Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Homemade Baby Food Purees

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

homemade baby food purees

When my older daughter started to eat solids, I decided I would make my own baby food purees. Making my own purees was less expensive than buying jarred baby food. She had a milk intolerance, and I read that cross contamination in baby foods was a common problem. In addition to saving money, I was happy that making my own purees allowed me to control what went into her food (and what stayed out).

Her first food was avocado.  I simply used a food processor to mash the avocado. Once the avocado was smooth, I mixed in pumped breast milk to thin it out to a very loose consistency.

After Lily ate avocado for a few days, I tried sweet potato, then butternut squash. To prepare the sweet potato, I boiled the sweet potato, then used the food processor to puree it. I used some of the cooking liquid to thin it to my desired consistency. With the butternut squash, I halved it, removed the seeds, then roasted it in a shallow pan with a little water until it was super soft. I then pureed it in the food processor, and thinned it with pumped breast milk.

I used my slow cooker to make apple sauce and pear sauce once I started Lily on fruits. I would peel, core, and chop 4 -6 of pears or apples, place them in the slow cooker, added a little water, and cooked on high for 2-3 hours. Once the apple or pears were super soft and basically falling apart, I would puree them in my food processor, again adding the cooking liquid or a little pumped breast milk to thin the puree out.

When making the purees, I made much more than Lily would eat at any one time. I used ice cube trays to freeze small portions of the purees. When I decided what I was going to try to feed Lily, I would pull out one ice cube tray portion, and carefully heat it in the microwave, adding more pumped breast milk as needed.

Although slightly more work than picking up a jar of baby food at the store, making my own purees did not require any special kitchen gadgets and did not require much cooking time or food prep. The peace of mind of making my own purees as well as the money saved more than made up for the convenience of the jarred food.

Becky Nagel is a stay at home mom to two girls, a three year old and a one year old, in Denver, CO who enjoys cooking for her family, running, and hiking.

Healthy Pancakes for Kids

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Healthy PancakesPancakes are a favorite breakfast food in our family.  Although well aware that traditional pancakes are not a very healthy way to start the day, I decided to experiment in the kitchen to create a healthier version of pancakes that my kids would still enjoy. Here is the winning recipe:

Ingredients:
1 cup of oatmeal
¾ cup of milk (whatever type of milk your family uses: cow, goat, coconut, soy, almond, etc)
1 Tablespoon Hemp Seed
1 Tablespoon Maca Powder
2 eggs (if you don’t eat eggs, you can substitute chia seeds)
2 dates
½ teaspoon vanilla
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Coconut oil (for cooking in pan)

Healthy Pancakes

 

Directions:

Throw all ingredients except coconut oil into a blender. Blend on medium speed for approximately a minute or until pancake batter is smooth.

Melt small amount of coconut oil in pan over medium heat. Scoop the batter onto the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve topped with your favorite fruit.

Recipe yields about 6 pancakes.

Extras: And just for fun you can play with the recipe and try adding in various ingredients to alter both flavor and nutritional value.

  • Cacao nibs
  • Banana
  • Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans
  • Seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower
  • Coconut flakes
  • Also try topping with cashew nut cream. Yum!

Sarah is a crunchy mama to three boys with a fourth on the way. Her family feels blessed to currently live abroad in the Netherlands and enjoy exploring all it has to offer. 

The Best Recipes for Baby-Led Weaning

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

The Best Baby-Led Weaning RecipesBaby-Led Weaning is a way to let your baby start eating whole foods instead of purees. Most often we just fed our daughter some of what we were eating anyway, but that doesn’t always work and you need other ideas for your baby.

I have found some great recipes while doing baby-led weaning with our daughter, and am happy to share some of the resources Iʼve found. Iʼm also sharing a quick and easy baby-led weaning breakfast recipe that has been a staple of our morning routine for a long time now.

An Overview: If you are interested in baby led weaning, but a little unsure what it is all about, this post from SimpleBites.net has a really good overview and some good snacky suggestions.

Please keep in mind that it’s called baby-led “weaning” and not “feeding” for a reason! Feeding baby anything other than breast milk will affect your supply and their intake. Even though you aren’t completely weaning all at once, feeding solids will start the process of less dependence on nursing. Whether that is a good thing or something you want to wait on depends on your baby’s age, health, and your nursing relationship. Be informed before you start the process.

Chickpea Patties: This recipe is a great nutritious finger food for babies. This post also has a lot of wonderful suggestions for other baby led weaning food ideas!

Easy first food recipes: This round up of recipes features quick and easy things to make just for baby. Some of these are mama and daddy friendly too, but some are obviously designed to just be for baby. Personally I prefer meals that we all can enjoy, but lists like these are so fantastic for breakfast and lunch ideas when I just need a quick something for baby.

Recipes for baby led weaning listed by age: This blog has a fantastic list of baby led weaning friendly recipes, but the best part is that there is an index that lists them all by age! I love being able to search the recipe base by the age my baby is to find ideas. All the recipes are also designed to be delicious for the whole family too, which is an extra bonus.

Finally, my recipe for Baby Led Weaning Oatmeal Fingers! This has been my daughterʼs favorite breakfast item for the last year and a half. It is quick, easy, delicious, and has enough nutrition to get her started for the day.

Beccaʼs Baby Led Weaning Oatmeal Fingers

3 tablespoons quick oats
3 tablespoons whole milk
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar, to taste

Mix all three ingredients in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Let cool, and cut into bite size pieces.

Variations: you can also add a small amount of fruit (1-2 tsp) before microwaving. We love adding either banana or blueberries!

Becca Schwartz is a cloth diapering, baby wearing, semi-crunchy mama to a toddler girl and newborn boy. She and her husband have a small mini-farm with a flock of chickens, a few goats and rabbits, and are making plans to move out west to start a homesteading adventure together!

 

Baby’s First Foods

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Introducing solid foods is a big step for new moms and can be quite confusing. Here are some common questions new moms may have about introducing solids.

Is my baby ready for solid foods?

first food

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for baby during the first six months of life. Below are a few milestones your baby should reach before starting solid food:

  • Baby can sit in high chair with good head control
  • Baby watches you eat, reaches for your food and seems eager to be fed
  • If you offer a spoon of food and baby pushes it out of its mouth; he may not have the ability to move it to the back of his mouth to swallow. If this happens- try to dilute food with breast milk or water or wait a week or two and try again.

Sounds like my baby is ready. What should I feed them first?

Traditionally single-grain cereals are introduced first; however there is no medical evidence that introducing solid foods in any particular order is advantageous for baby. This website has tons of great recipes, nutrition information and pointers on how to prepare homemade baby food.

Are there any foods I should avoid?

What to Expect has a great list of food to avoid. This includes nuts, egg whites, honey, cow’s milk, wheat, juice, shellfish, strawberries and chocolate. These foods can be introduced later, please check with your pediatrician for when these can be safely introduced.

What were your babies’ first foods?

With my first we attempted organic brown rice cereal right at six months. This did not go well; she hated it. We went back to breast milk for few weeks and tried sweet potatoes next time she had solids. Our second was 7.5 months before we gave him solid food and he started with homemade sweet potatoes.

How do you make sweet potatoes for your baby?

Preheat oven to 400* F. Wash and poke holes in sweet potatoes and wrap in foil; bake in oven until soft (30-60 minutes). Puree in blender mixed with water or breast milk for desired consistency. Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet to freeze. Once frozen put into Ziploc bags to store in freezer until ready to eat. Thaw and serve.

What was your baby’s first food? What would you do differently with your next child?

Kristen Beggs is a mom of two who enjoyed watching her babies take their first bite. 

 

Green Smoothies for Mom Superpowers

Monday, March 17th, 2014

When you have a baby at home, can be hard to get a good, nutritious breakfast—or any kind of meal. And if you have more than one child, you may spend a good deal of your day in the car. But you don’t have to sacrifice your health or your sanity to get a quality meal in your busy day. Smoothies are quick, portable, and super healthy, and green smoothies pack a powerful punch of fiber, vitamins, minerals and energy. And what mom can’t use more of that?

Great Green Smoothies

Here’s how to make the perfect (quick!) green smoothie:

Choose your greens. Some of my favorites for smoothies are kale and spinach, but you can use any other one you like to change the flavor profile. Collards and beet greens have a more robust taste and a handful of parsley is a great choice for added energy and brings some brightness to the smoothie.

Pick a base. This can take your smoothie from light, airy and tropical, to rich and creamy. For more of a cleansing smoothie I like to go with a mixture of coconut water and aloe vera juice. Adding almond or coconut milk makes a thicker, richer smoothie.

Find your Fruit. Frozen bananas, mangoes and cherries are great for adding sweetness and depth. Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, limes, and oranges create lighter, more refreshing flavors. Berries are great for creating classic combinations such as banana strawberry.

Add more veggies. A green smoothie doesn’t have to stop with one green ingredient. You can add as many veggies as you’d like. Carrots, cucumbers and beets are great choices to boost your vitamin content.

Sprinkle in some extras. Smoothies are a great way to sneak in some superfoods. Blackstrap molasses adds some iron and calcium, fresh ginger is a refreshing immune booster, and seeds such as hemp, flax and chia add fiber, a little protein and a lot of nutrition. You can even try adding some green powder made of dried greens and fruits for even more of a boost.

Choose a fat and/or protein. Many of the vitamins in veggies are fat-soluble which means they need to be taken with some fat to be absorbed by the body. Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats around, but other fats such as avocado and flax oil, nut butters or seeds work just as well. A high-quality protein powder can also help turn a smoothie from a snack into a delicious balanced meal.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.