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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Why choose organic food for your baby?

To be honest I never was bothered to buy organic food. Everything changed however when my daughter came along. My son grew up on natural food, as we used to have our own garden, and people in my country weren’t much into chemical pesticides treatment 13 years ago. When we shop these days though, we try as much as possible to get organic produce.

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.

Apple sauce recipe

2 red apples
Cinnamon pinch
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.

Avocado Dip Recipe

1 ripe medium-size avocado
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.

Our one year old baby-girl schedule

8 a.m.: Milk. About 150 ml

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

Toddler On-the-go Meals

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)

Oatmeal porridge recipe

1 cup water or more
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:
Ground cinnamon
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
Sliced banana
Sunflower seeds
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)