Last month I had a revelation of sorts:
My clients are your babies.
Sometimes very young babies. And whilst their parents are the people speaking to me, being the person who has to action everything, I am working on behalf of your baby, to identify sources of discomfort and then to teach you, the parents, how to best support them through their digestive developmental period.
This has lead me to being stronger in my recommendations to parents when it comes to food.
I get parents asking me if they can introduce a new food, that they personally like, merely days after starting the elimination phase has started.
The purpose of the elimination phase is to get their baby to a Place of Great, ideally with no reflux symptoms, improving naps and sleeps, more settled and happier baby. Once here, we start introducing foods slowly and gently.
The point being is to maintain this happiness and to introduce foods safely and with minimal risk of reflux flare-ups occurring. I teach the parents how to observe and recognise signs that their baby's body is telling whether or not that food is a safe one.
Let your baby teach you.
Part of me is delighted that the elimination phase gives incredible changes so quickly, and a teeny tiny part of me resents this change a little, because it gives me so much more work to do with parents. I have to reign them in a little. I have got us to a position where they have forgotten how bad the bad days were. Parents are so excited about what they can do now and they forget that to take it slow and to carefully.
Honestly, it is a minor and great complaint to have, so I am happy to continue to coach my client's parents.
One of the most fabulous recipes I have is muffins. The basic recipe is eggs and ground almonds, and then you can change the "flavourings" to be sweet or savoury.
The bacon, spinach and tomato version is a quick hit in my house for breakfasts, and the raspberry version is a great snack or substitute for cake (one of mine has many many many allergies so much of my mothering life to now has involved figuring out what I can create that allows my kids to enjoy similar foods and flavours to their friends).
The added benefit to this recipe is that it is sugar free, digestible for toddlers from 1 (if you are using the honey-sweetened muffins), they are so nutritionally dense that one serving is enough energy for a meal in its own right.
Let me know what your clients think of these ones!
Grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sulphite-free.
Suitable for babies (who have been introduced all the ingredients according to the gentle eating plan)
250g ground almonds
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of pink Himalayan crystal salt
25g chopped cooked spinach
2 slices bacon, cooked and chopped small
4 slices sundried tomatoes chopped small
Sweet: (only add in honey after 12 months, other sweeteners can ferment in baby's gut causing GI disturbances)
1/4 cup honey
1 cup frozen raspberries or other frozen fruit your baby can tolerate
Preheat oven to 160 degC (350F)
Lay out 12 muffin cases on a baking tray
Set 2 tablespoons of ground almonds aside for later
Combine the rest of the ground almonds, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a mixing bowl
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and coconut oil together (add honey and honey too if using)
Using a wooden spoon, mix the eggs into the almond mixture, combining well
This is the basic muffing mix - just add your chosen flavours now.
Gently stir in desired flavourings
Divide the batter into the muffin cases
Sprinkle the ground almonds set aside earlier on the top of the muffins
Bake for 25-35 minutes. A skewer will come out clean when they are cooked, the top will be springy and firm also.
Cool on a wire tray. Once cooled they can be stored for 4-5 days in an airtight container or frozen.
Allow the muffins to completely cool before giving to baby or freezing. They will keep for 3 days in an airtight container or up to 6 weeks in the freezer. Thaw completely before serving.
PS I've started developing my Introducing Food for Reflux Babies course. This will teach you all you need to know to introduce food safely and with minimal reflux flare ups so that food can be healing rather than hurting. Sign up here to be in line to know first, and to avail of introductory prices!