Baby-Led Weaning

baby-led weaning | part four {seven months}

baby-led weaning strawberries

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.

Baby led weaning cauliflower

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.

Baby led weaning plain whole wheat organic rotini pasta

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 …

Baby led weaning plain whole wheat organic rotini pasta

… then she cried, but briefly regained her composure …

Baby led weaning plain pasta

… 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.

baby-led weaning pasta with avocado sauce

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.

baby-led weaning pasta with avocado sauce

And then my sweet girl smiled again. Phew.

baby-led weaning strawberries

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.

baby-led weaning strawberries baby-led weaning strawberries

Okay Popeye. Calm down.

baby led weaning meatballs

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.

baby-led weaning strawberries with yogurt

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.

baby-led weaning strawberries with yogurt

So sour, but so good.

baby-led weaning strawberries with yogurt

More yelling and love confessing. And then she decided bibs are dead to her. Fantastic.

For more about our journey with BLW:
BLW week one | BLW part two | BLW part three
Instagram (hashtag #BLWwithIslaBee)

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9 Comments

  • Reply Mary Hayes August 13, 2014 at 10:49 am

    This is maybe the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I think we need a video with the strawberries!

  • Reply natalie August 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    i literally look forward to these posts! her faces are priceless! i can’t wait to start trying some baby-led stuff with lily in another month or so. i’ve tried a bit of rice cereal and the typical mushy food but she wants nothing to do with it [oh and also we have some crazy eczema going on so the pediatrician told me to stop giving her “sugary” stuff, read: no sweet potatos, bananas, anything remotely appetizing – way to go, mom!]

    long-story-short, i just want to give lily an avocado already.

    and, hilariously, bibs are also dead to her!

  • Reply Rachel Bowman August 13, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Ace has severe egg and peanut/tree nut allergies and we found out the same way. Hives with the eggs and a turning blue mouth with the peanuts. I hope your allergist suggests the infant panel skin test (totally painless for the little one) because it for sure helped me be more prepared. A friend of mine from college, Lindsay Nixon, is a vegan chef and she has written several cookbooks under the Happy Herbivore label. They are sold on Amazon and are a great price. She has some wonderful recipies that we have made for Ace. You should check her out! Fingers crossed that the allergy was just a fluke. If it wasn’t, I will be happy to share all kinds of info with you!

  • Reply Diana August 14, 2014 at 2:18 am

    Hi Risa. How do you not worry she’s going to “bite” a chunk and choke on it? I’ve attempted blw a few times with my little man and had a few scares (steamed broccoli, sweet potato, watermelon), so I went back to pureeing the veggies.

    • Reply reallyrisa August 14, 2014 at 9:37 am

      Hi Diana, I did worry about choking, especially in the beginning, but Isla proved she could handle herself pretty quickly.The gagging reflex is normal and it’s baby’s way of figuring things out and making sure nothing too big gets swallowed. It’s nerve wracking but you just have to let him figure it out as long as he’s not actually choking. I nearly stopped BLW in the beginning bc I was so nervous but after about 3 weeks the gagging stopped completely and now she’s a pro. I’m glad I stuck with it. Good luck!

      • Reply Diana August 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm

        Thanks Risa! There definitely were a few times I felt like he was choking and not gagging, but this is all new to me so any little gagging could be mistaken for choking. Thanks for the feedback, I’m going to give it another shot because there aren’t any dislikes with foods for this little man so far!

        P.S. isla make the best facial expressions :)

  • Reply Beth June 10, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Where do you get her cute headbands?

  • Reply Suzana Carlos January 25, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Hi – Just stumbled upon your blog and its wonderful! Isla is beyond adorable. Thank you for sharing your adventures, its served as a wealth of info and confidence booster for this mama!

    • Reply Risa Page January 30, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      Thank you, Suzana! I’m so glad these BLW posts have been helpful. ❤

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