Here at Nutrition for Baby, we are bananas about…. bananas! One of the world’s most popular fruits, it is actually considered a berry by classification (despite bearing little resemblance to our well known friends like the strawberry or blueberry).
No matter how it is classified, bananas are packed with potassium, fiber, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. On top of that, they are the perfect texture for baby. But how do you serve a fruit that is so slippery it is known for sending the bad guys head over heels in Saturday morning cartoons? Well we have three options for you, and a magic solution to make managing this fruit easier for your little one.
Check out this video to see how easy it is to prep a banana for your baby:
How to Prepare Banana for your Baby: 3 Ways
First, start by giving the peel of the banana a good scrub. We will be using the skin to our advantage later on, so make sure it is good and clean!
Next, cut the banana into thirds if it is a large banana, or into half if it is on the smaller side.
Using the section of the banana you can choose from three options! You can either:
Cut the peel off the top half of the banana portion and leave the bottom for a handle
Peel the portion and gently push on the banana until it comes apart into three sections
Peel half the skin vertically and leave the other half for baby to hold onto
How can we make the grip even better? Well here is my favourite trick; roll the banana in unsweetened shaved coconut! This also introduces fun new tastes and textures for baby to discover.
Dust off your slow-cooker and pull out your best roasting pan because today we are looking into how to safely provide meat to babies when doing Baby Led Weaning. No brown purées, no mush and no mess (well, most of the time)!
At around 6 months old, your baby’s iron needs are the highest they will ever be. Meat is not only rich in iron, but it has a special type of iron that’s only found in foods from animals. This type is better absorbed by your baby than the iron found in plants. Meat also has lots of protein, zinc, vitamin B12 and fats. Since your baby is probably not eating a large amount of food at this age, meat is a “bang for your bite” food. Even just sucking on the meat juices provides that precious iron and other minerals.
Providing meat to your BLW infant does take a bit of additional care for it to be safe, including the following from Health Canada:
Avoid meat or fish that is :
Raw, like sushi or rare steak
Highly processed like bacon, hotdogs or processed deli meats
Fried, using breading and unhealthy oils
Offer meat or fish that has been:
Cooked at these minimum temps:
Beef/veal/lamb: 77°C (170°F)
Pork: 71˚ C (160˚F)
Ground beef/veal/lamb/pork: 71˚C (160˚F)
Poultry (pieces): 74˚C (165˚F)
Poultry (whole): 82˚C (180˚F)
Ground poultry: 74˚C (165˚F)
Fish: 70˚C (158˚F)
Shellfish: 74˚C (165˚F)
Meat/Fish Leftovers: 74˚C (165˚F); reheat only once
Checked with a digital thermometer for temperature at the thickest part of the meat (ensure the metal tip is not hitting the bone)
Properly stored in a ≤4˚C (39˚F) fridge or ≤-18˚C (0˚F) freezer (refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours)
Made into the right size and shape:
Pieces of meat about as long as an adult pinkie finger (~2-3 inches long) and that are log shaped work best
Made safe by removing pointy bones and skin
Cooked without salt or sugar
Buying Your Meat
Deciding where to buy your meat is up to you. Conventional meat, the regular type you’d find at your grocery store, may contain growth hormones and antibiotics. However, Health Canada sets a maximal limit to the amount left in food, which should be below harmful levels. You may choose to buy organic meats, which are those produced without the use of antibiotics or hormones. You may also decide to support local farmers; often small farms cannot afford the organic certification, but do not use antibiotics or hormones in their meat production. At our house, we buy a large animal from a local farm and split it between friends to save time and money. Check out this link for more info about hormones and antibiotics in meat.
When Do I Offer Meat to My Baby?
You can offer meat to your baby any time it is on your menu, so that your baby can be part of the family meal. It is important to offer babies iron-rich foods 2 times per day to help them reach their iron needs. While this does not always have to be meat, it is a well-absorbed option.
How Do I Prepare Meat for My Baby?
You can take 1 lb of ground meat (any meat, so chicken, beef, lamb, veal, bison), add spices and herbs, shape it into meatballs that your baby can easily grab. A 6 month old’s hand movement ability is quite limited and they can’t pick up small pieces of food. They don’t even have the ability to re-position a piece of food in their hands so I found that log-shaped meatballs work best. About the length of an adult pinky finger. That way, the baby will grab the log-shaped meatball and some of it will be sticking out of their fist so they can easily take bites. You can experiment with different shapes like golf ball sized meatballs once your baby gets more practice. You can bake them in the oven at 400˚F (200˚C) for about 20 minutes. Meatballs are super convenient because you could freeze them and take them out when you need them. Check out my minty lamb meatballs for a fancy yet easy meal.
I’m not talking about store-bought sausages because those can be quite tough, salty and might contain some processed ingredients. I’m talking about easy homemade sausages without any casings. You can find my amazingly tasty homemade sausage recipe in my BLW recipe book.
You can make kebabs from ground beef or bison, mixed with your favourite herbs and spices about 4 inches (10 cm) long, thread the seasoned mixture onto a skewer and cook on the barbecue for about 10 minutes.
You can cook meat in a slow cooker or pressure cooker to make meals like pulled pork or stews. Just don’t add salt while you’re preparing the meal because babies really don’t need a lot of salt. Feel free to add salt to your portion!
Meat on the bone
Meat on a bone works really well because there is an integrated handle so babies can get a good grip. Some examples: garlicky chicken drumsticks (recipe in my BLW online course) and grilled lamb chops.
Meat in soup
You can even offer the meat from your soup because it’s usually quite tender. All you need to do is remove the chicken from a chicken soup and offer it to your baby.
The most smooth textured and the highest in iron is liver pâté.
Serving meat to your baby doesn’t have to be complicated. Knowing the steps to stay safe in the kitchen can open a world of recipes for you and your family. What’s your favorite way to serve meat to your baby?
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.
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:
Even grilled mushrooms are totally appropriate for babies:
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:
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.
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.
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?
baby, baby led weaning, blw, omega 3, fish baby, iron baby, iron, recipe, baby recipe, blw recipe, soy free
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.
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.
After that, I added the rest of the ingredients.
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.
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.
Chicken Satay with Creamy Peanut Sauce (for babies 6 months and up)
Barbecue season has arrived! Time to light the barbecue and celebrate warm weather. Today I will show you how to prepare my newest recipe: chicken satay with creamy peanut sauce. Since a number of you asked me for more meat recipes, I thought I would create another one that can be cooked on the grill. Thank you Chanel, Joannie, Jacinthe, Sabrina, Anne-Marie, Melissa, Stephanie, Carolane, Marie-Michelle, Catherine and Noémie for asking!
If you’re looking for more recipes just like this one, my Baby Led Weaning Recipe eBook is now available in PDF format. Each recipe featuring real foods was created by me, a registered dietitian. Check it out! Now, back to the Chicken Satay recipe. Here’s a video of how I prepared the chicken satay with creamy peanut sauce:
This mouth-watering dish is totally appropriate for babies 6 months and up and all members of the family. I used the following ingredients for the marinade: coconut milk, fresh ginger, garlic, curry powder and lime juice.
I used chicken thighs because they are so much more tender than chicken breasts. It’s partly because of the fresh ginger breaking down the meat fiber and the fact that thighs contain more fat. This chicken satay practically melts in your mouth. I used this container to mix the ingredients:
Then, I added the marinade ingredients to the container and added the chicken to it to marinate 30 minutes. Afterwards, I grilled the chicken on the barbecue.
I served the chicken satay with creamy peanut sauce which is also easy to prepare. All I did was whisk some peanut butter, lime juice, coconut milk, warm water, fresh ginger and garlic powder together in a bowl and it was ready.
Note: if you’re using bamboo or wooden skewers, let them soak in water for at least 15 minutes before using them so they don’t burn. Here is the final product:
Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce Recipe (6 months and up)
½ cup (125 ml) coconut milk
1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 ml) curry powder
Juice of ½ a lime
4 chicken thighs (400 g), cut into pieces about 2 inches (5 cm) by 1 inch (2,5 cm)
In a medium container, add coconut milk, ginger, garlic curry powder and lime juice. Stir. Add chicken strips and coat with the marinade. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or overnight for best flavour). Preheat barbecue to highest heat. Thread chicken strips onto skewers lengthwise and cook without turning them. When the chicken doesn’t stick to the grill anymore, turn the skewers and cook another 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Let cool and serve dipped in creamy peanut sauce (recipe below).
*Can also be made in the oven on a covered baking sheet at 400F (200C) for 10 minutes on one side and 5 minutes on the other.
Creamy Peanut Sauce Recipe
2 tbsp (30 ml) natural peanut butter
Juice of ½ a lime
2 tbsp (30 m) coconut milk
2 tbsp warm water
1 tsp (5ml) fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp (5 ml) garlic powder
In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Serve with chicken satay.
What’s your favourite food to cook on the barbecue?
gluten free, no bovine protein, dairy free, chicken, baby, blw, baby led weaning, barbecue recipes, summer recipes, paleo, soy free, egg free, no salt added, baby recipes, iron, real food
Pressed for time? Try these no-bake breakfast balls. They’re made with all natural ingredients and come together in just 10 minutes.
These no-bake breakfast balls are the perfect thing to have on hand for a quick BLW breakfast or to-go snack. With no refined sugar, salt, eggs, gluten or dairy, these balls are 100% delicious.
They’re convenient, nutritious, delicious, and are the perfect size for little ones to hold on to. These little balls load whole, nutritious foods like oats, fruit, dates and coconut. As an added bonus, they’re made without any added sugar and free of all major allergens. Did I mention that they only take 10 minutes to make? Try these no-bake breakfast balls today. They’re so tasty that you won’t just be giving them to your baby – you’ll be enjoying them too!
These no-bake breakfast balls couldn’t be any easier to make. First, I took some cherries out of the freezer and let them thaw slightly. You can use other types of frozen fruit like raspberries, blueberries or strawberries.
And I mashed them up.
Then I added the oats, dates, shredded coconut and coconut oil.
I gave the ingredients a good stir and rolled the mixture into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball. That’s all!
Look at this 9 month old baby loving them!
No-Bake Breakfast Balls
Makes 10 balls
½ cup (125 ml) frozen fruit, defrosted, mashed (cherries, blueberries, strawberries or raspberries)
1 cup (250 ml) oats
1/2 cup (125 ml) soft and sticky Medjool or Deglett dates, pitted, chopped (about 3 large dates)
⅓ cup (80 ml) coconut, shredded, unsweetened
1 tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil, melted
To a medium bowl, add all ingredients and stir to combine. Roll into ping-pong sized balls. Offer one to your baby. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days and in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Where do you plan on bringing these along?
blw, baby led weaning, baby, baby recipes, breakfast balls, energy balls, energy bites, breakfast, breakfast ideas, snack, snack ideas, no added sugar, no bake, oats, cherries, coconut, dates, real food, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, egg free, gluten free
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:
Then I sprinkled the florets with the garlic, oil, pepper, cumin, and chili powder on a lined pan:
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.
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:
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?
Gluten free, grain free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, dairy free, peanut free, nut free, seed free, soy free, egg free, allergen free, no sugar added, no salt added, baby led weaning, blw, baby, baby recipes, iron absorption, iron, baby, vitamin C, paleo, real foods, veggies, vegetable snacks, snacks, vegetables, side dishes
Beans are difficult to offer to babies because they’re small, hard, and round. But I have the solution: these baby-friendly southwest black bean burgers! This burger is something the whole family will enjoy and is perfect for baby led weaning (BLW). These burgers are loaded with iron, protein, and an alphabet of vitamins – exactly what your little one needs.
This recipe is so simple to make. It has 3 main ingredients: black beans, sweet potatoes and onions.
First, I cut the sweet potatoes in half, and baked them. Meanwhile, I mashed the black beans until they were nice and smooth, no lumps.
I also diced up an onion.
Once the potatoes were cooled, I removed the skins, and mashed them up. Then I added all the ingredients to a single bowl, and shaped them into burgers about 3 inches in diameter. I used Ricardo’s burger press because I love how it shapes the burgers.
I baked the black bean burgers in the oven for 25 minutes. Then, I flipped them very carefully. They will be soft (that’s normal). After that, I baked them for another 30 minutes.
We enjoyed these burgers with some avocado, extra raw onion and a slather of BBQ sauce. For baby, you can just give them a burger and some avocado.
1 cup (250 ml) black beans, unsalted, cooked, rinsed and well drained
½ cup (125 ml) onion, diced (1 small onion)
2 tsp (10 ml) cumin
2 tsp (10 ml) chili powder
½ tsp (2.5 ml) paprika
1 tsp (5 ml) oregano
1 tsp (5 ml) garlic powder
½ tsp (2.5 ml) pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scrub sweet potatoes under water with a brush. Cut potatoes in half and place on a lined baking sheet, cut side down, and bake for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash black black beans until smooth, and dice the onion. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and let cool. Peel and mash sweet potatoes.
To a large bowl, add all ingredients and stir until combined. Shape mixture into 3 inch (7.5 cm) diameter patties and place on the baking sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes. Flip the burgers very carefully. They will be soft (that’s normal).
Bake for another 30 minutes. 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.
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).
Ingredient #2: an apple.
Ingredient #3: onion.
After that, I washed the apple and then grated it.
After, I chopped up the onion. I incorporated all the ingredients to a large bowl and combined.
Then, I shaped the mixture into perfect mini burgers using Ricardo’s burger press. It makes these tight burgers that really stick together.
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.
Here is 6-month old baby E absolutely devouring the simple burgers for babies.
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?