Baby Weaning Food Chart: Best Meals For Your Little One

Are you trying to figure out the best baby weaning foods for your little one?

Do you feel overwhelmed by the idea of weaning your baby and confused by what you should offer at each stage of the process?

Are you having trouble putting together all the information you’ve heard from a variety of different sources?

If you’re concerned about proper weaning and meal planning for your little one, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll provide you with tons of great information to help you figure out the nutritional values you need to keep in mind for your baby regardless of which stage of the weaning process he or she might be at.

We’ll also give you tons of great suggestions for which foods to feed and how to prepare them every step of the way. After all, when it comes to baby weaning sweet potato is a great place to start, but if you don’t know how to prepare it or what else to offer, your baby will be looking for more in no time!

Without further adieu... Here is your Baby Led Weaning Food Chart! 🙂

Read through the rest of this article for more information on each of the stages mentioned above and to get some ideas how to plan meals for your little one in the coming months. By the time you are finished, you should be more than ready to start your baby off on the right foot with the weaning process as soon as he or she is ready.

BABY LED WEANING FOOD CHART

Stage 1: 4 to 6 Months

FOODS:

Rice cereal, Banana, Avocado, Pear, Apple, Sweet potatoes, Green beans, Butternut squash

PREP:

Oven roasting, Steaming, Pureeing, Mashing

NEEDS:

Breastmilk, Formula, Iron, Vitamins, Potassium, Calcium, Protein

Stage 2: 6 to 8 Months

FOODS:

Rice cereal, Oatmeal, Plain yogurt (maybe), Apricots, Mango, Plum, Pumpkin, Peaches, Zucchini, Peas, Parsnips, Turkey, Chicken, Tofu

PREP:

Mashed, Cooked and diced, Roasted, Steamed

NEEDS:

Breastmilk, Formula, Iron, Vitamins, Vitamins, Calcium, Fiber

Stage 3: 8 to 10 Months

FOODS:

Buckwheat, Pastas, Spelt, Sesame, Wheat, Quinoa, Blueberries, Egg yolk, Cherries, Figs, Cantaloupe,Papaya, Prunes, Cranberries, Cauliflower, Pork, Cheese (no soft cheeses), Broccoli, Artichokes,Asparagus, Yellow or red bell peppers, Eggplant, Mushrooms, Beef, Beans

PREP:

Roasted, Steamed, Diced, Mashed, Shredded

NEEDS:

Breastmilk, Formula, Fiber, Protein, Calcium, Vitamins

Stage 4: 10 to 12 Months

FOODS:

Offer all previous foods as well as the following list, Any pasta, Any cereal (sugar-free), Any grains, Citrus fruits, Berries of any type, Spinach, Corn, Tomato, Cucumber, Fish, Whole eggs, After 12 months, offer cow’s milk

PREP:

Steamed, Mashed, Diced, Raw (sometimes)

NEEDS:

Breastmilk, Formula, Fiber, Carbohydrates, Calcium, Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12

Stage 1: 4 to 6 Months

Depending on your baby, you may want to start your baby weaning chart from 6 months instead of from 4 months. However, even if your baby isn’t quite ready to start the weaning process at this stage, it pays to know a little bit about what your infant needs in terms of nutrition as well as which baby weaning finger foods you can consider introducing at this early stage. If your child hasn’t reached the milestones that prove he or she is ready for weaning, however, there’s no need to force your four-month-old into the process just yet.

weaning food chart

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Nutritional Needs at This Stage

  • Breastmilk: At this point, your baby’s nutrition is still going to come largely from breastmilk (or from a formula, if you choose to use it instead). Especially at four and five months, you don’t need to worry about your baby eating solid or pureed foods nearly as much as you need to be concerned with milk feedings. Breastfeed your baby every 2 to 4 hours at this stage of the weaning process.
  • Formula: If you’re choosing to feed your baby formula instead of breastfeeding, you’ll want to offer anywhere from 24 to 45 ounces per day. This depends on your baby, how much he or she eats, how big he or she is, and whether or not you have started weaning your little one at all yet.
  • Iron: Rice cereal is a good source of iron, and it’s one of the first solid foods you’ll be giving your little one. At this point, most iron will still come from the breastmilk or formula you offer.
  • Vitamins: You can be sure your little one gets plenty of vitamins by offering cooked pureed or very soft veggies, even at an early age. Once again, breastmilk or formula will make up the difference at this stage.
  • Potassium: Potassium isn’t a huge concern for babies at this early stage, but giving some mashed or pureed banana is a great way to provide a little extra boost of it in your little one’s diet.
  • Calcium: At this point, all of your baby’s calcium should come from breastmilk or formula. Do not give your child cow’s milk at this age for any reason.
  • Protein: You don’t have to worry too much about protein at this point, either, but if you’re practicing baby led weaning you can offer very soft-cooked scrambled eggs at the end of this stage. Don’t give eggs to 4 or 5-month-old infants.

Foods for This Stage

  • Rice cereal
  • Banana
  • Avocado
  • Pear
  • Apple
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Butternut squash

Best Food Prep for This Stage

baby weaning chart from 6 months
  • Oven roasting: Use this method for butternut squash and sweet potatoes. Do not add any salt or other seasonings to squash or potatoes for your baby. Do not add any butter, oil, or other fats. Simply roast until very soft and mushy, then peel and let cool completely before serving.
  • Steaming: Green beans, apples, and pears can be easily and quickly steamed in just a little bit of water. Do not add spices, salt, or any fats to these foods. Steam until they are very soft and mushy, then let cool completely before serving.
  • Pureeing: Add banana, pear, apple, butternut squash, or sweet potatoes to a blender and puree into a mush free from any lumps. Serve to your baby with a spoon. Squash and potatoes may need to be cooked first to be soft enough to puree.
  • Mashing: Avocado and banana can be mashed with a fork until they are smooth and free from lumps. This can be served to your baby from a spoon with no additions.

Stage 2: 6 to 8 Months

This is the stage at which most babies are definitely ready to start weaning, whether from a bottle or from breastfeeding. This baby weaning guide chart will help you figure out the right foods to offer your little one depending on whether or not he or she has started weaning in the previous stage yet or not. Remember that if your baby waits until this point to get started, the weaning process may go a little bit more quickly than it would have if your child had started at an earlier stage. However, keep in mind that it’s always most important for your baby to wean at his or her own pace as much as possible.

baby weaning guide chart

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Nutritional Needs at This Stage

  • Breastmilk: Cut back a little bit on breastfeeding during this stage, but still plan on milk feeding every 3 to 4 hours. As you start weaning, you’ll want to replace one bottle or breastfeed per day with solid foods slowly over time until your baby is eating all solids. Start with taking away a midday milk feed at this stage.
  • Formula: Offer anywhere between 24 to 37 ounces of formula if you’re going this route instead of breastfeeding. Just like with breastfeeds, you should start taking away one bottle per day at this stage of the weaning process.
  • Iron: At this stage, rice cereal is still a good way to be sure your baby is getting plenty of iron, but oatmeal can be introduced as well. You can also try barley for a different take on iron-rich grains.
  • Vitamins: Keep feeding the same vegetables from the previous stage, but add peas, yellow squash and zucchini, and carrots for even more vitamins and minerals.
  • Protein: While your baby is still getting most of his or her protein at this stage from breastmilk or formula, you can introduce a few other sources in the form of thoroughly cooked poultry or tofu.
  • Calcium: You may be able to start introducing yogurt as a calcium source by the end of this stage, but your pediatrician may advise you to stick to breastmilk or formula for now.
  • Fiber: Parsnips are a good source of fiber and can be added at this stage.

Foods for This Stage

  • Rice cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Plain yogurt (maybe)
  • Apricots
  • Mango
  • Plum
  • Pumpkin
  • Peaches
  • Zucchini
  • Peas
  • Parsnips
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Tofu

Best Food Prep for This Stage

best baby weaning foods
  • Mashed: Most anything you serve your baby in this stage can be pureed still or may be mashed so that it’s mostly a puree but slightly lumpy. Do this with avocado, banana, apples, pears, pumpkin, carrots, and tofu. Oatmeal also falls into this category.
  • Cooked and diced: Turkey, chicken, zucchini, and parsnips should be thoroughly cooked, cooled, and diced into tiny bite-sized pieces before being offered.
  • Roasted: Continue roasting sweet potatoes and squash. You can also roast carrots, parsnips, chicken and turkey.
  • Steamed: Steam tofu, green beans, most fruits, and peas, then let cool before serving.

Stage 3: 8 to 10 Months

By stage three, your child has a lot more unique nutritional needs you’ll need to take into consideration when planning your baby weaning food chart. You’ll be replacing more and more bottles with meals and snacks of solid or pureed food and you’ll need to pay close attention to whether or not your child is getting enough nutritional value out of what he or she eats. At this time, you’ll start to notice your baby’s personal tastes and preferences really beginning to take shape, too! As always, you should pay attention to how well your baby responds to new foods and introduce every new item a few days apart from any other new food, in the event that your baby could be allergic to it.

baby weaning finger foods

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Nutritional Needs at This Stage

  • Breastmilk: Reduce breastmilk feedings to once every 4 to 5 hours at this stage. By the end of the stage, you’ll be able to taper this off even more.
  • Formula: 24 to 31 ounces of formula per day should be the right amount for this stage of the weaning process.
  • Fiber: Fiber is getting to be more of a concern at this stage as your baby eats more and more unique foods. However, you can provide your baby with plenty of fiber as you introduce more grains into his or her diet. At this stage, pasta becomes a popular favorite with many little ones!
  • Protein: Lots more protein options open up for your baby at this stage of the weaning process. As your child gets better at self-feeding and at chewing and swallowing, these foods can quickly become more varied.
  • Calcium: This is the stage at which you can start introducing new and exciting forms of calcium into your child’s diet to supplement the tapering off of breastfeeds and bottle feeds.
  • Vitamins: Keep up with a varied and colorful diet of lots of vegetables and fruits for best results with vitamins in your child’s food.

Foods for This Stage

  • Buckwheat
  • Pastas
  • Spelt
  • Sesame
  • Wheat
  • Quinoa
  • Blueberries
  • Egg yolk
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Cantaloupe
  • Papaya
  • Prunes
  • Cranberries
  • Cauliflower
  • Pork
  • Cheese (no soft cheeses)
  • Broccoli
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Yellow or red bell peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Mushrooms
  • Beef
  • Beans

Best Food Prep for This Stage

baby weaning sweet potato
  • Roasted: Eggplants, mushrooms, artichokes, asparagus, and most proteins can be roasted and allowed to cool before chopping, dicing, or pureeing as necessary to serve to your baby.
  • Steamed: Steam most fruits and veggies. You can start offering small bites of raw fruit at this time, but not too much.
  • Diced: All foods that aren’t mashed or shredded must be diced into small, soft bites.
  • Mashed: Mash fruits and veggies but leave plenty of small lumps for your baby to work with. Cooked soft pasta should also be mashed, although once again, you can leave lumps.
  • Shredded: Proteins may be shredded at this stage, but be sure the pieces are still very small before serving.

Stage 4: 10 to 12 Months

At this point, your child should be well on his or her way to eating nothing but solid foods from here on out. If your baby is taking a little bit longer to complete the weaning process, don’t worry. As long as you are still seeing signs of progress, even if it’s taking a while, that’s okay. However, with many babies, this will be the point at which you see the weaning process really come into effect. You should notice your child getting excited about meal times and even asking for snacks rather than waiting for you to offer them. This is a fun milestone for you and your baby, so be sure to celebrate it together!

baby weaning food chart

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Nutritional Needs at This Stage

  • Breastmilk: At this point, breast milk and bottle feeding should be taking place no more than a few times per day. Eventually, you’ll want to taper off to only one milk feed in the morning and one before bed, and then none at all.
  • Formula: The same information for breastmilk is true of feeding formula from a bottle at this stage.
  • Fiber: At this stage, your baby can eat any grains you’d like to offer, as long as the pieces are small and soft enough. Try toast, bagels, and a variety of cereals to help keep up that fiber intake.
  • Carbohydrates: Grains are going to be a great source of carbohydrates for your baby at this stage as well.
  • Calcium: You can offer cheese as well as plain yogurt at this stage. By the end of the 12th month, you can give your baby cow’s milk for calcium.
  • Protein: Your baby can enjoy all meats at this stage, including fish.
  • Vitamin C: Citrus is safe for your baby at this stage.
  • Vitamin B12: Beef and pork are a great way to provide your little one this important nutrient.

Foods for This Stage

  • Offer all previous foods as well as the following list.
  • Any pasta
  • Any cereal (sugar-free)
  • Any grains
  • Citrus fruits
  • Berries of any type
  • Spinach
  • Corn
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Fish
  • Whole eggs
  • After 12 months, offer cow’s milk

Best Food Prep for This Stage

baby weaning guide chart
  • Steamed: Steam veggies and fruits until they are soft enough for your baby to enjoy.
  • Mashed: Mash pasta, berries, boiled eggs, tomato, corn, and cucumber for your baby.
  • Diced: Most foods can be diced and offered in small, soft pieces that your baby can easily gum at this stage.
  • Raw (sometimes): Some fruits and veggies can now be offered raw. Citrus fruit and berries can be given raw as long as they are soft enough to be diced or mashed. Do not give your baby any raw proteins (except tofu).

Conclusion

There is so much to learn about feeding your baby properly when you’re working through the weaning process together, and if you’re still having trouble understanding the right foods to offer or the best way to practice weaning in the first place, don’t worry. You’re not alone! Many parents and caregivers, whether working with a first baby or one of many, struggle to get the weaning process figured out. However, the most important thing to remember is that all babies will eventually be weaned from the bottle or from breastfeeding, even if it takes a while.

It’s your job to ensure that your child is being offered foods that are nutritional and safe for your baby to enjoy. With the charts listed above, you can easily put together a successful meal plan that will make your menus much easier to figure out. Take some time at the beginning of each month to sit down and plan out what you will serve your child for each meal throughout the month. From there, your grocery shopping, food prep, and feeding should go much more smoothly.

Remember to always keep nutritional values balanced as well as possible and to refrain from giving your child too much to eat, even if he or she still seems hungry. As long as you know your baby is getting enough to eat and you are certain of that, there’s no need to overfeed your infant.

Good luck, and happy weaning!

Disclaimer: As always, be sure to consult with your child’s pediatrician before making any changes to his or her diet. Your baby is an individual, and any advice listed here is general. Your pediatrician will know best about the nutritional needs of your infant.

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