How to Serve Strawberries Year Round to Your BLW Baby
Berries are incredibly nutritious for your little one. They tend to be very high in antioxidants, providing a good source of many vitamins and minerals. However, due to their shape and size, they can be difficult to incorporate due to choking risk. This is where whole, large strawberries come in. They are full of vitamin C and magnesium, and are the perfect size for little hands and mouths. Seems like a win-win right?
Not exactly. I am going to be berry frank; off season strawberries in Montreal fall into two main categories, namely 1) Expensive and 2) Tasteless. Luckily, we can get past all this by purchasing frozen berries. Not only do they tend to be cheaper, but they are picked ripe and immediately flash frozen, to help lock in nutrients and flavour. Now that’s sweet!
Take a look this video to see a BLW infant enjoy a thawed frozen strawberry:
BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow’s milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.
*Cusson and Labonté, Baby-Led Weaning Conference, June 2018, Nutrium, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal
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How to Serve a Frozen Strawberry to Your BLW Baby
You want to begin by choosing frozen strawberries that are whole. When selecting a few fruits from the bag for your baby, make sure to choose large berries.
Of course, frozen strawberries would be difficult to eat as is, so it is important to thaw them. The best method is to do this overnight in the fridge. The slower they are thawed, the more intact they stay. That being said if you’re in a rush and need to defrost quickly, the texture is still appropriate. Place the whole defrosted strawberry on a tray and let your BLW infant dig in.
Before doing Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) with your baby, it is important to proceed safely by contacting a pediatric registered dietitian. Among other things, make sure that:
- your baby is ready and does not start too early
- your baby is sitting at 90 degrees
- you do not place food in his/her mouth with your fingers
- the environment is calm during meals
- you offer the right foods to your baby
- you watch your baby eat at all times
- you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely