Annabelle’s 1st Solids: The Game Plan

annabelles 1st solidsAnnabelle hits 6 months (26 weeks) at the end of July (2016). That means we’ll start solids late July or maybe early August (if she happens to be sick or we’re out of town or something on the actual 6 month mark). 

I’ve written about the first meals before (here, for example). And I’ve given a lot of advice over the past 1.5 years. Nearly all the meals I share on Instagram are technically safe for 6 months and up. But when it comes to your own kiddo, it’s … different. Will I take my own advice? Will we go big on day one or stick to a classic, like avocado?

With Alexander, we were clueless and a bit paranoid. So he had avocado and banana every day for at least a week. I think by about month 1, we had ventured out and offered a couple of interesting meals. But overall it was boring. I mean, I didn’t know how to cook AT ALL back then, so when he was at home with me, he was stuck with the handful of things I could cook.

When Annabelle hits 6 months old, Alexander will be 3 years old (which means 2.5 years of solids under my belt!). I’ve gotten some confidence, and I know how to cook!

It’s still about 10 weeks away. But I want to share my current thoughts and plans for Annabelle’s first week of meals. (Note… I probably wouldn’t think about this if I didn’t have this blog! There’s no need for you to really plan this far out!)


ANNABELLE’S FIRST WEEK

I plan to just offer 1 meal a day until she’s actually eating something. If that just happens to be right away, then I’ll have to add to this plan!

DAY 1: sweet potato fries and chicken drumstick
DAY 2: banana and asparagus
DAY 3: egg and potato fries
DAY 4: hamburger patty and avocado
DAY 5: blueberries and Brussels sprouts
DAY 6: strawberry and chicken thigh (probably cracklin chicken)
DAY 7: baked pears and green beans


What are your plans for your first week?

 

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Avocado Fries (6 months+, Whole30, Paleo)

Avocado Fries

(PIN THIS RECIPE!)

My husband and I love avocado. Alexander did not even try avocado for a FULL YEAR. Seriously… he was 18 months, and I tried giving him avocado for the 1,000th time. And he ate it! It was a good day.

Fast forward another 12 months or so…. now he does not like avocado anymore. On occasion he’ll take a tiny little bite. But those are also just good days.

Maybe today is just another good day. Or maybe it’s these fries.

But Alexander actually LIKES THESE. He likes avocado today. And I’m pumped.

This calls for almond meal: ours was homemade. (You’d make your own almond milk. Then take the leftover pulp, dehydrate it in the oven for a while, then stick the dehydrated pulp into a blender or food processor. Voila! Almond meal.)

If you don’t have (or want) almond meal, just use breadcrumbs. I used an egg wash, but you can use a bit of oil instead. It just helps create a crunchy crust. Yours may not be as crunchy; I can’t vouch for an eggless version of this! If you try it, hmu. (That’s kid talk for HIT ME UP.)


 

AVOCADO FRIES

INGREDIENTS (for about 12 fries)

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt for an older baby!

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 C.
  2. Cut the avocado in half, remove the peel and pit, cut it into strips. I cut them widthwise: if you cut lengthwise, you’ll end up with about 8 fries instead of 12.
  3. In one bowl, whisk one egg. In a second bowl, dump the almond meal (and salt).
  4. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  5. Dip each avocado piece into egg then almond meal. Place them onto the baking sheet.
  6. Bake about 10 minutes, until they look a little brown! 
  7. CAUTION: They are HOT INSIDE for a few minutes! Even though they don’t feel hot outside, the inside is really hot. 
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Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

slow cooker veggie soup (1)You can PIN this recipe HERE!

If you would like the text only version, you can find it below:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 5 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 8 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes
  • 24 oz chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • 1/2 tsp each (approximately!) of salt*, cumin, dried basil, chili powder, paprika

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add everything to a slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high 3 hours or low 6, until carrots are slightly soft.
  3. Puree. I added mine to a blender in batches.
  4. We served ours with coconut cream.

*SALT. Omit for under 12 months. Daily sodium limit is 400mg (about 1/4 teaspoon) until age 1.

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A Whole30 Meal Plan Under $100 (And My First Vlog)

whole30 meal plan youtube cover

In this post, I talk about (a) the dirty dozen foods, (b) low-cost meals, and (c) a Whole30 week meal plan for 2 adults and 1 toddler. Below is the vlog you can watch as well! I am using a separate YouTube channel where I’ll share meal plans, grocery hauls, toddler activities, adventures in Montessori homeschooling, house projects, and more! I’d love if you subscribe!

I get asked about Whole30 a lot! Often, the holdup is that it’s too expensive. And it certainly can be more expensive than a meal plan that involves a lot of packaged items, breads, pastas, and so on. Whole30 includes a lot of meat, fish, and eggs; vegetables and fruits; and some nuts and seeds. It does not include any dairy, grains (gluten or gluten-free), legumes, soy products, added sugar, or alcohol. 

It’s also important to buy the best meats you can afford, along with finding organic versions of the “dirty dozen”: currently, in the United States, this is the dirty dozen:

  1. apples
  2. peaches
  3. nectarines
  4. strawberries
  5. grapes
  6. celery
  7. spinach
  8. sweet bell peppers
  9. cucumbers
  10. cherry tomatoes
  11. imported snap peas
  12. potatoes

That means, if you buy those 12 things, you should buy organic. Again, buy the best you can afford; if that means avoiding the dirty dozen altogether, then so be it!


LOW-COST MEALS

A while back, I started a document called “low-cost meals”. It’s changed a lot since I first created it, but ultimately, I break down some meals we enjoy and price them by ingredient. Some items are rough estimates (like a garlic clove is about $0.05), and other things, like “a pinch of salt” I just omit altogether because the cost is under $0.01. 

If you put together a starter document, I suggest doing it after you meal plan then buy your groceries. That way, you can find prices that are specific to your area. Some places in the country (and world) have very different prices! I also share the prices for grass fed beef and organic chicken, and if you choose to buy standard beef or chicken, then your prices will be different.

Here’s an example of our “low-cost meals” document:

  • ASIAN FRIED RICE
    1 head cauliflower = $1.50
    3 slices bacon = $0.50
    2 eggs = $0.50
    1 onion = $0.06
    4 ounces mushrooms = $0.50
    2 green onions = $0.25
    2 tbsp coconut aminos = $0.25
    Total = $3.56
  • CRACKLIN CHICKEN WITH BAKED SWEET POTATOES
    1 lb organic chicken thighs, bone-in skin-on = $2.99
    1 lb sweet potatoes = $1.00
    coconut oil = $0.15
    Total = $4.14
  • TURKEY CHILI
    1 onion = $0.06
    1 pepper = $1.00
    2 garlic cloves = $0.05
    1 lb ground turkey = $2.00
    2 cans diced tomatoes = $1.18
    3 tbsp tomato paste = $0.25
    Total = $4.54

Those prices are for 3+ servings: 2 adults + 1 toddler DINNER. Usually there is enough left over for at least 1 adult’s lunch. Some meals (like the soups and chilis) make enough for 4 adults + 2 toddlers (or DINNER and LUNCH the next day).


THE MEAL PLAN

This meal plan has 7 dinners, enough food for breakfast for the week, and enough extra food to make a few lunches (when there’s not enough for leftovers). I also included some coconut milk, which I use to make lattès, and some extra wiggle room for a variety of fresh fruit.

Breakfast? I figured, for one week, I could have 2 eggs, 1 sweet potato, and a piece of fruit every day. I also included some chicken apple sausage in the plan, as an option for a breakfast side. We also eat skillet potatoes in the morning sometimes, so I wanted to include some potatoes for flexibility.

Each recipe is linked. A few of them are modified. (1) The sweet potato chili, I omitted the peppers, added carrots, and also added more sweet potato. (2) The turkey chili, I left out the beans, since beans are not Whole30-compliant. (3) The pizza spaghetti pie, I use ground turkey since it’s cheaper. I also use pasta sauce, not pizza sauce. There may be a few other modifications that I forgot about; if you’re not sure, just ask, and I can change this post to reflect my responses.

Here are the 7 dinners, with recipe links (as the breakfast and lunch ideas do not need any links):

1. asian fried rice = $3.56
2. cracklin chicken with baked sweet potatoes = $4.50
3. turkey chili (no beans) = $4.54
5. burger and fries = $7.10 (no recipe: just ground beef patties)
7. chicken drumsticks with fries = $9.10
 
For breakfast, here’s what I am buying:
 
2 dozen eggs = $5.00
chicken apple sausage (Aidell’s brand) = $4.00
4 sweet potatoes = $1.50
2 lb organic potatoes = $3.00
bananas = $2.50
 
Lunch and “extra”:
 
1 lb grass fed ground beef = $5.99
1 lb organic potatoes = $1.50
2 lbs sweet potatoes = $2.00
coconut milk = $10.00 (for lattes!)
other fruits = $15.00
 
The TOTAL cost for all of the above is $94.27
 
Here is your SHOPPING LIST, as a bonus, just because I’m nice. 🙂
It’s a printable. You can print it out OR just save it to your mobile device. IMPORTANT NOTE: I didn’t include the spices!! If you’ve got a standard stock of spices, you won’t need to buy any. And to be honest, if you’re out of something, it’s usually fine to omit it. Be sure you do have these on hand:
 
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • dried basil
  • paprika
  • cinnamon
  • chili powder
  • oregano
  • thyme

If you do go through this meal plan, let me know how it goes for you! Comment below with any suggestions you have for low-cost meals that are also Whole30 friendly.

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