Lentil Bruschetta Dip

lentil bruschetta dip on crackers

Now that it’s getting warmer, it’s the perfect time to start making our lentil bruschetta dip again! It’s a slight variation on the Trader Joe’s version that became popular a few years ago. My favorite thing about it is that it can be made from all fresh or all packaged foods, depending on what you have available.
The addition of lentils to traditional bruschetta adds in some protein, iron, and fiber, making it a perfect snack or meal for kids (and adults). With older kids, you can serve it with crackers, but with younger kids, I’d offer it with toasted bread as crackers can be a choking hazard.

Signs of Readiness for Solids

baby showing one of the signs of readiness: sitting up while eating broccoli

One of the most confusing things for many parents is figuring out when exactly to start solids. You may receive the ok from your pediatrician at 4 months, but you may also hear to wait until 6 months. There’s also information about introducing allergens between 4-6 months, so which is right? For the most part, we look for signs of readiness more than a certain age.
As with all things parenting, there are exceptions to every rule. These are the general guidelines we use to assess whether or not a child is ready to start solids, but there are reasons that certain children may need to start solids earlier or later. If you are ever concerned, you can work with a pediatric dietitian or feeding therapist who can familiarize themselves with your individual situation.

Milk Alternatives for Toddlers

3 glasses of milk on a blue checkered towel

Around age 1, most parents are advised to switch from formula or breast milk to cow’s milk. There are many reasons why families may not want or be able to offer cow’s milk and are looking for milk alternatives. There is no food that your child NEEDS to eat, so if you do not want to offer milk, you do not need to offer an alternative, however you definitely can.

How Often to Replace Pump Parts

breast pump and parts

Even if you’ve read your breast pump manual thoroughly, you may find conflicting information about how often to replace your pump parts. This is because everyone uses their pumps differently. Someone who is exclusively pumping will need to replace parts much more frequently than someone who just pumps when they want to go out for date night and want to give their baby a bottle.
That being said, there are some general rules of thumb that you can follow. If you ever notice a change in output for seemingly no reason, checking parts is one of the first things you can do.

Kohlrabi Cakes for Baby

kohlrabi cakes with sour cream and dill dipping sauce

Kohlrabi may not be on the list of vegetables for your baby to try, but due to its mild taste, it’s a great option. It is also known as a German turnip or turnip cabbage (which is exactly what it looks like). It is related to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and collard greens.

Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked, making it very versatile. It’s often described as similar to a broccoli stem, but it’s a bit milder and sweeter. You generally need to remove the outer layers prior to eating as they don’t soften much when cooked.

Prebiotics and Probiotics in Formula

infant formula, baby bottle, rattle

Gut health has become very popular, so it’s not surprising to see formula companies changing recipes to try and improve the gut microbiome. One way companies are achieving this is using prebiotics and probiotics in their formula.
The gut microbiome is a relatively new area of study and we don’t have an “ideal” gut bacteria profile yet. Companies are comparing the gut bacteria of breastfed babies to those of formula fed babies, with breastfed being the standard. By adding in prebiotics and probiotics commonly found in breastmilk, the goal is to create a similar microbiome in formula fed infants.

Meal and Snack Schedule for Kids

foods on the left with a meal planner and grocery list showing a meal snack schedule

One of your jobs as the parent is to determine when your child eats. As with all feeding recommendations, your child’s personal wants and needs should be taken into account, but the overall decision should be yours.
In general, I recommend a flexible routine more than a rigid schedule. This allows for changes as needed. Some days your child may be hungrier than others. Some days they may need more sleep and take longer naps. The routine allows for predictability while still allowing you to respond to your child’s needs.

Potassium for Kids

white background with potassium containing foods laid out

When most people think of potassium, the first thing that comes to mind is a banana. There are many other foods that have as much, if not more potassium than a banana, so if your child doesn’t eat bananas, don’t worry. It’s still possible for them to get enough of this critical mineral.

Do lactogenic foods really help?

oatmeal raisin cookies, the lactogenic foods used in the study

Not having enough milk for your baby is a top concern of many breastfeeding parents. Because of this, there is a whole market for galactagogues, or lactogenic foods, that claim to help boost milk supply. Do they really work?
Until recently, most of our evidence was anecdotal, based on claims people were making with very little science to support it. At best, there were some theories on how these foods *may* work. At worst, claims were completely unsubstantiated.

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