Tag Archives: first foods

Oat Cakes with Salmon (Baby-Friendly Finger Food)


I made most of them round, but I made a few of them into little boat shapes to see which was easier for Sugarpie to eat. She preferred the latter.

Just a little somethin’ to read while we’re getting our groove back, here in the Parzen household…

I had been looking for something to use as a neutral base for spreads besides toast. Toast is just fine, but I wanted to mix it up a bit.

Oat cakes** are a Scottish invention, but are widely used all over the U.K. (so I’ve heard). There are very acceptable versions available in some grocery stores, but they’re pretty pricey. I came across a recipe for them on this website. (Have a look, they have tons of great finger food recipes.)

The recipe suggested to pair them with salmon spread, and since salmon is such a good source of protein and Omega 3 fat, I thought it would be a fun way to incorporate it into Sugarpie’s diet.

The oatcakes came out more chewy than crunchy, but I liked them that way. I ground up the rolled oats just to make it easier for baby girl to swallow. They seem dreadfully bland at first, but very soon an irresistible yum factor kicks in.

I used high-quality wild-caught canned salmon (I like this one) and whole milk yogurt for the spread. I omitted the apple juice (didn’t have any), and I added a little chopped tarragon ’cause I had some in the fridge. I can imagine that it is delicious too with dill, or even cream cheese in place of the yogurt. The idea is great, and the variations are endless.

Sugarpie liked the whole ensemble in a I’m-going-to-eat-this-but-I’ve-had-better way, but I will definitely be making this again.

Here’s the link to the recipe. Enjoy!

**Bonus: The oatcakes are also delish topped with salami and paired with a cold glass of white wine…for the grown-ups of course.

Month 1 Baby Led Weaning Wrap-Up, Travel Eating, and Things to Come


Well, I simply cannot find the photos from the last 3 days of our first month of baby led weaning. This, combined with our two week vacation combined with my procrastination has us a little behind.

Anyway…I think it’s safe to say that the last few days involved leftovers, hummus, and broccoli.

Overall, the first month went smoothly. The second month, with half of it being on vacation, was a little spottier. I relied more on breastmilk as my mother-in-law’s house is not particularly equipped for mealtime flotsam and jetsam.

There were quite a few restaurants, but we always found something Sugarpie could eat. One thing I’ve learned is that high chairs RARELY get wiped down. Ew. I am no germaphobe, but I will make an exception and whip out the antibacterial Wet-Ones for these grungy little things.

We had SO much fun, though. Here are some of the highlights of her California culinary adventures…

Her first sausage! It was yummy chicken and apple. She loved it.

Meatballs and fior di latte at the LA restaurant where Daddy consults

Once we got back home, I made a concerted effort to get her two proper solid meals a day, but always tried for three. She has become quite the confident eater!

Her favorites are…

*scrambled eggs (cannot get enough) in any form. I make them with cheese or sauteed tomatoes and she eats them up then looks for more. I like to make them with coconut oil. She also loves a zucchine frittata and a pasta frittata.

*fresh mozzarella. She will suck the milk out of her slice then munch away at the cheese.

*Broccoli is still a winner and green beans have finally made their way into her heart.

*cherries! I chop them up and let her go at it. It has really helped to develop her pincer grip which comes in handy now that she is crawling and wants to pick every single piece of lint and debris off of the floor.

*her Daddy’s pesto. She really enjoyed fusili dressed in it! She seems to like strong flavors. Hubs also makes eggplant parmesean which she will dig into with gusto. But the tomato sauce gave her a red tushie, so we had to stop.

*broccoli cheese muffins. Recipe coming soon.


What she doesn’t like is a short list…

What a drama queen.

*Avocado…what?! She used to love it. Sugarpie will try it every time, but the wincing is just over-the-top dramatic. I do, however, appreciate the continued effort.

I have a few recipes coming up and some cute pics too, but I think I will try posting such things on Wednesdays, maybe in a Baby Led Weaning Wednesday sort of way.

Hubs and I love food, and so does she. Hopefully we can continue to foster a sense of fun and fellowship, as well as help her to cultivate a spirit of adventure when it comes to food. Maybe she’ll be open-minded, or maybe she will be painfully picky. We shall see.

These first few months of food introduction have been fun beyond my expectations and I cannot wait for to eat her way through Italy on our upcoming trip. You better believe we’ll be blogging about that!

Stay tuned!

Chicken Curry, Better Hurry! Day 26


Finger lickin’ curry chicken

So, back on track and almost done with our first 30 days…

I fed Sugarpie yogurt and avocado for breakfast. Yes I spoon fed. I just do not want my kitchen decorated in a shade that went out with the 70s.

But for dinner, we had chicken curry. It had a coconut milk base and the chicken was fall-apart tender. I’m really trying to offer some different flavors so that she is exposed and hopefully open. It was a hit.

Better hurry as in, better hurry up and GIVE ME MORE, MOMMY!

After two days of cauliflower ambivalence, I’m glad to see her lapping something up again. Sugarpie went for one handful after the other. It was the perfect texture for her as she can’t really tear and grind without molars. It was so easy, I put all of the ingredients in the Crock Pot and let it go!

Hands off the Hamburger, Lady (Days 24 and 25)


Do NOT touch my food, Mommy.

Heeding the doctor’s advice that I should feed Sugarpie a little meat for iron, I decided to go with something easier for her to break down and gave her ground beef. Instead of a patty, I made her a hamburger “stick.” It was in a form that she could grab and get to her mouth without having to open her fist. Opening her hand to get what’s inside is a skill she is approaching, but she’s not there quite yet.

Wow. Babygirl really does love some meat. I was afraid that she was too ambitious with how much she shoved in her mouth so I tried to take it from her. She yanked her hand back! Then, as she opened her mouth once, a piece almost fell out but she saved it by poking it back in.

I gave her steamed cauliflower with a little curry powder before the meat. She ate it, but it was a tepid response. The most fun came from breaking the pieces apart. But the meat, that was the winner of the night.

Tiny hands!

Day 25

For mid-morning meal, we had yogurt with smushed-up nectarine. She at it all, probably 2 ounces worth.
For dinner we revisited the cauliflower. Again, she ate some, she played with some. I withheld the hummus on toast sticks because I knew that the cauliflower would only wither in the shadow cast by the glorious hummus.

After some ambivalent munching on the veggie, she got the toast. Look out world! Sugarpie gummed the toast and sucked the hummus from the pieces. By the time the toast was good and soggy enough for her to get a piece in her mouth, it was of an ideal texture.

Up next…chicken curry!

NOW We Love Yogurt, Plain Yogurt (Day 23)


I have no words.

After the failed first attempt at yogurt introduction, I decided to try a milder type and dress it up a little. I still bought plain yogurt (Mel Brooks, you listenin’?), but I smushed up some blueberries. Look out world, ’cause that was the ticket. I gave in to a spoon-feeding Sugarpie because this yogurt was kind of runny. I was not in the mood to spend the rest of my life picking blueberry bits out of the window dressings, not today.

Since I barely spoon-feed her, I am assuming that we’re not derailing any progress. I make sure that she wants it, and if there’s a hint of hesitation I let it go.

But believe me, there wasn’t much hesitation.

For dinner, we tried a cucumber spear and some strips of Swiss cheese (remember, this type is far lower in sodium). She was underwhelmed by the cucumber and excited about the cheese. No gagging today!

Baba Ganoush Makes Everything Taste Better (Day 22)


Day 22

First attempt…as soon as that top tooth breaks through, we’re in business.

I bought a beautiful plum today…it practically jumped out of the box. I gave it to Sugarpie whole to see how she would react. She picked it up, gnawed it to no avail, and chunked it. Repeat 3x before Mommy decided to help.

I cut a thick slice and put it on her high chair. She made a sour face, but went back for more. The pulp was separated from the skin with her tiny teeth. We did this with 2 more pieces. She loved it! She didn’t eat all of them but had fun chewing at the bits hanging from the skin. At some point, she should be able to tackle a whole one.

For dinner, I made grilled chicken marinated in garlic chives, lemon juice, and olive oil. Normally I would add salt to the mix, but I made it Sugarpie-friendly. I picked softer bits from the inside and she took it eagerly. She seemed to have a hard time getting it to a point where she could swallow it. (I think poached is better for at this early point of food intro.)

Aawwww yeah!

She started to get fussy, so I gave her a taste of baba ganoush…wow! Loaded with lemon juice and garlic, she smacked her lips and wanted more. I put a teaspoon-size blop on her tray, and suddenly she had Technicolor chicken. She licked bits of the baba¬†ganoush off of her tiny fingertips and dragged the chicken through it as well–the chicken was suddenly much more attractive.

Not wanting to give her too much as eggplant can sometimes be a little bit irritating, I peeled a beautiful Sungold tomato wedge for her and she munched away at half. But she’s not shy in letting us know when she’s had enough, so we shut it down when the fussing started.

There was baba ganoush EVERYWHERE. Her little hands were coated in it and she really wanted to touch Daddy’s head with her baba ganoush-y hands. Ew.

Baba ga-ood!

Daddy whisked her away to the bath.

Can you imagine a 4 year-old tucking into a brown bowl of eggplant spread? I can’t, but I certainly hope that with early exposure, Sugarpie will keep the same eager and open mind that she has now.

**On a safety note, I recommend checking your baby’s mouth before bed time. Sugarpie had a smooth piece of tomato stuck to the roof of her mouth and, for obvious reasons, we did not want to put her to bed that way. A lot of her food seems to end up there, but I imagine that this will get better as she gets better at chewing.

Tomato Revelation (Day 21)


We just cut it into thin mini-strips. It’s very manageable.

Today we had more steak with avocado and tomato. Our tomato supply is out of control right now. We keep getting Sungolds, regulars, and golden cherry tomatoes from our CSA. It’s all organic, local, and delicious. Sugarpie agrees.

Georgia played with the steak a little bit and threw the avocado overboard, but she was really digging the tomato. She had a hard time with the skin making it stick to the roof of her mouth (it’s kind of a common problem with her), but she kept going back.

You say tomato…

Before long, Sugarpie was doing the I’m-going-to-try-to-straighten-out-my-body-in-protest-to-staying-in-this-highchair-one-more-minute thing, so I took her out and cleaned her up. We sat down at the table and the plate that I was feeding her from was right in front of her. I offered her a small piece of steak with my fingers and she happily munched away at it. All went down, even though it was about 2 sq cm worth.

She grabbed for the tomato so I helped her with that. She ate it out of my hands with gusto. She scraped the pulpy bits off with her tiny bottom teeth eagerly. Who knew?! She loved it.

A girl’s gotta have options.

Sugarpie will try EVERYTHING that we put in front of her. It’s is probably pretty normal at this age, but I’m glad we can exploit her adventurous side. Her rejections come in the form of things she used to love (mango, for example). She’ll just scrinch up her little nose and turn her face. She loved it once, though. We’ll come back to it!

Eat Your Broccoli? No Problem (Days 19 and 20)


This has been, by far, her favorite vegetable. Go figure!

Day 19

If yesterday was the day of refusal, rejection, and baby-led flotsam/jetsam, today was the day of I LOVE ME SOME BROCCOLI.

We had A/C inspectors in the house today during her mid-morning meal time, so we skipped. I steamed some broccoli and roasted some. I love roasted broccoli (not a fan of really anything steamed), it has so much more flavor. But the steamed, in the end, had a more consistent texture. I grated the tiniest bit of Parmigiano Reggiano for a little seasoning. That’s how we eat it, she bes’ get used to it. I just wanted to be mindful of salt so I used it judiciously.

I also gave her a strip of Colby Jack cheese. She was into it too, but I tasted it and took it away because it was too salty. After shopping around, I’ve learned that Swiss cheese has a fraction of the sodium of almost every other kind. It contains about 40 mg/oz whereas most other common types have 160-180mg.

She is really enjoying that cheese.

She relished every fuzzy bit of broccoli floret — picked it clean and it looked like a tree without its branches. Then she tried to put the whole trunk in her mouth, but realized her mistake and spit it out. She really chewed and swallowed every bit that went into her mouth.

She didn’t stop here. That stump went down the hatch too.

I can tell that she’s chewing and swallowing more competently after 19 days. Makes Mommy feel better! It’s also nice to know that even if she had a day of refusal, she’ll come back when she’s ready. Learning to trust is her is the hardest lesson in this whole thing, but it’s becoming more clear every day that she knows best

Day 20

Just to make sure that it wasn’t a fluke, Sugarpie got broccoli leftovers today. She ate almost a whole one and played with the other. I’ll take it.

I Guess She’s a Meat-Eater (Days 17 and 18)


She would definitely bite your hand off if you tried to take that slice of steak away from her. That’s her don’t-mess-with-me face.

Day 17

We kinda skipped over a day or two because Sugarpie’s tummy wasn’t great. I think it’s because she’s teething. She sure had been bitin’ the boob that feeds her…ouch.

But we’re back and we decided that it was time for her to have steak! The doctor wants me to get some meat into her for iron since I’m not wanting to supplement. She’s not anemic or anything, Dr just says that babies this age need it from their diet since the placental stores are used up. I really don’t want to supplement her, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.

We already know that this baby loves chicken, now she is a confirmed carnivore. We gave the steak to her with a side of roasted sweet potatoes. She gnawed and sucked on the little slice and generally had a lot of fun with it.

She bit off a piece, but worked it up from the back of her mouth with her usual heart-attack-inducing gag routine. It wasn’t bad though! We just cut thin slices that she could pick up with enough sticking out of her tiny fist to chew.

She either loved her dinner or she’s auditioning to conduct the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. We will be happy with either.

Hubs was thrilled, he loves steak and can’t wait until she’s big enough to ask for his famous steak and baked potato.

Day 18

No interest in food today, whatsoever. I tried to feed her yogurt — she winced and just for good measure, added a complete body shake of disgust. For dinner I thought we would revert to the trusty ol’ avocado slice, but she couldn’t have cared less.

I can almost hear her inner 13 year-old rolling her eyes and sighing.

I then pulled out all of the stops — the mango slice. *Crickets.* When I tried to put it toward her mouth she just turned her head!

I can take a hint.

Adventures in Baby Led Weaning, Days 15 and 16


She makes that look every time she tries something new. Despite that look, she loved the beef patty.

Day 15

Sugarpie is having some intestinal difficulty so we’ve been going light on the solids the last few days. She’s doing better now and I couldn’t resist giving her delicious morsels of the wagyu beef patty in my slider at Vino Vino. She was ALL about it. She didn’t spit out one piece!

BLW doesn’t promote mommy-feeding, but this was the only way to get it to her mouth since I wasn’t willing to give up my whole slider, only to watch it longingly as it sailed to the floor.

Day 16

Well doesn’t she look like the cat who ate the canary.

I gave her sweet potatoes, they all went to the ground. Then I tore off a piece of thigh from Lucy’s Fried Chicken. (I went for a piece from the inside, away from the fried crusty goodness.) She chewed at that for a while, then got pretty excited. That whet her appetite and she went back for more sweet potato, but only briefly before banishing it again from her highchair kingdom.