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What is your baby’s favourite meat?

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Breakfast ideas for toddlers (12 months+)

Has your baby gotten bored of eating mushy foods? Before they get their molars, babies can have some easy to chew foods to keep them interested during meal time. This post will give you some breakfast ideas that hopefully your baby will enjoy!

Cheerios with milk

A fast and quick breakfast fix but not the most healthy option.

 

Cheese and fruit (smoothie) – not blended together 😛

Cut up several slices of cheese and fruit for baby to nibble on. You can also make a quick smoothie with fruits like banana, blueberry, strawberry, mango or other fruits that your baby loves.

 

Mini eggo

Another quick breakfast and looking closely at the label, they contain some added vitamins in it. Not a bad choice for a quick and nutritious breakfast. Spread a bit of homemade fruit puree or jam and/or cream cheese to the eggo for added nutrition.

Homestyle Minis

Toast with eggs and cheese

Put a slice or two pieces of bread in the toaster.

While bread is toasting, scramble an egg with a tiny bit of oil for 2-3 minutes until egg is no longer runny. Sprinkle some cheese when egg is almost done and let the cheese melt a bit.

Once egg is cooled down a bit and still warm, they can be served to baby as finger food with toasted bread.

 

Homemade pancakes made with eggs

There are many pancake recipes out there. Use the ones that have eggs and milk for more nutrition. Good to serve as finger food as well.

Example recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/good-old-fashioned-pancakes/

This can be made in a batches and put in freezer. Microwave for 15-20 seconds before serving.

Oatmeal with fruits

A quick 5-10 minutes cooking time for another nutritious meal.

Use your preferred oats and pour milk or water to boil for 5 mins. Add cut up fruit like strawberry, mango, blueberry, peaches, and a ripe banana for natural sweetness. You may want to slightly blend it as oat is hard to digest for baby’s young stomach. Can be made in a big batch as well and store in fridge for up to 3 days.

Quaker Quick OatsPackages of Frozen Fruit

 

Porridge with meat and veggies

An asian breakfast if your baby prefers a more “savoury” option.

Boil rice with water, add minced meat and veggies of your choice to make a nice comforting porridge.

 

Egg and Cheese Muffins

Found this yummy recipe from http://www.theseasonedmom.com/egg-and-cheese-mini-muffins/. With a few simple ingredients of egg, milk and cheese, these mini muffins can be made in a mini muffin pan and stored up and microwaved when ready to eat.

 

Egg and Cheese Mini Muffins

 

Hope your baby will enjoy one or more of these breakfast ideas! What is your baby’s favourite breakfast food?

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Finger Food – Baked Tofu Bites

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Picture credits: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-baked-tofu-74358

This recipe is a healthy, nutritious and versatile one that is good for baby finger food and as a good salad topper or side dish or snack for adults.

Tofu is a low-fat alternative to meat and contains a good amount of iron, protein and calcium which is essential for baby’s growing body and bones.

Ingredients:

1 pack of firm tofu

Cooking oil

Preheat oven to 400F.

1. Take tofu out of package and discard water.

2. Place tofu on a dish and put another plate on top with a heavy item like a can to press extra water out from tofu. You may skip this step if you wish to have more moist tofu bites. I discovered there is a product called “Tofu Xpress” that is specifically used to press water out of tofu. Interesting!

3. Pat dry the tofu with paper towels.

4. Cut tofu into one-inch cubes and toss in your preferred cooking oil. The amount of oil should be as little as to coat the tofu pieces lightly.

5. Place tofu pieces on parchment paper lined aluminum pan. You can use other silicon baking sheet but from what I have read from other reviews for a similar recipe. Tofu may not stick as much to the parchment paper.

6. Bake for 15-20 mins and then flip the tofu and bake for another 15-20 mins depending on how crispy you or baby like. Don’t worry if some of the tofu pieces come apart after baking.

It is good to top as a on a salad, as a side dish or as a snack.

For extra kick, you can marinade the tofu with your favourite spices – minced garlic, minced ginger, lemon/lime juice, barbecque sauce (low sodium for baby) and etc.

Enjoy! Happy Friday!

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Baby Food – Part 1 (with a recipe!)

Food is a big topic. This is so big that I almost don’t know where to begin. Often, I have asked friends or they would ask me,”What is your baby eating these days?”. Before I talk about some baby food recipes, I want to talk about jarred baby food.

Jarred Baby Food

When I started making baby food, I would go to the supermarket’s baby aisle to get ideas on what to make for baby to try for the next 3-4 days – as is recommended that babies should have a 4 day wait rule when introducing solid foods. At first, I really was tempted to stock up on jarred baby food for the convenience and a lot of variety is offered on the shelves. I made some homemade food and also bought some jarred baby food like puree prune for those “uneasy #2 days”. I noticed the baby food that I made are a lot thicker than what you get from jarred food.

Ingredients: WATER, CHICKEN, TOMATO PUREE, SQUASH, RICE, RED PEPPERS, CELERY, CARROTS, ZUCCHINI, PEAS, LENTILS, YELLOW SPLIT PEAS, TAPIOCA FLOUR, BROWN RICE FLOUR, SAFFLOWER OIL, ONION POWDER, SPICES, CHICKEN BROTH, GARLIC POWDER, DEHYDRATED PARSLEY.

A close look at the ingredients label shows that water is the first ingredient in a lot of these baby jarred foods. The order of the ingredients in food/cosmetic labels often indicates the content of the ingredients from most to least – i.e. most of these baby jarred foods has water as the highest content compared relatively to other food ingredients. This means for the chicken & vegetable paella above, you are feeding as much chicken, or a little less, as water to your baby.

Conversely, if you make your own baby food, you are only adding a little bit of water to allow food to be blended in a food processor. Another fact is that baby food may be on the shelve for couple years in the store – so you may be feeding food that is older than your baby.

Jarred food is great when you want to let baby try a little bit to see if they are allergic to the food or not. Sometimes you just want to spend 70 cents for a jar of green beans instead of spending the effort to wash and cook a few beans. It is also great to take out or have as an emergency when you have forgotten to bring baby food from home. If you do need to buy food for convenience, the baby food in a pouch is a better option. With these ones, you don’t even need a spoon and baby can suck at the opening to get food on the go or you can buy an attachment spoon which fits most of these pouches.

Ingredients: APPLE PUREE*, BLUEBERRY PUREE*, WATER, QUINOA FLAKES*, WHOLE GRAIN OAT FLAKES*, TAPIOCA STARCH*, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE*, ASCORBIC ACID. *ORGANIC MAY CONTAIN WHEAT.

These are also pricier (more than $1 CAD each) and you are paying what you get – no water as a first ingredient.

Homemade Baby Food

I am not sure if there are many websites that are dedicated to baby food recipes, but one that I find informative is the Momtastic’s Wholesome Baby Food Recipe. It talks about the foods that baby should eat at each stage (4 -6 months, 6 – 8 months,…) and each food’s benefit and recipes and general guidelines on how to make baby food.

Rice Cereal as a first food?

Rice cereal is often recommended as a first food to introduce to baby but there are other foods that can be introduced to baby too. Avocado which is packed with nutrients is also a possible choice. Orange foods like squash is easily digestible for baby’s young digestive system. Some babies actually don’t like rice cereal and it may cause constipation for some too. BRAT foods – banana, rice, apple, toast may cause constipation as they don’t contain much fiber.

P-foods to relieve constipation

Often, when babies start solid foods, their bowel movement may not be as often as compared to when they were solely on breast milk or formula. Foods that start with the letter p like peas, pear, prunes, peaches are good for relieving constipation. I find prunes often works well and can be mixed with rice cereal or other grains as the ones that come from jar are very sweet.

Tip: To avoid constipation, combine foods high in fiber with one that may cause constipation (BRAT food) like the one described below.

Recipe #1: Sweet Potatoe, Apples and Chicken

This is all-in-one sweet and savoury recipe that has it all – carb+fruit+protein. These three ingredients are all part of the first foods that can be given to baby after meat is introduced. Sweet potatoe is packed with lots of nutrients and fiber while apple provides a bit of a fruity flavour to make the sweet potatoe not too filling. Chicken is the protein part of this yummy meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potatoe, medium sized  – sliced to half inch thick or diced to half inch cubes
  • 1 apple – diced to cubes
  • 1 chicken breast – diced

Sweet potatoe can be sliced or diced to cubes and steamed on high for 15 minutes. Put diced apple and chicken on another plate and steamed for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Put all cooked ingredients along with the liquid from steaming in blender and blend to desired consistency.

What is your baby’s favourite food(s) so far?

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To Baby Bullet or Not?

As a rookie mom, I learned not to get everything “baby” for my baby because not all of these baby products work the best. I was fortunate enough to receive a Baby Bullet from my baby shower and started using it as soon as baby started solids. It comes with little containers with smiley faces to store the food and a little silicon freezer ice cube tray. They worked really well in the beginning. I was making food, storing it, marking the dates by twisting the date ring and freezing leftovers. As time goes by, it turns out the containers which are plastic cannot be sanitized by boiling, the plastic cover will get warped after that. If the lids get dropped or thrown by baby after they discovered that skill, they may crack too. They are good for storing little snacks like cheerios but the 6 containers are not sufficient when baby increases appetite to eat more. Also, I don’t use the freezer tray after baby eats more as it’s not enough to store a week’s worth of food. Now, I only use the processor and not the accessories that come with it.

So for a longer term solution, a regular (small size) food processor would work just as fine and some of these processors have a blade which can be taken out to be washed separately.  The Baby Bullet blade is attached to the lid and a bit hard to clean if food gets trapped underneath. The motor of the bullet is also made of plastic, I am getting a feeling that it may break one day after pressing on to it too hard.

For the containers, any BPA-free ones would just work as fine – just no smiley faces on them… 🙂

Have you ever bought any “baby products” that may have worked better with regular “adult versions”?