Pumpkin for breakfast, for when spring feels like fall.

I know, I know, I know.

It’s much too early for pumpkin spice anything. We had a cool, rainy weekend and I found a can of pumpkin puree in the pantry. One thing led to another…pumpkin spice waffles appeared on the table. I’m not mad about it.

I wanted to mix up breakfasts for Maya AND I have jury duty this morning, which is not related but does mean my husband may be on meal duty for the week.

One can, two baby-friendly recipes: let’s do this.

On Sunday morning I made Cookie and Kate’s delicious whole wheat pumpkin spice waffles and used whole wheat flour instead of oat flour. I really wish I’d just tried the oat flour…they were DENSE!

Maya and Eric, my husband, loved them, so I left a couple out for the week and froze the rest.

To serve to baby, cut into pinky-sized pieces and top with yogurt or nut butter (or both) to prevent choking.

With the rest of the puree, I’m going to make overnight oats from Wholefully. To make them BLW friendly, use maple or agave instead of honey. I also like to add hemp hearts for crunch.

Breakfasts for Maya this week might look like:

Monday: Scrambled eggs, strawberries, avocado

Tuesday: Pumpkin waffle, yogurt, banana

Wednesday: Overnight oats

Thursday: Avocado toast, fried egg, strawberries

Friday: Pumpkin waffle, nut butter, banana

Off to do my civic duty! Wish me (and Eric) luck. I can only imagine how hard it will be to clean pumpkin-spice-anything off of every surface within a two foot radius of the baby.

Mimi’s Perfect Eggplant Parmesan

We were lucky enough to have my mom in town for the week and she did ALL the things. Between entertaining a very clingy baby and walking a very needy dog, she also cooked the most amazing food.

Since I wanted to be able to replicate this relatively quickly, we used jarred sauce and it still turned out great. We served this with spaghetti, but your favorite pasta shape would work too.

Maya had a little of the eggplant after it was roasted and it was a hit!

Ingredients

1 large eggplant, cut in 3/8-inch slices, skin left on.

2 eggs

1 cup or more of Italian Style Bread Crumbs

2 T. avocado oil

2 T. olive oil

large log of whole milk, pre-sliced, mozzarella cheese (16 slices)

48-56 0z. home-made or prepared marinara sauce (I love Rao’s)

*Optional 1c of mushrooms, sliced

5 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

10 Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Prepare the eggplants and mushrooms

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Grease a large roasting pan with avocado oil

4. Prepare 2 shallow bowls, 1 with the beaten eggs, 1 with the bread crumbs

5.Dip eggplant slice in egg coating both sides, then dip eggplant slice in bread crumbs, coating evenly. Place eggplant slice on greased roasting pan. Repeat with remaining slices, trying to fit all of them in the pan. Since eggplants are all different sizes, you might exceed the pan with extra slices, which will require a second batch in the oven. If you run out of egg and bread crumbs, add more until all slices are coated and ready to roast.

6.Roast eggplant 8-10 minutes per side, until the coating begins to brown and get crispy on the edges.

7. (Optional) Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1T of oil or butter. Sautee mushrooms until they release their moisture, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Assemble

  1. Adjust oven to 350 degrees
  2.  Coat bottom of a 9’x13’ glass or ceramic rectangular baking dish with one ladle full of marinara sauce.
  3. Place roasted eggplant slices side-by-side in the pan to create the first layer.  Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on each slice of eggplant.
  4. Scatter mushrooms between layers, if using.
  5. Lightly ladle marinara over the eggplant/mozzarella slices, but do not drown them in sauce.
  6. Add the second layer of eggplant slices and mozzarella slices on each one.  Add more marinara to lightly cover the slices.  If you need a third layer of eggplant, add that with mozzarella slices and more sauce.
  7. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese to cover the entire top layer.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

The BLW Gear I Can’t Live Without

If you’ve already started baby-led weaning, you know about the mess.

My Instagram may show the fun finished product, but my husband will attest that the kitchen is in shambles 90% of the time.


I have two set-ups in our kitchen/family room, depending on what and when she’s eating and how messy I know it’s going to get. There are so many options for baby bowls out there, and I highly recommend using one rather than putting food on the tray. Since babies don’t develop their pincer grasp until month 9-10, they need something to push their food up against.


Option 1:

Bumbo chair + Goobie baby bowls + Ava and Oliver bib

Maya eats the majority of her meals in this setup, sitting on top of the kitchen island. I love this chair because it’s almost impossible for her to move around in (though I always stand very close by) and the whole thing comes apart and can go straight into the sink to be hosed down. We took this chair on vacation and it was perfect. The Goobie Baby bowls are miraculously strong enough that she can’t break the suction from the tray. I portion the food out in the bowl but she always mixes it up anyway and doesn’t seem to mind things comingling. The bibs are great at catching the 65% of food that doesn’t make into her mouth. They’re very easy to clean. I recommend having two bowls and two bibs, at least.


Option 2:

Inglesina Fast Table chair + dining tray + EZPZ mat + Ava and Oliver bib

Maya rarely sits over here unless we are all eating breakfast together or she’s having a relatively “clean” snack, like puffs. This chair is great in theory but much harder to clean and dry out. In order for her to have a footrest, we’ve sacrificed a dining chair to the cause so she can stand on it, rather than have her legs dangling. The mat sticks some of the time, but recently she’s been able to peel it off and throw it like a frisbee, food ‘n all, to the patiently waiting dog. As she gets older and (hopefully) less acrobatic at meals, this will probably be a great option.


Other tools I love: EZPZ Tiny Cup and Tiny SpoonGoo-Tensils


A note on spoons: While spoon-feeding your baby directly is not the goal of BLW, pre-loading a spoon and handing it to her or setting it down in the bowl for her to grasp is a great way to help her learn how to serve herself.