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!

asparagus, barbecue, babies, baby, blw, baby led weaning, whole foods, bbq

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:

 

asparagus, barbecue, babies, baby, blw, baby led weaning, whole foods, bbq

 

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)

 

gluten free, no bovine protein, dairy free, chicken, baby, blw, baby led weaning, barbecue recipes, summer recipes, paleo, soy free, egg free, no salt added, baby recipes, iron, real food

 

Simple burgers for babies (feel free to cook these on the barbecue)

 

blw, baby led weaning, veal, beef, beef recipe, beef recipe baby, burger recipe, iron baby, jessica coll, baby solids, choking baby

 

Grilled lamb chops for babies

 

lamb chops blw Baby led weaning

 

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?

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.

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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!