Today’s baby-led weaning post covers pasta (plain and later with an avocado sauce), cauliflower, strawberries, meatballs and yogurt. I’ll also share with you a little allergic reaction scare and explain why we’re waiting on certain foods as a result.
For those just tuning in, Isla is now seven months old and we’ve been at this since she was six months. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this post for links to parts one through three.
Cauliflower. There’s not much to say except what Isla would have said could she speak English: “You are no broccoli, sir, so stop trying and quit your day job.” She didn’t not like it, but she was rather unimpressed. I think it needed some hummus. I cooked this the same way I prepared her broccoli: chopped into individual trees then steamed for six to seven minutes until soft enough to pierce easily with a fork and cooled before serving.
Pasta. Ah, pasta. I served her plain organic whole wheat rotini, cooked until it was really soft. Let me repeat. This was plain. No sauce. No butter. No cheese. Plain. We started out okay …
… then she cried, but briefly regained her composure …
… and then all hell broke loose. I quickly threw on an avocado. I always say, “when in doubt, grab an avocado.” Okay, I don’t say that, but I should because she loves them so I always keep one on hand in case a new food fails. And boy did we fail. Conniption is putting it mildly. Our first temper tantrum, perhaps? In her defense, who the hell eats plain organic whole wheat pasta without sauce? Isla: angry. Mom: -10 points. Pasta: unsalvageable. My bad kiddo.
I take that back. We salvaged it! A few days later I made an avocado sauce and she loved it. Sucked it right off the rotini (and then spit out most of the rotini). To prepare the sauce I cut this recipe in half, though it still made enough to serve the entire family so keep that in mind since you’re likely to use only a very little. Also, I nixed the salt (for obvious reasons) and cheese (but only because I forgot). She had already been exposed to all of those ingredients except the lemon and basil, which is why I chose it. Success. And it was really good. I’d eat it myself.
And then my sweet girl smiled again. Phew.
Strawberries. And now can we talk about strawberries? I could fill an entire post with photos and videos of this girl eating strawberries. It’s like she had a sugar rush with every single bite. She was losing her mind. Seriously. Laughing, licking her lips and sometimes even yelling very loudly at each piece. Obviously confessing her love to it. It was pretty adorable. She went through about five strawberries (served whole or cut in half depending on the size), sucking and squeezing the juice out and going crazy before tearing them apart with her gums.
Okay Popeye. Calm down.
Meatballs. Where do I begin? I was nervous about introducing meat to begin with. I decided to wait on sauce since the acidity in tomatoes comes with its own problems. Good thing, too, because Isla ended up with hives around her mouth and I can’t pinpoint the exact ingredient that caused them, though egg is the likely culprit.
So, back up. I combined lean sirloin from Whole Foods with 1 egg, a little organic baby oatmeal we had left over, very finely chopped onions, garlic powder and basil. Then I rolled them into small balls and baked them at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes (until they were undoubtedly cooked through). I served them to her whole and she actually really liked them. But the hives developed almost immediately, though I didn’t see them at first because she was covered in meat and chomping away with her head down. She didn’t have any other symptoms though, such as swelling of the tongue, respiratory issues, etc. and the hives started to improve, not get worse, after I cleaned her face. I spoke with our pediatrician, who cleared these foods ahead of time, and we determined no hospital visit was necessary. It remains to be seen what exactly caused the reaction. You can bet your ass though that we’ll be steering clear of eggs, red meat and onions for a little while (the three ingredients she had never been exposed to before). We hope to get some advice from an allergist, but better safe than sorry. For now we’re also going to hold off on tomato sauce, nuts and other high allergen foods, mostly because I’m nervous.
Now I’m on the hunt for vegan recipes so please share! Or at least those without egg and red meat.
Yogurt. Now back to strawberries! With yogurt! Dairy is another one I was nervous about but so far so good. I dipped strawberries in organic whole milk plain yogurt (again from Whole Foods). On the first day I gave her a very small amount to make sure she didn’t have a tummy ache or skin reaction. I also cleaned her face pretty quickly afterward because this was the first new food after meatballs and I was nervous. On day two I gave her more and while I personally think plain whole yogurt is pretty sour, she loved it.
So sour, but so good.
More yelling and love confessing. And then she decided bibs are dead to her. Fantastic.