Banana Avocado Muffins

Banana Avocado uffins - Try making these Banana Avocado Muffins with your little ones. Easy to make and tasty! Perfect for a school snack and easy to make nut & dairy free.

Time for another easy muffin recipe.  Banana Avocado Muffins are a favourite in my house.  My daughter is in a cooperative nursery school and we all take turns doing snack, it usually works out to once or twice a month, but to accommodate allergies it has to be nut-free and dairy-free, so I have to be creative sometimes to come up with a snack for 15 kids that still accommodates this.  This is one of my go-to muffin recipes.  Super easy to make, my kids love to help me, and the kids at school eat it.  Plus *shhhh don’t tell them* its not all that bad for them and they are eating healthy things like avocado too!

Need a #healthysnack? Try these easy to make muffins! Click To Tweet

How to make Banana Avocado Muffins

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Banana Avocado Muffins
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1-2 ripe avocados
  • ½ c of coconut oil or butter softened or melted
  • 1 egg
  • ½ c sugar
  • 1½ c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ c chocolate chips (or other filling if dairy-free) *OPTIONAL*
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and get kids to put muffin liners in the muffin tin while you get out the ingredients. Grease muffin liners if using.
  2. Combine bananas and avocado in mixer and blend together thoroughly until there are no lumps. Add in coconut oil/butter and egg then blend it up. While that is mixing get kids to help you combine the rest of the dry ingredients in another bowl except the filling. Blend it up and then add to the wet ingredients. Mix that up again and then add ½ c of your favourite filling (we used mini chocolate chips) if you want. You can also leave it as is.
  3. Spoon the mixture into your muffin tin (maybe without kids help!) and bake for 20 minutes in a big muffin tin or closer to 15 minutes in a mini muffin tin!

Banana Avocado uffins - Try making these Banana Avocado Muffins with your little ones. Easy to make and tasty! Perfect for a school snack and easy to make nut & dairy free.

Getting kids involved in the kitchen

Personally, I am a big fan of getting kids to help you when you do things in the kitchen, especially baking.  My daughter at three-and-a-half is very good at helping, I tell her to measure out half a cup of coconut oil and she can do it unaided.  But my son at not-quite-two needs a lot more guidance.  He can help peel the bananas, break eggs (on the table when you aren’t looking!), and practice his scooping and pouring with the flour.  I have not baked with my son in over a month and I was amazed how good he was, he had no problem sticking out the silicone muffin wrappers in the tin, for the first time ever on his own.

When you bake with your kids regularly it is surprising how their skills develop, you see what areas they are learning in and where they need more help and guidance, my kids surprise me each time at what they can do un-aided.  Yes it is more work, yes it is messier than doing it alone, BUT look at it like an activity you do with your kids.  Carve the time out to spend with them (when you can) and teach them about measuring, numbers, counting (we need three cups of flour, lets count as we put them in), and ingredients.   They learn so much and take such pride in helping!  You can be sure daughter will be proudly telling her class today how she helped to make them!

Get your kids in the kitchen! Teach them to bake, a learning activity & fun Click To Tweet

Life lessons learned

A hard lesson in baking, patience, one my son has not mastered yet.  He wants to eat the muffins NOW, not in 20 minutes, and cries as he waits, getting him to watch through the door helps, but this is a hard lesson that is good for him to learn now too!

What is your favourite way to involve your kids in baking?

Banana Avocado Muffins - Try making these Banana Avocado Muffins with your little ones. Easy to make and tasty! Perfect for a school snack and easy to make nut & dairy free.

 

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Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry

This is a family favourite in my house.  Vegetarian and gluten-free, all members can eat it from baby to toddler to adult.  This dish has a lot of protein in it, plus tons of veggies so even your baby-led weaning baby can eat it (but avoid the tofu since it is a honey sauce and they are not supposed to have honey).  This is my husbands specialty (truth be told I have never ACTUALLY made it myself, he always does), but he told me how to make it so I could share it with you guys.

Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry - Ingredients

5.0 from 2 reviews
Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Tofu
  • Honey garlic V8 sauce
  • Rice
  • Broccoli
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to preference.
  2. Cut up tofu and fry in a frying pan with some olive oil. Add in Honey Garlic sauce once browned a bit and let it cook while you finish everything else up.
  3. Cut up mushrooms and broccoli. Fry it in a pan with some olive oil. Once it is soft add in at least one egg per person (we usually do 4-6 eggs) and cook it like you are scrambling eggs.
  4. Once everything is cooked assemble on the plate, a big scoop of rice, some veggie/egg mix and tofu on top with some honey garlic sauce.

 

Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry - This is a great favourite in my household from baby, to preschooler to parents. Packed with protein and veg, it's a great healthy dinner.

I hope your family loves this dish as much as we do.  We eat it almost every Saturday when my husband is on dinner-duty, and even I don’t get tired of it (and I usually like to have a lot of variety in my meals, I hate repetition).

Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry - This is a great favourite in my household from baby, to preschooler to parents. Packed with protein and veg, it's a great healthy dinner.

What is your favourite dish that you could eat every week and not get tired of?

Follow Raising Fairies and Knights’s board Vegetarian Yummys on Pinterest.If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry - This is a great favourite in my household from baby, to preschooler to parents. Packed with protein and veg, it's a great healthy dinner.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Muffin Ingredents

It’s pumpkin season!  That means pumpkin EVERYTHING.  My toddler loves muffins and I love pumpkin so I thought I would combine the two.  It was my turn to bring snack for Bee’s preschool last week (first time!) so I decided to make those kids like pumpkin by making pumpkin muffins.  I added some chocolate chips to them to bribe them as well.  I took my banana muffins and adapted it for the pumpkin.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins - FB

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin
 
Author:
Recipe type: Muffins
Ingredients
  • •1/2 c of coconut oil or butter softened or melted
  • 1 c pumpkin
  • •1 egg
  • •1/2 c sugar
  • •1½ c flour
  • •1 tsp baking soda
  • •1 tsp baking powder
  • •1/2 tsp salt
  • •1/2 c chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and get toddler to put muffin liners in the muffin tin while you get out the ingredients.
  2. Combine pumpkin, coconut oil/butter and egg in kitchen aid mixer and blend it up. While that is mixing get toddler to help you combine the rest of the ingredients in another bowl except the filling. Blend it up and then add to the wet ingredients. Mix that up again and then add ½ c of chocolate chips.
  3. Spoon the mixture into your muffin tin (maybe without toddlers help!) and bake for 20 minutes!

 

The muffins were a success!  Bee’s class of preschool classmates actually ate the muffins.  I was so excited!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins - PTIt's Pumpkin season! Here is an easy, quick, and delicious CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN MUFFIN recipe.… Click To Tweet

What are your favourite snacks to serve kids?  If you have to supply snacks for preschool, school, girl guides, etc. what do you find works best?  Any favourites to help a new school-mama out!?!?

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins - IG

Lunch Ideas for Baby, Toddler, & Mama

Coming up with meals three times a day for four people is one of the most challenging things I have to do.  I used to enjoy cooking and food but now it just seems like a lot of work.  I try to make simple healthy meals that I can assemble quickly at lunch time.  Usually squashed between nap times and before I go to work.

We eat all our meals as a family at the table.  I think it is important to have that time together and a great opportunity to teach them.   I also think it is important to eat one meal together, I do not make three different meals for everyone, I make one meal, then adapt it slightly to accommodate everyone.  Especially lunch.

Here is a typical week of lunches at our house and how I adapt it to incorporate food for a baby, toddler, and adults.  I usually make mine into a sandwich so it is more filling for me, and also because I love sandwiches.  I tend to use a lot of the same ingredients in a week to use up left-overs before they go bad.

 

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Po – Watermelon, left-over baked potato wedges from dinner the night before, cucumber. Bee – Cucumber, watermelon, hard boiled egg (or two), and cheddar cheese. Me – Wrap with cheddar cheese, hard boiled egg slices, red onion, spinach leaves and mayo in a tortilla with watermelon.

 

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Po – Grated cheese, black beans, and scrambled egg with spinach. Bee – Grated cheese, black beans, salsa, tator tots and scrambled egg with spinach. Thor & I – Grated cheese, black beans, salsa and scrambled egg with spinach in a tortilla (hot sauce for Thor) and tator tots on the side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Po – Hard boiled egg mashed up, cucumber, black beans Bee – Black beans, hard boiled egg (two), cucumber, cheese string, goldfish. Me – Egg salad sandwich, cucumber, black beans, spinach, cheddar cheese in a wrap (with a few goldfish).

 

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Po – 1/2 bagel and cream cheese cut up with steamed broccoli. Bee – 1/2 bagel and cream cheese, edameme with steamed broccoli. Thor & I – Bagel and cream cheese, edameme, with steamed broccoli.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Po – Steamed broccoli, strawberries, cucumber, leftover squash from the night before. Bee – Cucumber, steamed broccoli, cheddar cheese, naan crackers, hummus, strawberries. Me – Havarti & cheddar cheese, naan crackers, hummus, cucumber, strawberries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Po – savory muffins (spinach, carrot, & cheese) with roasted carrots. Bee – savory muffins, faux chick’n’ fingers, and carrots. Me – savory muffins, faux chick’n’ fingers, and carrots.

 

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Po – Kale quinoa bites, plum, & tortilla wedges. Bee – Kale quinoa bites, plum, sliced cheese, tortilla wedges, & plain greek yogurt for dipping. Me – Kale quinoa bites, plum, sliced cheese, tortilla wedges, & plain greek yogurt for dipping.

 

A quick refresher lesson on how to deal with choking in an infant.  It is scary to think about but the more you educate yourself the more prepared you will be in the case of an emergency.  Also ensure anyone who is caring for and feeding your baby knows what to do to.

 

 

Comment below what are your go-to quick lunches?  I need more ideas!  Thanks for your support and if you like what you read please share with your friends.

Chickpea Fritters

Chickpea Fritters

My daughter LOVES chickpeas.  Granted, she prefers to eat them on their own, but I try to make things to get more into her and more like a meal anyway.  Most of the recipes I see are fried, but I prefer baked.  I find they always fall apart when I fry them and I just do not have the time to stand and flip over a dozen fritters while I have a toddler wanting to be held and a baby wanting to be fed.

Here is my baby-led weaning friendly recipe for chickpea fritters the whole family can enjoy.   I tried it with the blender, but it did not work very well, the loud noise scared the kids and it did not actually blend the ingredients.  Maybe if I am lucky I will get a food processor for my birthday in the fall to help with this. DSC_0060

Chickpea Fritters

  • 1 can of chickpeas – drained and rinsed
  • 2-4 garlic cloves (depending on your preference) – minced
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice (depending on preferred consistency)
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • ground pepper to taste
  • other spices – cumin, coriander, cayenne, etc.  I like Epicure’s Sansels as they have no salt (perfect for babies) and used a red pepper garlic one, which was good.

I have added in green onion, shredded cheese and other random things so be creative and add your favourites too.

Preheat oven to 350.

Use a food processor, blender (if yours works better than mine), a fork, or potato masher to mash up the chickpeas.  Then mix everything together in a big bowl until desired consistency.

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Scoop into little piles on your baking sheet, remember they should be small as they are for littles.  I use a regular size spoon to scoop and found that was a good size.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, I used stoneware (Pampered Chef) so it takes longer, it was closer to 20-25 so keep an eye on them. 

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I serve it with Greek yogurt and steamed veggies for a quick lunch.  I froze most of them to take camping as quick lunches for Bee and Po. 

Crockpot Pasta Sauce

Crockpot Vegetarian Pasta Sauce

I am a busy mama!  I do not have a lot of time and energy for cooking.  I try to make big meals and freeze parts so I can use it at another time when I am pressed for time and need a quick meal.  I also want something healthy with veggies and protein in it for us.  Especially while camping, everyone needs their energy while exploring the great outdoors.

I like to make a big batch in the crockpot (easy as all I have to do is assemble it and then ignore it all day) then freeze it in large zip lock bags.  It does double duty, serves as an extra ice pack to keep the cooler cool while camping and is already precooked so instant dinner! It can be served on pasta, couscous, or buns for sloppy joe’s, which is probably how I will serve the leftovers.   Pasta is easy while camping, super easy to boil water on the Coleman stove and I have a collapsible colander so even the draining is not an issue (although the steam is pretty hot and hurts when you are draining it).  By the way, while camping, get a friend to hold the colander in the bushes while you pour, it is really hard doing it on your own.

They say that if you involve toddlers in cooking they are more likely to eat it.  Well……… that did not work.  Bee was so enthusiastic to help, she helped me put everything in the crockpot once I cut it, helped pour the cans, spices, etc. in.  She handed me each mushroom to cut (and only licked about half first before handing them to me) and the broccoli had minimal bite marks out of it by the time she finished washing it.  She still refused to eat a bite of it though.  *sigh* the life of a parent of a toddler!

For Po, when I make food for him I try to make long sticks, carrot sticks, zucchini sticks, large chunks of broccoli and mushrooms, the peppers don’t really hold their form after cooking so I just gave him a few raw to chew on while I was prepping. After cooking I just dig out the big pieces and give it to him, he also had pasta for the first time, which he also seemed to enjoy.

Pasta Sauce

An example of all the veggies I used and how I cut them so Po could eat them too.

Crockpot Pasta Sauce
 
Author:
Recipe type: Crockpot
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Ingredients
  • I add whatever veggies I have in the house but these are the most common ones - carrots, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Veggie Ground Round (fake veggie ground beef, or real beef if you want)
  • A jar or can of tomato sauce, plain or flavoured
  • Some seasoning - I used a few spoons of Epicure's marinara seasoning
Instructions
  1. Don't forget your favourite pasta, serve with garlic bread, salad, or whatever.
  2. Cook it in the crock pot on low for 6-7 hours

 

I find this recipe is enough for two meals for a family of four (two adults, a toddler, and a baby).  We ate half then I froze the other half for when I go camping or to put in the crockpot another day for an easy meal. 

Crockpot meals are easy! Try this delicious vegetarian pasta sauce, super convenient with a… Click To Tweet

What is your favourite crockpot recipe?

Baby-Led Weaning Meal Ideas

Po & Bee BLW

Bee & Po eating watermelon & corn for the first time

Once you decide you want to start baby-led weaning (BLW) you may find it a bit daunting trying to figure out what to feed baby.   You know to reduce the salt on your family’s foods, to make it big enough that baby can grab and make sure it is not too hot.  But what the heck do you feed baby?

Po trying eggs

Po learning about the texture of eggs

Here are some of our favourite foods to give baby:

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    Bee trying out some ratatouille

    Roasted carrot, potato, sweet potato, zucchini sticks.

  • Steamed broccoli and green beans.
  • Raw peppers and cucumber cut into strips.
  • Cooked corn on the cob.
  • Portabella mushroom and eggplant strips, cooked.
  • Apple slices, mango strips, pear slices, plum slices.
  • Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries.
  • Watermelon is our big favourite.
Po trying apples

Po learning how to handle apples

Banana’s and avocado are common first foods, but they are personally not favourites of mine.  I find them very slippery and hard for babies to hold.  Also because they are so mushy I find it hard for them to gum and eat it, but that is just my personal preference.

For meals here are some of my favourites:

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    Po discovered he loved peanut butter

    Peanut butter on English muffin or toast.

  • English muffin pizza (tomato sauce and cheese).
  • Pita and hummus.
  • Avocado on toast, bagel or English muffin.
  • Small pasta with sauce.
  • Scrambled eggs.

At least that is what I feed at the very beginning phases, Po has eaten all these things so far and he is 6.5 months old.  There are more meals I progress to but those are all things I am currently feeding him now.  I will do another post later on about foods baby eats as he progresses.

Quinoa Taco Salad

To go along with the camping/travel theme this is my favourite recipe to make while camping or away on vacation (if you have kitchen facilities obviously).  It is so easy and everyone can add in what they like.  They even make a version of it at Girl Guide camps (called salad in a bag).  Even babies and toddlers love this!


Quinoa Taco Salad

Quinoa Taco Salad
 
A package of quinoa (can be made in advance and stashed in the cooler), I like this as it adds extra protein and is easy for little's to eat but not necessary to the dish. Grated cheese (again I do it before we leave) Cut up veggies - I like red pepper, tomatoes and green onion Black beans (or for you carnivores ground beef can be added as well or instead of) Lettuce Salsa Sour cream Guacamole or avocado Individual bags of Doritos (any flavour) Hot sauce for hubby and my dad To make: Set it up buffet-style, give everyone a bag of chips, crunch it up a little, open it and add in your favourite fillings.  Eat it in the bag with a fork and then less dishes to wash!  Unless you want to be more sophisticated and use a plate and just a big bag of Doritos instead of the individual ones.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetaraian
Cuisine: Mexican
Ingredients
  • A package of quinoa (can be made in advance and stashed in the cooler), I like this as it adds extra protein and is easy for little's to eat but not necessary to the dish.
  • Grated cheese (again I do it before we leave)
  • Cut up veggies - I like red pepper, tomatoes and green onion
  • Black beans (or for you carnivores ground beef can be added as well or instead of)
  • Lettuce
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole or avocado
  • Individual bags of Doritos (any flavour)
  • Hot sauce for hubby and my dad
Instructions
  1. Set it up buffet-style, give everyone a bag of chips, crunch it up a little, open it and add in your favourite fillings. Eat it in the bag with a fork and then less dishes to wash! Unless you want to be more sophisticated and use a plate and just a big bag of Doritos instead of the individual ones.

 

 

For toddlers and baby I put it in a bowl and let them eat it with a spoon.  Bee mostly loves the quinoa, black beans, cheese, with a little salsa and sour cream mixed in.  Her favourite part is the Doritos we let her have though.

 

 

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Baby-Led Weaning Introduction

Introduction to Babyled Weaning

I love baby-led weaning (BLW).  I had never heard of it until after my daughter was born and I went to some mom and baby groups and heard other moms talking about it.  One mom bragged that her six-month-old had lasagna with the whole family the night before.  Wow I thought, that’s amazing!  I want to do that.   The appeal of being able to serve baby the foods that we were eating and all eat together was a big draw for me.  After a lot of research and talking to my husband we decided this was something that appealed to us.

BLW broccoli

I bought the Baby-Led Weaning book by Gill Rapley (I cannot recommend this enough if you want to learn more about Baby-Led Weaning and/or try it) and read it cover to cover then bought the cook book for ideas for meals.  While I do not think buying the cookbook is necessary, I found it amazing and there are quite a few recipes there  I make on a regular basis as my family loves them.  If you have a choice to buy one of the books I would stick to the cookbook, while the full book has a lot of detailed information, the cookbook gives a brief overview and a lot of information so you maybe able to save yourself buying the first one.

Po trying corn

Po exploring corn on the cob

For those unfamiliar with BLW it is skipping the purees and cereals and going straight to solid food that baby holds themselves and feeds themselves.  Watermelon, corn on the cob, cucumber, pepper, avocado, pear, etc. pretty much foods that are long enough for them to hold themselves and self-feed.  There are not many restrictions when it comes to what babies can eat, honey is a big no-no for those under one and you want to watch salt and sugar intake, but otherwise they can eat the same things that you are eating.

At 6.5-months-old Po is “eating” three meals a day with us.  How much he ingests is not really important, he is learning about food, tastes, textures, developing his fine motor skills by grasping the food himself and bringing it to his mouth, learning to chew and handle food in his mouth, suck on juices and even swallow some pieces.

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Enjoying some yummy pizza

They say “food before one is just for fun”, I do not entirely believe that.  I think for most  babies they are still getting the bulk of their food and nutrients from breastmilk or formula, but one of Bee’s friends would start to get really cranky and upset around noon everyday if he hadn’t had his lunch as he was hungry, and he really demolished his food.  For him he was really hungry and enjoyed eating, food was not just fun for him.  Bee is still a very light eater so I would say the food was more fun and exploring for her.  Po is already eating a lot (sometimes more than his sister) so I think because he is such a big guy he needs the extra food too.  He still nurses like a champ though.

For us all sitting at the table and eating together at the same time was a lot of fun.  I love watching them explore food and try new things.  It is one of my favourite stages as a parent.  I have tried the spoon feeding and I hate it.  Trying to convince a baby to open their mouth and eat is frustrating for me and not enjoyable.  I much prefer to watch them do it themselves and us to enjoy our food together.  Plus the number of times the kids have seen me pick up a cucumber (or whatever) and eat it then decide they wanted to eat their cucumber too, it really was leading by example.


A quick note on the gagging versus choking aspect.  This is often the scariest part for parents.  The first thing to do is be able to identify the difference between gagging and choking.  Babies have a very strong gag reflex and it is pretty far forward on their tongue.  There is a big difference between gagging and choking.  Gagging is the baby’s body protecting their airway from potential dangers, they are not in danger of choking yet, but are working the food around their mouth, and will probably push it out on their own.  Although you have to go with your comfort level, we just let baby do this on their own and try not to interfere (aka reach in and pluck something out).  

One of the ways to reassure yourself about their gag reflex is to put your (washed) finger in their mouth and see how far it goes before baby starts gagging.

babychokeChoking is a different story.  Choking happens when something is actually lodged in their throat.  The worst thing you can do is start pounding them on the back or jerking them about as you may actually lodge whatever is in there in their throat.  If they are still making noise they are breathing and working on things on their own.

first%20aid%20crossI recommend looking up some YouTube videos on baby CPR and what to do if baby is choking to familiarise yourself and help you feel confident to deal with an emergency if it should arise.  Being up to date on your first aid is always a good idea with kids around so if you can actually take a first aid class that is even better. The more you practice your skills the more comfortable you will be in an emergency that you are properly equipped to handle it.   If seeing them gag freaks you out really badly then BLW may not be for you, it is important to do what you (and your partner) are comfortable with as otherwise this stage will be no fun if you are panicking and stressed the whole time.


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Just loving self-feeding

Since we are in the beginning stages of the journey with Po again expect a lot of food-related baby posts as we learn what foods he likes to eat, recipe’s that go well and other tips and tricks we like.

Stay tuned for my next post on our favourite first foods and easy ways to incorporate baby-friendly meals into your family’s lifestyle.

I am no expert and just know what worked for us and our children, but if you have any questions about BLW or other tips to add please comment below as it may help others too.

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