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.

 

sausage, blw, baby led weaning, baby food, recipe, meat, meat for baby
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?

Ribs recipe fail (!)

BLW ribs recipe fail

This is part 5 of my Half Lamb for Babies series.

Spoiler alert: I decided to not share the BLW ribs recipe on the blog because the taste was off and the texture was too tough. I guess we all mess up recipes once in a while!  This was a real recipe fail.  Our friends ate all the ribs but also had a great laugh because we came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t make these again. For this recipe, I placed a spice rub on the ribs and baked them in the oven for two hours. In order for ribs to be tender, they need to be cooked for a very long period of time (in a slow cooker for example). When I attempt a slow cooked rib recipe I will post it here.

 

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

We were having our best friends over and decided to prepare something out of the ordinary: lamb ribs.  It was a first for us. We have cooked ribs before but not LAMB ribs.

Meanwhile, I did take some pictures of “the making of” the ribs so I’ll share those. I thawed a package of lamb ribs from Ferme Valens:

blw, baby led weaning, recipes, rib, paleo, meat, iron, recipe fail

 

Then, my oldest daughter helped me combine the spices in a small bowl.

blw, baby led weaning, spices, rib, recipes, meat, paleo, iron, recipe fail

blw, baby led weaning, spices, rib, recipes, meat, paleo, iron, recipe fail

blw, baby led weaning, spices, rib, recipes, meat, paleo, iron, recipe fail

blw, baby led weaning, spices, rib, recipes, meat, paleo, iron, recipe fail

blw, baby led weaning, spices, rib, recipes, meat, paleo, iron, recipe fail

After, I pat dried the ribs and rubbed the spice mix on all sides. I baked them for one hour at 300F. Then I baked them at 375 for another hour. Here is the final product and perfect portion size for a baby (if it were tender!):

blw, baby led weaning, spices, rib, recipes, meat, paleo, iron, recipe fail

 

How often do you mess up recipes?  Comment below!

blw, stew, baby recipe, baby led weaning

Lamb Osso Buco Stew for Babies

Lamb Osso Buco Stew for Babies

This is the 3rd post of the Half Lamb for Babies series where I make every piece of lamb BLW-friendly.  A BLW recipe for each piece!  You can check out my two first posts: Minty Lamb Meatball recipe and Grilled Lamb Chops recipe.

I had never made lamb osso bucco before but this was BY FAR the best meal of my whole week.  Used a package of the Ferme Valens lamb shanks which can also be called osso bucco. Cooked in Instant Pot which is a pressure cooker that cooks meat in no time. This meal is full of garden-fresh veggies that I got from my CSA basket from Tourne-Sol Farm.

 

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

 

To serve the adult portion, I took some white rice:
rice, blw, baby led weaning, jessica coll

 

Spooned the stew on top like this:download full film Kong: Skull Island 2017

 

blw, baby led weaning, infant feeding

 

The meat is so tender that even 6 month olds can enjoy it.  Here is the baby portion:

 

blw, stew, baby recipe, baby led weaning

 

 

Lamb Osso Buco Stew Recipe

 

INGREDIENTS

4 pieces lamb shanks (osso bucco)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 onions, chopped

2 cups carrots, chopped

1 cup radishes

4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 cups kale, chopped

2 cups + 2 more cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

 

PREPARATION

Over medium-high heat in the pressure cooker pot (sauté setting for the Instant Pot), sear all sides of the lamb osso buco in coconut oil until browned. Remove from the pot. To the oil in the pan, add the chopped onion, carrots, radishes, garlic and kale and cook until about 15 minutes. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and let the mixture cook for about 5 more minutes. Add the osso buco pieces back in, and pour in the rest of the chicken broth. Make sure that the meat is covered in liquid. Add bay leaves and rosemary. Cover and cook on “meat/stew” for 35 minutes on high pressure.  Release the pressure and remove the meat.  Let cool and serve.

 

Let me know if you try this recipe by commenting below!

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

lamb chops blw Baby led weaning

Grilled Lamb Chops Recipe for Babies

Grilled lamb chops made baby led weaning (BLW)

This is the second blog post part of the “Half Lamb for Babies” series.  Basically, I bought a half lamb and every time I cook a portion, I make it appropriate to serve to babies six months or over (and the rest of the family for that matter!).  I started with minty lamb meatballs for babies made with ground lamb and today I’m sharing a scrumptious grilled lamb chops recipe.  Fancy yet simple.

First off, I thawed one package of lamb chops from La Ferme Valens:

lamb chops baby blw baby led weaning

 

I picked some fresh rosemary and thyme in fresh herbs pot:

rosemary fresh baby led weaning BLW Jessica Coll
Can you spot the one sprig of fresh rosemary in my pot of fresh herbs?

 

fresh thyme BLW baby led weaning
Check out the fresh thyme on the left

After that, I combined all the ingredients except the lamb chops in a small bowl:

oil lamb chops BLW baby led weaning

 

Then I rubbed the herb mixture on both sides of the lamb chops.  I placed the lamb chops in a container to marinate for one hour in the fridge:

lamb chops baby led weaning

 

Finally, I cooked them on the barbecue at the highest temperature.

 

lamb chops blw Baby led weaning
The finished product! You can offer one small lamb chop to your baby to gnaw on.

Babies can gnaw on these lamb chops even when just starting out at around 6 months old. They won’t get much meat off but the sucking action will draw out the iron from the meat and this can keep them busy for a long time. Long enough for the rest of the family to enjoy a nice hot meal while the baby chomps on the baby led weaning (BLW) lamb chops.

 

Did you ever give a lamb chop to a baby?

 

Grilled Lamb Chop Recipe for Babies

 

INGREDIENTS

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Pinch cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (omit if you have a baby under 12 months)

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 lamb chops

 

Combine all ingredients except the lamb chops in a bowl. Rub the mixture on both sides of the lamb chops and let marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator. Then, remove from refrigerator and allow the lamb chops to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Then, heat barbecue over high heat, add the chops and sear for about 2 minutes. Flip the chops over and cook for another 3 1/2 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and offer one small lamb chop to your baby. Enjoy!

Makes approximately 4 adult-sized portions.

Recipe inspired from the Food Network.film Extinction 2015 download

 

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

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

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 :

baby led weaning, mint, blw, recipe, blw recipe
Picking mint at my sister’s

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

blw, baby led weaning, recipe, blw recipe
Bonus chimichurri from my sister’s

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

lamb, blw, baby led weaning, recipe, blw recipe, iron, meat, babies
Ground lamb from Ferme Valens

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

film The Revenant 2015 download

blw, baby led weaning, recipe, blw recipe, iron, meat, paleo
All ingredients are in the hand mixer

film The Revenant 2015 download

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

blw, baby led weaning, blw recipe, iron, meat, paleo
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.

film The Revenant 2015 download

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

film The Revenant 2015 download

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

BLW Minty Lamb Meatball Recipe

film The Revenant 2015 download

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

film The Revenant 2015 download

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

film The Revenant 2015 download

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.

film The Revenant 2015 download

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