Ten Healthy Baby-Led Weaning Recipes

What is baby-led weaning?

baby weaningWhile the baby jar and spoon-feeding phase seems like an inevitable stage in parenthood, there is a growing alternative to traditional weaning – known as ‘Baby Led Weaning’. Originally coined by Gill Rapley, the philosophy of baby led weaning is essentially that at around 6 months, babies are capable of reaching for and eating solid food on their own; no purees or food processors necessary!


How do I get started with baby-led weaning?

Baby led weaning is very simple. Once a child is over six months and able to sit up independently and reach for objects, they are ready to start weaning. Start by including your baby at mealtimes with weaning-friendly finger foods, when they are ready they will reach out and grab for the food. As their hand-to-mouth coordination and pincer grip develops, you can introduce a larger variety of foods. In the initial stage of baby-led weaning food is predominately about exploration and play rather than nourishment so it can get very messy! Purchasing a simple plastic or wooden highchair and a plastic mat underneath the table is recommended.

 What are the benefits of baby-led weaning?

There are many advantages of baby-led weaning; an obvious benefit is that it can be very cost and time effective as there is no need to purchase expensive jarred food or food processors and meals can be eaten together without the need to puree.

 Convenience aside, advocates of baby-led weaning claim that there are many developmental benefits including a faster development of dexterity and hand to mouth coordination. A common problem experienced during traditional weaning is that toddlers are unwilling to try new textures once they get used to pureed food, so introducing all sorts of textures and flavours from the start of weaning can help them to be more adventurous with trying new foods. Baby-led weaning also makes eating together as a family easier to put into practice, which can help to establish long-term healthy attitudes towards eating in children.

 What about the risk of choking?

Many parents are weary of baby-led weaning due to the perceived risk of choking, but as with children eating solid foods at any ages there are certain precautions to take when preparing food to reduce this risk; such as halving small fruits, not giving your baby nuts and ensuring that your child is never alone during mealtimes.

 Advocates of baby-led weaning claim that giving your child control of the food they put into their mouth actually helps to reduce the risk of choking.  It is important to familiarise yourself with the difference between gagging and choking; young toddlers have sensitive gag reflexes which can be alarming but babies are rarely bothered by it! In fact, as gag reflexes are most sensitive at around 6-8 months of age, baby-led weaning can help them learn not to overfill their mouths before they can swallow.

Important facts to remember:

Children under one should not ingest more than 1g of salt per day

Allow your baby to go at their own pace – don’t put food in their mouth or force them to eat more than they choose to pick up

Never leave your baby alone when eating

Do not give children under one shellfish, nuts, honey or under-cooked eggs

Here are some healthy recipes to get you and your baby started on your baby-led weaning journey:

 Broccoli and Cheese Muffins

Beetroot Hummus with Vegetable Dippers

Pea and Pancetta Frittata

Spanish Apple Cake

Zucchini and Ricotta Pitta Pizzas

Vegetable Pancakes

Homemade Fish Fingers

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Banana Bread

Apple, Carrot and Yoghurt Muffins




PRESS RELEASE: Children Make Dinosaur Pie Puppets in Brighton


24th July

Children Make Dinosaur Pie Puppets

On Saturday 28th July, Brighton cooking company Cookery Doodle Doo are teaching children to bake Cherry Almond Pie-Pops with a pre-historic twist.

Pie-Pops (pies on sticks like lollypops) may be fashionable at the moment but in this class the children will take it one step further by adding hand-drawn eyes and big green dino feet!

Katie Elfer, Founder of Cookery Doodle Doo said “Sometimes it can take a lot of imagination to get the children to eat – let along cook for themselves.  My little boy is obsessed with dinosaurs at the moment so we loved the idea of creating some edible puppets together. The pie puppets we made had a very short stage-life, but tasted very nice. I hope the other children enjoy making and eating them as much as we did!”

This class is suitable for children aged 3-10 and held at Cbabiesafe Nursery in Hove. Children aged under 6 must be accompanied by a parent or carer.

For more information about the upcoming summer classes in Brighton and Worthing please visit www.cookerydoodledoo.com



For more information please contact event organiser Katie Elfer:

M: Katie on 07588692955

E: info@cookerydoodledoo.net

W: www.cookerydoodledoo.com

Twitter: @cookerydoodledo


Information about the event organisers, Cookery Doodle Doo

Cookery Doodle Doo are a Brighton based company who organise cookery and food-craft classes for children and young people in the city. They recently presented live food shows at the Brighton Food Festival and were shortlisted for a ‘Business Mums Award’.

Launched in 2011, their unique approach to cooking utilises everything from hamster-balls to edible puppets to entertain and educate children.

More information can be found on their website:www.cookerydoodledoo.com

Katie Elfer

Cookery Doodle Doo