Before starting baby-led solids, I spent quite a bit of time looking for information as I did not know anyone else who was choosing to go down this path or anyone else who had done it. For an explanation of why I chose BLS, see this previous post I especially liked reading about other recipes or foods that families were using as I found this was the best way for me to visualize and later employ BLS in my own house. So, I am sharing last night's dinner recipe- Mediterranean-Inspired Butternut Squash with a side of hummus- as it was our most successful so far.
Here's what made this a good meal for BLS:
1) Every member of the family loved it (even meat-eating Daddy), especially Q-ball. I've rarely seen her so excited to eat.
2) The main ingredient- butternut squash- has super high levels of Vitamin A- which is one of the nutrient gaps in babies as breast milk no longer supplies adequate amounts as in babies beyond 6 months.
3) Hummus (I made a basic homemade hummus)- provides both a low fat (chickpea) and high fat (tahini) source of protein
4) Easy to serve with couscous or whole wheat pita to provide additional energy for baby.
5) Lots of exciting new flavors for baby.
Some notes specific to cooking for babies:
- I try to use organic ingredients (whether fresh, canned, or frozen) whenever possible for BLS recipes. But, I, admittedly, do not use organic onions or butternut squash as they have been identified as "clean"er by the EWG. It saves a few dollars on groceries.
- We do not have any history of allergies. I did introduce tahini to Q-ball on its own a few times as nuts are high on the potential allergy list. Whole wheat was also introduced on its own several times before serving with other foods.
1 butternut squash (2 lbs)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne ( I was a little more heavy handed than this, and I think Q-ball needed the hummus to cool off at times...)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cumin
1 cup diced tomatoes (fresh)
1/3 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups water or reduced sodium veggie broth (I used the later)
Peel squash and remove seeds. Heat oil in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden. Add garlic, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin. Cook for one minute. Add squash, tomatoes, raisins, and water/broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer until squash is as tender as desired.
Adapted from a recipe from Real Simple magazine.
Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, World Health Organization. (2000). Complementary Feeding: Family foods for breastfed children. Retrieved from http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2000/WHO_NHD_00.1.pdf
Nutrition facts and analysis for squash. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2648/2