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Category: Baby Led Snacks

I found it easier to start with snacks when Indy and I began baby-led weaning.  He was usually more hungry at meal times, so needed food immediately there and then (!) as opposed to spending time getting to grips with a piece of finger food.  I continued to offer spoon-fed breakfast, lunch and dinner meals, and let him explore some finger foods at his afternoon snack time, where he had more time to taste and chew / suck.  I also wanted to try and keep him full at meal-times as he had begun dropping some of his daytime milk feeds at this point.

I am still all about convenience when it comes to snacks, but as opposed to relying on snacks out of a packet, I rely on my freezer.  I hate wastage, and as babies only eat a tiny amount, all of these can be made in batch, and frozen, so just defrosted or toasted when you need them!  I also think this also stops the baby getting bored of the same thing every day!

I was still also really keen to try and avoid sugary snacks, so all are nutritionally balanced and I’ve tried to pack in as many vegetables where I can!

Making Ice-Lollies

As the weather’s been warm recently we’ve been spending much more time in the garden which has been amazing, but we all know about the struggle of keeping children cool! An ice-lolly is the perfect snack to instantly cool and refresh children…and parents too! I experimented slightly with making my own ice-lollies last year when we had just started weaning Indy, which turned out to be very messy as you can imagine! 

I thought i’d try again this year, and as all my usual food recipe challenges, try and include some sneaky vegetables!  The lolly mould i’ve used had is one i’ve had for years, and any will do the trick.  

I experimented with a few flavours initially, as opposed to making a big batch of one, and all were super quick and easy to make – I literally put all the ingredients in the Nutribullet, and whizzed up into a fairly thick liquid.  I added water gradually to loosen if I needed to, and then poured into the mould and put in the freezer to set. If there was any mixture leftover, I also watered this down more and Indy finished it as a juice!  

These are the ones we tried:

Carrot and Mango

This was surprisingly the sweetest of them all.  Indy’s gone off carrots recently, but loved this!

Banana and Spinach

This was his favourite – I used a very ripe banana to make this as sweet as possible, and it worked to mask the taste of the spinach.

Avocado, Cucumber and Lime

This was more of a refreshing flavour – I really enjoyed it but Indy wasn’t so keen (I think I added too much lime!)

Blackberry, Kale and Yoghurt

Yoghurt and berries is a classic home-made lolly combination, so I added some kale for some sneaky greens!

The world really is your oyster with these – all the ingredients I started with were already in the fridge or freezer, and i’ve just tried to balance flavours with the right amount of sweetness to not make the veggies bitter, especially the green ones!  I used water to dilute the mixtures, but you could easily use any milk or yoghurt for a more creamy texture.  

I’d love to hear if you’ve tried making your own, and what your favourite flavours are! xxx

Baby Led Meals and Snacks on the Go

This has always been the trickiest part of weaning for me – being able to take food out for Indy without having the luxury of a microwave or an oven to reheat.  Unless we go for lunch or dinner where he can have part of our meal, he’s still not at the stage where there is any point ordering his own meal.

I’d strongly recommend getting a small cool bag, to keep any drinks and snacks in – I found this easier rather than keeping them in the baby bag where a banana could easily get crushed! Small snack pots are also really helpful to keep the right size portion of food in, so you don’t have to take huge tupperwares out.  

As opposed to having specific recipes for meals and snacks to take out with us, I have a selection of go-to foods that I can easily prepare and quickly grab.  All are fuss-free and I know Indy will definitely eat them which makes for much less stress. I also avoid giving them these things when he eats at home, as I find he isn’t bored of them when he gets given them when we are out.   

Tuna and sweetcorn pasta salad with yoghurt

I can quickly cook up a pasta salad and this can be eaten cold.  I just add some tinned tuna, and sweetcorn and/or peas, and a some yoghurt for a dressing.

Cheese spread sandwich on milk roll

This is a fail-safe, as my child LOVES bread!  I still give him milk roll for sandwiches, as it has the most calcium and lowest salt content, and use cheese triangles as the filling.

Wholemeal mini pitta breads with hummus

I either fill the pitta with hummus, or if using a pot of frozen hummus, just chop the pitta into fingers and dip.  Using the pots of hummus is really easy, just take out in the morning and they will defrost while you are out and about for lunch time, and it means must less mess if eating on the go.

Cheddar cheese sticks / Babybel

This is a really easy one – chop up some cheese into fingers, or just take a Babybel!

Cooked chicken pieces

Again, I can quickly cook some chicken before I leave, and this can also be eaten cold.

Roasted chantenay carrots

This is a bit of a strange one to have cold, but Indy loves them.  They are the perfect size to quickly cook and to take out with us in a small tub. I’ve also tried roasted peppers and sweet potato, and he also loved these cold.  

Mini bread sticks

I buy these in a big box and just take a few out with us – I find these are good to tide Indy over as they take a while to chew.

Broccoli and cheese scones

These are from my recipe for baby-led snacks – I just take one out of the freezer, and it defrosts while we are out and about.

Kale and tomato pizza muffins

These are also from my recipe for baby-led snacks, and just take out of the freezer to defrost before we leave.  They are easy for Indy to eat and he still enjoys them when cold.

Bananas / Oranges

These are the easiest thing to take out with you as they dont need preparing and they come in their own packaging! You can literally eat bananas and oranges anywhere, so i always make sure I have them in the house to grab in emergencies.

Fruit

Other fruits that i find easy to take out are blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and grapes (cut into quarters).  All are a good dessert after lunch or dinner, or as an accompaniment to a snack.

 

Milk Roll Toast with Butter

Milk Roll was the first bread I gave Indy – it is packed with calcium and has low salt content compared to others.  The slices are also small and thin, so don’t over face a baby! I just keep the loaf in the freezer and defrost / toast when needed – I buy a loaf about every 3 weeks, so lots would be wasted if I kept it in the cupboard.  As a snack, I give Indy one toasted slice with a thin spread of unsalted butter and cut into fingers.

Mini Wholemeal Pitta Breads with Organic Smooth Peanut Butter

I buy the mini pittas as they are the perfect size.  I lightly toast them and use a thin spread of smooth peanut butter inside, then cut into fingers.  I always use an organic peanut butter as it has much less sugar in it than the normal ones. Just be careful and test for allergies first – I was advised to test with a tiny bit first thing in the morning so that if a reaction did develop, you would have time to spot it and rush to the hospital.
The pitta can also be swapped out for apple in this one – just peel and slice the apple and spread a thin layer of peanut butter onto each slice!

Cucumber and Pepper Sticks with Hummus

I really struggled to get Indy to eat cucumber until I introduced hummus with it!  This is an easy snack to get ready quickly and is a good fresh alternative to the other ones mentioned.  Cold vegetables are also great for soothing teething! The freezer can also help out on this one too – hummus doesn’t have a long shelf life once opened if you buy it in a big tub, but you can freeze it!  Just put a couple of teaspoons worth in small food storage pots, drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the top and freeze. Just defrost when needed and the olive oil will stop the hummus itself going dry!

Sweetcorn and Courgette Fritters

This was another sneaky way of adding vegetables in a tasty way!  This recipe only made 6 fritters, but you could double it to make 12 if you wanted a bigger batch,  Again, I tried freezing them, and popped one straight in the toaster to heat through!
200g canned sweetcorn, drained
2 spring onions, finely chopped
50g courgette, grated
1 tsp smoked paprika
50g self-raising flour
1 egg, beaten
40ml whole milk
  1. Mix everything together!
  2. Heat coconut oil or butter in a frying pan – spoon a tablespoon of the mixture into the pan and flatten into one fritter.
  3. Fry on both sides until golden.

Chickpea Fritters

This recipe again makes a big batch – and I have tried freezing them!  No need to defrost either, as you can just pop them into the toaster frozen on a defrost setting to they heat gradually. Again, just cut into fingers or give whole if your baby can manage.

2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained
1 x lemon
2 eggs
120g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

  1. Add the chickpeas to a food processor.
  2. Grate in the zest of the lemon and squeeze in the juice, crack in the eggs, add the flour and baking powder and pulse until combined I still kept a slight bit of texture to the chickpeas.
  3. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan to heat, then add one tablespoon of the mixture for one fritter and flatten into shape.
  4. Turn regularly until golden on both sides and cooked through.

Kale and Tomato Pizza Muffins

This recipe was another sneaky way to add some green veg to Indy’s diet – kale is one of my favourite veggie’s so I really want him to love it too!  I also really struggle with tomatoes so again, this ticked that box. Again this recipe makes a big batch, and they can be frozen straight away and just defrosted when needed.

300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp dried oregano
250ml whole milk
2 eggs
60ml rapeseed oil
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
24 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 cup of kale, finely chopped
60g mozzarella

  1. Sieve flour and baking powder in a large bowl and add the oregano.
  2. In a jug, whisk the milk, eggs, rapeseed oil, tomato puree and garlic, then whisk into the flour mixture until a smooth batter.
  3. Fold in the tomatoes and kale and spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tin.
  4. Cut the mozzarella into small chunks and add into each muffin space.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until the tops are golden and a skewer comes out clean.

Broccoli and Cheese Scones

This recipe makes around 25 bite-size pieces, so goes a long way.  Once made, they can be put straight in the freezer, and just defrost when needed.  These are a sneaky way to get some green veg and cheese into your little one – both of which I’ve struggled with lately! I just give the scone to Indy whole, as they are small enough already, and as they are quite crumbly he can just bite tiny bits off.

  • Half a head of broccoli (cut into small florets and stalk discarded)
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 1 bunch basil, finely chopped
  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 50g parmesan, grated
  • 60ml whole milk

Steam or boil the broccoli until soft and still bright green – then drain, rinse under cold water, and finely chop.
Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour in a large bowl until it’s a crumbly texture.
Add the basil, cheddar, parmesan and broccoli and combine with your fingers.
Add the milk a little at a time to form a soft dough (not too sticky!)
Place the dough on a piece of greaseproof paper and shape into a square around 3cm thick.
Cut into bite-size pieces and separate on the tray to give space, and bake for 25 minutes until golden.