Healthy BLW Meal Ideas, Part 3

Our most requested blog posts are for more BLW meals and ideas - so here we are sharing another edition! As I mentioned in Part 2, we are trying to vary Sloane's meals as much as possible to reach one hundred different foods by her first birthday. So we are getting pretty creative here! As always, I recommend the Solid Starts app to help with how to serve food safely based on your baby's age. Sloane is almost ten months old as I write this and a lot of the times I leave some food whole for the picture and then cut or smash - so double check that you are serving it safely for your baby! Solid Starts is a great resource. You can also follow us on Instagram for more - we post meal ideas in our stories daily!

1. Toast with Edamame Paste, Goat Cheese, Pomegranate

  • Edamame - You can buy fresh or frozen (the bags of frozen are really easy to just steam and go!) but cook the edamame and deshell it. If you want to save some beans whole for another meal, then set aside a few. In a small bowl, crush some of the edamame into a paste, adding breastmilk/formula to make it a bit more thin. Or you can put everything into a blender and make a puree that way! Once you have a paste, spread it onto toasted whole grain bread and then slice. Sprinkle with chia seed, flax seed, or nutritional yeast for some additional nutrients.
  • Goat cheese - This is a good cheese for babies because it is naturally low in sodium. I bought it fresh from the store and sliced it into strips. Solid Starts also recommends crumbles for babies with a good pincer grasp. You can leave as is or top with a fruit that pairs well (apricots, pears, figs, strawberries, etc).
  • Pomegranate - Cut open the pomegranate and squeeze the seeds into a bowl of warm water. Then strain to remove the membrane and crush the remaining seeds with the back of a spoon.

2. Deconstructed Chili (beans, ground turkey, veggies)

  • Kidney and black beans - Last post I mentioned that I bought dry organic beans and made them from scratch to avoid excess sodium and BPA from canned beans. Once again, this is a much more labor intensive process so you can totally use canned (preferably organic) instead. Both kidney and black beans can be served whole at this age, but I flattened them after this picture between my thumb and pointer. 
  • Veggies - The "traditional" chili veggies can be your side of choice, or whatever you have on hand. I chose veggies that I use in the chili I make for my husband - sautéed onion, tomato, and spinach. At this age, Sloane can have bite-sized pieces that she can pick up, so I cut them first and then sautéed them in EVOO. 
  • Cauliflower rice - If you have a food processor you can make this yourself! Just steam cauliflower and run it through. Or, you can buy bagged cauliflower rice and cook it. I used this as a binding agent to mix with the ground meat to make little balls. 
  • Ground turkey - I cooked this in a pan first until almost completely done, and then rolled into balls with the cauliflower rice and finished them in the toaster oven to make a totally formed meatball. If yours aren't sticking together well, you can always add an egg!

3. Cauliflower Rice and Kidney Bean Balls, Passionfruit, Cottage Cheese

*A meal of leftovers and easy foods!
  • Cauliflower rice - I used the leftover cauliflower rice and kidney beans from the deconstructed chili, warmed them up, mixed them together, and molded them into balls. I then topped with a little bit of pea and spinach puree for some flair, but it isn't necessary.
  • Cottage cheese - An easy side; I found organic, full-fat cottage cheese, put a few scoops on her plate, and then sprinkled with chia seeds! This is a good one to top with fruits or purees as well.
  • Passionfruit - I got really lucky and found a bag of frozen pureed passionfruit cubes at my local grocery store from Pitayafoods. I think they are meant for smoothies, but they were a fun and easy way to get her some new food to try!

4. Quinoa Tomato Basil Balls, Brussel Sprouts, Plantains With Blueberry Drizzle

  • Quinoa tomato basil balls - I took this recipe from another online blog I found and just slightly adapted it based on my preferences! Essentially, you soak the quinoa while you sauté onion and diced garlic in a pan. Rinse and drain the quinoa, then add diced tomato, quinoa, and water (they recommend stock, but I wanted a lower-sodium option). Boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and leave covered for another five minutes. Fluff the quinoa and add chopped basil and cheese (again I skipped this in order to lower the sodium content, but you can add it or you can choose a low-sodium cheese). Then add a whisked egg to bind/form balls. I personally found the mixture "moist" enough that you could probably form balls without the egg if you are egg-free or you can leave it flat. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and then eat or freeze!
  • Brussel sprouts - Rinse and cut off the stem, then lightly sprinkle with olive oil on a baking sheet. Add your choice of seasonings (I used garlic powder, black pepper, and Italian seasoning) and bake in the oven at 400 for about 30 minutes depending on the size of the sprouts.
  • Plantains - Once your plantain has fully ripened (they will turn a deep yellow and black color), slice thinly and toss in olive oil. Place on a baking sheet (you can add other spices if you wish) and bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes. I wanted them to be firm but soft enough that she would still bite through them easily, so I didn't leave them as long or make them as thin as you normally would with plantain chips! For the drizzle, I simply mashed blueberries in a bowl with plain Greek yogurt and sprinkled on top for added color and flavor. 

5. Deconstructed Thanksgiving (stuffing, green beans, sweet potato)

  • Sweet potato - I tried this two ways and both worked just as easily: you can boil a sweet potato in a pot of water for 30ish minutes, or cook in the oven wrapped in foil at 350 for about the same time. You can tell if it is done by piercing it with a fork. Then put the cooked potato in a bowl and use egg beaters or a potato masher to mash the sweet potato. You can leave the skin if it breaks apart with the egg beaters, or I found it really easy to pull out large pieces that remained as I mixed. To add some nutrition, I mixed in some full-fat plain Greek yogurt and nutritional yeast.
  • Green beans - The sweet potatoes I made myself, but these other side dishes were leftovers from Thanksgiving that I slightly modified. These green beans were in a casserole that I scraped off most of the "sauce" from. But we've done green beans before and they are an easy, nutritious side. Simply cut off the ends of fresh green beans and cook in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Green beans are actually best served whole, but these were obviously already cut in the casserole.
  • Stuffing - Again, this was another leftover side that I let her have a little taste of! You can always do a 'fake' stuffing with toast and some roasted vegetables or make an easy stuffing like this one here.

6. Waffles with Pea Puree, Acai Bowl, Baked Sweet Potato 

  • Sweet potato - This was the rest of the sweet potatoes from yesterday; instead of having them mashed, I made "fries" out of them. I soaked the potatoes in water for twenty or so minutes to clean them and make them less starchy. Then I peeled and cut the sweet potatoes into fry shapes. When doing this, try to keep them about the same thickness so they cook at the same rate! I tossed the fries in EVOO and seasoned them with a variety of seasonings (I used garlic powder, black pepper, and just a touch of paprika). I baked them at 350 for about 25 minutes, flipping them halfway through. This will change depending on how thick your slices are. 
  • Waffle - This was one of those days where I didn't have a TON of time for cooking and the sides took long enough. So I used Koshi whole grain protein waffles as her main dish. Healthier than Eggo, but still not something I would do regularly. For the pea puree, I boiled organic frozen peas for 3-5 minutes in a pot of water and then blended them with breastmilk/formula, Greek yogurt, and oatmeal mix
  • Acai - I was aiming for another new food here, so I found frozen unsweetened acai puree that I topped with some fruit for a mini acai "smoothie bowl".

7. Scrambled Eggs with Eggplant, Grapefruit, and Skyr with Chia

  • Scrambled eggs - Omelet strips are still my favorite way to serve eggs, but I wanted to try hard boiled and scrambled just to see what Sloane thought. I beat two eggs in a bowl and added diced eggplant and onion. I added this to a frying pan with EVOO and used a spatula to scramble as it cooked.
  • Grapefruit - This was Sloane's first time trying grapefruit! She kind of liked it, but didn't love it. I'll try it again in the future - but for now we knocked it off the list of foods to try. I simply cut the grapefruit in quarters and sliced away the skin and membrane. You can do slices or bite-sized pieces for older babies.
  • Organic skyr - Skyr is just a type of yogurt, but really creamy and seemingly even healthier than Greek yogurt. I got this with my Misfits Market order and added some chia seeds for an easy side.

Hopefully these recipes are helpful and inspire you to incorporate some new and different foods. Leave a comment if there's anything you tried, changed, or babe particularly loved! For more recipes, make sure to check out our other posts:

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