Blog - Baby Led Weaning + Toddler Nutrition

The New Ways Nutrition Blog

Join me as I talk about all things family and childhood nutrition related. If you have a burning question or topic you would like me to address, be sure to let me know by following me on Instagram and Facebook, or write me a note here

How to Stop Toddler Food Throwing
As your baby starts to learn that they are an independent person they will inevitably start to explore their boundaries at the table. It doesn't just stop with toddler food throwing though! From banging silverware to throwing cups, food, and plates, babies and toddlers will do it all. Here are some strategies to help curb those behaviors.
The Best Toddler Milk
As your baby grows and turns into a toddler, their diet will start to become more dependent on solid foods than liquid foods. For the first year of life, the most important thing for them to have is breastmilk, or formula. But once they turn one, milk starts to take a back seat to solid foods. By the time they’re two
How to Help Your Child Gain Weight
When it comes to kids, it can be such a hard thing to tell if they’re getting all the food that they need. It’s impossible to just go based off of how much they eat, as some kids need very little to maintain their growth, and others need a lot.
What is Baby Led Weaning, and Why Does it Get a Bad Rap?
Baby Led Weaning, or BLW, is essentially skipping the purees and giving your baby developmentally appropriate finger foods. At its core, it encourages parents to let their baby lead with eating. Babies pick up the finger food and put it in their mouth. This usually means parents aren’t tempted to encourage their babies to overeat by trying to get more
Why a Feeding Schedule for Toddlers is Important
As babies turn into toddlers, it can sometimes seem like your sweet little baby has disappeared into a demanding, irrational little human. Your baby has now realized that they are their own person and can say no to something.
How to Cut Foods for Baby Led Weaning
This might just be the million dollar question! I hear from so many parents that they are worried about cutting foods for their baby so that they are safe. So I thought I would put together a guide to help alleviate your concerns and help give you confidence that you know what you are doing!
Baby-Friendly Raspberry Skillet Pancake
A pancake that is delicious and fluffy, baby and parent friendly, and doesn’t involve standing over the stove with a spatula? Sign me up!
Baby Led Weaning: First Foods
Once you’ve decided on baby led weaning, what foods should you begin with? The options are endless! I recommend building your plate with food from 3 different groups...
20 Finger Foods Recipes for Toddlers and Baby Led Weaning
When you’re first starting to feed your baby finger foods, it can be hard to know what to look for in a recipe. And it can be just downright exhausting trying to come up with new and nutritious recipes, whether you're just starting out or have been doing it for awhile. Sometimes you just need to find those few recipes that will become your tried and true favorites. Especially when it comes to finger foods for toddlers or foods for baby led weaning.
Is It Safe to Combine Traditional and Baby Led Weaning?
It’s a common question that so many parents have. Can you combine traditional and baby led weaning? Is baby led weaning an all or nothing method? If you choose to spoon feed purees, does that mean that you can’t also give your baby finger foods? I am a passionate proponent of doing what is right for your baby and your family. There's no need to follow any arbitrary rules for feeding. So when questions like this pop up as a result of rumors and misguided recommendations, I feel the need to set the record straight!
Baby Led Weaning: The 7 Things You Should Know Before Starting
Baby led weaning is such a great tool for parents to have access to when it comes to weaning their babies. But before you start, there are a few things that are helpful to know! Think of baby led weaning as a tool in your tool box to help your child have a healthy relationship with food. It can help to naturally encourage your child to pay attention to their own hunger cues right from the beginning,
The Division of Responsibility in Feeding
Have you heard of the Division of Responsibility? It’s an important tool that can help parents of all ages reduce stress and battles around meal times! Read on for more information about it! Our goal as parents is to help our kids have a healthy relationship with food. Another way to say that is that we want them to become competent eaters. But just what do those mean, really? To be a competent eater, there are a few things we are looking for.
The Best Ways to Use Leftovers
My family has always eaten leftovers. I grew up on them, and have eaten them as an adult since I moved out of my parents house. Before becoming a dietitian and making food pretty much my life, it would never have occurred to me that everyone else doesn’t do this, too! But once I started seeing clients and answering nutrition questions, I realized that leftovers get such a bad rap! Sometimes to the point of people thinking they should never have them, or that they’re nutritionally inferior.
How to Teach Your Baby to Use a Spoon
One of the most common questions I get is about how to teach your baby to use a spoon. Today we’ll talk about the specific things you can do to help your baby learn to use a spoon. In this post I talked about some more passive ways you can teach spoon use. I’ve seen all sorts of recommendations on this. The most common one I’ve seen recommends having your baby start to use a spoon around 12 months. Here’s the thing. Why wait?
The Best Baby Cups
Have you ever wondered about the best cup for babies? Maybe you’ve asked friends and family what they have found to work? Or scoured Amazon for the best reviewed cups? Today, I’m going to talk about the best cup for babies, but from a pediatric dietitian’s perspective. Of course that perspective includes a bit of my mom side, too!
Fridge and Freezer Staples for Quick Family Meals
Today’s post is going into detail about the fridge and freezer staples that can help you to make quick and nourishing family meals, even without a meal plan! Meal plans can make feeding your family easier, hands down. But sometimes life happens and a meal plan just doesn’t get done. Which means that dinner comes around, and you need to have a way to feed your family, fast! Check out last week’s post on pantry staples for all the non-perishable items to stock. This week we’ll focus purely on the perishable fridge and freezer staples.
Pantry Staples for Quick Family Meals
Do you have a well stocked pantry full of pantry staples for quick meals? I ask in an effort to be real here. Meal planning is something that can be a great help when feeding your family. But sometimes it doesn’t always happen. Or maybe it did happen but you’re out of an ingredient you thought you had and can’t make what you’d planned. Whatever the reason, getting meals together on the fly is another great skill to have when feeding your family.
The Stokke High Chair or the Ikea High Chair: Which Is the Best High Chair for Your Baby
Why am I talking about the Stokke high chair or the Ikea high chair? What's so special or notable about these chairs? I remember when I was pregnant and we were registering for all of the baby gear that we thought we would need. I spent hours researching what we wanted! It was important to me to only get things that we would use, and things that had great reviews.
The Top Choking Hazards for Kids Under 4
Can you name the choking hazards for kids under 4? How about for babies? While most of us know to avoid whole hot dogs and grapes, there are several other foods that are also on the list of choking hazards!
How to Help Your Baby Learn to Feed Themselves
Having a baby, or even a toddler, that can feed themselves is something that most parents look forward to. The ability to put food in front of your child and have them know what to do with it is an amazing milestone. But how do you help your baby learn to feed themselves? And even better, how do you teach them to use a spoon or a fork?
1 Year Old Baby Food- What Changes Should You Know About?
With a 1 year old baby, it seems like everything is changing, and fast! Your tiny little baby is actively changing into a toddler. With their own opinions and desires, their personalities are starting to emerge. We’ve talked a lot about what you should be watching for when feeding young babies. From size and shapes, to safe textures, what to avoid, and family meals. So what stays the same now that they are leaving baby-hood and becoming a toddler? And what is completely new with your 1 year old baby?
How Your Postpartum Body Affects Your Child
I’m not ashamed to admit that I truly struggled with my body image while I was pregnant and for several months postpartum. I looked in the mirror and didn’t see the person I was used to seeing. My body had completely changed. I knew that everyone was watching me to see what I did, and what my body did, after I gave birth. Or at least it felt like it to me. From a professional standpoint, I’ve talked with many people about body image and how our society views weight and fitness. I know all the ins and outs it seems. And now I can say I’ve been there. I still look at myself in the mirror and see a body that isn’t what I’m used to. If you are also a woman who’s had a baby, there’s a chance you can say the same thing.
The Best Plastic-Free Products for Babies and Kids
Plastics, as well as plastic-free products, have been in the news lately. Why is that, you ask? A few weeks ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), released a statement addressing chemicals and additives in food and food packaging.They addressed not only manufactured packaging, but also plastic containers that you might use at home in your own kitchen.
The Best Bread for Babies
One of the best tricks for feeding your newly-eating baby is to pretty much put everything on bread. Hummus, nut butters, yogurt and cottage cheese, it all works. Even things that you would never eat yourself? Yep, those work, too! With that being said, giving so much bread to your baby definitely means that you’ll want to pay attention to what bread you are buying. But just what should you be looking for to find the best bread for babies?
How to Keep Your Baby from Choking
When most people look at a baby that is gagging, they get incredibly anxious. I can't tell you how many times parents who want to start with baby led weaning tell me they can't because they're afraid of their baby choking. And it’s not just parents! It’s grandparents and random strangers that get anxious, too. They want to jump in and help, or never give that food again. But that is not the best answer!
Delicious Fruit-Sweetened Smash Cake
When we first started planning my daughter’s recent 1st birthday party, I had no intention of creating my own smash cake recipe. I figured why re-invent the wheel? I was planning to find one on Pinterest and call it a day. But when I actually went to find a recipe, I realized I wouldn’t be reinventing the wheel, because there wasn’t already one out there! I couldn't for the life of me find a fruit-sweetened smash cake that looked worth making.
Do you or your baby need Omega 3 supplements?
When you're pregnant or breastfeeding, there are a million recommendations for what you should be taking as far as supplements go! If you're lucky, you can find a prenatal vitamin that has everything you need in it. But what are some of the things you should be paying attention to? One of them is Omega 3's. The questions is, do Omega 3 supplements work as well as the food in this case?
The Best Milk for Babies After 1
Here in the States, it is generally assumed that at one year old babies will transition to cow’s milk. Many parents, whether it be for allergies, constipation, or just personal concern, wonder if that is strictly necessary. So today we’re going to talk about what you should be giving your child after 1!
The Best Finger Foods for Babies
When you’re just starting to feed your baby solid foods, it can be overwhelming figuring out what the best finger foods for babies is. I hear from a lot of parents that one of the things they are most anxious about, in fact, is the size and texture of finger foods they should be serving their baby. If you do a google or Pinterest search for what size of foods to serve your baby, you’ll get a lot of recommendations about the exact size food...
Kale Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
I am a huge fan of clean out your fridge recipes. In winter, that usually means soups and curries. But in summer, I just have no appetite for things that are warm and take a long time on the stove. That could be a product of living where it is routinely 100F in the summer, though! Enter this salad. It’s a great dish that can serve as your entire meal. I’ve put it into recipe form here...
Foods to Avoid For Babies in Their First Year
As a dietitian, I take a pretty liberal approach to what you should and shouldn’t eat. In fact, there’s really not much that you would ever find me saying not to eat! We can come up with all sorts of sayings, like all foods fit, there’s no good or bad food, all of that. Whatever saying you want to put to it, that’s what I believe when it comes to food. Except for when you’re feeding babies. When you’re feeding babies, there are a few foods to avoid for babies that you need to be aware of before you start.
Baby Cookies
When we first started feeding my daughter solid foods, I was constantly on the look out for easy, baby friendly recipes. I still am, as a matter of fact. There are so many different recipes out there, and some of them fit the bill, but there sure aren’t many! I’m looking for sweetener free, not a choking hazard, and low or no salt. Quite a tall task when it comes down to it. I give bonus points for the same recipe being parent friendly, too!
When Can You Give A Baby Water?
Ever wonder when you should be giving your baby water? Read on for the latest recommendations! While there are lots of anecdotal recommendations flying around out there, there is an official recommendation on water and babies. Once you start feeding your baby at 6 months of age, you can start to give them water at meal times. During these first few months, you do want to restrict the water intake to meal times. Once your baby is eating foods, having something to drink at meal times can help them to swallow food easier. At one...
Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese with Kale Chips
Today marks the release of my first recipe! Over the last few months, I have realized that it is important for me to begin creating recipes for this site. The first recipe that I'm sharing with you is our go to meal. This is what we eat when we just don't know what else to cook. I found the original recipe years ago, and we've made it so much since then that I realized it's essentially become a whole different recipe now!
What’s the Best Yogurt for Babies?
Believe it or not, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to buying the best yogurt for babies! Should you buy sweetened or plain, conventional or organic, whole fat or low fat? Read on for a detailed rundown of what you should be looking for!
Which Drinks for Kids Are Best?
Drinks are a common source of questions most parents have once they start feeding their babies solid foods. Should they stick with only giving their baby breastmilk or formula? When is juice okay? When should you transition to cow's milk? How much of each should you give? I've got all the details on which drinks for kids are best!
Dinner Ideas for a 6 Month Old
I'm back with the third installment of meal ideas, this time it's dinner ideas for a 6 month old baby! If you're new to the blog, be sure to check out the previous two posts on breakfast and lunch. In those, I talked all about how to build your baby's plate for a quick and easy, balanced meal.
Is Salt in Baby Food Okay?
As a parent of a newly-eating baby, you are likely aware of the salt in baby food that you serve. Most parents know that they should be cautious of how much salt they serve. But just how much is too much?
How Many Meals Should Your Baby Be Eating?
So you’ve got this feeding thing underway now. Your baby has met all the developmental markers and has started to eat foods. You know how much you should be feeding them at each meal, but just how often should you be feeding them? Six to Seven Months- At 6 months old, start by feeding your baby at least two meals a day. Feeding three meals isn’t a bad thing and can help with skill development. It can be quite the task between nap times and the amount of time your baby wants to sit at the table, though! So don’t feel the need to get 3 meals in every day at the beginning. (As with pretty much anything I write about, please pay attention to your baby first and foremost. These are general guidelines, but your parenting intuition rocks and you should listen to that above all else!) The Logistics It doesn’t matter what time these meals are at. The most important thing is
Help! My Baby Keeps Gagging on Their Food
A common question I receive from parents is about how much gagging is okay when a baby is first starting solid foods. While this is a hard question to answer definitively, I will try and provide a few guidelines to ease your mind. Gagging is a normal part of the learning process. A baby’s gag reflex...
How Much Should My Baby Eat?
One of the most common questions I get is "How much should my baby be eating?" Parents are understandably concerned when their baby doesn't actually eat much food in those first few months after starting solid foods, and want to know what is normal.So what is the amount that your baby should be eating? To most parents' consternation, the answer is: It depends.
6 Month Old Baby Food Ideas- Breakfast!
Today we're talking about breakfasts for your baby. Making balanced meals for a 6 month old can be fairly simple and straight forward once you get the hang of it. Until that time, though, it can seem very overwhelming! 6 month old baby food doesn't have to be daunting. I'm here to help you get past being unsure of what to serve. Here are a few pointers for you to make sure feeding is as seamless as possible.
How to Prevent Food Allergies in Children
Food allergies in children have always been a hot topic. Up until recently, the recommendation was to only give allergenic foods, like peanuts, to kids once they were a few years old. That recommendation has changed, though.
Healthy Snacks for Kids
Healthy snacks for kids can mean so many things. It's not just about the food itself, it's about when you serve it and what you serve it with, too! Find out the best ways to serve snacks to your kids.
6 Month Old Baby Food Ideas- Lunch!
Quick and easy lunch ideas for your 6 month old. We're talking about portion sizes, texture, and food ideas for babies.
Iron-Rich Foods for Toddlers and Babies
A frequent question from parents is what is the best source of iron for toddlers or babies. In the first years of life it can be very important to provide many different iron-rich foods for toddlers and babies to help prevent iron deficiency, or anemia.
Hot Topics in Nutrition: Probiotics for Kids
Probiotics for kids: are they necessary? I'm taking a look at the research this week to let you know the latest science and recommendations out there!
Talking to Kids About Food
Yucky and yummy. They seem to be the words that every kid likes to declare when at the table. As parents we  tend to encourage it, too. It's usually our default when we talking to kids about food. "Mmm, yummy!" or "Yucky?" Sound familiar? We would never rely on just those words to talk about food when speaking with other adults, though.
Traveling with a Newly- Eating Baby
Traveling with a newly eating baby can be challenging, there's no sugar coating it. Everything from figuring out how often they need to eat, to what you will feed them, and where they will sit needs to be accounted for. It can all be somewhat overwhelming. It takes time to get used to your baby's habits with eating. When you throw in a trip in the middle of the process, it can make everything even more complicated!
How Family Meals Can Help Your Child’s Well-Being
What if I told you that there was something you can do right now that could help your child succeed in life? Would you do it?` What if that something only involved about an hour of your time a day, and could result in fewer emotional difficulties and symptoms of depression for your child, as well as better emotional well-being? How about  if there was the potential that it could decrease the likelihood that your child would become addicted to drugs, and could improve their overall health?
Advancing Your Baby’s Food Textures
Now that your baby has been eating for a little while, they have likely developed their skills enough to be swallowing many of their foods. Such progress! Do you know what to look for before starting to add in other items and textures?
What Nutrients Are Important in My Baby’s First Foods?
So you're officially ready to start feeding your baby solid foods. They're about 6 months old and have met all of the developmental milestones. You've maybe even given them a couple of first foods. So what do you need to keep in mind as you start feeding them regularly?
First Foods: Traditional or Baby Led Weaning?
Now that you know when to start feeding your baby, it's time to get into the what of first foods. Pureed baby food or regular family food? Is there a specific food to start with? Continue reading to find out!
Recipe Resources for Mealtime Inspiration
One of my favorite things to do online is find new recipes. I like the inspiration I get from seeing new recipes pop up on blogs I follow. I also like being able to find the best version of a dish that I saw someone post about on social media. However I end up finding the recipe, I love to get in the kitchen and experience the satisfaction of a recipe that turns out perfectly.
Feeding Babies Part 1: Starting Solid Foods
The beginning of your child’s life is a time that is full of so many amazing moments. From their first smile to being able to sit up, it all seems to go by so fast. Before my daughter was born, I was so busy buying all sorts of baby paraphernalia that I didn’t do much thinking about how we were going to do the actual parenting. I figured we had plenty of time to work that out. At 5 months and counting (quickly, it seems!) we are definitely approaching that time where our parenting philosophy is going to need to start showing itself in full force.
The Best Healthy Travel Snacks for Families
We just got back from a trip to British Columbia to introduce the babe to her Canadian family. One of the things that always shocks me about traveling is just how meager the food options are at most airports, and how expensive those few options are. Now I’m the last one to say I won’t eat something, and am generally pretty open to all options for food. There’s just something about most airport food that leaves me feeling heavy and sluggish afterwards, though, so I generally try and avoid it, and the outrageous price tag!
Navigating Halloween with Your Children
I still remember every Halloween when I was a child. We would get dressed up in our costumes and head to the best streets in the neighborhood to collect as much candy as we could. When we had accumulated our stash, my sister and I would head back home and spend hours sorting and trading our candy. Each of us would try to get as many of our favorites as possible and then would eat them for weeks afterwards.