So, you blinked and your baby is suddenly ready to eat solids. Seriously, how did that happen?!
Whether you're starting with purees or going the baby-led weaning route, there are two major things to think about now.
- Sources of iron, as iron stores begin to deplete around 6 months; and
- Constipation, as your baby's digestive system starts getting used to solid foods.
(oh, and really, really stinky poops)
Search Pinterest, and you'll find tons of recipes for introducing solids to baby that are high in iron. And then a gazillion more for constipation.
But what I needed as a new mom (and as a naturally lazy person) were recipes that tackled both issues. And bonus points for meals I'd love to eat as well because a) cooking twice sucks, and b) I'm just not about that beef puree.
Here are my favourite recipes to share with baby that not only help with constipation but are also decent sources of iron.
Note: this list may be more appropriate for those who've taken a baby-led weaning approach for babies at least 6 months old.
1. Flax Bread with Sunflower Seed Butter and Pear
This grain-free bread recipe created by our in-house nutritionist, Ashley Sauve, is EVERYTHING. We eat this almost every morning. It's full of fibre, contains iron and is super soft for baby to gum on but just firm enough to grip for self-feeding.
We've topped it with avocado but our favourite is sunflower seed butter (also high in iron!) mashed with pear. Little sandwiches work for our 8-month-old but if you're just starting, a thin slice and smear of the sun-butter/pear mash works well.
Grain-Free Flax Bread
Time: 1 hour
- 2 cups + 1 tbsp Ground Flax Seed
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 3/4 tsp Sea Salt (can omit)
- 5 Egg (room temp)
- 1/2 cup Water (room temp)
- 1/3 cup Coconut Oil (melted)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the inside of a loaf pan or line it with parchment paper.
- In a medium size bowl, mix together flax, baking powder, and salt. Use a whisk to stir until well combined.
- In another bowl, beat eggs with a whisk for 30-60 seconds. Add water and coconut oil, mixing until combined.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until combined. Let the batter sit for 1-2 minutes to thicken slightly.
- Pour batter into loaf pan and smooth out the top with a spoon. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the top feels set and the loaf is browned.
- Once cooled, slice and store in the fridge or freezer.
Note: This bread firms up more after storing in the fridge. You can slice it super thin as a result, and slice off the ends if they seem too tough for baby.
2. Sweet Potato Fries Supreme
YES, this is a fries supreme. And YES, babies can eat this! Sweet potatoes are a great source of both fibre and iron. No need to modify our recipe other than omitting salt. Once it's ready to serve, just pick out the crispy sweet potato fries for yourself and leave the soft ones for baby.
Top your portion with the tomato-corn salsa, and your little one can have their fries dipped in just the black bean sauce and avocado drizzle. Yum!
3. Slow Cooker Balsamic Roast Beef with Steamed Broccoli
Beef. Rich in iron but often too tough for baby unless you puree it (ick!). One way to make it juicy and tender enough for their gums to chomp on is using the slow cooker! Simply pull the beef apart into small thin pieces before serving. Don't be afraid of some pre-chewing action for any tough pieces!
Serve the roast beef with broccoli florets that have been steamed (until really soft) to help with those poops!
4. Falafel Salad with Green Tahini Sauce
I'm a huge fan of patties for little ones. You can sneak in secret ingredients, they're finger-friendly and fun to dip with. The lentils in these falafels will assist with those bowel movements and the tahini sauce adds a touch of iron as well. And, it is super delicious :)
5. Gingerbread Brownies
Okay, your pediatrician might freak out if they find out you've started solids with brownies! I wouldn't serve this as a meal to baby, but I'd definitely share it if I'm enjoying the treat. Good thing these are gluten-free, naturally sweetened and contain iron-rich blackstrap molasses.
Find the recipe here, and be sure to swap cocoa powder for carob powder. You can also substitute the dates with prunes (completely or half).
Do you prefer to prep big batches of purees? Or does your baby eat the same food as you? Do you do a mix of both? Regardless, happy eating adventures with your little one!