Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Baby food revisited: beyond puréed

This picture was taken because we caught her literally LICKING her plate!!

In all aspects of parenting, it seems that once you get something figured out to where you could do it in your sleep if you had to, your kid changes and that skill is no longer needed.  Such is motherhood, I suppose. All of my pureeing genius is now left on the side of the parenting road, along with night time feedings, swaddling, etc. C'est la vie.

So now we are enjoying the world of toddler type food for my 10-month-old-who-eats-like-a-5-year-old.  This has been fun for me to explore foods for her.  It's also a huge mess-so she rarely wears clothes when we're home because I'm tired of trying to get sweet potato stains out of her white shirts.  (shut up, I already know it's stupid to put a 10 month old in white shirts)

I found that if I'm not prepared with lots of things on hand for her, I would be feeding her some pretty crappy stuff.  I refuse to give her chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese at this stage. This isn't healthy or balanced, and I want to give her the best opportunity for health in the future.  

So I started doing some research.  Sawyer can pretty much gum anything even though she only has a few teeth.  I was thinking about finger foods, and what she can pick up..so here are some of the things I've been making: 

Quinoa Cakes: 
I read a bunch of recipes for these and ended up making my own version.  I already had quinoa leftover in the fridge, so I just mixed it up with an egg, a few tablespoons of flour, a little parmesan cheese, and some finely diced zucchini and squash.  I then sautéed the patties in some olive oil until they were formed and browned.  She absolutely LOVES them!

(click link above)
I followed this recipe almost exactly--I just added some parmesan cheese.  So far, they're a huge hit also.  

Chicken Sausage Egg Cups

Like with the quinoa cakes, I googled a bunch of different recipes and then kind of made my own for this one.  

I got some already cooked organic chicken sausage and chopped it up really small and put that in a greased muffin tin.  
Then added some shredded cheddar cheese and chives.  
I scrambled a dozen eggs, and poured the eggs into the cups to about 3/4 full.  
Baked at 375 for 20 minutes. 

These are her favorite breakfast.  I keep them in the fridge and just pop two in the microwave for 20 seconds and they're ready to go.  Delicious!  

I've also been diligent about keeping certain things on hand.  I try to remember to include in every meal: 

a dairy, a protein, a whole grain, and a vegetable.  

I give her fruit once a day, usually a banana with breakfast, and sometimes some papaya after dinner.  

I always have in the fridge and pantry: 

  • cubed and roasted sweet potato or butternut squash
  • chunks of cheddar cheese
  • chopped up fruit like papaya, watermelon, etc
  • cooked green beans or peas
  • yogurt
  • organic, sugar free applesauce
I can now add the egg cups, turkey meatballs and quinoa cakes to my list, as I plan to have these or a variation of them at all times.  

Some tips I've found helpful: 
Plan, plan, plan.  I write a detailed list for grocery shopping every week.
CHOP and prepare everything as soon as you get home.  I peel and dice my squash or potatoes right away, and if I'm not roasting them that day, I freeze them until I need them.  This has been CRUCIAL to always have things ready for her. 
Pinterest has some awesome ideas if you get stuck in a rut or your child's tastes change and they all of a sudden don't like what you're making.  Don't resort to unhealthy, processed food just because it seems easier!  If you plan ahead--this is all very easy to do, I promise!  

So I think that's it for now--please comment with any questions and I'll do my best to answer them!  Good luck, friends! 

1 comment:

beka said...

This seems like a genius way to prepare, freeze, and serve real food... not prepared, easy, junk food, to your baby!