Friday, May 24, 2013

Baby Food Recipes

Moving into more advanced foods! (And we've actually started moving out of this stage already, and are now mostly just feeding him whatever we're eating.)

Here are a few ideas for the stage between purees and regular food:

Sweet Potato & Fish Curry
2 oz steamed pureed sweet potato
2 oz cooked white fish (tilapia), flaked
½ - 1 oz coconut milk
curry powder

Italian Shrimp Dinner
2 cooked shrimp, diced
1 oz steamed pureed zucchini
1 oz tomato-based pasta sauce
1 oz ricotta cheese

Avocado Egg Salad
1/2 hard boiled egg, diced
1/4 avocado, mashed
1 oz steamed pureed spinach
squeeze of dijon mustard
pinch of dulse seaweed flakes

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Your baby eats WHAT?!

My baby is over 8 months old already! Time flies!

He's been eating solid food since about 5½ months. Now we've started adding in more herbs and spices into his food. My hope is that as he gets older he will be more receptive to eating a wide variety of foods.

My main inspiration for this is my sister! I think she has done a fabulous job with raising her kids in a way that they are very open to new foods. My niece and nephew are now 13 and 11, but even before they old enough to go to school, they would eat a wide variety of foods, and continue to do so. How many kids do you know that would beg for sushi, clams & mussels, Ethiopian cuisine, etc.? My niece and nephew do, and have since they were little!

Here's my game plan:

1. Eat a wide variety of foods and flavors while pregnant.
Done, obviously!

Eating the same thing all the time is boring! I always like eating a variety of foods. I especially made sure to do so while pregnant, as to expose my unborn son to as many flavors as possible!

Studies have shown that the flavors that mothers eat pass into the amniotic fluid and their unborn babies start forming food preferences in the womb! I was lucky that I didn't have any nausea or food aversions. While I was pregnant, I ate: Ethiopian, Indian, Vietnamese, Japanese/Sushi [not raw], Italian, Mexican, spicy foods, etc. 

(See: Baby's Palate And Food Memories Shaped Before Birth @ NPR)

2. Introduce baby to a variety of vegetables/fruits when starting solid foods.
Done! I didn't count exactly, but in the first month of starting solid foods I guesstimate my son had at least 10 different vegetables and fruits.

(See: Early Vegetable Variety: The French Advantage @ It's Not About Nutrition)

3. Introduce baby to a wide variety of herbs, spices, and flavor combinations.
We've started on this! Here's a sampling of some of the more notable foods and flavors he's had thus far:
  • Tabbouleh with quinoa (Middle Eastern salad)
  • Kheer (Indian spiced sweet rice pudding)
  • Crab cakes egg benedict
  • Curry
  • Spicy Hummus
  • Mexican
  • Italian
  • Various fish (salmon, tilapia, crab, shrimp)

4. Only have "food", not "kid food" and "adult food".
Obviously my son isn't far enough along that this is an issue yet. But I plan to raise my kid(s) that variety in food is normal and no food is "weird".

There will be no separate special food prepared for kids. My kids will not subsist on mac & cheese, chicken strips, etc.!

I do plan to have several options available as part of the meal, so if my kid(s) dislike something they aren't forced to eat it. They'll have to try it, but I won't be a "finish your plate" parent. I will be a "try it" parent.

So far, we've been lucky and my son has eaten and liked pretty much everything we've given him. The few things he didn't like the first time (like bananas), he's warmed up to. Hopefully when he turns into a stubborn toddler, any pickiness will be temporary.

Will it work? Only time will tell, but I think we're off to a pretty good start!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Eat This, Not That!

I will begin by saying that I hate the "Eat This, Not That!" books. All they do is tell you which processed crap is lower in calories, both options still full of the same type of crud: chemical preservatives, hydrogenated oils / trans fats, dyes, etc.

These substitutions are truly healthier options, not just lower calories options:

Eat This

Not That

Ingredients: rice flour, almonds, potato starch, salt, expeller pressed safflower oil, natural almond flavor, natural butter flavor. Ingredients: unbleached enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate {vitamin b1}, riboflavin {vitamin b2}, folic acid), soybean oil, sugar, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, salt, leavening (baking soda and/or calcium phosphate), high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, malted barley flour, natural flavor.
Ingredients: Dates, Chocolate Chips (unsweetened chocolate  sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla), Almonds, Unsweetened Cherries, Cashews, Sea Salt  Ingredients: Whole Grain Oats, High Maltose Corn Syrup, Semisweet Chocolate Chunks (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor), Sugar, Almonds, Rice Flour, Chicory Root Extract, Fructose, Dried Cranberries, Canola Oil, Dried Cherries, Maltodextrin, Vegetable Glycerin, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Baking Soda, Natural Flavor, Mixed Tocopherols
Ingredients: Organic Cultured Grade A Milk, Organic Strawberry Puree (Organic Strawberries, Natural Strawberry Flavor, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Natural Fruit Pectin, Lactic Acid) Organic Skim Milk, Organic Cream. Ingredients: Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Nonfat Milk, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Strawberries, Modified Corn Starch, Whey Protein Concentrate, Kosher Gelatin, Citric Acid, Tricalcium Phosphate, Aspartame, Potassium Sorbate Added to Maintain Freshness, Natural Flavor, Red No. 40, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3.
Ingredients: Roasted tomatillos, tomatoes, green chiles, onions, cilantro and garlic, citric acid, salt, evaporated cane juice.

(Note: Use Hass Avocados, not Slimcados!)
Ingredients: Maltodextrin, salt, onion, nonfat dry milk, modified tapioca starch, red bell peppers, sour cream solids (cream, nonfat dry milk, and cultures), garlic, corn syrup solids, jalapeno peppers, cultured nonfat dry milk, lemon juice solids, parsley, lactic acid, citric acid, extractives of red pepper, and natural flavors.
Ingredients: Pasteurized cream, salt

(Also see: Butter!)
Ingredients: Vegetable Oil Blend (Liquid Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil), Water, Whey (Milk), Salt, Vegetable Mono and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, (Potassium Sorbate, Calcium Disodium Edta) Used to Protect Quality, Citric Acid, Artificial Flavor, Vitamin A Palmitate, Beta Carotene (For Color).
Ingredients: Raw almonds. Ingredients: Roasted peanuts and sugar, contains 2% or less of: molasses, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean), fully hydrogenated vegetable oils (rapeseed and soybean), mono- and diglycerides and salt.