Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Homemade Teething Biscuits

Little Frances is currently gnawing on anything and everything she can get into her chubby little paws!  I am at my Mom’s house for the holidays and, silly me, I forgot to bring her mesh teething bag so that she could gnaw on something that might add some vitamins to her diet.  I thought it might be fun to look up recipes for teething biscuits, and I found this great recipe on WholesomeBabyfood.com.  Luckily we already had all of the ingredients in my Mom’s kitchen so we decided to give it a try!

WARNING: Make sure watch your baby as they eat these!  There is a risk of choking if you give them to your baby in anything other than bite sized pieces.  We decided to give them to Little Frances whole, but we made sure to carefully watch her while she ate them.

Ingredients:

1 cup quick oats
1 cup ground oats (grind oats and make a coarse oat flour)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon (or ginger or cardamom)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup (approximately 2) overripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp oil of choice (I used olive since it’s the healthiest we had, I would not recommend using peanut oil as peanuts are a common allergen)

ingredients

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grind 1 cup of oats in a chopper, blender, or small food processor
  • Mix the oats, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder in a bowl
  • Mix the bananas, vanilla extract, and oil in another bowl
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed
  • Place approximately 1 tbsp on a baking sheet
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Yield: Approximately one dozen cookies depending on size.

Storage: This is not scientific fact, but I am going to freeze mine and I expect to use it within a month.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy!  Little Frances loved these, and she quickly gobbled up two!

Little Frances 1 Little Frances 2

Difficulty: 1 out of 5 for me because my mom actually made them! Smile  However, I would say that it is a 4 out of 5 compared to most baby foods because there are several ingredients and it involves many more steps than most baby food.

teething biscuits

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Breastfeeding: Why Pump?

As we continue our series of articles on Breastfeeding, here we will discuss pumping. See the blog label “Breastfeeding” for other articles related to breastfeeding (Breastfeeding 101: Getting Started, Why pump?, and coming soon----Breastfeeding Older Babies, and Common Obstacles/Troubleshooting).

I will be honest, pumping is awkward and inconvenient at first and even a bit embarrassing. I felt like Ole Bessy the Cow plugged up to a milk machine!! Just allow you and your husband to get a good laugh at the entire situation and you will be a pro in no time. I never had a hands-free attachment for my pump, but I found ways to have both hands free. Do not dismay, you will learn to do nearly anything while pumping. Pumping only takes about 15 minutes (if you double electric pump it) per session, so in the big scheme of things it is not much of a time commitment.
Why Pump?
  • Getting Your Milk In-Pumping as soon are home from the hospital will help your milk come in sooner, in some cases. Initially, I would pump for 10-15 min right after I finished nursing Little Joy. I would let her lie in a Boppy Pillow next to me and play with her as I pumped (as a side note, I still use the boppy nursing pillow every time I nurse Little Joy, even at 8 months). As she got older I had to get creative about how to interact with her / entertain her as a pumped.
  • Establishing Milk Supply-Pumping consistently early on will help provide a plentiful and steady milk supply early. Pumping after feedings sends a signal to your body to make more milk since you are pumping after feeding. Since Little Joy was a Babywise baby since she was born, I was able to anticipate when she would likely nurse next so I was never worried that I would not have milk when it was the next feeding time.
  • Storage-Pumping regularly allows you to store milk away for bottles. I use the Lansinoh Storage Bags and LOVE them, be careful because they can get holes in them. We learned the hard way to a)freeze in 2 and 3 oz increments to prevent overfilling and allow for ANY size bottle to be made and b) freeze them laying FLAT. Storage is great for:
  1. Dream feeding your baby
  2. Allowing others to feed your baby (which means a very deserved and needed break for mommy)
  3. Thinning baby food in the future
  4. Providing you peace of mind that your baby will have mommy’s milk for a while after (and if) your milk supply runs out or you decide to stop nursing
Features to Consider when Buying a Pumps
  • Electric vs Manual-Electric is nice because you can multi-task while you pump AND it better mimics your baby’s sucking. Most resources recommend a manual pump if you will only pump occasionally. I originally I thought I would only pump occasionally but once I realized I could store and increase my supply, I knew I would pump a lot!
  • Dual vs Single-Dual is a great feature because you can get twice the milk/stimulation in half the time. Some woman prefer to only pump on one side at a time because they only feed on one side each nursing period. I have always nursed and pumped on both sides every nursing period/pumping session.
  • Portability-Depending on your life style you may want the option to pump in the car using batteries or a car adaptor. My pump (the Avent duo) did not come with either (you can buy the car adaptor separate) and for the next baby (assuming we are blessed with a baby #2 one day) I will purchase the car adaptor.

Pump Review
(Please submit your reviews on pumps by sending an email to kelly.g.grant@gmail.com)

Medela Pump In Style
  • Price: Relatively Expensive ($279 on amazon) but it does come with a bag, ice packs and a few bottles
  • Ease of Use: VERY easy to use
  • Replacement Parts: These are EASY to find at any store that sells baby products and the parts are fairly inexpensive.
  • Vacuum: You can change the amount of sucking easily however there is not much “tweaking” you can do to the amount of the sucking. This makes it difficult to mimic your baby’s sucking (which is the goal).
  • Overall: When I used this pump, the amount of milk I got was much less than with the Avent Isis Duo. I loved that the parts were easy to find and very easy to clean. I borrowed the motor and then purchased all the replacement parts so I do not know all the in's and outs of the product when purchased NEW.

Avent Isis IQ Duo (I recommend this pump!)
  • Price: Relatively Expensive ($249 on amazon), however it comes with 4 bottles, ice packs and lots of other bells and whistles
  • Ease of Use: Slightly complicated, but after several uses it is easy to use
  • Replacement Parts: They are more difficult to find and so far I think they can only be purchased online. The parts are a little more expensive compared to replacement parts of other pumps. There is one part that you have to call Phillips to order, I haven’t been able to find it anywhere.
  • Vacuum: LOVE this feature! You actually manually decide the sucking strength to best match your baby’s sucking with a handle. After 2-3 squeezes—it remembers it! This also means you can set the sucking strength until let down and then change it or change it whenever you want!
  • Overall: I highly recommend this pump but warn buyers that there are more parts to it than most pumps, but the extra parts are what makes it worth it. I get a lot more milk in a lot shorter time with this pump. Also, I can use this pump manually if I so desire. One drawback, is this pump is cannot convert to batter operated, but there is a car power cord available (purchased separately). It is worth the money!

Discalimer: As I said in previous breastfeeding articles, if you did not or do not breastfeed---that is perfectly fine! We must all make decisions that best suit our families. These articles are intended to serve as a reference for those who want to breastfeed OR are trying to breastfeed as long as possible! Remember to always do what is best for your unique family!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Blueberries

Blueberries are high in fiber, rich in antioxidants and are packed with vitamin A and C; not to mention they can help with constipation!! For more information on the goodness of blueberries, check out wholesomebabyfood.com's site on Blueberries!

I loved the idea of introducing blueberries because it will be a wonderful finger food for a toddler, just grab, wash and GO! Blueberries were enticing to introduce also because they can help with constipation and I am always looking for ways to de-clogg Little Joy. I have heard mixed information about introducing berries before one year because they tend to be an allergen. After much debate, I went to my two main resources (the book "Super Baby Food" and the wholesomebabyfood.com website) to see what they recommended. Both shared that they can be introduced around 8-10 months since they are not the same kind of berries that are the usual culprits for allergies. PLUS my husband and I both do not have any food allergies that we know of, so her likelihood of having them is very low. I did decide to COOK the blueberries before serving them to make them easier to digest; after a year I will just puree.

WARNING: DO NOT feed WHOLE blueberries to a baby or young toddler, they can cause choking. Most recommendations are to wait until at least 3 years old before offering the blueberry whole. Also, you may want to ask your doctor before introducing berries if you baby is less than a year; I did not but you may want to since it has been known to be an allergen.

Ingredients:
Fresh blueberries (1 pint)
Water

Steps for COOKED puree:
  • Wash blueberries
  • Place berries in a pot and just barely cover the blueberries in water (about 1-2 inches of water)
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes
  • Remove blueberries from pot with a slotted spoon and place in your puree device
  • Puree until smooth adding blueberry juice (the water from your pot) until desired consistency is reached
  • SAVE THE LIQUID from your pot; just strain it before saving! This blueberry juice is great for adding to cereal to change things up a bit. I also froze some of the juice.
  • Freeze puree until frozen solid (about 12-24 hours if using ice cube trays) and after frozen, place in freezer zip lock bags until ready to use (I like to save about 2 servings in the refrigerator)
  • Uses for the puree: I prefer to add the puree to other foods such as pears, apples, yogurt, cereal etc.
  • Uses for the juice: So far all I have tried was adding it to cereal along with milk.
Steps for UNcooked puree (it is recommended you cook the puree if introducing prior to 9 to 1o months old, see below)
  • Wash blueberries
  • Puree using liquid (probably water) to thin until you have reached your desired consistency
  • Freeze puree until frozen solid (about 12-24 hours if using ice cube trays) and after frozen, place in freezer zip lock bags until ready to use (I like to save about 2 servings in the refrigerator)

NOTE: one ice cube is about an ounce of food

Timing: 8 to 9 months for COOKED puree; 9-12 months for raw mashed blueberries; 3 years for whole blueberries (depending on who you ask)

Storage: According to "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron, this can be stored in the freezer for up to one year.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy---see right side of page for rating descriptions.
Epicutie Little Joy LOVED her blueberry cereal, blueberry apples and blueberry pears! I will try them with bananas and yogurt soon. I do not ALWAYS add fruit to her cereal because I want her to be able to eat it plain if needed. It also seemed to help de-clogg her, maybe a bit too much :)

Difficulty: 1 out of 5---this is SO easy!!!

In the pot with water, ready to cook

Simmering, errr...boiling here :)

I used a chopper vs a food processor since we are trying to move to thicker foods now that Little Joy is getting older.
The juice remaining

I stored the juice in the jar for 2 days before freezing.


Little Joy's reaction to blueberries; not too excited but definitely wanted more. At the end you will see a blueberry explosion!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Breastfeeding 101: Getting Started

Here we begin a series of articles concerning breast feeding; the series includes Breastfeeding 101 (Getting Started), Why pump?, Breastfeeding Older Babies, and Common Obstacles/Troubleshooting.

A big part of our (both the authors) feeding approach is breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. It is optimal for both babies and mothers. For babies it can protect against infections and reduce the rates of later health problems including diabetes, obesity, and asthma. Breast milk has the perfect combination of proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. For more information on the advantages of breastfeeding for both mother and baby please see the American Pregnancy Association site.

Before I continue, let me say if you did not or do not breastfeed---that is perfectly fine! We must all make decisions that best suit our families. This post is intended to serve as a reference for those who want to breastfeed OR are trying to breastfeed as long as possible! For us, breastfeeding has been the best choice for our two families.

Getting Started (pre-baby and the first 10 days):
  • Commitment vs. Decision-Breastfeeding is a commitment by both mom and dad not merely a decision that should be made on a whim. A commitment is something we will strive to stick with through the peaks and inevitable valleys; much like our marriages (it is not a direct analogy to marriage, a commitment to marriage is MUCH more important). Making the commitment does not mean you forsake your sanity to breastfeed, it means you do not allow one set back deter you---you give it your all. KNOW that it is a commitment and KNOW there will be both tough and easy times.
  • Set goals and expectations-Set an initial goal for how long you would like to breastfeed. I would recommend everyone try it for at least 2 months. After 2 months, mommy and baby are much more comfortable with the experience (not to mention, baby’s sleep has stabilized, everyone is more rested and mommy has healed significantly). I committed to 2 months initially and then each month after that I evaluate and must recommit myself each month. I could NOT commit to a year up front, it seemed too big and too scary! But, YOU and your husband decide. Your decision may be different than mine. And remember have realistic expectations: your body simply may not make much milk or you may physically not be able to breastfeed. All you can do is TRY your best and the rest is up to our heavenly father!
  • Be patient-Be patient with your milk coming in; it takes everyone a different amount of time. Do not be afraid to supplement with formula AFTER nursing; its OK. It can take a week for some moms to get their supply up to the level it needs to be. Just wait and try not to give up too quickly. Pray for patience and pray for God to bless your supply.
  • Pumping-Although we have a separate article on pumping (Breastfeeding: Why Pump?) here are a few things to remember. Start pumping right when you get home from the hospital. Pump after every feeding. Do not dismay, you may not get much at first, but soon you will. This will help your milk come in faster. After your milk comes in, you may decide not to pump as much, but I pump A TON so that I can have a GREAT storage in case something DOES happen to my supply (that was part of the commitment I made up front). Pumping can also help increase your supply as well as give you a liquid to thin your baby foods with in the future :)
  • Keeping baby awake to ensure a full feeding-I struggled tremendously with this for the first 3-4 months. Little Joy would ALWAYS nap before every feeding (she is a babywise baby) but yet would still fall asleep during feedings. It is essential babies learn to take a FULL FEEDING otherwise, you may have a snacker on your hands and you will be feeding them every hour or two even when they are older (whew, that must be exhausting). Here are some tips to keep baby awake (I rotated through these since using any one tactic too much rendered it ineffective): cool wash cloth, stroking feet, talking to them, saying their name, switching sides, rousing more rigorously before eating, remove clothing, skin to skin, clicking your tongue and moving the arm on top up and down/side to side.
  • How Often to Feed-This is tricky. For the first 10-14 days, I would not worry about the clock. Feed when the baby seems hungry however DO NOT BE SCARED TO WAKE UP YOUR BABY TO FEED THEM. I woke up Little Joy every 3 hours during the day/evening to feed her, but if she needed food sooner--she would get it. Waking to feed her was important because 1) it helped establish a stable milk supply for me, 2) she quickly understood the difference between day and night and 3) she was able to get what she needed during the day NOT in the middle of night (she slept from 10 PM until 5-6 am at 3 weeks old). Every baby is different and every 3 hours was perfect for Little Joy; most babies need to eat close to every 2.5 hours at first.
  • Encouragement-This was vital for me. My husband and friends (especially the other author) have encouraged me throughout this journey. I would not be nursing at 8.5 months and one week had it not been for them. This also means, encourage others!
  • Ignore criticism-If people discourage you from doing this or tell you to give up when you express any challenges just remember---you made whatever decision you made because it was best for your family's unique situation. Also, just because a baby is on formula does not mean things are easy; there are challenges no matter what feeding approach you use!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mangoes

I honestly gave Little Joy mangoes just because it sounded neat to try!

Ingredients:
Mango
Liquid for thinning

Steps:
  • Wash Mango
  • Dice mango
  • Steam mangoes until tender: Place mangoes in mesh colander and then inside a pot with a few inches of boiling water (mangoes are not touching the water)
  • Scoop out meat from peel
  • Puree until smooth adding liquid until desired consistency is reached
  • Freeze until frozen solid (about 12-24 hours) and after frozen, place in freezer zip lock bags until ready to use (I like to save about 2 servings in the refrigerator)
NOTE: one ice cube is about an ounce of food


Yield: 1 small mango yielded about 4 oz

Timing:
8 months

Storage: According to "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron, this can be stored in the freezer for ten months.

Epicutie Rating: Not so sure I like it....yet---see right side of page for rating descriptions.
Epicutie Little Joy was a little taken back by mangoes. We will wait until the summer to try again

Difficulty: 3 out of 5---it was hard to get the peel and seed out!



Video of Little Joy trying mangoes, coming soon!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thinning Your Baby Food

Thinning your baby food (particularly purees) is a very important step in the baby food making process because:
  • It gives you the opportunity to add additional nutrients by adding breast milk (or formula)
  • It helps the foods be easier to digest due to the extra liquids in it
Here are a few tips that may be help as you thin your foods:
  • Water can be used to thin, however avoid using water that ROOT foods were boiled in (i.e. carrots). There could be traces of nitrates in them. See this article for more information on nitrates: Myths and Facts About Nitrates and Homemade Baby Food
  • I prefer to use breast milk when I thin foods since its filled with all sorts of good nutrients. The only down side is this requires you to pump and some women do not yield much when pumping. Formula may be used as well.
  • I have learned over time, it is easier to thin during the reheating process versus the cooking/freezing process. I thin the foods enough to make it fairly easy to place in the ice cube trays and that is all. When reheating, it is easy to get the foods too hot. I use refrigerated breast milk to thin and cool foods at the time I serve---it has been working great.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great first food; they are high in fiber and vitamin A and are great if your Little One is having elimination issues, which is a constant struggle with Little Joy. This is also a great food for the whole family to enjoy so when you make some for your Little One make some for the entire family! When you heat the potatoes, set aside some cooked ones to enjoy with a little cinnamon and sugar as a side dish for Mom, Dad or other family members!

Making Sweet Potatoes is easy as 1-2-3....4, 5 :)

Ingredients:
Sweet Potatoes (yes, yams are the same thing as Sweet Potatoes in the U.S.)
Liquid for thinning

Steps:
  1. Wash potatoes and poke holes in them with a fork
  2. Microwave until tender (I did 6 potatoes and it took about 18 minutes in a 950 watt microwave); allow to cool, they will be HOT
  3. Cut potatoes in half to scoop the "meat" out with a spoon (to remove from skins) and place in your preferred puree device
  4. ***Puree until smooth adding liquid until desired consistency is reached (when I made these the second time, I used water vs. breast milk since I didnt have any sitting around)
  5. Freeze until frozen solid (about 12-24 hours) and after frozen, place in freezer zip lock bags until ready to use (I like to save about 2 servings in the refrigerator)
***I did not thin the potatoes much, only enough so that they would puree well. The potatoes seem to get hot FAST when I reheat to serve, so I add breast milk to cool them--that's when the thinning takes place for me.***

NOTE: one ice cube is about an ounce of food


Yield: 6 small/medium sweet potatoes yielded 41 cubes of food

Timing:
A great first food! 4 months, although the AAP recommends waiting to introduce solids until closer to 6 months vs. four

Storage: According to "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron, this can be stored in the freezer for two months.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy--see right side of page for rating descriptions.
Epicutie Little Joy loves these every time she eats them!

Difficulty: 1 out of 5

After washing (there are 8 here, but 2 were for Mommy and Daddy)

After cooking

After scooping out the meat.
Be careful, sometimes when you scoop out the meat towards the bottom of the potato (see picture above), it will be VERY fibrous so try to avoid those areas when scooping it out because it will not thin well. It is safe to eat, just tough to puree.


After covering with plastic wrap---these are headed to the freezer!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

No Steamer, No Problem

Steaming is an excellent way to cook your food items, especially veggies, before you puree them!

Here are some of the benefits of steaming:
  • It avoids the loss of nutrients through leaching since the food is not submerged into liquid.
  • Cools relatively quickly.
  • Works really well on delicate foods, like seafood (yes we will be adding some baby seafoods in the future!).
A lot of people think that you need special equipment to steam and/or find the idea of steaming daunting. I absolutely used to, but it is very easy. I don't own a steamer or even a special steam basket, but I have started steaming anything that will eventually be pureed.

Most people have the following items in their kitchen:
  1. Metal collander
  2. A stock pot with a lid, even a deep sauce pan can work.
That's it! That's all you need to be able to steam your food.

Step 1: Fill the stock pot with a couple of inches of water.
Step 2: Bring the water to a boil.
Step 3: Place the colander with your food item into the stock pot.

Step 4: Put the lid on the stock pot.

Step 5: Steam for as long you need to until the food is cooked! The time will depend on the food.

Its pretty simple. I hope that you get the idea from the pictures. I would have liked to have offered a better Bird's Eye View, but I am pretty short and was even standing on my tiptoes to get these!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Butternut Squash Apple Bake

I wanted to test out some seasonal foods with Little Joy while the foods are available very fresh. Here is the first in a series of fall foods!

Ingredients:
One Butternut squash
2-4 Apples (I use fuji)

Steps:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Cut butternut squash in half long ways (my husband has to help me do this---its HARD)
  • Remove/scoop out all seeds and fibers from squash
  • Place butternut squash in a pan cut sides facing up
  • Peel and dice apples
  • Place apple pieces in the squash where the seeds used to be
  • Pour water over the apple pieces until the place where the seeds are is filled with water and apples completely (you can sprinkle with cinnamon but talk to your doctor before introducing spices, Little Joy has a lot of digestion issues so she wont be getting seasoning for a long time)
  • Cook at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until the squash is soft
  • Scoop out squash meat and apples
  • Puree and add water (or breast milk/formula) until it reaches the desired consistency
  • Allow to cool
  • Pour into your freezing method (I prefer to pour into ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap)
  • Freeze until frozen solid (about 12-24 hours)
  • After frozen, place in freezer zip lock bags until ready to use (I like to save about 2 servings in the refrigerator)
**NOTE: one ice cube is about an ounce of food**


Timing: Many resources recommend introducing squash veggies around 6-8months months.

Storage: According to "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron, this can be stored in the freezer for two months. Also, fresh whole squash itself (raw and uncut) can be purchased and stored in a dark, well ventilated area place for about 2 months.

Epicutie Rating: Somewhat Yummy--see right side of page for rating descriptions.
Epicutie Little Joy seemed a little confused about this food. Squash has a strong flavor, so I think it took her by surprise. Subsequent exposures revealed she loved it; it took about three or four tries before she loved it.

Miscellaneous: Nutritional information on Winter Sqaush

Difficulty:
3 out of 5 (difficulty is in cutting the squash!!!)

(From left to right) Baking Pumpkin, Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash

After cutting and scooping out the seeds

Prior to baking



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

High Chair Manners

Summary of High Chair Manners:
Because baby and mom will be spending a lot of time together, consider meal time an opportunity to teach basic skills and table manners. Too often parental training is reactive and restrictive, not proactive and directive. It is much easier to train a child in right behaviors that to retrain them once wrong behavior patterns have been established. Make "Train, don't retrain" your motto. I also like "Start as you mean to go on."

If you think that you will be fine with your baby doing any of the Common High Chair Problems listed below as they grow into a toddler, then that is perfectly fine. Every parent must decide what behavior is acceptable to them. However, if you think that that is behavior that you will quickly grow tired of, then consider starting out with a proactive mentality that you will work to establish a right pattern by teaching your baby where to put his or her hands first, rather than working to correct an undesirable behavior, such as putting hands in food, then in hair etc, later.

Important High Chair Manner Concepts:
  • Self-Control Training With Hands: Meal time is a great time to teach babies self control with their hands. This is so important, and can be taught from quite young. This skill can continue beyond the high chair, but this is a opportune time to work with little ones. Some behaviors must be restricted. For example, do not allow a baby to play with a puree with his or her hands. The food usually ends up everywhere! A baby also does not need to hold the utensil that you are using to feed him or her, wait until the baby has the necessary fine motor skills to be able to feed themselves before you consider allowing them to feed themselves with a spoon, otherwise you will just end up with a big mess on your hands. Meal time is not play time. Initially you may have to help your baby with this one. First correct verbally with a "Where do your hands go?" and then physically restrain the child's hands. Eventually a simple verbal correction is all that should be required.
  • The Importance of Verbal Instruction: Babies are able to understand many things, long before they can verbalize them. Don't assume that your baby cannot understand what you are saying to them and remember that the language comprehension skills develop fast. A six month old can understand some basic things such as their names, but by the time a baby gets to ten months old, he or she can understand quite a bit!
Common High Chair Problems:
  • Flipping the Plate
  • Dropping and Throwing Food
  • Playing with Food
  • Placing Messy Hands in the Hair
  • Banging on the Tray
  • Standing in the High Chair
  • Arching the Back
  • Spitting Raspberries
  • Screaming
Methods of Correction: Parents should help infants develop healthy behavior patterns that will enable a child to learn about life. Those patterns include paying attention, focusing, and concentrating on what he or she is doing - all fundamental skills of life. The parent will encourage children in right behavior and by correcting wrong behavior. In a pre-toddler phase of development, behaviors needing correction are initially wrong functionally but not morally.
  • Verbal Correction: This requires the exercise of verbal authority. For example, try a firm "That's a NO" or "Where do our hands go?" or whatever phrase you use.
  • Isolation in the Crib: Removing a child from an act or place of consequence and putting the child in his or her crib. Even a very young child can learn cause-and-effect relationships and that behavioral expectations are not negotiable.
  • Loss of a Privilege or a Toy: This is a logical consequence that works effectively. The purpose of logical consequences in pre-toddler training is to reinforce your verbal instructions.
  • A Light to Moderate Squeeze to the Hand: Applying moderate discomfort as a method of correction is reserved for the older, more mobile pre-toddler whose hands are touching what they should not be. It is not used as a punishment, but as an attention getting device. A squeeze on the hand, when accompanied by a verbal correction acts as a deterrent to wrong and health threatening behaviors.
This is just a summary for anyone reading this blog. A more complete description of High Chair Manners can be found in On Becoming Babywise II.

Personal Note (from Stori):
One of the things that I love about Babywise is that it has given me a lot of freedom that I normally would not have thought I would be able to have with a young one. For example, I used to think that it would be impossible to go to dinner with a toddler because I had heard so many horror stories of toddlers misbehaving - throwing food, putting food in their hair, and generally making a HUGE mess.

Learning about High Chair Manners through Babywise has made me confident that I will be able to teach Little Frances how to behave at meal times and make eating out a pleasant experience for the family rather than a difficult situation to be avoided. Plus, I don't want to have to end up with puree all over me and our kitchen after every meal time at home! Of course, no infant or toddler is perfect so I expect that we will have slip ups and my first attempt at high chair manners was very humbling :), but I am just going to keep trying.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Green Beans

Green beans are a staple food in our family. We (my husband and I) eat them all the time--in every way shape or form: sauteed, boiled, canned, frozen, with toppins and without. We love them. So, it is imperative that Little Joy learn to enjoy green beans!

Ingredients:
Frozen Green Beans (organic as available)
You can use fresh of course, but since this blog is about our adventures, I wanted to share what I did
Steps:
  • Cook according to package directions (watch for any salts added), cook until tender!
  • Puree in your food processor of choice; the green beans will not get completely smooth like other foods we have posted about
  • Allow to cool
  • Pour into your freezing method (I prefer to pour into ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap)
  • Freeze until frozen solid (about 12-24 hours)
  • After frozen, place in freezer zip lock bags until ready to use (I like to save about 2 servings in the refrigerator)
**NOTE: one ice cube is about an ounce of food**

Timing: Many resources recommend introducing green beans around 6-8months months. I introduced them at 6 months and then later discovered that many babies reject homemade green beans since they cannot be completely smoothed in the puree process. To test this theory, I am going to offer store bought green beans which ARE perfectly smoothed. I will post a blog about the results.

Storage: According to "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron, green beans can be in the freezer for two months.

Epicutie Rating: Sour Puss--see right side of page for rating descriptions.
Epicutie Joy has been offered green beans 4-5 times. Although she takes 2-3 bites fine, she will not take more than that. Based on the discovery that many babies do not like homemade green beans until much later, we will wait to attempt green beans again until 7-8 months. Remember, if you do not succeed, try, try again!

Difficulty:
1 out of 5


Green bean puree, notice the texture

I learned that the foods are much easier to "load" in the ice cube trays if I place them in a measuring up to pour. It is also less messy :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Applesauce

Apples (and applesauce) are not only tasty, but it also goes good with many other foods (winter squash, cereals, other fruits). Do not be afraid to mix foods together and taste your baby's pallet! Here is some additional information about apples that is GREAT!

Little Joy loves apples, by themselves or mixed with other foods---its always a hit. However, Little Joy has shown a tendency to prefer apples warm or room temperature vs. cold. So, if your little one does not like them at first, try warming them to see what happens.

Ingredients:
Fuji Apples
Steps:
  • Wash, peel and core apples
  • Chop into medium sized chunks
  • Place in pan and fill with water just covering the apples(OR you can steam them, but I do not have a steamer so I boil)
  • Boil until tender (be careful not to boil too long since the nutrients will all come out if you boil too long)
  • Puree in your food processor of choice
  • Allow to cool
  • Pour into your freezing method (I prefer to pour into ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap)
  • Freeze until frozen solid (about 12-24 hours)
  • After frozen, place in freezer zip lock bags until ready to use (I like to save about 2 servings in the refrigerator)
**NOTE: one ice cube is about an ounce of food**

Timing: Many resources recommend introducing apples around 6 months

Yield: 1/2 cup applesauce per apple

Storage: According to "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron, applesauce can be in the freezer for two months.

Miscellaneous: I found that peeling them shortways rather than around in a circle was faster. But a warning---your hand will get sore after all that peeling!

Money Matters: Please keep in mind, these calculations are approximations and prices vary depending on where you live. The standard of living where I am at is signficantly higher than other places in the country. I bought 12 apples (about 5.5 pounds) for $7.99 which yielded approximately 56 ice cubes of applesauce; $.14 per cube. I guesstimate that it takes 2-3 cubes to equal ONE Gerber apple container. There are TWO containers packaged together when you buy Gerber applesauce; they cost about $1.09 per package here. SO...
.14 per cube * 3 cubes per container * 2 containers = .86 (this is how much it cost ME to make one Gerber applesauce package)
Total savings PER PACKAGE making at home vs. buying = .23
That does not seem like much until you think about baby eating one container per meal several times a week---it adds up!

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in my Tummy--see right side of page for rating descriptions. Epicutie Joy prefers apples warmed or room temperature. Also, when I made my second batch I left a little texture in them and she did NOT enjoy that at all.

Difficulty:
2 out of 5


I bought these two crates at Costco. $7.99 for 12 apples, about 5.5 pounds. I made one crate in the pictures below.

Peeling, coring and dicing the apples

There were two pots like this to make 12 apples worth of food.

After cooking, pureed them until smooth.


I froze this many and reserved about 8 servings in the fridge or for my husband and I to eat (they are THAT yummy that we ate some)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Basic Carrot Puree

Basic Carrot Puree is easy and delicious!

Ingredients:
Raw Organic Carrots
Preferred Liquid of Thinning (I use breast milk but water or formula is good too!)
Steps:
  • Wash and peel carrots
  • Chop carrots into medium sized chunks
  • Place carrots in pan and fill with water just covering the carrots (OR you can steam them, but I do not have a steamer so I boil)
  • Boil until tender (be careful not to boil too long since the nutrients will all come out if you boil too long)
  • Puree in your food processor of choice
  • Pour into your freezing method (I prefer to pour into ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap)
  • Freeze until frozen solid (about 12-24 hours)
  • After frozen, place in freezer zip lock bags until ready to use (I like to save 2 servings in the refrigerator)
Timing: Many resources recommend introducing carrots around 6-7 months
Yield: 1-1.25 cups puree per pound of carrots
Storage: According to "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron, pears can be in the freezer for two months and refrigerator 1-2 days.
Miscellaneous: Carrots can be mixed with many things (peas, apples, pears, etc). See www.wholesomebabyfood.com for other ideas on carrots!
Test Subject Rating: Yummy in my Tummy--see right side of page for rating descriptions (Little Joy enjoys carrots with apples too)
Difficulty: 1 out of 5






Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pear Puree

Making pear puree is simple, fast and tasty!

Ingredients:
Bartlett Pears (these are the yellow/greenish pears)
Steps:
  • Wash and peel pears
  • Puree in your food processor of choice
  • Pour into your freezing method (I prefer to pour into ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap)
  • Freeze until frozen solid (about 12-24 hours)
  • After frozen, place in freezer zip lock bags until ready to use (I like to save 2 servings in the refrigerator)
Yield: 1/2 cup puree per pear
Storage: According to "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron, pears can be in the freezer for up to a year and refrigerator 1-2 days.
Miscellaneous: Pears can mixed with many things to make foods more appealing (prunes, cereal, etc.). Pears are also good at moving the digestive system along!
Test Subject Rating: Yummy in my Tummy --see right side of page for rating descriptions (Little Joy has found a favorite food)
Difficulty: 1 out of 5


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Little Tummy Yummies

About the Authors

This blog was started by two Babywise pen pals to document our adventures in high chair manners, making our own baby food and doing our bests to raise happy, healthy, thriving little ones!

Epicutie #1

Epicutie #1

Little Joy at 2 years, Sept 2012

Epicutie #2

Epicutie #2
Little Frances

Epicutie #3

Epicutie #3
Little Asher at 11 months, Sept 2012

Epicutie #4

Epicutie #4
Little Elizabeth, July 2013
  • Yummy in the Tummy: Epicutie thoroughly enjoyed each bite
  • Somewhat yummy: Epicutie seemed to somewhat enjoy the food at first, but seemed to like it less with subsequent bites
  • Not so sure I like it...yet: Epicutie somewhat rejected the first bites, but seemed intrigued. The next exposure may be better!
  • Confused: Epicutie rejected the first bites, perhaps due to texture or strong flavor.
  • Sour Puss: Epicutie gave a sour face indicating she did not like the food. However--if at first you do not succeed, try, try again!

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