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When can I start solids with Baby Led Weaning?

"My baby is six months or older doesn't sit unsupported, so I'm not feeding him solids yet." I hear this over and over in my Baby Led Weaning Facebook Group. There's seems to be this myth out there that baby needs to sit on his own independently for a minute, two minutes, maybe five minutes - before starting baby led weaning or self feeding. I'm not sure where this came from. Even Gill Rapley, the creator of the term "Baby Led Weaning" has an article on her website and she explicitly states there's NO "60- second rule".

Two of my own babies didn't sit fully unsupported on their own for any length of time until they were eight, maybe closer to nine months. But certainly they were able to self feed before this age. I've also confirmed this with the Occupational Therapist that I work with: baby does not need to sit unsupported on their own before starting solids.

They do, however, need to be able to sit with support. Your baby does need to have enough strength in their trunk or body...

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School lunches for kids of all ages

Check out the global interview here.

Welcome back-to-school again! Maybe you start the year gung-ho to make Pinterest-inspired, fancy home-made lunches all year long. And most of us are over that by oh….about day 3 of school!

Today I’m going to share some easy school lunches for kids of all ages. Homemade lunches, that still are healthy enough to provide them with the energy to feel and learn their best!

The Li’l Ones

It’s super important that the preschool/kindergarten aged crowd can get into their lunches! Practice at home, to make sure they can open the containers and packages.

They also need food that’s easy to hold and eat. Think finger-foods. Bento-style lunch boxes are fun and easy for kids of all ages.

In this lunch box, I’ve included finger-sized pumpkin seed butter & jam rolls and Avocado Blueberry Mini Muffins . Muffins are a great alternative to packaged granola bars. I make double-batches and keep a stock in the...

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How to manage kids & sweets

It seems like kids have sweets thrown at them from everywhere these days. Get a haircut? Have a lollypop! Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, a birthday at school….come home with a loot bag full of candy!

So how do you manage treats and desserts for your kids at home? There seem to be two options, without something in between:

  1. Free-for-all. Your child will likely fill up on cookies and candy all day and have no room for the healthy dinner you slaved over! They’ll likely be missing out on import ant nutrients. Plus, have a mouth-full of cavities!
  2. Total sweet restriction. Attempt to have a “sugar-free” child, and it’s very possible that they will be the school-aged kid who eats 5 slices of birthday cake. And may horde chocolate bars under their bed. It’s similar to putting yourself on a diet. Total restriction = cravings = binges.

But I’m not advocating for the free-for all approach either. Somewhere there must be...

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Best Tools for Baby Led Weaning

babyled weaning blw Oct 12, 2018

What do you NEED to start your baby on solids? A high chair and food- that's it really! I do get questions about the best cup, bib, spoons etc for Baby Led Weaning a lot though. So here are (affiliate) links to some of my favourites!

Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs are great, and pull right up to the table. You can get an infant attachment for a baby, and the chair can grow with your child. I have two, and adults frequently use them too (they hold up to 200 lbs).

Another similar option is the Keekaroo

For the budget-friendly high chair, try the Ikea Antilop for $20 (+$5 for a tray)

I used a standard Graco high chair. I like the large tray with a lip, making it slightly more difficult for your child to swipe food on the floor!

Under High-Chair Mess

Plastic Computer Mat for under the high chair. Easy to wipe off. You can also get these at an office supply store, like Staples.

Other options include a drop cloth or plastic table cloth, that you can shake outside...

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How Do I Get My Picky Eater to Eat Vegetables?

Does your kid avoid anything green? All veggies? Picky eating is a struggle for many families and vegetables are definitely one of the most challenging foods for young kids to enjoy. They naturally tend to prefer sweet foods - or quick, easy energy sources. So it's common for children to enjoy fruit, but shun more bitter vegetables. The good news is that fruit and veggies contain many of the same nutrients! Your child can find folate, vitamin C and fibre in both fruit and vegetables, so you can relax a bit.

One common tactic I want to chat about is sneaking pureed vegetables into your children's food.  I don't recommend this, as it does not allow your child  to experience that particular food and learn to like (or dislike!) it on their own. And at some point, they will also probably figure you out - possibly leading to distrust,  a stronger dislike of the offending food and power struggles.

It's also not aligned with the "Division of Responsibility" principles, which...

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Apricot Oatmeal Bran Muffins

The new Dietitians of Canada cookbook, "Cook!" is out, in time for Nutrition Month! You can buy it on Amazon or Chapters. I have 4 recipes published in this book. This is one of my favorite muffin recipes, from my Great Aunt Joan. I often encourage clients to bake healthy muffins and cookies to have on had for snacks. This recipe is high in fibre and contains no white flour!

Apricot Oatmeal Bran Muffins

preheat oven to 375 degrees F

1/2 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup boiling water
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/3 cup wheat germ
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup chopped dried apricots

1) In a small bowl, stir together wheat bran and boiling water; set aside.
2) In a large bowl combine flour, oats, wheat germ, baking soda and salt.
3) In a med bowl, whisk together brown sugar, egg, buttermilk and oil until blended. Pour over flour mixture, along with bran mixture, and stir until just combined. Fold in apricots....

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Agave Nectar & "Natural" Sugars

For some reason, agave nectar still seems to have a health halo around it. My healthiest clients and friends that strive to eat whole and healthy foods often use agave instead of sugar. Yes, it sounds fancy and perhaps you have heard it has a lower glycemic index than sugar. That’s true. Even though it has the same amount of calories as sugar, it is 1.5 x sweeter than sugar, so you shouldn’t need to use as much. Which is great. But I still do not like agave. I bought some before doing any research a while back, and ended up giving it away.

Why? Yes, it is processed and it does not contain vitamins, minerals or antioxidants. And it contains more fructose that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Sources vary, but agave can be up to 90% fructose, where as HFCS is 55%. What’s wrong with fructose? Fructose can cause decreased glucose tolerance, high triglycerides and metabolic syndrome (which can lead to heart disease, stroke and diabetes). Considering that, if you eat a...

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Help, my baby is not eating enough!

Are you worried that your baby is not eating enough food? Wondering how they subsist mostly on milk (or even air?!) some days?

Or maybe you just came from a visit to the doctor or health nurse, and were concerned about your baby's (or toddler's or child's) growth. First of all, you are the parent. You know your baby best. Trust your baby - and you will do a great job! Often recommendations about how much your baby should be eating come from health care providers who are short on time and are just following the standard (and sometimes old) recommendations. Some are not parents themselves, or they may not be very familiar with current infant feeding practices.

It's common to see government-produced handouts with a days worth of food for the average baby or toddler. I have had many parents come to me, concerned that their baby isn't eating even close to the amounts listed in these guidelines. Heck, my 18 month old doesn't eat this much and some days my 5 year old doesn't either!

I...

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Coconut Palm Sugar, Xylitol & Date Syrup Reviews

Coconut Palm Sugar
Coconut products have been hugely popular lately, from coconut water to oil to milk. Coconut palm sugar is a natural sweetener alternative. It is made from the nectar from the tree flowers. The Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations believes palm sweeteners are the most sustainable sweetener on the planet. It can be substituted 1:1 for sugar in recipes, as it is of similar sweetness to sugar. It is dark in colour and has a rich flavour, so may be a better substitute for brown sugar.

Coconut Palm sugar was given recently popularity due to a feature on the Dr OZ show, as can be seen here Dr Oz claims Coconut Palm sugar can stabilize your blood sugar and contains iron and vitamins. The blood sugar claims are an exaggeration. His chart may be accurate if you ate 100% pure coconut palm sugar vs 100% pure sugar all day. However, we eat these foods mixed in, and with other foods that effect blood sugars in different ways. For example, mixed with a latte,...

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Chia Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

This is one of our favorite muffin recipes. I keep a stock in the freezer for easy snacks of packing school lunches.

 

 

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1.5 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter or non-hydrogenated margarine

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup (2-3 bananas) ripe mashed bananas

6 scoops Mila* (ground chia seed) OR ground flax

1 cup water

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare two small 12 cup muffin trays.

2) In a large bowl, mix together the two flours, salt and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips.

3) Hydrate Mila with 1 cup water and let sit 5-10 mins (you can forget this if you are using ground flax).

4) Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a separate bowl.

5) Beat in eggs one at a time.

6) Add mashed bananas and vanilla to the moist mixture.

7) Add the hydrated Mila (or flax) to the mixture and blend with a mixer.

8) Add the...

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