Monday, March 19, 2012

Fitting in with the Family

I have often thought about how well my girls fit in with our family - how they seem to just be perfectly suited for us and our lifestyle. I'm sure some of it's natural/genetic/inherited/etc, but I'm also sure that some of it is learned. They have to fit in with us. After all, if we tried to fit in with them, there'd be even MORE whining, crying, and certainly more temper tantrums.

The same is true with food. I find that if I fix the girls something different from what I'm serving us grown-ups, all they do is complain about not having what we're having -- even if they actually do not like what we are having. I think I find myself being more relaxed with baby number two because I know that even if she does not love a particular meal, she's not going to starve. Maybe she'll drink a little extra milk that night to make up for it, but she's going to be ok. I've resolved to (at least mostly) simply put cut up grown up food in front of my little ones and give them the chance to be UNlike their mommy as a child, eating only mac and cheese and chicken fingers.

This works for me. Simplicity works for me. Like I've said before, if something is too complicated, it's not sustainable for me. Making meals that Mommy, Daddy, toddler, and baby can eat is what I can maintain.

... and is also why I'm grateful to be finished with the purees for a little while.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Take on Classic Food

So one of my favorite new discoveries is a "baby chicken salad" of sorts. Now I'm completely opposed to mayonnaise (despite my mother's insistence that it is just eggs, oil, and spices), and I really don't want to see, touch, or handle that white stuff... unless it is in the form of ranch dressing. Then I forgive, forget, and eat. Anyway, my point is that this is a mayonnaise free dish :)

All I do is take about a third of an avocado, add some finely shredded cooked chicken, and mix. I put it on top of a half piece of toast (you can decide on how much toast based on how large your bread is), cut up, and serve! Messy? sure, but not really any more messy than feeding avocado usually is. The concoction sticks together surprisingly well.

One of my favorite things about it? My girl actually eats the chicken and toast, instead of just picking out the avocado. Success!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Finger foods, finger foods...

SO BORED WITH FINGER FOODS. I need serious help. I'm even thinking about buying a book. I'm such an internet girl, but I'm so bored... starting to want a good ole fashioned cookbook. Do they make those for finger foods? Don't get me wrong, I am not looking to spend my entire day cooking baby meals... that's not the point. I am, however, bored of the same ole same ole. I'm pretty sure my girl is, too.

I struggle because I'm trying to avoid processed foods, but my girl doesn't really like ground beef (so far), and chicken just gets so. so. old. I'm also struggling because though my girl does love to feed herself, she is very selective about the fruits and vegetables that she will actually put in her mouth. I end up feeding her purees (which I'm totally fine with for now) and hoping that someday she will actually feed them to herself. Perhaps I'm just beginning the "you can't leave the table until you finish your vegetables" stage. Ugh. I mean, it's so much fun to make your child happy! But can I let myself give my girl ice cream when she won't eat green beans? Of course not. I have to make her trudge through the vegetables.

And who am I kidding? It's not like every time I give her ice cream, she's going to think I'm the most amazing mother ever. In reality, she's probably be thinking, "it's about time woman!"

Well, here's to new recipes (suggestions needed), more veggies, and helping my girl overcome her "Eve tendencies!"

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Note on First Foods

Whenever we start feeding our children non-cereal solids, the question of what to start with inevitably follows. Some say to start with something green - get them to like the taste of veggies before they know the sweetness of fruits, and others say to introduce them to something sweet (i.e. bananas) to acclimate them to eating solids. However, there is no way to guarantee that your child will or will not like certain foods. I started my girl with bananas (which I'll probably do with subsequent children - I mixed some breast milk and rice cereal in there too to get her started), and I think she's more naturally inclined to eat carrots and peas. I've heard people say that they started with green beans and then had a hard time getting their child to eat anything green later on. There is no fool proof way to go. My recommendation? Go with something that makes a good "first food" (get some ideas here), but don't overanalyze it. This is one thing that is hard to mess up.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Update on Peas

So I tried peas again... and it was about time as my sweet girl has been eating lots of bananas, pears, and sweet potatoes... not exactly the most balanced diet!

This time I was DETERMINED not to try to get the peels out - if I keep doing that, I'll never make them. I have to be realistic with myself, and I know that if something is too much trouble, I won't repeat it very often. For example, I'm almost always happy to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch - I have it down to a science: I have all the ingredients on hand, I can keep the mess to a minimum, and they're very good for my marriage :) I don't, however, make cheesecake every day... too.much.trouble. I don't want peas to be my new cheesecake, ya know?

Anyway, I tried the blender today, and I think it was a good fit. I just cooked the bag of frozen peas (according to package directions), drained (regret that part - more on that later), and stuck them in the blender. I ended up with a pretty good puree - especially for a child who is almost 8 months, but I would feed these to any child over 6 months who has some experience with solids.

The package only told me to steam the peas in 1/4 c. of water, so I didn't have much water to drain off after cooking. I do wish I had just dumped this water in with the peas because it had some flavor and nutrients after the cooking, and I ended up adding probably the same amount of water to get an easier puree. I found that short spurts of blending coupled with some stirring got me the puree I'd been looking for. With the food processor, I was ending up with what were basically chopped peas... with the blender, I got more of what I had hoped for all along.

At last, I had enough to fill my ice tray - and a little more to stick in the fridge for tomorrow!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sweet Potatoes

I think what I like best about sweet potatoes is that the process of making sweet potatoes for my girl is quite similar to the process of making them for myself... and they've become such of a favorite that I recently made 40 oz of sweet potatoes at one time.

So how did I do it?
1. Wash and dry sweet potatoes
2. Prick several times with fork
3. Wrap in foil
4. Bake at 350 until tender (probably an hour - depends on size of potato)

After that, I allowed the potatoes to cool, peeled the peel off (comes off very easily), stuck them in the food processor and pureed away. They puree very well and can be frozen with no added liquid.

One note on the consistency of the sweet potato: I do not thin before freezing for a couple of reasons. First, I like to mix sweet potatoes with apples - deeeelish, and the apples are liquidy enough to make the sweet potatoes less pasty. Second, if I decide to just feed sweet potatoes, it is easy to thin them right before feeding. Just a little bit of water, breast milk, or formula does the trick.

Monday, April 12, 2010

As Easy As No Bake Cookies

Or perhaps easier.

One of my favorite baby food options is "bananacado." Why do I like it? Because it is soooo easy - and delicious. Typically I'll take half an avocado and half a banana and mash those together. That ends up making more food than my girl usually eats, but let me assure you she eats every bite. With most of her baby food residing in the freezer, it's nice to have some options that don't require any sort of preparation, esp. when the freezer stock is low...

I told my mom that my girl eats avocado, and she said she'd never heard of a baby who eats avocado. I said, "well, she loves it." Mom's response? "What's not to love!" Agreed. I love avocado - and it's even better with banana.