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Mar. 9th, 2009

pretty beige


Hi there! I have a new baby...sort of

I had surgery on March 4 and am on a pureed diet for a month until 4/4. Thought I'd come here and check you out to keep things creative and to "baby" my new smaller stomach.
Thanks ahead of time for all ideas.
I'm particularly interested in protein and veggie combinations.
I start with a tablespoon of each for my three daily meals, so I have two types of pureed food on my small plate. The goal is to work up to two T. of puree per meal.

It's been fun experimenting in the kitchen again!

Nov. 14th, 2007

monkey baby in monkeys mouth



And oh I meant to say about rutabega - if you haven't tried it yet please do! I peel it and chop it up just like I would a potato, then throw it in the pot with my peeld & chopped potatoes and make a mash out of it. It winds up being a little lumpier for those kiddos needing or wanting more texture, and it adds a bit of interesting flavor. Not spicy exactly, just, different. And yummy. :) I've served it to the toddler & the husband and they both liked it as well. 

You will, however, almost certainly have to tell the person at the checkout what it is. I've never bought one without having the person at the register look at it, look at me, look at it again, then finally ask me what it is. :D 
monkey cake


soup & growing up

 We're at the point of relying less & less on purees and more & more on feeding Henry from our normal meals. With 4 meals a day right now, it is looking something like this:

B: Fruit puree cubes + Weetabix
If you havebn't used Weetabix as baby food yet you are missing out! Find it in the health food cereal section. I use it all mixed up with baby milk and a puree, currently I'm using apricot & pear puree)

L1: Mixed veg cubes 
Not pureed but mashed, for coarser texture - currently he's having rutabega + potato or carrots + peas

L2: Mixed veg cubes
Whatever he didn't have last time

D: What we're having.**

Any snacks he gets are either cheerios, freeze-dried apple bits (which are also great to mix in with oatmeals and weetabix), toast, or cooked and cooled peas. 

Soon I'll stop using cubes altogether except for fruit purees which are actually realllly useful a lot of times. I'll start making more meal-type things for Henry in case he doesn't like what we're having, or like for a lunch when we're just having sandwiches. I'll be making mini shepherds pies, stews, things like that. And here is the first recipe I'll be using, something that I accidentally made this afternoon that ended up being perfect baby food for Henry:

I Totally Guessed At Veggie Soup
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can chopped tomatoes w/garlic in it
1/2 bag frozen cauliflower
1/2 bag frozen green beans**
1/2 bag frozen corn
2 potatoes peeled & chopped
bay leaf
bunch of pepper
bunch of thyme
bunch of parsley
bunch of basil
Throw it all in a pot and cook on low for a few hours. 

It is yummy soup that we'll have tonight with cornbread. Henry ate it easily with a little bit of fork-mashing. 

** Don't ever use french-style green beans for little ones, I learned the hard way, because no matter how well you think you've gotten rid of those little strings... you haven't. They will be there. Your baby will gag and you'll have a heart attack.

Nov. 6th, 2007




Okay, Mr Baby is going to have his first foray into solid foods this weekend. We are going to have bananas mixed with some breastmilk.

What do I need to know before I do this? Can I just mush the bananas up, or do I need to put them in a blender/food processor?

Here's everything I know...

If your baby is used to the sweet taste of human milk, start with mashed bananas.

Use your finger as baby's first "spoon." It's soft, at the right temperature, and baby is familiar with it. Encourage baby to open her mouth wide. Place a fingertipful of this glorious glob on baby's lips while letting her suck on the tip of your finger. Next, advance the fingertipful of food to the tip of your baby's tongue (where there are tastebuds receptive to sweetness). If this gets swallowed, or at least is not spit back at you, try placing the next glob toward the middle of baby's tongue.

Watch baby's reaction to this new experience. If the food goes in with an approving smile, baby is ready and willing. If the food comes back at you, accompanied by a disapproving grimace, baby may not be ready. Some babies make funny faces just because this is all so new to them. What happens in the mouth may be a more accurate indicator of whether a baby is ready to eat solids. If the mouth opens for a second helping, give it another try � you may have a winner. Even if the food comes back out, the baby may just need to learn to seal his mouth shut when he moves the food from the front to the back. Rejection of the food could also indicate that the tongue-thrust reflex is not yet gone, and baby can't move the food to the back of his mouth and swallow it. If your baby just sits there, with an open mouth, confused by the glob of food perched on her tongue, she's probably having difficulty with the tongue-thrust reflex. Let her practice a while. If she still doesn't seem to know what to do, wait a week or two before you try again.

I'm pretty much starting this solids thing from a place of zero knowledge beyond that, so any advice is welcome.

Sep. 16th, 2007

monkey joy of cooking


A few pointers

I scanned through the beginning chapeters of my Annabel karmel book "The Healthy Baby Meal Planner" and these are the things I had highlighted as points the first time around, and it fits what some of us have been talking about lately:

1. Dairy products like yogurt and mild cheese can be introduced after 6 months. Choose whole fat products rather than low fat ones. 

2. Eggs can be given from 6 months on but they must be cooked thoroughly until both the yolk & white are solid. Soft boiled eggs can be given after 1 year. 

3. Honey shouldn't be given to any child uner 12 months because of the risk of botulism. 

4. Initially, baby rice (commercially prepared) is the easiest for baby to digest. Once baby has passed 6 months and is happily eating slightly courser textures there is no need to coninue specialty baby cereals. Use instant oatmeals, grahams, Chex, etc but make sure it is low in sugar and salt. *

5. Limit indigestible foods such as spinach, lentils, cheese, berries & citrus. 

6. Commercial teething biscuits are often loaded with sugar, try toast or the following recipe instead:

Homemade Teething Biscuits
Cut a thick 1/2 inch slice of whole wheat, cracked wheat, or rye bread into 3 strips. Place on cookie sheet and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Add some grated cheese to the top for extra flavor or texture. These will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

*WEETABIX! If you haven't discovered it yet or don't know about it, Weetabix is perfect baby food and Henry is starting it today actually! Can be purchased at World Market (more expensive there as it is imported) or Super Target has it near their healthy cereals.  It comes in a brick so it is super portable for taking baby food on the go. 

Henry will be done with baby rices and his grains will come from Weetabix and I'm also going to make him some pasta stars! Those little bitty pastas that can be easily spoon fed, rather than chippong up something else. :) Or orzo maybe, since that's what I have in the cupboard....

Sep. 10th, 2007

monkey baby in freezer


Successes and Failures

This is all going to come out quite randomly, but I want to note what's going on with 7 month old Henry's feeding progress:

Apples have failed. Just like his older brother, Henry gets a predictable and nasty belly ache with apples, so he won't be getting any more of them until after he turns 1, which was the magic apple-eating number for Philip. 

Blueberries have turned out very well and they last for ages. I took frozen blueberries (no sugar added, just natural blueberries) thawed them a bit and blended them into a puree and froze them. One bag has lasted me AGES because when thawing, the blueberries are very liquidy and so I add a bit of milk and a lot of rice, so I only really need 1 cube of blueberry per meal. Same with peaches, but peaches don't thaw quite as liquidy as blueberries do.

The carrots have needed norice as a thickener, their consistency - and sweet potatoes - has been perfect.

With both blueberries and peas he hated them when it was too strong a taste, but mixed with baby rice he's loved them both. 

Green beans are a current favorite.
I've still got him mainly on single foods, the only combinations have been rice + a fruit, and he'll also do blueberry + peach. The next mix I'll do - which won't be for a few weeks - will be zucchini with potato. Eventually that will have cheese in it as well, that was one of philip's favorites. So was sheperds pie. 

I've changed ice cube trays a million times and have finally settled on the very hard plain white ones I get for a buck at target. If they are too bendy then they break when trying to get the cubes out. And the silicone ones I wswitched to were a pain in the rear as well ebcause the food seemed to stick to them. 

Currently in the freezer: carrots, blueberries, peaches, green beans. 
Today will be a big food making day and I'll be making, freezing, and generally stocking up on rutabega, peas, butternut squash, sweet potato, and pears.  

These frozen cubes are a world of goodness even when the foods get more solid because they can be combined with so many things.

Jun. 25th, 2007

monkey baby in monkeys mouth


Round One

Something I forgot about making food last time - silicone ice cube trays are my best friend and I shouldn't be using the hard plastic kind for my food cubes because it is a major pain in the ass to pop the food out!!

I made apples and pears for Henry this morning. Since I'm doing purees rather than slightly chunkier foods I used my sexy blender. When the consistency doesn't have to be so smooth then I'll use the little hand mixer stick thing. But my blender made me some smooooooooooooooooth applesauce and pearsauce that Henry absolutely inhaled. 

He gave me a gigantic smile after his first bite of apples, looking as if he were thinking "THIS is what i've been waiting for! Real food!" and he at what seemed like 12 pounds of the stuff. :) 


Apples for now... pears next... then I'll be doing carrot puree and a sweet pea puree. 

Oh how I've missed this. :D

Jun. 9th, 2007

monkey baby spelling out YO


One more thing...

I found a really, really good website without homemade baby food information:


Particularly useful are the guides for which purees freeze well and which don't! I'll have a good scour through this and post some of the infrmation here when I have a bit more time.
monkey cookie


Straining the juices

When making 1st food purees, did any of you strain the juices before freezing?

I didn't with Philip, I just poured the puree into ice cube trays, froze them, and defroosted as needed. But then I would frequently have to use baby milk to make it the right consistency. 

So my idea is to puree a gob of pears, strain it for ages on a sieve (maybe some cheesecloth?), and collect the pear juice. Then freeze the juice separately along with the pears so that if any consistency changes are needed I can add the pear juice vitamins BACK into the puree, and also keep the taste of the pears more natural. That way not everything ends up tasting like fruity milk. 

DId anyone else do this? I'll report back with my success or failure... 

Henry is on day 3 of rice and I swear to God he *snorts* it. Chews properly, eats every little bit.... we only got the sweet rice-face mess for a day!

Jun. 5th, 2007

monkey joy of cooking


idea for food + art


I found this great idea on a food blog I visit frequently - a suggestion on how to get your older kid really interested in fruits and veggies. :D

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