In Part 1 of this super-fun series, mama Jay Vian Yap shared some of her top baby led weaning (BLW) meals that are a big hit with her [toothless!] 9-month-old son. Here she shares some of his favourite snacks, all of which are nutritious and not too tough for time-stretched mamas!
Basically food preparation for BLW isn’t difficult but sometimes may require a little bit of observation and experimentation to suit your baby.
Another much-loved favourite that’s wonderful for BLW beginners is spaghetti/noodles. But, as we all know, it can be a very messy affair, and depending on your bub’s level of eating skills, how much actually goes into their tummy is questionable. To minimise waste and make it easier for my little one to handle, I experimented with my own version of Threaded Noodles Cherry Tomato Bites and Noodle “Mummies” on a bed of homemade vegetable tomato gravy.
Threaded Noodles Cherry Tomato Bites
For this dish, I used Organic Brown Rice & Wakame Noodles and cherry tomatoes, simply because Colten loves tomatoes. Other options include meatballs, sausages, slices of sweet potatoes or courgettes. Be creative!
1. To make this, thread 5-8 strands of spaghetti or any noodle of your choice into each cherry tomato.
2. When you’re done, throw them in a pot of boiling water/broth and cook till noodles are soft.
3. Remove the skin of the cherry tomatoes.
4. To serve, toss them in any sauce you fancy. Mine was served with homemade vegetable tomato gravy. I completed the meal with salmon, organic tofu steamed with sesame oil and garlic, and topped with toasted sesame seeds, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, steamed egg yolks, broccoli and mixed berries.
With these threaded noodles, Colten is able to get mouthfuls of noodles and cherry tomatoes with ease. Less mess and more into his little tummy!
Here are a few other mealtime and snacks ideas that are much loved by both my fussy toddler and toothless baby.
Crumpets (or toast) topped with a combo of greek yogurt and fruit puree and sprinkled with lots of baby rolled oats. Avocados dusted with rolled oats for better grip.
Fresh mozarella cubes, rolled oats mixed with banana puree, blackberries and banana slices. A simple breakfast that allows your little one to practice eating with a preloaded spoon.
Star & round-shaped chicken nuggets with a dipping of mashed avocado, steamed egg yolks (using Japanese quail egg/rice moulds), rice balls and vegetables.
The Japanese quail eggs/sushi rice moulds make perfect sized steamed egg yolks for little fingers. It’s firm enough for easy grip and doesn’t squish easily. Colten gets to put the whole egg into his tiny mouth, making it less messy and less wastage.
I like to make a batch of these nuggets and stash them in the freezer. They make a wonderful addition to any meal or on-the go snacks. This is my favourite recipe for chicken nuggets.
Lightly toasted bread & beetroots topped with creamy ricotta, blueberries, tomatoes & green beans.
Pumpkin Rice Fries (Air fried)
These orange hued babies are lightly crisp outside, chewy and delish inside … the perfect texture for toothless babies! To make these Pumpkin Rice Fries, you just need 2 ingredients — steamed mashed pumpkin and cooked rice (ratio 1:1).
1. Place 1 bowl of mashed pumpkin and 1 bowl of cooked rice in a food processor and blitz until it becomes sticky.
2. Pour the batter into a ziplock bag.
3. Cut a tiny hole at the corner of the bag.
4. Squeeze out into sticks or whatever shapes you fancy.
5. Bake in oven or air fry at 180 for 15 mins or until golden brown.
Applesauce Oatmeal Bites
1. Mix together ½ cup unsweetened applesauce or fruit pouch and 1 cup quick oats.
2. Put into a cut ziplock bag/piping bag.
3. Make small bite size drops on a baking tray.
4. Bake at 325 for 8 to 10 mins.
I hope these ideas and recipes will give mothers a little BLW mealtime inspiration. As a newbie myself to this method of weaning, my best advice I could give anyone just starting out would be to just not give up. It may be disheartening in the beginning if your baby doesn’t seem to be showing interest in food or seems to be playing with it rather than eating. Just keep reading your baby’s cues and you’ll soon be able to understand and prepare meals according to their likes and developing eating styles.