Posted by tntmck on Mar 7, 2012 in Batch
, Freezer Cooking
Ok, warmer weather is on the horizon. We love making our own cool Smoothies and Summertime Yogurt Pops, but here’s another quick idea for Frozen Yogurt Bites. Mix up whatever flavors you like best and freeze away. I could see freezing these in individual batches so you can just pull out a batch for the kids (and probably yourself) and enjoy a nice, cool treat!
Source: Uploaded by user on Pinterest
NOTE: After seriously going back down the line to at least 50 different pinners, I have yet to find the original pin. If anyone knows the source, please let me know and I will give credit.
Posted by tntmck on Aug 10, 2010 in Batch
, Fruits & Vegetables
Use your baby food-making skills to your benefit. Help the bottom-line by paying attention to a few key things and you’ll save even more money than what you’re already saving by not buying, storing, and disposing of all of those jars and packages of food.
- Buy fresh produce that is local and in season. You can often find this on sale as well.
- Shop deals and use coupons for frozen fruits and vegetables. These are great to have on-hand and easy to puree and thaw and mash. They also make great additions to yogurt.
- Make baby food in large batches and freeze it in single servings. This will not only save you money, but lots of time and cleanup!
Posted by tntmck on Jul 7, 2010 in Dairy
Make something cool for the summertime. This is a great treat for the little ones just starting dairy on up through the whole family. Use plain whole yogurt or make your own (I’m not so adventurous just yet, but it’s on the list.). Mash and mix in fresh or frozen fruits and freeze in cubes or small containers. Thaw in the fridge and enjoy for a nice, cool treat.
It’s also yummy to add in some vanilla extract and/or honey (age appropriate over a year). I even love yogurt with just these two ingredients and no fruit. I always buy organic, plain, whole milk yogurt and usually the kind with cream on top.
Please share your thoughts and 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 Jan 30, 2010 in Uncategorized
This week was all about the plate. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been offering various options of finger foods to the boys for a while now. Recently, I have been organizing options on a plate for them at random feeding times. This week, we jumped in with a full commitment to lunch. Every lunch this week was offered as finger foods for them to feed themselves from a plate. Some lunches were followed with spoon baby food, but some were not. I just played this by ear on how much they ate.
I didn’t make any new foods to freeze this week, but did make a new item for the refrigerator. Yogurt has been one of the early dairy introductions and I’ve served it plain, in cereal, or mixed with fruit (mainly blueberries or bananas). This week I blended frozen organic berries with organic plain yogurt.
As options on the plate, I included cooked sweet potato pieces, cooked whole wheat macaroni, whole wheat bread, cheddar and provolone cheeses, cooked turkey pieces, and tofu.
- Mixed Berry Yogurt I bought frozen organic mixed berries a couple weeks ago and stored them in the freezer. One morning, I thawed them in the refrigerator and was able to use them to mix into my yogurt. I just used my blender to chop up the pieces, but still left it a little chunky. I used Stonyfield Organic Plain Yogurt, but I have also used various plain and greek yogurts as well. I think it is important to avoid the low-fat varieties or ones with added flavorings or sugars. Beware of the ones marketed for kids as these often are the sugar and processed additive culprits. It’s easy enough to add your own fresh or fresh frozen flavorings. You can even make your own yogurt and Yoran describes this in her book, but I haven’t become so adventurous yet.
- The Plate I have various toddler-style plates, but the ones I’ve been using this week are the Sassy Dippin Dinner Plates and have a rubber ring around the bottom edge. They don’t stick to the table with a suction, but help it to stay in place with little hands reaching and messing with food. They also have lids, so you can prepare a meal ahead of time and leave it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. I do sit with the boys while they eat for two reasons.
- I like to see how they’re doing with their skills and want to make sure they are eating safe pieces and not too much at one time.
- I use this as a training time to teach them what is and isn’t acceptable at the table. They are not allowed to throw or purposefully drop food and this has been the week to teach them not to move their plates. The plate is not a toy and the purpose is to eat the food from your plate. This may sound crazy, but an 11 month old really can learn these things.
WHAT I LEARNED
I must say that I think the mixed berry yogurt has been one of the boys favorite yogurts so far and I love the ease of the frozen fruit and the health benefits of the yogurt. I’m not totally sure why they liked this one so much better than ones I’ve made before. It could have been that they are getting more used to yogurt, or I may have gotten the ratio of fruit to yogurt just right. Or, maybe they really liked the mixed berries. Whatever the reason, I hope this love for yogurt continues.
The boys liked the plates. We have not achieved self-feeding success yet, but both are practicing and learning. Every few days, new skills are learned and they are getting better. They also both get excited to be able to feed themselves. I will say that this has led to some negative reactions to being spoon-fed by mom at times.
This week was messy, but a good learning experience that we are continuing.
Please share your thoughts or ideas.