Adventures in Baby Led Weaning: We love to eat! Here’s a peek at our plates to get you started making balanced, healthy meals for tiny tummies!
Baby Bites II : Adventures in Baby Led Weaning
The chickpea is well on her way to eating us out of house and home. It’s fun and messy and exciting and… have I mentioned it’s messy? Luckily foodie messes are my favorite variety, tied only with baking messes in which I get to lick the beaters, the bowl, that other bowl, the spoon, the counter tops, that chair…
Anywho! Here’s a little update on our adventures in modified baby-led weaning in this month’s installment of Baby Bites!
Favorite eats on the veggie front include broccoli, asparagus, pickles, sweet peas, cucumber, zucchini, avocado, carrot, peppers, onion, and sweet potato. Mia hasn’t met a veggie she doesn’t like! At this age kids are so enamored with food that you can get away with basically anything and I’m taking full advantage. The trick will be getting her to continue to eat adventurously as she gets older, a feat I hope we can tackle together!
If you have any tips or tricks for bridging the gap between “if it’s food; I’ll eat it!” and “ummmm… mom what’s THAT!?” I’d love to hear ’em! Leave a comment with your words of wisdom!
mealtime: I try to offer a variety of textures and flavors with each meal. Mealtime for the mini usually includes a few tastes of whatever I’m eating, some soft steamed veggies, and a few spoonfuls of pureed fruit and veg or full-fat Greek yogurt. For sanity’s sake, I keep a few days worth of steamed vegetables on hand in the fridge at all times and she will gladly munch on them, even moreso since they’re chilled! When dining at restaurants, I’ve found myself occasionally ordering meals based on whether or not Mia can nosh off my plate. If I order something that simply isn’t baby-friendly [like sushi!] I’ll simply order Mia a side dish [usually avocado, guac, or steamed veggies] and take any leftovers home for later. It’s worked out pretty well so far, especially while travelling!
Though I offer lots of steamed and softened veggies straight up, such as broccoli tops and asparagus spears, I still utilize purees on a regular basis. They’re safe, easy, and nutritious. Normally there aren’t any spoons or purees involved in BLW, however, I found a way for Mia to assert her mealtime independence and still enjoy use of both. I simply fill up a few spoons with her food and line them up on the highchair tray in front of her. She takes the reins from there and has a blast tasting and shoveling food into her mouth. Mia has a slight obsession with her new OXO Tot spoon, and now that her coordination has improved, she’s quite skilled at spooning pureed and/or mashed fruit and veggies into her mouth, versus painting the room with them. Though to be fair, there’s still a fair amount of face painting involved at every meal. When all else fails, the sink doubles as a shower!
1/2 cup organic frozen peas
1/2-1 cup organic broccoli florets with stem
1-2 TBSP organic applesauce, unsweetened
homemade pesto, to taste
Steam or blanch both the peas and the broccoli until tender. Combine peas, broccoli and applesauce in a food processor, blender and food mill and puree. Season with pesto, to taste. You can also season the puree with a salt-free Italian seasoning blend like Mrs. Dash!
Basmanti rice cooked in veggie broth and seasoned with a little garlic, saffron and turmeric has been a huge hit. I make enough to steal a small bowl for myself and to fuel the chickpea’s budding rice obsession. My chilled spinach dip and boatloads of summer baby pops are also on heavy rotation around here for the adults and the baby!
On the protein front, Mia seems to love everything she’s tried! She’s particularly fond of chicken and chickpeas. The love affair used to be limited to hummus, until she swiped a handful of Chana Masala off my plate at a restaurant. I smashed a few of the saucy peas and placed them in front of her and she Cah-rushed it! I don’t think I’ve ever seen her eat so fast! I usually just make a shortcut version for Paul and I but after her chickpea-a-thon, I think it’s time to start making it from scratch! My freezer is full of chickpeas [I soak and boil them in large batches and then freeze all the leftovers instead of bothering with cans] just waiting for be masala-fied. Yum!
Ooh! If you’re looking for a hummus recipe, my homemade roasted red pepper hummus was a big hit with the bebe. She loves variety so lined up a few spoons on her high chair filled with hummus, a few with tzatziki dip, and then a few fluffy pieces of pita dipped in hummus. She attacked the spoons first, licked the hummus off the pita, then stuffed them in her diaper. Classy.