Archive for the ‘ Fruits ’ Category

Food Play: From Yogurt To Finger Paint

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

I messed up at dinner last night. While Mason was eating a slice of brown rice bread topped with melted organic cheddar cheese, I fed him a spoonful of lentils that were apparently too hot. (Bug likes his food tepid — anything warmer than that just won’t do.) He immediately burst into tears and stuck his hand in his mouth. My heart broke. I knew I hadn’t scalded him — I tasted the lentils before I offered them to him and thought they were cool enough — but I hate to see him cry, especially if I did something to cause it. I gave him cold water as a peace offering but once the tears dried and I saw his reproachful expression it was clear that he’d be slow to forgive my blunder. Next I tried to feed him a spoonful of Greek yogurt mixed with organic banana and peach puree (recipe below).  He took one look at the spoon, shook his head no, and buried his face in the armrest of his high chair. I couldn’t blame the kid, I hadn’t exactly inspired his trust. I had given up on the lentils but I wasn’t ready to give up on the yogurt yet.

How to win his trust back…

I put the bowl of yogurt in front of him so he could see that it wasn’t the too-warm lentils. He flashed a huge smile,  dipped one hand in the yogurt, and smeared it all over his high chair before I could react. (When he was 3 months old we had a similar incident with mashed potatoes at a restaurant in Philly, but he was too young to realize what he was doing back then.) I had two choices: shut down the yogurt finger painting or let it happen just this once. I chose the later option. I thought it was so cute I texted a photo of him in the act to my mom. She texted back: “Suggestion, don’t let him paint with his food. I’ll bring him finger paint next time I come visit.” I see her point and I certainly don’t want to make a habit of letting Bug play with his food, but this was the first time I had ever let him indulge in some food play. The scene was too adorable for me to put the kabosh on it this time,  so instead I snapped more photos and laughed along with him. Sure enough, he lost interest 5 minutes later and finished all of his dinner. What would you have done? Do you ever let your babe play with his/her food? Share your stories here — and if you have photos, share them on our Facebook page!

Yogurt with Banana-Peach Puree


Full-fat Greek yogurt
2 fresh peaches
1 banana


1. Cook peaches. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Add sliced banana. Puree until you reach desired consistency.
2. Add two ounces of puree to two heaping spoonfuls of yogurt. Mix until well combined.
3. Freeze leftover puree for up to three months.
4. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

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Tags: | Categories: Fruits, High Chair Times, Yogurt

Fresh & Easy Finger Foods for Flying

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Mason took his 15th flight yesterday. Since our trips always seem to conflict with Bug’s mealtimes, I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to feed him in the air. We never mastered in-flight purees — more got on us than in Mason’s mouth due to turbulence  — but finger foods have been a snap. Bug has taken 4 flights since he started eating finger foods, and I think we finally have a great list of fruits and veggies that travel well, are easy for Mason to feed himself, and aren’t too messy. To prepare the fruits and veggies for travel, I dice them up into bite-size pieces and freeze them overnight in BPA-free containers. The next morning I pack the containers with ice packs in plastic Ziplock bags and tuck them in the diaper bag.  By the time Mason’s ready to eat, the produce is still fresh and the texture is soft but slightly firmer than usual (and easier for Mason to manage) from the freezing. Here are the fruits and veggies that have worked best for us.

1. Asparagus

2. Edamame

3. Sweet potato

4. Carrot

5. Green beans

6. Peas

7. Apple

8. Strawberries

9. Blueberries

10. Pear


Once Mason had his fill of fresh fruits and veggies we let him try half the cookie the flight attendant handed him when we boarded the plane. As you can see in the photo (above) Bug didn’t really know what to think of the crunchy, cinnamon-spiced cookie. In the end, he took a bite or two of it and then smeared the rest on Chris’ shirt.

What does your babe like to eat when you travel?

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Bug’s First Word with a Side of Strawberry Oatmeal

Friday, August 5th, 2011


Mason and I practice the same breakfast ritual every morning: He plays with toys on the kitchen floor while I make our breakfast. On weekdays it’s usually oatmeal mixed with fresh fruit puree for him, gluten-free toast and coffee for me. Once breakfast is ready we sit down and eat together. In addition to his own food, Mason insists on eating tiny pieces of toast from my plate, a little quirk that I adore. As we eat we talk, we play with Sophie the giraffe, we sing. Our mornings are predictable and lovely, one of the best parts of my day. This morning was even more special. Between bites of his oatmeal with fresh strawberry puree, my little boy looked right at me and clearly said, “Mama.” His first word! I’m sure he had no idea why this little word made me so happy but I’ll remember this morning for the rest of my life. What was your best mealtime moment with your babe?

Oatmeal with Fresh Strawberry Puree

Oatmeal (store-bought or homemade)
Fresh strawberries
Formula or breastmilk


1. Wash and slice strawberries. If berries are underripe, fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat until bubbles are soft. Add strawberries and cook 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse fruit with cold water. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.

2. Mix 4 ounces oatmeal according to package instructions, or prepare homemade oatmeal according to your recipe.

3. Add 2 ounces of strawberry puree to the oatmeal. Stir together and serve immediately.

4. Freeze leftover strawberry puree in airtight containers for up to three months.

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Tuesday Timesaver: Baby-Friendly, Fresh Tomato Sauce in 15 Minutes

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

We dig fresh tomatoes in our household and now is the best time to enjoy them:  Peak season for harvesting tomatoes in most areas is late July to early September. Mason enjoys raw tomatoes chopped and drizzled with olive oil so I thought he would enjoy tomato sauce on veggies or pasta, or as a base for chicken and brown rice mixed together. I wanted something very simple so I tried out the Fresh Tomato Sauce published in the August issue of Better Homes and Gardens (I’m the magazine’s senior digital food editor but I didn’t develop the recipe). I liked that the recipe only has 5 ingredients — that way if Mason didn’t like it I wouldn’t feel like I had wasted a lot of money on groceries. It’s also fast to make; you can cook it in 3 minutes in your microwave or 5 t0 7 on your stovetop. I made one batch of plain sauce and a second batch with veggies. You’ll find the basic recipe and veggie mix-ins below. Mason loved both variations — hope your babe enjoys it too. Let us know what you think. Share your top tomato sauce recipe, or dish on your babe’s fave way to eat tomatoes!

Fresh Tomato Sauce

3 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. packed brown sugar (optional)
1 tsp grated ginger (optional)

To add veggies:
1/4 cup each of chopped spinach, shredded carrot, and shredded zucchini


Place tomatoes, onion, and ginger in microwave-safe bowl; sprinkle with vinegar and brown sugar. Cover loosely. Micro-cook on high (100% power) for 3 minutes or until skins burst and tomatoes are soft, stirring once. (Stovetop directions:  Simmer 5 to 7 minutes in a medium saucepan or until skins burst and tomatoes are soft.) Serve warm or chilled.

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7 Simple Peach Recipes & Ideas for Your Baby

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Fresh peaches are in season right now and the lush, ripe fruit is so healthy for your babe. Peaches are packed with calcium, vitamin A, and potassium — all essential nutrients for a healthy, growing baby — and they’re so delish. Mason loves peaches. He ate slices of fresh peach for his snack Friday afternoon and he enjoyed peach puree in his oatmeal Sunday morning. Here are Bug’s fave ways to eat this sweet summer fruit. Does your babe like peaches? If so, what is his/her fave way to eat them?

1. Basic Peach Puree

2. Smashed Peaches

3. Peach Yogurt

4. Sweet Potato-Peach Puree (pictured above)

5.  Peach-Pear Puree

6. Cooked and diced with sweet potato, a great finger food combo

7. As a topper for tiny pieces of waffle or pancake. Just substitute peaches for the blueberries in this recipe.

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