How To Start Baby-led Weaning After Purees?

To start baby-led weaning after purees, begin incorporating soft hand-held foods a couple of times a day. Start with soft solids that are two fingers wide while your little one learns to handle food and self-feed. Good examples of soft, hand-held foods include for babies include:

  • Banana spears;
  • Avocado slices rolled in panko breadcrumbs;
  • Shredded chicken and;
  • Roasted sweet potato wedges, dusted with cumin or cinnamon

For more ideas, see this article on 150 first foods for baby-led weaning.

Baby-led weaning plate including soft-cooked broccoli stalks, strawberries cut in half, and ball of rice shaped like a bear.

Does baby-led weaning (BLW) increase choking risk?

Many parents worry that baby-led weaning (BLW) increases choking risk compared to purees however, research suggests that this is not the case. BLW has not been shown to increase the risk of choking providing that you avoid foods that are a choking hazard such as whole grapes, and tough chunks of meats [1]. In addition, infants should be closely supervised during mealtimes to avoid a choking emergency.

Foods that are choking hazards for young children and should not be offered as part of baby-led weaning include:

  • Raw veggies such as carrot sticks
  • Unripe/ hard raw fruit such as pears and apples
  • Whole cherry tomatoes, grapes, or blueberries
  • Dried fruit such as dried apricots and prunes
  • Popcorn
  • Whole or chopped nuts
  • Seeds
  • Tough chunks of meat
  • Untoasted white bread


[1] Brown A. (2018). No difference in self-reported frequency of choking between infants introduced to solid foods using a baby-led weaning or traditional spoon-feeding approach. Journal of human nutrition and dietetics : the official journal of the British Dietetic Association31(4), 496–504.

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