What About Caffeine?

a note about I’m not going to tell you that a baby should have NO caffeine, ever. And I’m not going to tell you that you should give your baby soda or coffee!

Let me break it down a little bit. There are just a couple of places where a baby might consume a little bit of caffeine! 

1. Breastfeeding

If you’re a nursing mom, and you drink caffeine, some of that will go to your baby. Generally, it’s said that about 1% of the caffeine goes into the breastmilk. If you have two cups of plain ole brewed coffee, that’s about 300 mg of caffeine (and that’s considered safe while nursing). That means your baby is possibly drinking about 3 mg of caffeine, via your breastmilk. Most babies aren’t affected by this at all (if you notice changes in behavior after drinking extra coffee one day, then your baby may sensitive to the extra caffeine).

2. Chocolate

Chocolate and chocolate products have caffeine. They also have sugar, which, in my opinion, is a much bigger battle to fight. But that’s for another post. The caffeine in chocolate varies by product. You can search just about any product at Caffeine Informer. One example is a single Hershey kiss, which has 1 mg of caffeine. 

Some parents would rather restrict all caffeine, and that is totally fantastic. I’m not one of those people. I have two cups of iced coffee each day, and occasionally I’ll have half of a soda, too. But usually it’s just the unsweetened iced coffee.

I use cocoa in some of my recipes to make something chocolatey. You’ll see that I do break down the caffeine by the numbers to give you an idea. I won’t ever give my baby more than 3 mg of caffeine in a day, as that’s the maximum. It’s also not every day; it’s more like once a week. I am not recommending it, nor am I condemning it. 

Baby led weaning usually means that you offer what you are eating. If I happen to have chocolate pancakes with my bacon and scrambled eggs, I’ll offer a part of a pancake to the baby! It is a treat for both of us. 

So to recap: Caffeine is not entirely off-limits, but you want to limit it to about 3 mg a day for your baby. If you can avoid it altogether, more power to you!

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Zucchini Patties

Zucchini Patties - BLW Ideas

These zucchini patties were delicious and super easy to throw together. I don’t like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, chopping and dicing and mincing and grating and mixing and tossing and flipping. You get the idea.

Because these are baby-friendly, they definitely need some salt at the table! There’s a lot of flavor there, and you could add some other herbs in lieu of salt. For mine, I just added it at the table.

First, here’s what you’ll need: oil (for “frying”), shredded cheese (I used just Parmesan, but I would have added mozzarella if I had it), some flour, 1 egg, zucchini, all-purpose seasoning (this one from Trader Joe’s is salt-free), and onion powder (or chopped onion).

Zucchini Patties - BLW IdeasI didn’t have any onions! *gasp* I would have chopped an onion if we had one. This worked just fine, but I prefer fresh veggies to powdered….

Anyway, next you’ll grate the zucchini. You need about 1 cup’s worth.

Zucchini Patties - BLW Ideas

Dump that into a bowl with all the ingredients (specifics at the bottom). Then stir it together really well.

Zucchini Patties - BLW Ideas

Zucchini Patties - BLW Ideas

Heat a little bit of oil in a pan, medium-low heat. I always use cast-iron. (Here’s a post on how to treat your cast-iron skillet, if you were unsure!) Scoop a dollop of the mixture into the pan. This particular recipe made 6 small patties. You can modify as necessary.

Zucchini Patties - BLW Ideas

Flip once, and you’re done. It took about 3 minutes per side for me.

Zucchini Patties - BLW Ideas

Zucchini Patties - BLW Ideas

 

Here is a printable recipe if you want it:

Zucchini Patties
Yields 6
A quick vegetarian snack or side for your baby
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup grated zucchini (courgette)
  2. 1/3 cup shredded cheese
  3. 1/4 cup flour
  4. 1 egg
  5. 2 tbsp chopped onion OR about 1/2 tsp onion powder
  6. 1/2 tsp all-purpose seasoning
  7. oil for "frying"
Instructions
  1. Grate zucchini until you get 1 cup's worth.
  2. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients except for the oil.
  3. Heat some oil in a pan on medium-low heat.
  4. Scoop the mixture into the hot pan. Flip it once.
Adapted from All Recipes.com
Adapted from All Recipes.com
Baby Led Weaning Ideas http://www.blwideas.com/
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Spinach and Cheese Pinwheels

Spinach and Cheese Pinwheels baby led weaning

 

These are incredibly simple. Before today, I had only tried sweet pinwheels (blueberry or strawberry), but I wanted to try something savory. And let me tell you, these were delicious. Seriously yummy. They are a bit crumbly (perhaps because of the type of puff pastry I used), so if you take them on the go, expect some pastry flakes to fly!

I would have liked to use shredded cheese because I think it gets more stringy. But that’s just my preference. We didn’t have shredded cheese, so I was “forced” to use the sliced cheese that we had (it was some provolone and smoked cheddar). We buy high quality slices, so I didn’t feel too bad about it.

First, the cast of characters. You want to get a puff pastry (you can make your own, if you want), chop some spinach, and gather some cheese of your choice. You will also need a little flour and butter or oil.

Spinach and Cheese Pinwheels baby led weaning

 

I sprinkled some flour onto a surface so that I could roll out the pastry. I find it to be WAY too thick, so I roll it a bit thinner and then make two different rolls. (Today I made the spinach+cheese one and also a blueberry+cinnamon one.)

Spinach and Cheese Pinwheels baby led weaning

After you roll out the pastry, spread a bit of butter on it. This is just for flavor, honestly. It’s optional.

For the spinach pinwheels, I put my cheese pretty evenly across the surface and then sprinkled the chopped spinach on top.

Spinach and Cheese Pinwheels baby led weaning

Just for fun, here’s a shot of the blueberry one (I sprinkled some cinnamon and then layered the blueberries).

Spinach and Cheese Pinwheels baby led weaning

Carefully roll up your pinwheel. Then slice it. I used a pizza cutter, but a very sharp knife would work just as well. Take your time so they don’t smush too much.

Spinach and Cheese Pinwheels baby led weaning

 

Spinach and Cheese Pinwheels baby led weaning

Layer them on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes.

Spinach and Cheese Pinwheels baby led weaning

Spinach and Cheese Pinwheels baby led weaning

These freeze really well and last in the fridge for several days, too. We usually eat them all within a few days. I enjoy these, and Alexander ate the insides of his. In the past, though, he has eaten whole pinwheels (just one, usually).

Here’s your printable recipe if you want it!

Spinach and Cheese Pinwheels
Yields 20
A simple, savory treat for you to share with your baby
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 sheet of puff pastry
  2. about 1 cup of spinach, chopped
  3. 2 slices of cheese (or about 1 cup of shredded)
  4. Flour, for rolling out the dough
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Roll out your puff pastry on a floured surface, to make it thinner (this is optional).
  3. Spread some butter on top of the pastry (also optional).
  4. Layer the cheese in a single, thin layer.
  5. Sprinkle the spinach generously to cover the entire pastry.
  6. Roll up the dough and slice it to about 2 cm thickness.
  7. Place on a greased baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Notes
  1. Freezing: After these cool, you can place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze them.
Baby Led Weaning Ideas http://www.blwideas.com/


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Coming Soon

As this is a brand new blog, I want to give you an idea of what I plan to showcase in the future.

It is a goal, most definitely, to share at least 3 recipes each week. But I’m not a chef or anything. Most of the recipes I share are ones that I’ve found online! I will always credit the person who shared it, even if I modify it a lot. Most recipes, I do modify because of the salt or sugar content. I also change the way that I present it, for the baby.

In addition to sharing recipes, I’ll share information that I think is important. From time to time, I have noticed that I get a lot of the same question. Instead of responding to every single question, I will write a post that answers it. (Recently, a question has been “What can I give if my baby doesn’t have any teeth?”)

Since I have more freedom here, I will be able to share more pictures before, during, and after the cooking process. 

I am by no means a photographer, and food photography in itself is an art. Hopefully, in a year, you’ll look back and see some really awesome progress in my food photography skills!

One other thing I must mention: We are moving to Atlanta Georgia, which means in about a week, I will disappear for a few days. My baby and I are going to fly down and explore Atlanta while my husband drives down with the UHaul. Since I won’t be cooking for at least 4 days, I will most likely not post any new recipes, unless I go crazy and plan ahead and bake lots and lots of stuff the next two weekends. (Don’t count on it!)

And just a taste…. here are a few of the recipes I plan to share this week and next:

  • zucchini patties
  • homemade Cheerios
  • fish crackers
  • banana cookies
  • banana and peanut butter smoothie

 

If you ever have a recipe you’d like for me to try, please drop me a line (see the contact page for information, or just leave a comment).

Is there anything you would like to see soon?

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What is Baby Led Weaning?

What Is Baby Led Weaning?“Weaning” means to introduce solids. It doesn’t necessarily mean that’s when you’d stop nursing.

“Baby Led” means that the baby leads the way. That means you never put food in your baby’s mouth. You don’t spoon feed. You don’t “top up” after feeding solids. You simply offer your baby some food, and he eats what he wants.

Baby led weaning is no better or worse than traditional weaning. Some people prefer it; others prefer traditional. (It’s like manual versus automatic transmission. It’s just a preference thing. And you can’t really do both at the same time!)

Baby led weaning means that your baby chooses what and how much he eats. No, he isn’t getting his own groceries or cooking his own food. But you put a variety of options in front of him, and he chooses what to eat and how much. If he doesn’t touch any of the broccoli, for example, you don’t put broccoli in his mouth. You just try broccoli again another day.

Some days, your baby will eat a lot. Other days, she might not eat much at all. It’s just like us adults: some days, you just don’t feel that hungry. Other days, you can’t stop eating. (Or is that just me?) Your baby goes through so many changes, physically and otherwise. And maybe if there is a lot of physical growth happening, she is very hungry. On days when she’s trying to master something (like crawling, for example), she may be anxious or distracted and won’t eat at all.

Those are things you should expect, and they shouldn’t be a concern! As long as your baby is going through enough diapers and seems generally happy, you’re doing just fine.

A lot of folks worry that their baby isn’t eating enough, so they spoon feed some purées after the meal. That’s fine if you want to do that, but you don’t NEED to do that. Until the age of 1, your baby really needs breastmilk or formula for almost all their nutrients. Solids are mostly for exploration.

There are just a handful of guidelines when you start baby led weaning:

1. Don’t add salt or sugar to food (unless it’s just a pinch, for baking). Add salt at your table. There are also a ton of herbs and spices you can use instead of salt.

2. Don’t offer whole grapes (or cherry tomatoes or Brussels sprouts…. anything that’s small and firm like that). Cut them in half lengthwise.

3. NEVER give honey to a baby under a year. Over a year, something magic happens, and they can have honey. I’m not really sure why “1 year” is the guideline, but to be safe, just avoid it until then. That means no baking with it, no Honey Nut Cheerios, and certainly no straight honey.

4. Don’t offer whole nuts (or walnuts, almonds, etc.). You can offer nut butters though.

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!

Now, I do want to reiterate something. I think that feeding your baby is a journey, an experience, a responsibility. However you choose to do that is your decision. No one is better than anyone else (unless of course you are starving your child). So if you are using jarred baby food, if you’re making your own purées, if you’re following baby led weaning to the letter, or if you’re doing some mix of those things, that is fantastic. Do what makes you happy and what makes baby happy.

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