How to Practice Safe BLW During the Holidays (2 of 3): Foods to Avoid

How to Practice Safe BLW During the Holidays (2 of 3): Foods to Avoid

During this festive season, we want you and your family to stay happy, healthy, and of course, safe. That is why we developed part two of our series on how to practice safe BLW during the holidays.

There are many holiday foods, during any occasion whether it be Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa, that are safe for baby with modifications. However, certain foods should be avoided if you want the challah-days to stay safe, and we have listed several of them in this post.

 

Watch this video to see which foods should be avoided during the holiday season for BLW infants:

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Traditional Holiday Foods to Avoid in BLW

 

Certain Appetizers or Snack Foods 

Any small, hard and round snack food is a choking hazard for baby. This includes festive popcorn, fancy escargot and many items on a charcuterie board, including olives, nuts, grapes or hard cheeses.  Holiday candies or chocolate should also be completely avoided.

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Certain Fruits and Vegetables

The cherry tomatoes or raw vegetables you see on a holiday platter are often too hard or are the wrong shape for baby. Other common holiday foods to be avoided are peas, cranberries (including sauces), and pomegranate seeds.

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Pomegranates are delicious but are too small, round, and hard for your BLW baby.

 

Fresh White Bread

Fresh white bread is often an accompaniment to holiday meals, but for baby it can become very sticky while they try to manipulate it in their mouth. Fresh bread mixed with saliva can get stuck on the roof of the mouth and is therefore a choking hazard.

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Raw Fish or Raw Meats

Even though smoked salmon or oysters may seem like the right texture, they have not been properly heat treated to remove the risk of contamination. For this reason, they should be avoided.

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Follow these tips during the holidays and throughout the year to keep your little one safe.

 

Do you feel comfortable about which foods to avoid during the holidays? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Practice Safe BLW During the Holidays (1 of 3): Foods to Include

How to Practice Safe BLW During the Holidays (1 of 3): Foods to Include

🎶Fa-ba-ba-ba-ba, ba-ba-ba-baby led weaning🎶! It is that time of year again (the holidays!), full of yuletide and cheer, family and friends, and of course, good food and drink. We think you should spend this time with loved ones, not lugging around jars of baby food or stressing over finding the microwave in a turbulent holiday kitchen.

So how can you include your BLW bonhomme-de-neige in the festivities safely? With baby-led weaning, your baby can eat the same thing as the rest of the family, with some simple modifications. Brace your elves because we have a foolproof ‘how-to’ guide coming up!

 

Watch us explain how simple BLW during the holiday season can be in this video:

If you enjoyed this video and would like to see more like it, subscribe to my channel today!

 

Common Holiday Foods Modified for BLW

 

Turkey

This classic holiday protein is delicious and nutritious. For baby, offer the dark meat as it is usually more tender, and contains more of the iron and fat that baby needs. Remove the skin, which contains most of the salt, and choose a piece that is about the size of an adult pinky finger.

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You’ll be stuffed with ideas once you have read through this guide.

 

Steamed Green Beans

Tender steamed beans are perfect both in shape and texture for BLW babies. Make sure to rinse off any sauces that may be served with the beans.

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Steaming the beans locks in the nutrients but makes them tender enough for little mouths.

 

Potatoes 

Mashed potatoes can be offered right on your babies platter, or on a preloaded spoon. Another option is scalloped potatoes, which have a wonderful soft texture and if cut thick enough, are easy for baby to grab and bring to their mouth.

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Make sure mashed potatoes are made extra creamy, so there are no lumps.

 

Anything Else!

Having something other than these three common foods? Try it out yourself before serving it to baby! First, always make sure the food is about the size of an adult pinky finger or larger. Then, pretend you have no teeth and squish it against the roof of your mouth with your tongue. If it comes apart and is easy to swallow, it is safe to offer to baby.

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Will you include baby at the holiday table? Tell us in the comment section.

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How to Serve Salmon Sliders to Your BLW Baby

How to Serve Salmon Sliders to Your BLW Baby

We all know that fish is a very nourishing food. Full of high quality protein, easily-absorbed iron and healthy fats like omega-3’s, this underwater delight is unmatched in supporting the development of little minds and bodies.

So why don’t we often see fish given to babies? It’s all about texture. Cooked fish is often flaky, which means it does not hold well together and BLW babies have a difficult time to get the pieces to their mouth. Well here at Nutrition for Baby we believe any-fin is possible, so look no further than our salmon slider recipe to get an affordable fish serving into your BLW infants diet.

 

Watch this video to see how easy it is to prep salmon sliders for your BLW baby:

If you enjoyed this video and would like to see more like it, subscribe to my channel today.

 

How to Prepare Salmon Sliders for Your BLW Baby

 

Start with two cans of no salt added salmon. In a large bowl, mash the salmon with a fork. Add two large eggs to help bind everything together; stir to combine.

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Make sure you mash up those small bones really well

 

Now to add flavour! Add 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped dill, zest of 1 lime or lemon, one teaspoon of pepper, a half cup of chopped greens (spinach or kale work very well), a half cup of finely chopped onion and finally three cloves of minced garlic. Stir until well combined.

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This recipe also introduces greens to BLW infant in a safe and delicious way.

 

Roll the mixture into 8 patties. Over medium heat, warm the fat of your choice, and cook each patty for 5 minutes on each side.

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These sliders will hold up to a gentle browning without falling apart. I love my Lodge cast iron pan to cook them in. This pan helps to draw out iron from the sliders!

 

Let cool and serve to baby.

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Salmon slider recipe for babies

Ingredients

2 cans salmon in water no salt added (7 oz or 213 g each)

2 eggs

zest of 1 unwaxed lime

1 tsp (5 ml) pepper

1/2 cup (125 ml) spinach or kale, chopped

1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh dill, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup (125 ml) onion, chopped (about 1 small onion)

1 tbsp (15 ml) cooking fat (unsalted butter or duck fat)

 

Preparation

Drain and pat dry canned salmon. Mix all ingredients together (except cooking fat). Shape into sliders about 3 tbsp (45 ml) each. Heat skillet over medium heat, add fat and pan fry them for 5 minutes on each side. Let cool and offer to your baby. Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Do you serve fish to your BLW baby? Let us know your methods in the comment section!

How to Serve Pancakes to Your BLW Baby

How to Serve Pancakes to Your BLW Baby

Golden, buttery stacks, dripping with syrup and served on a weekend when there is plenty of time for preparation and clean up. This is usually the image we see when we consider making pancakes for the family. Not only is this image not very BLW friendly, but spending a day off cleaning batter from the walls and syrup off the floors can seem less than appealing to busy parents.

Don’t take out your mops and wet-wipes quite just yet, because we have a recipe that might just change your mind. Fluffy, delicious and whipped up in just minutes, these two ingredient banana pancakes are a piece of (pan)cake to get on, and off, the table!

 

Take a look at this video to see how simple preparing pancakes for BLW baby can be:

 

Like this video? Want to see more like it? Then subscribe to my channel today.

 

How to Prepare Banana Pancakes for Your BLW Baby

 

Take one large, very ripe banana and mash it in a bowl with a fork.

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We were inspired by Jack Johnson to make baby banana pancakes and pretend like it’s the weekend 🎶 🎶

 

Then, crack two eggs into the bowl. Mix them in with the banana and whisk until everything is well combined.

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Feel free to add ground cinnamon or nutmeg at this step.

 

Melt some oil or butter in a skillet over low to medium heat. Drop about 1 tablespoon worth of batter into the pan to make one perfect BLW sized pancake.

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Using a cast iron pan actually improves the iron content of this dish. I use my Lodge Cast iron pan to cook everything!

 

Flip the pancakes after one minute and brown on the other side for an additional minute. Remove from the pan gently.

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Try a thin layer of natural peanut butter for an added punch of nutrition.

 

Allow the pancakes to cool, serve to your BLW baby and watch them devour!

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Super soft and delectable!

 

Would you try making these not-just-for-the-weekend pancakes? Tell us in the comments section!

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Cherry tomato bites for babies

Cherry tomato bites for babies

 

Today I’m sharing a brand new recipe that I created for babies: Cherry Tomato Bites for Babies. It’s super simple with only a few ingredients. These cherry tomato bites can be served at any time of the day and can even be frozen and reheated to eat on the go. The texture is absolutely perfect for Baby Led Weaning (BLW).

 

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Lots of parents ask me why I use so many eggs in the recipes I create for babies. Here’s one reason: according to new research, feeding eggs to infants could provide them with key nutrients for better brains.

 

So, how do you prep these delicious cherry tomato bites for babies?

 

Here are the ingredients that I used to prep this recipe:

 

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bites, babies, blw, baby led weaning, baby food, recipe

 

Place 6 eggs in a bowl and add warm water.

 

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Beat the mixture until it’s foamy like this:

 

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Then, add spices and spinach with cheese (optional) and mix well. Add the sliced cherry tomatoes and bake in the oven.

 

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bites, babies, blw, baby led weaning, baby food, recipe

 

Ingredients

6 eggs

2 tbsp warm water

2 cloves of garlic

½ cup fresh basil (or 1 tbsp dried basil)

½ tsp ground pepper

1 cup spinach, chopped

1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

12 cherry tomatoes, sliced

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line muffin tins. Place eggs in a large bowl and add water. Beat until foamy on high speed, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, basil, pepper, spinach and cheese. Mix well. Pour the mixture into 12 lined muffin tins and place the sliced cherry tomatoes on top of each bite. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

 

I want to know: will you serve these at breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack? Comment below!

 

 

 

How to Serve Chicken Meatballs to Your BLW Baby

How to Serve Chicken Meatballs to Your BLW Baby

One of the biggest challenges of baby-led weaning is finding appropriate shapes that baby can handle, but are not a choking risk. These tender meatballs do just that. Large enough to avoid swallowing whole, but small enough to get a good grip, these curried meatballs will be a regular on your menu.

Meatballs are a great way to include high quality protein, spices and even vegetables into your baby’s diet in one convenient package. Not only that, but they are quick to prepare and will help you curry favour with the whole family. Culinary bliss is right a-round the corner!

Check out this video to see how simple it is to prepare curried chicken meatballs for your BLW baby:

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How to Prepare Curry Chicken Meatballs for Your BLW Baby

Start by pre-heating your oven to 400˚F. Next, you want to put a pound of fresh ground chicken into a large mixing bowl.

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Feel free to substitute ground turkey for chicken.

 

Let’s turn up the flavour! Add half a finely diced white onion and one whole grated carrot to the bowl. Grate a tablespoon of fresh ginger into the mix and finally add two teaspoons of your favourite curry powder, a pinch of pepper and a dash of cinnamon.

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Try not to “ball” your eyes out when dicing those onions.

 

Mix all the ingredients together well. Roll the meatballs into a shape slightly larger than a golf ball and place on a covered baking tray. If you’d prefer, you can roll a few into a log shape for baby, which is even easier to handle than a ball.

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Try the log shape (seen at the bottom middle of the tray in this photo) to give baby an easier grip.

 

Bake for 20 minutes. Using an internal thermometer, check that the thickest meatball is cooked thoroughly to 165˚F, the safe temperature for ground chicken. Once cool, serve to your little one and make sure to enjoy some yourself.

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This little lady is clearly having a ball at the table!

 

If reheating, make sure you reach this same temperature before serving. Try microwaving with a bit of unsalted chicken broth or coconut milk to make sure they stay tender.

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Invest in an internal thermometer and calibrate it regularly to stay safe in the kitchen.

Do you have a favourite meatball recipe? Share in the comments below!

How to Serve Baked Apples to Your BLW Baby

How to Serve Baked Apples to Your BLW Baby

In Quebec, apple season is a core part of being Quebecois. We are the second leading province in apple production, with over a dozen different homegrown varieties to choose from. Not only are they locally grown, but apples are also a high quality fruit, with Vitamin C, B vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.

So why don’t we use apples in BLW recipes? Despite their benefits, raw apples are the food that babies choke on the most. Luckily for you, I have found a solution to bring apples into your baby-led weaning repetoire: bake them until soft with spices reminiscent of apple pie. It is a very a-peeling alternative!

Watch this video to see how easy it is to prep baked apples for your BLW baby:

If you enjoyed this video and would like to see more like it, subscribe to my channel today!

 

How to Prepare Baked Apples for Your BLW Baby

Start off by preheating your oven to 350˚F. Choose four firm apples and peel each one. Cut each peeled apple into quarters and remove the core.

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Be careful to remove all the seeds, skin and hard core.

 

Each quarter should be cut again lengthwise, to give 8 pieces per apple. Put all the slices into a medium casserole dish.

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This is a perfect recipe if you want to keep the doctor away…but please invite the dietitian!

 

To the bowl, add about a teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of melted butter. Mix thoroughly and pop into the oven for about 40 minutes, or until tender.

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Feel free to substitute another oil for butter, or add other seasonings such as nutmeg or clove.

 

Remove the apples from the oven, let cool and serve a piece to your BLW infant. You’ll see how perfect the texture is for your little one right off the bat!

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Who doesn’t want a house that smells like fresh apple pie?

 

Would you consider adding apples back into your baby’s diet? Let us know in the comment section!

How to Serve Mango to Your BLW Baby

How to Serve Mango to Your BLW Baby

Canada in the winter is quite literally the exact opposite of tropical. It is often hard to believe that spring will ever come, with all the snow, frigid temperatures and unreliable groundhogs. Thankfully, I have a sure-fire way to know we are coming into spring: when the mangoes become plentiful and fragrant at my local grocery store.

Although available year-round, these tropical delights are the most delicious (and affordable) from May to September in Canada. Not only are they tasty, but mangoes boast 20 over different vitamins and minerals in each bite and have a texture that is just right for soft mouths. That means serving this sweet mango-nificient fruit to your BLW baby is a great choice… that is if you can keep yourself from gobbling it all up!

Take a look this video to see how easy it is to prep mangoes for your BLW baby:

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How to Prepare Mango for Your BLW Baby

Begin by selecting a mango that is ripe, so it is soft and tender for your little one. Press the skin gently, and it should give way under the pressure if it is ripe. Another trick is to smell the mango, close to the stem. If it is fragrant like the air of the tropics, it is ready to eat.

 BLW, Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, fruit, breakfast, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, mango, tropical
Choose the right fruit and you won’t have to (man)go back to the grocery store

 

Give that mango a good scrub under cold running water. The skin helps baby grip this slippery fruit, so make sure it is squeaky clean.

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Take the mango and stand it upright with the stem down on a cutting board. Cut around the pit, leaving two large “cheeks” of mango.

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Cheeky!

 

Slice each cheek lengthwise, or about 4 to 5 slices per cheek. To reduce waste, you can also slice the remaining mango from the pit and enjoy.

 BLW, Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, fruit, breakfast, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, mango, tropical
A slice of tropical heaven for your BLW baby.

 

Offer a slice to your baby-led weaning infant! Make sure to keep an extra keen eye on them, to make sure they don’t eat the peel accidentally.

 BLW, Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, fruit, breakfast, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, mango, tropical
Shaking the winter blues one mango at a time.

 

What do you think about adding mango to your fruit repertoire for baby? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Serve Seasonal Vegetables to Your BLW Baby

How to Serve Seasonal Vegetables to Your BLW Baby

We’ve all heard the buzz words around food these days. Words like sustainable, local and eco-conscious are becoming commonplace as more of us want food grown close to home using practices that are better for the planet. Baby-led weaning is an amazing way to help nurture budding environmental consciousness in your family AND nurture well-being. By choosing whole, delicious and locally sourced food that is in season, versus that which is shipped across the world, you can keep your baby (and your planet) happy and healthy.

Of course, this isn’t to say you have eat sustainably all the time (especially since we live in a frozen tundra 5 months out of the year). Sometimes it isn’t logical for busy parents, or it doesn’t fit into the budget. It is all about making small changes, and finding a balance that works for your family!

 

 

How to Prepare A Seasonal CSA Basket for Your BLW Baby

Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes are extremely simple to prepare. Give them a gentle wash, and cut into quarters. Serve to baby as is, or with a sprinkle of pepper and italian herbs.

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As a dietitian, I love local veggies from my head to-ma-toes

 

Cucumber

Another great choice for a BLW baby is cucumber. Give it a good scrub and slice into a finger sized portion, with the skin left on for grip. Serve with a sprinkle of dried herbs.

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Stay cool as a cucumber with these simple veggie preparation tips!

 

Kale

You can include this powerhouse green into many recipes, such as salmon sliders, meatballs or even kale chips! Check out my free e-cookbook for more ideas.

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Non-seasonal veggies “kale” in comparison to local CSA produce.

 

Peppers (Bell, Sweet)

Grill or roast slices of peppers at a high temperature to help soften them for baby. Try coating them in a light layer of olive or avocado oil and marinating them in your favourite salt-free spices.

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Your family will pepper you with praise for these delectable recipes.

 

Want to see how to prep these seasonal CSA vegetables and more in a safe BLW fashion? Watch this video:

Like this content and want to see more? Then subscribe to my Youtube channel today.

 

Tell us in the comments below if you are introducing any sustainable food practices at home!

How to Serve Chicken Drumsticks to Your BLW Baby

How to Serve Chicken Drumsticks to Your BLW Baby

What is full of protein, is a good source of easily absorbed iron, has a natural handle for baby and takes just minutes to prepare? Drumroll please…my favourite chicken drumstick recipe of course!

This recipe will not only drum up compliments from family and happy gurgles from your baby, but it is easily made BLW safe so that your little one can experience new textures and flavours without fear. So don’t be a chicken and follow these simple steps to get our BLW chicken drumsticks on your table tonight!

 

Check out this video to see how easy it is to prep chicken drumsticks for your BLW baby:

How to Prepare Chicken Drumsticks for Your BLW Baby

First, preheat your oven to 375˚F. Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place six fresh or safely defrosted chicken drumsticks on the lined sheet.

 BLW, Fresh, Salt-Free, Meat, Chicken, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods
Lining your baking sheet makes for less mess and helps keep your kitchenware looking like new

It is time to season! First, sprinkle ground black pepper onto each drumstick. You want to add a healthy pinch for each stick, about 1/6th of a tsp (or simply divide a full teaspoon of pepper between the drumsticks).  Next add garlic powder, using the same method and amount. Finally, again with the same instructions, sprinkle on some dried basil.

 BLW, Fresh, Salt-Free, Meat, Chicken, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods
Using herbs and spices are a great way to add flavour without the salt and are absolutely safe for your BLW baby

Once your oven is ready, bake the drumsticks for 30 minutes. When the timer rings, flip the drumsticks and bake for another 30 minutes.

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Quick, simple, safe and tasty; that is the BLW way!

Place an internal thermometer in the thickest part of the drumstick (being careful to not hit the bone) to ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly to 165˚F and is safe to eat.

 BLW, Fresh, Salt-Free, Meat, Chicken, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods
Always make sure meat is cooked to the correct internal temperature so it is safe for your baby and your family to eat

Now we want to make these drumsticks BLW appropriate! Once they have cooled, take off the skin. Next, remove the little pointy bone the sits beside the large bone.

 BLW, Fresh, Salt-Free, Meat, Chicken, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods
Although chicken skin contains fat which babies need, it can be difficult to handle and should be removed. Feel free to sprinkle more seasoning after the skin is removed

Offer to baby and let them enjoy!

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What a perfect integrated handle!

 

What is your favourite BLW-appropriate chicken dish? Share in the comments below!