Archive for the ‘ six+ months ’ Category

Teething Babe? Ease the Pain with Ice Cold Smashed Fruit

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

smashedpears Beautifully smashed pears

Teething has hit our household. Hard. Sure, Mason’s had symptoms for the last several months–he turned 10-months-old on Father’s Day–but we’ve reached a whole new level of teething intensity. He’s frantically chewing on his hands (and everything else), drooling, fussing, and clinging to me yet the child has no teeth yet. None! Just all the symptoms, worse than ever. Yesterday was so bad that when I arrived home from work last night my nanny handed him to me and wished me luck getting him to eat dinner. I was able to coax Mason to eat Pear-Green Bean Yogurt (one of his faves) and diced avocado–but only after giving him a dose of baby Motrin and even then it was a struggle. He went on to drink 12 ounces of formula between 12:30 and 4 am so he was clearly hungry. Poor bug.

I had planned on shredding chicken for Mason and freezing it after he went to bed. Instead I smashed fruit. The soft consistency would be easy for Mason to manage with his swollen gums, and I could serve it to him very cold to help relieve the pain. Mason had been completely uninterested in the frozen bagel that my pediatrician recommended to help ease teething pain. He hated the mesh teether with cold fruit that a friend gave us, and the frozen waffle that another friend suggested we try got thrown across the room more times than I can count. Perhaps smashed fruit would work.

I started with fresh pear. Bug has loved this sweet, luscious fruit since he first tasted it at five months old. Since I’m transitioning him to chunkier purees and more finger foods, I mashed the peeled and cooked pears with a potato masher instead of pureeing them. The result was a juicy, chunkier pear mixture that Mason enjoyed this morning with his oatmeal. I noticed that he sucked on the fruit a bit before swallowing it so I’m guessing the cold did feel good. And he ate a great breakfast! I made extras–I always do to freeze for later–so when I serve it later this week I’ll mix in fresh cherry, blueberry, banana, or apple to keep things from getting boring.

Check out the recipes below (under the pics) — you can use them to smash or puree the fruit, depending on which texture works best for your babe. Let me know what happens! And, I’d love to hear some of your tricks for combating teething pain, especially if they involve food. Do dish, please!

pears_draining Draining and rinsing the pears after cooking

smashing_pears Smashing the pears with a potato masher after cooking


Recipes:

Smashed (Or Pureed) Pears

Ingredients

Organic pear
Water

Directions

1. Wash, peel, and dice pear. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
2. Strain pear to remove excess water and mash with a potato masher. Or puree until you read desired consistency.
3. Freeze leftovers in 2- to 4-ounces portions.
4. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Smashed (or Pureed) Blueberries

Ingredients

Organic blueberries, fresh or frozen
Water

Directions

1. Wash blueberries. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
2. Strain blueberries to remove excess water and mash with a potato masher. Or, puree in a blender or food processor until you read desired consistency.
3. Freeze leftovers in 2- to 4-ounces portions.
4. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Homemade Applesauce

Ingredients

Organic gala apples
Water

Directions

1. Wash, peel, and dice apple. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
2. Strain excess water. Mash with a potato masher for a chunkier texture. Or, puree in a blender or food processor until you read desired consistency.
3. Freeze leftovers in 2- to 4-ounce portions.
4. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Smashed (or Pureed) Cherries

Ingredients

Fresh or frozen cherries
Water

Directions

1. Wash and pit cherries, slice in half. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
3. Mash with a potato masher. Or, puree in a food processor or blender with a bit of water, breast milk, or formula. S
3. Freeze leftovers in 2- to 4-ounce portions.
4. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Smashed (or Pureed) Bananas

Ingredients

Organic banana
Water, breast milk, or formula

Directions

1. Peel and slice banana. Mash with a potato masher. Or, puree in a food processor or blender with pre-mixed formula or water until you reach desired consistency.
2. Freeze leftovers in 2- to 4-ounce portions.
3. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

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Cheesy Rice Casserole with Peas

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Best for Babies 6+ Months Old

Last weekend Chris and I took Mason and my Mom to one of our fave neighborhood restaurants, Sage General Store. We live in Long Island City, which is in the New York borough of Queens, the most diverse community in the US. (Every announcement in our subway station is posted in Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and English.) The neighborhood is 10 minutes from Manhattan by subway and it’s very much in transition, filled with abandoned warehouses and sketchy characters in some pockets, but it’s also home to cutting-edge art galleries, a melange of luxury apartment buildings, and great restaurants. And that’s where Sage comes in.

Sage is known for a few ultra-decadent dishes, most notably its three-course bacon brunch–bacon sampler, bacon brunch pizza, and chocolate-bacon brownie. We arrived early and were fortunate enough to get a table. The place is always packed. Mason sat in a vintage highchair and had his first taste of bacon marmalade. (He loved it!) We had planned on ordering him Sage’s ultra-decadent mac ‘n’ cheese but they were out of it so I served him my Cheesy Rice Casserole with Peas instead (yes, I called ahead because the place is so popular they frequently run out of stuff).

This casserole is one of Bug’s favorites, and it’s very simple to make–a mixture of brown rice, baby cheese sauce, and smashed peas. You can also add shredded chicken or small pieces of tofu to the mix for more protein. It’s rich and delicious but it’s also healthier than the typical casserole because of the brown rice and peas. Bug gobbles it up and I think your babe will like it too.  Try it out–and ping us with your feedback!

Cheesy Rice Casserole with Peas

Ingredients

Organic peas, frozen or fresh
Brown Rice
Cheddar Cheese
Flour
Milk or formula
Butter
Chicken or Tofu (optional)

Directions

1. Cook brown rice according to package directions. Set aside.
2. Cook fresh or frozen peas until soft, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
3. Prepare cheese sauce from kids cookbook author Annabel Karmel’s (she makes it with 3 different cheeses, I just use cheddar).
4. Combine 2 ounces each of brown rice and peas with 3 ounces of cheese sauce.
5. Serve. Freeze extras for up to 3 months.

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Baby Cheese Toast with Veggies & Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Best for Babies 10+ Months Old

Today has been chill, Mason and I have been reconnecting after our time apart. My boy has been giggling and happy all day, and his appetite has returned following his hunger strike in Washington, DC. For breakfast, he ate a Baby Omelet with Cheese and Banana-Cherry Oatmeal. He napped, we played, and then it was time for lunch. I made two of his faves — crisp toast with melted cheese and healthy cinnamon-spiced sweet potato fries. Both the cheese toast and the healthy fries are great first finger foods — they’re soft and you can chop them up into small pieces. (You can also hide some cooked veggies under the cheese!)

Hope your babe enjoys these recipes as much as Mason does! Try ‘em out and let us know what you think:)

 

Baby Cheese Toast with Veggies

Ingredients

Whole Wheat Bread
Shredded Cheddar or Mozzarella Cheese
Chopped veggies (spinach, broccoli, tomato, sweet pepper)
Olive oil

Directions

1. Spray a skillet with olive oil. Cook diced fresh or frozen veggies until soft.
2. Sprinkle cheese and veggies on bread. Toast in a toaster oven until cheese has melted. If you don’t have a toaster oven, spray a baking sheet with olive oil and toast bread on 350 degrees in your oven until the cheese has melted.
2. Cut into tiny pieces, removing crust. Cool, then serve.

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries


Ingredients

Organic sweet potatoes or yams
Ground cinnamon
Olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Wash and peel sweet potato. Slice into long, thin strips.
3. Arrange strips of sweet potato on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
4. Bake until sweet potato is soft, about 20 minutes. If you’re cooking for a younger baby, slice fries into tiny pieces or mash with a fork. Cool, then serve.

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Mommy Guilt with a Side of Cherry-Banana Oatmeal

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Best for Babies 8+ Months

I was a rotten mom today. I didn’t mean to be, I swear, it just happened. The day started off well — Bug and I played, he discovered a new breakfast favorite — then I got caught up in work and it all went tragically downhill.

After a three-day work trip, I arrived home last night to a gorgeous, beaming baby. (The hubby looked pretty great too.) We played together, ate dinner together, and did our usual bath-massage-singing together before bed. But the night was bumpy, Bug was up and down all night. Nothing was wrong, he wanted to cuddle. I’m not normally so indulgent with middle-of-the-night snuggles but after we’ve been apart, especially after we’ve been apart, I need the extra hugs and kisses as much as he does.

This morning we got up early, played some more, and Mason tried Cherry-Banana Oatmeal for the first time (recipe below). He adored it. I sipped my coffee, he giggled and ate. Eating breakfast with my boy, the perfect way to start the day. So much better than the hotel room service I had eaten for breakfast alone for the past three mornings. The nanny arrived, I smothered Bug with kisses and got a giant gummy smile in return.

Around 4, it was clear I had been wrong. A big project needed my immediate attention and there was no way I was going to get home when I normally do. I finally finished, scrambled to the subway, and arrived home just before bathtime. I walked through the door and Mason gave me a huge smile, then promptly burst into tears. How could I have let a deadline keep me at work late? I’m always home before his dinner. Always. And tonight I had been late. The poor baby probably thought I had gone away again.

So there you have it, my rotten, cheek-burning mommy moment.  I suck! Mason deserves better and I’m going to be spending the rest of the weekend trying to make it up to him.

Cherry-Banana Oatmeal

Ingredients

Oatmeal (store-bought or homemade)
Fresh cherries
Bananas

Directions

1. Peel and slice a banana, set aside.
2. Wash and pit 6 cherries, slice in half. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
3. Blend cooked cherries and banana with a bit of water, breast milk, or formula. Set aside.
4. Prepare oatmeal and swirl in blended banana and cherries.
5. Freeze extra blended banana and cherries for up to three months.

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Butternut Squash 4 Ways

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Best for Babies 6+ Months Old

I’m perplexed. For months, Mason loved butternut squash. Loved it. It was his first yellow veggie. He ate it plain, he ate it with chicken. He enjoyed it mixed with yogurt and peaches, and he loved the simple combination of butternut squash and apple. Now he cries when I try to feed it to him.

What gives? Apparently this happens. Babes suddenly decide they don’t like something. And that’s it. I’m a bit sad — I loved that he loved butternut squash. It’s pure and simple. Wholesome, velvety, luscious. I felt good feeding it to him. And it’s so simple to make.

Of course, I won’t feed Mason something that makes him cry. For now the butternut squash in my freezer will stay there. I’m hoping he’ll enjoy it once again. If he doesn’t we’ll share it with one of his little friends.

In honor of Mason’s (former) favorite veggie, here are the butternut squash recipes he enjoyed for the last few months. (Before you get started cooking, don’t miss my guide to how to roast and puree butternut squash.) Try out our recipes and let us know what your babe thinks!

Basic Butternut Squash Puree

Ingredients

1.5 lb Organic butternut squash
Water
Pre-mixed formula, breast milk, or yogurt (optional)

Directions

1. Scoop flesh out of a roasted squash. Discard the skin.

2. Puree squash flesh in a food processor. Add water until you reach a smooth consistency. For extra creaminess add a splash of pre-mixed formula, breast milk, or plain yogurt.

Butternut Squash & Chicken Puree

1/3 cup boiled,  organic chicken, shredded
1/2 cup cooked organic butternut squash, diced
Water

1. Poach chicken for about 35 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Shred a cup’s worth, and set aside.
2. Roast butternut squash. Scoop flesh from shell. Set aside 1/2 cup.
3. Combine both the squash and chicken in a food processor or blender. Add cooking liquid or water until you reach desired consistency. (Think smooth but without being watery.) Freeze extras for up to three months.

Butternut Squash-Peach Puree with Yogurt

To make Butternut Squash-Peach Puree with Yogurt, mix equal parts Butternut Squash Puree with Peach Yogurt (below):

Peach Yogurt

Ingredients

Organic Stonyfield full-fat plain yogurt or Greek yogurt*
1 bag frozen, organic peaches

Directions

1. Cook peaches. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Puree until you reach desired consistency.
2. Combine yogurt and pureed peaches.
3. Freeze leftovers in 2 to 4-ounces portions.
4. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Butternut Squash with Apple

To make Butternut Squash-Apple puree, mix equal parts Butternut Squash Puree (above) with Apple Puree:

Apple Puree

Organic Gala apple
Water

Directions

1. Wash, peel, and dice apple. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes).

2. Reserve some cooking liquid, then plunge cooked apple into ice water for about 3 minutes.

3. Puree cooled apple until smooth.

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