Healthy BLW Pancakes for baby-grain and gluten free
These healthy BLW pancakes are perfect for breakfast or a mess free snack to take out and about! Baby-led weaning pancakes are not just for baby, our whole family loves them. Not only are these easy to make and easy to digest, they're gluten free, grain free, sugar free, and delicious!
Why you will love these healthy baby-led weaning pancakes
- made with minimal, healthy easy-to-find ingredients
- takes 10 minutes from start to finish
- perfect for baby-led weaning, toddlers, mom & dad
- freezer-friendly, toaster-friendly
- not just great for breakfast—yummy snack, lunch or even dinner
- nutrient dense
- mess-free for days out and about
- soft and gooey
- balanced with healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates
- babies and toddlers devour them
For most parents, mornings are busy! Many of us are making breakfast, lunches, getting ready for our day, getting kids dressed, and attempting to get out the door on time.
I'm always striving to make my mornings simple and as peaceful as possible with a three and one year old. Most of the time, I will prepare breakfast the night before, and then just cook it when I get up.
For these pancakes, literally all you do is add the ingredients to the blender and buzz up the night before, refrigerate, and cook them up in the morning!
If you are really feeling ambitious, make a bigger batch on Sunday to have in the refrigerator for the week. Pop them in the toaster to warm every morning. These are freezer-friendly too if you need to stash some away.
Baby-led weaning friendly
These pancakes are perfect for babies around 9 months of age, when they are ready to incorporate more complex foods into their diet. The texture is perfect, they are easy to digest, and yummy!
Simply slice the pancakes into small sections about the length and width of your index finger for proper BLW size.
Egg whites can be introduced around 9-10 months. They are a common allergen, so be mindful when introducing. The egg yolks are typically tolerated over the egg whites, so they can be introduced around 6 months old.
Have a baby younger than 9 months?
Pancakes for babies 6-9 months:
Simply mix a ½ banana, 2 egg yolks (if tolerated), and cinnamon, then pan fry in coconut oil to make a little omelet/pancake to slice into safe BLW food.
When starting solids, I always advocate for a steady, slow approach, starting with the easiest to digest in the beginning. After baby's delicate digestive system has had time to strengthen and mature, we add in more complex foods.
I don't recommend giving baby wheat flour, oats, or other grains until 8-10 months of age. Wait until they've learned to digest simpler, low allergenic, whole, nutrient-dense foods like liver, meat, egg yolk, veggies, winter squash, sweet potato, fruit, sardines, and salmon.
How do you know when baby is ready for solids? Check out my post on this topic here.
Mess-free for a day out and about
Heading out of the house with children? These pancakes are awesome to take out and about for lunch or a snack. Seriously, no mess what-so-ever! You can simply hand pieces to your baby or toddler to eat. Bring a separate container of nut butter or yogurt for dip if you want to add another element to them, but they're a balanced and healthy snack or meal all by themselves.
Simple, Healthy Ingredients
The mighty little egg! Eggs are loaded with nutrients, they're easy for babies to eat, a whole food and quick to make. Our household flies through dozens of eggs a week. They're high in heme iron which is the easiest form of iron for our bodies to absorb. Babies are in high need of iron starting around 6 months. Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamin B, D and A. Eggs are an allergen, however, the whites are typically the most problematic. I recommend waiting until around 9 months old to introduce egg whites. Start by introducing the yolk around 6 months of age.
I used hulled tahini in these, but you can swap it for whatever nut butter you have. Tahini is ground sesame seeds, a nice source of protein and calcium, and adds a healthy fat (which helps the body absorb fat soluble nutrients). Tahini is an allergen so keep that in mind when exposing baby. Tahini is ok to introduce starting around 6 months, but you will want to mix with coconut oil to make it more runny as it's too thick by itself, and can be a choking hazard. Always introduce a few times and monitor baby for any reactions.
To add a lovely hint of sweetness, a ripe banana with spots is ideal. They're also much easier for babies to digest. I decided to slice some banana and place on top of the frying pancakes for extra sweet chunks. A nice addition with the caramelized banana between the gooey pancakes, smothered in butter.
If you want to omit banana, you can swap for ½ cup of cooked mashed sweet potato or a cup of blueberries. Save some blueberries to top the pancakes while frying.
Coconut oil, ghee or grass-fed butter
Another healthy fat that will nourish baby's growing brain, and support their nervous system. Coconut is a low allergen, and coconut oil has a high heat tolerance. Choose organic, extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil for cooking and adding to purees.
You can opt for organic ghee from grass-fed cows to cook with instead of coconut oil. Ghee has a high smoke point, so it's an excellent cooking fat. It is typically tolerated well since the milk solids have been removed and has less casein and lactose, which can be difficult to digest. Ghee, like grass-fed butter, is high in vitamins A, E, K2, and has less toxins and better omega-3 to omega-6 ratio than butter from cattle eating purely grains. Grass-fed butter is also low in lactose and casein, but still an allergen, so you can mindfully introduce to baby around 7 months.
Cinnamon for flavor
We use organic, non-irradiated ceylon cinnamon.
Why quality ingredients make all the difference
I am pretty serious when it comes to feeding my family. We aim to make all of our food from scratch, and source the best quality we can afford. We've found that buying and cooking organic produce that is in season is the most affordable, healthy and delicious. The highest quality food is the most nutrient dense. The way our food was grown and raised can have quite an impact on our health.
Do your best to choose meat from grass-fed beef, poultry and eggs from pasture-raised chickens, wild-caught seafood, and organic dairy from grass-fed cows. When feeding babies (and toddlers), we want every bite to count since they may not get very much in their bellies at times. Nutrients like iron, choline and zinc are in high demand starting around 6 months.
Why choose organic?
Refer to the Clean 15, and Dirty Dozen lists when buying your produce. They're great guides to give you a good idea of which produce is the most and least contaminated with pesticides. You can then decide which vegetables and fruit you will buy conventional and which you will buy organic. We typically buy conventional produce if it has a thick skin, like avocados and cantaloupe.
The Environmental Working Group states, “Eating organic food reduces pesticide exposure and is linked to a variety of health benefits. In four separate clinical trials, people who switched from conventional to organic foods saw a rapid and dramatic reduction in their urinary pesticide concentrations, a marker of pesticide exposure.”
Other studies have indicated, “Higher consumption of high–pesticide residue FVs [fruits and vegetables] was associated with lower probabilities of pregnancy and live birth following infertility treatment with ART [assisted reproductive technologies]. This data suggest that dietary pesticide exposure within the range of typical human exposure may be associated with adverse reproductive consequences." Study
We are all doing the best we can with what means we have. Not all of us can afford top quality, organic, grass-fed and pasture-raised, because frankly, it's a load of money. But, if you can, just start with purchasing real food in its whole form. Try to eliminate processed foods as much as you can. You can save money by removing toxins like buying chemicals to clean your home, perfumes, candles, and industrial seed oils that buildup in our systems, harm our microbiome, and create hormonal imbalances.
Cook simply with as few ingredients as you can. Buy yourself a grass-fed steak and seasonal vegetables, and skip the middle aisles of the grocery store. Better yet, head to your local farmer's market and support some local families!
Our family eats together three times a day. We really love to cook and appreciate good food. So, spending a little more on the nicest seasonal ingredients for a delicious, healthy meal, makes all the difference to us!
In this recipe, substitute the banana for:
½ cup cooked mashed sweet potato
1 cup whole blueberries (save some for topping pancakes while frying)
1 cup diced baked apples
½ cup mashed ripe figs (save some slices for topping pancakes while frying)
1 cup cooked broccoli + ¼ cup shredded cheese (omit vanilla and cinnamon)
Get creative and let me know what you had success with!
I hope you and yours enjoy these as much as we do!
Leave a comment below if you liked these, and let me know if you decided to do your own version with something other than banana!
Easy Baby Friendly Banana Pancakes
- 1 ½ ripe spotted bananas slice the other half for topping pancakes while pan frying
- 2 pasture-raised eggs
- 2 tbsp organic hulled tahini
- ⅔ cup tapioca flour
- ½ tsp gluten free baking powder
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp organic ceylon cinnamon
- ½ tsp organic no alcohol vanilla
- 1 tbsp unrefined organic coconut oil, or organic grass-fed ghee for cooking
- Blend until smooth. You may need to scrape down sides and keep blending until its all incorporated.
- Heat a frying pan with a tablespoon of ghee, or coconut oil. I like to use cast iron pans for cooking. They're non-toxic, affordable, and add iron to your food. They need time to get nice and hot before adding batter. You want the batter to sizzle as you add to the pan.
- Add the batter--approximately 2 tablespoons per pancake.
- Place the remaining banana slices on the surface of each pancake.
- Once you see bubbles appear, around 2-3 minutes, flip.
- Serve with grass-fed butter (if tolerated), or nut butter, coconut yogurt, and berries, or a little maple syrup for children over 2 years old. For baby-led weaning, offer index finger length and width size pieces.