Posts Tagged ‘ homemade applesauce ’

Putting the Kabosh on Teething Pain with Chilled Fruits & Veggies

Monday, November 14th, 2011

We had the Saturday from h-ll. Poor Mason’s cutting three new teeth and he has a brutal cold so he just clung to us and screamed most of the day. His little gums were horribly swollen and red, his nose was running nonstop, and his chest was rattling when he breathed. I’ve never felt so helpless as a Mom. He’s always been a good baby so we don’t have much experience with crying/screaming jags (yes, there’s an excellent chance we’ll get hit hard with #2). I kept wishing there was something I could do to make his misery go away, but I could only try to minimize his painful symptoms. At one point, I started to cry, too, out of sympathy and exhaustion and worry. I became Worse Case Scenario Mom and was convinced something was seriously wrong with him. Luckily Chris is an excellent voice of reason or I probably would have taken my baby to the ER…for teething and a cold.

To treat his cold, we turned on the shower and had him breathe in steam from hot water for 10-minute intervals (Chris and I took turns holding him and distracting him from the discomfort of the hot, wet air with his toy cars). He also slept with a humidifier running and a thick coating of Vicks on his chest. To help the teething pain, which seems to be the greater of the two evils, I gave him baby Motrin and frozen pacifiers. At mealtime, I coaxed him to eat a few different soft, squishy foods. He didn’t want to eat much (he even rejected mac ‘n’ cheese!), but here are the things that he would eat. We’d go through the list, try a few other things, and then repeat. (Other moms have recommended frozen bagels and waffles to us in the past, but unfortunately Bug wouldn’t go for either.) Any other suggestions to add to the list?

1. Homemade applesauce, chilled in the freezer for 20 minutes before serving

2. Beets, diced, cooked, and chilled

3. Banana, sliced and partially frozen

4. Full-fat Greek yogurt mixed with icy smashed pear; try one spoonful of yogurt for every two spoonfuls of fruit.

5. Ripe melon, diced and chilled– not the easiest thing to find this time of year but we lucked out.

6. Ice cold milk — a drink, I know, but Bug consumed more milk than anything else.

Other foods that Mason was willing to eat included chunks of Swiss cheese, toast with melted cheddar cheese, corn, and peas. He rejected eggs, pasta, turkey meatballs, blueberries, and grapes.

Tonight I’m making a chicken-ginger soup (recipe to come soon!). Now that both Bug and I both have his cold we need a little TLC and hot bowls of homemade soup just sound good!

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The Best Fall Fruits & Veggies for Your Babe & How to Prepare Them

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Rich in fiber and packed with vitamin C, fresh apples make wholesome applesauce that’s an ideal first first. Diced apples are a delicious and popular finger food for toddlers, who can dip the fruit in hummus or peanut butter.

Dazzle your babe with the season’s freshest fruits and veggies. They’re colorful, filled with vitamins and minerals, and fun to eat. Here’s what to buy and serve right now — plus directions for pureeing, mashing, or serving as finger food.

APPLES

Puree: Wash, peel, and dice apples. Cook for 12 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture. Add a dash of cinnamon, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mash: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the fruit with a potato masher. Or dice and serve as finger food. Add a dash of cinnamon, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mix with: Sweet potato, red cabbage, butternut squash, pumpkin, pear, peach, plum, banana, beef, chicken

PUMPKINS

Puree: Cut pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and save for roasting or discard.  Brush each half with olive oil and place skin-side down in a baking dish. To keep the flesh of the pumpkin moist, add a half-inch of water before baking. Bake at 450 degrees F until pumpkin is tender (about 45 minutes). Puree in a food processor or blender until you reach desire texture. Add a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon, if you wish.

Mash: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the veggie with a potato masher. Or dice and serve as finger food. Add a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mix it with: Apple, chicken, pear, chicken, beef, lentils

BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Puree: Scoop flesh out of a roasted squash. Discard the skin. 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, milk, or plain yogurt. Add a dash of nutmeg, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mash: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the veggie with a potato masher. Or dice and serve as finger food. Add a dash of nutmeg, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mix with: Apple, chicken, beef, peach, pear, carrot, lentils

SWEET POTATOES

Puree: Wash, peel, and dice sweet potato/potato. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Puree and add cooking liquid as needed until you reach desired consistency. Add a dash of cinnamon, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Smash: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the veggie with a potato masher. Or dice and serve as finger food. Add a dash of cinnamon, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mix with: Peach, apricot, apple, raisins, peas, carrot, lentils, chicken, beef

BROCCOLI

Puree: Wash broccoli and remove stems. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Puree broccoli in a food processor or blender, adding cooking liquid as needed until you reach desired consistency.

Dice: To serve as finger food, follow the cooking instructions above and then chop into tiny pieces.

Serve with: Sweet potato, raisins, apple, asparagus

CAULIFLOWER

Puree: Wash cauliflower and remove stems. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Puree cauliflower in a food processor or blender, adding cooking liquid as needed until you reach desired consistency. For extra creaminess add a splash of pre-mixed formula, breast milk, milk, or plain yogurt. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Smash: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the veggie with a potato masher. Or dice and serve as finger food. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mix with: Butternut squash, peas, carrot, green beans, apple

GRAPES

Dice: Skip this fruit for babies — it’s best for kids over age 1 because of the skin. Dice into fourths before serving. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Serve with: Banana, apple, chicken, beef

What’s your babe’s fave summer fruit? How do you like to prepare it?

NOTE: Pediatricians have different opinions about when babies should try specific fruits and vegetables. Consult your pediatrician before starting your babe on a new fruit or veggie.

 

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Tuesday Timesaver: Homemade Cherry Applesauce in 18 Minutes

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

Ingredients

10 fresh cherries
2 Gala apples

Directions

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.

Cherry Puree

Ingredients

Fresh Cherries

Directions

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.

Cinnamon-Spiced Applesauce

Ingredients

4 Gala apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Water

Directions

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.

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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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