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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tips to calm crying babies

Soothing techniques for the fussy times
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

Tips to make your little one eat

1. Snack. If you are dealing with someone like my daughter, let them nibble. Don’t expect your kid to eat all 3 meals a day. Sometimes just let them snack on the healthy finger food through the day.
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.

Cheese facts

CHEESE

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.
Cheddar
Parmesan
Colby
Edam
Colby Jack
Mozzarella
Monterey Jack
Romano
Babybel
Paneer
Provolone
Red Leicester
Cheshire
Jarlsberg
Gouda
Lancashire
Double Gloucester
The cheeses below are softer , but still on the safe list:o)
Cottage cheese
Ricotta
Mascarpone
Cream Cheese
Cheese spread (make sure it’s not cheese flavored)
Cheeses to avoid for at list 1 year:
Brie
Camembert
Chevre
Queso Blanco
Queso Fresco
Danish Blue
Stilton
Saga
Gorgonzola
Roquefort
Wensleydale

Sweet Potato Muffins recipe

2 eggs beaten
200g sugar
225 cooked sweet potato
120ml oil
80ml water
200g flour
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

Apple and Raisins Muffins recipe

2 cups (300g) self-rising flour, sifted
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.

Oatmeal Sweet potato Muffins recipe

½ cup flour
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
1 egg
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.

Baby Cereal Biscuits recipe

2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
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

Coconut macaroons cookies

1 1/3 Cup flaked coconut
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.

Teething Biscuits recipe

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup oil, butter or margarine
1/2 cup baby cereal (such as rice or oat)
1/2 cup water
Directions:
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.

Less-Crumbs Teething Biscuits recipe

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 to 2 1/2 cups flour
Directions:
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.

Eggless Teething Biscuits

1 cup juice (such as apple)
1 cup flour
1 cup baby cereal (such as rice or oat)
Directions:
Mix ingredients, roll, cut into shapes or sticks, and bake for approximately 2 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Teething Biscuits recipe

(classic from the Buffalo News)
Ingredients:
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 egg
1/2 cup undiluted, frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
Directions:
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.

Teething biscuits recipe

Teething baby
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
Ingredients:
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.
Directions:
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.

Snacks ideas

Toasted and cubed Whole meal bread with cream cheese or thinly spread peanut butter(for 1 year old +)
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.
Cubed cheese.
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.

Pretzel sticks.
Some homemade healthy mini muffins for easier hold.
Fruit smoothies

Beef or chicken stew recipe (8 months +)

400 g Beef cubes or deboned Chicken cubed
1 onion
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
Sea salt
Black pepper
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.

Wrapped White fish fillet recipe( 8 months+)

1 White fish fillet (Haddock, Sole, Cod)
1 onion sliced
1 tomato sliced
Few Basil leaves or dry just fine
2 tablespoon Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

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)

Tender Foil Wrapped Lamb recipe (12 months +)

250g Lamb boneless, cleaned from fats.
1 shallot sliced
1 small tomato sliced
½ carrots chopped in cubes
½ parsnips chopped in cubes
Sea salt or Rock salt to taste
Black pepper
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).

Tender beef meatballs recipe (11 months+)

100 g beef, grounded twice
2 tablespoon Cottage cheese
1 egg (or egg yolk)
1 teaspoon butter
Salt optional
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)

Avocado sandwich recipe (11 months +)

Whole-meal toasted bread
Ripe avocado
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.

Avocado and White fish recipe ( 8 months +)

1 ripe Avocado
1 White fish fillet (cod, Haddock, Sole)
2 tablespoons of Béchamel sauce
Pinch of Rock or Sea salt optional
Pinch of Pepper optional
Preparing fish:
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:
Apples
Bananas
Pears
Chicken
Pumpkin

Avocado facts and storing

The best thing about avocado, that it is full of "good" fats. It's full of vitamins and minerals. Avocado is an excellent source of vitamin E which helps wound healing a good complexion and strong immune system.they also have the highest protein content of any fruit. It has a smooth and creamy texture, which is perfect for all kinds of dips and mashes.
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

Creamy pumpkin soup (8 month +)

1 onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon of butter
1 cup of steamed or raw pumpkin
1 carrot
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.

Pumpkin risotto (8 month +)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
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.