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Baby Bean Bites: An Easy Beans Recipe for Baby-Led Weaning

When introducing new food, a beans recipe for baby can be the perfect first food. Use this easy and flexible baby led weaning recipe for Baby Bean Bites to introduce your little one to a tasty, plant-based protein option.

If you have little ones you know that feeding them is a great joy, but can also be a challenge. Encouraging parents to introduce beans early on has always been a goal of mine. This BLW recipe with beans does the trick.

Baby Bean Bites: An Easy Beans Recipe for Baby Led Weaning

Are Beans Okay for My Baby?

At 6 months of age (or around there), babies can introduced to complementary foods as long as they are developmentally ready for solids and interested. Complementary foods add essential nutrients like iron and zinc your baby can’t receive from breast milk alone, hence, the word “complementary.”

Ideally, you’ll want to select foods that are nutrient-rich because your baby’s brain, body and bones are “nutrient-hungry.” When baby starts on first foods, her digestive system needs to adapt. Moving from a liquid diet to a solid food diet requires more digestion.

Often, parents use fruits, vegetables, fortified cereals and meat to make sure foods are packed with nutrition during this phase.

[Related: Food for Baby Led Weaning]

At about 8 months, most babies are ready for beans and will experience minimal digestive discomfort. Their digestive system is used to food and they are ready for more complex solid foods.

At my house, we have reached the stage where my baby is no longer interested in eating something that I am offering to her from a spoon.¬†She’s ready to self-feed.

She prefers to eat what she can pick up off of her tray all on her own, after she has poked, prodded and squashed it. That’s why this finger food recipe is perfect for little ones on the BLW journey.

Keeping a baby interested in food can be a challenge, particularly when older siblings are home to distract her. 

Bean Recipes for Babies

I generally advise moms to begin with beans sometime in the first year, after some tolerance has been established to grains, meats and veggies. I came up with this recipe incorporating beans for baby, called Baby Bean Bites, and they seem to do the trick, for now. 

Baby Bean Bites are small and soft enough so baby can handle feeding themselves. They are full of nutritious ingredients like healthy fats, plant-based foods, and B vitamins. 

Something else I really love about these pint size bites, is just that, their small portion sizes. I cringe when food is wasted, so when my little one only takes a small bite of her meal and tosses the rest on the floor, it can be a tad frustrating. With these little bites, there isn’t a whole lot of waste even if a few crumbs get thrown overboard.

Beans for baby are a nutritious option. Try Baby Bean Bites using these ingredients!

Baby Bean Bites: A Great BLW Recipe

Let’s talk about the ingredients. These bites are very customizable. You can toss in a variety of different vegetables and still have the same end result. 

For this version, I decided to use a few of my daughter’s favorite ingredients: sweet potato, green peas, and white navy beans.

A grated or mashed carrot, squash or potato could work in place of the sweet potato. Edamame, broccoli, corn or lima beans in place of the green peas. Chickpeas, pinto beans, or black beans instead of navy beans.

The navy beans were whole beans cooked from dry, but canned beans would work out fine as well. (You could soak the beans overnight, use a slow cooker, or a pressure cooker to speed up the process.) Look for those that are low sodium and packaged in a BPA free can. 

Don‚Äôt forget to drain and rinse the beans before using. 

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are sources of high-fiber foods. The beans, peas and quinoa also provide protein and are sources of iron. 

These plant based sources of iron are not as easily absorbed as the iron that comes from animal sources like meat. You‚Äôll want to include an ingredient that is high in vitamin C (such as peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potato) in the bean bites.

Or, serve a great dip to help the iron to be absorbed like some tomato sauce on the side for dipping, which would be a great way to incorporate some vitamin C. 

These little bites are full of nutrition and a nice option if you have embarked on Baby-Led Weaning or are simultaneously introducing the spoon and self-feeding.  It felt great watching my daughter gobble up 4 in a row. I hope your little one likes them too!

Other Baby Led Weaning Starter Foods

I’m often asked what other foods can be used for baby led weaning or self-feeding. I think the biggest rule of thumb is to make whatever you choose be nutrient-rich finger foods.

Here are some of the best first foods using either BLW or a self-feeding approach:

  • avocado (omega-3 fats, vitamin E)
  • meats (iron, zinc, vitamin B12)
  • soft fruits (potassium, fiber, vitamin C)
  • soft, cooked veggies (vitamin A, fiber, potassium)
  • soft, cooked fish such as salmon (omega-3 fats, protein)
  • whole milk plain yogurt
  • banana
  • cooked sweet potatoes
  • cooked pumpkin and other squash

Is It Okay to Use Black Beans for Baby Led Weaning?

Yes! The beauty of this recipe is that you can substitute any type of bean. Use black beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, or even garbanzo beans. Whir them up in your food processor to make a creamy puree. 

You can make veggie substitutions, too. This recipe for baby led weaning allows you great flexibility!

Beans for baby are a nutritious offering. Try this finger food recipe called Baby Bean Bites!

Baby Bean Bites

Yield: 30 bites
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Beans and veggies blended together into finger foods -- perfect for baby led weaning and self-feeding!


  • 1 cup navy beans
  • ¬Ĺ medium sweet potato, cubed and cooked
  • ¬ľ cup quinoa, cooked
  • ¬ľ cup green peas, cooked
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • ¬ľ cup whole wheat bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor.

Pulse ingredients until combined and the mixture starts to stick together, be careful not to over do it, pureeing the ingredients will make them hard to work with.

Using a small spoon, measure out 1 tbsp of the mixture and roll into a ball.

Place on the baking tray and press down lightly to form a patty.

Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the bottom side is golden brown. Flip the bites and bake for another 10 minutes.

Allow the bites to cool before serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 24Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

This is an estimation of nutritional content.

Need More Help with Starting Solids?

If you’re starting solids with your baby, check out The Smart Mom’s Guide to Starting Solids where you will get the guidance you need to nourish and nurture your baby in the first year.

Available on Amazon and where ever you buy books. Or read The Ultimate Guide to Baby Nutrition in the First Year.

The Smart Mom's Guide to Starting Solids

This post was originally published in August 2017 and contributed by Melinda LeMarche. | It was updated on February 11, 2024.

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