Posted by tntmck on Mar 17, 2012 in Information
, Overall Diet
How much food should I be feeding my baby? How many calories does my toddler need? Is he eating too much fruit? Should I be preparing more protein? It’s so easy to question everything from milk intake to bowel movements. Sometimes I think we might be just a little too close to the subject. I’ve had times where I’ve needed to just step back and make sure I’m seeing the forest for the trees.
I discovered the following website http://www.mypyramid.gov recently. This link shows the food pyramid specific to your child’s age and weight. You can enter age and activity level for your child and it will calculate the exact number of daily calories needed. Oh my! I consider myself to be fairly Type A personality and this is too much for me! It seems to me that if you eat real food to fullness and true satisfaction, then things will fall in place. I think kids have this ability built into their little bodies. And, remember, they are growing. Things will ebb and flow. It is my job to present my children with healthy food options and encourage them to try things.
This government site goes so far as to provide a tracker to keep a tally of the daily requirements by grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans. I seriously think I need to stay far, far away from this as it could easily become obsessive for no good reason at all!
I’ve shared some of my favorite meals in the past, but here’s another great place to find Toddler Meals. My philosophy is to share good food with my children and maybe we there will be a little chef in the making.
What do you think of the Super Tracker?
Posted by tntmck on Jun 17, 2011 in Dairy
Well, it’s not officially summer, but it sure has been hot around here. The boys are enjoying lots of fruit, playing in the water, and drinking lots of water, too. We decided to change up snack time a little this afternoon and instead of a smoothie, we made some yummy frozen strawberry yogurt pops. If you have a mold, then the rest of the ingredients are probably already in the fridge. Even without a mold, you could use ice cube trays or any other small containers and even add some wooden popsicle sticks or plastic stir sticks.
Strawberries (or fruit of your choice)
A splash of milk
I simply eyeballed the ingredients and threw everything in the blender and added more of any ingredient as it blended. I only made a small amount, so it really was just a few frozen strawberries, a couple spoonfulls of plain, whole yogurt, a good dollop of honey, a few ice cubes, and literally a splash of whole milk. How’s that for exacting?
Pour the mixture into your molds. Insert sticks and freeze. Remember to let them sit out a bit before trying to remove the pops so you don’t end up breaking them upon removal.
Toddler Timing Tip: Make and freeze these with your toddler as a morning activity. Then, they will be perfectly frozen and ready to go for an after nap afternoon snack!
The boys took a little while figuring out they preferred licking and eating the pops and not playing, dripping, and dropping them everywhere. By the time we made it to the end of the tray (yes, they finished them all off), they were loving them and wanting more!
Posted by tntmck on Jun 2, 2010 in Finger Foods
From Passionate Homemaking, if you did not win, just purchase your own copy of Healthy Snacks to Go from Kitchen Stewardship at a 25% discount being offered to all Passionate Homemaking readers.
Enter the coupon code: PASSHOME by Friday, June 4th to save! Purchase your copy today!
Posted by tntmck on May 23, 2010 in Meat
In an effort to continue towards our GOAL: Eating With the Family we made yet another yummy chicken meal this week. We’re also working more with plates, utensils, and cups as well as healthy snacks to keep happy tummies throughout the day.
This week, I decided that Jonathan and I needed something quick and easy to take for our lunches. Well, I also wanted this to be something the boys could eat, so I went for chicken salad. If you know me, you’re thinking I’ve completely lost it because I don’t like chicken salad. Well, let’s just say I’m trying new things and giving old things another shot.
- Zesty Chicken Salad A nice flavorful way to spice up the standard salad.
- 1 tsp. Italian herbs
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder (+ more for salad mixture)
- 4 chicken thighs, skinned or boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon of omega–3 mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil or garlic–chili flax
- chopped onions
- chopped peppers
- chopped celery
- Place chicken in a greased glass baking pan.
- Sprinkle herbs, garlic powder and paprika on both sides.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes or until chicken juices run clear when tested with a fork.
- Let chicken cool, then cut into pieces.
- Combine mayonnaise, flaxseed oil, onions, peppers, celery, and chicken. Taste, then add paprika and garlic powder as desired and mix together.
- Serve over lettuce or on toasted bread.
[I used thighs and they were super moist and yummy, but you can use breasts if you like white meat better. I forgot to get a picture of the finished salad...wow, what a let-down, huh?]
WHAT I LEARNED
The chicken salad is great for adult lunches, but the chicken makes perfect food for little fingers or those just learning to use a fork.
The chicken was a hit with the whole family! Be sure to check out this other chicken recipe to fill your fridge.
I love the versatility of this recipe for sandwiches, salads, and protein for little ones. I will make it again, maybe even this week!
On a separate note, Owen is using a fork and spoon well when the food is loaded on it for him. We’ve also mainly switched to using our regular plates as the solid, white, heavy plates don’t seem as interesting to “play” with during mealtimes. I did see a few times this week where I thought the appetite was decreasing a bit, but it turned out to be a ear infection and a fever which both resolved quickly and appetites came back in full force. The boys continue to eat food more quickly than I can prepare it.
Please share your thoughts or ideas.
Posted by tntmck on May 21, 2010 in Dairy
, Grains, Beans, Legumes and Nuts
First, let me say that my boys have NEVER been constipated. I feel very strongly that the food they have eaten has played a large part in this fact. As a huge fan of Ruth Yaron’s Super Baby Food book, I think that her Super Porridge plays a large contributing roll in keeping my boys “super regular.” They eat porridge daily as well as a wide variety of meat, fruits, vegetables, other grains, and dairy. So, the following tips don’t come from experience of dealing with constipation, but rather from my experience of avoiding it.
- Feed Super Porridge daily. I actually give my boys oatmeal with flax seed, apples, and cinnamon every morning. Recently, I have even started using steel cut oats and soaking them overnight with water and a couple tablespoons of yogurt. Most nights for dinner, they also get some form of grains or mixed grains with beans or legumes mixed in as well as tahini, wheatgerm, or some other “healthy extra.” Not only can Super Porridge be a complete protein, but it is full of fiber.
- Offer water daily. Any time we are on the run or outside, my boys get water. It is also the general drink at dinner if they have finished their milk for the day. One of the major symptoms of constipation is dehydration and water helps to keep things moving.
- Serve a variety of fruits and vegetables at meals and snacks. Many fruits and vegetables offer lots of good fiber including avocado, pear, broccoli, etc., but the best idea is just to make sure you’re including a variety of tastes, textures, and colors. Lots of nutrients and minerals aid in the digestive process.
- Avoid added sugar. Sugar may add to digestive problems and be a source of constipation. Let your little one enjoy sugar from natural foods including great tasting fruits.
- Yogurt, yogurt, yogurt. Don’t buy prepared over-marketed yogurts. Just buy whole milk plain yogurt and add natural fruits or vanilla. Yogurt is a great source of nutrition all around.
- Avoid processed foods. I’m not going to rant about this one as I’m planning a post soon about all of the processed stuff in grocery stores today, but do yourself and your whole family a favor and just stop buying it. If you really knew how to pronounce all those words in the ingredients and knew what they were and how they were processed in a large plant to make what you’re eating, you’d probably drop the box, can, jar, etc. and run. So, just take my word for it and run!
If you’re in the middle of your little one experiencing a bit of constipation, you may want to focus more on a few of these things to get through the situation, but overall, keep a well-varied, natural, whole food mix to the meals and snacks your offering and everything should stay right on track.
Posted by tntmck on May 2, 2010 in Dairy
40% (26) organic cow’s
3% (2) raw cow’s
7% (5) local, pasteurized, un-homogenized cow’s
9% (6) soy
1% (1) rice
6% (4) goat’s
3% (2) dry
51% (33) standard, pasteurized, homogenized cow’s
Total Votes = 64
This is such an interesting poll. When the poll started, I was in the last category with the largest group buying standard cow’s milk. However, since then I’ve been doing lots of reading and research on the different kinds and have even been purchasig various kinds to give them a try. My thoughts on dairy have been changig throughout the course of this poll and I’ll be writing about them in my upcoming post called “The Great Milk Debate.”
NOTE: I accidentally left kefir off the poll when I started, so feel free to add your comments about that and anything else I may have missed.
I’m leaving these results as a post so that you all can share your comments on the results.
Posted by tntmck on Apr 29, 2010 in Dairy
The more votes, the better the results. Vote now and spread the word.
Posted by tntmck on Apr 26, 2010 in Dairy
3 DAYS LEFT TO VOTE: This is getting interesting. Invite your friends and family to vote and follow the blog. The more votes, the better the results. Then, stay tuned to see the final results. I’ll post and everyone can comment with your own thoughts on the subject. This is all gearing up for the “The Great Milk Debate” post coming soon after.
Well, it’s no secret that one of my favorite types of food is Mexican. I love the cheese, tomatoes, fresh salsa, guacamole, tortillas, spics, and did I mention…cheese. Yum, hot, melted cheese. What could be better?
I made quesadillas with yummy, melted cheese, seasoned ground beef, and onions.
- I made another big batch of crock pot carrots this week to store in the freezer. These continue to be a favorite of mine for easy preparation, storage, and meal serving.
- Ground Beef Quesadillas
- Large tortillas (I chose whole wheat)
- Grated cheese (mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, or Monterrey Jack work best)
- Oil or butter
- Optional Ingredients and/or toppings:
- Sliced mushrooms
- Green onions
- Tomatoes, diced
- Chicken pieces
- Ground Beef
- Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add a small amount of oil or butter (about 1/2 teaspoon) and spread it around the bottom of the pan. Take one large tortilla and place it in the pan. Flip the tortilla over a few times, allowing air pockets to form within the tortilla.
- When pockets of air begin to form, take a handful of cheese and sprinkle over the top of the tortilla. Add whatever additional ingredients you choose. I went with seasoned ground beef and onions this time since that’s what I had on hand.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. After a minute, check to see if the cheese is melted. If not, return the cover and keep checking every minute until the cheese is melted. When the cheese is sufficiently melted, use a spatula to lift up one side of the quesadilla and flip over the other side. The tortilla should by now be browned slightly.
- Remove from pan and cut into wedges, slices, or pieces.
- Serve with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole if you like.
WHAT I LEARNED
Turning the heat to low is the trick and working quickly in the beginning with your flipping and adding the cheese will help to keep the tortilla soft, but browned. My first one turned out really hard and cruncy.
I love Mexican, so it was no surprise to see my boys gobble it all up. They split one the first day and I saved one in the fridge to reheat for lunch the next day.
I think I’m ready for some homemade guacamole now. I love this stuff and am surprised to say that I have never made it for my boys. Looks like I need to head out to the store for some fresh ingredients.
Please share your thoughts or ideas.
Posted by tntmck on Apr 21, 2010 in Tips
Milk. Don’t they say it does a body good? Well, it does. But, you don’t want your toddler to fill up on milk and not eat his food. Alternately, you don’t want a baby to fill up on food and not be hungry to nurse or take a bottle. So, what’s a mother to do? Well, it’s another one of those classic balancing acts. You have to be keen on what your little one needs at his stage in life. You also have to decide how much is best.
You can usually tell how much is best by letting your baby dictate the amount for you. You did this from day one, but once you start introducing solids things start to change a little bit. I found that when first introducing solids, my boys worked best getting about half of their milk first, then solids, then the rest of their milk. I soon learned that Wyatt would do just fine eating plenty of solids first, then taking all of his milk. Owen, on the other hand, needed to be offered his full amount of milk first and save the solids for last. This sounds really odd, but once I figured it out, it seemed clear to me how much you really have to follow your baby’s cues for feedings. As babies, breastmilk or formula is still the primary means for nutrition and you don’t want solids to be filling him up before he has a chance to drink his primary nutrients.
Then, that magic age hits. Your baby is now a year old. You’ve probably either started weaning or are considering it soon. For us, we started adding in whole milk around 11 months (consult with your physician when making this decision). By a year, my boys were both completely on milk from cups at the same time as meals with one afternoon snack including milk. With my doctor, we decided they only needed to be offered 16oz. throughout the day. I have also learned that they are better milk drinkers at certain times of the day. At breakfast, for instance, they want food. Once you get them started, they will enjoy some milk, but rarely a full serving. That afternoon snack, though, is all about the milk. They can drink it down. I am cautious, however, to not let the milk take over. I really want my boys learning and trying new foods and getting all of the good nutrition from those healthy foods. If I were to let them fill up on milk, this would not happen and I would probably have more picky eaters right now.
So, what’s the tip? The tip is to pay attention to your little one to learn when are the best times and order for milk and solids.
Please share your thoughts and ideas.