A Note About Peanuts

A NoteAboutPeanutsA lot of people are very nervous about peanut butter. And rightly so. I’m sure you’re aware that a peanut butter allergy is really scary stuff. 

Here’s what you should know about a peanut allergy and how it could affect your baby:

First, when someone says that there’s a “history of allergy”, they are really referring to immediate relatives. That means, does your baby’s mom, dad, or sibling(s) have a peanut allergy? If NOT, chances are, your baby won’t either. (Source)

Even if there is a history of allergy, you don’t necessarily need to worry that your baby will.

Before 2008, it was thought that exposing babies early to peanuts would increase the likelihood of their developing an allergy. But after more research was conducted, it’s now believed that introducing them early can actually keep them from developing the allergy.

If you don’t have peace of mind about it, there’s no need to offer peanut butter to your baby! I love peanut butter. My husband and I eat a lot of it. So it only makes sense that we would at least offer it to our baby from time to time. (For the record, Alexander loves peanut butter.)

The other issue with peanuts is choking! Whole nuts and peanuts are most definitely a choking hazard. While nut butters are perfectly fine (outside of the allergy issue I just mentioned), whole nuts are to be avoided until your kid has loads of teeth. There’s no set age on that; but if you’re confident that your child can put a peanut in his mouth, chew it thoroughly, and then swallow it, then go for it.

I know, for me, that won’t be for a long time. He’s only got 4 teeth right now. :)

If you’ve got questions, please let me know! I linked to a few articles I found, and there is more information if you click them.

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What Can My Baby Eat? (No Teeth!)

(Earlier today, I answered the question “What can my 6-month-old eat?“) I get this question a lot, too. It also looks like, “My baby has no teeth! What can he eat?” 

“What can my baby eat? He’s got no teeth!”

This will be a shorter post than the last one.

The short answer: EVERYTHING.

The rest of that answer is this: Okay, not everything. But almost.

  • no added salt or sugar
  • no whole nuts
  • no honey in any form
  • grapes (and cherry tomatoes and other similarly-shaped firm foods) should be cut in half lengthwise

REMEMBER… your baby has no clue that he’s got no teeth. He doesn’t realize he’s not “supposed” to eat solid foods without teeth. He doesn’t think it’s weird or scary. It’s just new and fun and interesting and yummy. You’re the one with the holdup! C’mon, mom! :) (Just pickin’.)

So, what it boils down to is your comfort level. The nice thing about baby led weaning is that you don’t need to make separate meals for your baby. Occasionally I make a slightly modified version that just adds 1-2 steps to what I’m already making. But I don’t have to make a totally separate meal. So if you’re having chicken with beans and rice, you should just give your baby chicken with beans and rice!

NOTE: Some babies will get frustrated with not being able to grab onto or “chew” certain foods. If that happens, try breaking it into a different shape or mashing it just a little. Sometimes, just a slight change will make a big difference. The biggest thing is that you don’t need to put food in your baby’s mouth. He will figure things out quickly enough; just give him time!

 

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Nut Butter RECALL

 

Some brands of peanut and almond butters are being recalled.

The brands are Arrowhead and Maranatha, and also there are a few items from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Safeway, and Kroger that are being recalled.

There have been 4 reported illnesses that apparently linked to this recall. 

You can find out specific information HERE.

 

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What Can My Baby Eat? (6 Months)

I get this question a lot. It also looks like, “Is this suitable for a 6 month old?”

They are totally valid questions. I asked them, too, back when my big baby was a littler baby. It just doesn’t make sense to give your 6-month-old (6mo) a steak with mashed potatoes and green beans, does it? But alas… it IS okay. For most, though, that isn’t a comfortable idea.

“What can my baby eat? She’s 6 months.”

First, congratulations on your baby! And welcome to the world of solids. For me, it was bittersweet. While I’m still nursing now at 14 months, I was ONLY nursing back then. And it felt like that relationship was going to change (it did, a little). For others, it’s a big exciting milestone. Maybe you are ready to jump in, head first.

You can read a lot more at the ABOUT page at the top. But the basics are this:

  • no added salt or sugar
  • no whole nuts
  • no honey in any form
  • grapes (and cherry tomatoes and other similarly-shaped firm foods) should be cut in half lengthwise

Those are the basics.

[When should you start solids? First, wait until 26 weeks if you can. Some babies may be ready before then, but don’t mistake putting things in their mouth for being ready for food. At that age, they put everything in their mouths! Second, your baby should be able to sit up fairly well, unassisted. If you were to put him in a chair/booster seat, would he sit up confidently? If not, wait a week or two until that happens. And third, does your baby bring objects to his mouth? If he can’t find his mouth at all, he may not be ready for solids just yet!]

Here are some foods that are also common concerns:

  • milk – Before a year old, don’t offer milk as a beverage. But you can cook with it. You could even make smoothies with it for your baby. It’s best to use whole milk or goat’s milk because they’re more fatty, like breastmilk. What a lot of mothers choose to do is mix breastmilk into a smoothie instead of offering whole milk. Conclusion: Milk is okay except as a beverage.
  • cheese/yogurt – Same as milk, although I can’t imagine you would offer cheese as a beverage :) …. We use cheese a lot. Cheese is usually salty, so you don’t want to overdo it. 
  • meat – There’s no reason you shouldn’t give meat to your 6mo. Just make sure it’s fully cooked. If you prefer your steak to be medium rare, you need to be sure the sliver you give to your baby is cooked all the way. Other than that, beef and chicken are great sources of protein and iron. Most babies are not going to bite off and chew through beef or chicken. It’s just too tough, and they most likely only have the front teeth. That said, just sucking and gnawing will release some great flavors and juices, and those juices contain lots of nutrients! Conclusion: Don’t fear meat! Just make sure it’s fully cooked.
  • fish – Fish and fish products are totally fine, but just like with meats, be sure they are cooked through. Many folks wait until a year to offer shellfish, but that’s an allergy issue. If there’s no history of allergy, go for it. I wouldn’t offer it more than once a week, though. Conclusion: Fish is okay to dish as long as it’s cooked!
  • bread – Grains are tough on new tummies (even adults can’t process large doses very well), so keep it light on the bread. A little slice of toast is fine, but I wouldn’t offer bread every day at every meal. Conclusion: Bread is okay in moderation.
  • pizza/hamburger/this thing I’m eating – If it’s salty to you, it’s likely too salty. Give a pinch if you’d like, but I wouldn’t give a 6mo a slice of pizza. A hamburger, done well, is fine! It may have a pinch of salt, but as long as it’s cooked through, go for it. Think through what might be a choking hazard in your food. If there’s no honey, whole nuts, whole grapes, or loads of salt/sugar, then it should be okay as a bite or two. As a rule, though, I wouldn’t offer takeout food (or frozen dinners) very often. (See my personal note at the bottom!)
  • peanut butter – I’m talking more in depth about this tomorrow, but the short answer is that peanut butter is fine. (Creamy not crunchy) If your baby’s siblings or parents have a peanut allergy, you may want to hold off for a while. The other concern with it is that peanut butter is super sticky! If you give too much at once, it can be a challenge for your baby to move it around in her mouth! Conclusion: Outside of allergies, peanut butter is fine.

 

Later today, I’ll post another commonly asked question!

Is there another food you’re not sure of? Just ask!

 

(My personal note: Once I got really into solids and baby led weaning, I was very conscious of what we were eating. I wanted to offer the baby a variety of fruits and vegetables, so we started buying new fruits and vegetables, trying new recipes, and making sure to eat a little better. Baby led weaning has helped ME to eat healthier overall!)

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Sugar-Free Blueberry Muffins

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

I made these today for the first time. So yummy! I found a recipe on Allrecipes.com, but I tweaked it so it didn’t have added sugar. You could easily make it dairy-free by swapping the milk with almond milk. Gluten free? I’ve never made anything with gluten-free flour, but I would assume you just swap the regular flour for the GF kind.

I bought some fresh blueberries and was really craving some blueberry muffins. Go figure. It’s weird though… I do NOT like blueberries: just blueberry muffins! Anyone else like that? I love bananas but not banana bread (or banana-flavored stuff).

Moving on…

For this recipe, you’ll need to get some flour, apple sauce (unsweetened), milk, baking powder, salt (just a tiny amount), 1 egg, cinnamon, oil (I used veggie), and fresh blueberries. I also used some nonstick spray for my muffin tin. 

I made a “mommy” version that had some sweet crumble on top: for that, you need cinnamon, sugar, flour, and melted butter. I’ll show that at the very end.

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

Dump all of the ingredients, except for the blueberries, into a bowl. Stir that with a spoon.

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

Add the blueberries and gently stir them in.

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

I decided to scoop about 1/4 cup at a time and pour that into each muffin cup. 

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

Now, if you want to make a “mommy” version, you will melt some butter, then stir in a little cinnamon, sugar, and flour. I didn’t measure… I just scooped a little bit of each!

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

Use your fork or fingers to sprinkle some of that mixture onto some of the muffins BEFORE you bake them. I put it on 6 of them.

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

Bake them at 400F for 20-25 minutes. It took me 22 minutes for them to be perfect. But your oven may be a little different than mine.

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

I cut mine open and spread a little butter on them. Yummmmm!

sugar free blueberry muffins baby led weaning

 

Here is your printable recipe!

Sugar-Free Blueberry Muffins
Yields 10
No added sugar in these delicious blueberry muffins
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
22 min
Total Time
27 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
22 min
Total Time
27 min
For the muffins
  1. 1 cup (or more, depending on your preference!) fresh blueberries
  2. 3/4 cup flour
  3. 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  4. a pinch of salt
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. just under 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1/4 cup milk
For the topping
  1. sugar
  2. flour
  3. cinnamon
  4. butter, melted
For the muffins
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. Mix all but the blueberries in a bowl.
  3. Gently mix in the berries.
  4. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  5. Pour the mixture into the tins, about 1/4 cup at a time.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.
For the topping
  1. Melt a little butter.
  2. Mix in a sprinkle of cinnamon, sugar, and flour, to make a paste.
  3. Sprinkle it on top of a few of your muffins BEFORE baking.
Notes
  1. Like most baked goods, these should be just fine in the freezer. You'll want to let them cool completely before transferring them to a freezer bag or airtight container. They hold up well in the fridge for a few days. Serve the regular kind to your baby as is. I eat mine with the topping and with a little spread of butter!
Baby Led Weaning Ideas http://www.blwideas.com/


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