10 Easy Make-Ahead Baby-Led Weaning Recipes

These easy, healthy recipes are baby- and kid-friendly and perfect for baby-led weaning. They can also all be made ahead and stored in the freezer for meal-prep convenience. 

These easy, make-ahead baby-led weaning recipes are freezer-friendly and perfect for meal prep. Healthy meals for your babe in minutes!

No matter how much I want to flex my recipe creativity muscle and make cool, irresistible adult food, it’s been hard to ignore the fact that there’s a HUGE need out there for more baby-friendly and baby-led weaning recipes. There seem to be a lot of other mamas out there looking for healthy recipe inspiration for their little ones and I want to help!

I’ve got quite a few of my own baby-led weaning recipes I’ve been working on perfecting for all of you mamas out there – which you’ll be seeing soon – but, in the meantime, I reached out to some of my other mama blogger friends for their favorite baby-friendly and baby-led weaning recipes.

Disclosure: We chose to follow baby-led weaning when introducing our now 14-month-old to solids and couldn’t be happier with the results. If you’re unfamiliar with the method and want to learn more, I highly recommend reading Gill Rapley’s book, Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods — and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Healthy and Confident Eater

That being said, here are 10 Easy Make-Ahead Baby-Led Weaning Recipes!

1.Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes
Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes | 10 Easy Make-Ahead Baby-Led Weaning Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
by CaliGirl Cooking
2. Sweet Potato Lentil Tater Tots
Sweet Potato Lentil Tater Tots | 10 Easy Make-Ahead Baby-Led Weaning Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
by Haute and Healthy Living
3. Salmon and Veggie Balls
Salmon and Veggie Balls | 10 Easy Make-Ahead Baby-Led Weaning Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
by Kidgredients
4. Chickpea PancaKES
Chickpea Pancakes | 10 Easy Make-Ahead Baby-Led Weaning Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
by Healthy Little Foodies
5. bROCCOLI tOTS
Broccoli Tots | 10 Easy Make-Ahead Baby-Led Weaning Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
by White Coat Pink Apron
6. oAT mILK cHIA pUDDING WITH bLUEBERRY oRANGE cOMPOTE
Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote | 10 Easy Make-Ahead Baby-Led Weaning Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
by CaliGirl Cooking
7. sAVORY bEET zUCCHINI bREAD
Savory Beet Zucchini Bread | 10 Easy Make-Ahead Baby-Led Weaning Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
by MJ and Hungry Man
8. sUPER sIMPLE pUMPKIN cARROT mUFFINS
Super Simple Pumpkin Carrot Muffins | 10 Easy Make-Ahead Baby-Led Weaning Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
by CaliGirl Cooking
9. qUINOA bITES

by The Belly Rules the Mind

10. bABY’S fIRST pANCAKES
Baby's First Pancakes | 10 Easy Make-Ahead Baby-Led Weaning Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
by Eat Real Live Well

THE Freshest Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas

Loads of fresh tangerine juice goes into this homemade sorbet (along with a couple of other special citrus-y ingredients) to make it the perfect upgrade to your morning mimosa.

These Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas are made from the season's best tangerines plus loads of other citrus to make the perfect New Year's Day cocktail!

When I say these are THE Freshest Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas, I mean these tangerines came off the tree that sits about 30 feet from my front door and were squeezed less than 10 minutes after they were picked. They’re THAT fresh. But hey, I’m not here to throw shade at anyone that may not have a plethora of fresh citrus at the ready – we’re in the throes of winter now, folks, and there’s no better time to snatch up all of the fresh tangerines and lemons you can find and throw them together to make some delicious Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas just in time for New Year’s!

Let’s back up for a quick second, though, because I need to know: when it comes to frozen desserts, are you Team Sorbet or Team Ice Cream? Taken in their purest forms, I’m an ice cream fan all the way. There’s just something about that rich dairy flavor that I find myself leaning towards if ever given the choice between the two. But throw a good bottle of bubbly in the mix? I’ll be Team Sorbet all day, every day.

I mean, sure, you can make and enjoy this Tangerine Sorbet all on its own, but if I have some sitting in my freezer you can pretty much bet the only way I’ll be enjoying it is at the bottom of a champagne flute.

These Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas are made from the season's best tangerines plus loads of other citrus to make the perfect New Year's Day cocktail!

So, the first step in making THE Freshest Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas is – quite obviously – making the Tangerine Sorbet out of the best, freshest tangerines you can find. If you’re familiar with the whole ice cream making process, the rest will be a piece of cake. You’ll need an ice cream maker of some sort, and a saucepan, but that’s about it. Oh, and to really up the citrus factor, we’re also adding in some fresh lemon juice and Grand Marnier.

Another incredibly important thing to note – you need to start this Tangerine Sorbet process at least the night before your planning to enjoy your ever-so-fancy mimosas. I tell you this now because I care for each and every one of you way too much to have you start this entire process one or two hours before you’re ready to throw your mimosas back, only to be met with soupy sludgy tangerine syrup. Hey, today is Friday and we still have plenty of time before New Year’s to get this going, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!

These Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas are made from the season's best tangerines plus loads of other citrus to make the perfect New Year's Day cocktail!

Once the Tangerine Sorbet is at its icy, frosty peak, you’re ready to mimosa it (yep, just made that a verb.) Take your favorite bottle of mimosa bubbles, pour some of it on top of your FRESH Tangerine Sorbet and – voila – you’re ready to enjoy THE Freshest Tangerine Sorbet Mimosa you ever did sip on.

You likely already have plans for New Year’s, but you better add some Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas to those plans ASAP.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year for you and yours!

These Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas are made from the season's best tangerines plus loads of other citrus to make the perfect New Year's Day cocktail!

THE Freshest Tangerine Sorbet Mimosas
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Freezer time
4 hrs
Total Time
40 mins
 

Loads of fresh tangerine juice goes into this homemade sorbet (along with a couple of other special citrus-y ingredients) to make it the perfect upgrade to your morning mimosa. 

Servings: 7 servings
Calories: 289 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the tangerine sorbet:
  • 3 cups fresh tangerine juice
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
Other ingredients:
  • 1 750-mL bottle sparkling wine
Instructions
  1. Combine all sorbet ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine, until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. 

  2. Pour tangerine mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to package directions. 

  3. Pour into a 9-inch loaf pan and freeze until solid. 

  4. Scoop sorbet into sparkling wine flutes and top with sparkling wine. Enjoy!

The BEST Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe

An easy, five-minute recipe featuring all of the festive flavors of classic eggnog in delicious, creamy, dairy-free oat milk. A healthier take on a typically indulgent treat!

This Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe uses oat milk as its base and is the perfect lightened up treat for the holidays!

If you’re a fan of eggnog but not all of the calories that come with it, this Dairy-Free Eggnog is going to change. your. life.

First, please tell me you’ve tried my new favorite milk alternative, oat milk. I’m the last person to ever be “dairy-free” (cheese and I are bosom buddies) but I’m also not one to shy away from other delicious milk options. Sure, almond milk is a classic go-to, but if you’ve never experienced the thick creaminess of oat milk, now is the time!

This Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe uses oat milk as its base and is the perfect lightened up treat for the holidays!

And when we’re making The BEST Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe, we want it to be just as thick and creamy as the original. Am I right? Well, I’m happy to report that this recipe will give you just that, plus tons of great flavor from a myriad of spices and even a little rum extract (and, if you like your eggnog spiked, feel free to use the real deal!)

The other great thing about this eggnog recipe? It comes together in wayyyy less time than traditional homemade eggnog. We’re talking throw-everything-in-a-blender-and-it’s-ready-in-5-minutes easy. Because who wants to wait hours to enjoy a delicious glass of frothy eggnog? Or perhaps an oat milk version of this Spiked Almond Milk Eggnog Hot Chocolate?

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure looking forward to having this recipe on hand over the next few weeks. It will sure be nice to have a lighter, healthier alternative to enjoy among all of the other cookies, cocktails, sweets and treats!

This Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe uses oat milk as its base and is the perfect lightened up treat for the holidays!

Do you have a favorite lightened-up holiday recipe? If so, tell me about it in the comments below!

The BEST Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

An easy, five-minute recipe featuring all of the festive flavors of classic eggnog in delicious, creamy, dairy-free oat milk. A healthier take on a typically indulgent treat!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Drinks
Keyword: dairy-free, dessert, drinks, eggnog, holiday, oat milk, rum
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 356 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 4 cups oat milk (I prefer Oatly brand)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Couple of handfuls of ice
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until mixture is frothy but there are still some little chunks of ice left. 

  2. Pour into four glasses and sprinkle additional ground nutmeg over top of each one. Serve immediately.

The Best Books to Read Before Baby

After reading quite a few books to prepare for our little one’s arrival, I made a list of some of my favorites. These Best Books to Read Before Baby were all lifesavers for us!

The most helpful books to read before baby arrives!
This post contains affiliate links.

Books are listed clockwise from top left corner.

If you know me, you know I love to travel, and I haven’t helped but noticed how different child-rearing is in other parts of the world. Bringing Up Bébé is an insightful look into how the French do it, in their own elegant, even-keeled fashion. #lifegoals for sure!

I didn’t have a strictly outlined “birth plan” going into labor, but I had a good idea of what I wanted. I wanted to give the whole natural birthing a shot, but wasn’t going to hold it against myself if I ended up wanting a little pain management. Even though I ended up getting an epidural, I was still so glad I had read Mindful Birthing (at the recommendation of the midwife in our group of OB/GYN’s.) Moral of the story – I don’t think it hurts any of us to be a little more mentally prepared for this crazy, life-changing event, no matter what birthing method we choose!

At first I was a bit hesitant to dive into The First 40 Days because, TBH, I thought it might be a little too “woo-woo” for me. But at the recommendation of my prenatal yoga instructor, I finally gave in and am so glad I did. Even though I didn’t follow the recommendations to a T, I tried to incorporate many of the principles they recommended, which rely heavily on ancient Chinese practices. If nothing else, there are some great recipes to get you through those first few months with a precious new babe in your life!

In case you’re overwhelmed by the thought of finishing SIX books before your baby arrives, this one can easily be put off for a few months. We chose to do Baby-Led Weaning with Raia (which we started when she turned 6 months old) and this book is basically the Holy Grail of this newer concept of introducing solids to your little one. We have been soooo happy with BLW, I highly recommend it!

I know this recommendation has the potential to stir up some controversy, but I stand strongly by it since it worked so well for us. We opted to follow The Sleep Easy Solution for sleep training based on the recommendation of some friends. Yes, it does involve some crying, but it is not full-blown cry-it-out (or CIO as they call it in mom world) and, YES, it works. Raia now sleeps 11-12 hours straight almost every night and is on a much better nap schedule than she ever was before we did sleep training. Method aside, what I love about this book is that it prepares you for EVERY sleep situation or roadblock you’re likely to face with your little one up until they are 5 years old. Yes, I still refer to it every once in a while for guidance and reassurance.

Last, but definitely not least, The Happiest Baby on the Block is one you’ll DEFINITELY want to get through before baby arrives. It talks a lot about those first few months after baby is born (which, let’s be honest, are TOUGH) and gives you great pointers on how to soothe your little one when they are still getting used to being “earthside.” And yes, this book is where we learned how much of a lifesaver a hairdryer can be in the most trying times!

And, there you have it – my list of the Best Books to Read Before Baby! It may seem overwhelming, but I promise many of these books are pretty quick reads.

As always, if I missed anything you highly recommend, please drop it in the comments below!

Here’s to all my mamas out there!

Essential Baby Products Months 6-12

A list of what we considered were the essential baby products for months 6-12. The perfect reference to start your baby registry or Christmas list!

A list of what we considered the essential baby products for our little one's months 6-12.
This post contains affiliate links.

I hope you’re ready for Part II of my roundup – what we consider to be the essential baby products for months 6-12!

I’m sure I accidentally left out something, but this list is comprised of the things I considered “must-haves” during those second six months of our little babe’s life, and now is the perfect time to make your purchases with so many great sales going on at the end of the week.

So, without further ado…

Items are listed clockwise from top left.

Raia is still getting comfortable using the walker part of this VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker, but she loves the little activity panel. We feel safe with her on this one since our house is all one level with absolutely no stairs, but do use caution if you live somewhere that is multilevel!

These bibs are seriously the only bibs you’ll need once your little one moves on to solids. I love that they cover so much of them, can be wiped dry but are also machine-washable. Plus, can we talk about how cute all the designs are?

This swim seat was the hit of the summer. We don’t have a pool and didn’t want to run up our water bill with a kiddie pool, so I found this simple seat that takes hardly any water but is still a blast for the babes, even if they’re not completely sitting upright on their own yet. I highly recommend it!

Hands down the best decision we ever made in purchasing baby products was this $25 Ikea Antilop highchair. It’s not too big and clunky and so easy to clean. Nothing fancier needed.

Long story short, these Ezpz Mini Mats are the only plates you’ll need for your little once they start eating solid food. They’re dishwasher and microwave safe and – extra bonus – quite difficult for the littles to toss on the ground!

We were lucky to borrow a couple of friends’ bouncers to try with Raia, and she loved this one! It was a great step up from the bouncer chair and rock-and-play once she got too big for those, and is great for starting to build up those leg muscles.

Once Raia started rolling over, we transitioned her to these armless sleep sacks which we still use to this day. They’re not too restricting but still make them feel like they’ve got a little extra comfort.

I know there is a lot of controversy on the safety of walkers like this Joovy one, but again, we live in a one-story home with absolutely zero stairs and lots of open space, so we felt safe getting this for Raia to run around in. She loves it! I liked the Joovy one in particular because it was much simpler and had a lot less stuff going on than many of the other walkers out there. We couldn’t be happier with this choice.

In the same vein as not wanting a walker with too much “stuff” going on, I also didn’t want a play mat that was loud and obnoxious looking. I had been eyeing the Little Nomad mats but, honestly, they were a bit out of our price range. I was so excited to find this Emma + Ollie one for practically half the price and we love it! I’ve actually been thinking about investing in another one soon as Raia’s toys continue to take over our living room.

This Play & Kick Car Seat Toy was a lifesaver for long car rides with the babe once she stopped sleeping most of the way. She loved kicking it to make music and playing with the little toys hanging down. I’m so sad that she’s outgrown it a bit now because it was endless entertainment!

This VTech activity cube is just the type of toy I love – one that will entertain the babe for many, many months! It has a lot of fun stuff for the younger babes, but will also continue to challenge them as they get older. Very multi-purpose if you ask me.

And that’s all I have for you today! Be sure to check in tomorrow because I’ll be sharing what we considered to be the essential baby books to get us through the first year. 

Also, be sure to let me know if there are other products that you consider “baby essentials” in the comments below!