Archive for the ‘
six+ months ’ Category
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.
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
Brown rice is a healthy, easy way to get babes used to food with texture as they transition from smooth purees to chunkier purees to finger foods. I use brown rice to make Mason’s fave cheesy casserole with peas and it’s a great side with so many dishes, including veggie-filled meatballs, baby cheese sauce, chicken-apple soup, and roast chicken. Rice is certainly a snap to make but I was delighted to discover this whole-grain brown rice that heats up in the microwave in 90 seconds — perfect for those nights when I’m really tight on time. It’s all-natural and it packs 5 grams of protein per serving. The caveat is that it has more sodium than the boil-in-a-bag variety from Uncle Ben’s, but Mason only eats about 2 ounces at a time so the amount of sodium that he’s getting per serving is still very low. We generally have four Mason-size servings left so I freeze the leftover rice. It thaws overnight in the fridge and keeps in the freezer for up to three months. What are some of your fave ways to serve rice to your babe?
Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
One of our fave parts of summer is all the fresh produce. This summer we’re especially loving cherries, one of this year’s “in” ingredients according to trendspotters at the annual Fancy Foods Show, which took place in Washington, DC, last week. Mason first tried and enjoyed cherries in oatmeal. When I picked up a carton of cherries at the market last Thursday, I decided to combine some with organic Gala apples to make cherry applesauce. In addition to all the fiber from the apples and vitamins from both fruits, the cherries pack a powerful punch of antioxidants. The applesauce still tastes like applesauce but with a slight hint of cherry and it has a gorgeous rosy color. I cooked and pureed the rest of the cherries to make cherry yogurt (2 ounces of cherry puree + 3 spoonfuls of full-fat Greek yogurt). I made cinnamon-spiced applesauce with the rest of the apples.
Of course I could have just gone to the store to buy the cherry applesauce but the brand my store carries has 17 grams of sugar and 15 milligrams of sodium. No thanks. If there were an all-natural brand at my store and I were to walk there to buy it — I live in New York City and never drive — it would take 30 minutes round-trip, plus I’d have to haul Mason in his stroller. It only took 18 minutes to whip up the cherry applesauce after Mason went to bed (I already had the fruit on hand as part of our summer staple). I felt great knowing that the vitamin-rich applesauce I was going to feed Bug the next morning was totally natural — and that I saved time making it. Does your babe like applesauce? If so, do you mix it with other fruit?
Homemade Cherry Applesauce
10 fresh cherries
2 Gala apples
1. Wash cherries, remove pits, and slice in half. Set aside.
2. Wash, peel, core, and dice apples. Fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Add apples and cook for 9 minutes; add cherries and cook both fruits together for 3 more minutes.
3. Drain and rinse the fruit under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture or mash with a potato masher for a chunkier texture. Makes about 10 ounces.
4. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to 3 months.
Wash cherries, remove pits and slice in half. Fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Cook cherries for three minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture or mash with a potato masher for a chunkier texture. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.
4 Gala apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Wash, peel, core, and dice apples. Fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Cook apples until tender (about 12 minutes). Puree until smooth, adding in cinnamon halfway through. Add water if needed. Makes 16 ounces. Freeze leftovers for up to three months.
Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
Use frozen veggies and fruits instead of fresh. It’s that simple if you’re looking for a shortcut. You don’t have to wash frozen veggies and fruits, and many of them don’t need to be chopped (think broccoli florets, corn, and spinach) or peeled (think peaches and plums). Frozen veggies and fruits don’t spoil before you have a chance to prepare them. You can still go organic if you’re shopping in the freezer case instead of the produce section of your supermarket, and you’ll save money going frozen instead of fresh in winter. Additionally, frozen fruits and veggies might be more nutritious than fresh, according to an article published by EatingWell.com, because fruits and veggies are frozen at their peak ripeness when they’re most nutrient-rich. (This assertion was also supported by a study that was released by the UK-based Institute of Food Research last March.)
As an aside, I avoid canned produce, generally. In some cases, such as green beans, it can have much higher levels of sodium than fresh or frozen. And fruits are oftentimes packed in a heavy sugary syrup. If you’re going to go the canned route, be sure to check sodium levels first and buy fruit that’s packed in water, not sugar.
Of course, I’m not advocating that you give up fresh veggies and fruits for good. For anyone who likes to cook, there are few things more pleasurable than a lazy Sunday afternoon at the farmer’s market in search of seasonal gems. Furthermore, if you’re buying fruits and veggies locally chances are they’ve just been picked and the produce is still nutrient-rich. I’m just saying that if you’re tight on time (and what mom isn’t?) there are distinct advantages to going frozen, at least some of the time.
I go both ways. I love chopping veggies and fruits, and chilling at the farmer’s market, so I purchase fresh produce every week — but my freezer is also packed with frozen veggies, especially green beans, peas, peaches, broccoli, and asparagus. I puree both frozen and fresh produce, and I chop and steam both types of produce for healthy finger foods. For my money (and my time), cooking with both fresh and frozen produce is the way to go.
Editors Note: Oops, I goofed when I scheduled this post so this week’s Tuesday Timesaver is coming out on Wednesday! Mommy brain:)
Categories: Finger Foods, Fruits, High Chair Times, homemade baby food, six+ months, Veggies | Tags: fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, frozen fruits, frozen vegetables, homemade fruit purees, homemade vegetable purees, purees, Tuesday Timesaver
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
Best for Babies 8+ Months Old
Mason kept up his Oscar the Grouch act today but instead of being peckish and finicky he ate everything that was offered to him. Pure bliss for both of us. Nothing makes me happier or more satisfied these days than when Mason eats well. And because of all the teething pain, eating well has not been at the top of his agenda. I’m also excited because I whipped up a new recipe last night – Apple-Cabbage-Raisin Puree, inspired by a Parents.com recipe — and I find it endlessly satisfying when we get to add another dish to Bug’s list of fave eats. Here’s our magic menu. What did your babe eat today?
6 oz. Cherry-Banana Oatmeal
Organic banana puffs
2 oz Apple-Cabbage-Raisin Puree
2 oz diced avocado
2 oz diced, cooked apple and sweet potatoes
Organic apple puffs
4 oz Pear-Green Bean Yogurt
4 oz Turkey-Apricot Puree