How To Use The Air Fryer For Baby-Led Weaning

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What Is Baby-Led Weaning?

Baby-led weaning is a method of introducing solid foods to babies by allowing them to feed themselves from the very beginning of their solid food journey.

Instead of spoon-fed purees, babies are offered soft finger foods that they can hold, gnaw on, chew and swallow.

This approach allows babies to explore different tastes and textures at their own pace.

If you’re considering baby-led weaning and own an air fryer, why not try my easy baby recipes!

Benefits of Baby-Led Weaning

There are several benefits associated with baby-led weaning:

  1. Development of fine motor skills: Baby-led weaning encourages the development of hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills as babies learn to pick up and handle food.
  2. Independence and self-regulation: By allowing babies to choose and explore their food, baby-led weaning promotes independence and self-regulation of appetite.
  3. Introduction to a variety of flavours and textures: Baby-led weaning exposes babies to a wide range of tastes, textures, and colours, helping them develop a diverse palate.
  4. Family mealtime inclusion: Baby-led weaning allows babies to join family meals right from the start, promoting social interaction and a positive attitude towards food.
  5. Healthy eating habits: This approach encourages babies to develop a healthy relationship with food, promoting a varied and balanced diet.
baby weaning

Using An Air Fryer For Baby-Led Weaning

An air fryer can be a great tool for making weaning recipes, as it allows you to cook food quickly and easily, without the need for a lot of oil or messy cleanup.

One way to ensure that your baby is getting the nutrients they need is to make their food from scratch at home.

This allows you to control the ingredients and flavours, and to tailor the recipes to your child’s individual preferences and dietary needs.

Cooking display with herbs

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The Benefits of Using an Air Fryer for Baby-Led Weaning

  1. Healthier cooking method: They require little to no oil, reducing the fat content in the food while still achieving a crispy texture.
  2. Time-saving: Cook food faster than traditional ovens, making it convenient for busy parents.
  3. Consistent results: Provide even and consistent heat distribution, ensuring that the food is cooked thoroughly without the risk of uneven cooking.
  4. Versatile cooking options: the air fryer can be used for various recipes, including vegetables, meats, and even baked goods, allowing you to prepare a wide variety of baby-friendly foods.
  5. Easy cleanup: Easy to clean, with removable parts that can be washed or placed in the dishwasher.

Safety Tips for Using an Air Fryer

  1. Preheat properly: Preheat the air fryer according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure even cooking and proper food safety.
  2. Monitor cooking time: Keep an eye on the cooking time to prevent overcooking or burning the food. Adjust the cooking time based on the size and thickness of the ingredients.
  3. Cut food into appropriate sizes: Ensure that the food is cut into small, bite-sized pieces to minimise choking hazards.
  4. Avoid excessive oil: While air fryers require minimal oil, it’s important to use it sparingly for babies, as their developing digestive systems may not tolerate excessive fat.
  5. Supervision is key: Always supervise your baby while they’re eating to ensure their safety and intervene if necessary.

FAQs

Yes, you can use alternative cooking methods such as baking or hob cooking to prepare baby-led weaning recipes. However, using an air fryer offers the benefit of a crispy texture without excessive oil.

When prepared and cooked properly, air-fried finger foods are safe for babies. Remember to cut the food into small, bite-sized pieces and closely monitor your baby during mealtime.

For older babies, you can experiment with different seasonings and spices to introduce more flavours. You can also gradually increase the size of the food pieces to promote chewing and self-feeding skills.

Yes, most of the recipes can be frozen for later use. Ensure that the food is cooled completely before storing it in airtight containers or freezer bags. Thaw and reheat as needed.

Baby-Led Weaning Recipes

Here are some simple and delicious recipes that are perfect for parents who are weaning their babies.

These recipes are easy to make, nutritious, and sure to be a hit with your little one.

Check out this weaning guide.

3 Ingredient Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

air fryer chicken nuggets

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 25g Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg (beaten) or Greek Yoghurt to coat the chicken instead of egg

How To Cook Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

  • Preheat the air fryer to 200C / 400F for 8 minutes.
  • Wash the chicken fillet under cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Cut chicken into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Use two separate plates, one for the breadcrumbs and the other for the beaten egg.
  • Dip each piece in beaten egg (or yoghurt) and then coat with bread crumbs.
  • Place the coated chicken pieces in the basket. Do not overlap.
  • Spray with cooking oil.
  • Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes at 200C / 400F, flipping them halfway through.
  • Ensure the chicken is cooked through and golden brown before serving. Use a meat thermometer and check the internal temperature reads 165°F.

Air Fryer Sweet Potato and Apple Bites

Air Fryer Sweet Potato and Apple Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized sweet potato
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Air Fryer Sweet Potato And Apple Bites

  • Wash and peel the sweet potato and apple.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 200C / 400F for 5 minutes.
  • Chop into even-sized small pieces.
  • Place in the basket in a single layer.
  • Spray with oil then sprinkle with the cinnamon. Stir the mix to coat with the oil and cinnamon.
  • Cook at 200C / 400F for 18 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender and the apples are caramelised. Turn halfway through cooking time. Let cool before serving.

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Air Fryer Carrot And Parsnip Fries

air fryer carrot and parsnip fries

These tasty fries are a healthy alternative to regular French fries, and they are a great way to introduce your baby to new vegetables.

Peel and slice a carrot and a parsnip into thin sticks, and toss them with a little oil and some herbs (such as thyme or rosemary) in a bowl.

Place in the basket, and cook at 200C /400F for 15-20 minutes. Turn regularly.

Apple Air Fryer Chips

air fryer apple chips

Ingredients

2 apples (any variety)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

    How To Make Apple Chips

    Slice the apples into thin rounds, about 1/8-inch thick.

    In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and sugar (if using).

    Place the apple slices in a single layer in the basket, making sure not to overlap the slices.

    Brush the apple slices with the spice mixture, making sure to coat both sides.

    Cook the apple slices at 200C / 400F for 5-7 minutes, or until the chips are crispy and lightly browned.

    Remove the apple chips from the basket and let them cool before serving.

      More Recipes

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      Easy Air Fryer Courgette Fries

      Crispy Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

      Air Fryer Courgette Fritters

      Air Fryer Courgette Fritters

      Ingredients

      2 medium courgettes (zucchini)

      70 g plain flour

      70 g grated Parmesan cheese

      2 large eggs

      2 cloves garlic, minced

      15 g chopped fresh parsley

      Salt and pepper to taste

      Olive oil spray

        How To Make Air Fryer Courgette Fritters

        Grate the courgettes using a cheese grater. Place the grated courgettes in a colander and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Let the courgettes sit for 10-15 minutes to allow some of the moisture to be released.

        In a large bowl, mix the flour, Parmesan cheese, eggs, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper. Add the grated courgettes and mix well.

        Preheat your air fryer to 200C / 400F.

        Shape the courgette mixture into small, flat patties, about 2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.

        Lightly spray the basket with olive oil spray. Place the courgette patties in the basket, making sure not to overcrowd them. You may need to work in batches.

        Cook the courgette fritters for 8-10 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside.

          Air Fryer Breakfast Muffins

          air fryer breakfast muffins

          Serve these with Carrot And Parsnip Fries (above) for a tasty meal your baby will love.

          Ingredients

          250g plain flour

          2 tsp baking powder

          1/2 teaspoon salt

          240ml milk

          1 large egg

          2 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil

          Grated or finely chopped vegetables (such as bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, or zucchini)

          Grated or finely chopped cooked meats (such as bacon, ham, sausage, or chicken)

          200g grated cheese (such as cheddar, mozzarella, or Parmesan)

            How To Cook Air Fryer Breakfast Muffins

            In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

            In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and melted butter or vegetable oil.

            Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

            Stir in the vegetables, meats, and cheese.

            Preheat your air fryer to 180C / 360F.

            Scoop the muffin batter into a muffin tin or silicone muffin cups, filling each one about 3/4 full. Alternatively, you can use an ice cream scoop to portion out the batter.

            Place the muffin tin or silicone cups in the basket, making sure not to overcrowd them. You may need to work in batches.

            Cook the muffins for 12-15 minutes, until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

            Remove the muffins from the air fryer and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

              Air Fryer Crispy Veggie Bites

              air fryer crispy veggie bites

              These crispy veggie bites are a fantastic way to introduce your baby to different vegetables and textures during the weaning process.

              Ingredients

              • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
              • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
              • 1 courgette, grated
              • 60g breadcrumbs (preferably whole wheat)
              • 30g of grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
              • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
              • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
              • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
              • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
              • 1/4 teaspoon salt
              • Cooking spray (preferably olive oil)

              Instructions

              1. Preheat your air fryer to 180C / 360F for 5 minutes.
              2. In a large bowl, combine the grated sweet potato, carrot, and courgette. Mix well.
              3. Add breadcrumbs, grated cheese, parsley, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to the grated vegetables. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
              4. Take small portions of the mixture and shape them into small bite-sized balls or patties using your hands.
              5. Spray the basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place the veggie bites in a single layer in the basket, ensuring that they do not touch each other.
              6. Cook the veggie bites in the preheated air fryer at 180C / 360F for 10-12 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy, flipping them halfway through the cooking time.
              7. Remove the cooked veggie bites from the basket and allow them to cool for a few minutes before serving to your baby.
              8. Serve the crispy veggie bites as finger foods to your baby during the weaning process. These bites are packed with essential nutrients and are perfect for introducing various vegetables into their diet.

              Note: Make sure to adjust the cooking time based on the size and thickness of your veggie bites.

              Air Fryer French Toast Fingers

              air fryer french toast fingers

              A recipe for Air Fryer French Toast Fingers that you can make for a quick and easy breakfast or snack.

              These French toast fingers are crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.

              A fun and tasty twist on traditional French toast.

              Your little ones will love these.

              Ingredients

              4 slices of bread

              2 large eggs

              120 ml milk

              1 teaspoon vanilla extract

              1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

              1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

              1/4 teaspoon salt

              Butter or oil for greasing the air fryer basket

              Maple syrup, icing sugar, and fresh fruit for serving (optional)

                How To Cook Air Fryer French Toast Fingers

                Cut the bread into 1-inch thick fingers.

                In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

                Dip the bread fingers into the egg mixture, making sure to coat both sides evenly.

                Preheat your air fryer to 180C / 360F. Lightly grease the basket with butter or oil spray.

                Place the bread fingers in the basket, making sure not to overcrowd them. You may need to work in batches.

                Cook the French toast fingers in the air fryer for 8-10 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside.

                Serve the French toast fingers warm, with maple syrup, icing sugar, and fresh fruit on top, if desired.

                  Air Fryer Banana Oat Bites

                  Banana and Walnut Oat Bites

                  A quick delicious healthy snack for your little ones to nibble on.

                  Let your imagination run wild! There are so many variations you can try.

                  Use different fruits and even add cacao powder for a delicious chocolate flavour.

                  Ingredients

                  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
                  • 180g rolled oats
                  • 1 tablespoon honey
                  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                  • Cooking spray

                  How To Make Air Fryer Banana Oat Bites

                  Preheat the air fryer to 180C / 360F for 5 minutes.

                  In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas, rolled oats, honey, and ground cinnamon.

                  Scoop out small portions of the mixture and form into bite-sized balls or dinky cupcakes.

                  Place the banana oat bites in the basket, leaving space between them.

                  Lightly spray with cooking spray and cook for 8-10 minutes until the bites are golden brown.

                  Annemarie

                  Hi, I’m Annemarie

                  Having recently retired, I found myself yearning for a new project to channel my energy.

                  That’s when the idea struck to create a dedicated UK air frying website.

                  Combining my passion for cooking and the desire to promote healthy eating in busy households, I began developing a collection of recipes tailored for those seeking quick and nutritious meals.

                  Join me on my journey and discover delicious ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on taste.

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