Baby Led Weaning: 9 Months

Veronika is on the brink of eating “real” recipes, which I’ll likely post as separate blog entries. So here is a final round-up of the Baby Led Weaning foods she’s enjoyed in the past month.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Carrots

Sweet Potato Carrot

Peel 1 sweet potato and 2 carrots and cut into 2-inch strips. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Tofu and Mango Dinner

Crumble 1/8 package firm tofu into a bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup mango puree.

Tofu Mango Dinner.JPGThis makes the slightly dry tofu easier for Veronika to swallow, and she loves scooping up the mixture by the handful!

Apple and Plum Compote

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Veronika loves this so much more than regular applesauce! Peel and chop 1 apple and 2 plums. Cover with water and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and mash with a potato masher until chunky, then stir in 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon.

Chick’n, Banana & Coconut

This was her first Gardein meal! Cook 3 Gardein chick’n strips, and mince until about the texture of crumbled tofu or lentils. Combine the chick’n in a bowl with 1 small mashed banana and 1 teaspoon coconut milk.

Chicken Banana (1)

A fast favorite!

Chick’n, Carrot & Sweet Onion

For a more ambitious chick’n dinner, toss 4 Gardein chick’n strips, 1 peeled and julienne-cut carrot, and 1/8 cup thinly sliced sweet onion with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Serve as finger foods, or finely chop into little pieces on the tray.

Chicken Carrot Onion

Butternut Squash Sticks

Cut butternut squash into 2-inch sticks. Cover with water and bring to a boil; continue to cook for 10 minutes, until very soft.

Butternut Apple

Dip these into a homemade or store-bought purees. Veronika likes them dipped in apple, pear, or carrot! Sometimes she prefers me to mash up the squash and stir the puree into it instead, which she can pick up by the handful.

Butternut Pear

Poached Tempeh

Slice 1 (8-ounce) package tempeh and cook in boiling water for 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and process until finally chopped. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the tempeh for about 10 minutes, until golden.

Stir in applesauce to taste so the mixture isn’t too dry. I use about 1/2 cup applesauce per 4 ounces tempeh.

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This also works with canned pumpkin puree in place of the applesauce!

Tempeh Pumpkin


Baby’s Song

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There’s a reason educators use songs as teaching tools so often; lyrics are remembered long after spoken words are forgotten, and simply hearing a familiar tune can become a cue when it is consistently attached to a specific activity. Today, Veronika and I focused on specific songs for specific occasions.

You can make these up entirely for your baby as long as you are consistent. We like to use the songs from Baby Signing Time, which helps connect word signs to specific moments. Like mealtime…

Baby's Song (1)

Or playtime…

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Or diaper time, or bedtime, and on and on.

I always sing the same song when she wakes up (Frere Jacques) which helps her understand the day has begun, and it’s no longer night.

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If you make up your own song, try a familiar melody. At bathtime, I always sing the following to the tune of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush”:

“This is the way we wash your hair

wash your hair

wash your hair.

This is the way we wash your hair

While you take a bath”

Similarly, I have a wordless melody that I hum to Veronika before her morning nap. It works like a charm every time, and I love that we made it up and it’s unique to the two of us.

What musical cues or songs do you use during your baby’s day? Please share in the comments!


7 Fun, Wet Water Balloon Activities

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Because we don’t have a hose and a water balloon nozzle, this summer staple of fun is not something Travis has enjoyed very often. Cue the water balloon hand pump! Now that I’ve invested in one (from Amazon), there are so many backyard games to play with our little water balloons. And some are even educational!

First: Sort by Color. Purchase a few buckets from a local dollar store in a variety of colors and have your child fill the correct bucket with the correct balloons.

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Easy for Travis!

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Second: Number Race. I numbered 10 balloons with sharpie and Travis’s job was to move them from one bucket to another in the correct order.

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This one involved a few slippery balloons running away before the task was complete.

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If two or more kids are playing, make it a race!

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Third: Target Game. Now we got a bit messier! I drew a bull’s-eye and we each had three balloons to toss.

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The person with the highest score wins, extra points for a big splash!

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Travis adored this.

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Which led us to…

Fourth: Balloon Toss! You can’t go wrong with this classic. Just toss back and forth and see who gets wet.

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It meant lots of exploding balloons and lots of giggles.

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Fifth: Relay Race. If you have a group, make it a true relay; balance a balloon on a cup and make it from point A to point B. Since Travis and I were playing just the two of us, we timed ourselves to see who could do it faster.

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Sixth: Balloon Sensory Tub. Float a few balloons in a baby bathtub. Even baby sister Veronika got to enjoy a (supervised) feel. Travis loved throwing the balloons into the tub for a big splash, of course!

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Seventh: Balloon “Parachute”. Place a few filled balloons on a sheet or large towel and pop them like popcorn.

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And with all those games said and done, Travis really just loved splatting them onto the ground for maximum splashy fun!

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Add your own favorite water balloon games in the comments!