All about Baby-Led Weaning (BLW), Part 6: First Foods & Foods to Avoid

The following foods are recommended by Rapley & Murkett (109-112) as easy first finger foods for babies (6+ months).

  • Steamed (or lightly boiled) or roasted whole vegetables, such as green beans, baby corn, and sugar-snap peas
  • Steamed (or lightly boiled) or roasted florets of cauliflower and broccoli
  • Steamed, roasted or stir-fried vegetable sticks, such as carrot, potato, egg plant, sweet potato, parsnip, pumpkin, and zucchini
  • Raw sticks of cucumber (tip: keep some of these ready prepared in the fridge for babies who are teething—the coolness is soothing for their gums)
  • Thick slices of avocado with the skin on (not too ripe or it will be very squishy; the skin makes it easier to grasp)
  • Chicken (as a strip of meat or on a leg bone)—warm (i.e., freshly cooked) or cold
  • Thin strips of beef, lamb or pork—warm (i.e., freshly cooked) or cold
  • Fruit, such as pear, apple, banana, peach, nectarine, mango—either whole or as sticks (make sure it’s ripe enough)
  • Sticks of firm cheese, such as cheddar or Gloucester
  • Breadsticks
  • Rice cakes or toast “fingers”—on their own or with a homemade spread, such as hummus and tomato, or cottage cheese
  • Homemade meatballs, mini burgers, lamb or chicken nuggets, fish cakes or fish fingers, falafel, lentil patties, rice balls, etc.
  • Pasta or rice

The following foods should be avoided.

  • High choking risk foods like whole nuts (which should be avoided until your child is at least 3 years old)
  • Added salt or sugar
  • Additives and artificial preservatives and sweeteners
  • Unhealthy and processed foods like chips, popcorn, foods with processed sugar, breakfast cereals, gum and hard candy
  • Raw honey (due to the risk of botulism) - before one year of age
  • Raw bran and bran products
  • No more than two servings a week of tuna, as it is high in mercury
  • Stimulants like chocolate or sugar
  • Coffee, tea and cola drinks
  • Sweetened drinks and undiluted fruit juices
  • Animal milk (not for children under a year)

Works Cited
Rapley, Gill, and Murkett, Tracey. Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods and Helping Your Baby Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater. The Experiment, New York: 2008, 2010.  


Thank you so much for reading my All About BLW series! I hope this information has been helpful, interesting and exciting for you. You can refer back to it at any point in the future as a resource guide. Best wishes on your BLW journey! You'll all have a great time. :) Please contact me anytime with questions or comments. I am happy to help you in any way!
Sarah, the Gastromommy