Friday, November 19, 2010


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

Liquid for thinning

  • 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

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 :)

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

  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

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!

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

  • 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

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.

I am a warrior!

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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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