Resent Posts

Russian Style Crepes Filled With Sweet Farmer’s Cheese

Russian Style Crepes Filled With Sweet Farmer’s Cheese

I previously wrote about versatility of farmer’s cheese (aka Tvorog) and its wide use in Eastern European cuisine in my recipe for Zapekanka. This is another wonderful use of this soft cheese in a traditional filled pancakes. I believe similar recipe can also be found […]

Importance Of Choline For Pregnancy And Breastfeeding.

Importance Of Choline For Pregnancy And Breastfeeding.

This post is revised and updated from the original that was posted in 2015. It seems like Choline is becoming fully recognized by medical professionals as an important nutrient to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is just as important as folic acid to prevent […]

Drawing Development In Children

Drawing Development In Children

One of the things I am fascinated by in child development is their creativity and the development of their drawings as children grow. After the role play, which is interesting to observe and often quite entertaining, drawings are my next best thing to observe and […]

Home Made Harissa Paste

Home Made Harissa Paste

Harissa is a hot, slightly smoky and very aromatic paste made from chilies, garlic and fragrant spices. It is used in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines as a condiment, or mixed with water, oil or passata to add a punch to stews, soups or […]

Easy to make, two ingredient marzipan.

Easy to make, two ingredient marzipan.

This marzipan is so delicious and so easy to make, provided you have a food processor or a blender. Once you make it, you will never go back to store bought, highly processed sugar bombs again. All you need is almonds and dates, a bit […]

Zapekanka – Sweet Eastern European Cottage Cheese Bake

Zapekanka – Sweet Eastern European Cottage Cheese Bake

Zapekanka is a staple from my childhood and is quite unique to Eastern European cuisine. This healthy, by modern day standards, bake used to be served as lunch at the kindergarten I went to during soviet times. It was also quite popular simple weekday dessert […]

Toddler approved, vegan mushroom risotto

Toddler approved, vegan mushroom risotto

Like so many other toddlers, my daughter is a peaky eater, but even she liked the taste and consistency of this creamy mushroom risotto. Print Vegan Mushroom Risotto Creamy risotto with rich mushroom flavour. Course: Main Course Cuisine: Italian Servings: 6 Author: Elvira Ingredients 50 […]

Late Harvest Soup

Late Harvest Soup

This comforting soup is all about seasonal vegetables and it is perfect for rainy days of late autumn. If you grow your own vegetables, it is a great way to utilize the “stragglers” in your garden and clean out vegetable beds. And if you are […]

Toddler Friendly Green Pizza

Toddler Friendly Green Pizza

This is one of the best ways I found to serve my toddler greens, especially spinach. Make a nice pesto, then put in on the pizza or mix with pasta or just spread it on the slice of bread. I make my pizzas rectangular, because […]

Books For Late Teens and Twenties

Books For Late Teens and Twenties

An avid reader might be familiar with this feeling when you read a good book, and enjoying it of course, but realise that you could enjoy it more if you would discover it a bit earlier in life. “I wish I’ve read that when…” kind […]


My Diary

Vegetarian Baby Led Weaning And First Foods

Vegetarian Baby Led Weaning And First Foods

I have to clarify that the purpose of this post is not to give an advise, but rather to share personal experience and to remind myself how it was. Time flies and what seemed like ages then, seems far away now and things get forgotten. I do have a decent knowledge of nutrition and used to work as a nutrition and supplement adviser at some point in my life, so it was important to me to “make it right”. So I did a lot of research on baby led weaning and baby nutrition before I began. One of the major differences between adult and baby nutrition is in fat. As much as 50% of nutrients for baby must come from fat, which is not a surprise given that mother’s milk is quite fatty. The rest should be a mix of good quality protein and nutrient rich carbohydrates, i. e. vegetables.

Baby led weaning was not an intentional choice. Its just my daughter absolutely refused to eat any of nice veggie homemade purees I was making. She’d have none of it. She did enjoy to “gum” various foods through the mesh feeder, so it was only natural for her to get curious about actual food pieces to play with and to try.

To prevent choking, all food pieces must always be very soft and small, so that baby can practice to chew and swallow as well as explore new tastes and textures. It is also important to introduce each food  item one by one, withing a couple of days from each other, in case of allergic reaction. Unless the food is relatively safe, like broccoli or bananas, which can be introduced on consecutive days. It is also important to continue with breast milk and\or formula until the baby is comfortable eating a variety of foods. If done right, baby led weaning is a lot of fun for both the baby and the parents.

Very first foods for baby to gum through mesh feeder at 5-6 months:

  • hard boiled (but not over-boiled!) egg yolk – excellent first food, because it is full of good fat for baby and a nutritional bomb.
  • watermelon – excellent when cool, for teething.
  • pomegranate seeds – don’t worry about the actual seeds, they are large enough not to go through the mesh. My daughter really enjoyed popping them!
  • soft boiled sweet potato.
  • soft boiled broccoli florets.
  • soft avocado.
  • peeled apple and pear slices.
  • banana.

Finger foods to introduce when baby is able to sit straight:

Everything should be soft enough to turn to mash when baby picks it up.

  • very small pieces of egg whites and hard boiled yolk.
  • very soft or mashed avocado.
  • small pieces of boiled carrots.
  • small pieces of boiled  or baked potatoes (white and sweet).
  • boiled, canned or steamed peas.
  • boiled, canned or steamed asparagus tops – make sure to remove the stringy pat of stem.
  • boiled or steamed broccoli – those have a nice stem to hold on to while chewing those tops.
  • soft banana round quarters – i. e. cut each banana round into quarters.

Additional finger foods to introduce when more teeth are through and baby is able to chew better, around 8-10 months:

  • small cubes of soft bread without crusts – on its own or smothered with butter, coconut oil or guacamole.
  • boiled ravioli or small pasta shapes in sauce – a very good chance to boost veg intake. Beware of the mess!
  • soft boiled or canned, sliced green beans.
  • At this point smooth nut butters and hummus can also be introduced either on its own, in small scoops to play with or on a piece of bread.
  • Also, small flakes of soft fish, boneless of course.

I wanted my daughter to explore the variety of other foods before I introduced her to dairy products. Many children get quite addicted to dairy products, especially things like cheese and yoghurt so they would give it preference over anything else and I wanted her to try all kinds of food before she discovers cheese. We introduced dairy products from age 1.6: organic, pure butter, which she loved and could just eat a stick of butter with her hands, porridge oats made with full fat organic milk, plain Greek yoghurt and cheese slices.

From 2 years we introduced raisins, hemp seeds and chia seeds, cooked with porridge and she could eat pecan and walnut halves at 2.6.