Baby Bites II : Adventures in Baby Led Weaning

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 part 2

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!

veg out! 

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!

gaga for Greek: Full-fat Greek yogurt is still a pretty steady staple in our snacking routine. She straight up annihilates it! Fresh, frozen, or on the floor… if it’s Greek, she’s all over it! Anyone within direct proximity of Mia while she’s eating her yogurt will almost always end up taking a spoon to the face. Cheyenne the dog doesn’t seem to mind. Madison the cat? Not amused.
Baby Bites: Greek Yogurt

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!

Baby Bites: Adventures in Modified Baby-Led Weaning
can’t escape the baby fingers!
a few favorite recipes:
peas and broccoli, please!

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!

kid-friendly basil-asparagus pesto
approx 18 spears of asparagus
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to taste
1-2 fresh cloves of garlic, smashed
1/4 tsp of salt
Blanch or steam your asparagus. Allow to cool, then add to a food processor with basil, parmesan, olive oil, garlic, and salt. If this is your first time using garlic with the ankle biter, feel free to roast or saute it first and to start with only one clove. We have a heavy hand with garlic around here! Puree until saucy, scraping down the sides as needed. Slather it on everyyyyything!
OXOTot Baby Blocks: Pesto Recipe
Mia will eat just about anything with a kiss of pesto in it, which is perfect because I’m the same exact way! If only I didn’t kill my basil plant last week… Eek! At least I remembered to water the cat!
other favorites:

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.

Check out the Chickpea tab at the top of this blog for more kiddo-friendly tips, tricks, and meal ideas

baby bites + intro to baby led weaning

baby bites III

:: NEW! toddler and pre-k lunch ideas ::

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  • Jessicalee Peters

    I am doing BLW as well- I was wondering, does your babe have teeth?

    • Hey Jessica! This was back in 2014 but she had a few at the time! 🙂 We LOVED doing BLW!

  • Deb

    The asparagus pesto is wonderfully…..can you freeze it?

    • Thank you Deb! It’s absolutley freezer friendly. Pour a drizzle of olive oil on top and freeze in your favorite freezer-safe container! 🙂

  • Brittany

    The last sentence cracked me up. Thanks for the unique ideas, too! How old was Mia here?

    • Hey girl! I think she was around 9-10 months here – ahhh sooo squishy!!!! It’s so crazy how much she’s grown!

  • Cindy McElwee

    Thanks for the recipes, will definitely have to make them for my little sunshine ♥

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}

    I think 95% of babies will go through a pickiness phase. Luke just started his at 2 1/2. From my experience the key to getting through it is staying as consistent as you can and continuing to offer a wide variety of foods. Variety is important–I think a lot of parents tend to keep offering favorite foods because they start to value quantity over quality. I don’t freak out if Luke eats two bites off of his plate and says, “I’m all done!” and I definitely don’t go make him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich just so he’ll eat. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll be one of the lucky ones and Chickpea will be a 5 per center!! 🙂 Love seeing these posts.

  • Girl you are mama amazing personified.

  • Kadee Cramer

    I am so grateful for these posts! I cannot wait for my nugget to be old enough to eat real food 😀

  • Nikki @ Road to Less Cake

    Your baby updates always make me smile.

  • You’re killing me with this cuteness!

  • katie

    yum! i can’t wait to make both recipes for my son!

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