After 8 months of only growing baby posts coming from me, time to get back to something new… but still baby-related because that’s our life now! 🙂 Oliver started experimenting with complementary foods this fall and we’re utilizing the baby-led weaning approach. Basically, it just means you’re letting your baby explore feeding themselves as opposed to doing the traditional spooned cereal, pureed veggies, etc. We’re kind of taking a hybrid approach I guess, which the purists would say isn’t baby-led at all. But whatever. Everyone’s gotta do what works for them! Anyway, one goal with early feeding is to make sure baby is getting enough iron and protein. So I was interested in getting O eating quinoa. Was messy by itself, sticking all over him and everywhere. But I found this recipe for some Sweet Potato Quinoa Balls and put my baby spin on them. They are the best!! Convenient to make and freeze, baby hand sized, and O usually scarfs ’em down. The original blogger’s pics are nice and pretty.
Here’s mine baking in the oven. Not quite as nice of photography.
Her site has the adult recipe on it- basically, I just leave out salt and use baby cereal (basically fortified flour) with bread crumbs as the binder instead of panko. This way, they are whole-food-healthy, with the added benefit of the vitamins/minerals added to baby cereal… which O has eaten by itself about 4 times ever. That stuff is so gross!
Also, I’ve made them with roasted butternut squash, acorn squash and just today did the sweet potatoes. Just mash together equal parts of cooked quinoa (easy), mushed up squash/sweet pots, an egg (more healthy stuff), and enough bread crumbs/baby cereal to bind it up. I make the quinoa and roast the squash one day, then mix it up and use a cookie scoop to pop ’em out on a baking sheet the next day. They only bake about 15 min, until they get a baked skin on them. E-A-S-Y. We’ve been calling them nuggets. Pull a couple out of the fridge, nuke for 5-10 seconds. Yum. Perhaps if you have a toddler who only eats chicken nuggets, they could be lured into eating these instead??
Recipe: Quinoa Balls for Baby (adapted from Dash of East recipe)
1 roasted squash (butternut, acorn) or 1 large sweet potato
Equal amount of cooked quinoa (eyeball it and freeze the rest for next time)
Approx 1/2 to 3/4 cup baby cereal and bread crumbs (I use about 50/50 organic oatmeal baby cereal, and homemade wheat bread crumbs)
Plus seasoning, like garlic powder, nutmeg, cumin, whatever new flavors you’re getting baby into 🙂 Just don’t add salt or spicy stuff for young babies.
Note: keep in mind regular guidelines for introducing new foods to babies- and obviously this contains egg and wheat if you use breadcrumbs!