Valentine’s Day Brunch + Claire loves waffles!

Last weekend, we had a few of our friends over for a little Valentine’s Day inspired brunch. Before kids, we used to always go out with friends or have them over late, but now that we are all home putting our babies to bed at night, we try to find other alternatives to still get together to eat, drink & be merry! 😉 With Harper’s birthday over Valentine’s Day weekend, we decided to do it a week early, which was less hectic & still so much fun.

Pink Glasses // 3-Tier Stand old from PB (similar here & a wood version here)
We put together a waffle bar, the girls’ favorite breakfast food, with lots of different toppings,  strawberries + Nutella is our favorite combo! A few small tricks for serving up an easy brunch like this in no time at all: prep the night before, like cutting fruit or setting up the table. I serve things like Nutella, whipped cream or peanut butter in simple mason jars & small bowls, yes it makes for more dishes but it looks so pretty & put together. We typically use our Bella waffle maker, which we got as a wedding gift over seven years ago (and it is still going strong!) but since we needed to make + serve a bunch all at once, I used gourmet belgian waffles from Publix, you can throw them all on a baking sheet & warm them all at once. They are SO good!! We always serve hot coffee, iced coffee & a pretty drink, this time some yummy grapefruit mimosas in pink glasses from Harper’s birthday party last year! 🙂
 Grapefruit Mimosas
1 750mL Bottle Prosecco, chilled
Juice from 4 fresh grapefruits, chilled
Optional splash of orange juice

Squeeze grapefruits & combine with splash of orange juice, shake with ice if needed to chill.
Add Prosecco, serve & enjoy! Recipe makes 6 mimosas.

Brunch got all that much sweeter when Eloise gave Claire one of her waffles. All along we are thinking Claire just hates food, we have given her tons of different purees, cereal, oatmeal, etc. and she isn’t really loving anything other than peaches. She loves her fresh food feeder (apples, peaches, frozen yogurt pops) so we decided to just start giving her foods we eat, and she is going nuts! She is also loving bananas & mashed potatoes, like can’t get enough! I am so happy to find things she likes, and really she is only 7.5 months so we aren’t really in a rush, but she also has no teeth & hasn’t really gotten the hang of feeding herself (like bananas, so slippery!). So if you have any recommendations of things (sorta baby led weaning style) your babies at this age loved to feed themselves, I would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

Hope you all are having a happy Valentine’s week & have something fun + festive planned for the weekend! XO


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  1. You do such a beautiful job hosting!

    Claire's sweet face cracks me up. My second wasn't into purees at all either and so at about 5 months he started getting variation on what we eat. Some good soft finger foods – avocado, just about any roasted veggies, canned beans (seriously my kids are obsessed with chickpeas straight from the can…so, so weird), and shredded cheese. one of my girlfriends also buys the frozen vegetable mix and then boils it until soft with a little butter and salt and keeps that on hand for her youngest.

  2. My second daughter is just like Claire! My first took purees and cereal no problem, and I had zero interest in trying baby-led weaning. My second came along and absolutely refused to be spoon-fed, so we were forced to do some modified BLW. She's nine months now and is just starting to get the dexterity to be able to eat a decent amount of food. Foods that have worked well for us: beans (her number 1 favorite and so easy for her to eat), pasta (plain at first, and now with tomato sauce – rotini is a good shape), cubed butternut squash, steamed green beans, small pieces of roasted broccoli, shredded cheese, strips of buttered toast, ground meat. One thing that works great is if we have a mild chili or a soup with ground meat and lots of veggies – I can just pull out a scoop of soft-cooked meat, beans, and veggies for her and she can go to town!

  3. We had to do the baby led weaning thing with our second – he just wasn't into puree's at all either! I learned that even without teeth, babies are REALLY good at gumming things. Try a drum stick (like you did with the girls on Thanksgiving), sliced cucumbers when she starts teething and basically anything in whole food form. Just let her gum the crap out of whatever she wants! I always felt more comfortable giving her bigger things that they have gum down rather than cutting things up. Broccolini is fun and meatballs (turkey or regular!). Have fun with it!!

  4. I did baby led weaning with my son starting at 6 months and he didn't get his first tooth until he was 14 months old! I just gave him everything I ate and never pureed anything. I started with yogurt, avocado, and banana but this list quickly grew as he just seemed to enjoy everything I gave him. The only precautions I took were with grapes where I quartered them as they can be a choking hazard. Also, since he got teeth so late carrots had to be baked as did other really hard veggies. However, I would give him a slice of toast or a piece of pizza and he would just gnaw away at it, no teeth necessary. I did read a BLW book and in there she says that babies gums are really hard so even though teeth haven't sprouted yet they can still break food down. Also, without pureed foods they learn where their gag reflex is much sooner and it's actually less likely they'll choke. My son is now 2, only has 8 teeth, and so far no choking incidents, fingers crossed. Yesterday he even had sushi! Basically he wants to eat whatever we're eating and if I order him an item off the kids menu he usually rejects it and will eat what's on my plate 🙂 However, my mom still pesters me about cutting his food into tiny pieces. I have to explain to her that he knows how to break down his food and has been doing it for 18 months but she's just old fashioned and was shocked when I didn't puree his food as a baby!

  5. We did baby led weaning with both our kids and my daughter was really late to get her teeth. (She's 13 months and is just now getting her 3rd and 4th tooth.) Anyway, we basically gave her anything we were eating but always softened it up a bit. Soup is really great because most of the ingredients get really soft and then we can just strain them out of the broth and put it on her tray. She loves any type of fruit so we just cut things up pretty small (though not so small that she would have trouble grasping it) and she would just kind of suck on things before she ate them, since she couldn't chew much. She also hated all the pouches and baby cereal but she's liking them now that she's older!

    We stayed away from dairy for awhile because she had reflux, but I think normally, yogurt and soft cheese can also be a good option!

  6. BLW is the best! I used it with my kids. I would suggest just giving Claire whatever the girls are eating, as long as there are no whole nuts or honey, since babies' gums are so hard. For example, at Claire's age, my son was sucking and chewing on pieces of steak. Try the blog, A Healthy Slice of Life, for some great BLW ideas.

  7. What a sweet picture! I have a soft whole-wheat banana bread recipe that I've made for both of my kids when we started solids with little teeth! Easy and delicious!

  8. This looks so delicious! You're right about the pretty-ness with those simple white bowls .. I always want to do this too, even when it's just mr. BF and me, it adds so much to the cosiness of eating together! Even though I don't have children I'd love to get a seat at your brunch table, I'm drooling over those pretty pink drinks and those strawberry waffles.. ?


  9. Our daughter just turned 9 months and acted the same way toward all purees. She still hasn't gotten her first tooth, but we've jumped head first into BLW and it has made all the difference. She will eat anything I put on her tray as long as she can do it herself and we don't try to come at her with a spoon. Some of her favorites are the Happy Baby Sweet Potato-Carrot Puffs, small bites of avocado, and she absolutely goes crazy for proteins (especially meatballs with marinara, but she's also loved smoked turkey and pulled pork). When she wouldn't eat the mush, I gave up on making special purees for her and just started giving her whatever we are eating. I tend to avoid cooking our meals with a lot of salt and we just season at the table as needed, so I'm not concerned that she'd get too much sodium from eating what we are. I just make sure that all of the bites are cut up in tiny pieces and watch her closely when she's eating to prevent any choking. I craved all things spicy and with lots of flavor when I was pregnant with her, so I think the purees were just way to bland for her taste 🙂

  10. My youngest son would not take food from a spoon. Once I figured out that he wanted to feed himself, he ate everything I put in front of him 🙂 Leave it to the youngest to be most independent!

  11. My little man is almost 9 months old and wants NOTHING to do with purees! I wonder if he would go for some grown up food.. I think I'll give it a shot this weekend.

  12. My son is 7mo and we do blw 🙂 some good option are…No salt added petite sois peas, Sweet potato wedges (or mashed if you prefer), homemade chicken noodle soup (we serve without the broth, you can mash it with a fork too), cooked ground turkey with some sodium free seasoning, cous cous, brown rice

  13. My now 14 month old was not interested in purees this time either, (my oldest, also Harper 🙂 looooved them) so we went the baby led weaning route also. She went crazy over soft foods like sweet potatoes, rice, peas, pears & pancakes. I usually gave her whatever we were having. I always thought you were supposed to cut their food up in tiny pieces, but I actually read that it's better to give them larger/whole pieces of food because it's actually easier to choke on small pieces and also so that they can hold onto to it with their hands, like a whole carrot or a whole green bean.

    Also I looove your blog. When I see a new post it feels like Christmas! We have such similar styles & taste, having two girls & being in marketing myself I feel like we're kindred spirits! 🙂

  14. My daughter wasn't super interested in food for awhile either (except for puréed sweet potatoes) and didn't have any teeth until she was 11 months so finding things to feed her was quite the struggle! But something she did love around Claire's age (and still now at 15 months) is roasted tempeh. I buy sprouted tempeh at Trader Joes, cut it in thin slices, top it with a little evoo, salt & pepper, and bake it in the oven at 350 for about 15 mins. It makes a great snack for mamas too, because it's loaded with protein!

    PS. (and most importantly!) your babies are the cutest! I love coming to your blog for home, life, decor inspiration!

    xo Christina

  15. My son loved, loved, LOVED sweet potatoes (either roasted/baked/microwaved til soft then cut in long wedges). Also hummus, all day long. Broccoli (roast at 350 or 375 til soft, toss with lemon and olive oil). Hmm, what else? Toast sticks (untoasted can be a choking hazard, too soft for them to get down). Whole super-ripe peaches or pears. Whole apples he could num on, until he got too many teeth and started ripping off big chunks and gagging on them (only food we ever had a problem with). At that point we went to applesauce or frozen apple slices. Lukewarm broth with little star pasta added to it, or small super soft pasta shapes with tomato sauce. I can't remember what else, but I'd just keep doing what you're doing – she obviously wants what everybody else is having! Babyled weaning is so much easier than taking the time to puree everything!

  16. We started our babies on solids around 5 months and they both LOVED cut up avocado and cut up sweet potatoes. Publix sells ready-to-microwave sweet potatoes that are individually wrapped in plastic, so all you have to do is chunk it in the microwave for 6 minutes, peel off the skin, and chop it up. SO quick and easy and best of all, healthy! We've probably gone through a hundred of those things!

  17. Not sure if anyone else mention this but leave the banana peel on half way so she can hold on to it while she eats the top. Just trim off the excess peel as she goes so it's not hanging!

  18. Oh my goodness tha k God I'm not alone! My babe will be 1 next month and not a sign of teeth!! ? And just litle pretty Claire no puree! She hates it! Yogurt is probably the only thing she eats with a similar consistency.
    Cant wait to get more ideas!! ??

  19. I'm starting to do foods for my little one and I think baby led weaning is awesome. Loved hearing about all the ideas. Jessica, what type of formula do you use? I EP but my supply is dwindling and would love your input.

  20. We are also doing BLW with our 8 month old, Josie, and the trick to giving her bananas that she can hold on to is to leave most of the peel on and just cut away sections as she eats. If you google "baby led weaning bananas" you can get a good visual of what I mean, but basically she holds the unpeeled part and eats it like a push pop. She absolutely LOVES it:)!

  21. At that age my son's favorite food was avocado! I would wash the outside then cut a wedge for him, leaving the skin on. He ate it like a watermelon slice and leaving the skin helped him hold it

  22. Our babies were born the same day and mine loves green beans and carrots. Stream them up extra long and they are super soft. We just cut them up into pieces she could swallow whole so it's not a chocking hazard but about the size of puffs so she can grab them. She's also obsessed with puffs, I think we could go through a container each day.

  23. At this age, my son was LOVING fresh blueberries. Just give 'em a quick smush with your fingers to prevent choking and it makes them less likely to roll around her tray too. Also, steamed apples with cinnamon cut into smallish pieces, oven sweet potato "fries" with cinnamon, some overcooked plain pasta,…

  24. My little boy is one month younger that Claire and we a have also had a hard time finding baby foods that he likes. I bought some of the Yum (pumpkin and banana) teething biscuits last week and he loved them! I think he likes that he can hold it in his hand without it slipping out. I've also found that he loves a muffin of any kind. I had a peach muffin last week and fed him small pieces, he was in heaven! Love all of your table settings, you're an inspiration to all of us mamma's out there!

  25. I've done BLW with my girls and a winner has always been anything on the bone. Chicken drumsticks mainly. Even without teeth they still like to chew on the bone. Corn on the cob is a big fav although my second child wouldn't eat it until her top teeth came in. As for stuff that's hard to eat ie: bananas and avocado, I found smashing it on toast works well. 9/10 times they hardly touch the toast and I just load more food onto it.

  26. Pancakes! My daughter is a bit pickier on textures than my son was so we tried making her mashed sweet potato into a pancake…she loved it! Take any mashed fruit or veggie (we've tried oat and banana, sweet potato, banana and pear, and sweet potato and black bean), add an egg and make into small pancakes.

  27. My daughter is a bit pickier than my son was so we were trying to find things she liked texture wise. Pancakes were the winner! We've made oat and banana, and savoury ones like sweet potato and black bean (basically take a purée or any mashed up fruit/veggie, add an egg and make into little pancakes). She eats three or four at a time!

  28. My 8 month old is the same as your sweet Claire. Purees just don't do it for her…pancakes? Her favorite! She loves cheddar cheese, turkey, and rice cakes (all cut up tiny of course). She's also into yogurt and cottage cheese with berries mushed in. And she loves fruit in the mesh feeder too. Food is so fun right now! I love watching your girls grow up 🙂

  29. Absolutely!!! My little girl used to get visibly mad, even at 6-7 months old, if we didn't put the same foods her big brother was eating on her tray too! She loved anything "meaty" at that age – like a hunk of meatloaf, ground turkey sausage, or black beans!

  30. We just would give whatever we were eating to our baby and let her play with/ eat it. Until they had the pincer grasp down, I would stick to really big pieces so it was easy to hold. Like I would break off a big chunk of crusty bread for her to gum. Or a whole peach, or I would cut off a whole side. Then once they were able to pick up smaller things, I would cut things up little for her to pick up. And we even gave her meat and stuff to eat, either in really big peaches that were too. If to swallow or really small.

  31. Our daughter is almost 1 and loves avocados, blueberries (quartered), kiwi, bananas (although they are so slippery!), rice, chicken or turkey cut small, and bread. Loving all the suggestions by everyone here; I'm definitely adding some of these to her meals next week!


  32. My 2nd daughter is also 7.5 months and we're doing BLW this time around too. Her favorite food is banana. I cut a banana in half with the peel still on, then I score a slice of the peel all the way around, & give it to her that way. She's able to hold it better, bc its not as slimy with the peel on. Then I just peel a little more at a time as she eats.

  33. My son loved, and still loves, cooked sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, pears and apples. Lately, I've been mashing some sweet potato with some milk and tossing it with small pasta. Scrambled eggs are another winner over here, and multigrain bread bits dipped in soup or stew.

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