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With summer coming soon, it’s time to get outdoors with baby and get some fresh air. Sometimes it’s tough to get outside with a baby because you’re tired, there is so much that you want to do, naps, etc. But remember that most of the time, it’s worth going outdoors You’ll feel good and baby too. What’s more? You will both get some of that much-needed vitamin D by being exposed to the sun.

Baby Led Weaning (BLW) doesn’t have to be done inside only. It can be done outdoors and on the go. This blog post will answer questions like “What foods should I avoid when doing BLW on the go?” ‘What foods are best for BLW on the go that will minimize the mess?” and “What equipment do I need to make BLW easy outside the home?”.

First: BLW safety on the go

First off, you want to make sure you’re proceeding safely when you’re out and about. When you’re on the go, in a stroller for example, the stroller must be in an upright position (not laying back) at 90 degrees. You ideally don’t want to be moving so stationary is best. Also, make sure baby is facing you when he or she is eating.

Here is my baby eating a breakfast ball (breakfast ball recipe here!) in our Venice Child stroller:

What equipment do you need when doing Baby Led Weaning on the go?

To keep your baby still, I like to bring either my stroller or a booster seat when we are eating outside the home. Also, I like to bring wipes to clean up the mess along with a bib or change of clothes for baby. All those aren’t mandatory but do make the experience of eating outside the home much easier.

What foods should I avoid when eating out?

I like to avoid foods that are messier, like juicy foods and small foods. Also, smelly foods are to be avoided as well! I like to avoid frozen thawed strawberries, blueberries, rice, saucy pasta, salmon, sardines and peas.

What foods can I bring to minimize the mess?

When out and about, I like to bring foods that don’t dirty my stroller or baby’s clothes. It just makes it easier to clean. I love bringing hard boiled eggs, muffins, waffles, pancakes and roasted vegetables. Large pieces work best. Foods don’t need to be served heated up because by the time they’re served to baby, they’re usually room temperature anyway. More practical. I love to bring leftovers. Here is a typical container that I like to bring along when outside with baby: roast sweet potato, roast brocoli, piece of soft chicken thigh.

Here is my baby eating a banana muffin in his stroller (recipe in my online course at nutritionforbaby.com):

I get it. It’s not always easy to get outside. I’ve struggled with that too. But get out there! So many distractions for baby to explore and you’ll feel so much better after a few minutes out there. Snap a pic of your baby eating outside and tag me!

#sponsored (Venice Child sent me their stroller in exchange for picture and this blog post)

The post BLW outdoors appeared first on Jessica's Baby Led Weaning Blog.

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The new Canadian Food Guide: for Babies too?

The inauguration of the new Canadian food Guide happened yesterday and I’m honoured to have been the dietitian invited to participate. Since I work with babies, lots of you reached out to me asking if the recommendations from the new Guide apply to their baby.

Tina from City TV, my 6 month old and I A Historical Event: the Launch of the New Canadian Food Guide

I’m proud to have met the Honorable Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor and to have participated with Paule Bernier, president of our Professional Order of Dietitians of Quebec and Nathalie Savoie, president of Dietitians of Canada. Here are a few pics of the event:

Nursing my 6 month old in the room

I talked about how the new Canada’s Food Guide will impact the lives of families across the country, including mine. Dietitians, policy makers and many others will be considering the new guidelines and we will see changes in our food environment over the coming weeks, months and years. At the same time, the families that I work with as a dietitian will be reflecting on what this new guide means for them. Food is so much more than a source of nutrients for our bodies. Food has the potential to heal, to prevent disease and to bring us together. As a dietitian, my role is to translate the complex science of nutrition into advice for the unique needs and circumstances of the families I work with.

Does this mean that the recommendations have changed for my baby?

So, do the new recommendations of the new Canadian Food Guide apply to my baby? The answer is no. The new Canadian Food Guide is for children ages 2 years old and up. Recommendations remain the same for babies and children 0-24 months old. To read the official recommendations in  the joint statement from Health Canada, CanadianPaediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and Breastfeeding Committee for Canada, check out Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants. This document was updated in 2014 and includes information about breastfeeding, vitamin D, iron, food textures and more.

If you prefer to learn by watching short videos, I incorporated those official recommendations about starting solids in my online course. You will learn everything you need to know by watching 2-5 minute videos and you can ask me an unlimited number of questions under each video. I answer the questions quickly. Oh, there are also tons of recipes and videos of babies eating in the course. If you’re not yet signed up, I will see you there.

My own baby started eating foods today!

In fact, the baby you see below turned 6 months today. It’s a big day and he is ready to start solids! This morning, he explored an egg:

What an incredible moment. He loved the experience.

Limited time offer

My online course is 50% off until January 31st, 2019 so don’t wait. Use the following link to take advantage of the rebate: 50% OFF THE ONLINE COURSE UNTIL JANUARY 31, 2019.

The post The New Canadian Food Guide: for babies too? appeared first on Jessica's Baby Led Weaning Blog.

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Desserts: How to Practice Safe BLW During the Holidays (3 of 3)

Santa has some by the fireplace. They are rolled into log shapes and cut into stars. Friends trade amongst themselves and share family secrets, while kids beg to lick the bowl they were created in. Holiday desserts are a delectable part of celebrating, and an important part of a healthy adult relationship with food. However, they don’t fall into the classic baby-led weaning guidelines.

That being said, the holidays are a special occasion, which includes having all our loved ones join in the celebration. That is why we developed this final instalment of our holiday series, to discuss whether festive desserts should be given to a BLW baby.

Watch us explain the pros and cons of giving your baby a holiday dessert:

Holiday desserts for baby? - YouTube

If you found this video useful and want to see more like it, subscribe to my channel today.

Holiday Desserts and BLW

Cons

Holiday cookies and desserts tend to be super sweet, and may contain ingredients that aren’t the best for baby. Your baby certainly does not need the extra sugar. Desserts also tend to contain ingredients, such as chocolate chips, edible silver balls, nuts or dried fruit, that can pose a choking hazard.

No sugar is best for baby physically, but what about the negative emotional effects of feeling excluded from the festivities?

Pros

Letting your infant have a safe BLW dessert can help your child feel included in the holiday season and integrated in the festivities. Having a small amount of sugar on a rare occasion, while not necessary, won’t have a large negative impact on your little one. Not only that, but this is an opportunity to experience new flavours and textures that your baby may have otherwise not been exposed to.

Just a little sugar will not be harmful to your BLW baby.

Verdict

It is really your choice as a parent if you’d like to include desserts that are the right shape and do not contain potential choking hazards. If you are still not convinced, you can try my Holiday Cut-Out Cookie recipe. They are free of refined sugar and totally appropriate for baby to give you the best of both worlds.

The perfect compromise. Are you the “it’s just once a year” or the “babies don’t need extra sugar” type of parent? Comment below!

The post How to Practice Safe BLW During the Holidays (3 of 3): Desserts appeared first on Jessica's Baby Led Weaning Blog.

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One-bowl applesauce chia cookies for babies

This is a recipe for parents who like to experiment with different types of flours. In this recipe I used almond flour and coconut flour. It’s a gluten-free cookie recipe for babies with no refined sugar for babies 6 months and up. Super moist and easy to prep in a pinch.

I got my 3 year old to make these cookies. If she can make them, so can you!

We made our own applesauce by coring the apples and placing them in our Instant Pot on manual for 5 minutes. Then we put them in the blender for instant homemade applesauce. You can also buy applesauce if you prefer! These cookies are actually perfect for breakfast and snack. I put a bit of maple syrup for sweetness so there is no refined sugar. They’re also gluten-free!

Before introducing complementary foods to your baby, it’s important that you proceed safely no matter which approach you opt for. Some parents opt for baby led weaning (BLW) and some for the traditional approach to solids and offer purees. Be sure to obtain your information from a trusted source like my online course for introducing foods to babies here.

BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow’s milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.

One-bowl applesauce sauce cookies recipe Ingredients

¾ cup unsweetened applesauce

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 ¾ cups quick oats

½ cup almond flour

½ cup coconut flour

½ cup coconut, shredded, unsweetened

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl. Shape into cookies about 1 tbsp each and place on a covered baking sheet. Bake for 13 minutes or until slightly browned. Let cool and offer to your baby.

What did you bake with your apples this year? Comment below!

The post One-bowl applesauce chia cookies for babies appeared first on Jessica's Baby Led Weaning Blog.

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Apple birthday cake with lemony cream cheese frosting

Looking for a great two-layer cake recipe that’s sugar-free and perfect for babies just starting out with complementary foods? Look no further. The flavour combination of apples with the lemony cream cheese frosting is just subliminal. What’s more, my almost 4-year old daughter made this cake with just a bit of help from me so you can too!

Please note that raw apples are a choking hazard for babies so be sure to offer them cooked like in this recipe.

This recipe can also be used for a birthday smash cake. The main ingredients are apples, whole wheat flour, butter, cream cheese and dates. I make a date paste and use it instead of refined sugar. This recipe is great for babies from 6 months old because the texture is so moist. Please note that this apple birthday cake does contain potential allergens (wheat and cow’s milk) so be sure to have introduced these to your baby before trying this cake.

Before introducing complementary foods to your baby, it’s important that you proceed safely no matter which approach you opt for. Some parents opt for baby led weaning (BLW) and some for the traditional approach to solids and offer purees. Be sure to obtain your information from a trusted source like my online course for introducing foods to babies here.

BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow’s milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.

This is what the cakes looks like coming out of the oven:

Apple Date Cake with Lemony Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup dates, pitted

½ cup water

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour (can also use all purpose flour, could probably work with gluten-free flour)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup milk (any kind, I used cow’s milk)

1 ½ cup apples, cored, coarsely grated

2 tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the dates and water for 4 minutes. Blend the date mixture in a blender or hand blender to obtain a thick paste. In a medium-sized bowl, add the date paste, butter, eggs and vanilla. In another medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and then add the milk. Fold in the apples. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans with the butter and separate the cake batter into the 2 pans. Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and then add the frosting.

Frosting (double the following recipe for extra frosting)

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, room temperature 

¼ cup maple syrup, optional

1 tsp vanilla

Zest of 1 lemon

Beat all the ingredients together and frost your cake. Don’t forget to put some in between the 2 cakes! If you love icing, double this recipe.

Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments!

The post Apple cake with lemony cream cheese frosting appeared first on Jessica's Baby Led Weaning Blog.

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