Have Breakfast Together

Breakfast Together (5).JPG

All too often on weekdays, we eat breakfast in a rush and then it’s time to get everybody ready ready ready and out the door. On weekends, consider making breakfast feel extra special for your baby, even from a young age. This will help set the tone for the day and create bonding moments for your family. At almost seven months old, I can finally make Veronika and big brother Travis the same recipe – and mom and dad can enjoy this one, too!

The night before, prepare the apricot puree:

Combine 3 and 1/2 ounces dried apricots and 8 ounces water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes, until soft. Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight.

Breakfast Together (1)

In the morning, prepare the oats:

In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup rolled oats and 10 ounces hemp milk (we like unsweetened vanilla). Bring to a boil and continue to cook just until thickened, stirring frequently.

Ladle into bowls, varying the serving size depending on family member; that means about 2 tablespoons for Veronika and about 1/2 cup for big brother! Stir 1 tablespoon apricot puree into each bowlful.

Breakfast Together (2)

Now that you have your meal, enjoy each other’s company! It was a delight watching these two dine together.

Breakfast Together (7)

Veronika decided she liked eating clumps by hand rather than spoonfuls.

Breakfast Together (6)

Other meals that will fit into a Baby Led Weaning menu plus appeal to big kids include: English muffins with non-dairy cream cheese;

Biscuit Cream Cheese

Melon – cut it into strips for baby, and cubes for big kids;

Biscuits Cream Cheese alt

Muesli made with oats, non-dairy yogurt, and chia seeds;

Muesli (1).JPG

and French toast fingers!

french toast (b).JPG

For a super-easy French toast, dip slices of bread in a mixture of: 1 cup hemp milk, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Cook for 4 minutes on each side and serve with raspberries.

french toast (c).JPG

I also like to involve Veronika when I pause for my mid-morning snack. She loves to “share” my apple, and I always hand her my smoothie carton when I’m finished.

Breakfast Together (9)

Involving your baby in family meals right from the start will help set a great foundation for the years ahead.

Breakfast Together (3)

New Switch-It Game

New Switch It (7).JPG

In the past when I played “switch-it” games with Veronika, the idea was for her to practice letting go of a toy, dropping one in exchange for another. At just shy of 7 months, the goal this time was more sophisticated: to switch a toy from hand to hand, in order to make room for another. She aced the test!

Plastic farm animals were the perfect toy for this purpose. First I handed her a duck, which she passed hand-to-hand as she played.

New Switch It (1)

While it was in her left hand, I offered up llama, holding it up to the same hand.

New Switch It (2)

In a flash, duckie was in her right and llama was in her left!

New Switch It (3)

I praised the change she’d made, even though she didn’t entirely understand why.

New Switch It (4)

But she quickly soaked up the happy vibe and beamed proudly!

New Switch It (5)

Soon she was drumming the two animals together.

New Switch It (6)

Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t get this right away; keep practicing and soon he or she will be a hand-to-hand passing champ.

Popsicle Sticks Bow and Arrow

Bow and Arrow (9)

When your son requests a bow and arrow at 6 am on a Saturday, you pray to the craft gods that you have all the materials in your craft bin. And when in fact you do, it feels like a little miracle, especially when that includes wooden bobbins that I’d purchased only the day before for a different craft, but had never owned before. Clearly it was meant to be!

So here is the quite-complicated bow and arrow we put together. For my preschooler, it mostly meant watching mommy since it involves lots of hot glue. If your child is 8 year old and up, they can get more hands on!

First, glue together 6 jumbo craft sticks in an arc, securing at each meeting point with hot glue.

Bow and Arrow (1)

Repeat with 6 additional craft sticks for the other side of the bow. It’s very important that you line these up exactly right, or your two sides won’t glue together properly.

Bow and Arrow (2)

Although not necessary, we added reenforcements and embellishments with decorative craft sticks, making V and T shapes. Hot glue these down.

Bow and Arrow (3)

Add wooden bobbins at each of the craft stick intersections, gluing the right side of the bow to the tops of the bobbins and the left side of the bow to the bottom of the bobbins.

Bow and Arrow (4)

Ideally, we would have used a very stretchy elastic for the bow string. Since I didn’t have one that was large enough (the craft bin gods weren’t perfect!) we tied on two taut pieces of twine instead. This wasn’t ideal, but it worked in a pinch. Add duct tape around the center for a smoother arrow launch.

Bow and Arrow (5)

To prepare the arrows, insert two straws together and tape where they meet.

Bow and Arrow (8)

Hot glue a pom pom to one end and cut the other end into a V so it can notch onto your bow string. Again, what I had on hand (bendy straws) wasn’t ideal. Next time we’ll use thicker straight straws, which will make much sturdier arrows.

Bow and Arrow (6)

But my little knight/samurai/warrior now had a bow, and that was all that mattered!

Bow and Arrow (10)

We might not have had perfect launches, but we did have imaginative fun!

Bow and Arrow (11)