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

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).

Precautions

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 (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
  • you read the warning below

Warning*

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

 

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

 

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:

 

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

 

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

 

Place 6 eggs in a bowl and add warm water.

 

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

 

Beat the mixture until it’s foamy like this:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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:

Warning*

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

 

Like this video? See more like it by subscribing to my Youtube channel.

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.

BLW, Fresh, Salt-Free, Tasty, Meat, Chicken, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, lunch, dinner, healthy, safe, protein
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.

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.

BLW, Fresh, Salt-Free, Tasty, Meat, Chicken, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, lunch, dinner, healthy, safe, protein
Invest in an internal thermometer and calibrate it regularly to stay safe in the kitchen.

Precautions

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 (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely

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:

Warning*

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

 

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.

Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, fruit, breakfast, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, vitamin C, apple, baked
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.

Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, fruit, breakfast, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, vitamin C, apple, baked
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!

Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, fruit, breakfast, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, vitamin C, apple, baked
Who doesn’t want a house that smells like fresh apple pie?

Precautions

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 (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely

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:

Warning*

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

 

Did you like this video and want to see more? Subscribe to my channel today!

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.

 BLW, Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, fruit, breakfast, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, mango, tropical

 

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.

 BLW, Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, fruit, breakfast, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, mango, tropical
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. Make sure the texture is right by testing it before offering it to your baby. You want a very ripe mango.

 

Precautions

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 (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely

 

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.

vegetables, veggies, Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, lunch, supper, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, sustainable, local
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.

vegetables, veggies, Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, lunch, supper, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, sustainable, local
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.

vegetables, veggies, Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, lunch, supper, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, sustainable, local
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.

vegetables, veggies, Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, lunch, supper, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, sustainable, local
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.

 

Precautions

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 (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
  • you read the warning below

Warning*

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

 

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:

Warning*

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

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.

 BLW, Fresh, Salt-Free, Meat, Chicken, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods
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!

BLW, Fresh, Salt-Free, Meat, Chicken, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods
What a perfect integrated handle! MAKE SURE THE TEXTURE IS RIGHT FOR YOUR BABY BY TESTING IT FIRST.

 

Precautions

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 (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely

 

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

banana, baby, baby food, blw, baby led weaning

How to Serve Bananas to Your Baby

How to Serve Bananas to Your Baby

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:

 

Warning*

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

 

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!

 

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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
Bananas come with a perfect handle for baby led weaning

 

  • Peel the portion and gently push on the banana until it comes apart into three sections
Bananas split easily into thirds with a bit of pressure

 

  • Peel half the skin vertically and leave the other half for baby to hold onto
Another way to serve to baby

 

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.

Whichever version you choose, you can roll it in coconut for better grip

 

The final product; delicious and nutritious for everyone in the family

 

Precautions

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 (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely

Comment below on how YOU serve bananas to baby!

blw, baby led weaning, meat, iron, baby

How to Serve Meat to Babies

How to Serve Meat to Babies 

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)!

 

Why Meat?

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.

 

Here, a little one enjoys a chicken meatball, perfectly safe for baby led weaning

Precautions

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 (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
  • you read the warning below

Warning*

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

Being Safe

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

 

Lamb burgers cooked gently on the barbecue: scrumptious for you and baby!

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?

Meatballs

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.

Sausages

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.

 

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Try your BLW-friendly sausages with sauerkraut. 

 

Kebabs

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.

 

Slow cooked

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.

 

Liver pâté

The most smooth textured and the highest in iron is liver pâté.

 

What’s your favorite way to serve meat to your baby?

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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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Precautions

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 (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
  • you read the warning below

Warning*

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

 

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.

 

Precautions

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 (always test the texture of the food in between your tongue and roof of your mouth)
  • you watch your baby eat at all times
  • you contact a pediatric registered dietitian to make sure you are proceeding safely
  • you read the warning below

Warning*

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

 

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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