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Best Baby Led Weaning starter foods

Click on the image below to watch my Facebook Live on this topic, or read on below.

Weaning’ is the process of introducing solid foods to your baby. ‘Babyled Weaning’ is when you skip the pureeds and go straight to “real,” or finger foods. Baby feeds him or herself, and joins in with family meals from the start!

A common practice I've seen is to feed baby just fruits and veggies for days or weeks. And while fruits and veggies do contain vitamins, they are too low in both energy and other crucial nutrients like iron, to be the sole offering. Concentrate on sources of iron and higher calories, in safe size and textures.

Here are a few basic starter food ideas:

  • Beans and legumes;
  • Fried and sliced, or scrambled eggs;
  • Tender flakes of fish;
  • Slow cooked beef or pork roast, shredded;
  •  Ground meat, like a spaghetti sauce, meat balls or meat loaf;
  • Tender pork rib;
  • Banana or Avocado coated in wheat germ or infant cereal,  to make them easier...
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Healthy Halloween Treats

My 6 year old daughter gives me a hand in the kitchen, to demonstrate some healthy & fun Halloween snacks for kids. We make witch broomsticks, banana ghosts and orange pumpkins. Check out our Facebook live video.

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How to Deal with the Halloween Candy Overload

My kids can’t WAIT for Halloween. How much fun is it to dress up and go door-to-door for a free candy-overload!? I too remember the excitement of going from house to house, hoping for as many full-sized chocolate bars as possible. But now as parents, I know many of us dread letting our kids eat a pillowcase full of sugar and food colouring. Here are some ides to make Halloween healthier, and how you can deal with the candy overload at home:

  1. Have a good dinner (including some protein and veggies) before going out trick of treating. This way, your child has some healthy food filling their tummy in preparation for sugar overload.
  2. Buy your child a small plastic pumpkin to fill for trick-or-treating, as opposed to a large pillowcase. Once it’s full, you’re done trick or treating!
  3. Trade the candy for money. There are some dental offices that do a candy “buy back” and exchange your candy for money. I would only suggest this if it excites your child, and...
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When can I introduce allergenic foods to my baby?

One of the most common questions I get from parents starting solids is "When can I introduce allergens like eggs/peanuts/dairy/wheat to my baby?

Even for high risk babies, the recommendations are now to introduce high risk allergenic foods fairly soon after starting solids, around 6 months of age. You can read the Canadian Pediatric Society statement on that here.

I created a video to share more details about introducing allergens to babies. Watch it here:

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Is Food Before 1 Just for Fun?

"Food Before 1 is just for fun." If you have a baby who's recently started solids, you've probably heard this saying many times! Is it really true? Watch my video here to for more details:

Here's the link to my Top 3 Mistakes with Babyled Weaning" video I mention.

Want to learn more about BLW? Catch my free webinar" How to get started with Babyled Weaning" here.

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New Guidelines for Introducing Peanuts to Babies

The National Institute of Allergy & Infections Diseases just released some new guidelines about introducing peanuts to infants, to decrease the risk of peanut allergy. Headlines read "Introduce peanuts by 6 months of age, to prevent peanut allergy." The "by 6 months" part isn't totally what the research shows, or what the guidelines currently recommend. Watch my video below, where I break down:

  • The guidelines and what is actually new (the recommendation to start allergens around 6 months has been around since 2008).
  • The studies that support introducing allergens at 6 months, and do they support introducing allergens earlier at 4-6 months?
  • How to introduce peanuts into your baby's diet.

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Avocado Blueberry Mini-Muffins

I love having a stock of muffins in the freezer for school lunches. And these mini-muffins are also the perfect size for little hands. I've added a bit of fortified infant cereal to replace some flour for added iron, which is optional. With the extra iron plus the berries & avocado, these are a nutritious snack for you and your little ones!

Ingredients

1.5 cups flour

½ cup fortified infant cereal if you're feeding a Babyled Weaner (or extra flour)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 ripe avocado, peel and pit removed

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup plain yogurt

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray or line a mini muffin tin.
  2. Combine flour, infant cereal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In another large bowl, beat avocado. Add sugar and beat again. Add egg, vanilla, yogurt and vanilla and...
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Help for your picky eater

Click image to see Jen talk about Picky Eating on Global

Creating stress-free mealtimes, even with picky eaters!

Feeding struggles are common, making dinnertime full of stress, fights and tears. It is understandable that  you are concerned if your kid refuses to eat multiple meals in a row, or never wants to try a new food. So you enforce a “3 bite rule,” don’t offer dessert if dinner wasn’t consumed, and bring out said refused dinner for bedtime snack. Or try sneaking vegetables into your child's food. And not only does your child now seem to be eating less than ever, but there are tears. Fights. Tantrums…. on the part of both the parent and the child. And then you read that rules such as these can negatively affect your child’s eating practices for life! Possibly leading to not only an even pickier eater, but an unhealthy relationship with food  and the potential for disordered eating or weight issues as an adult.

So you stopped the...

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Is my child eating too much food?

Are you worried that your child is "overweight" or eats too much? Should you restrict the amount of food they eat or enforce a 'no-seconds' policy at your dinner table? Quick answer: no.

Restricting the amount of food your child eats does not promote a healthy relationship with food or their body. Instead, it leads to binge eating, weight gain, shame and guilt around food.

Some parents think their child (of any age) is eating too much food, and others think that their child is not eating enough food. How do you really know??

 If you have been restricting the amount of food that your child is allowed to eat at scheduled meals & snack times, it IS possible that they have reacted by overeating when they get the chance. If your child knows that she will not be allowed to eat until satisfied, she may compensate by stuffing herself when she has the opportunity to do so (and these opportunities increase as your child ages). However, if you have allowed your child multiple...

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Arsenic in Rice: How to decrease your Intake

Is arsenic in rice a concern when feeding your baby? What about older kids and adults; should you worry about the amount of rice you eat? Generally, I don't like to fear monger or make you think our food is "toxic", but I wanted to dig into this a little further today, since it's such a common question.

Watch the video, or read on:

What is Arsenic?

Arsenic is an element naturally found in the air, water and soil. The natural arsenic in animals and plants is called organic arsenic and we're not worried about that. Inorganic arsenic is the concern. It's also found in soil or water, but is more dangerous. And levels of organic arsenic have been increasing, due to pollution due to industrial manufacturing.

Arsenic is listed as one of the World Health Organization’s 10 chemicals of major public health concern. But this is mostly in areas such as Bangladesh where the water is contaminated and thousands have died.

In terms of inorganic arsenic in the food we eat, rice...

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