perspective so I would love to hear more on the process, how it’s worked for you, etc!

  12. Emily

    Oh thank you so much for such a wonderful post Cassie! I have been scouring the web for a good BLW article and of course I knew I should have just been patient and waited for you to provide exactly what I am looking for. I hope you continue the series and give lunch/dinner and snack ideas. I am doing a mix of purees and finger foods but once my current batch of purees are done, it’s BLW all the way! Again thank you so much and thanks so much for the nappy post as well, before my baby was born last November I invested in the BumGenius nappies after reading your original post and then the second post you did not too long ago was so great to read. I love your blog so much! xo Emily

Meet Cassie
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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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