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Baby Led Weaning | Spanish Food Perfect for Babies and Toddlers

My husband and I love to travel the world and we decided early on that having a new addition to our family would not stop us from experiencing new cultures. Going abroad with a baby or toddler can bring a wide range of anxieties and apprehension: Will we run out of formula? How am we going to carry all of the stuff that comes with a baby? What on earth am I going to feed him?

On our first holiday away I packed a whole bag full of rice cakes, wafers and pouches of savoury purées, just in case.  Dexter had never had a savoury pouch before in his life, but I was seriously worried that there’d be nothing in Spain for him to eat. I needn’t have bothered of course, I should have trusted my Mummy instincts: baby led weaning works all over the world. 

Continuing with your baby led weaning journey needn’t be one of the stresses of venturing abroad, especially if you’re going to Spain. Since we started our baby led weaning journey we’ve had two holidays with Dexter in sunny Spain and whether you decide to stay in a villa in Spain or a 5* resort on one of the Balearic Islands, the choice of Spanish food is perfect for tiny little fingers. Here I have a list of Spanish foods that you simply must try with your baby or toddler this year (in between sunning yourself of course, because that’s what a holiday is all about!)

1. Paella

Paella was one of the very first foods I tried with Dexter and although it can get a little messy, it is so much fun! Spanish paella is full of lovely seafood which will give baby lots of nutrients although I’d be careful to remove any bones or shells first and chop up the prawns so they’re not a choking hazard. For toddlers, paella is fantastic food to practise using cutlery with and above all, it’s extremely delicious! I am a huge advocate of using herbs and spices to give baby a really flavourful baby led weaning experience and I love the use of smoked paprika and saffron to really bring out the flavour of paella.

2. Gazpacho

Talking of practising with cutlery, gazpacho is another dish that is perfect for this or for trying with pre loaded spoons. Gazpacho is a mixture of peppers, garlic, tomato and onion blended to make a smooth soup. What I love the most about gazpacho is that you don’t need to worry about it being too hot for tiny mouths as it is served cold, yet again one less thing to stress about. I highly recommend using a BIBaDO while attempting to consume gazpacho as it can get slightly messy!

3. Albondigas

I’m a huge fan of beefy meatballs as I believe it’s really important to try and get iron into baby when they first start weaning. Albondigas are super easy for little hands to pick up and helps improve their hand-eye coordination as they try to get meatball from table to hand to mouth. Younger babies will probably just have a gnaw and a suck but as they get older you’ll find that more and more will be consumed! I always gave Dexter the meatballs whole while he was weaning, but now he’s pretty adept with a fork and spoon, I cut them up into smaller pieces so he can stab them with a fork and eat them.

4. Tortilla Española

Spanish omelette is one of the most popular dishes with Brits and it’s easy to see why. The main ingredients are egg, onion and potato and the result is a filling and delicious dish. Omelettes were a huge hit with Dex when we started baby led weaning and were one of the meals you could guarantee would be demolished every single time. I love that you can cut them into bite sized strips and that they’re nice and soft yet solid enough to pick up from the tray.

baby led weaning spanish foods gazpacho or cold soup

5. Pan con Tomate

This traditional Catalan dish is so simple and yet perfect for baby led weaning. It is simply bread topped with tomatoes and then seasoned with olive oil and salt. (You can skip the salt for under ones). Dexter is a big fan of carbs just like his Mama and we could spend hours eating this gorgeous Mediterranean dish. I did notice while we were in Spain that the hotter it got, the les Dex seemed to want to eat, but bread remained a firm favourite and the tomatoes gave me a little peace of mind that he was getting a few nutrients in as well.

6. San Jacobos

This dish is better known in England (and France!) as Cordon Bleu. It is ham wrapped around cheese and then breaded before being fried. Probably not the healthiest tapa, but extremely popular with children in Spain as an afternoon snack and it’s easy to see why: they’re the perfect size for little fingers to pick up and eat.

7. Empanadas

Empanadas is a delicious pastry stuffed with meat and veg. A really yummy finger food, perfect for little fingers and filled with tasty beef or chorizo. You’ll find this tapa in bars all over Spain and is another excuse to get yourself down to your local watering hole to cool off with a lovely cerveza while baby chomps down on an empanada.

8. Croquetas

Croquettes have always been a staple in our household and who knew you could have so many varieties?! Ham and cheese seem to be the most popular in Spain, but you can also find fish, ground meat or vegetable croquetas too. Another delicious finger food perfect for little hands.

baby led weaning spanish food albondigas or meatballs

This is definitely not an exhaustive list of all of the yummy tapas and foods available to you while in Spain, but hopefully will give you some encouragement that just because you are leaving the comforts of home, you needn’t worry about what you will feed baby. Now, back to concentrating on exactly how many vests, t-shirts and shorts I need to pack for Dexter without compromising room in the suitcase for my make-up and shoes!

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post

A list of yummy and delicious Spanish foods for baby and toddler to try in Spain. Foods perfect for baby led weaning (BLW) and beyond!

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8 Comments

  • Reply Devon Mama

    Two things: firstly, this had me googling Spain trips at my desk. Secondly, that final photo of littler Dex is SO cute. Some awesome ideas, we’ve not been to Spain in years, I never think about it being particularly baby friendly but it sounds awesome (and has made me starving!)
    Devon Mama recently posted…It’s Coming… The Aldi Baby & Toddler Event January 2018!My Profile

    10th January 2018 at 10:48 am
  • Reply Abbie - Lilypad & Bow

    Gosh this all sounds lovely! Unfortunately the baby led weaning days are long behind me now but it feels like just yesterday! It has made me realise I must branch out more with the kids meals though xx
    Abbie – Lilypad & Bow recently posted…Our Week in Pictures #13My Profile

    10th January 2018 at 4:25 pm
  • Reply Hannah | Make, Do & Push

    Ooh I love a good paella! These are great – I never would have thought to cook food like this while I was weaning my two 🙂 xx

    10th January 2018 at 7:48 pm
  • Reply Lisa (mummascribbles)

    What a fab list of ideas. We are in the middle of weaning although it hasn’t really been baby led! It’s fab though that it doesn’t matter where you are, there will be stuff that they can eat 😁

    11th January 2018 at 12:50 pm
  • Reply Emily Nellist

    Oh my, this has made my tummy rumble. Some amazing choices here, both our boys have loved paella when we’ve been in Spain we just opt for a cooler version for them.

    12th January 2018 at 12:09 am
  • Reply Kira

    Oh wow this sounds great! We are currently weaning little Nila 🙂
    Kira recently posted…My Wardrobe Wish List 🙂My Profile

    12th January 2018 at 9:48 am
  • Reply Kirsty

    Ooooh amazing! I would have never even thought about Paella for babies! xxx

    12th January 2018 at 11:27 am
  • Reply mummy and monkeys

    We went to Spain when Ava was being BLW and we found it great for her. One of my favourite pictures from the holiday is of her eating a plum with it dribbling all down her! These are all great ideas.
    mummy and monkeys recently posted…Make a Family Wish Jar to create memoriesMy Profile

    12th January 2018 at 6:27 pm
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