Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
Best for Babies 10+ Months Old
When Mason’s pediatrician told me earlier this month that I needed to incorporate more finger foods into his diet because he’s such a peanut (not to mention nearly a year old), I sort of panicked. The kid may be 10 months old but he still doesn’t have any teeth, despite months of brutal teething symptoms. How could he possibly handle finger foods more substantial than those melt-in-the-mouth puffs without some horrible choking incident, I wondered?
Of course, I’ve since learned that those mighty little jaws can make quick work of lots of stuff, even cupcakes. So I’ve been focused on coming up with combos of finger foods that taste great together, the same concept that I use when I’m dreaming up new purees for Mason. I dice everything and cook all the veggies and fruits well so they’re super soft and easy for Mason to gum up. Here are my fave ideas — what are yours?
1. Sweet potato and apple
2. Banana and avocado
3. Roast chicken and apple
4. Cheese omelet and turkey-apple sausage
5. Elbow pasta with marinara sauce and foccacia
6. Cheese toast and sweet potato fries
7. Swiss cheese and apricots
8. Mac ‘n’ cheese and beets
9. Green beans and pears
10. Butternut squash and peaches
11. Peas and plums
12. Carrots and apple
13. Banana and cherries
14. Fresh mozzarella and tomato
15. Cheddar cheese and figs
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
Best for Babies 8+ Months Old
Mason adores rotisserie chicken. Adores it. We first discovered his passion for it while we were at a friend’s house. Chris was eating takeout roast chicken and he broke off a few pieces and gave them to Bug. Mason is not one to go out of his way to feed himself — the child still refuses to hold his own bottle and you know about our sippy cup woes — so I was amazed when he stuffed the chicken in his mouth as soon as it hit his tray. No coaxing required. And then he reached for more! Finally, a healthy finger food more substantial than puffs and easier to pick up than squishy bits of banana or avocado.
Inspired, I picked up an organic rotisserie chicken on the way home from work last night. At home, I cut up the whole chicken and removed the skin. Then I removed the meat from the bones, shredded it into thin, short strips and divided the chicken into two-ounce portions. One portion went in the fridge for Bug’s lunch today and the remaining six went in the freezer for later. Seven portions of a healthy protein for just over $1 per serving (in New York City) — and the entire process only took about 15 minutes!
I loved this chicken shortcut because it was healthy and it saved time. It was also so inexpensive! Of course, you can save even more money by roasting your own chicken at home, which I often do, but last night time was more important to me than saving a few bucks. (Mason’s affinity for roast chicken also means no more pureeing chicken, thank God). You can stretch this timesaver to cover your entire family too. If Chris weren’t out of town, I would have whipped up this Dijon-crusted variation with Brussels sprouts for us (it’s one of our fave chicken recipes), then frozen the leftovers for Mason. Dinner doesn’t get much easier than that!
What are your favorite dinnertime shortcuts?
*This post is the first in my new weekly series about saving time and money on eats for your babe. Hope you enjoyed it! If there’s a topic you’d love to hear about, please let me know.
Top photo: Evan Sung, Parents.com
Categories: Chicken, Finger Foods, High Chair Times | Tags: budget friendly eating, feeding a 1-year-old, finger foods for 10+ months, finger foods for 11+ months, finger foods for 8+ months, finger foods for 9+ months, roast chicken, rotisserie chicken, Tuesday Timesaver