since i tried the spiralizer and became a convert to vegetables replacing pasta, i wanted to try more vegetables in like manner. so i bought a spaghetti squash for my spiralizer but for some reason, i couldn’t find a recipe with spaghetti squash in my spiralizer cookbook. Continue reading “new vegetable: spaghetti squash”
we hadn’t anticipated feeding baby formula but when we needed to supplement, we received ready-made formula from the hospital and pediatrician. i had also read that you should not give your baby water to drink because it would be harsh for the his/her stomach. so even though we knew if you buy powder it would be cheaper, we went to the extreme in not wanting to go through the worry about mixing power and water. our concerns about mixing water in infant formula is a valid concern as over watering may cause water intoxication *see note 1. with the little sleep we were having, could we make a mistake? yes, especially considering how much baby ate during that time! after the infant milk only stage, we focused on preparing solids and forgotten about drinking water. Continue reading “introducing drinking water”
a girlfriend and fellow mom of a toddler starting solids mentioned they introduced her to lentil so i was excited to have C try it too! i tried SHILOH brad lentil and picked brown lentils because it has the more iron than the other colors (red or green).
preparation is relatively easy – wash and boil for 30 minutes until soft. sometimes it took a little longer to cook because they weren’t soft enough but it required little attention. i always make an adult serving and save the remainder a storage container.
i started k on lentil, sometimes with savory fruits and vegetables and other times with sweet. either way k took to it pretty well! i’m glad k has a healthy tastebud!
in expanding k’s food rainbow palette, i added plums to her diet. the darker the color the better and a little soft but not bruised. when introducing plums, i steamed them first.
- small food storage container
- 1 plum, pit removed
- 1 inch water
even though you can’t start babies on milk until they turn 1, they can start to have yogurt at 6 months. like milk, until baby turns 2 it is best to give whole fat yogurt because fat is an important source for brain development. yogurt also has a lot of probiotics which is good for babies (as well as for adults). since it is derived from milk, it is also an excellent source of protein. because of its many benefits, yogurt is known as a power food – one which should be eaten daily. so as soon as we knew k could eat yogurt, we gave to her on a regular basis Continue reading “introducing new foods: yogurt”
the next fruit we introduced k to is pears. like apples there are a variety of pears to choose from. i knew Comice pears are very sweet so i looked for others. pears aren’t the dirtiest of fruits but they aren’t the cleanest either. so i went to our local organic grocer and the ones they had in stock were the D’anjou, Bosc and Starkrimson pears. the quality of the D’anjou pear was the best that day so i started k with them. Continue reading “introducing new foods: pears”
we debated about introducing k to meat. m & i were never vegetarians though we don’t eat meat often. but it feels weird to give your child animal meat to eat while reading children’s books to them about animals as cute lovable creatures or as friends experiencing daily lives as we (humans) do.
in the end, it came down to nutrition. meat is an excellent source of protein, which is necessary for baby’s growing body. i guess we didn’t have a choice when we were kids and it’s not like we resent our parents for feeding us meat now. as adults we can make the choices about what we want or not want to eat for various reasons. so when k gets older, she can decide for herself too. Continue reading “introducing new foods: chicken”
to save money i had been using a make-shift steamer with a 2 or 3 quart saucepan and a strainer on top. but as k’s list of vegetables and fruits to cook/steam grew, i needed to find a more efficient way to prep her food. so, i took the plunge and invested in a steamer.
since i’m a fan of All-Clad’s line of cookware, i looked in its specialty collection and found the All-Clad 5 Quart Stainless Steel Steamer. they run $100 (although you can get discounts depending on the house ware store). it is a 3-piece set with: a 5 quart pot, a 4.5 quart perforated insert and a lid.
Continue reading “prep: loving steaming”
parsnip is another food i never ate before. like many others i always thought it was in the same family as carrots because they look alike but they are actually not in the same family.
taste wise, they are a little sweet but is more reminiscent of a potato than carrot, which may be due to its high starch content. they also have a nice flavor.
another aspect about parsnips is its nice aroma that comes out when you are steaming. it smells like bread when it’s baking. mmmmmm. yummy! Continue reading “introducing new foods: parsnip”
so far we only introduced one grain, oat bran, to k so we figured it was time to try another. i’ve been a fan of quinoa (*see recipes i’ve tried and information about quinoa ) and i was happy to find out that it is gluten free. it should be safe for k, despite her allergies so we decided to introduce quinoa to k.
quinoa has been really hot the last few years so it is easy to find. i already had Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Organic Tricolor Quinoa at home so I started k off with that brand. later i found Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Organic Quinoa Flakes that you didn’t have to was and cooked faster, which was great since it cut down the prep time. Continue reading “introducing new foods: quinoa”
zucchini is part of the squash family so water used to steam can be reused for diluting other foods. it doesn’t take long to steam since it softens quickly.
zucchini doesn’t have a strong flavor so i like to pair it with other fruits and vegetables that have a stronger or sweeter flavor – i.e. make a fruit less sweet or make another vegetable less bitter. Continue reading “introducing new foods: zucchini”
most foods, including vegetables and fruits, that we fed k so far have to be cooked first. the only vegetable we didn’t have to cook was avocado. the second is the fruit we’re giving her next: the banana. like the avocado, when exposed to the air banana’s color changes quickly to an unappetizing gray so prepare it just when you are about to feed the baby.
bananas are not part of the “dirty dozen” list because the inside fruit itself is protected by its thick skin. but the many of the chemicals that are sprayed onto conventional banana trees harm the workers who pick them. *read note
Continue reading “introducing organic bananas”
we often see parents feed babies apple sauce. it makes sense since the introduction to most foods, including apples, have to be cooked. i hadn’t made apple sauce before but on my first attempt at preparing apples, i boiled it for too long and voila, it became apple sauce!
- 1 organic apple
since i was planning to start k on fruits, it might as well be the healthiest of all fruits: the apple! there is such a variety of apples (macintosh, golden delicious, gala, fuji, pink lady, etc.) so which do you choose?
- i look for the choices of organic apples because unfortunately, apples have consistently been on the “dirty dozen” list *read note 1.
- i look for the type that is less sweet: i.e. Honey Crisp apples are very sweet where as Granny Smith apples have a nice tart flavor. so i started k on Granny Smith apples.
carrots are also a favorite for new eaters because of it’s sweetness and as expected k loved it. carrots do have to be cooked longer so that it is very soft – if you don’t make it soft enough and grind it, little pieces can get stuck in baby’s little throat and cause him/her to choke.
another vegetable in the orange color family – yummy power food sweet potato / yam. you can dilute if you want but it really doesn’t need it. baked sweet potato and yams are so soft it can be enjoyed alone.
i did some research on sweet potatoes vs. yams. the two are not actually from the same family but both are power foods and have lot of nutrition. the orange color vegetable are sweeter vs. the yellow color vegetable is not as sweet. there are also purple color ones but i have yet to try them! Continue reading “introducing new foods: sweet potato / yam”
i’ve never had butternut squash before i started cooking and the only way i had it was as roasted butternut squash soup. but as i was reading up on introducing k to solids, it turns out that butternut squash is quite popular! it is a favorite for babies because of it’s sweetness as indicated in it bright orange color.
from Wholesome Baby Food Guide, i learned that when you cook some fruits or vegetables – whether you bake, steam or boil – there is some remaining liquid which has nutrition from the original fruit or vegetable that can be used to prep future dishes.
one of my favorite jam is from Sarabeth’s Kitchen. when i was finished with a jar, it seemed like a shame to throw it away or even to recycle it because the mason jars were nice and durable with thick glass. so i saved them with the hopes of future use. Continue reading “prep: liquid storage”
it took us a while to decide what cereal we would start k with. we couldn’t start her with barley or buckwheat due to her wheat allergy. we wanted to hold off on rice because of the arsenic issue *read note 1. so we decided on oatmeal.
after some research, i was able to find wheat free and gluten free oat bran, which is the outer husk of the oat. it is rich in dietary fiber, protein and iron. Continue reading “introducing new foods: oat bran”
sticking to the less sweet vegetables and fruits, we decided the next item to feed k is the avocado.
during the first two years of the baby’s life, fat is important for baby’s brain development so avocado is a good choice.
it has monounsaturated fats, which are considered as healthy fats as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
cooking tools Continue reading “introducing new foods: avocado”
the next vegetable we chose was the potato. potatoes are easy to find, have many ways to prepare and also pairs well with other fruits and vegetables. if anyone (including baby) is suffering from diarrhea *see note 1. it can help so there were many reasons for our choice.
when i think of green beans for kids, i think of soft olive colored overcooked 1-inch beans. i didn’t want to serve that to my child – after all, the nutrients would have been cooked away!
so i made sure i didn’t overcook the beans but that means after i cook them, i need to put it in the food processor for a litter longer to make sure they are ground into fine shreds since baby can’t chew yet. but remember you can save the water used to cook the beans so you don’t lose any of the nutrients! Continue reading “introducing new foods: green beans”
i talked to other new moms, read The Wholesome Baby Food Guide and looked at the pediatrician’s feeding guide. while cereal is a common first food, we had to be mindful of k’s wheat allergy and we were concerned about arsenic in rice. instead, we decide to start k with a vegetable *read note 1. some vegetables have a sweeter taste, especially the yellow / orange / red color vegetables, so i decided k’s first food would be green!
Continue reading “first solid!”
as k’s first solid meal was coming close, i had to make sure i had all the tools ready. here were the pieces i prepared as well as some new tools i added as her food experience continued.
as directed by almost all resources, we saw k’s pediatrician before we started her on solids. she provided us her recommended feeding introduction schedule which we took under advisement.
from the result of k’s food allergy tests, we knew there were some things we had to avoid. but even if there are some common foods we think know, we had to make sure to read up on it anyway, i.e. spelt, durum, semolina are in the wheat family. we also have to look at the fine print for details such as “manufactured in a facility that also processes …” or “may contain traces of …”
months 4 and 5 had been focused on finding the root cause of k’s eczema. we spent time visiting the dermatologist and the allergists, following home direction as well as getting and then waiting results allergy tests. therefore we didn’t actually start k on solids until she was a little after 6 months old. Continue reading “solids: gathering information – part 1”