Posts Tagged ‘ finger foods for babies 10+ months ’

The Most Surprising Thing My Toddler Ate This Week

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Best for Babies 8+ Months

Mason hasn’t exactly been an adventurous eater this week–until this morning, that is. He’s been playing it safe with oatmeal, brown rice, ground beef, pineapple, mac ‘n’ cheese–you get the picture. I tried to get a little fancy Wednesday night when I served him Tuscan beans with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and grilled shrimp for dinner, but there was something about the texture of the beans that he didn’t like and after shoving them into his mouth by the handful, he chewed them up, and spit them all back out in my hand. Instead he opted for a disappointing meal of organic mac ‘n’ cheese with apple-cinnamon sticks.  (I offer him alternatives when he rejects a meal only because his weigh-in is in two weeks!) Feeling defeated, I texted my hubby. I want him to have an eclectic palette but he prefers diner food! Chris replied, “He’s 1, sweetheart.” I’m sure he was tempted to add “Get a grip!” but he kindly held back.

This morning Mason was playing in the cupboards while I was fixing his bottle and he unearthed a canister of organic kale, broccoli, and cheddar puffs that I had totally forgotten about. He had a blast playing with the canister. Why not give him a bite of what’s inside? I didn’t have high hopes, I was sure he would have a problem with both the texture and color of the puffs. But he put a puff in his mouth, chewed, swallowed, smiled, and reached for another puff and then another. I was shocked but thrilled that he was embracing these wonderful flavors. So I fixed him a bowl of puffs, which he enjoyed while watching the Today Show. The scene was so funny I had to capture it on my iPhone. Bug looked so serious while he watched TV, which he rarely pays attention to, and munched on his pre-breakfast snack! And luckily the snack didn’t ruin his breakfast. He had organic cheddar cheese, a brown-rice raisin bagel with reduced-fat cream cheese, and milk at home and was digging into organic strawberry oatmeal when I left him at school this morning. In his teacher’s words, “Mason can eat.”

Has your toddler eaten anything this week that’s surprised you?

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Great Gluten-Free Pancake Mix

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Best for Babies 10+ Months

Chris traditionally makes pancakes on Sunday mornings, just like his dad did when he was growing up. Pumpkin pancakes have been one of our favorites this season, and we also love pancakes topped with spiced fruit. This morning Chris kept it simple and whipped up a delish batch of cinnamon-spiced pancakes. We tried an all-natural, gluten-free pancake mix by Stonewall Kitchen, and the consistency of the  hotcakes was pretty perfect. Fluffy and cake-like, not too thin and not too crumbly. Chris followed the recipe on the back of the canister and added a tablespoon of brown sugar, several generous shakes of cinnamon, and some extra milk. He drizzled some warm syrup on top, and served roasted bacon on the side. For a gluten-free mix, the price is a moderate $7.95 (I’ve seen mixes as expensive as $15), and every bite is worth it. Mason loved it, too, and ate an entire pancake by himself!

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Juicy Strawberries, Peaches & Blueberries — Even in Fall

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Mason was a champion eater this weekend. It was awesome. I forgot how fun it is to watch him enjoy eating different foods. He’s been so picky lately that I’ve gotten used to coaxing him to eat even a few bites with a few of my go-to tricks and then picking up the rest of the food from the floor. (Muffins and mac ‘n’ cheese have been the rare exceptions, but baby can’t live on carbs alone.) Mason especially enjoyed the organic, fresh Fuji apple Anjou pear that we picked up at our local market. Both fruits are in-season right now and they were juicy and delish. Bug also enjoyed organic strawberries, peaches, corn, asparagus, and blueberries — all summer faves that I purchased frozen and steamed for him.

I frequently used frozen organic  fruits and veggies for my purees, and I’ve been thrilled to discover that frozen produce works wonderfully for finger foods, too. The challenge is getting the texture just right. The first time I steamed strawberries, I steamed them for too long and they became mushy. Mason wouldn’t touch them. The next time I was careful to steam the berries for about a minute — just enough to beat the freeze but still keep the texture firm. Mason gobbled them up. Then we tried blueberries, peaches, asparagus, and corn and he kept eating and eating…

There are several advantages to buying frozen produce, especially if it’s out of season. The quality is fabulous. I can steam small amounts of the fruits and veggies at a time, and I don’t have to worry about the rest spoiling.  It’s more affordable to purchase out-of-season fruits or veggies frozen than to purchase imported fruits and veggies. And the nutritional value of frozen produce is as good as fresh. As a rule of thumb, I avoid canned fruits and veggies; the veggies are generally filled with sodium and the fruits are often packed in sugary syrup.

Did your babe eat anything exciting this weekend?

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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

Mac_Cheese2

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Baby Chicken-Apple Soup

Friday, July 8th, 2011

chicken_soup

Best for Babies 10+ Months

Dinnertime is our special bonding time. Mason is happy and smiley. We sing , we recite our ABCs, we talk. He’s getting the hang of finger foods so every meal includes some combo of his faves, along with yogurt and a fruit or veggie puree. To change things up, I decided to make soup last night. Mason loves apples and chicken so when I saw this Parents.com recipe for a soup with both ingredients I just had to try it. My variation of the recipe is below. I used ground ginger instead of parsley–I love ginger in chicken soup. Instead of pureeing the ingredients, I chopped the onion, carrot, celery, and chicken into tiny pieces. I mashed the garlic in a garlic press, and I added in frozen corn (a veggie Mason hasn’t tried yet). All the chopping took extra time but it was kinda fun; you can also puree my version of the soup for younger babes. The soup smelled so delish I had a bowl myself. Yum! Try it out — and let us know what you think!

Baby Chicken-Apple Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon  olive oil
1 medium Gala apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small  onion, diced
1 medium  carrot, peeled and diced
1 clove  garlic, minced
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into tiny pieces
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup frozen sweet corn
4 cups chicken broth or homemade chicken stock

*You can also add brown rice or small pasta noodles to this soup, as well as greens such as chopped spinach or kale.

Directions

 

1. Wash, peel and/or chop all veggies and chicken.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add apple, celery, onion, carrot, and garlic. Cook and stir for 6 minutes. Add in chicken, corn, ginger, and broth or stock. Bring to a boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes. 

 

3. Cool slightly and serve. Or puree soup, in batches, before serving. Freeze leftovers for up to three months. Soup can stay in the refrigerator for up to three days.

 


carrots

 


apples

 


celery

 


corn

onion

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