I have a lot of foods for you today! I’ll be talking about baby-led weaning with blueberries, yogurt-marinated crock-pot chicken, mild cheddar cheese, pecorino romano cheese, organic puffs, yogurt with a spoon, roasted zucchini, egg- and dairy-free blueberry-banana yogurt pancakes, avocado toast and cheesy broccoli bites.
At eight months, Isla is eating a variety of foods at every meal and she’s up to three meals per day. She’s also still nursing five to eight times per day. We haven’t tried a lot of recipes yet, mostly because of the possible egg allergy, but I’m trying to work on that. She’s such a great eater and even though she’s still toothless, she has no trouble gumming meats, breads and a variety of other textures without choking or even gagging. So off we go …
Blueberries. Every single time I give her blueberries she makes the funniest faces. It’s as if blueberries are the most sour food on the planet. I serve them to her either whole or cut in half, though I find the whole berries are easier for her to grab. She mostly gums them, sometimes spits them out once she gets a lick of that tart flavor and then goes back for more. Sometimes she wants no part of them at all. I’ve found she’s like that with all foods. If you give one food too often she gets bored and won’t take it, which is why I try to change things up with every meal.
Her newest trick is sticking her tongue out. She does it while she eats or when she’s just being playful. She always does it with blueberries! It’s adorable and I can’t get enough.
Yogurt-marinated crock pot chicken. I was pretty nervous about introducing chicken. I was afraid if it was too chunky she would choke. I needn’t have worried at all. The crock pot was a great way to introduce chicken because after several hours of cooking the breasts just fell apart. It was a bit dry for my liking, but she shoveled handfuls into her mouth. I served it with steamed broccoli. (recipe below)
Yogurt-Marinated Crock Pot Chicken: place two chicken breasts in a bag or bowl and coat with whole milk plain yogurt until each breast is covered. Marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours (the longer the better). Pour chicken and yogurt into crock pot, add any additional seasonings (I used garlic cloves) and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours (I cooked it for 4 hours and it was a bit over done). When the chicken is cooked through (not pink on the inside) and easily pulls apart/shreds, it’s done. Serve as handfuls of shredded chunks.
Zucchini. Remember when we unsuccessfully tried to introduce yellow squash a few weeks ago? Well, lesson learned. This time, I roasted a zucchini in the oven with a little pepper and olive oil and it was a big hit. I kept the skin on and cut the zucchini into strips for easy grabbing. She pretty much just gummed each “finger” and ate the meat off the skin. I think next time I’ll sprinkle a bit of parmesan and homemade bread crumbs on there for even more flavor.
Cheese. I feel like I say this about every food but I wasn’t quite sure about introducing cheese. Mostly I was concerned about the dairy and possibility of choking. So I bought mild white cheddar and served it in thick slices. I gave her maybe only two slices total the first time just to be sure her stomach could handle it and because cheese is salty. Once again, she is really good at gumming it and breaking it apart into manageable pieces. It’s now one of her favorites. We sprinkle it on steamed broccoli and other veggies, too, which she really likes.
Before trying the cheddar, I sprinkled pecorino romano (sheep’s milk) onto Isla’s steamed broccoli one night. Next thing I knew she had two red spots on her face again. I immediately took the food away and wiped her face and it went away within a few minutes. I’m not sure what the issue was, but we’ll be avoiding that for a while.
In case you missed my post last Friday, I wrote all about our attempt to make egg-free blueberry-banana yogurt pancakes.
Bread. Avocado toast is a new favorite. In truth, anything with avocado on it could be considered a favorite, but she really did enjoy the bread itself. I picked up whole wheat bread from Whole Foods, spread avocado on it and served it to her in strips. She devoured it. Something to look for: a lot of breads have honey listed in the ingredients even when it isn’t mentioned on the front packaging. I was really surprised to see that so if your baby is under one I would check ingredients very closely.
Cheesy Broccoli Bites. These were easy to make and so good I might have eaten more than Isla, though she ate a bunch, too (like four or five!)! I used a recipe from the baby-led weaning site, but I made my own breadcrumbs and had some other thoughts on it so I think this one deserves its own post. Be on the lookout for that next week.
Some final thoughts … We’ve started giving Isla Plum Organics puffs. I try not to give her too many, but when we’re on the go or her meal isn’t quite ready yet, they’re make for good snacking.
This is pretty much against the rules for BLW, but we often spoon-feed Isla yogurt. She really really loves yogurt and until she can handle a spoon on her own, this is the best way for us to feed it to her. She has no problems telling us when she’s full (we’re also working on sign language) so it’s working for us.
Next up: baked apple, applesauce as an egg substitute, cream cheese toast, potatoes, peas, ground turkey and maybe, just maybe, pasta with tomato sauce! Any recipe suggestions are always welcome!
Are you doing baby-led weaning? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments section!