How to Feed The Whole Family Without Going Crazy {An Integrated First Foods List for TLB’s Infant Feeding Guide}

It’s dinner time. This might be the most dreaded and simultaneously anticipated hour of the entire day. What we often see happening in our heads is not always the reality of our experience, though.

Candlestick Table

Fantasy: A beautiful table setting. Children, clean, happy, patient, and compliant as parents bring in the food and set it on the impeccable table. Laughter ensues as you dish up tonight’s yummy food that you worked hard to shop for, plan, and create. It’s cooked to perfection, and your family takes turns sharing they highlights of their day, make appropriate jokes, and they eat everything without complaint, including your charming, little babe. You stare across the table at your partner with twinkles in your eyes and share a satisfied, knowing half-smile. Because nothing says foreplay like a good meal.

After the family works harmoniously and efficiently to clean the dishes, put away leftovers, and tidy up the kitchen, you all relax with a small dish of ice cream and nobody asks for seconds. It’s perfect.

Reality: After spending two hours in the kitchen assembling 3 different dinners to accommodate everyone’s dietary needs, you push homework and bills and a random assortment of household clutter that has mysteriously accumulated on your table during the last 12 hours over to the far corner where you artfully ignore it’s presence as you coax your children to eat amidst their complaining, your scolding, and eventually all-out bribery. Your baby throws everything on the floor, but not before nailing you in the face with home-made organic butternut squash puree. You and your partner are too consumed with the dinner activity to actually eat much, and after precariously re-arranging the refrigerator to accommodate nearly three full meals’ worth of food and haphazardly doing the dishes with a baby on your hip, you just call it a day, pass a package of bunny grahms around, and (miraculously) get the kids to bed.

You and your partner eat ice cream straight from the carton, feeling defeated but also relieved you made it through another day. You watch an episode of whatever series you’ve been trying to get through for months, and fall into bed with a high five before passing out from pure exhaustion. Maybe tomorrow things will go a little better, but who cares because you’re already asleep. For now.

I can’t always reconcile the Fantasy v. Reality dinner situation. I try, though. One of the ways I shorten the gap is by making a few meals a week that I know everyone can (and will) eat, including the wee ones. Here are some family dinner ideas that will satisfy everyone, and will be appropriate for all ages, even the babies who are just starting their life-long solid food experience.

Creamy Polenta with RaguPolenta Ragu

This is an easy dish that makes excellent leftovers. Polenta is easy to eat, doesn’t require teeth, and you get a full serving of veggies along with varied textures in each flavorful bite. This is a base recipe, but you can tweak it to please your family.





Zucchini Goat Cheese Lasagna Photo of Zucchini Goat Cheese Lasagna

This is another one-dish meal that is easy for all ages to eat and appreciate. By substituting noodles with zucchini, you’re upping the veggie factor. Goat cheese can often be easier to digest than cow’s cheese, so this is great for those with sensitive tummies.





Perfect Chicken SoupPerfectChickenSoup

Soup is fun for little ones, even if it tends to be a bit messy. Fishing out chunks of chicken, veggies and noodles while splashing and tasting the broth is a great food experience. It’s yummy for everyone else, too.





Cauliflower Fried “Rice” CauliflowerRiceCorner

This veggie-based dish is quick to prep and has something for everyone. It’s easy to customize for your picky eaters, and your baby can enjoy eating this independently or with a little help from mom or dad.






Tortialla Soup paleo tortilla soup avocado bone broth

This is another great food experience for your little one, and you can get creative with toppings. It’s one of my family’s favorites, and full of healthy fats! If you aren’t up for letting your baby bask in soup, you can let them play with chunks of avocado, chicken, tomato, and cheese.





FrittataQuarterView Garden Vegetable Frittata

Frittatas are so easy, and ideal for busy families. A frittata takes 20 minutes to prepare and makes excellent leftovers for breakfast or brinner.






Hemp Crusted Zucchini Sticks EZucchini

This is my toddler’s favorite dish. I love it because they’re so healthy and he can share with his younger friends.







Brown-Butter Sage Spaghetti Squash SpaghettiSquash

This is an easy prep with a high satisfaction factor. With simple ingredients, this works well as a side or as an independent dish. This is ideal for trying solids!






Almond Joy Barscoconut bars

These are soft and easy to chew, but everyone will love them as a snack or treat after dinner. I often eat these for breakfast, but don’t tell my kid!






Quinoa Fritters

Quinoa Fritters with Honey Butter 

My family is stoked when I make these. I love cooking with quinoa because it has so many more nutrients and has a fair amount of protein. Many kids (and adults) with food allergies and grain intolerances handle quinoa very well. With the easy-to-grasp shape, these fritters are ideal for baby-led weaning or eating with some help from an adult. You can whip up a batch in a hurry, and serve with a side of bacon or some leftover frittata.



I can’t promise you’ll have your fantasy family dinner with these dishes, but hopefully it will make dinner a little less hectic and please everyone, especially your littlest eaters.  And if all else fails, there’s always milk.

You’ve got this.



Roasted Delicata Squash with Fennel


Fall is my absolute favorite. Why?

Because FOOD.

Who else wants to eat ALL THE THINGS? Well, so do I, friend.  So do I.

A few years ago, we discovered this gem of a gourd. It’s name is Delicata and it lives up to all the whimsy and subtlety that the name would suggest. It’s light, slightly sweet, and so crazy delicious that YOU WILL WANT TO EAT ALL OF IT IMMEDIATELY.

I’ve tried it a few different ways, and the easiest and tastiest way to prep it is in the oven.  A simple roast with coconut oil and pink salt elevates the squash to another level.  It’s a level you want to be at, trust me. It’s also simple and quick to prepare and the squash doesnt’ require peeling, unlike some other squash cousins.  Yep, I’m looking at you, Butternut.  You’re too much work! But delicata takes all the work out of it.

This super simple dish is great as a side, but honestly, I eat it on it’s own all the time. Because it takes no work to prepare, it’s comforting, and very filling.



  • 2 delicata squash, de-seeded and sliced (no need to peel!)
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pink himalayn salt
  • 2 tsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fennel fronds (the soft, feathery green things that sprout out of the the fennel bulb)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (more for spicy)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, place fennel, delicata squash, and rosemary.
  2. Add coconut oil, and stir quickly.  Add salt and red pepper flakes and mix again.
  3. Spread squash and fennel out on a large baking sheet, and try to get as many pieces to lay as flat as possible.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring once.
  5. Remove from oven and garnish with a little more salt and fresh fennel fronds,
  6. Eat immediately and enjoy! Or save for later and mix up a salad with some quinoa, spinach, and dried cranberries.

Enjoy the season!


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (Paleo, Vegan)

PUmpkin Bread2

This is your obligatory fall pumpkin post.

And it’s freaking amazing.

Now, I have to be very honest with you. (What, like I would lie to you otherwise?! Being (too) honest is part of the fun.) I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin.  I’m really not a huge fan of pumpkin spice.  I find that I’m really happy with one gluten-free pumpkin treat a year.  I’ll eat the pumpkin pie if that’s my only option at Thanksgiving.  I’ll throw pumpkin cheesecake a bone, too, because that is legitimately the best thing about Fall.

But pumpkin flavored soda or pumpkin spice toothpaste or any other number of Things That Should Never Be Pumpkin are just not doing any of us any favors. Even so, I get it.  It’s a craze. It’s fun. And people enjoy the feelings of Fall, and all things associated with this beautiful season. Even if it’s still 90 degrees most days, I GET IT.

So, I want you to have as much fall as you can handle.  Baby Zeus knows we will all struggle with sad winter feelings come January, which is why I’ve created lots of pumpkin-y things in my kitchen this month.  Even though it’s been 90 degrees here in the PNW all September and in the 80’s in October, and we don’t have central air conditioning and I don’t like pumpkin much.  It’s okay. That run-on sentence made me feel better, just like pumpkin treats make you feel better.


Also, I’m pretty lazy when it comes to tasty desserts so I endeavor to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible.  This only means GOOD THINGS for you, my friends.  Easy, mind-blowingly good things.


  • 1 16 oz jar unsalted almond butter (Raw is best, but roasted works, too.)
  • 3 large eggs, or 3 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 6 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp natural sea salt (I prefer kosher style)


  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs (or flax mixture), almond butter, pumpkin, vanilla extract and honey.  Stir well.
  2. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Combine thoroughly. (You can use a mixer, but I prefer using a sturdy spatula.)
  3. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon batter into a greased bread pan. (I prefer to split it up between 2-3 small loaf pans.)
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-65 minutes, depending on your oven and size of pans.
  6. Remove from oven and transfer to a baking rack to cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan.  The cooler the bread, the better removal will go.  Because there is no gluten, it might crumble if removed too soon.

Pumpkin Bread

So, let’s have fun with this, okay? Mix it up.  Change out the chocolate chips.

Try butterscotch chips.

Try nuts.

Try maple glaze.

Try bacon.

Try Junior Mints.

Just kidding,  Junior Mints would be freaking disgusting.Make your pumpkin dreams come true.

PSL Forevah,

Easy Vegetable Coconut Curry {Vegan, Paleo}

VegetableCoconutCurryWHO HAS TIME FOR HARD SH*T?!

Well, not me.  Especially not when it comes to food.  When you have a super special custom eater for a toddler and you can’t handle grains, things get a little dicy.

So, I want to make easy things.  And if it’s healthy, even better.  Because you know what should be easy? Eating.  In this day and age, eating should be the easiest thing we do.  So, I’m on a campaign to make easy, healthy food that doesn’t require magic or rare ingredients from exotic places like Whole Foods.  Just real food, you guys.  Foods that nourish and feed your belly and give our bodies energy and the builidng blocks it needs to function well.

I’m starting in the easiest way possible: Frozen vegetables, with a side of canned coconut milk and a bit of hot curry powder.


  • 1 12 bag of frozen vegetables (I like cauliflower, or something with cauliflower in it because of texture)
  • 1/2 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp (more for spicy, less for not) hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  1. In a medium or small saucepan, dump the bag of frozen veggies, coconut milk, and spices.  Heat on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cook longer if you want to saturate the veggies with the curry flavor.
  2. Eat it.

Optional edit: You can pour this over rice or quinoa.  This feeds one person in my house without the rice, and sometimes even with the rice because when it comes to veggies, we don’t edit ourselves. I also like to sprinkle some fresh chopped cilantro on top of it for a bright contrast to the creamy deliciousness of the curry.

Keep It Easy,


Aioli Grilled Asparagus {Dairy Free}


Summer is almost over in the Pacific Northwest.  The uncharacteristically hot weather has been replaced with overcast skies, cooler temperatures and a sprinkling of rain.  Summer lovers are eeking out every ray of sunshine and late-afternoon warmth in preparation for a rainy autumn and winter ahead.

As for me, I’m eeking out every opportunity to utilize the grill before we are driven indoors.  I like the rain.  I like the cooler temps and deep greens and blues of the rainy season.  But I miss my grill.

I attempted many new recipes this summer, with many new ingredients.  Because cooking with fire is FUN.  Asparagus has been a favorite go-to for a summer veggie, and my new favorite asparagus recipe is simple, impressive, unusual and freaking tasty. All it takes is a bunch of asparagus, a little mayo and dijon mustard, fresh rosemary, cracked pepper, and you guessed it, a hot grill.

Don’t let a fancy words like “asparagus” and “aioli” fool you.  Asparagus is full of important vitamins that naturally boost energy and immunity. And as for aioli? It’s just mayonnaise with something added to alter the flavor profile.  For this recipe, I used mayonnaise in place of oil and it turned out superbly. It adds a complex flavor and richness that oil misses.  I am sure this will work in the oven, as well.  But, you know. Summer.


  • 1 lb of asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp dijon or stone ground mustard
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  1. Combine all ingredients, except asparagus, in a small mixing bow. Call this “aioli”.
  2. Coat asparagus in aioli mixture.
  3. Place asparagus on hot grill and cook until asparagus is slightly tender, and the outer skin crisps up a bit.
  4. Sprinkle a little sea salt on top, and serve immediately.

If asparagus is your dish, you will fall in love with it and impress your friends and family at your Labor Day gathering this weekend.  Or at the very least, give them stinky pee.

I hope your Labor Day is filled with love,