Baby-Led Weaning

baby-led weaning | part three {six months}

baby led weaning watermelon 6 months

Today’s baby-led weaning update features watermelon, steamed carrots, hummus and mango! For those just tuning in, Isla turns seven months old this week and we’ve been at this for one month. Get ready for a ton of photos. This girl and her funny faces. She absolutely loves all this food and I literally take hundreds of photos of her at every meal. You’re lucky I was able to narrow them down at all!

Baby-led weaning steamed carrots

Carrots. I was a bit nervous about introducing carrots since they tend to be harder than other veggies. I’m glad I waited until Isla had gotten the hang of eating because even though I steamed them until they smushed between my forefinger and thumb they still broke off in chunks. I was still nervous, but Isla had no trouble at all. She’s gotten really good at moving food around in her mouth and spitting out the chunks that are too big to swallow.

Baby-led weaning steamed carrots

I used whole carrots (apparently they have more nutrients than the baby ones), peeled them, sliced them down the middle lengthwise and then in half and steamed them on the stove for 25 minutes (or more depending on how big the chunks were). The key is to make sure you and baby can mush the carrots with your fingers.

Baby-led weaning steamed carrots and hummus, six months

Hummus. After a few days, when I was sure Isla was comfortable and not allergic to carrots, I introduced hummus. I know a lot of people make their own hummus, but Wegmans makes one that we love and the ingredients are listed on its website so I went with that one. I did talk to our pediatrician first though because the recipe includes tahini, which is sesame paste, and sesame is a very common allergen. For those allergic to peanuts or with a history of family allergies, I read that it’s advised to hold off on sesame so please talk to your doctor first. Or find a hummus recipe made without it. There are a ton of good ones out there.

Baby-led weaning steamed carrots and hummus, six months

I sound like a broken record, but the hummus was a hit! She loved sucking it off the carrots and her fingers and even the tray and her bib, too. Also, apparently chickpeas make her tired. She was practically asleep by the end of her meal. It was pretty funny.

Baby-led weaning steamed carrots and hummus, six months

The hummus was, understandably, very messy so by the end she was covered. There was hummus in her armpits, her hair and the rolls of her neck! When we washed her face she had a bit of redness where the hummus was smeared so I panicked, of course, and asked our pediatrician. She said it was likely just a contact reaction, not an allergy since there were no signs of GI or respiratory issues. I kept a close eye on her for a few days before trying again.

baby-led weaning Broccoli and Hummus six months

A few days later I served the hummus again with steamed carrots and broccoli and she didn’t have any redness afterward so I’m hopeful it was just her skin reacting to the garlic, cayenne pepper or other ingredients. But now I know she can handle a little spice!

baby-led weaning broccoli and hummus, six months baby-led weaning Carrots, Broccoli and Hummus baby led weaning watermelon 6 months

Watermelon! Love love love. She sucks the juice right out. This is another one that’s a bit chunky though so make sure your little one can handle the chunks before introducing watermelon. I think more than anything she was very curious about the texture as she dug her fingers into it. She kept making this funny face and ripping the pieces apart before she would put them in her mouth. It was too funny. I love watching her explore new foods.

baby led weaning watermelon

I first gave her a big triangle chunk with the rind on. That ended up being way too hard to pick up though so I cut them into more narrow, triangular pieces without the rind. Watermelon is a bit tough in terms of texture, as I mentioned, so it was easy for her to pick up (not slippery).

baby-led weaning mango

Mango. This picture sums up our experience with mango. I don’t buy mango normally so I don’t think it was  quite ripe enough when I served it. Even I didn’t really like it. She devoured an avocado instead. (I always have avocado on hand. It’s a trusty back-up.)

babyled weaning prune juice

Prune juice! Isla was having some diaper trouble since the introduction of solids so we started giving her a little prune juice with her meals. First of all, she loved it! And second, it worked! We tried pear juice first for a few days and that didn’t help, plus, to my surprise, she prefers the prune juice.

baby led weaning

So what’s next, mom?! Isla is turning seven months old this weekend and since she’s getting really good at managing a variety of textures and tastes, I’m feeling brave and want to try some actual recipes. Simple, basic things with pasta, then maybe add an avocado or pesto sauce (I’m waiting a little while to introduce tomato sauce and other acidic foods). I’m also contemplating meatballs and chicken, though I’m not quite sure how to go about the latter, plus cauliflower and another fruit. Any favorite recipes for a seventh-month-old? Any chicken suggestions?

For more about our journey with BLW:
BLW week one | BLW part two
Instagram (hashtag #BLWwithIslaBee)

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  • Reply Pardon My French July 30, 2014 at 8:15 am

    I’m glad the carrots were a hit! When my daughter was around Isla’s age, I would cook some chicken in the oven and then pulse it in a food processor/mixer to break it up into really small pieces. My daughter also loves these zucchini and carrot pancakes – As well, zucchini cut up into half moons cooked in the pan with a little onion is another favorite.

  • Reply Lauren V. July 30, 2014 at 8:26 am

    She makes the best faces!! I started making meatballs or mini meatloaves often for our little girl when she was about eight months old and they have been a hit. I use the beef, pork and veal mix and add in Italian seasonings, grated cheese and an egg and she gobbles them right up. But, you could easily use ground chicken or turkey as well. I am in the same boat as you with chicken, though. We have poached and cut up a chicken breast into small pieces a couple of times and she just seems not to be a fan. Maybe it was too bland? I was thinking about maybe doing baked chicken cutlets so that we could incorporate some more seasonings, which she seems to be a fan of. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  • Reply Kaela July 31, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    I am loving all these pics! She is SOOO cute! We are starting BLW now that my lo is 6mo. Curious: Do you offer her water with her meals? If so what cup are you using?

    • Reply reallyrisa July 31, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      Hi Kaela, That’s so exciting! You’ll have to let me know how it goes. Our pediatrician said we could give about 2 oz of water with meals to help with digestion. We’ve also given prune juice, which helped with some major constipation after she started solids. We love the NUK soft spout Learner Cup best. I think I link to it in my BLW Part Two post. Good luck!!

      • Reply Kaela July 31, 2014 at 11:21 pm

        Awesome thanks! I guess I missed that part

  • Reply missy July 31, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    If you bake a whole chicken, leaving the skin on, it makes it super juicy and soft for their little gums. I do this and tear it into pieces. My kids never lliked baby food. My second was eating beef lomein by the time he was eight months .

    • Reply reallyrisa July 31, 2014 at 11:03 pm

      That’s awesome, Missy. Thanks for the suggestion!

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