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Can babies eat foods grilled on the barbecue?

Can babies eat foods grilled on the barbecue?

 

It’s getting hot outside and it’s time to light the barbecue. You might be wondering if babies can eat food grilled on the barbecue. The question is: are barbecuing and Baby Led Weaning (BLW) compatible?

 

The answer is yes, starting at around 6 months old. You do want to make sure you do it safely (as with everything else) because research shows that cooking meat, poultry and fish at high temperatures may increase you and your baby’s risk of cancer.

 

Here are a few tips from the cancer.ca website:

 

  • Marinate meat, poultry and fish before cooking. Studies have shown that marinating these foods can prevent the formation of cancer-causing chemicals.
  • When barbecuing, choose lean cuts of meat, poultry and seafood over higher-fat meats. Trim off visible fat. This will reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that develop from the smoke created by burning fat.
  • Barbecue slowly and keep the food away from the hot coals so that flames are less likely to engulf the food to prevent charring.
  • Try grilling vegetables, veggie burgers and fruit slices. Most experts agree that plant-based foods do not form the cancer-causing substances when cooked at high heat.

 

Foods grilled on the barbecue are great for babies because they maintain their shape yet babies can easily bite into them. Asparagus are delicious this time of year. Why not try barbecued asparagus? Here is a 6-month old enjoying asparagus on the barbecue:

 

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Even grilled mushrooms are totally appropriate for babies:

 

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If your baby just sucks on a strip of meat without actually eating any, he or she is still getting some iron. It could also occupy a baby for quite some time!

 

Here are some free barbecue recipes that you can try for your baby:

 

Chicken satay with creamy peanut sauce (includes a cooking demo video)

 

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Simple burgers for babies (feel free to cook these on the barbecue)

 

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Grilled lamb chops for babies

 

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Minty Lamb Meatballs

 

The mouthwatering final product! BLW

 

For more Baby Led Weaning (BLW) recipes for babies, GET YOUR FREE COOKBOOK FOR BABIES HERE.

 

What will you grill on the barbecue this weekend?

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Thai Salmon Bites

Thai Salmon Bites

 

There is no need to wait until your baby is 12 months to offer him/her fish. In fact, it’s a good idea to offer fish to babies from 6 to 12 months because it’s packed with good fats, iron and zinc. The problem with fish is that it usually doesn’t hold together very well. It’s dry and falls apart easily when babies handle it.

 

I created this recipe with fish that actually holds together. The trick? Cut up the fish into bite-sized pieces while it’s still semi-frozen BEFORE baking it.

 

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To prepare the recipe, I cut the skinless salmon into squares. Then, I marinated the fish in a delicious mixture of oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, pepper, lime zest, ginger, coconut and cumin. Then, I baked them in the oven for 6 minutes.

 

These can be served as a fancy appetizer or as the main course along with some zesty roasted cauliflower. They’re 100% juicy and they actually hold together.

 

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Thai Salmon Bites recipe

 

450g salmon, boneless, skinless

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon or lime juice

1 tsp (5 ml) garlic powder

½ tsp (2.5 ml) pepper

1 tsp (5 ml) lemon or lime zest

1 tsp (5 ml) ground ginger

1 tbsp (15 ml) coconut, shredded, unsweetened

½ tsp (2.5 ml) cumin

 

 

Place salmon in the freezer for about 20 minutes until semi frozen. In a medium bowl, add the rest of the ingredients. Remove salmon from the freezer and cut salmon into 3 cm (1 inch) squares. Than, add the salmon to the bowl and cover on all sides. Let marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C) and place salmon bites onto a covered baking sheet. Finally, bake for 6 minutes or until fully cooked. Let cool and offer to your baby. Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cannot be frozen.

 

How often do you eat fish?

 

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Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

 

Want to try a different take on the “classic” banana pancake? Try my Baby Led Weaning-friendly apple cinnamon pancakes. This is the perfect recipe to add to your breakfast rotation.


In my household, banana-egg pancakes are a staple of our breakfast rotation. Why? Because they are simple and made with wholesome and nutritious ingredients. Eggs in particular are loaded with nutrients which babies need. Add some almond butter and apples to the mix, and your baby is in for a delicious, no sugar or salt added, grain-free treat.

 

This recipe couldn’t be any more simple to make. First, I mashed my bananas in a large bowl.

 

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Next, I grated the apple. As seen in this picture, you can leave the skin on the apple. It’s faster and the skin adds fibre to the pancakes.

 

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After that, I added the rest of the ingredients.

 

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I gave the ingredients a good stir until they were well combined. Then, I poured about ⅛ cup spoonfuls of batter onto a preheated pan. Once the pancakes started to bubble, I flipped them gently with a spatula. Please note that these pancakes do not have the same texture as pancakes made with wheat flour. Finally, I let them cool on a wire rack and enjoyed them immediately.

 

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Apple Cinnamon Pancakes Recipe

Makes 12 small pancakes

 

2 bananas, ripe, mashed
2 eggs
1/2 cup apple, grated (1 small apple or 1/2 medium apple)
2 tbsp (30 ml) almond butter, softened (or any other nut/seed butter)
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) nutmeg
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla
1-2 tbsp (15-30 ml) cooking fat (coconut oil or unsalted butter)


In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add all other ingredients and stir until well combined.

Melt the cooking fat in a skillet over low-medium heat. Carefully pour the batter into the pan, using approximately ⅛ cup for each pancake. Flip the pancake to cook the other side. Allow to cool before serving to your baby. Pancakes can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 6 months. To reheat, place pancakes in the oven on a lined baking sheet at 350°F (175°C) until warm.

 

Did you baby enjoy these apple-cinnamon pancakes?

 

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Zesty Roasted Cauliflower

 

Zesty Roasted Cauliflower

 

In a rut of roasted sweet potatoes and carrot sticks? Cauliflower is an extremely versatile vegetable, and is loaded with good-for-baby nutrients like calcium, folate, and vitamins A & C. Vegetables high in vitamin C, like cauliflower, help your baby better absorb iron – something babies need a lot of. So try this delicious take on cauliflower – it’s sure to become a family favorite!

 

This recipe couldn’t be any easier. First, I cut the cauliflower into florets about the size of an adult pinky finger. Notice my finger on the left of the picture:

 

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Then I sprinkled the florets with the garlic, oil, pepper, cumin, and chili powder on a lined pan:

 

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Then, I tossed until the florets were well coated. I roasted it for half an hour, until the florets were golden brown. Meanwhile, I washed and dried the cilantro, and zested and juiced a lime.

 

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After removing the florets from the oven I immediately added the juice, cilantro, and zest, and tossed to combine. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of this perfectly caramelized vegetable:

 

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Isn’t it beautiful?

 

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We enjoyed these with my Southwestern Black Bean Burgers.

 

Zesty Roasted Cauliflower

Yield: Approximately 6 cups

 

1 head of cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets

2 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

2 tsp (10 ml) cumin

½  tsp (2.5 ml) chili powder

½ tsp (2.5 ml) pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Zest of 1 lime

 

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut cauliflower into pieces approximately the size of an adult pinky. Place cauliflower individually on the baking sheet, cut side down. Sprinkle garlic, olive oil, cumin, chili powder and pepper onto cauliflower, toss to coat. Roast for 30 minutes. Add the lime juice, zest, and cilantro. Allow to cool and serve to your baby. Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

What’s your go-to veggie?

 

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Why you should give sauerkraut to your baby

What’s with all the hype around lacto-fermented vegetables like sauerkraut? What are they, why should your baby eat them and where can you find them?

 

What are lacto-fermented vegetables?

 

Lacto-fermented vegetables (or simply “fermented veggies”) include foods like sauerkraut, pickles and pickled seasonal vegetables. They contain a healthy dose of gut-friendly bacteria, also known as probiotics. Regular consumption of these good bacteria is beneficial to your baby’s health.

 

Why are fermented vegetables good for babies?

 

Fermented vegetables help with digestion and provide a healthy boost to the immune system, improving all-around gut function [1]. Foods like sauerkraut and fermented vegetables have even been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers [1]. For babies in particular, fermented foods might be beneficial in helping with digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea, or gas [2].

 

Aren’t fermented vegetables too salty for babies?

 

While fermented veggies like sauerkraut offer a wide range of health benefits to your baby, it’s important to keep in mind that they’re quite salty. While sodium is a required nutrient for babies, too much of it is not a good thing. Keeping this in mind, if you’re offering small amounts of fermented foods to your baby – like 1 pickled carrot spear, or 1 tablespoon of sauerkraut – the benefits of including them in your baby’s diet is worth the extra salt.  

 

Here is a six-month old enjoying a fistful of sauerkraut:

 

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Here she is chomping down on a fermented carrot. It’s the perfect texture for her where she can easily grab it and it’s soft enough to take bites from:

 

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Here she is about to enjoy lacto-fermented turnips (right) and sauerkraut (left):

 

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Where can I find fermented vegetables?

 

One of my favorite store-bought brands of fermented foods is Tout Cru. They are a Montreal-based company that I absolutely love. I really believe in Pedro and Rachel’s mission. They make a wide range of fermented foods including kimchi, sauerkraut and seasonal fermented vegetables which are all so delicious. Check out their website to find out where you can purchase some near you! 

 

References:

  1. Parvez S, Malik KA, Ah Kang S, Kim HY. Probiotics and their fermented food products are beneficial for health. Journal of applied microbiology. 2006 Jun 1;100(6):1171-85.
  2. Marchand V. Using probiotics in the paediatric population. Paediatrics & child health. 2012 Dec;17(10):575.

 

Have you ever given sauerkraut to your baby?

 

 

Simple burgers for babies (3 ingredients only!)

Simple burgers for babies

 

I’m so excited to share my simple burgers for babies recipe with you. 3 ingredients and that’s it.

 

Ingredient #1: ground veal (you can also use beef).

 

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Ingredient #2: an apple.

 

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Ingredient #3:  onion.

 

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After that, I washed the apple and then grated it.

 

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After, I chopped up the onion. I incorporated all the ingredients to a large bowl and combined.

 

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Then, I shaped the mixture into perfect mini burgers using Ricardo’s burger press.  It makes these tight burgers that really stick together.

 

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Then, I placed the simple burgers for babies on a lined baking sheet. Afterwards, I cooked them in the oven for 20 minutes at 400F and voilà!  We served them two ways: some preferred them with homemade mayonnaise and a pickle and some preferred sharp cheddar only. It would have been good with a slice of avocado on top as well.  Sides were steamed green beans and a kale salad. Raw leafy green aren’t appropriate for babies since they can stick to their palate so you can offer the simple burgers and green beans to your baby.

 

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Here is 6-month old baby E absolutely devouring the simple burgers for babies.

 

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Not bad for a 6-month old, right?

 

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Simple burgers for babies

 

Ingredients

 

1 lb (450 g) ground veal or ground beef

1 apple, grated

½ cup onion, diced (½ small onion)

½ tbsp dried sage (optional)

½ tbsp pepper (optional)

 

Preparation

 

Preheat oven to 400F.  Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix to combine.  Then form mini burgers about ⅓ the size of adult burgers, approximately 4 cm in diameter (1.5 in) by 2 cm (¾ in) in height. I used Ricardo’s burger press but it’s not necessary.  After that, place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.  Finally, let cool and offer to your baby.  Makes 14 simple burgers for babies.

 

What did YOU serve these simple burgers for babies with?

 

The Best BLW Meatloaf

The best blw meatloaf recipe

 

I decided to create a blw meatloaf recipe that’s totally appropriate for babies just starting out with solids. Do you have older kids as well?  For some reason, these seem to appeal to that age group more than the traditional sliced meatloaf.  So… great for everyone in the family! Also, this blw meatloaf recipe uses real nourishing ingredients only so no commercial ketchup, breadcrumbs, salt or sugar added.

 

It’s super simple. I put all the blw meatloaf ingredients into a large bowl.

 

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Then, I mixed to combine and transferred the mixture among 12 lined muffin tins. Next, I baked the blw mini meatloaves at 350F for 20 minutes. While the meatloaves were cooking, I prepared the homemade ketchup. Then, I just put all the homemade ketchup ingredients into the blender and processed until smooth.

 

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Then I transferred the ketchup mixture into a saucepan.

 

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After that, I let the ketchup mixture simmer for 20 minutes uncovered until it thickened.

 

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When the BLW mini meatloaves were cooled a bit, I topped them with the homemade ketchup.

 

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We enjoyed them with my amazing Cajun Sweet Potato Fries.  You can find the cajun sweet potato fries recipe in my Baby Led Weaning Recipes iBook HERE.

 

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blw Meatloaf Recipe with Homemade Ketchup

 

Meatloaf Ingredients

 

1.3 lbs (600 g) ground beef

¾ cup onion, chopped (1 small onion)

1 cup leek, chopped (1 leek)

¼ cup green onions, chopped (3 green onions)

1 egg

½ cup almond flour (optional)

1 tsp basil, dried

1 tsp thyme, dried

1 tsp oregano, dried

1 tsp sage, dried

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

 

Homemade Ketchup Ingredients

 

3 medjool dates

1 ½ cups tomatoes, diced

1/8 cup apple cider vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/8 tsp allspice

 

Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tins. After that, add all ingredients for the meatloaves to a large bowl and mix to combine. Next, transfer the mixture among 12 muffin tins. Then, bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, you can make the homemade unsalted ketchup. Add all ingredients for the homemade ketchup to a blender and process until smooth. Then, transfer to a saucepan and simmer on low-medium for 20 minutes, uncovered. When the meatloaves are ready, let cool and then add the ketchup on top. Enjoy!

 

Try them out and let me know what you think!

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Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

 

Looking for a healthy cookie recipe for your baby approved by a dietitian? Don’t look any further! These BLW Holiday Cut-Out Cookies contain nourishing ingredients, no sugar added but TONS of taste. What’s more? You can even eat these BLW cookies for breakfast.  I’m not even kidding.

 

If you’re looking for more BLW recipes just like this one, check out my brand new Baby Led Weaning Recipes iBook. Each recipe:

  • was created by a registered dietitian
  • was created as first foods that can be introduced to your baby
  • was created with your baby’s early nutritional requirements in mind
  • can be easily held and manipulated by your baby
  • has no sugar added
  • is gluten free
  • is fun and tasty for the entire family

 

Now, back to the holiday cut-out cookies!  Here’s how I prepared the BLW cookies.

 

I added the almond flour, spices and dates to a food processor and pulsed until the dates were broken up. Then, I added the olive oil, vanilla and egg and pulsed until a soft dough formed. I placed the dough onto a piece of parchment paper:

 

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Then, I rolled out the dough.

 

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After that, I put the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Then, I cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters.

 

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Finally, I baked the BLW holiday cut-out cookies in the oven at 300F for 10 minutes. There you go! Amazing BLW cookies with no sugar added, no refined ingredients and no dairy!

 

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Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

 

Ingredients

 

2 3/4 cups almond flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking powder

4 soft Medjool dates, pitted

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

 

Preparation

 

Place the almond flour, spices, baking powder and dates into a food processor.  Then, pulse until combined.  After that, add the olive oil, vanilla and egg and pulse until a soft dough forms. Then, place the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll to about 3 mm thick. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Then, preheat oven to 300F.  After that, remove the top layer of parchment paper and cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters.  Finally, place the cookies onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  After that, shape dough scraps into a ball, flatten until 3 mm thick and continue to cut cookies until no dough remains.  At last, bake cookies for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.

 

Want more recipes like this one?  Check out my brand new Baby Led Weaning Recipes iBook today RIGHT HERE.

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Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb

Slow cooked leg of lamb with spiced yogurt and herb salad

 

I’m about to share the recipe for the BEST meal I’ve ever made: Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb with spiced yogurt and herb salad. What’s more, it’s totally appropriate for babies 6 months or more doing Baby Led Weaning (BLW). I perfected this recipe several times throughout the years and I’m so excited to share it with you today. Impress your guests and make this slow cooked leg of lamb next time you have them over!  It’s not only a slow cooked leg of lamb.  It’s a layered full meal complete with spiced yogurt and a herb salad.  This is part 7 of my “Half Lamb for Babies” series.

I snapped more than 15 pictures as I prepared this meal. Check out how I proceeded!

 

4 days before

 

To begin, I started thawing the leg of lamb in my fridge.

 

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I also pulled out some homemade chicken broth from the freezer and started thawing it in my fridge.

 

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1 day before

On the day before the event, I prepared the liquid that the leg of lamb will be cooked in. I took 4 room-temperature lemons:

 

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Then, I juiced them to obtain 1 cup of lemon juice.

 

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I combined the spices into the lemon juice and broth mixture. This is the smoked paprika I used:

 

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Here’s the liquid that the leg of lamb will be cooked in:

 

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After that, I took 15 garlic cloves:

 

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And smashed them like this:

 

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Then, I put the smashed garlic cloves in the fridge until the next day. I took the jalapeños:

 

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After, I seeded the jalapeños and quartered them (yes, babies can have jalapeños in this recipe because it gives the sauce a little kick but doesn’t burn the baby’s mouth). I put them in the fridge.

 

The day of the event

On the day of the event, I seasoned the leg of lamb.

 

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After, I added the onions, garlic and jalapeños to the roasting pan, then the liquid mixture. I placed the seasoned leg of lamb in the middle. The meat (super high in iron by the way!) was cooked at 425F for 45 minutes then 2 ½ hours at a lower heat.

 

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The house smelled divine! The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender.  Check out the recipe below for instructions on how to prepare the spiced yogurt and herb salad (can be prepared the day before). Here is an appropriate serving size of the lamb for a baby 6 months or more:

 

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And here is the herb salad (most babies are ready for a raw herb salad like this one at around 12-18 months old):

 

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It’s all coming together! The spiced yogurt, herb salad and meat:

 

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Add on the sauce and it’s almost complete!

 

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We served it on a mixture of mashed potatoes, celery root and carrots that my mom made. Check out the layering of the meat, sauce, spiced yogurt and herb salad.  Here is an adult-sized serving:

 

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I cannot explain how good this meal tastes. Here is a child-sized portion:

 

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And the toddlers sitting/standing around their table with their fancy slow cooked leg of lamb with spiced yogurt and herb salad:

 

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We were 12 people total and everyone finished their plate. Some even asked for more.  I’m not kidding when I say it’s the best meal I’ve ever made!

 

Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb with Spiced Yogurt and Herb Salad (for babies 6 months +)

 

Ingredients

 

Lamb

5 cups chicken broth

1 cup fresh lemon juice (I used 4 lemons)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

1/2 tablespoon ground coriander

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons thyme

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

2 onions, coarsely chopped

15 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed

3 jalapeños, seeded and quartered

One 5.5 lb semi-boneless leg of lamb, tied  (2.5 kg)

Sea salt (optional) and freshly ground pepper

 

Spiced yogurt

2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup packed cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Salt (optional)

Ground pepper

 

Herb salad

3/4 cup packed parsley leaves

3/4 cup packed cilantro leaves

1/2 cup packed tarragon leaves

1/2 cup snipped chives

1 jalapeño—halved, seeded and very thinly sliced crosswise

1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Preparation

 

Lamb

Preheat the oven to 425F. In a roasting pan large enough to hold the lamb, whisk the chicken broth with the lemon juice, cloves, coriander, paprika, oregano, thyme and peppercorns. Then, add the onions, garlic and jalapeños in an even layer. Season the lamb all over with salt (optional) and pepper and place it in the roasting pan, fat side up.

Braise the lamb, uncovered, for 45 minutes until it just starts to brown. After that, reduce the oven temperature to 325° and braise for about 2 hours and 30 minutes longer, until the meat is nicely browned and starting to pull away from the bone. Then, transfer the lamb to a carving board and let stand for 10 minutes.

After that, strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan and skim off the fat. Then, boil the liquid until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Season the jus with salt and pepper; keep warm.

 

Spiced yogurt

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl.

 

Herb Salad

Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the strings off of the lamb and carve the meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the lamb on a bed of mashed potatoes, celery root and carrots. Drizzle the jus and spiced yogurt over the lamb, top with the herb salad and serve.

This recipe was inspired by Food & Wine.

 

What do you usually prepare when you have people over? Let me know if you try this recipe by commenting below!

 

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Liver pate recipe for babies

Liver Pate BLW recipe for babies

Have you ever made liver pate recipe?  So much better than the salty store-bought version!  So first you might be wondering why you should offer liver pate to your baby.  It’s simple: babies need lots of iron! Since their iron needs are so high, it’s difficult for babies to consume enough iron every day (especially since some babies don’t eat large quantities).  With liver pate, babies get lots of concentrated nutrients per bite.

For this liver pate recipe, I used lamb liver from my half lamb I purchased a while back.  This is part 6 of the half lamb for babies series.  If you’re making this for your baby, I would recommend using chicken liver because it’s so much higher in iron AND lamb liver contains too much vitamin A.  Also, I recommend limiting your baby’s chicken liver consomption to twice per week to avoid too much vitamin A.  Here’s what I did:

I melted the coconut oil in the pan and added the apples and allspice:

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Then I cooked the liver and thyme until the liver was no longer raw. I put everything in the blender and transferred the liver pate into small jars:

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Babies can either eat liver pate on a cucumber stick, perfect to encourage self feeding with baby led weaning (BLW):

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Or enjoy the liver pate directly from a spoon:

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At our house we eat liver pâté as a snack on a regular basis. It’s a great way to make sure the little ones are getting enough iron!  You can eat this liver pate on anything, really.  Here is some liver pate spread on a cracker:

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Liver Pate Recipe

Ingredients

4 tablespoons coconut oil

1 apple, peeled and sliced

1/2 teaspoon allspice

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small shallot, chopped

1/2 lb liver, cut into cubes

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

 

Instructions

  • Place 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into a pan on medium heat. Add apple slices and allspice and cook until soft. Add garlic and shallot and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add liver, thyme, and 2 more tablespoons of coconut oil to the pan. Cook until liver is pink inside and no longer raw.
  • Pour everything into a blender. Blend until smooth. Store in small jars.

 

Limit chicken liver consumption for babies to twice per week to avoid ingesting too much vitamin A.  Recipe inspired from Megan Garcia.

Let me know if this convinces you to make liver pate by commenting below!