Menu-planning has been sort of all over the place. We plan menus every week, but when it comes to holiday planning, we have never been really organized. Mostly we had planned our menus and created Google Docs for each year with links to recipes as needed or references to where to find the recipe in the cookbooks. I will tell you this has been totally messy and hard to find previous menus. Even typing menu into google doesn’t always bring up all of the documents.
In an effort to decrease clutter and focus some of our digital mess into a more organized fashion we have begun using Microsoft’s OneNote to website recipes clippings (I still do a bunch of it on Pinterest) and paper recipes. It’s our digital cookbook. We had scanned tons of stuff a while ago that’s just sitting on a Google drive and hard to search, so moving forward we have started adding them into the Microsoft’s OneNote
This year, we tried using OneNote during Passover for our meal planning and organizing. It was surprisingly awesome! We had just installed Microsoft Office 365 on our computers and phones. We didn’t get to everything in our plan and had to readjust because our oven died when I was cleaning it for the holiday, but it did help with the process. This probably could be done with Evernote too, but I haven’t ever use Evernote.
We created the plan and then we linked to the recipes that were in the notebook. We also created a shopping list on the side with check off boxes. Because I could access the shopping list, menu, and recipes all at the same time, it made shopping easy. I could go back to look at recipes if I wanted clarification or know if there was a specific type of ingredient that needed to be purchased and make the adjustments as I was shopping.
One of best parts of having recipes available through the web, computer, or mobile device is the access to them from anywhere. For the recipes we use all the time, we can add them to the notebook. An advantage of having them with us is we can plan a menu on the go and can quickly reference the recipe and add ingredients to our shopping list even when we are not home.
There are a lot of books, blogs, etc about doing Baby-led weaning (BLW), so this is not a definitive guide. This is basically a resource on how to get started and some of the tools you might need.
What is Baby-led weaning?
This is my explanation: It’s basically allowing your child to feed themselves by introducing foods after 6 months of age. There are a number of foods you can begin with, but begin with foods you can cook and make so soft that they can easily swallow the food. Here are a few examples: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. You don’t wait to introduce new food and you basically allow the child to decide what and when they want to eat. Don’t worry about how much they are eating. By 7-8 months they should get the hang of it.
A benefit we saw is that our child was able to use utensils and a cup earlier. He had a lot of interest in different foods and while he is older now and a little bit more opinionated, he is still a pretty good eater and will try lots of stuff.
Don’t worry about a lack of teeth, they can figure out it out.
With baby-led weaning the child might gag, be sure you know the difference between gagging and choking.
And just one thing, it’s messy!
What do I need?
You don’t need to do anything special for baby led weaning. Just cook what you might already be cooking, but here are some of the things that were suggested that might be useful to you.
A mat for under the high-chair can be helpful to help contain the mess. You could easily use an old vinyl table cloth as well.
I love these Ikea Bibs. I have a bunch and have bought them for Passover and during the regular year. It’s clear which ones are for Meat meals and Dairy Meals. And they go right into the dishwasher.
The Mandoline was suggested as an easy way to cut the vegetables. I am so worried about cutting a finger off, but it really does speed up the process.
A friend of ours suggested these gloves to help protect your fingers.
This is the book about Baby-led weaning, but try your library, you might find a copy there. The recipes also has some great ideas.
Baby Led Weaning – Starting solids with foods straight from the dinner table!