Mother and Baby

14 brilliant finger food ideas for baby-led weaning

If you're starting baby-led weaning, then it's ideal to have plenty of finger food ideas in your arsenal that are healthy and yummy. 

In this article:

What are the best finger foods for weaning?

What safety guidelines do I need to know?

When can your baby start eating finger foods?

Julie Clark, a nutritionist and author of Baby Led Weaning Step By Step reveals her top finger food ideas for weaning.

14 best finger foods for weaning

Here's a list of all the best baby led weaning starter foods that your baby will love...

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1) Mango slices

Rich in vitamin A, mangos keep your baby’s eyes healthy. Leave the skin on as it will make it less slippy and easier for your baby to hold.
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2) Banana chunks

This classic baby led weaning (BLW) food can be chopped into pennies or chunks for your baby to eat. It’s a great on-the-go food.
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3) Steamed broccoli florets

The texture of broccoli is great for babies and their tree-like shape is ideal for your baby to pick up and hold. What’s more, broccoli is rich in vitamin C, which your body needs to absorb iron.
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4) Sticks of firm mild cheese

Mini Edam cheeses are great – simply slice into sticks. Cheese provides an excellent source of calcium, which your baby needs for strong bones and teeth.
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5) Thin strips of meat 

Chicken or turkey is a good place to start. As your baby gets better at chewing, you can move onto pieces of lean lamb or beef. Meat is a great source of protein, which will help your baby’s growth and development.
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6) Steamed carrot sticks 

Chop a carrot into batons or pennies and steam. It contains vitamin A, which is great for your baby’s skin and eyes.
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7) Mashed potato loaded onto a spoon

While it’s fine to let your baby scoop up mashed potato with his hands, you can also put a lump on a spoon and give it to him. He may put it in his mouth, he may flick it at the walls – it’s all part of the weaning process.
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8) Steamed baby sweetcorn

The perfect length for finger food, there’s no need for chopping or slicing this baby sweetcorn. Simply steam and serve to your little one.
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9) Unsalted rice cakes

Either use mini rice cakes and top with houmous or cream cheese, or larger ones and then break into small pieces. The houmous stops them from being too dry. Plain rice cakes are an ideal snack when you’re out and about.
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10) Toast fingers

Yes, your baby will probably gum at it until it’s a soggy mess, but he will enjoy the texture of toast fingers – it’s great for teething babies – and it’s a quick and easy weaning food.
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11) Hard boiled egg

Make sure the egg yolk is completely solid and then slice into quarters. The white and yolk will probably come apart, but your baby can pick at both pieces. Eggs are a great source of protein and vitamin A.
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12) Omelette strips

Like boiled eggs, omelettes are a great source of protein. Whisk up an egg, fry in a little vegetable oil, then cut it into 3cm long pieces using a knife or scissors.
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13) Thick fromage frais loaded onto a spoon

Make sure you use a set yogurt (otherwise it could get quite messy) load a spoon up with it for your baby to feed himself with.
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14) Cucumber batons

Slices of cool cucumber are great for soothing your baby’s gums if he’s teething, as well as being an easy BLW food.

Finger food safety tips

Avoid giving your baby any foods that could be choking hazards - such as grapes or nuts.

Also, remember never to leave your baby alone when they are feeding.

Once your baby has learnt to use a pincer grip (where they will hold the food between their fingers and thumb) you can introduce berries and raisins or peas. 

Remember that for your baby, food is fun, so they are likely to spend a lot of time playing with their food before they eat it. Don't worry, this is normal. 

Use food that is easy to pick up like some of the options above. 

Try and offer your baby a variety of different foods but don't overwhelm them.

When can babies start eating finger foods?

Before you start baby-led weaning, it's important to understand the NHS advice when it comes to weaning your six-month-old baby with solid food. 

Wait until your baby is ready - before you start baby-led weaning your baby should be able to stay in a seated position and hold their head steadily.

They should be able to look at food and hold it themselves and be able to swallow the food. 

Now read:

10 superfoods to add to your baby's weaning journey

11 foods to AVOID until your baby's first birthday

A Weaning Expert Answers Your Questions


Alongside her role as the Digital Editor at Mother&Baby, Aimee runs the #mumtribe Facebook group and leads the M&B Awards content strategy.

Winner of Immediate Media Award for 'Magazine Journalist of the Year 2016. Her hobbies include truffle mac and cheese, Class Pass and relentlessly checking (and scolding!) the weather app.

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