Can babies eat BBQ? The short answer is yes. (Yay!)
My concern was about carcinogens found in charred meat, but the solution to that is pretty simple. Don’t give your little one any food with black bits on it. But those parts generally accompany the tough parts of food anyway. Baby BBQing is all about keeping foods soft and juicy. For achieving this, we use foil and ‘slow and low’ heat to make sure food is cooked-through and not dried out on the grill.
Extra-precautions: Use FOIL to cook food that’s being BBQ’d for baby – especially on a less-that-super-clean BBQ (hey, it happens) safe away from char, dirt and grunge, BBQ brush wires or other stray objects.
Some starter ideas:
- Super checked, double-checked, 100% boneless/deboned white fish or salmon pieces (cooked in foil with a little butter or olive oil and dill or light seasoning).
- Portabello mushrooms in foil (cooked until juicy and soft)
If your BBQ is clean and you trust the surface doesn’t contain any hazards, here are some other no-foil ideas we’re trying out this season:
- Grilled Fruit (Pineapple, apple, pear, banana, kiwi) Cook on a skewer or tray and then de-skewer (obviously) , cool, and dice up. *If you haven’t tried grilled fruit, you will love it! It gets caramelized and sweet and juicy.
- Blueberry-stuffed peaches (OMG. baby food? Mommy Food!) Here’s a recipe (drop the sugar though, not necessary at all)
- Goat Cheese Turkey Burgers with Spinach (How awesome do these sound?!)
And a little more labor intensive and ambitious, but SUPER healthy:
- Sunshine Burgers “Raw or Cooked” *Substitute the celery and carrot in this recipe for cooked/soft green peas and green beans *the recipe is about half way down the page. What I was looking for was a burger recipe that is fine even if it doesn’t cook through and through, so that you don’t need to char it or overcook it. These burgers are fine even they are basically raw inside, because the ingredients are cooked brown rice, ground flax, and ground sunflower seeds. For a less labor intensive meatless burger, any of the “just add water” quinoa variety are worth trying, or pre-packaged sunshine burger mix!
And then last of all, below is a picture from about 5 or 6 months ago (which would make RZ about 9 months old) trying out her first fried chicken…. not the healthiest option, but she sure loved it! We’ll be experimenting with BBQ chicken, but probably will shred it! Also, leftover BBQ chicken is good for a BBQ chicken pizza the next night ; )
I wouldn’t have guessed my 10 month old would be eating these things, but she has a mind (and flavour palette) all of her own. And growing up in our house, there will be no shortage of interesting things for her to try. Here’s a few of her oddest choices:
1. Pickled burdock root.
We get it from Sanko (Japanese food store in Toronto) and she gnaws on it like it was licorice. She doesn’t bite into it or swallow, but for gumming it has been her favorite teething food. Bizarre! (The vinegar level is probably higher than recommended, but burdock itself is a reputed calming herb, and she had no bad reaction)
I’m not a huge hummus fan myself but I wanted to try something with veggie protein since I don’t cook with many beans or lentils. Lo and behold, she loves it. Particularly with pita and cheese.
3. Jambalaya. She went nuts for this clam-juice and tomato soaked rice. (I left out the meats for her portion.)
4. Cranberry sauce It was her favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. She loved the turkey quite a lot too.
5. Mango. This might not sound strange, but my kid isn’t a fan of apples really, or bananas, or strawberries. Her pick is mango. Eats it for breakfast 7 days a week. Funny little monkey. I buy the Europe’s best frozen mango, blanche it, and cut it up small.