Hidden Veggie Toddler Muffins

I’ve been meaning to blog this recipe foreeverrrrr. I make these hidden veggie toddler muffins pretty much every week for my daughter. Her consumption of green vegetables is slim to none currently so I have to get pretty creative to get her to eat healthy. Her favorites are bread and cheese, duh why wouldn’t they be?

Really the only veggies she only touches in their full form are green beans and corn (if that even counts as a vegetable). I try to offer her different things but hate wasting food and most of the time it goes on the ground. She does eat meat and cheese, butter and seafood so I’m holding on to that to give her the nutrients she needs!

little chef

This recipe for hidden veggie toddler muffins packs in carrots, zuchinni, oats and bananas for a low sugar and wholesome breakfast. They’re also gluten free and refined sugar free. I love it because I don’t have to think about what to make her for breakfast. I pop them in the microwave and serve them with a pat of butter. 

Hidden Veggie Toddler Muffins


1 small zucchini (roughly 3/4 cup grated)

1 medium carrot

1 cup oats

1 cup almond flour 

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 ripe banana, mashed

2 eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

1-2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Recipe: Preheat oven to 350

  1. Shred the zucchini and carrot in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 5 minutes. 
  2. Squeeze excess waters out of the vegetables with a cheese cloth or paper towel.
  3. Add eggs, honey, and banana and mix well. 
  4. Add dry ingredients- almond flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and mix. 
  5. Add into a greased muffin tin. 
  6. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the top. 

*Keep in the fridge for 5-7 days! Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds and serve with butter. 

Updated to add: I also tried a variation on these muffins by boiling and pureeing the vegetables first instead of the grate and squeeze. They look yummy and I will update with the variation when I get pictures!! 




3 tips to reduce time spent on social media


Just to let you know I am NOT qualified to write this blog post. But it’s something that’s been on my mind and it’s a problem I’m tackling in my own life. This was my #1 New Year’s resolution. To stop spending so much time on my phone. Why?

I get in the comparison trap and get depressed.

I see/read a lot of fear mongering articles that give me anxiety.

It’s not really a productive use of my time.

It’s hard because I use my phone and Facebook a lot for my business so I had to separate activities for THAT with “scrolling mindlessly through Facebook and Instagram”. I’m not really worried about time spent texting/calling actual people that I have real life relationships with. That doesn’t ‘count’. It’s the mindless scrolling I want to reduce. Why do we feel the impulse to constantly grab our phones the minute we’re unoccupied? This could be a blog post in itself. But I wanted to start with some ideas. Some of these ideas have already failed me. But I continue to search out new ones and I’ll share what worked for me and what didn’t. 

1. Apps to help track your time

seriously disturbing

I am 100% aware of the irony of that fact there’s an app to help you use your phone less. Whatever works! This was the first thing I tried. To look at the ACTUAL minutes that I’ve spent looking at a tiny screen is embarrassing and depressing. It will make you really face up to and come to terms with exactly how much you’re using your phone, and it’s shocking. I though at first I would be good with 60 mins. An hour! I thought- who is on there phone for more than an hour a day??? HA! I quickly realized that I was constantly going over. Then I said “okay, 90 minutes, including the time I’m on it for work”. Still going over. Eventually I got frustrated and embarrassed and just gave up lol. I’m not ashamed to say this tactic didn’t work for me. It kind of just made me feel guilty. The problem was also that I do a lot of things on my phone that aren’t the mindless scrolling like workout videos on youtube, listening to podcasts, looking at a recipe while cooking- and I kept forgetting to turn the tracker “off”. Oh well- if this kind of thing works for you, here’s some apps. 

2. Alternate Activities/To Do list

One of the first things I tried to do when reducing my phone time was to think of alternate activities to do when I felt the “urge” to grab my phone. I separated them into categories and start my day writing down all the things I was going to do that day. Then when the urge struck I would get up and do one of those things. If you are interested in looking at the detailed chart that I came up with to track and get ideas for activities to do, click here!

So I did this for a solid month before I just realized it was kind of easier and working better for me to write my “to do” list in my journal. Then when I had down time do the things on the list instead of grabbing my phone. 

3. Setting “off limits” time

This is actually one that’s working for me right now. I’m currently setting times when I am putting my phone away and not touching it. This is working for me because I’m like an ‘all or nothing’ person. Kind of the same way I am with food. I find it difficult to do “moderation”. I’m either going to eat a box of cookies or I’m not going to touch them at all. So if you’re that type of person, that may work for you. If you like moderation, try the app method! Right now my “off limits” times are after breakfast (usually doing my workouts, showering, getting dressed,running errands, getting ready for lunch) and after dinner 6-8pm while we’re together as a family. 

Thinking about who you are as a person will determine which method will work for you. If you are a rebel and you think telling yourself you “can’t” go on your phone will only make you want it more, the off limits method probably won’t work for you. If you’re an “all or nothing” type of person than it probably will!

But honestly the best way to not be sucked into your phone is to stay busy! Put effort into making plans and interacting with actual people. That’s why I find it the hardest to stay off of it if I’m home alone all day. The busier you are the less you will be on your phone. 

Do you struggle with your social media usage? Tell me what works for you please!!!



Safer Beauty Swaps

Trying to swap out all of the beauty, skincare and cosmetic products to safer versions can be very overwhelming. I know when I first started I was frustrated at how expensive it would be to find safer versions of everything I used and swap it all out. I definitely did NOT swap everything to safer at once. I took the following things into consideration:

What do I use most often?

What am I about to run out of anyway?

What are the most toxic products?

One of the first things I went to swap was deodorant, because I had been reading about the effects of the toxic ingredients like aluminum. Another one was sunscreen- then came body lotion, hand lotion and then finally make up! When you are thinking about making a swap with make up it can be hard to find ones that match up to your favorites. I started replacing my make up with Beautycounter after I had to throw it all out after having pink eye! I figured it was my gift to myself after enduring pink eye for 2 weeks. I’m so glad I did! 

If you’re not sure where to start in swapping out your favorite beauty products for safer, check out Beautycounter’s new Clean Swap Campaign. They will actually give you a free gift for swapping out some of the products with the most harmful ingredients! Lets take a look at some of the most toxic ingredients in these conventional products:


Parabens (methylparaben, propylparaben, etc)  which is a preservative that inhibits the growth of mold have been known to mimic estrogen and have even been found inside breast cancer tumors! This is far from saying that they CAUSED the breast cancer, but I wouldn’t want to put anything like that on my body let alone on my eyes. Also carbon black is a pigment in most mascaras that has been classified as a possible human carcinogen. I’ve been loving Beautycounter’s lengthening mascara ever since I bought it before I became a consultant!

Face and Eye Creams

They often contain parabens as well as PEG compounds that can release formaldehyde. Which we know is a carcinogen. The Countermatch line that I’ve been loving uses phytic acid from green rice as a preservative! 

Body Lotion

This is a big one for me! Growing up I was always a fan of the wonderful smells of Bath and Body Works! Unfortunately fragrance is filled with many unknowns including phthalates which are known to disrupt hormones. Fragrance has also been associated with allergies, skin sensitivities and respiratory distress. Citrus mimosa body lotion is rated a 1 on the EWG Skin Deep Database! 


This is one I have yet to switch over due to the fact I don’t wash my hair more than 1-2 X a week. I know that sounds disgusting lol but I have very thick hair and it works for me! Shampoo and body washes have an ingredient called SLS which is what makes it foamy and sudsy. The problem is this ingredient is processed using a chemical called 1-4 dioxane which is a carcinogen! The companies don’t have to list the dionxane on the ingredients label so you’d never know it’s there. 


Lipsticks are put on your mouth- so you’re probably ingesting it (or if you’re like me in middle school, straight up eating chunks out of your bubblegum chapstick). It can contain the same parabens and fragrance that the other items we’ve talked about contains. Yum!

I love Beautycounter’s lipgloss because it’s flavored/scented with vanilla!!!

Face Masks

 I never even did a face mask before Beautycounter! Now I have grown to love them. PEG compounds can also be found in these, which are processed with 1-4 dioxane, which is a carcinogen. It’s sad how so many things in these products can be harmful and you would lever know! I can’t pick just one of my favorite masks of the three Beautycounter has. The charcoal one leaves my skin feeling so soft, the plumping firms up the wrinkles I have on my forehead, and the brightening evens my skin tone and makes it look like I just got a facial. 


And that’s the six swaps you could easily make! If you buy any of these products you get to pick a free gift from Beautycounter- the countermatch lotion (love it), conditioner, #2 facial oil and the body wash:


Go to Beautycounter.com/andreahaskins to shop! 

So out of these six products- which do you use most often? Which of these are you about to run out of? Pick one of three and make the swap! It doesn’t have to be hard or overwhelming at all. 

Please contact me beautycounterandreahaskins@gmail.com if you would want to delve into what products would be right for your skin! 


Workouts in 20 minutes or less

Once upon a time I thought that if you weren’t working out until almost death, it didn’t count. My workouts had to be at least an hour. I had to be dripping with sweat. I did this 6 and sometimes 7 days a week. Yoga and walking did not count as workouts. I remember when I had my back injury and couldn’t do anything but walk and I would go to the gym and walk for at least an hour for it to “count”. 

I am grateful for finding fitness and living a healthy lifestyle but I will admit it did not come from a healthy place at first. It was all about burning calories, cancelling out food and punishing myself. To say that I’m in a completely different mindset now is an incredible understatement- I work out to make my body feel good. It has nothing to do with what I ate that day or how many calories I need to burn. I don’t feel guilty if I don’t work out. And I try not to do workouts that I just dread. Yeah sometimes it’s hard to get going but I always feel better after I do it.  That’s why I like to keep it short and sweet. When I know my workouts are just going to be under 20 minutes it makes it a LOT easier to do. And I don’t dread it and avoid doing it.


I just wanted to share a couple of my go-to videos to getting a decent, short and effective workout. These days, I’ll do a 20-30 minute workouts about 2 maybe 3 days a week. Other days I’ll do yoga and we TRY to go for walks even though it’s winter. You might say it’s impossible to get a good workout in in 10-20 minutes but I disagree!!! I’ve included some effective workouts that I do again and again. I love these YouTubers and I use other workouts from all of them as well. 

winter walk

Sarah Beth Yoga is my favorite Yogi….I literally rarely do yoga without her videos. I just like how most of hers a flows with a very predictable pace. Here are a couple that work up a good sweat, but there are PLENTY others for low key or relaxing days:


Jessica Smith TV- Great workouts for cardio, strength and she has a lot of low impact walking stuff if you have injuries. She also has a couple of great prenatal workouts that I did while I was pregnant. I also did her kickboxing ones too, which are a little longer. 


The girls at Tone it Up have a TON of great workouts and many are under 20 minutes, so I just picked one that I’ve done before. But there are TONS…..cardio, weights, kettlebell, kickboxing…everything!

BodyFit by Amy is new one for me but I also used some of hers while pregnant. Great variety. 




There you have it! A workout does not have to be an hour long to be effective. If you don’t dread it and feel great when you’re done then it’s a win. Don’t stress if you can’t get a hard work out in every day and don’t guilt yourself into working out. I promise it does not help and stress makes everything worse. 

How long are your workouts usually?


The Outsiders Project Choices


Going way off the beaten path with this post here, I know. But some of my teaching posts are more most popular so I have to roll with this. I really wanted to share. The Outsiders is a favorite book of so many of my students. I would love reading it and looked forward to it all year. Several readers who just “hated” reading cited this as their favorite book. 

Students would be captivated and just love culminating the year with watching the movie, which has some SUPERSTARS I may add. Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, PATRICK SWAYZE!!, Matt Dillon and even the author herself!!! I can’t believe she wrote that book when she was 15. It’s unreal! 

So we usually read The Outsiders at the end of the year that’s why I like to have a little fun with the projects. I seldom give students a regular test at the end of the book. I like to see them be creative. These project choices let them pick and choose how creative they want to be. There’s always some students who just want to do a simple pencil and paper project. 

Many of the projects require technology especially Ipads. If you would like the word document version please contact me at andrea.burgwin@gmail.com. 

Who is your favorite Outsiders character? I think I have to go with Soda Pop. 

Check it out here:




21 Day Sugar Detox Breakfast Banana Chia Pudding

It’s week 2 of the 21 Day Sugar Detox for me! It’s going well and I feel great. The food prep has worked out really well. And made it SO easy for me to grab food and eat healthy. 

I also feel like I’m really starting to enjoy myself in the kitchen again. For the two years cooking really has not been on my priority list. While pregnant I just loathed the thought of putting any effort into food and then of course after I became a mom it just fell by the wayside. It’s like I didn’t even care to eat anymore. It was almost automatic. Like “oh it’s lunchtime better shove some food into my mouth”. Dinner was a dreaded chore where I would just cook the easiest protein/veggie/starch which just resulted in bland, repetitive and boring meals (we ate burgers A LOT). 

For the first time in awhile I’m back on Pinterest looking up 21 Day Sugar Detox recipes and in my cook books- looking through meals and choosing them to make. And enjoying it! Many of the meals are turning out great and also giving me some inspiration to start making my own recipes again! 

I have mentioned I’ve been having a hard time eating something savory in the morning for breakfast. I made the streusel muffins from Practical Paleo last week for breakfast but thought it was just blah. I used to eat that all the time! So I came up with this chia seed pudding that is 21 day sugar detox approved! This makes such a yummy not-sweet breakfast. You can mix and match toppings as well to make different flavors. This one is very banana bread-esque and has no added sugar. It has the consistency of pudding. Chia seeds are very high in fiber and also supply some healthy omega-3 fatty acids! They keep me very full until lunch time. 

21 Day Sugar Detox Banana Chia Seed Pudding
Write a review
Prep Time
2 min
Total Time
4 hr
Prep Time
2 min
Total Time
4 hr
  1. 1 cup coconut milk
  2. 2 tbsp chia seeds
  3. 1 banana (green tipped for 21 DSD)
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  6. Toppings of choice (nut butter, pumpkin seeds, fruit if not on 21DSD, coconut flakes, nuts)
  1. Mash a banana into a medium size pyrex or tupperware container (make sure you mix it after opening the can)
  2. Put in the coconut milk, chia seeds and cinnamon and vanilla
  3. Mix well
  4. Place in fridge for at least 3-4 hours or preferably overnight*
  5. Cover with toppings and enjoy!
  1. Make the night before for a quick grab and go breakfast!
Pencils and Pancakes http://pencilsandpancakes.com/
Also, try my 21 Day Sugar Detox Waffles for more yummy breakfast!!

P.S. I’m aware these pictures are horrible and I’m no professional food blogger. #sorrynotsorry. This is who I am. I made a yummy recipe a couple of times and I took a picture on my phone before I ate it. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. Real life!!!


What’s your favorite 21 Day Sugar Detox Breakfast?


How to Food Prep!


Okay I am just starting this post and realizing how much more work it’s going to be than I thought. I honestly can’t believe I’ve never done a blog post about food prep. I’ve been doing this for probably 3 years. I will say there is no way I would eat even anything remotely looking like a healthy paleo-ish diet without food prep. There’s just no way. Eating real food is time consuming ad grabbing unhealthy convenience foods is obviously a lot more…..convenient. 

Now that I’m not working full time, my food prep days look a little different, and sometimes now I will prep food two days a week to cut up the job. When I wasn’t working and I was in full blown food prep Sundays mode, I would go shopping Saturday or Sunday morning and then food prep all day on Sunday. It usually took about 2-4 hours (not hands on the entire time- cooking time included). This routine was a lot harder once I had a baby but still was committed to prepping a least a couple of things. 


Everyone’s food prep will look a little different because we all have different needs. But I promise this is worth it and it will make eating healthier SO much easier. Throw on some music or a podcast or a book on tape and just get in a groove. 

  1. Plan meals – You need to go on Pinterest, look through your cookbooks and PLAN exactly what you’re going to have for breakfast, dinner, lunch and snacks the entire week (or two if you’re shopping for two weeks). This part is actually fun in my opinion! I pin recipes on Pinterest anytime I see something I would like to make then I go find them when meal prepping. It does take awhile. I have a meal planning template I use- if you’re interested click here and sign up for my email list to get it for FREE! 
  2. Go Shopping- Don’t be surprised when your grocery bill grows. But you will save so much money by not going last minute shopping/ordering or going out. 
  3. Start Prepping- Think about what meals you need prepped that you will not have time to took before hand. Perhaps these are your breakfasts and lunches for the week and your snacks. Maybe dinner you will have some time to cook during the week. Or maybe you can spend some time on breakfast and need lunch and dinner quick. 

My “prep” items usually include:

  • Lunch for the week 
  • Husband’s lunch
  • breakfast for the week
  • snacks
  • cut/prep vegetables for dinners
  • baby breakfast and lunch

Items that I would make for each of these things very every week! And if I don’t feel like prepping one of those items, I go with an easier option like smoothies for breakfast or lunch meat for my husbands lunch instead of making him something (normally it would be a pasta casserole, homemade pizza, homemade mac n cheese, etc). I always make my husband granola bars on Sunday for this lunch and I’ve been doing this for 3 years. They are super easy to throw together. 


Pumpkin pie breakfast bake ,

Egg muffins or casserole  ,


Toddler muffins


Paleomg spaghetti squash casserole

Meatballs with a sweet potato and broccoli

Salad with sardines

Toddler mac and cheese


Protein balls

Nutter bombs

Rx bars (when I don’t feel like prepping)







I know that was a lot of info- and like I said food prep is different for everyone and this is just what it looks like for me. Since I don’t work full time anymore I don’t do all of this anymore but I promise the more prep I do the better I feel about my eating that week! Please comment with any questions you have. I could post tons of recipes but I’m sure you know how the internet works. Check out my Pinterest  and follow me there for more recipes because I pin the recipes I like and use and go back to them. 


Some of the books I use regularly for meal prep:




*Some of the links in this post are affiliate!


Easy ways to detox your lifestyle!

Happy (almost) New Year! I’m feeling happy that I have brought back the blog this year after not blogging really at all in 2016. I enjoy sharing information and sharing my interests so if you’re reading this I thank you for supporting me in this way! 

This year was another amazing one, when I looked back in my journal from 2 years ago I had written “goals for 2016”. This is what the list looked like:

  • Do yoga
  • meditate more
  • read
  • write
  • listen to music
  • train Anna (HA)

I will say that since writing that 2 years ago  yoga has become an integral part of my life. I don’t meditate as much as I want to but I do try to incorporate that into yoga. I read SO many books this year! Probably about one a week and that I’m really proud of. Instead of watching TV before going to bed or scrolling through my phone I read. And I also made it a habit to start writing more which I definitely have with the blog and a daily gratitude list. I don’t listen to music as much as I should….I don’t really know why. I have trouble finding new music I like. I’m just lazy I guess. AAAAAANNNDDD No Anna did not get trained (my dog). Can’t win them all.

I have a major goal for 2018 that I’ve already been working on and that is to GET OFF MY PHONE more. It’s a major addiction especially now that I’ve been using it for my Beautycounter business. I downloaded an app that tracks how long you’ve been on it and how many times you unlock is and I set a goal for 90 mins a day (including my ‘work’ time). I’ve been doing absolutely miserable with it. It’s important to me though especially now that my little one will see me on it all the time. So that’s my goal. Do you set New Years resolutions? I like to set little goals and write todo lists a lot usually weekly but in January I usually do a Whole30. You can read it about my past Whole30 experiences here and here


This year I decided to do a 21 Day Sugar Detox because Diane Sanfilippo is coming out with a new book which is a daily guide to the 21DSD. I’ve also done one before and you can read about it here! I have some recipes on this blog including these waffles which are a favorite! But too bad I threw out my waffle maker. it starts on January 8th so you don’t have to get yourself ready by tomorrow. 

So if anyone would like to join me in the 21DSD, you can order the book here and follow my Facebook page for updates, recipe and meal inspirations and more. I’m not going to document every day but I do plan on sharing if I make a good recipe or some other easy meal and snack ideas. 

Another great thing I have going on in the New Year is a FREE educational email series that will start TOMORROW! I will be giving simple swaps to get toxins our of your household and products you use. Sign up for my email list here and you’ll get the emails. If you’re already on the Pencils and Pancakes email list then you’re all set!  The series will focus on household items you can “clean up” to start living a healthier lifestyle. It’s completely free and will be brief and simple. So sign up now and thanks for supporting me!

Have a Happy New Year!


Toddler friendly Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese


I’m all about hidden veggies these days…because my daughter will not touch anything green or resembling a veggie. Butternut Squash has always been a favorite of mine…and everyone loves mac n cheese!  I’m not too worried about it as I’m sure it’s completely normal but I’m trying to get some goodies into her when I can using smoothies, muffins and blended sauces with pasta. 

We focus on healthy fats, properly prepared meats and animals products but veggies are important too! I whipped up this fast and easy butternut squash mac and cheese the other day and it is legit (even for mommies and daddies!) 

Ultimately I want her to choose and eat veggies on her own





nd plan on having her help me garden next year and learn about food and vegetables but for now, we try anything we can to get her to eat healthy!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
A creamy, cheesy, toddler approved mac and cheese the whole family will love!
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 1/2 lb whole wheat or gluten free pasta (your choice; we used whole wheat)
  2. 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  3. 1 cup purred butternut squash**
  4. 1 tbsp butter
  5. 1 tbsp flour
  6. 1/2 cup whole milk
  7. **Preparing the BN squash has to be done in advance! I peel, cut and cube a large one, boil it, puree it and keep the extra in the fridge to make another recipe or freeze.
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. 1. Put pasta on to boil according to directions.
  3. 2. When pasta is almost done, in a medium saucepan, melt butter.
  4. 3. Throw your tbsp of butter in the pan and whisk immediately, forming a roux.
  5. 4. When roux is thick and bubbly, pour in milk.
  6. 5. Whisk continuously until thick; about 3 minutes.
  7. 6. Drop in cheddar cheese and stir.
  8. 7. When pasta is done, drain and place in the casserole dish you will cook it in.
  9. 8. Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta, then mix the butternut squash in. Mix well until it is incorporated.
  10. 9. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until starting to brown on top.
Pencils and Pancakes http://pencilsandpancakes.com/
Let me know if you try the recipe! Enjoy and Happy Holidays 


Our toddler and baby food journey

I am not by any means an expert on baby food or toddler food, but I thought I’d share our experience for those that were interested. 

Our objective was to never be perfect with everything but try to choose the healthiest foods all the time, avoid unnecessary unhealthy foods and ingredients, and to not teach our little one disordered habits or build anxiety around food. This is why I don’t feed her “paleo” or even “gluten free”. She hasn’t shown any sensitivities around any food so far so why exclude foods? I don’t want her thinking any foods are taboo or exclude foods when they work fine for her. Obviously I focus on meat, veggies and fruit first but if she eats peanut butter and jelly or mac and cheese sometimes I’m okay with that 😉

Starting Solids

We started giving her bone broth around 5 1/2 months. This was her baby first food besides breastmilk. I made bone broth by putting old chicken or beef bones in the crockpot with onions, garlic, apple cider vinegar and water and letting it cook for 24 hours. She was not a huge fan and she would always make funny faces!

The purpose of bone broth is to strengthen the gut a little in preparation for real food!


After she had bone broth for 1-2 weeks then we started with vegetables. Butternut squash was her first food! Then we did peas and then cooked and pureed liver and other meats. I tried to focus on meat and especially liver because babies around 6-8 months are losing their iron stores. They need extra iron, especially if they are not having a prepared baby cereal, which is what most doctors will tell you to feed them for first foods. I just figured vegetables and meat were a better choice for us. She ate the liver right up! Might as well get these good foods in while she has no idea any different!

Then I would make different purees for the sitter and for during dinner and she would eat basically one frozen puck of baby food for dinner. At first she just ate dinner. Then I started with giving her sitter lunch around 7 months too. I used this silicone tray to freeze foods! 

I also used this website, Baby FoodE a lot for different puree recipes! It’s great! And many of the recipes are very tasty! 


Obviously we also used pre made pouches a lot especially when I sent food to the sitters. Although I got this pouch maker set last Christmas which was awesome. I could make homemade baby food pouches and send them to the babysitters which seemed easier than using the frozen pucks. 

Moving to real food

We started giving her actual chunks of food starting around 8-9 months. Avocado at first (she would literally eat a full avocado a day if I let her, she hates it now though), then banana, chunks of squash and pieces of ground or slow cooked beef and pork, eggs, chicken (her fav) and flakes of pouched salmon from vital choice.

We also introduced sardines at this point! They are great for vitamin D (especially since she is not getting cows milk), omega 3s and calcium! She wasn’t really a fan when she started them but she loves them now. 

We also started this baby cereal at around 8-9 months for breakfast. I went back and forth about when to introduce gluten, looked at some studies and then decided on this cereal. 

She loved it! So around 9 ish months I started giving her some for the sitter for breakfast, along with lunch as well. We also introduced peanut butter at this time. 


Toddler meals and beyond

Around 11-12 months she loved beyond purees completely and now eats chunks of food. She eats mostly everything now, except we do try to prioritize healthy proteins and fats and avoid sugar. I don’t feel the need to let her have unhealthy sugar laden and processed food especially since she has no idea about it anyway.


Now for breakfast, we usually have one of the following:

  • eggs
  • whole grain or sprouted wheat toast with peanut butter or jelly
  • pre made muffins

Lunch is usually a protein paired with a carb and fat:

  • sardines
  • leftover protein from dinner
  • cheese sticks
  • she is OBSESSED with olives
  • fruit
  • cubed sweet potato
  • peanut butter and jelly
  • healthy lunch meat

Dinner is whatever we’re having- as long is it’s a healthy protein! Her favorites include chicken, fruit, ground beef and burgers, olives, and noodles. 

Snacks- we used to do puffs but then I stopped buying them to force myself to get better options:

  • Dried fruit (available at Aldi’s!)
  • Fruit cups
  • Whole apples

We also at this time (16 months) nurse 3-4X a day still. When we started solids I ALWAYS made sure to nurse before I fed her to prioritize breast milk over food. I stopped paying so much attention to that around like 9-10 months. 

Some other great resources are:

Grazed and Enthused: Alaena Haber

Megan Garcia

Liz Wolfe


Please leave your questions below!! Affiliate links are in this post.