Baby Led Weaning: The Third Time Around And A Muffin Recipe

Baby led weaning

Here I go again on my own…goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known….

We’re on our third go round now with baby led weaning. In the seven years since I first began, it’s gone from a weird choice, unheard of by public health nurses and greeted wide eyed by fellow parents of babies to a very acceptable option for starting your baby on solids. Far more prolific bloggers than I have emerged in the field and had cookbooks published. Which is handy for me – even with a 6 month old I can regularly be heard saying “oh I’m just out of the baby mode for so long y’know…” as I wrack my brains to think what I’m supposed to do with her next.

stokke tripp trapp
All three ready to go.

Anyway, she turned 6 months old while we were on our summer holidays in France. Before we went I tried her with a couple of foods that would be common allergens (namely egg, strawberry and tomato). We didn’t want to find ourselves looking for directions to the doctor and trying to remember our gauche from our droite in a panic. We have no real family history of allergy but a good friend has a baby who reacted badly to egg recently so there’s no harm in approaching these things with a degree of caution.

We spent a couple of weeks just getting her used to picking up foods, and trying a variety of flavours. There was no particular consideration given to cooking suitable meals, as – say it with me:

food-under-one-is-for-fun-blur

She chewed away on torn up croissants, nommed wedges of juicy sweet peaches frozen in a silicon feeder, waved around preloaded spoons of natural yogurt and sucked the life from some pasta with tomato sauce.

baby led weaning

For the third time, I knew this approach was for me. I guess I’m doing myself a disservice by saying it’s the lazy mum’s approach. For a start, nobody could call me lazy now it’s school holiday time and I’ve three kids with me around the clock. Also she’s trying a good variety of food, and she’s still breastfeeding lots. Right up until the point she started solids I was able to look at her chubby thighs and wrist rolls and think “I made all of that”. A lovely friend declared to me “your one body is running 2 full bodies, I think it’s pretty miraculous. Have a sit down” (So I did.)

Anyway, we’re back now and without the pressure of the school runs, we’re getting quite into the swing of things. She’s about 6.5months and I’m still keeping it basic but she enjoys sitting up with us at the table and does her patented arm flap at the sight of food.

The simplest things I’ve given her are slices of avocado, steamed carrots, steamed broccoli, sweet potato wedges, scrambled egg and mashed banana or avocado on toast.

I did break out my trusty baking tins though, to try out savoury muffins. I used to make delicious spinach and feta ones when the boys were little but neither will eat feta now so I made these instead. You can sub out the veggies, and replace the sweet potato with more cheddar – I just didn’t want them too salty yet so kept the cheese content low.  I also always use frozen spinach for baking, just defrost it in the microwave first and squeeze out the excess water.

Spinach muffin

Spinach & Cheese Muffins

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 150ml milk
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 50g grated cheddar cheese
  • 50g grated sweet potato
  • 75g spinach
  • 1/4 red pepper, diced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 75g wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 TSP Marigold boullion (I use the low salt one)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
  2. Whisk the eggs in and stir in the milk and melted butter. Mix in the grated cheese, sweet potato,  spinach, tomatoes and diced pepper.
  3. Finally, sieve in the flour and bullion. and mix just enough until all the ingredients have combined.
  4. Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. A skewer will come out clean when they’re done.

These freeze really well and are great for bigger kid lunchboxes too.

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You can catch a lot of what I cook on Instagram, especially on my Stories. (There’s Follow buttons on the bottom of the page on mobile and on the right on desktop)
And now that baby is actually going to bed a regular time, there should be lots more to come right here on the blog. Stay tuned while I regain my BLW mojo!

Goulash. Yes, really.

Goulash-Dominic

Well I can tell you now for nothing, that goulash with boiled potatoes is the single most traditional dinner I have ever cooked. I’m not sure that I’ve ever cooked a stew of any kind in fact, even a beany one.  Well, I’ve gone and done it now.

Goulash-Dominic
Lego threat, incoming!

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All hail the humble chickpea

nyom

I had to post about these Crispy Chickpeas ‘toot sweet’ they are such a revelation. In fact I have just removed the second batch in as many days from the oven. We are noted fans of the chickpea here at Properfud Towers, so there’s always a few tins in the cupboard.

One blog I love to read for general parenting stuff, recipes and an overall relevance to any family working on a budget is Wholesome Ireland. The other day she featured this recipe for Crispy Chickpeas. They are a complete no brainer to make, so when I saw it I knew they’d work in our house – last night I threw in a tray of them while cooking a roast vegetable tart, then this evening I put more in with an oven-baked risotto.

Yep, we’ll have a few of them

I snacked on them with a bottle of beer last night, had them in a salad today for my lunch and then shared the remainder with the kids this evening while we waited for dinner. It’s a great way to add a healthy protein kick to something and also to try out different heat tolerances with children. It also tests the pincer grip of the 11 month old pretty well.  Caítríona used harissa spices which I didn’t exactly have. It’s an easy enough blend to concoct though. I added a few shakes of ground cumin, turmeric, garam masala, cayenne & chilli flakes to mine.

Clearly we are big baby led weaning advocates here, but as you can see, these are of a roundy shape that some among you may deem a choking hazard.  Obviously use your own judgement as to whether your baby is ready for these and don’t let them eat them unsupervised.  Any that were slightly larger, I squished slightly between my thumb and forefinger before giving to Theo.

Tomorrow I’m going to mash a few in with Dominic’s tortilla wrap for his playschool snack. If I leave any…

Who’s in charge?

Baby is!  I’m in charge of what he’s offered, but the ball is in his court when it comes to consumption. No poking or prodding a spoon into a clamped shut mouth. Just offer, and then don’t take it personally either way.

I’ve mentioned it over and over, but it’s really a point that needs to be hammered home when you take this approach – food under one is just for fun!

The one thing I’ve really noticed so far with Theo is that if he doesn’t feel like eating, he just won’t. In that regard I love baby led weaning because I’m not stressing over the fact that he was into breakfast but not into lunch or dinner. It’s not necessarily what we’re offering him, but whether he even feels like eating at all at that particular time.

I'll have a bit of this then.
I’ll have a bit of this then.

I wrote last summer about how Dominic had gotten into sandwiches. We send in a wrap, a small bagel, or a wholemeal sandwich with cheese & turkey in his lunch bag each day he goes to playschool. But it was never something he wanted as a baby – he used to look at them as a puzzle, something to pull apart and examine .

Today after a hectic morning at a local playcentre it was toasted sandwiches on the menu for lunch. I made Theo a little sandwich with the crusts off and he loved it. Crusts off so he didn’t just fill up on them, not because he couldn’t have them. He grasped it tight and it went straight in. I know well enough by now he would just let it fall to the ground and go back to gnawing a plate it if he didnt feel like eating.

I just put some cream cheese & some cheddar in it. I don’t think we’re ever going to have calcium issues in this house so it would be nice to veer away from cheese! I’m thinking avocado would be good, anything that “sticks” the sandwich together basically. Today was a bit of a hmm what’s in the fridge day.

I’d love to hear suggestions for a super healthy baby friendly sandwich filling?

Jill

Flag food.

I’ll have this, this and this.

Mama thought I didn’t really want much food and then she looked at her notebook and saw that I’m having about the same as my big brudder when he was a little baby.  I like green food, and white food and orange food.  I don’t know if it’s fun though, it’s kinda hard work sometimes I want to bounce in my jumperoo or practise my sitting up when we’re at dinnertime. If I could practise my sitting up at dinnertime then nobody could sit on me or fall me over or take my toy because nobody would be eating his dinner then.

Popeye Pasta
Good for me

The green food is spinach.  We had 2 things that was spinach that mama likes to make. One was popeye pasta. I tried to pop my eye out with a spoon I think that’s why it’s called that.  Dominic ate lots and lots but I just sucked my pasta and had some green.

Spanakopita
Everyone loves it

Then mama made the green pie that she made before, except she made ones for Dada Bear, Mama Bear and Doma Bear not just one big one.  Teddy Bear (that’s me!) just needed the inside bit on a spoon not all wrapped up like everybody else’s.

The white food is good it’s called nachurl yogurt. Everyone else eats colouredy yogurt, I eat mine from a big big tub all on it’s own or with some squished up apple mama cooked. I like that best on a spoon.

Oooh. Sweet potato wedges.
Oooh. Wedges.

Orange food is my favourite and it is the same as my plate.  Mama said she will give me lots of it again.  I had sweet potato wedges to squish up in my hand and my mouth.

Chomp!
Chomp!

Mama had to take some of the outside bit from the wedgey out of my cheek cos it wouldn’t come out and it wouldn’t go in to my tummy properly either. Then I had the same flavour all smushed onto a rice cake  at lunchtime.

No thanks.
No thanks.

There was carrotty bloop but I wouldn’t eat it. That’s because my big brudder wouldn’t eat it and sometimes I watch what he does and do it too.  Mama was a bit sad because she said it was delishus and Dada slurped it up too and sometimes Dada doesn’t like Mama’s dinner . I did eat some squashy chickpees though. Yum.

– Lil’ T.