Lentil Strawberry Popsicles

Lentil Strawberry Popsicles

 

For babies 6 months and up. High in iron and vitamin C, these popsicles are so easy to prep. So many parents ask me where I get these super practical small popsicle moulds. They’re so perfect because they’re made in silicone and they come out so easily (no need to run hot water over them). Here is the link to BUY THE POPSICLE MOULDS.

 

Ingredients

½ cup (125 ml) cooked green lentils (or unsalted canned green lentils, drained)

½ cup (125 ml) fresh strawberries

½ cup (125 ml) orange juice

 

Preparation

Cook the lentils. I usually cook 2 cups of dried green lentils in 6 cups of water for 20 minutes and store them in the freezer to use in recipes like this one. Be sure to use a large enough pot because the lentils expand when cooked! Place all ingredients in the blender and process until smooth. Pour into the popsicle moulds and freeze for at least an hour.

 

A great way to incorporate lentils into anyone’s diet. Vegetarian, vegan, baby led weaning, BLW, baby led weaning, babies, feeding.

This blog post contains affiliate links so you can easily find the exact products I use. If you purchase them by using these specific links, I get a very small commission. Thank you for the support!

BLW outdoors

With summer coming soon, it’s time to get outdoors with baby and get some fresh air. Sometimes it’s tough to get outside with a baby because you’re tired, there is so much that you want to do, naps, etc. But remember that most of the time, it’s worth going outdoors You’ll feel good and baby too. What’s more? You will both get some of that much-needed vitamin D by being exposed to the sun.

Baby Led Weaning (BLW) doesn’t have to be done inside only. It can be done outdoors and on the go. This blog post will answer questions such as: What foods should I avoid when doing BLW on the go? What foods are best for BLW on the go that will minimize the mess? What equipment do I need to make BLW easy outside the home?

 

First: BLW safety on the go

First off, you want to make sure you’re proceeding safely when you’re out and about. When you’re on the go, in a stroller for example, the stroller must be in an upright position (not laying back) at 90 degrees. You ideally don’t want to be moving so stationary is best. Also, make sure baby is facing you when he or she is eating.

Here is my baby eating a breakfast ball (breakfast ball recipe here!) in our Venice Child stroller:

 

 

What equipment do you need when doing Baby Led Weaning on the go?

To keep your baby still, I like to bring either my stroller or a booster seat when we are eating outside the home. Also, I like to bring wipes to clean up the mess along with a bib or change of clothes for baby. All those aren’t mandatory but do make the experience of eating outside the home much easier.

 

What foods should I avoid when eating out?

I like to avoid foods that are messier, like juicy foods and small foods. Also, smelly foods are to be avoided as well! I like to avoid frozen thawed strawberries, blueberries, rice, saucy pasta, salmon, sardines and peas.

 

What foods can I bring to minimize the mess?

When out and about, I like to bring foods that don’t dirty my stroller or baby’s clothes. It just makes it easier to clean. I love bringing hard boiled eggs, muffins, waffles, pancakes and roasted vegetables. Large pieces work best. Foods don’t need to be served heated up because by the time they’re served to baby, they’re usually room temperature anyway. More practical. I love to bring leftovers. Here is a typical container that I like to bring along when outside with baby: roast sweet potato, roast broccoli, piece of soft chicken thigh.

Here is my baby eating a banana muffin in his stroller (recipe in my online course at nutritionforbaby.com):

 

I get it. It’s not always easy to get outside. I’ve struggled with that too. But get out there! So many distractions for baby to explore and you’ll feel so much better after a few minutes out there. Snap a pic of your baby eating outside and tag me!

#sponsored (Venice Child sent me their stroller in exchange for picture and this blog post)

 

 

cookies

One-bowl applesauce chia cookies for babies

One-bowl applesauce chia cookies for babies

 

This is a recipe for parents who like to experiment with different types of flours. In this recipe I used almond flour and coconut flour. It’s a gluten-free cookie recipe for babies with no refined sugar for babies 6 months and up. Super moist and easy to prep in a pinch.

I got my 3 year old to make these cookies. If she can make them, so can you!

We made our own applesauce by coring the apples and placing them in our Instant Pot on manual for 5 minutes. Then we put them in the blender for instant homemade applesauce. You can also buy applesauce if you prefer! These cookies are actually perfect for breakfast and snack. I put a bit of maple syrup for sweetness so there is no refined sugar. They’re also gluten-free!

Before introducing complementary foods to your baby, it’s important that you proceed safely no matter which approach you opt for. Some parents opt for baby led weaning (BLW) and some for the traditional approach to solids and offer purees. Be sure to obtain your information from a trusted source like my online course for introducing foods to babies here.

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.

One-bowl applesauce sauce cookies recipe

Ingredients

¾ cup unsweetened applesauce

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 ¾ cups quick oats

½ cup almond flour

½ cup coconut flour

½ cup coconut, shredded, unsweetened

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl. Shape into cookies about 1 tbsp each and place on a covered baking sheet. Bake for 13 minutes or until slightly browned. Let cool and offer to your baby. Yields 24 cookies.

What did you bake with your apples this year? Comment below!

Apple cake or cupcakes with lemony cream cheese frosting

Apple birthday cake with lemony cream cheese frosting

*This recipe can make cake, cupcakes or muffins

Looking for a great two-layer cake recipe that’s sugar-free and perfect for babies just starting out with complementary foods? Look no further. The flavour combination of apples with the lemony cream cheese frosting is just subliminal. What’s more, my almost 4-year old daughter made this cake with just a bit of help from me so you can too!

 

cake

 

Please note that raw apples are a choking hazard for babies so be sure to offer them cooked like in this recipe.

 

This recipe can also be used for a birthday smash cake. The main ingredients are apples, whole wheat flour, butter, cream cheese and dates. I make a date paste and use it instead of refined sugar. This recipe is great for babies from 6 months old because the texture is so moist. Please note that this apple birthday cake does contain potential allergens (wheat and cow’s milk) so be sure to have introduced these to your baby before trying this cake.

 

Before introducing complementary foods to your baby, it’s important that you proceed safely no matter which approach you opt for. Some parents opt for baby led weaning (BLW) and some for the traditional approach to solids and offer purees. Be sure to obtain your information from a trusted source like my online course for introducing foods to babies here.

 

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.

 

This is what the cakes looks like coming out of the oven:

 

cake, birthday cake

 

Apple Date Cake with Lemony Cream Cheese Frosting

 

1 cup dates, pitted

½ cup water

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour (can also use all purpose flour, could probably work with gluten-free flour)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup milk (any kind, I used cow’s milk)

1 ½ cup apples, cored, coarsely grated

2 tbsp unsalted butter

 

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the dates and water for 4 minutes. Blend the date mixture in a blender or hand blender to obtain a thick paste. In a large bowl, add the date paste, butter, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and milk. Fold in the apples. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans with the butter and separate the cake batter into the 2 pans. Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and then add the frosting.

* To make cupcakes or muffins, transfer to greased or lined regular muffin moulds and bake for 22 minutes.

 

cake

Frosting (double the following recipe for extra frosting)

 

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, room temperature 

¼ cup maple syrup, optional

1 tsp vanilla

Zest of 1 lemon

 

Beat all the ingredients together and frost your cake. Don’t forget to put some in between the 2 cakes! If you love icing, double this recipe.

 

Let me know if you try this cake, cupcakes or muffins in the comments!

chick peas, baby, diversification, blw,homemade,storebought,hummus,legumes

Homemade or Store-bought Hummus for Baby

Homemade or Store-bought Hummus for Baby

 

One of the most popular questions I get from parents is the following: “ Can I give store-bought hummus to my baby of 6 months doing Baby Led Weaning (BLW)?”

 

hummus, no allergens, baby, blw, diversification, solid foods, iron

 

Hummus is a chickpea dip or purée. First off, parents want to give it to their baby since it’s a puree that’s easy to offer in a pre-filled spoon or spread on another food, such as a piece of avocado:

 

hummus, iron,repice, blw

 

Also, hummus contains iron since it is prepared from chickpeas, so it is perfect for babies who have high iron needs between the ages of 7 and 12 months. In addition, hummus is usually prepared with lemon juice that contains vitamin C which helps with the absorption of iron. On the other hand, some parents are worried because the store-bought hummus contains added salt and wonder if it is too salty for their baby.

 

Is store-bought hummus too salty for my baby?

 

Generally, it is not recommended to offer salted foods to a baby less than 12 months. However, if we read the nutritional label, we see that 2 tbsp. (30ml) of store-bought hummus Fontaine Santé with caramelised onions contains 110mg of sodium.

 

The maximum sodium per day for babies 7 to 12 months is 370 mg. It is certain that baby will eat other foods that contain a little salt during the day. Also breast milk and baby formula contain some (about 130 mg per day). If a baby eats 1 tbsp (15 ml), he would obtain about 55 mg of sodium from hummus + 130 mg of sodium from his milk = 185 mg of sodium total (well below 370 mg per day). You should also read the ingredient list to make sure there are no “mystery” ingredients, depending on the type of hummus you choose. So if you usually buy store-bought hummus, you can offer it to your baby here and there without any problem. It’s practical!

 

Why prepare homemade hummus?

 

On the other hand, if you’d like to prepare it yourself so it’s cheaper and to ensure the quality of ingredients, the recipe is very simple. In addition, you can keep portions in the freezer for 3 months. What I like about making homemade hummus is that I can prepare it without salt for the baby, then simply add salt for the rest of the family members. Also, I use a minimal ingredients (chickpeas, freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, fresh garlic) so I know exactly where they come from. I can also adjust the taste of my hummus depending on the spices that I have on hand.

 

I decided to create a recipe without key allergens (so without sesame butter or tahini) so that this recipe is suitable for all babies. It’s also vegan! I also wanted to mention that I do not use water in this recipe (just olive oil) to maximize the intake of good fats for your baby. This is surely not a diluted product! Here are the ingredients I used:

 

ingredients, iron, recipe, chickpeas, baby, diversification, blw, homemade, store bought

 

Homemade hummus recipe for babies

 

1 can (540 ml / 19 oz) chickpeas no salt added, rinsed and drained

The juice of 2 lemons

 1/2 cup of olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) of cumin

 

In your blender, add the chickpeas, lemon jus, olive oil and garlic then blend into a smooth purée. As simple as that!

 

The Importance of Iron for Babies

 

The iron requirements of babies 7 to 12 months old are enormous. Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, and black beans contain iron, but these foods tend to be small, round, and hard, which is a choking hazard for babies. Offering hummus on a pre-filled spoon that baby themselves bring to their mouth can be a good option:

 

blw, hummus, homemade, baby

My almost 6 year old daughter wanted to act as the model for demonstrating the use of a pre-filled spoon, in the high chair:

 

blw, complimentary foods, hummus, spoon, iron, fibre

 

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
  • 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

 

For ongoing support throughout your adventure with the introduction of complementary foods, sign up for my online course here. For other simple recipes like this, get my baby cookbook here.

 

Do you buy your hummus or do you make it yourself? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

kiwi, blw, baby led weaning, baby, babyfood, food

How to Serve Kiwi to Your Baby

How to Serve Kiwi to Your Baby

Looking for a new fruit to serve your baby? Do you want your little one to experience something other than bananas and oranges while doing baby-led weaning? Why not give the kiwi a try! This fuzzy fruit is actually a berry, and pound for pound contains more vitamin C than oranges.

Ripe kiwi has the ideal texture for an infant just starting their real food journey. All that hairy skin comes in handy too. Not only is it edible, but it helps tiny hands get a good grip on an otherwise slippery fruit. Ki-Oui!

 

Watch this video to see how easy it is to prep kiwi 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 Kiwi for Your BLW Baby

You want to start by choosing a soft and ripe kiwi. If the fruit is underripe, the white middle section can be tough for babies who are just starting to eat on their own.

BLW, Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, fruit, breakfast, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, vitamin C
Gently press the skin of the kiwi; if it gives way, it is ripe!

 

Next you want to give the skin a gentle scrub under cold water. It is important that the skin is clean since it will without a doubt go into your curious baby’s mouth.

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

 

Take a sharp knife and cut the kiwi into quarters with the skin on. Cut the end corners off each quarter to ensure none of the hard stem area is included.

BLW, Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, fruit, breakfast, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, vitamin C
Remove the corners to make this kiwi BLW safe

 

Serve it just like that to your baby. If you find the middle section is still too tough, you can remove it before serving. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving the skin on and your baby does well without the skin, you can remove it. It’s just that the skin tends to help the kiwi slide less in their mouth. Your choice! Make sure you always supervise your baby when he or she is eating.

BLW, Fresh, Tasty, Salt-Free, vegetarian, vegan, fruit, breakfast, snack, baby, baby led weaning, infant, nutrition, first foods, healthy, safe, vitamin C
The “key”-wi to your babies health is fresh, whole foods

 

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
  • 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

 

Which fruits do you like serving to your BLW baby? Tell us in the comments below!

Liver pate recipe for babies

Liver Pate BLW recipe for babies

Have you ever made liver pate recipe?  So first you might be wondering why to offer liver pate to your baby.  It’s because babies need lots of iron. Since their iron needs are so high, it’s difficult for babies to consume enough iron every day (especially since some babies don’t eat large quantities of food).  With liver pate, babies get lots of concentrated nutrients per bite.

For this liver pate recipe, I used chicken liver. I recommend limiting your baby’s chicken liver consomption to twice per week to avoid too much vitamin A.  Here’s what I did:

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

blw, baby led weaning, recipe, blw recipe, liver pate recipe, lamb, iron, meat for babies

 

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

blw, baby led weaning, recipe, blw recipe, liver pate recipe, lamb, iron, meat for babies

Babies can enjoy the liver pate directly from a spoon:

blw, baby led weaning, recipe, blw recipe, liver pate recipe, lamb, iron, meat for babies

 

Eating live pate is a great way to make sure you baby is getting enough iron.  You can eat this liver pate on anything, really.  Here is some liver pate spread on a cracker:

blw, baby led weaning, recipe, blw recipe, liver pate recipe, lamb, iron, meat for babies

 

 

Liver Pate Recipe

Ingredients

4 tablespoons coconut oil

1 apple, peeled and sliced

1/2 teaspoon allspice

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small shallot, chopped

1/2 lb liver, cut into cubes

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

 

Instructions

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

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

 

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

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