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Baby Led Weaning

If you’ve never heard of baby led weaning (aka: BLW; introduction of solid foods), go here.   It’s really simple and has worked so well for our family.  Basically, Camryn eats whatever we eat (within reason).  If she eats everything I give her or nothing it all, it’s up to her.  We don’t spoon-feed (check out the picture below for her reaction to mushy bananas on a spoon!) and we don’t put food in her mouth.  I simply give her easy to hold and chew foods and let her decide how much she wants.  It has been amazing to watch her learn so quickly – her pincer grasp is very advanced for her age, she chews very efficiently and has only gagged a couple of times.  I was pretty nervous about the gagging/choking aspect of BLW, but after watching a few videos on YouTube that show the difference it has gotten easier to let her learn what she can handle on her own.

We began BLW at 6 months and this is a list of just some of the foods she’s eaten:

  1. bananas
  2. strawberries
  3. oranges
  4. plums
  5. apples
  6. cucumber
  7. tomatoes
  8. whole wheat toast
  9. brown rice
  10. pasta with tomato sauce
  11. green beans
  12. cottage cheese
  13. yogurt
  14. carrots
  15. potatoes
  16. hamburger
  17. turkey
  18. chicken
  19. oatmeal
  20. cauliflower
  21. broccoli
  22. oatmeal fingers (will post recipe soon!)

Our pediatrician advised us to wait to introduce eggs because of Irelyn’s egg allergy and we’ve also noticed that Camryn’s eczema worsens after eating any dairy – so we’ve eliminated dairy from her diet for now (Irelyn outgrew her dairy allergy/sensitivity by about 18 months so we’re hoping for the same with Camryn). Now that she’s gotten the hang of BLW, I’ve started trying different recipes that I’ve found online.  There is a Carrot & Bean Cakes recipe below that Cami loves!  I’ll post more BLW recipes as we try them out.

This was her reaction to mushy bananas that I spoon-fed her…

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…and this is her 1st BLW experience!

And here are a few other pictures from the past 7 weeks of BLW.
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 Clearly, it’s very messy.  But you can also tell by all the smiles that she absolutely loves it!
 

Carrot & Bean Cakes

1/2 cup cooked, mashed carrot
1 cup white beans, mashed well
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 tbsp flour (I had to use a couple tbsp more than this to form patties)
olive oil

Mix the carrot puree with the mashed beans, garlic and flour.
Form the mixture into little patties with your hands – if the mixture is too moist, add a little more flour.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan/skillet.
Fry the patties for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden.
Serve with applesauce for dipping!

I found the recipe here: http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/baby-led-weaning-recipes.html#ixzz388SJMiMj

Here is Cami enjoying her carrot and bean cakes this morning!
 
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Healthy Fruit Snacks

Like most kids, Kaden loves the Cars, Snoopy, Spongebob, Mickey Mouse, etc. fruit snacks at the store.  I, however, do not like the price, all of the junk that they put in them or the tantrum Irelyn throws when I won’t give her any because they’re too chewy and gross.  I found a recipe on Pinterest (of course!) for healthy fruit snacks, so I thought I’d give it a try.  Here’s a link!  (sorry for the picture quality, my camera and I haven’t been getting along lately and taking a picture while holding a one year old doesn’t help either)

We decided to try strawberry & blueberry.  In hindsight, I think we may have liked doing just one flavor at a time better.

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The finished product.  The funny part of the story:  the kid that I thought would love them (Irelyn) didn’t, the kid that I thought wouldn’t touch them (Kaden) actually likes them!  Ours are a little thinner than the recipe shows because I didn’t have an 8″ x 8″ pan to use today.  Although I still haven’t found fruit snacks that I’ll let Irelyn have, I did find a healthier option for Kaden.  I wasn’t a big fan of them either; but I will try making them again with a single flavor to see if that changes anything.

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Zucchini Recipes

Now that we’ve moved into a house, we were able to plant a garden this year.  We chose a spot and were just hoping for a decent amount of vegetables; what we got was a forest!  We have 11 tomato plants, more than a dozen sweet bell pepper plants, four banana peppers plants, one squash and one zucchini.  We’ve probably picked over 100 bell peppers and even more banana peppers.  Just throughout the past few weeks we’ve had dozens of tomatoes ripen!  Unfortunately, our squash and zucchini were almost killed by something, but both replanted and we’ve had quite a few vegetables from each plant.  So, after picking a foot-long zucchini out of the garden two days ago, I had to search for some recipes.

Because of Irelyn’s egg allergy and dairy sensitivity, it wasn’t easy finding a zucchini bread recipe that I thought would taste as good as what we’re used to; this one was amazing!  Here’s the recipe for the Dairy, egg and nut free zucchini bread.  It was very moist on the inside, didn’t fall apart and had a slightly crispy crust – just perfect.  As soon as we have a couple more zucchini, I’ll be making a double batch to freeze for this winter!

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Even though the bread recipe called for 2 cups of zucchini, it only used 1/3 of what I had.  I came across a blog a few months ago while looking for other recipes and I absolutely love the things she makes (especially all of the chocolate!).  Everything is dairy/egg free and much healthier than other versions of the same foods – here is a link Chocolate Covered Katie.  Earlier this week I made her Healthy Blueberry MuffinsIrelyn and I both loved them.  While searching for other fun zucchini recipes, I found that she also has a recipe for Crispy Healthy Baked Zucchini Fries.  Instead of using boring ketchup or ranch on the fries, I had to use a few of our garden tomatoes to try her Healthy Ketchup recipe.  The fries and ketchup turned out great!  I’m still a big fan of Heinz (mostly because I don’t like the taste of tomatoes that much), but even Kaden and Irelyn (my two ketchup addicts) liked it.

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I’ll definitely be using all of these recipes in the future.  Let me know if you decide to try them!