Cooking for Beansprout, Part I: An Intro and a Giveaway!

Cooking for Beansprout | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean

I’m so excited to launch a new series on the blog today—Cooking for Beansprout—where I will share awesome recipes and tips for feeding the littlest member of your family. If you are a mom, dad or lover of a mini person, then this series is for you!

I started this blog when I was cooking for Kiwi and Bean, and now I’m cooking for Beansprout too. He’s 8 months old and VERY hungry. It’s honestly a challenge to keep up with his voracious appetite. The teenage years are going to be, um, expensive?

We introduced the Beansprout to solid food using my own hacked-up version of the “baby-led weaning” approach. Which is frankly just a fancy way of saying “Mama is too lazy to make purees.” But it’s also—in my humble opinion—the most fun and joyful way to set your child down a path of healthy adventurous eating. Watching a seven month old feed himself spears of watermelon, chunks of a sweet potato lamb burger, or pieces of thai chicken patties (and yes, I’m absolutely going to share these recipes) is truly magical.

To kick off the series, I’m giving one lucky reader the ultimate baby-led weaning library: Baby-Led Weaning and The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook, both by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett. To enter the giveaway, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and follow the instructions. It will ask for your email address, but never fear—I won’t sell it or share it or even use it for my own promotions without your permission.

In the meantime, I’ve put together a little Baby-Led Weaning Primer, with a quick and dirty summary of how it works and why it is amaaaaaaazing.

And if you want to be notified when I share new baby-worthy recipes, subscribe below!

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47 Responses to Cooking for Beansprout, Part I: An Intro and a Giveaway!

  1. Melissa October 6, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    No challenges YET, I am due in March and looking into baby led weaning!

    • Sarah October 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

      Oh wow! Impressive advance planning :-). Good luck with your pregnancy!

  2. molli vandehey October 2, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    she has only one tooth and wnts to eat and swallow everything!

    • Sarah October 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      Ha ha…mine is a little over-enthusiastic as well!

  3. fatema September 25, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    My biggest challenge is trying to find a meal that both my toddlers and my bigger child aka husband will all eat.

    • Sarah September 25, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      Ha ha yes sometimes the hubster can be the most difficult of all the children :-).

  4. Jessica September 25, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    My son is so picky and literally lives off of grilled cheese, milk, macaroni and cheese, and waffles. I want to be prepared the next time we have a baby and be able to do baby led weaning.

    • Sarah September 25, 2014 at 9:01 am #

      Thanks for stopping in, Jessica! And yes my sense is that baby-led weaning helps with preventing some of the pickiness. I have a theory that the more foods we expose babes to in their first year of life, the more foods they will tolerate when the toddler pickiness/food control stage kicks in. I’m testing the theory on my second baby :-).

  5. Lyndse Anderson September 24, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    My biggest challenge in feeding my little (7.5 months) is just feeling like I can get creative and offer a wide variety of healthy options. We’ve been doing our own hybrid version of babyled weaning and I love it! But I’m really looking forward to following along with your recipes and suggestions! Would love a BLW cookbook too!

    • Sarah September 25, 2014 at 9:03 am #

      Hi Lyndse! It can be exhausting coming up with creative healthy meal ideas everyday. I keep a few basics (e.g. mini meatloaves, pasta sauce) in the freezer, so I can get a break every few days.

  6. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles September 24, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    Love it! Such a great idea for a new series and so helpful to parents of sprouts 🙂 — although my sprouts have now all transitioned into beans and beyond (we are well into those dreaded teenage years here – lol), I will spread the word of your new series on my facebook page this week. Happy to share the love! ♡ (great about page by the way…funny, I was a rock star in a prior life ;-)).

    • Sarah September 25, 2014 at 9:07 am #

      Thanks for coming by, Kelly! And thanks in advance for the share…that would be just AMAZING.

  7. vanessa September 24, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    Eikkk I would love this I’m doing baby led weaning right now

  8. anne stewart September 24, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    Dealing with a stubborn and picky toddler!

    • Sarah September 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

      Seems to be a theme! Does anyone NOT have a picky toddler? Ha. At least we aren’t alone, right?

  9. Danielle G September 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    Our biggest challenge so far is keeping up with his appetite! He is our 2nd baby (age 9 months) and this is our first time attempting BLW. We have started to be more confident in his ability to eat (almost) anything we are eating, which is strange because we only did purees and rice cereal with our first baby. But it is so neat to see him feed himself! You can really see he enjoys eating!

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

      Danielle, that’s our challenge over here too! Also our second, 8 months old and a boy. My grocery bill has gone up already!

  10. Kristen September 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    The hardest part for me with the BLW is beginning it…and feeling the pressure from family members and daycare to start with the “basics” instead like rice cereal!

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

      Yes, Kristen you aren’t the only one getting pressure from others, it seems! Good luck on convincing the naysayers :-).

  11. Carol Ann September 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    The mess blw comes with! HA!

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

      Carol Anne, I would agree this is the WORST part about baby-led weaning. Ugh, the mess. I need a dog! Unfortunately I don’t have a good solution to this problem. Not yet, anyway. Someone needs to invent some sort of product that would make the mess more manageable.

  12. Bree September 23, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    My biggest challenge is preparing meals that taste good without adding salt or sugar. How do you make soup without salt or muffins without sugar!?!

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

      Aha, that’s a really really good question! Here’s what I’ve learned. Re. salt, babies tastebuds are much more sensitive than ours, so as long as you make the food flavourful (which you can do with fresh herbs, spices, citrus, olive oil, butter, homemade stocks, etc.) I don’t think they will miss the salt. I generally set some aside for the baby, and salt the rest. OR vice versa (we just salt our own food at the table). I should say also that with my first I was very vigilant about ensuring she got almost ZERO salt, including for example seeking out unsalted canned tomatoes. The second time around, I am not doing that. I’m lazier maybe :-). I salt the pasta water, use salted tomatoes, etc. I avoid salt as much as possible, but I am a little more relaxed. Each to his own.

      As for sugar, I don’t think you have to avoid it altogether, especially if you are making something like whole grain muffins or pancakes, which are healthy options, but do need a bit of sweetener to make them yummy. I try to use bananas and dates as much as possible, and otherwise I use maple syrup. Not sure where you live, but around here maple syrup is abundant, and while it’s still “sugar” it’s not quite as empty as white or brown sugar. I have a couple of muffin recipes that use maple syrup, and not too much of it: these Morning Glory muffins and these Blueberry Chia Muffins.

  13. Raquel September 23, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    The biggest challenge that I face when feeding my one year old son is coming up with recipes and ideas that includes all food groups- all while making sure it’s something he will like!

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

      Ah yes, such a challenge for me too! I tend to get stuck in carb ruts because I know they will eat it :-). I am a big fan of hiding veggies in pasta sauce, as in this recipe.

  14. Maya Fitz September 23, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    My biggest challenge is coming up with new recipes that are quick, healthy and delicious. We need more variety but I hate experimenting. I think I mostly just need a personal chef 😉

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      And NOW you’re talking, Maya. Even though I love cooking, I would REALLY love it if I came home a couple days a week to a meal on the table…a meal that I didn’t have to cook! Wait, that’s what my husband gets EVERY DAY. Sigh.

  15. Maddison P September 23, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    The biggest challenge is just figuring out WHAT to make… meal planning x 2 is never any fun, so following @babyledweaning has helped tremendously with everyone eating the same thing. this cookbook and giveaway would be life changing for our family!! Thank you for even giving us a chance 🙂

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

      Hi Maddison, that’s definitely one of the BEST parts about baby led weaning. I love that I can give my three year old and my eight month old the same food. It’s hard enough cooking for an entire family….I can’t imagine adding a complicated puree-making schedule to the mix!

  16. Amy September 23, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    My little girl only wants to eat what mom and dad are eating at the dinner table. Even if she is seemingly enjoying what we’re eating, she still has to share with the dog. :/

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      Ha ha! That’s amazing, Amy! Lucky dog, I guess. And at least you’ve got the floor clean-up covered :-).

  17. Mary September 23, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Our biggest challenge right now is preparing to start BLW. H will be six months old in a few weeks and we’re trying to learn everything we can right now! 🙂

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      Thanks for stopping in, Mary! It’s awesome that you are learning everything in advance. I didn’t do that the first time…just kinda made it up as I went along. Oops! Your way is better!

  18. Kate September 23, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    My biggest challenge right now with my 2.5 year old is getting her to eat her veggies! I know she likes them, she’ll gobble them up in certain dishes (fried rice, soups) but she still hesitates to just eat a carrot or a roasted beet on it’s own. I’m pretty sure she has a relatively well developed pallet for a kid her age, guess I should just be patient. So there, I suppose my biggest challenge is actually patience, or lack thereof!

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      Ugh Kate I found 2.5 to be just about the worst age for asserting control over food. My previously adventurous eater would turn up her nose at veggies, anything “green”, “sauce”, etc. Made me CRAZY! And I am not patient AT ALL so this was a test for me. A year later, she’s absolutely coming around, and actually ate parsley-filled tabbouleh the other day…which made my jaw drop.

  19. Madelyn C September 23, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    Our biggest challenge is feeding her a healthy, complete vegetarian diet. We may introduce some meats in a few years but not anytime soon. We are lacto ovo so she eats dairy and eggs, loves beans and fresh veggies… And we try to avoid anything processed.

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 10:52 am #

      Hey Madelyn, thanks for stopping in! One great thing I have recently discovered is bean pasta. My son is allergic to wheat so this is now our go-to pasta alternative. It’s super tasty, has a great texture, and is full of iron, protein and fibre. Might be something to try!

  20. Jenn Joyce September 23, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    We will be starting our baby led weaning journey this weekend. We are very excited, my partner, my stepdaughter and I. The biggest challenge so far has been other family member or friends who feel it is risky or dangerous. I try and explain the best I can, the reasons behind our decisions, but I find the older the family member the harsher the judgment. However we haven’t let it sway our decision. I can’t wait to feed my baby girl some real foods!!

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 10:54 am #

      Hey Jenn, thanks for stopping in! Once you start and your family members see how darn amazing the whole thing is (not to mention easy, healthy, etc.) they might jump on board. I will cross my fingers for ya :-). Good luck!

  21. Alexandrs Huckle September 23, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    I posted my comment on the wrong blog…oops! My biggest struggle is getting my son to eat. He wont pick up the food and bring it to his mouth. He will only eat it if I am holding it or feeding it to him. He ends up just getting frustrated and crying.

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 10:20 am #

      Hey thanks for stopping in! Ok, so here’s a little secret that’s not going to be secret anymore. At the beginning, my son couldn’t pick up the food himself. SO…I just put things in his hand for him. Not in his mouth, but in this hand…and then he had no problem bringing it to his mouth. Eventually he figured out the picking up thing. I’m sure there are some BLW peeps out there that would frown on this, but it worked and he was happy! And for me that’s what it’s all about. Good luck and don’t give up. He will get it :-).

  22. Lindsey Henry September 23, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    My biggest challenge is deciding what to feed baby E since we are just beginning!

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 10:14 am #

      Hi Lindsey — thanks for stopping by! What I love about baby-led weaning is that there are fewer “rules” — you can start with pretty much whatever you want! That being said, I have always started with mild fruits and veg (avocado, banana, squash…that sort of thing). I think it’s a great way to ease into eating, unlikely to cause any sort of allergic reaction, easy to prepare, and not too hard on the digestive system. Good luck and have fun!

  23. Jan @ Family Bites September 22, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    I love this so much. Baby-led weaning wasn’t even a thing when I had my boys (at least not something I had ever heard of) but the whole philosophy completely speaks to me. As it turns out, it looks like I’ll have the chance to put it into practice next year =). You can bet I’ll be popping by for some inspiration!

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 8:02 am #

      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  24. Tam Bodhi September 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    My biggest challenge is meal planning for a picky eater.

    • Sarah September 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

      Yes, always a challenge with little guys in the house! I try to make one meal, and if my toddler doesn’t eat it, well too bad. Easier said than done some days :-).

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