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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)?”

 

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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:

 

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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:

 

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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:

 

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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:

 

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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
  • 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!

 

 

How to Serve Avocados to Baby

The simple avocado has taken social media by storm in the past few years. The tell-tale rich and creamy texture is coveted by millennials and health-conscious instagrammers the world over, appearing on toast, in guacamole (yes it costs more, but it is #worthit) and even in baked goods.

So why am I AVO-cating for you to feed your baby this popular fruit? Although some “health gurus” may call it a superfood with “healing” abilities, as a dietitian I go for the facts. First, avocados are packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber and contribute nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Babies need more fat, making the avocado a perfect “bang for your bite” food for baby. Not only that, the soft texture makes it just right for beginner abilities. Move aside hipsters; it is time for baby to take over this trend!

 

Want to know how to serve avocado to baby safely? Watch the following video or keep reading for tips!

 

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 Avocado For Your Baby

Step 1: Choose an avocado that is ripe, but not too ripe! Remove the top stem; if it is bright green, that means it is ready to eat.

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Peel off the stem to see if an avocado is ripe enough for baby to handle.

 

Step 2: Use the safe cutting method! Cut through the avocado to the pit, making sure to make a cut spanning the entire way around. Then, make a cut to separate it into quarters using the same method.

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Gently cut through the skin to the pit, separating the avocado into quarters.

 

Step 3: Gently press on each quarter. They should fall away easily if your avocado is ripe.

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Perfectly rich quarters for baby every time!

 

Step 4: Remove the peel and cut the quarter in half. Serve to baby as is!

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Peel off the skin to make it baby led weaning safe.
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Serve this creamy dream “as is” to ensure each baby bite is packed with nutrition!

 

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

Tell us how you serve up this healthy fat to your baby in the comments section!

 

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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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The Best BLW Meatloaf

The best blw meatloaf recipe

 

I decided to create a blw meatloaf recipe that’s totally appropriate for babies just starting out with solids. Do you have older kids as well?  For some reason, these seem to appeal to that age group more than the traditional sliced meatloaf.  So… great for everyone in the family! Also, this blw meatloaf recipe uses real nourishing ingredients only so no commercial ketchup, breadcrumbs, salt or sugar added.

 

It’s super simple. I put all the blw meatloaf ingredients into a large bowl.

 

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Then, I mixed to combine and transferred the mixture among 12 lined muffin tins. Next, I baked the blw mini meatloaves at 350F for 20 minutes. While the meatloaves were cooking, I prepared the homemade ketchup. Then, I just put all the homemade ketchup ingredients into the blender and processed until smooth.

 

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Then I transferred the ketchup mixture into a saucepan.

 

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After that, I let the ketchup mixture simmer for 20 minutes uncovered until it thickened.

 

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When the BLW mini meatloaves were cooled a bit, I topped them with the homemade ketchup.

 

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We enjoyed them with my amazing Cajun Sweet Potato Fries.  You can find the cajun sweet potato fries recipe in my Baby Led Weaning Recipes iBook HERE.

 

blw, blw meatloaf, blw mini meatloaves, iron, meat

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

blw Meatloaf Recipe with Homemade Ketchup

 

Meatloaf Ingredients

 

1.3 lbs (600 g) ground beef

¾ cup onion, chopped (1 small onion)

1 cup leek, chopped (1 leek)

¼ cup green onions, chopped (3 green onions)

1 egg

½ cup almond flour (optional)

1 tsp basil, dried

1 tsp thyme, dried

1 tsp oregano, dried

1 tsp sage, dried

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

 

Homemade Ketchup Ingredients

 

3 medjool dates

1 ½ cups tomatoes, diced

1/8 cup apple cider vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/8 tsp allspice

 

Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tins. After that, add all ingredients for the meatloaves to a large bowl and mix to combine. Next, transfer the mixture among 12 muffin tins. Then, bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, you can make the homemade unsalted ketchup. Add all ingredients for the homemade ketchup to a blender and process until smooth. Then, transfer to a saucepan and simmer on low-medium for 20 minutes, uncovered. When the meatloaves are ready, let cool and then add the ketchup on top. Enjoy!

 

Try them out and let me know what you think!

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BLW Cut-Out Cookies

Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

 

Looking for a healthy cookie recipe for your baby approved by a dietitian? Don’t look any further! These BLW Holiday Cut-Out Cookies contain nourishing ingredients, no sugar added but TONS of taste. What’s more? You can even eat these BLW cookies for breakfast.  I’m not even kidding.

 

If you’re looking for more BLW recipes just like this one, check out my brand new Baby Led Weaning Recipes iBook. Each recipe:

  • was created by a registered dietitian
  • was created as first foods that can be introduced to your baby
  • was created with your baby’s early nutritional requirements in mind
  • can be easily held and manipulated by your baby
  • has no sugar added
  • is gluten free
  • is fun and tasty for the entire family

 

Now, back to the holiday cut-out cookies!  Here’s how I prepared the BLW cookies.

 

I added the almond flour, spices and dates to a food processor and pulsed until the dates were broken up. Then, I added the olive oil, vanilla and egg and pulsed until a soft dough formed. I placed the dough onto a piece of parchment paper:

 

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Then, I rolled out the dough.

 

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After that, I put the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Then, I cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters.

 

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Finally, I baked the BLW holiday cut-out cookies in the oven at 300F for 10 minutes. There you go! Amazing BLW cookies with no sugar added, no refined ingredients and no dairy!

 

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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

 

Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

 

Ingredients

 

2 3/4 cups almond flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking powder

4 soft Medjool dates, pitted

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

 

Preparation

 

Place the almond flour, spices, baking powder and dates into a food processor.  Then, pulse until combined.  After that, add the olive oil, vanilla and egg and pulse until a soft dough forms. Then, place the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll to about 3 mm thick. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Then, preheat oven to 300F.  After that, remove the top layer of parchment paper and cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters.  Finally, place the cookies onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  After that, shape dough scraps into a ball, flatten until 3 mm thick and continue to cut cookies until no dough remains.  At last, bake cookies for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.

 

Want more recipes like this one?  Check out my brand new Baby Led Weaning Recipes iBook today RIGHT HERE.

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:

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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:

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Babies can enjoy the liver pate directly from a spoon:

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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:

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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!