Why am I making a warm, fall breakfast before the Patriots’ bye week? Well, although I am still enjoying my Roasted Hazelnut Granola, the sweet little Toothless Wonder can’t really eat it till she sprouts some teef. So… I started the hunt for tasty, baby-friendly breakfast ideas that do NOT involve nasty, tasteless rice cereal. Until now, she’s been stuck in a breakfast rut of scrambled eggs, which is a fabulous breakfast, but I hate that she’s in a rut before she can even say ‘the Jets suck.’
That’s right, eggs. For a 7-month-old. Oh yeah,baby… Little Miss and I are forging our path into the extremely fun and messy world of solid food. And of course, in classic Food Hound style, we’re doing it in a non-traditional way with a concept called baby-led weaning. Basically, you wait till your child is 6 months to start solid foods, and instead of giving her purees, you give her regular old table food.
It’s messy, highly entertaining, and you get crazy looks from people when your 7-month-old is whaling on a hamburger at a restaurant.
(Technically, it was a fine restaurant. Specifically, the bar at a fine restaurant. Maybe the looks were more for that?)
It’s ok, I get it. Baby-led weaning is an ancient method-turned-new-fangled-idea, and people have lots of questions and/or judgement. I love it, Little Miss loves it, but it’s not for everyone, and there’s more than one way to feed your kid. I did my research (after all, I am a registered dietitian and I used to work with moms and infants on this very issue) and I just feel it’s easier, more developmentally appropriate, and way more fun than feeding your kid purees with a spoon.
For those still in anaphylactic shock from the idea of giving an egg to a 7-month-old, this year the American Academy of Pediatrics revised their position on all those allergenic foods (eggs, nut products, etc.) we were previously told to delay.
Although I quit my job to be the Captain of SS Hound once the Wee One arrived, I’m still a nutrition nerd at heart, and I could go on for pages and pages about the new AAP guidelines, baby-led weaning, appropriate first foods, the high bioavailability of iron in breast milk, etc. If that sort of thing makes your spine tingle the way it does mine, send me an e-mail. We’ll be nerds together while our babies eat burgers at the bar of a fancy restaurant.
Didn’t know the Food Hound was so scholarly, did you?
Now let’s talk food. I wanted something cereal-like that la Brioche could feed herself when we depart from our morning egg routine. Oatmeal makes my stomach turn, but baked oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfast treats, so little squares of baked oatmeal seemed like a fun choice. The first version I made was meh, so the tinkering began.
First, I increased the eggs from two to four to make it rich in good fat and protein with a denser texture. I know, I know, I make it my mission to NOT talk about stuff like fat and protein on here, but when you are your child’s personal dietitian, sometimes it slips out 🙂 Next, I cut back on the sugar for obvious reasons. Finally, I doubled the fruit because more fruit makes everyone happy (and think of all those antioxidants… sorry, can’t contain myself). There was no rhyme or reason to my blueberry-pear combo… just another creative way to use the tasty-but-too-firm-to-snack-on heirloom pears from my CSA.
The question that is burning a hole in your brain right now is… “Was it GOOD? Because if this is turning into one of those make-healthy-brownies-for-kids-by-adding-prune-puree sites, I’m outta here.”
Oh, you know I’m not one of those mamas. In the Food Hound world, prunes stay at the grocery store and brownies have butter.
And YES, the baked oatmeal was GREAT… rich, dense, warm, satisfying. The pear-blueberry combo was perfect (next idea = apple-cranberry), and after freezing a bunch of little 1-inch-square pieces for the babe, I saved some for me. What started out as my first attempt at creating baby-friendly fare churned out something blog-worthy that I happily ate right along side her as she smashed it
on to into her mouth.
I’m glad she likes my cooking so far because she has many, many years of it ahead of her. Seriously, a picky child is my worst nightmare… that, and a worldwide butter shortage.
Peace, love and messy faces!!
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- ½ c brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 c milk
- ½-1 t cinnamon
- ½ t salt
- 1 T baking powder
- 3 c old fashioned oats
- 1 c fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 pear, diced
- Cream butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs, milk, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and oats; beat well. Add the fruit and pour into a greased 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the pan and bake until firm, about 45 minutes.