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Monday, October 12, 2015

Celebrating Special Occasions with Baby: Meal Tips with PC Organics


Having just enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner this weekend and with the holidays coming up, we're heading into an exciting time of the year and there's lots to look forward to. If you've got a little one starting solids it's lots of fun to watch their reactions as they try new foods and the variety of culinary options are endless. 

This was Liam's first Thanksgiving and I tried to introduce foods for him leading up to the long weekend that we would also be enjoying: squash, peas, and carrots to name a few. While it's exciting to think of all the foods your little one will soon be able to try, it's important to know what they can and can't eat and how to offer them as you introduce solids. This is especially true when it comes to holiday cooking when the food is often more rich than our usual diets, and we get together for meals in other's homes. A little planning ahead can go a long way.

To help you navigate feeding your little one at holiday dinners and special occasions, see below for some dietician- approved tips.



First Foods: Turkey, yes or no? 
I wouldn't have thought this before having kids, but did you know that turkey can be a first food? Iron-rich meats are a great choice to introduce to your baby after they reach 6 months. Use a hand-held blender on the pulse setting to puree the meat until it is very smooth in texture. Simply add breast milk, formula, or water to the mixture if it's too thick. The final product should drip easily from a spoon. Fattier meat from the turkey thigh or leg works best for this baby-friendly version of a holiday meal favourite. As your baby gets older you can introduce some texture and pulse the meat less.

Keep Veggies Simple
Mashed regular or sweet potatoes loaded with butter are another Thanksgiving favourite. For baby it's best to serve them as a plain mash; simply set aside some of the mashed mixture before adding butter, cheese, bacon, or sour cream and serve them the plain to your baby. For very young infants (6-8 months), thin the mixture with formula or breast milk to ensure it isn’t too thick. Similarly, the veggies from items like green bean casserole and glazed carrots can all be pureed and served to baby.

Know the Ingredients
While we all have our favourite family recipes, it's important to know what's in the food you plan to feed baby, especially if you’re dining with a new family or a new recipe is introduced. Things like nuts, heavy cream, and spicy seasonings can be hard to detect in dishes like casseroles and stuffing. Double check with your host ahead of time if these or other ingredients of concern have been used in dishes so you can plan accordingly (it might be easier to pack your own baby food). There are lots of baby food options available to suit the theme of special occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Two ideas include the  Strained Apple PC® Organics Baby Food Pouch and PC® Organics Pumpkin, Apple, Peach & Buckwheat Strained Baby Food.

And Now for Dessert!
While your baby doesn’t know what dessert is yet, you can still offer them some if you like. Tasty treats like homemade pumpkin pie can be easily transformed for your baby. For babies 6- 8 months old, simply scoop out pie filling and puree it until fine and runny, adding formula or breast milk to thin the texture. For a quick on- the- go option you can try a sweet food pouch like PC® Organics Blackberry Cobbler Flavour (contains no artificial flavours). Remember to keep sweet servings small while you introduce your baby to this new taste (I like to combine a sweet item like apple sauce with a savoury flavour to lower the sweet factor).

Foods to Avoid
While adults enjoy loading their turkey with condiments like gravy and cranberry sauce, serving these items to your baby isn’t a good idea. Babies don’t need the added sodium and sugar these condiments contain. Stick to plain foods as your baby gets used to consuming and digesting solids.

Have Back Up
A good idea if you'll be away from home for meals is to have a small bag stocked with feeding essentials that you can toss in the diaper bag on your way out. Something that you can re- use and throw in the wash is a great option, but a plastic ziploc or grocery bag will work just fine as well. Include items such as a bowl, spoon, bib, a few jars/ pouches of food, and any other items you like to have on hand to make meal times away from home a little easier (I like to have something for Liam to chomp on as well now that he's teething). You may not need it, but it's great to have just in case.




No matter how you decide to celebrate you baby’s first special occasion, it’s sure to be one you'll always remember. Take lots of pictures, invest in creating family memories and- most of all- have fun!





Visit the PC® Organics website to learn more about their products. 
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Photos: K Petrunia
Brands shown: PC Organics, Paper Airplane (bandana bib), Glitter & Spice (teething necklace), Fun Fiestas By Ili (noisemaker)

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by PC Organics. All opinions are my own


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