Thursday, December 31, 2009
Children are more sensitive than adults to toxins, so choosing organic is a way to reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals, such as pesticides, pesticide residues and herbicides. Studies show that, on average, organic food has 95% fewer chemicals than non-organic foods. It also contains more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
For many parents, the jury is still out on Genetically Modified foods. If it is something you are concerned about, organic food is GM-free.
Don't forget the feel-good factor. Buying and eating them is a real guilt-free pleasure. It's great to know that you're not only helping the environment, you're feeding your family on good, pure food, that tastes better than processed food and has no hidden poisons, which is more than you can say for what you pick up at the average supermarket.
Perhaps one of the most important advantages of organic food is that it is pure nature-grown food. Forget E-numbers, hydrogenated fats, artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners, preservatives – none of these additives that are lurking in processed and fast foods, are permitted in organic ones. There are no residual antibiotics, growth hormones or BSE in organic meat, no pesticides in organic milk, and no hidden starch bulking out organic baby food. If you want a diet based on natural food that hasn't been tampered with – think organic.
1/2 teaspoon Brown sugar – optional
2 tablespoon water
De- seed, peel and cut in cubes apples. Put it the pan on the medium fire. Add cinnamon, sugar (optional) and water. Bring it to boil. Cook for 15 min till apples soft.
You can go for a bigger amount and freeze for later. Use apple sauce for dips, sugar substitute in recipes and yummy addition for yogurt and smoothies.
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp yogurt or sour cream.
various raw vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, cucumber, celery, baby corn, carrots, snow peas
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh out of the skin. Transfer the flesh to a blender or processor
and add the garlic, lemon juice, and yogurt. Process until the dip is the consistency you prefer.
Or, you can place the ingredients in a bowl and mash together.
You may want to blanch the snow peas and corn slightly first.
8.30 a.m.: Breakfast.
10 a.m.: Snack.
11 a.m.: Snack.
12 noon.: Milk (180 ml) Nap time. Yeah, I know. We don’t eat lunch anymore at this time. I’ve tried so many times :o)
3.30 p.m.: Lunch :o) or should I call Dunch :o)
5 p.m.: Snack.
6 p.m.: Milk. (150 ml)
7.30 p.m.: Dinner.
8.30 -9 p.m.: Milk (190 ml)
I'm still breastfeeding. My milk supplies are getting lesser and lesser though, so I started to mix breast milk with the formula or sometimes with cow's milk. She doesn't like cow's milk on it's own yet.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
One of the best ways to keep your little one happy while you travel in the car, plane or just having a day out at the park, is to bring some healthy tasty snacks along. Spend few minutes to think trough what your child would prefer, to avoid a lot of spitting and fussiness outside. When your toddler is happy, everyone on the journey will be happy too :o)
Here are a few suggestions:
- Peeled, seeded, and wedged apples, oranges, pears, plums or grapes. Put them in the Ziploc bags or small containers. Bananas are great too, but don’t peel them or cut them till they’re ready to be eaten (they go black and mushy very quickly).
- Mini bagels (or normal sized ones cut in pieces) with some cream cheese spread.
- Mini muffins -They are easier to hold then normal size ones :o)
- Cucumbers, celery, or carrots (for older toddlers), peeled and cut as sticks to be easy to hold. My daughter loves cucumbers, although we have only six teeth.
- Pretzels -They are crunchy and fun to eat.
- Cheerios- Make sure to get low sugar ones.
- Raisins along with other dry fruits. Such a yummy healthy option: o). They look cheerful an appealing in that Ziploc bag.
- If your toddler is above 2 years old, chop some nuts too. Make sure your little one doesn’t have allergies to any of them.
- Crackers are also a good-to-go snack. Always fun to munch.
- Cheese sticks- Cut your baby’s favorite cheese in to stick for easy hold. Or cut it in to different shapes :o)
- Homemade veggie chips – Peel carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, turnip or apples into thin slices. Place them on a sheet slightly sprayed with oil. Bake the vegetables at 140C for about 30-40 min, or until crisp and golden brown. You can cut your veggies into “french fries” sticks and bake them about an hour and a half.
Different kinds of vegetables cook for varying lengths of times, so it is important to check for doneness frequently.
Do not forget to take some liquids with you. Water is the best. It will keep your baby hydrated, thirst satisfied. Of course if your baby prefers juices, it’s fine as long as they are low in sugar. My baby is still on the breast milk/formula, but I never leave without a Sippy-cup of water :o)
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (you might want to grind them before cooking)
Pinch of salt
Optional ingredients to cook along with oats:
Chopped dried apricots, papaya, or pineapple
Dried cranberries or cherries
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
Place water, oats, salt, and optional ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to cook for several minutes, until desired consistency is reached. Mix in additional non-cooked ingredients, and serve immediately.
Optional ingredients, to taste, to add after cooking:
Grated fresh apple or apple sauce
Chopped fresh pear
Pumpkin seeds finely chopped
Finely chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts (for kids above 2 year old)
Butter 1 teaspoon
Yogurt 1 teaspoon
Maple Syrup natural( for kids above 1 year old)
Of course you can use instant oats. Just follow the instruction on the package and add some optional ingredients that mentioned above. Enjoy :o)
Monday, December 21, 2009
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoons salt
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 ½ cups skim milk
2 small ripe bananas
In large bowl, mix all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Stir in milk and bananas(finely chopped or mashed).
1/2 c milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5-6 slices of bread
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Pour banana, cold milk, and cinnamon in blender and reduce to a banana puree. Pour mixture in a dish, dip the bread, ensuring both sides get covered in mixture. Put on cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes
Sliced fresh fruit with yogurt
Muffins topped with fruit puree or cream cheese
Whole-wheat toast with cream cheese
French toast with fresh fruits or
Eggless French Toast
Sunday, December 20, 2009
1.5 cup water
1 teaspoon butter
½ cup Milk (before 1 year old better to use formula or breast milk)
Rinse millet few times if need it. Boil the water and add millet to it.
Cook for 15 min, while stirring. Add hot milk and cook for other 15 min.
Remove from stove and add butter.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
1. Place your baby in a sling or baby carrier. This way your hands will be free and you can some other stuff is well, like cooking, cleaning etc.. At the same time baby will be much better being so close to mommy, and will calm down eventually.
2. Let dad have some "baby time" while mom takes a shower or simply gets some time to herself.
3. Go outdoors. Relax baby (and yourself is well) with a walk, or just sit and enjoy the fresh air.
4. Calm your baby with sound. Sing, hum, talk, murmur shhhh, listen to music, or use 'white noise’, such a vacuum cleaner, radio, washing machine etc. Try different types of sound, different styles of music.
5. Calm your baby with rhythmic motion. Walk, sway, bounce, dance, swing..
6.You can calm your baby with touch. Hold or bathe baby, or baby massage. My mother in-law used to put our baby girl on her lap tummy down, and stroke her back. She calm down quite fast. It specially helped during colic times.
7. Reduce stimulation. Dim lights in the room, reduce noise..
8. Try different nursing positions. Try side lying, lying on your back to nurse with baby tummy to tummy, etc. Nurse in motion,while rocking, swaying, etc.
Above all of course, check for regular signs. Such as hunger, wet nappies. May be your baby feels too cold or too hot. Check baby’s body temperature.Your baby might be colic. Babies have them from 3 to 6 months.
Monday, December 14, 2009
2. Don’t push it. When your baby doesn’t want anymore, let them leave. Otherwise your baby will end up crying, upset, and make other meal times hard and picky.
3. Allow the baby to be independent. Let your baby eat on their own as soon as they can hold, even if it’s messy. Prepare food that sticks to the spoon easily. Poor ones, sometime trying so hard to spoon their meal and it’s just not happening. :) I know the mess they make can be very frustrating sometimes, but totally worthy to watch. The messier their faces the funnier it is. Take a photo, it will bring some good memories later on.
4. Have a family meal together. Keep a happy family time at the table. Talk to your baby, praise them. Babies gladly will try food that you offer when everyone is eating. If not, give a friendly smile.
5. Keep trying. Fussiness is temporary. Continue to offer a wide variety of healthy foods and everything will settle down eventually.
6. Don’t be a chicken. If you want your kids to have good habits in eating veggies, show them that you do. Eat your vegetables at meal-time together. Talk to your toddler about how yummy those veggies they’re eating are.
7. Hide vegetables. If your kid refuses to eat some fruit or vegetable, hide it in the food you are preparing. Bake muffins with vegetables, carrots, pumpkin or even broccoli. Add carrots or even tomato in the smoothies along with the fruits. You can puree broccoli, cauliflower and carrots and add the mixture to spaghetti sauce.
8. No overloading. Never overload their plate. Keep it simple and colorful. Let them ask for more.
The safest option is to offer only the following types of cheese to your little one, it is still important to ensure that these are made with pasteurized milk.
The cheeses below are softer , but still on the safe list:o)
Cheese spread (make sure it’s not cheese flavored)
Cheeses to avoid for at list 1 year:
225 cooked sweet potato
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a muffin tin or line with paper muffin cases.
In a large bowl, mix eggs, sugar, sweet potato, oil and water. Combine flour, cinnamon, bicarbonate soda, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold gently until just moistened. Fill muffin cups ¾ full. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 min or until muffins test done.
See Also: Oatmeal sweet potato muffin, Apple and Raisins muffin
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 finely chopped apple, skin on
1/2 cup (85g) raisins
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place flour and sugar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, oil and cinnamon. Stir through apple and raisins.
Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 12-hole, 1/2 cup muffin pan. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup mashed cooked sweet potato
½ cup shredded carrots
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir by hand until combined.
Line muffin tin with paper liners.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.
Bake 16-18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water
1 1/2 cups baby cereal
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract and water. Mix until well blended. Gradually stir in cereal. Knead until smooth. Pat into rectangle. Cut into 12 (1-inch) bars, smoothing edges so they will not be sharp. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until dry. Store in uncovered container overnight
1/3 Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
½ teaspoon vanilla
In bowl, combine coconut, sugar, flour and salt. Stir in egg whites and vanilla; mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees F (162 degrees C) for 18-20 minutes.
1/4 cup oil, butter or margarine
1/2 cup baby cereal (such as rice or oat)
1/2 cup water
Mix flour and cereal. Blend in oil, margarine or butter. Add water until doughy. Roll about 1/8 inches thick. Cut into squares. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Done when crisp.
1 cup sugar
2 to 2 1/2 cups flour
Can be made with either white or brown sugar; white or whole-wheat flour. Stir eggs with fork until creamy; mix in sugar. Gradually add flour until stiff. Roll between floured wax paper sheets or with floured rolling pin until about 3/4 inches thick. Cut into rounds, shapes or sticks. Grease cookie sheet. Let cookies stand on cookie sheet overnight. Then bake at 325 degrees F (162 degrees C) until hard.
1 cup flour
1 cup baby cereal (such as rice or oat)
Mix ingredients, roll, cut into shapes or sticks, and bake for approximately 2 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2 - 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup undiluted, frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
Combine flour, milk powder, wheat germ, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together.
In another bowl, combine sugar and oil. Beat in the egg and orange juice and gradually add flour mixture to make stiff dough. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Place greased cookie sheet on damp towel to keep from sliding. Place dough on cookie sheet and flatten, rolling out to within 1 inch of the edge.
Cut into 2 by 3/4-inch bars; separating the cookies isn't necessary. Bake 15 minutes in preheated 375 degree F (190 degrees C) oven until light brown.
Remove from oven; recut on the same lines. Return to oven. Turn off heat and let set until oven is cool. Makes about 6 dozen cookies that can be frozen and thawed as needed.
Actually any bread that has been hardened can be used for a teething biscuit. For example, cut some thick slices of your homemade banana bread into easy to hold strips and bake them in a very low oven (<200) for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also do this using yeast bread such as oatmeal or whole wheat bread. Stale bagels were a favorite teething biscuit of my kids.
Nutritious teething biscuits
1 beaten egg yolk
3 Tbsp maple syrup or molasses (May be omitted)
1 tsp vanilla
1 - ½ Tbsp oil
¼ cup milk
1 Tbsp uncooked oatmeal
1 cup flour (white, wheat or combo)
1 Tbsp soy flour
1 Tbsp wheat germ
1 Tbsp nonfat dry milk.
Blend wet ingredients, and add the dry. Dough will be stiff. Roll dough to a thin layer and cut into strips or desired shapes.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet.
They can be made without the last 3 ingredients, but they add to the nutritional value.
Yogurt with biscuits.
Yogurt with fingertip cut fresh fruits or apple sauce.
Fresh veggie sticks( celery, cucumbers..) with yogurt or avocado dip.
Cottage cheese, plain or mix with some mashed berries or applesauce.
Cut in cubes fresh bananas, papaya, honeydew melon or mango.
Cooked vegetables, like carrots, long beans, asparagus.
Any veggies that baby can hold. Its fun to watch :o)
Apple Sauce- Our Absolute winner :)
Pitta Pizza. Spread a little tomato sauce on a pitta bread and cut into small triangular or square pieces. Top with a little grated cheese and place in a moderately heated oven for about 5 minutes until the cheese melts and starts to bubble.
Some homemade healthy mini muffins for easier hold.
1 carrot peeled and chopped
1 potato peeled and chopped
100g sweet peas frozen or fresh
2 tablespoon flour
2 cups of homemade stock or water
1 tablespoon Olive oil
If you are using chicken cut cooking time in half. Heat oil in a heavy sauce pan on medium heat. Coat meat cubes in the flour and brown in the oil. Add stock or water and cover tightly. Cook for about ½-1 hour (until meat is soft and done). Add veggies , salt and pepper and cook for other 15 min.
Blend it to smooth consistency.
1 onion sliced
1 tomato sliced
Few Basil leaves or dry just fine
2 tablespoon Olive oil
Pre heat oven to 180 deg C. Wrap all ingredients together. Bake for 15-20 min till fish is tender.
You can serve with any mash or steamed veggies:o)
1 shallot sliced
1 small tomato sliced
½ carrots chopped in cubes
½ parsnips chopped in cubes
Sea salt or Rock salt to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350 deg F, 180 deg C.
Wrap all ingredients tightly in foil and seal.
Bake for about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours.
Mash or puree as needed (you may need to add a little stock to achieve a smooth puree).
2 tablespoon Cottage cheese
1 egg (or egg yolk)
1 teaspoon butter
Grounded beef mix with Cottage cheese, egg (or egg yolk) and salt. Form meatballs. Steam it about 20-30 min.
Serve with some pasta or steamed veggies:o)
Shredded chicken (roasted or boiled)
Butter for spread.
On toasted bread spread thinly butter. Add mashed or cut in small pieces avocado and shredded chicken.
1 White fish fillet (cod, Haddock, Sole)
2 tablespoons of Béchamel sauce
Pinch of Rock or Sea salt optional
Pinch of Pepper optional
You can steam or stir-fry fish in butter or olive oil, till fish is tender and absolutely cooked. Mash it with a fork. Set aside.
Preparing Béchamel sauce:
Melt a teaspoon of butter in the heavy sauce pan, add 1 tablespoon of flour and stir constantly for 1 min. Add 1 cup of Whole milk while stirring constantly. Bring it to a boil to cook the flour. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Now, de-seed the Avocado, mash it, and mix with the prepared fish and add 2-3 tablespoon of Béchamel sauce.
I always divide prepared lunches into individual portions. Store them in small single portion containers and freeze them till next time.
Avocado goes well with:
How to ripen and store avocados:
Avocados ripens off the tree
Allow hard avocados ripen two to three days at room temperature. A ripe avocado is soft to the touch.
Store avocado in a paper bag. Put an apple or banana in the bag to ripen them more quickly. I heard that if you want speed up process, put avocado with flour in the paper bag. It can ripen over the night:o)
Store ripe avocados in the refrigerator up to one week.
To remove the seed from an avocado, cut in half lengthwise , and separate avocado in two halves. When avocado is ripe it's very easy. Lightly knock your knife into the pit, so that it sticks to it. Turn the knife right or left and lift it up to remove the pit.
Scoop the flesh out.
Ripe fruit can be stored in the refrigerator uncut for two to three days. To store cut fruit, sprinkle it with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar and place in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. If refrigerated guacamole turns brown during storage, discard the top layer.
Pureed avocados freeze very well and can be used in salads, sandwiches and dips.
•Wash, seed and peel the fruit as described above.
•Puree the flesh, adding one tablespoon of lemon juice for each two pureed avocados. Pack the puree into an air-tight container, leaving 1 inch of headspace.
•Seal and label the containers.
•Freeze and use within four to five months.
* Source: California Avocado Commission
Sunday, December 13, 2009
1 teaspoon of butter
1 cup of steamed or raw pumpkin
1/4 cup of milk (below 1 year breast milk or formula)
1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
A pinch of Rock salt or Sea salt (optional)
Half a pinch of pepper :) optional
Cinnamon and Nutmeg optional
1. Melt the butter, add the onions and cook them until soft.
2. Add the carrot and pumpkin (if you are using the raw one, otherwise add in the end). Stir for 2-3 min.
3. Pour the stock into the pot.
4. Add pepper, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Cook until vegetables are soft.
Optional: Put the vegetables and broth into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot.
5. Heat it up again and add milk.
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 cups risotto rice or normal brown rice.
1 cup baby apple juice
About 6 cups of hot chicken or vegetable stock or water
1 pumpkin baked or steamed, half mashed other half cut in small cubes
1/2 cup grade Parmesan
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
In a medium-size heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and sauté, stirring continuously, just until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and continue to stir, using a wooden spoon to coat the rice with the oil.
Add the apple juice and continue cooking, stirring often, until it has been absorbed by the rice. Pour in enough chicken stock or water to cover the rice completely, about 3 cups, continue to cook, stirring often, until all the liquid is absorbed. Normal rice absorbs less water, remember that.
Pour in 1 more cup of the remaining stock and stir and cook until it has been absorbed. Repeat with 1 more cup. Add the remaining final cup and cook, stirring, until the rice is al dente, tender but still very chewy, and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in the pumpkin puree and the diced pumpkin and reduce the heat to very low so that the risotto doesn't simmer anymore. Stir in the Parmesan and butter to give the risotto a nice, creamy finish.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Baking Sweet Potatoes for Baby Food:
1. Wash and poke holes in the sweet potato with fork then wrap sweet potatoes in tin foil
2. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until soft
3. When cooled scoop out the "meat" .
I always use a liquid from your preferred source to soften or thin the sweet potatoes.
Boiling/Steaming Sweet Potatoes for Baby Food:
1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into small chunks.
2. Place chunks into a pan with just enough water to slightly cover potato.
3. Cook until tender, don't forget to check on the water level.
Vegetables going well with Sweet Potatoes:
When we just started with the solids, it went well. She loved her cereals.
But when veggies and meats came along, she chose her favorite ones, and was rejecting anything else. At some point just to let her eat, i will mix banana with any of her lunches. Yikes, i know! So it was chicken with sweet potato and banana, or peas with fish and banana.
I even mixed broccoli (which she hates) with banana, yet it worked like a charm. Of course it wasn’t for long. And i have to come up with something new. But it should work with your little ones for a while until the novelty runs out and they find a new challenge for you.
1. Halve the pumpkin, peel and de-seed it, cut into cubes
2. Slice the apple
3. Add 3 inches of water to a pot and then insert a steamer basket – add the pumpkin cubes and apples
4. Bring water to a boil and then steam gently until soft and cooked. Be sure to check on the water level
Puree and mash both veggies. If too dry add breast milk or formula to adjust consistency, to your baby’s liking.Serve warm with a smile.
1. Half a cup of pumpkin cubes, 1 ripe banana (needs to be ripe enough that it has black spots on the skin)
2. Halve the pumpkin, peel and de-seed it, cut into cubes
3. Add 3 inches of water to a pot and then insert a steamer basket – add the pumpkin cubes
4. Bring water to a boil and then steam gently until soft and cooked. Be sure to check on the water level
4. Mix the steamed pumpkin with the banana and mash. If too dry, thin with breast milk or baby formula.
For 1 year olds you can use cow whole milk.
Makes yummy lunch or addition to your baby’s yogurt or cereal.
You can use pumpkin mash with:
Steamed/ Baked Pears
Steamed/ Boiled Sweet Peas
Well cooked chicken (leftovers from your roast)