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Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie
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Mid-summer blueberries are available in abundance right now, and I’ve been adding them to muffins, salads, pies, and even have plans to preserve a pint or two in jam before the season swiftly changes and they disappear for another year.

One of my favourite uses for these purple-hued berries is to add them to our morning smoothies. Lately, we’ve been slurping them for lunch and snack time, too, because it’s been so hot outside. Not too mention, you can pack a good amount of flavour and nutrition in one of these simple sips.

Inspired by the fantastic new book Smoothie-licious, I’ve stepped up my blended drink game lately now that I know the foolproof formula for making a lip-smacking smoothie. According to the author, Jenna Helwig, you need to begin with a base (the liquid), to which you add: fruit (fresh), velvet (bananas, avocado, tofu, soaked chia), and frost (frozen fruit, not ice, as it waters down the drink). A boost of extra flavour can come in the form of a vegetable (not always necessary but it’s the ingredient that makes a smoothie versatile), a flavour kick (vanilla, cocoa powder), and a touch of sweet (honey, maple syrup, etc.).

Lately, I’ve been making a version of the blueberry pancake smoothie from the book. It’s a healthy alternative to a stack of buttermilk and berry-infused pancakes with a hint of tang from the yogurt and a touch of sweet from the blueberries and maple syrup. I tossed in some oats and flaxseed for extra filling fibre and lemon zest for added brightness.

Babies over 12 months of age should delight in sipping ones of these and they are definitely toddler-friendly. You could also pour the mixture into popsicle molds for a heart-healthy frozen treat.

Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie

Makes 2 regular or 4 small smoothies

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 ¼ cups frozen blueberries
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp flax seed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • Zest of 1 small lemon

Prep and Cook:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender, beginning with the milk.
  2. Cover and blend for 30-40 seconds, or until completely smooth.
  3. Taste for sweetness and add an additional tablespoon of maple syrup, if desired. Pour into glasses and serve.

 

Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
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Introducing Solid Foods to Your Baby
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I just started feeding my son solid food. He’s a few weeks shy of six months, and while I was planning on waiting until that half-year marker, I could tell he was getting hungry. He sits at the table with my older sons, husband and I every night and stares longingly as we move our fork from plate to mouth and back again. His tiny tongue darts in and out of his mouth, and he tries to swipe everything and anything within his reach. My instincts told me this boy was ready for food.

How to Know if Baby is Ready for Solid Food

The key part of the paragraph above is my use of the word ‘instinct’, because I think it’s a vital component to confidently introducing solid foods to your baby. At Matthew’s four-month check-up with his paediatrician she suggested I start him on rice cereal that weekend. I just knew he wasn’t quite ready for food yet, so I heeded her advice, but chose to do something different. Similarly, not all babies are ready to eat before six months, but I know that mine is. The formal guidelines set out by Health Canada recommend exclusively breast/bottle feeding for the first six months of life. The introduction of solid foods before four months has been linked to obesity, while delaying it beyond six months may lead to a diet deficient in iron and zinc. If you’re still left feeling unsure about when to start feeding solids to your baby, here are a few signs to look for that may indicate your baby is ready to begin eating:

  • Your baby has head and neck control and can hold them both still.
  • Your baby gives you cues. Do they seem ‘interested’ in eating? Do they try to grab food from your plate or hand?
  • Your baby can keep food in their mouth and swallow it.
  • Your baby has the ability to let you know they are full by turning their head away from breast or bottle when they’ve had enough.

Which Foods to Start With

Once you’ve decided your baby is ready for food, you need to determine which foods you’re going to start with.

  • Rice cereal is typically the first food for most babies, and while you can make a homemade version, experience has taught me that a quality store-bought brand is much easier to use, and in some cases, eat.
  • Meat is now at the top of the first foods list according to Health Canada and fruits and veggies should also make up a large component of your baby’s diet. I chose to start Matthew off with vegetables first, and he’s been enthusiastically devouring sweet potatoes for lunch. As he hits the six-month marker, I’ll be adding lentils, meat, and cereal to his repertoire.
  • Remember, only give your baby one new food at a time, and wait 2-4 days before introducing another food. After each new addition, watch for allergic reactions to occur, such as a rash, diarrhea, and/or vomiting.

In the coming weeks/months we’ll talk about how rewarding, economical, and easy is it to make homemade baby food, and I’ll share recipes for simple purees and other first foods for babies. Are you currently feeding a baby? Do you make your own food? Let’s chat!

Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
Comments | Tagged under baby, baby food
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Welcome

Welcome to the EatSavvy Blog where you’ll find great food ideas for your family. We want to help you tackle the day-to-day monotony of what’s for breakfast? Lunch? Snack time? Thanks to our amazing food editor Jannise Scott of www.familybites.ca, we’ve got some great tips in the kitchen as well. Get inspired.

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