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    Baby Led Weaning Recipe: Spinach Balls

    My husband and I wanted to eat Chilli Chicken Gnocchi for our tea from the Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15 book but I was not happy giving Dex gnocchi as I feel it’s a choking risk. Instead I improvised, and gave him some pasta, a couple of cherry tomatoes quartered, some strips of chicken and these spinach balls. This spinach balls recipe is quick and easy to make with a few store cupboard ingredients. I absolutely adore spinach, its so versatile and a healthy vegetable and I want to make sure that Dexter eats it as much as he can, especially for the iron content. I was sort of making this up as I went along so there are no measurements for ingredients, sorry!




    Method

    spinach balls recipe

    Related Post: Cheese Muffins Recipe

    I boiled two large handfuls of spinach for a couple of minutes then rinsed it in a colander with cold water. Next, I squeezed out all of the moisture until I was left with a small amount of dry spinach which I chopped. I added breadcrumbs, some grated cheese and an egg and combined it all with a spoon. Then I rolled the mixture into three, meatball sized balls with my hands and popped them in the oven at 180C for fifteen minutes. It’s a good idea to grease the baking tray first or line it with foil or baking paper. I neglected to do this and had to force the balls off the baking tray when they were ready. Not a great start!

    spinach balls recipe

    Related Post: Baby Led Weaning Pinwheels Recipe

    Result

    After they had cooled sufficiently, I offered them alongside the pasta, tomato and chicken. Dex was able to take a few considerable bites and I offered plenty of water in between to wash it all down. They were moist enough for him to be able to chew but also turgid enough for him to be able to pick them up easily.

    spinach balls recipe

    Another baby led weaning success. Let me know if you try it.






    Baby Led Weaning Cheese Muffins Recipe

    This has to be my biggest success story yet! Yummy baby led weaning cheese muffins that’s easy to pick up, nice and moist and absolutely delicious! This is a super quick and easy recipe that uses stuff that you should have available in your fridge/store cupboard.

    I combined 125g of plain flour, a teaspoon of baking powder and 250g cheddar cheese in a bowl. (The muffins that I created were SUPER cheesy, you may find they taste just as good with less cheese, especially if you are using a strong cheddar.) In another bowl I mixed an egg and 100ml of milk. (Remember it should be formula, breastmilk or whole cows milk)




    I then combined the two together to create a lumpy mixture. I scooped the mixture into muffin cases and baked for 15 minutes at 200C in a preheated fan oven.

    six baby led weainng cheese muffins uncooked in a muffin tin

    I could eat these myself all day long. Dexter loves how he could pick them up easily and loved stuffing it in his mouth. I quickly realised he was stuffing more in before swallowing so the second time I offered them, I cut the muffin into three strips and offered him one strip at a time. He needed lots of water to wash them down but I’ve never seen him consume so much in one go.

    Related Post: Broccoli and Courgette Baby Led Weaning Muffins

    four cooked baby led weaning cheese muffins in the muffin tin

    I made 6 muffins in total which can be kept in an air tight container for four days or alternatively can be frozen. Just make sure you fully defrost them before serving. The less fresh they are, the less moist they become, so just remember that if you are offering them to a younger baby.

    Related Post: Baby Led Weaning Egg Muffins

    Dexter sat on the couch wearing a pink bib putting a baby led weaning cheese muffin in his mouth





    I am excited to start making these regularly but changing up the recipe. I am currently trying them with coconut flour and cauliflower cheese. Hopefully another recipe for me to share with you again soon.

    Let me know if you try these baby led weaning cheese muffins.

    For more baby led weaning ideas click here

    Baby Led Weaning Yogurt Bark Recipe

    At seven months old, Dex wasn’t quite ready for a pre-loaded spoon and I didn’t really want to spoon feed him yogurt (which kind of goes against baby led weaning principles) so I made this yummy baby led weaning yogurt bark instead. This is an easy way of getting baby to eat yogurt as well as sneaking in a bit of fruit.




    Method

    I greased a freezer safe pot and lined it with baking paper. To grease it, I sprayed the pot with Fry-light, this, for me, is the easiest way to grease pots and pans.

    greek yoghurt placed in baking paper ready to freeze

    Next, I poured in a tub of natural yoghurt (small size), spread it out evenly in the pot using the back of my spoon and then threw in some red currents and blueberries. (I had a pack of frozen summer fruits stored in my freezer which cost £2 from Tesco.)

    greek yoghurt in baking paper with added frozen fruits ready to make baby led weaning yogurt bark

    I then left it overnight in the freezer. When I came back to it, I let it sit on the worktop for a few minutes, to defrost slightly, before peeling it out of the paper. I placed it on a chopping board and hit it with a knife until it broke into small, finger sized pieces. (Be very careful!)

    Related Post: The Ultimate List of Baby Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

    baby led weaning yogurt bark broken up into pieces on a purple plate

    Did Dex Enjoy the Baby Led Weaning Yogurt Bark?

    Voilà. Yummy baby led weaning yogurt bark. Dex found these very easy to pick up but they didn’t stay in his hands for long, probably because they are so cold. As he put the pieces in his mouth, the yoghurt just melted which I loved: finger food without the worry of choking.

    dexter sat in his highchair with a piece of yogurt bark in his mouth

    The natural yogurt was very tart so I’d be inclined to try Greek yoghurt next time or maybe a flavoured yoghurt. (I am wary of added sugar so if you have a recommendation for a healthy fruity yoghurt, let me know!) I bet these would be great for babies who are suffering with teething pain and I plan to try these with Dex next time he’s grouchy.




    Let me know if you try them out. For more baby led weaning recipes click here

    Baby Led Weaning Eggy Bread Recipe

    baby led weaning eggy bread in a pan

    My lovely friend Leanne suggested baby led weaning eggy bread as a great finger food for baby. I was so excited to try this because I absolutely adore French toast!




    Method

    I used Warbutons white toastie loaf for the bread. Any type of bread works, but for Dex I wanted it to be a nice soft bread. I cut off the crusts of the bread and then in a bowl I mixed an egg, a small amount of milk and vanilla extract. Don’t forget when cooking for baby you can use their regular formula or cows milk, but it must be blue topped (whole) milk. I’m quite picky about the vanilla I use. Dr Oetker’s Madagascan vanilla extract is amazing and gives it a really lovely taste.

    Related Post: Baby Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

    baby led weaning eggy bread mixture in a pink bowl on a heart shaped cutting board

    Once the egg mixture was sufficiently combined I placed the bread in the bowl and let it soak in the eggy juices. Meanwhile, I heated a frying pan and threw in a tablespoon of butter. Once it had melted, I placed in my slice of egg bread to cook, turning after two minutes. To grease the pan, you can use coconut oil as an alternative to butter.

    baby led weaning eggy bread soaking in the mixture in a pink bowl on a heart shaped cutting board

    After the eggy bread had cooled, I cut it into slices and served to Dex alongside some banana. I topped mine with slices of banana and a dash of maple syrup.




    Related Post: How to Get Started With Baby Led Weaning

    baby led weaning eggy break cut into finger sized pieces on a green plate and topped with banana on a yellow plate

    Result

    This has to be the meal he has consumed the most of so far. He found the slices easy to pick up and they were soft enough to be chewed by his gums but not so soft that they fell apart in his hands. I offered water to wash it all down as I could see quite a bit had broken up in his mouth and yet he kept trying to stuff more in.

    dexter sat in his high chair putting baby led weaning eggy bread into his mouth

    I think this baby led weaning eggy bread recipe is going to become a firm favourite in our household. Let me know if you give it a try.

    BLW // Five Things I Learnt in our First Week




    It’s been a week since we started baby led weaning and it’s been a mixture of highs and lows. I’ve offered a whole range of food- fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, chicken, pasta, bread, peanut butter and hummus. There’s been successes and there have been complete failures (word to the wise: piri-piri hummus is a no-go). Here’s what I’ve learnt in our first week baby led weaning.

    first week baby led weaning

    1. It gets very messy

    I thought purees were messy. All that disgusting green slobber sliding out of Dex’s mouth and down his bib. It was about to get a lot worse. The majority of what I give Dex ends up on the floor via his chest, lap and hands. I am still trying to figure out a way to do this thing without having to change his outfit three times a day. I’ve tried a cover all bib and him wearing one of my old t-shirts but food still manages to find its way to be smushed on his legs. I decided to buy a plastic table cloth for the floor which at least means I can sweep up the bits of food without it getting trodden into the carpet. You need plenty of baby wipes to hand to clean messy hands and face after the meal. I’m dreading introducing something that is actually messy like spaghetti bolognese.

    first week baby led weaning

    2. It is extremely panic inducing

    Giving your baby a big bit of food and watching them shove the whole thing in their mouth? Scary. Then there’s the gagging. This, apparently is completely natural: babies have their gag reflex further forward in their mouths to protect them from choking. I have had to sit on my hands to stop me from forcing bits of satsuma out of Dex’s mouth. Research helps as well as being aware of exactly what needs to be done if a choking incident was to occur. I’m avoiding whole grapes, nuts and cherry tomatoes as these are big choking hazards and sticking to soft fruits like banana, avocado and steamed apple.

    first week baby led weaning

    3. I need to improve my diet

    I kept asking people what is good to offer my baby and kept getting the same reply: a little bit of what you’re having. Oh crap. I’ve stopped eating breakfast and although we eat pretty healthy teas, we are not getting anywhere near the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetable per day. Luckily, I already do meal plans for our evening meal so I have sat down and planned how we can incorporate a bit of extra veg into our meals. It’s quite easy to throw in a bit extra in most pasta dishes, curries and stir fries. I also offer an additional piece of fruit with every meal as well. It means I am eating satsumas for the first time in years- and I’m loving it!

    first week baby led weaning

    4. It’s hard to fit in three meals a day

    As I mentioned above, I’ve already started skipping breakfast again after becoming a porridge fiend during my pregnancy and there’s no way I’m having my tea at 4pm so Dex  and I only share our lunch time meal together. I’m sure it’d be easier if it was summer, but right now, as soon as it goes dark at 4.30pm Dex wants his bedtime routine. I haven’t given him breakfast yet, I usually try some lunch around an hour after his second bottle of the day (11am) and then tea at 4pm which comes an hour after this third bottle. Dex likes a big nap after his morning bottle (7am) and I don’t want him to take less milk at his second bottle so I’ve avoided breakfast so far.

    first week baby led weaning

    5. It’s so much fun

    I love creating new recipes and cooking, and watching Dex try all the new textures and flavours is amazing. I suppose I’m probably a bit off putting sat in front of him watching his every move with my camera but I don’t want to miss a thing. Despite all the worry and the mess, it’s so much fun to watch and I am so excited to see him develop over the next few weeks. I’m hoping he is going to start consuming a bit more and improve his pincer grip.

    Are you planning to BLW? I hope this helps you. Maybe you already BLW, what was your first week like?

    You can find my BLW recipes here

    If you liked this post check out my guide to the must have baby led weaning products. 

     




    Baby Led Weaning Recipe: Egg Muffins

    As I mentioned in my previous recipe, Sweet Potato Pancakes, I have a stock pile of purées to use so I’m trying to think up recipes for baby led weaning that can incorporate them.

    Egg muffins are a huge favourite with Slimming Worlders because they are an easy way to get your vegetables in and they are pretty low calorie. Obviously, for Dexter I’m not interested in how many calories they contain, but I am interested in getting healthy veg down him.

    Method

    I started by prepping a muffin tin by spraying it with Fry-light. I pop my egg muffins straight into the tin, you can of course use muffin cases.

    egg muffins recipe

    Related Post: 50 Baby Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

    Next, I beat three eggs in a bowl and added pepper. That is your basic egg muffin recipe sorted. Now you can add whatever your heart desires. I added a cube of spinach purée and a cube of asparagus as well as lashings of cheese. I stirred it all up until it was well mixed.




    To finish, I poured the mixture into the muffin tin, into six equal portions. I try to fill each muffin case half way full so the muffin has room to expand.

    I popped it into my pre heated oven at 180C fan for 15 minutes.

    egg muffins recipe

    Related Post: Healthy Baby Led Weaning Breakfast Cookies

    You can pre make these egg muffins as they taste delicious both hot and cold. They can be stored in the fridge for 48 hours as well. I made mine this morning ready for lunch so I wouldn’t have to bother waiting for them to cool.

    Result

    Dexter found them easy enough to pick up and once they were heading for his mouth, they broke apart easily. More ended up on the floor than in his mouth but he had a good go at all four muffins. I found that he needed lots of sips of water to wash them down, so bear this in mind.




    egg muffins recipe

    Is this something you’d like to try with your baby? Let me know how you get on!

    26 Weeks in, 26 Weeks out. 




    My darling Dex turned 26 weeks old on Friday. I cannot honestly understand how I have a six month old baby. Life has changed so much over the past year, all for the better of course. I wanted to do a quick snapshot of 26 weeks in versus 26 weeks out.

    26 weeks in.

    img_1772

    In this picture, I was 26 weeks pregnant. It was taken February 14th and we were just about to head out for a meal to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I got this gorgeous orange dress from ASOS and had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to wear it. Unfortunately, it was a little tight, even though it was a size 10. I decided to wear an underwired bra as well (maternity bras do NOT go with nice dresses).

    At this point, I’d been off sick from work for just over a month due to my Pelvic Girdle Pain. It was a struggle to walk long distances and in a lot of pain day and night. I was also feeling pretty down. I felt horrendously guilty about being off from work and very lonely at home by myself all week. This was probably one of the first times I’d actually managed to get myself made up and do my hair in that month.

    We went to Fazenda which is a gorgeous rodizio restaurant not far from our flat. We ate so much amazing meat, potatoes, rice, salad. I felt huge by the end. In fact, I had to pop down to the ladies and remove that pesky underwired bra at one point!

    It was the first time I truly felt pregnant. The staff looked after me so well. They had to move the table so I could fit me and bump and they made sure my meat wasn’t too pink.

    26 weeks out.

    img_2088

    Now here we are nine months later and Dex is 26 weeks old. Thankfully, my Pelvic Girdle Pain is long gone and I have my beautiful boy here with me.

    He has recently started solids and is now able to sit on the floor without support. He has his own little personality and makes me and his Daddy very happy every single day.