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?

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!

Lamb Meatballs BLW

Minty Lamb Meatball Recipe for Babies

BLW minty lamb meatball recipe for babies… oh how divine this is!  For the first time ever, we decided to buy a half lamb to store in our freezer. This time we went with Ferme Valens in Huntington because they are at the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue market and we see them all the time. My plan is to make all parts of the lamb baby led weaning (BLW)-friendly and blog about it. Today I’m starting with a simple meatball recipe perfect for babies’ hands.

 

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 already had most ingredients in my kitchen so I didn’t have to make a special trip to the grocery store. I did however make a special trip to my sister’s to pick some of her mint that’s taking over her garden! Here we are picking the mint :

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Picking mint at my sister’s

She gave us some amazing chimichurri as a BONUS!  It also tasted great with the meatballs.

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Bonus chimichurri from my sister’s

This baby led weaning (BLW) recipe is very easy. You take the ground lamb:

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Ground lamb from Ferme Valens

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine in a stand mixer.

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All ingredients are in the hand mixer

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Then shape the mixture into 16 BLW-approved meatballs.  This recipe makes 16 baby led weaning iron-rich meatballs:

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Uncooked meatballs

Then cook them on the barbecue for about 10 minutes. Easy!  Perfect for little baby hands! I served these baby led weaning (BLW) meatballs with a yogurt lemon dip, recipe below.

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Lemon yogurt dip
blw, baby led weaning, blw recipes, baby, iron, meat, paleo
The mouthwatering final product contains lots of iron.

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baby led weaning, blw, meat, paleo, iron
The baby led weaning (BLW) serving size

BLW Minty Lamb Meatball Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

1 pound ground lamb

1/2 cup finely chopped white onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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INSTRUCTIONSWatch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

  • Heat the barbecue.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (I used my stand mixer) and mix to combine.
  • Form into 16 balls (about 2 teaspoons each) and place on skewers.
  • Cook on barbecue until meatballs are no longer pink in the middle, about 10 minutes.

        

Note: These BLW meatballs can also be made in the oven at 375F on the middle rack. Place individual baby led weaning meatballs on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. Do not overcook them as the texture will be tougher.

 

Lemon Yogurt Dip

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup whole-milk plain Greek or thick yogurt

¼ cup peeled cucumber, minced (optional)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Zest of 1 medium lemon, grated

½ tsp freshly ground pepper

 

INSTRUCTIONSWatch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Combine all yogurt ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well.

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Let me know if you make this BLW recipe for your family.  Did everyone enjoy it?

Get your 100% FREE mini-cookbook featuring my top 5 BLW recipes by heading to jessicacoll.com.

film The Revenant 2015 download

film The Revenant 2015 download

film The Revenant 2015 download

film The Revenant 2015 download

film The Revenant 2015 download