Baby Led Weaning | Modified for Everyday



Baby Led Weaning Modified for Everyday | Cup of Tea

Like all things baby related, when you hit a new milestone, you research like crazy to figure out what’s best, what to do, what’s recommended…. it’s exhausting and intimidating.  Feeding and solid foods are no exception!

When we hit Solid Food time with our daughter at 6 months, I came across Baby Led Weaning and thought it sounded like fun, but I wanted to modify the concept to fit our everyday lives.

I’ve mentioned a few times on the blog that we’re doing this, and received some questions. So, for all you new moms out there, doing the same research I did about 4 months ago, let me walk you through what we did.  It may work for your baby when the time comes, or it may not.

Aren’t babies fun and fickle?

This isn’t meant to explain what BLW is!  I’m no expert.  If you need more information on that, check out the official website or the Wikipedia page.

There are also SO MANY blog posts and YouTube videos that help explain this.  I spent a lot of time reading, and here’s what I found helpful:

So why did we choose BLW instead of starting with traditional pureed foods? 

The first and biggest reason was I was lazy.  I figured if I had to prepare the food to either steam or roast, I didn’t want to go to the extra step of pureeing.  Totally lazy.

Second, if my daughter had to get used to eating texture at some point, I figured we should start from the beginning. (Of course, this only works in theory if your baby doesn’t mind texture!)

And finally, our daughter just seemed to have the personality for it.  She was independent and curious.  I knew neither of us would have much patience with spoon feeding.

But, like most things with a baby, babies learn to eat differently.  Some are picky eaters, others aren’t.  Some have a hard time with texture, others don’t!  While you may think BLW is the best thing ever for your baby, your baby may not think so.  Just experiment and see what works best for you and your baby!  Purees or BLW, it’s all good!

What were some of your daughter’s first foods?

Here is where I feel like we started to drift away from BLW.  Instead of just diving in with any ol’ food, I followed the more traditional philosophy of feeding vegetables first and then fruits, but it was just a more accelerated timeline.  Instead of trying one new food for a week, we just did it for a few days.  And instead of sticking to only one food at a time, we tried several things at once (like sweet potatoes and carrot one day, avocado and blueberries the next).

To prepare the foods, I just cut the veggies into sticks and roasted them in the oven with a little olive oil, instead of steaming/pureeing.  I also wanted her to experience the spoon at least once a day and know how to eat off of it. BLW is messy, and if we’re out to eat or at someone’s house, it’s easier to clean up after spoon feeding than BLW.

Some of my daughter’s favorite first foods for the first month were:

  • Avocado
  • Sweet Potato
  • Carrot
  • Corn
  • Strawberry
  • Blueberry
  • Oatmeal with applesauce

Once we hit about 7 months, and her grasp started getting better, I started introducing other foods, like full fat yogurt, scrambled egg, shredded cheese, canned or cooked dried beans and other grains.  This is where the “eat what we eat” style of BLW came in.  If I was making us something for dinner, I’d either feed her the dinner as is (like pasta with a simple sauce and veggies) or pull out the ingredients for her to eat separately (like black bean enchiladas – I would set aside plain black beans for her to eat, along with avocado).

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What’s a typical food day?

Now that my daughter is 10 months old, she eats 3 meals a day, and one snack.  Some days she wolfs down the food; other days she just picks at it.  Doesn’t really matter!  “Food before one is just for fun!”

Here is an example of a typical day of food for her:

  • Breakfast: 6 oz formula in bottle (what isn’t finished goes in her sippy cup for the meal); 1 egg, scrambled; handful blueberries or other fruit; shredded cheddar cheese
  • Lunch: 4 oz formula in sippy cup; Hummus (spoon fed) and pita bread (torn up into small bites); Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Snack: 4 oz formula in sippy cup; full fat yogurt (spoon fed); fruit of some sort
  • Dinner: 4 oz formula in sippy cup; canned black beans; avocado; bits of tortilla
  • Bedtime: 6 oz formula in bottle (normally eats 4ish)

I was surprised that I actually STILL have a hard time thinking of things for her to eat.  I thought the advantage to BLW was that they ate what you ate, so easy!  But thinking of things that aren’t too spicy, or too salty, or too sweet can be a challenge.  And things that are soft and toothless baby friendly!

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Any favorite feeding gear you recommend?

Feeding gear was one category I completely overlooked when preparing our baby registry.  Here are some of the things that have made our lives easier when we moved to solids:

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Are you in the throws of solid feeding yet? Any tips for new moms out there, whether you’re doing BLW or purees??  Share them!

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Elizabeth’s 9 Month Update!

20140707-095916-35956983.jpgElizabeth is 9 months (well technically on Friday… but who cares)!  That’s a milestone 🙂 For kicks, here is the little Bean at 1, 3, 6 and 9 months!

20140707-141611-51371423.jpgIsn’t that a hoot??? She’s changed so much!  Anywho, here’s what she’s been up to for the last month!

Height/Weight | She was at the doctor a few weeks ago because she was sick, but they didn’t measure her!  But her weight was 16.2 lbs.  She’s following her little growth curve perfectly!

Routine | Elizabeth is starting to SLIGHTLY change her routine.

  • 7:00am – Wake up and bottle.
  • 7:30am – Play time!
  • 8:00am – Breakfast time – usually oatmeal and applesauce or a yogurt with fruit.
  • 8:30am – If it’s Monday, Wednesday or Friday, we do a bath.  Leaning back to rinse her head is still “scary”…. when does that end?
  • 9:00am – Down for first nap of the day, and usually finishes off whatever was left in her bottle.
  • 10:00am – Wake up, and then bottle.
  • 10:30am – Play time! Or errands.
  • 11:30am – Lunch time – I’ll eat with her, so sometimes it’s leftovers from dinner, or I make some eggs!
  • 12:30pm – Down for the afternoon nap, and finishes whatever was left in her bottle.
  • 2:30-3:00pm – Wake up and bottle.
  • 3:30pm – Small snack – usually something pre-done (like puffs, or teething biscuit)
  • 4:00pm – She plays while I start dinner.
  • 5:00pm – Husband’s usually home by now, and we all three sit down for dinner.
  • 6:00pm – Get ready for bed!  She changes into jammies, and gets her final bottle.
  • 6:30pm – Lights out and asleep!

Sleeping | Still sleeping amazing *knock on wood* with a full 12 hours at night, plus two naps. Her morning nap is getting shorter, and only lasts between 1-1.5 hours.  But her afternoon nap is longer.

Eating | She’s started pushing away her bottle after drinking 4 oz.  That’s why we’ve had to start her on 3 square meals a day.  She’ll usually drink another 2 oz., though, before her nap.  Her favorite foods right now are avocado, yogurt, black beans, corn, peaches and pasta.

Sizes | HA! This child is currently using clothes in 3 different sizes.  She’s wearing 6 month onesies and dresses, 9 month pants, and 12 month pajamas.  At least I’m getting a lot of use out of those 6 month clothes!

Milestones | This last month was hilarious!  On her 8 month birthday, she just started ticking them all off the list!

  • Elizabeth started crawling on her 8 month birthday! It was only a few steps, but she soon got speedy!  Now she just zooms around!
  • Every place in the house is a new adventure – she is obsessed with the dining room.
  • She is starting to pull to stand now.  Over the weekend, she pulled to stand in her crib.  Had to snap a picture!
  • Elizabeth tried a veggie pattie for the first time… not sure if that’s baby appropriate, but she loved it!
  • She loves books!  We have a bin full of books, and she crawls over and starts pulling them out.  She especially loves finger puppet books.
  • Elizabeth also enjoys knocking down towers 🙂
  • We both love playing peek-a-boo around the coffee table.  Now that she crawls, we peek around at one another!
  • She started babbling a bit more, instead of her typical “aaaahhhh”.  She started saying baa baa baa and dadadadadada.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from over the last month!  The picture at top left is when she pulled to stand in her crib just a few days ago!  She was pretty proud 🙂

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Vegetarian California BLTs



Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite summer sandwiches!

I’m sure you have seen a similar sandwich elsewhere, and I know this probably isn’t an original creation, but oh well!

We call this a “California” BLT because my husband and I “invented” this sandwich while we lived in California.  See what we did there?  Interesting fact.

Here are the basic ingredients.  You can of course use whatever bacon you prefer, whether it’s full strength, turkey, or veggie.  These veggie Morningstar Farms ones are classic and yummy!

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First up, make some guacamole.  My quick way is to mash avocado with a fresh salsa.  You get the onion, cilantro, garlic and acidity all in one with the salsa.  If you need a quick guac, that’s my top tip! 20140609-200210-72130948.jpg

Next, build the sandwich!  Toast the bread.  Add a layer of guacamole.  Then add the sprouts, bacon, and cucumber.  Top with your other slice of bread.

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And done! Yum-o!!20140609-200225-72145142.jpg20140609-200241-72161681.jpg

We had some roasted potatoes.  Quite a satisfying meal!20140609-200254-72174553.jpg 20140609-200255-72175403.jpgMommy Tip: For those that do Baby Led Weaning, you can easily break this sandwich up into baby friendly parts.  My daughter is obsessed with avocado, and would probably eat the guacamole or certainly just the avocado.  The bread can be cut up into strips.  Even the cucumber for the littles with a few teeth would be tasty!

Anyway, here’s a “proper” recipe:

California BLT Sandwich

Ingredients:
Bread
Avocado (2)
Fresh Salsa (approx 4 TB)
Bacon – your choice – 3 strips per sandwich
Sprouts
Cucumber
Any other sandwich toppings you prefer!

1. Toast sandwich bread

2. Cook the bacon according to package instructions.

3. Make your guacamole – for my quick version, halve the avocado, remove the pit, and scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl.  Add to the avocado 2-3 TB of salsa.  Mash.  If the avocado needs a bit more salsa to help mash (if they are barely ripe and little firm), add.

4. Build your sandwich!  In our house, the order is: Bread, Avocado, Sprouts, Bacon, Cucumber, Bread.

Enjoy!!

Elizabeth’s 8 Month Update!

20140611-065928-25168988.jpgElizabeth is 8 months!  Another month down… can’t believe it.  Here’s what she’s been up to for the last month!

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Height/Weight | As of her last doctor’s appointment a few weeks ago, she’s cruised over the 15 lb mark (19%). She also apparently has shrunk, now at  25.4″ (8.5%).  I think the height thing is the HARDEST thing to measure on a wiggly baby.

Routine | Elizabeth is starting to SLIGHTLY change her routine.

  • 6:30-7:00am – Wake up, diaper change and bottle.
  • 7:30am – Play time!  Right now she loves her farm animals and a dolly.  We’ll also head out on a walk.
  • 8:30am – If it’s Monday, Wednesday or Friday, we do a bath.  She’s enjoying baths a little more, but leaning back to rinse her head is still “scary”.
  • 9:00am – Down for first nap of the day, and usually finishes off whatever was left in her bottle.
  • 10:30am – Wake up, diaper change and into her clothes for the day, and then bottle.
  • 11:00am – If we’re running errands, we go now.
  • 1:30pm – Down for the afternoon nap, and finishes whatever was left in her bottle.
  • 3:00pm – Wake up, diaper change, and bottle.
  • 4:00pm – She plays while I start dinner.  Right now she loves sitting on the floor playing.
  • 5:00pm – Husband’s usually home by now, and we all three sit down for dinner.
  • 6:00pm – Get ready for bed!  She changes into jammies, and gets her final bottle.
  • 6:30pm – Lights out and asleep!

Sleeping | Still sleeping amazing *knock on wood* with a full 12 hours at night, plus two naps.  She’s in a phase right now where she’ll wake up in the middle of her nap and play.  Then back to sleep again.  It’s so cute listening to her on the monitor.

Eating |  She’s still eating 6-8oz of formula each bottle session (there are 4).  All’s fine there.  Baby Led Weaning is still going on.  Elizabeth has a protest of bottles a few weeks back, and we had to do three meals of real food for a week. That tapered off, and now we’re back to 1-2 meals a day.  Her favorite foods are avocados (still), corn on the cob, and rice and beans.

Sizes | Elizabeth is still between sizes. She wears 9 month PJs and pants because her legs are long, but they are still big in the body.  She rocks 6 & 9 month dresses.  She has now moved up to Size 3 diapers (as of Sunday).  Too many blow outs (that’s the sign)!

Milestones | There are quite a few to report!

  • She is officially able to sit on her own, without supervision (meaning, she doesn’t topple over immediately)!  HUGE and makes play time a lot more fun.
  • I swear Elizabeth knows how to crawl, but she just refuses to do it.  She leans forward, almost on to her knees, then sits back up.  She’s so stinking close!
  • She did, technically, crawl a few steps, but won’t replicate it.
  • She also took a few steps while holding onto my fingers!
  • Elizabeth does love to roll around though.  That’s her current way of getting around.
  • She had her first trip to the zoo!
  • Elizabeth can wave… when she’s in the mood for it 🙂
  • In the food category, she mastered using a straw sippy cup, and has enjoyed a few baby snacks (we’re testing a few to see which ones we should take with us on our plane trip in a month).
  • Her favorite toys right now are her farm animals and her dolly from Target.  She also loves her two blankies my friend’s mom made for her.
  • Elizabeth starting smacking her lips.  Not sure what it means…
  • One of her favorite games is sitting on the back of the sofa and having mommy hop her up and down, so she can see herself in the mirror.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from over the last month!

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Hey Hey! It’s Friday!

Man this week flew by!  Although, yesterday felt like Friday to me…. don’t you hate it when that happens?

Anyway, on to what we were up to this week!

1. On Wednesday I took a little road trip with a friend and our babies which ended up at the outlet mall.  I was surprisingly restrained there.

2. Wednesday night we met up with hubby’s work folks at Pompieri Pizza, here in Durham.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I was so looking forward to this meal, and it did not disappoint!  I managed to escape without taking pictures, because we dove into our food ASAP.

My husband ordered the BC Pie, which came with mushrooms, goat cheese, roasted garlic, rosemary and olive oil (yum!).  I ordered the White Florian, which was a mix of romano, pecorino, and mozzarella cheese, with fresh garlic and lemon oil (drool!).  Elizabeth happily munched on the crusts 🙂

Oh my word, if you are ever in the Bull City, eat there.  And invite me along.

3. Elizabeth has been favoring eating real food this week, so I’ve been racking my brain at breakfast, lunch and dinner as to what to give her.  We’re basically doing Baby Led Weaning, which we’re enjoying.  This week she inhaled chunks of corn on the cob! She’s also loving blueberries! (Although, I didn’t realize blueberries going in = one big giant blueberry skin coming out.  Gross.)

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4. And then, some things to look forward to!  We are hosting a Potluck Brunch at our house on Sunday, and we’re really looking forward to that.  I’ve been zooming around the house prepping for everyone to come over!  I plan on contributing a few things, including this DELICIOUS Cinnamon Roll Quick Bread!  This is so yummy.  I’m tempted to make a second one JUST so I can eat it all by myself.  I’ll also be making a batch of scones and a frittata.  We’re also in charge of drinks!  Can’t wait!

5. Finally, look out folks!  Husband has the weekend off.  And not just “technically working on Sunday, but I’ll be home by 10am” either.  Looks like the Doctor can relax and put his feet up.  My in-laws are also visiting this weekend, and I know my husband is super excited to see them! (Or maybe it’s because my Father-in-Law just bought a new Corvette, and he’s driving that down for Hubby to see…. not sure which one he’s more excited for)

So what were you up to this week?  I’d love to hear about it!!  Hope you have a stellar weekend 🙂

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