First breast or bottle, then sippy cup, then baby drinks from an open cup, right? Not necessarily. The sippy cup “stage” is losing favour with experts.
Baby Bean Sliders
Author: Andrea Carpenter, RD
Recipe Type: Entree (first foods)
Serving: 12 sliders
1 cup water
1 can organic black beans
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 TBSP organic cumin powder
1/2 TBSP organic paprika powder
3 TBSP oil (coconut, avocado) for cooking + more for frying
1 TBSP organic iron-fortified infant cereal
Drain and rinse the beans well until all bubbles disappear.
Add the oil to a medium sized pot and heat to medium high. Add the garlic and spices, stir frequently and cook 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the beans and water to the pot and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until most of the water has cooked down and the beans are soft.
Mash the beans with a potato masher and continue to cook on low heat until they become pasty. Optional to use a blender for this step if your baby enjoys smooth textures. Once blended, add back to the pot and continue to cook until pasty.
All the bean mixture to cool completely before forming sliders. This can be made ahead of time and left in the fridge overnight.
Divide the mixture into 12 portions and form into small sliders using your hands to mold them.
In a shallow bowl or on a plate, add the infant cereal and coat each slider in the cereal, patting them gently to ensure they are well coated. Note: if your mixture is very crumbly, add some oil or water to loosen the mixture; if your mixture is too wet, add some cereal to thicken the mixture up.
Heat a non-stick pan on medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Once the oil is heated, add the sliders to the pan, cooking them 1-2 minutes per side, or until crispy.
I have also added plain cashew cheese to mixture for extra fat and flavour. The cheese can be mixed in prior to allowing the slider mixture to chill. If you are looking to add some extra veggies, try adding grated carrots, zucchini, or sweet potato into this mixture. Add the grated vegetables at the beginning so they can be cooked through and release any excess moisture.
Iron-rich food sources are important for baby and should be offered regularly from the start of solid food introduction. When we think of iron-rich foods, we generally think of meat, however there are many great plant-based foods, including garbanzo beans or chickpeas. Some parents would rather feed their child a plant-based diet, while others may be struggling to offer meats in a way their child will accept, so they come to me looking for alternatives. If beans and pulses haven’t been introduced into your child’s diet, now is a great time to start! Even if meats/fish/poultry have already been introduced and baby is enjoying those, pulses are an excellent addition. They are packed full of nutrition. Pulses are a great protein source containing many vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C), minerals (folate, iron, magnesium, zinc) and fibre.
When incorporating chickpeas into your little one’s diet, its best to offer them pureed, mashed, or smashed. Offering them whole poses a risk for choking because of their size, shape, and texture (even when cooked). My favourite way to add these little nutrition power houses is by making a hummus. I love making homemade hummus for myself, it has so much more flavour and a better texture than the kind at the store, and I tweak my recipe a little when making for my son.
My First Hummus is a great way to include peanut butter and ensure baby gets adequate exposure to this food (it’s important to ensure baby is exposed to the top allergenic foods to help prevent food allergy). I swap some of the tahini (sesame-seed butter) for smooth, all-natural peanut butter. You can add as much or as little as you’d like, and if your child does have a peanut allergy, you can add tree-nut or other seed butters (almond, cashew; pumpkin, sunflower) or make the whole batch with tahini. You can also add as oil (if your baby is having weight gain issues, this is a great way to get some extra healthy fats into their diet) and/or some herbs to adjust the flavour for your child’s preference. Since this recipe will make about 8 portions for your child, you could always add some herbs to a few portions while leaving some portions more plain. It’s a flexible recipe, easy and quick to prepare, and it’s so good, you’ll want baby to share with you!
Author: Andrea Carpenter, RD
Recipe Type: sides, first foods
1 can no salt organic chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup tahini
1-2 tablespoons organic, all-natural smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Warm water, to desired consistency
Olive oil, optional
Rinse the chickpeas (I use these which come in a BPA-free lined can) under water until bubbles stop forming
Pour chickpeas into a bowl of warm water and remove outer skin by rolling chickpeas through your hand and fingers. Skins will settle to the top. Discard skins.
Drain water and refill with warm water and baking soda. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas then add to blender. Add the tahini, peanut butter, and lemon juice. Add warm water until chickpeas are covered.
Blend, adding more (warm) water to desired consistency. Olive oil and herbs can also be adding while blending, if desired.