Add to Your Repertoire

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I’ve been saying and singing nursery rhymes to Veronika since the first week of her life, but if you’re at all like me, you’ve settled on your favorites and tend to say the same ones over and over.

So today, I deliberately mixed it up!

If you need inspiration, read through a book of nursery rhymes to find new faves. It turns out there were some I’d forgotten about, including Hey Diddle Diddle and Wee Willie Winkie. She loved the bright pictures in the book!

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As I read her the rhymes, I pointed out each thing in the illustrations – the cat and his fiddle, the dish and spoon etc.

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Another nice idea is to tap along the rhythm on your baby’s back or leg as you say the rhyme, and they’ll feel it in their whole body.

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If you are unfamiliar the tune for any rhyme, check for a video of it online.

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Although I normally don’t advocate screens at this age, sometimes it’s nice to sit with Veronika for a few animated songs (and if you save this in your quiver of tricks for when baby is especially fussy, and it will work like magic).

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Finally, don’t limit yourself to English rhymes! We recently learned an indigenous Australian song, with a fun sneezing “choo!” sound and hand movement.

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It makes Veronika giggle every tiem.

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If you don’t want to learn a different rhyme, just add new verses to an old favorite. I highly recommend Little Baby Bum’s endless variations on Wheels on the Bus. You never knew there was so much more than wipers swishing and doors opening until you see what they’ve come up with.

What new rhymes have you added to your repertoire? Please share in the comments!

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Oatmeal Energy Balls

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Travis and I have talked a lot lately about energy and inertia and what makes things move. That’s why it was so clever of Kiwi Co to include this recipe in Travis’s inertia crate – a snack designed to power human energy!


  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cups dried cranberries
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.Oatmeal Energy (3)
  2. Shape the mixture into balls (you’ll have enough for about 10 servings) and enjoy!

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Baby’s First Foods

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Starting at five months old, I began introducing Veronika to… food! It quickly became apparent she preferred Baby Led Weaning; this girl wanted to be in charge of her spoon and hold food with her hands! But I am still supplementing with purees, to help her learn the fine arts of pushing food back with the tongue and swallowing. A baby’s nutrition at five or six months should still come almost entirely from breast milk or formula anyway, to the tune of about 24 to 32 ounces a day, so I consider all the recipes below to be “practice.”

Travis’s first meal was mushy peas, but for Veronika, I went with bananas.

Banana Mash

Peel one ripe organic banana and cut in half (reserve the other half for another use, or a hungry sibling!). Mash until very smooth with a fork.

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Squash Puree

Peel, seed, and chop one organic butternut squash to yield 1 cup cubes. Steam in a steamer basket for 10 minutes, until very soft. Puree in a food processor, adding additional cooking liquid until very smooth.

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Baby’s First Rice Cereal

Mix 1 tablespoon of a store-bought prepared rice cereal with 4 tablespoons breast milk (or formula). This makes a very soupy mixture. Once baby seems to like it, make the mixture thicker by using less milk.

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After the first few tries, I began making the cereal with hemp milk, since this is the milk I hope Veronika will graduate to once she weans. My preference for a rice cereal? Earth’s Best Organic.

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Sweet Potato Puree

Peel and cube 1 medium organic sweet potato. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the potato; cook for 10 minutes, until tender. Transfer the sweet potato to a food processor and process until smooth, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to make a thin puree.

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Note: Of all the veggies she tried in her first month, this was Veronika’s favorite!

Sweet Pea Puree

Steam 1 cup frozen organic peas in about 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. I recommend straining this one through a fine-mesh sieve before serving.

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Apple Puree

Peel and chop 2 organic apples. We tried this recipe with Red Delicious, Braeburn, and Gala apples – all are nicely sweet!

Place the apples in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons water; cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth

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Avocado Mash

This is the easiest “recipe” of all time! Halve 1 organic avocado. Scoop the flesh from one side, reserving the other half for another use (or tomorrow’s mash). Mash with a fork until very smooth.

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Green Bean Puree

Steam 1 cup organic green beans in 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. As with the peas, strain this one through a fine-mesh sieve before serving.

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Pear Puree

Peel and chop 2 organic pears. Place in a saucepan with about 1/4 cup water and cook for 5 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth.

Pear Puree

Dried Plum Puree

Combine 2/3 cup pitted prunes in a food processor with 3 tablespoons water; process until smooth.

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If they are in season, use fresh plums instead! Just peel and chop before adding to the food processor.

fresh plumPeach Puree

I recommend using frozen peaches, since the season for stone fruits is so fleeting, unless you happen to be making this for your baby in the early summer months. Otherwise, thaw 1 cup frozen organic peaches. Combine in a food processor with 2 tablespoons water and process until smooth.

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Apricot Puree

Peel and pit 4 apricots. Combine the apricots in a food processor with 2 tablespoons water, and process until smooth. If apricots are out of season, use dried ones instead; just simmer for about 8 minutes before adding to the food processor.

Apricot Puree

Mango Puree

Peel 1 mango, and cut the halves from the pit. Chop and transfer to a blender, along with about 2 tablespoons water; process until smooth. Note: Frozen (thawed) mango slices work in a pinch!

Mango Puree

Papaya Puree

Cut a papaya in half, and scoop out the seeds. Spoon the flesh out from one half, reserving the other papaya half for another use. Transfer to a bowl along with 2 tablespoons breast milk or other milk of choice; mash with a fork until very smooth.

Papaya Puree

For her first combo food, we made:

Apricot and Apple Puree

Soak 1/2 cup organic dried apricots in water overnight. Transfer to a saucepan and simmer in the same liquid for 25 minutes. Let cool. Meanwhile, peel and chop 2 sweet apples. Simmer in a little water for 10 minutes.

Puree the apricots and apples in a food processor, working in batches if necessary.

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It’s a good idea to wait about 3 days after introducing each food, to make sure your little one has no allergies. But after that, it’s time to mix and match! For all the recipes below, stir together 2 tablespoons from each recipe. Where pumpkin is listed, I simply crack open a can of organic pumpkin puree from the store! Just make sure you’re using pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix, which is loaded with sugar.

Here are a few ideas:

2 tablespoons prepared Rice Cereal with…

  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin and 2 tablespoons Pear PureePumpkin Pear Rice.JPG
  • 2 tablespoons Green Bean PureeGreen Bean and Rice.JPG
  • 2 tablespoons Mango Puree and 2 tablespoons Peach PureeMango Peach Rice.JPG
  • 2 tablespoons Green Bean Puree and 2 tablespoons Mango PureeGreen Bean Mango Rice Cereal.JPG
  • 2 tablespoons Banana Mash and 2 tablespoons Sweet Pea PureeBanana Pea Rice.JPG

2 tablespoons prepared infant Oatmeal (such as Earth’s Best Organic) with…

  • 2 tablespoons Banana MashBanana Oatmeal.JPG
  • 2 tablespoons Papaya Puree and 2 tablespoons Pear PureePapaya Pear Oatmeal.JPG
  • 2 tablespoons Banana Mash and 2 tablespoons Apricot PureeBanana Apricot Oatmeal.JPG
  • 2 tablespoons Apple PureeApple Oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin and 2 tablespoons Peach PureePumpkin Peach Oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons Papaya Puree and 2 tablespoons Apple PureePapapya Apple Oatmeal.JPG

2 tablespoons prepared barley cereal (for this one I like Earth’s Best Multigrain, or you can puree your own barely until it is about as fine as barley flour) with…

  • 2 tablespoons Avocado MashAvocado Barley.JPG
  • 2 tablespoons Dried Plum Pureeplum barley cereal
  • 2 tablespoons Apricot Puree and 2 tablespoons Dried Plum Pureeapricot plum barley
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Puree and 2 tablespoons pumpkinApple pumpkin barley

A few further ideas to mix and match. Use 2 tablespoons of each ingredient:

  • Avocado Mash with Banana MashAvocado Banana Mash.JPG
  • Pear Puree with Mango PureePear Mango.JPG
  • Papaya Puree with Banana MashPapaya Banana Mash
  • Apricot Puree with Pear Pureeapricot pear ish.JPG
  • Sweet Pea Puree with Apple PureeSweet Pea Apple.JPG
  • Peach Puree with Avocado Mashpeach avocado.JPG
  • Mango Puree with Apricot PureeApricot Mango.JPG
  • Avocado Mash with pumpkinavocado pumpkin
  • Dried Plum Puree with Pear Pureedried plum pear (1)
  • Peach Puree with Pear PureePear Peach.JPG
  • Banana Mash with pumpkinBanana Pumpkin Mash.JPG
  • Green Bean Puree with Avocado Mashgreen bean avocado.JPG
  • Sweet Pea Puree with Mango PureeSweet Pea Mango.JPG