Baby led weaning is a great way to get your baby familiar with new foods, flavors and textures. But how do you introduce your baby to their first solid foods? Let’s get started with this list of foods babies can eat without teeth!
My baby started teething around 4 months. But it took a while after that for the first tooth to pop through. Once my baby turned 6 months old, we wanted to start introducing solid foods. In the beginning, I didn’t realized how many foods babies can eat without teeth.
But their gums are strong!
There was the obvious first steps of rice cereal, baby oatmeal and purees. But another option is baby led weaning. Introduce your baby to foods you already have and eat yourself!
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Here are 20 foods babies can eat without teeth!
- soft cheese
- strawberry sliced thin
- cooked carrots
- scrambled eggs
- cooked apple slices
- sweet potatoes
- regular potatoes
- cooked peas
- steamed broccoli
- butternut squash
- baked oatmeal cups
- cooked green beans
- thinly sliced deli meats
Tips for Baby Led Weaning
It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to wait until your baby is 6 months of age before introducing solid foods.
Important milestones your baby should meet before introducing solids foods:
- Good head and neck control
- Should have good trunk control, meaning they can sit up on their own.
- They show interest in meal time.
- No longer have tongue-thrust reflex where they automatically push food out of their mouth with tongue. (young infants have this reflex that will go away when they are ready for solid foods)
Which Foods to Give Your Baby First
The most common foods to start with when introducing your baby to solids are bananas, apples, pears and green beans. It does not matter which food you actually give first.
Important Tips When Introducing Solids
- Only introduce one food at a time
- Wait a few days before introducing a new food
- Give 1-ingredient foods in the beginning. (this is in the event of a food allergy, so you will be able to pin point which food your baby is allergic to)
- Do not add salt, sugar, or seasonings of any kind.
- Foods should be soft enough to smoosh between your fingers.
More on Baby Led Weaning
Offering your baby real food is a fun time! And it is so good to get them started in the right direction nutritionally.
By exposing them to all the different flavors and textures right from the beginning, you stand a better chance at a less picky toddler in the long run.
Keep in mind, your baby will most likely seem to dislike a food the first time trying it. They may cringe or spit it out. This is because it is brand new to them.
Take for example, my baby and avocados. It took about 3-4 separate occurrences of me offering her the avocado before she started to accept it fully. The first time, she cringed and spit it out. The second time, she just poked at it. And the third or fourth time is when she decided that avocados were actually really delicious!
Avocados quickly went from being the worst food ever, to “yum give me more!”. Okay, so at 7 months old she didn’t literally say those words, but her gesturing said it all. Plus the fact that she would eat an entire half of an avocado.
Baby Led Weaning is MESSY
FYI, baby led weaning will, I repeat, WILL make a big mess. When our little once are learning how to feed themselves, this process is slow and messy.
Even at 15 months of age now, I am extremely lucky to get through a meal without something ending up in her hair or nose.
But ya know what? That’s okay! Allowing your little ones to learn to feed themselves is such an important skill.
Making messes is just par for the course.
Here are some eating tools that you may be able to use to help contain the mess a bit!
There you have it, 20 foods babies can eat without teeth!
Baby led weaning will be messy, but it is so good to get your little one used to real foods from the beginning. Have questions? Let me know in the comments below! Happy meal times!