Posts Tagged ‘ finger foods for 11+ months ’

Tuesday Timesaver: Homemade Mac ‘n’ Cheese in 1 Minute

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Eating_Macaroni2Best for Babies 10+ Months

OK, you do have to do a bit of work in advance but I’m not kidding: You can have multiple servings of homemade mac ‘n’ cheese in less time than it takes to make it from a box. The key is to make a batch ahead and freeze it in single-serving portions.  When you’re ready to serve it pop a serving in the microwave, heat for 45 seconds to one minute (depending on how big the serving size is), and boom! Rich and creamy mac is ready for your babe’s dinner. Sure, you’ll spend a bit of time upfront but you save way more time night to night by making it ahead. This trick is one of my fave timesavers for busy nights and mac ‘n’ cheese freezes really well, so it’s a no-brainer. I serve the cheesy pasta with cooked and dice veggies and fruits and some yogurt and Mason has a well-rounded dinner in minutes. Sometimes I even chop up veggies into tiny pieces and hide them in the pasta. If your babe isn’t quite in the finger food stage, you can also mash up the pasta and cheese sauce or even puree it. Here’s our mac ‘n’ cheese recipe (that’s Mason flashing a mouthful of it, above). Try it out and let us know what you think, or share your fave mac ‘n’ cheese recipe with us.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Elbow macaroni noodles
1/3 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk*

 

Directions

1. Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool slightly. Set aside.

2. Prepare cheese sauce; we like the basic one from Annabel Karmel’s Top 100 Baby Purees: Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste, and cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the milk, bring to a boil, and cook for a few minutes over low heat until thickened and smooth. Stir in the grated cheese until melted. (Recipe makes 8 ounces of sauce.)

3. Toss pasta with cheese sauce. Freeze extras in single-serving portions for up to three months.


Dry_Macaroni2

 


 

Draining_Macaroni2

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6 Healthier Burger Recipes for Baby

Monday, July 11th, 2011

turkeyburger

Best for Babies 10+ Months

We’re normally very healthy eaters but I let Mason indulge this weekend in celebration of our friend Otto’s brief return to the States from Australia. On Saturday Bug enjoyed a brunch of buttery grilled cheese and an old-fashioned, cinnamon sugar-sprinkled cake doughnut at the buzz-worthy M Wells. (He also ate feta cheese and kalamata olives from my octopus salad.) On Sunday it was blisteringly hot so we popped into a local ice cream parlor for Mason’s first taste of ice cream — vanilla! — on our way to a play date in the park . For dinner we dropped by another local favorite, Cafe Henri, where Bug noshed on bits of burger, French fries, chunks of bread dipped in Gazpacho, and buttery rice with carrot and scallion. Mason only ate a few bites of each thing, and he still got plenty of lean protein, fruits, and veggies at home, but it was fun to splurge a bit with him while we were out and watch him enjoy all the new flavors and textures.

Of all the food he tried, Mason’s fave was definitely the burger so I’m planning on making more burgers for him this summer. Instead of a basic beef burger like the one he enjoyed last night, I want to make burgers with healthier twists (think fruit salsas, veggie mix-ins, and ground turkey and veggies instead of beef all the time) but that are still super delish. Here are 6 recipes that I plan on trying. What are your fave burger ideas?

Turkey Burgers with Peaches & Blueberries (pictured above)

Greek Spinach Veggie Burgers

Beans & Greens Burger

Cherry Burgers

Lamb Burgers with Indian Spices and Yogurt-Mint Sauce (light on the spice)

Veggies Burgers with Eggplant and Tomato

(Turkey burger image: Better Homes and Gardens)

First taste of ice cream — vanilla!
icecream

 

 

 

 

 

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15 Easy Finger Foods for Babies with No Teeth

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

Baby Food: Spinach and Banana Puree
Baby Food: Spinach and Banana Puree
Baby Food: Spinach and Banana Puree

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Tuesday Timesaver: Chicken for a Week

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

chicken

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?

 

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*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

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