When it comes to baby-led weaning, you don’t technically need any tools or special products. However, there are some products that as a vegan Dietitian mama that I use on a daily basis with my little one when it comes to plant-based baby led weaning. Check them out below and let me know if there are other tools and products that you love for plant-based baby-led weaning!
10 Baby-Led Weaning Must Haves
What We Love: That’s right, the first must-have for baby led weaning isn’t so much a tool like the other items on our list but rather a food. Here’s why…The World Health Organization recommends no added sugar until baby is two years of age, so when baby gets a bit older, dates are our go-to for sweetening up foods and baked goods. Dates can be soaked and then blended into a paste (with more or less water depending on desired consistency) for use in many recipes. Nutrition packed dates are also great in smoothies with a high powered blender and add a pop of potassium, iron, and calcium (all of which are important for growing babes).
What We Love: There are a bajillion popsicle molds out there but we’re impartial to this one that is perfectly designed for small hands. The molds work great for blending fruits and veggies (even things like spinach and kale!) and can be a lifesaver during those teething days. There’s even a slick design that helps capture dribbles! Check out the popsicle mold HERE.
What We Love: This mat goes under a high chair and catches all the food that ends up not making it into baby’s mouth or high chair. If you have a rug under the dining room table or you want easier cleanup, the splat mat is the way to go. It’s 100% polyester and easily wipes or you can throw it in the wash too. This splat mat is particularly attractive with a pattern that isn’t a crazy loud baby/child print but rather is soothing on the eyes for any home design.
What We Love: Unlike silicone bibs, these cover a lot more surface area (so great for those nicer outfits you don’t want to ruin). These bibs are also great when baby is smaller and food tends to get everywhere. The fold up and pack easily for travel or eating out and stashing one in the diaper bag. Available in many prints and colors, you’re sure to find a long sleeve bib for baby-led weaning that you love.
What We Love: Baby-Led Weaning is MESSY! That’s part of the whole let’s let baby become an independent feeder and explore his or her food. However, that means food will get everywhere and these silicone bibs catch the messes well with the little scoop tray at the bottom plus they are easy peasy to wipe down and clean with baby safe dish detergent when babe is finished at meal time. Check out the cute variety of silicone bibs from highly rated Simka Rose HERE.
What We Love: Babies can have flavor added – and in fact introduction of flavors at an early age can make them adventurous eaters. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no salt for babies under 1 as their kidneys are still developing. Therefore, we found salt free seasonings like great to add to family meals and then take baby’s portion out before adding salt to the rest of the dish for the adults. This Mural of Flavor from Penzey’s is probably one of our favorites on tempeh, tofu, and veggies galore.
What We Love: When it comes to baby-led weaning, having foods with texture helps tremendously with baby’s grip and while it was great to roll avocado and banana slices in flax seed for extra nutrition and benefit, we really liked just using this crinkle cutter for sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, cooked apples/pears, and other foods. Simply slice with the crinkle cutter before cooking and you’ve got a quick baby-led weaning food in a matter of minutes.
What We Love: This mini open cup is designed by a Speech Language Pathologist and is made for little hands. While we had to help our little one drink out of it at first, it was super helpful by the time we got to smoothies and soups (he just drank the soup from the cup!). The weighted bottom with ridges helps prevent spills and accidental tips. We couldn’t believe that this handy, practical, and cute cup wasn’t designed sooner!
What We Love: This silicone bowl is small which makes it perfect for those first feedings into toddler-hood and won’t overwhelm baby. The silicone wide base bottom suctions to the table or high chair top so baby can’t topple it over. This is great because it lets him/her have freedom to explore the food in the bowl and truly dictate how much he/she wants without creating a giant mess on the floor…because you know babies love to toss everything on the floor! Find the handy mini bowl HERE.
What We Love: This 2 pack comes with two gootensils – one is for purees as baby is getting used to using spoons and the other has an opening that works great for thicker foods likes mashed sweet potatoes, soups, or stews. These were hands down the easiest tool for baby to use and before he started eating, he would play with it at the dinner table so by the time he started eating, he was a champ at holding it and getting food from the utensil into his mouth. These Gootensils are seriously our favorite must-have when it comes to baby-led weaning.
All this talk about baby-led weaning must-haves has got me so excited! Feeding babes is seriously so so much fun, especially for me as a dietitian I think and I wanted to share the tools that have made it even easier and way more fun for everyone. Which baby-led weaning must-have are you going to try first?? Or better yet, what’s your favorite baby-led weaning tool! Comment below and let’s all help each other out!