How to cut food for baby led weaning is one of the most important aspects of BLW. When introducing solid finger foods, we need to make sure they are easily grasped as well as safe to eat. Keep reading for some guidelines on how to cut baby finger foods and preparing food for baby led weaning.
When I first started baby led weaning, cutting and preparing the food was the most daunting task. Too small, not soft enough, not the right shape – these all seemed like issues I would inevitably hit. Thankfully, it was much easier than I thought!
I’ve compiled some tips and tricks for what to look for when making food for BLW and am sharing with you here today!
General Guidelines for preparing food for baby led weaning:
- 1-2 finger widths
- Double the length of baby’s fist
- Soft enough to mush with gentle pressure from your fingers
Basically, you want it wide enough that the baby can pick it up, long enough that it comes out of their fist when they grab it, and soft enough to eat with no teeth.
To be extra safe, especially in the beginning, my personal guideline for softness was/is if I could smush it on the roof of my mouth with my tongue.
How to cut foods for baby led weaning:
It can vary by age how to cut finger foods for baby, as well as by item.
Everything should be soft and in long sticks. This is because the pincer grip is not yet honed, so they need to be able to hold it between their 4 fingers and palm.
- For a banana, leave on the peel and cut down just enough to reveal the fruit.
- For avocado, cut a wedge and leave on the peel.
- With apples, cut into 8ths, remove seeds, and steam or bake until very soft.
- For carrots, peel and steam the whole carrot.
- For zucchini, squash, or cucumbers, quarters lengthwise. You can serve baked, steamed, or raw.
- When serving sweet potato, cut into large, thick sticks and bake or steam.
- For broccoli, cut the top and stalk to create a lollipop type vegetable and steam.
- For eggs, I like to make a quiche type thing in a pan then cut into strips. Another option if cutting a hard-boiled egg into 4ths lengthwise.
- Finally, with meat, cut into strips unless it can be shredded.
This is generally when the pincer grip starts to show, so try honing it with food! Cut food into small cubes. Still avoid whole nuts and seeds. (thinned out nut butter is great, though, as is a thin coat of nut butter on crackers or bread.)
- For blueberries, cut into 4ths. For large blueberries, cut into 8ths.
- For beans, gently smash individually with your finger.
- For grapes, cut into 8ths.
Remember that popcorn is recommended to avoid until the age of 4!
More baby led weaning posts:
Got a picky eater?
My kids eat their veggies every day without complaining. Want my secret?
Grab the Outsmart your Picky Eater cheat sheets to get the inside scoop on how to add veggies to food your kids already love.