Thursday, April 28, 2011

Steamed Asparagus

Asparagus, not a food many people enjoy but yet it is packed full of iron and fiber. Iron rich foods have been the theme lately, so it made sense to test something asparagus related. For more nutritional information on asparagus, check out's asparagus page.

As I mentioned in my Creamy Asparagus Soup post, I was shocked that Little Joy loved the plain steamed asparagus but not the soup. As a general rule, the more flavor packed something is, the more she seems to like it; not so in this case!

  • 1 pound asparagus with bottom inch of stalk cut off (I would do less if you can if this is the first time your little one has tried this)
  • Seasonings if desired (My mother is a cooking expert and she recommends no seasoning for asparagus since it has a strong flavor on its own)
  • If using a steamer, steam according to the directions with your appliance
  • If using a metal colander and boiling water (see post "No Steamer, No Problem") then steam until tender; about 15-20 minutes
  • Serve warm and chopped into finger food/bite sized pieces
  • OR puree adding water to thin as necessary
Yield: Depends on how much you steam.

Storage: Fridge for 3-4 days; I would not recommend freezing.

Difficulty: 1 out of 5; super easy and a great nutritional side item for lunch or dinner

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy--see right side of page for descriptions
Little Joy surprised me by gobbling up 4 stalks at one meal. Maybe it was because it was new, maybe it was just a good day but either way I was so excited. My husband and I love steamed asparagus, so this is a great family side item for us!

No pictures, sorry guys!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Creamy Asparagus Soup

Asparagus, not a food many people enjoy but yet it is packed full of iron and fiber. Iron rich foods have been the theme lately, so it made sense to test something asparagus related. For more nutritional information on asparagus, check out's asparagus page.

I wanted to try this particular recipe because it was not just PLAIN asparagus; I thought that would ease Little Joy into it. However, as you will see in the epicutie rating, she was not a fan. Oddly, she loved plain steamed asparagus; I was shocked! Just because this epicutie does not like it does not mean yours wont, so try it out and let us know what you think!!!

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen asparagus or 1 pound fresh (diced and with an inch or so of the "bottom" of the asparagus removed because it can be tough)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup fat free plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cooked and diced chicken breast
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and sauté until tender.
  3. Add asparagus, chicken broth, basil and garlic powder and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until asparagus is tender.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt and chicken.
  6. Purée in batches in a blender (I used a chopper because I do not have a blender)
  7. Serve warm
Yeild: TONS

Storage: Fridge for several days. I lost track of time and forgot to freeze this, so I am not sure how well (or not) it will freeze--sorry readers!

Timing: I would recommend 8-10 months until your baby has any gas or tummy issues in which case maybe 12 months would be better. After you puree this it is pretty thin so even babies with few teeth can eat it.

Difficulty: 3 of 5 since it over all took awhile between chopping everything, simmering and pureeing. It was not a difficult recipe just time consuming.

Epicutie Rating: Sour Puss--see right side of page for descriptions
I am actually sorta glad Little Joy did not enjoy this dish because I was worried people would think I was exaggerating about Little Joy thinking most every food was "Yummy in the Tummy". I suspect the yogurt is what she did not like. Little Joy does NOT like the brand of plain yogurt I bought this last time. We attempted this food several times and with each attempt she liked it less and less. BUT as I said in the introduction---she LOVED plain steamed asparagus. Clearly it was not the asparagus flavor she did not like. Just because this epicutie does not like it does not mean yours wont, so try it out and let us know what you think!!!

A random note here...I recommend trying EVERY food 8-12 times over the course of a few weeks before "giving up" for a while. Remember, all foods are new to our little ones so it is natural that they will baulk at a few things. By "giving up" I mean, taking a break for a month or so before trying the food again or trying a new preparation of it. Our tastes buds are constantly evolving. Remember.... persevere, persevere, persevere.

Step 2: Sauté onions until tender

Step 4: Allowing to simmer

Step 5: Adding cooked chicken and yogurt

Before pureeing
Step 6: After pureeing
Just seeing and smelling this made her make a strange face.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chicken Sweet Potato Lentils

We continue on our journey into the wonderful world of lentils with this post. For more information about the goodness of lentils, check out's great information on lentils. Also

I was perplexed when I started to actually prepare the "Chicken Potato Lentils" receipe on's site. The directions listed ingredients that were not in ingredient list so, I improvised. If your little one does not like this dish---blame me because I kinda made it up!


  • 2 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup of red lentils (or check out this website with some lentil cooking guidelines)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 1 small sweet potato that has been peeled and diced
  • 1/4 carrots diced/sliced
  • 1 uncooked chicken breast diced into small pieces
  • Dash of lemon pepper

  1. Spread lentils out in a single layer on a white kitchen towel or a light colored work surface. Check for and discard any dirt, tiny stones, and damage lentils.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large or medium pot.
  3. Bring to a boil
  4. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to simmer approximately 20 minutes or until veggies are soft and lentils have melted (you will know what I mean by melted once you check your dish after 20 minutes; also I covered my pot for about 3/4 of the cooking to ensure the veggies got soft)
  5. Allow to cool, but serve warm
Yield: Probably about 6-10 meals. Maybe, depends on how much your little one eats at each meal.

Storage: Refrigerator for about 3-5 days and freezer for a month maybe. Just guessing here

Timing: 10 months due to the chunks of chicken and lentils. The potatoes and carrots get very very soft so not many teeth are needed for that. It is really the lentils and chicken chunks that make me recommend this for an older baby.

Epicutie Rating: Somewhat Yummy -- See right side of page for descriptions
Little Joy liked the first few bites but became less and less enthusiastic with each bite. As we offered this meal again over the next few days, she started turning her nose up at it. I think I will freeze the right and try again in a week or two.

Step 1: Separate lentils

Step 3: Mix all ingredients together

Step 5: Allow to cool

First bite...hmmm

HEHEHE, that was good

I am pretending to like this mommy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cream of Spinach with Lentils over Brown Rice

Continuing with my theme of iron rich foods....what iron rich food theme would be complete without some spinach thrown in there? I was stoked to try this recipe because the other two dishes containing spinach, Little Joy Loved (scrambled eggs with steamed spinach and Vegetable Lasagna). This recipe came from and southern food at

I tasted the cream of spinach and liked it too. The cream of spinach would taste great by itself too OR offered an alternative of serving with Roux (which I had to google to find out what it was--basically butter and flour). If you want to make it with roux, check out the site.

  • 3/4 pound fresh spinach (my stores were out or did not sell fresh so I used bagged spinach, sometimes you have to improvise)
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped or grated sweet onion
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teasp minced fresh basil (I did not have fresh on hand so I used dried and it worked fine)
  • Cooked brown rice (cooked according to package)
  • Cooked red lentils (cooked according to package)

  1. Cook brown rice according to package instructions (this usually takes 45 minutes, so I would start this first)
  2. Cook red lentils according to package instructions or if there are not any, check out this website about cooking lentils
  3. Wash, trim and chop spinach into fairly small pieces.
  4. Place spinach in large sauce pan (spinach cooks down a lot so if your pan looks not worry)
  5. Stir in sweet onion and garlic.
  6. Cook over medium heat covered for approximately 5-8 minutes. Be sure to shake the pan often to ensure the veggies do not get burned.
  7. Drain veggies well (mine did not need to be drained, maybe the water cooked out)
  8. Stir in Olive Oil and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, continue to stir constantly (I am not good at doing anything constantly when Little Joy is awake, so just do your best)
  9. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt, salt, pepper and basil.
  10. While warm, mix in about 2/3 serving spinach mixture with 1/3 lentils or 1/2 and 1/2, whatever proportions you think your Little One will enjoy. I would not mix everything all together until you see how your Little One likes it.
  11. Pour spinach/lentil mixture over brown rice, stir and serve warm.
Yield: 3 servings for a 12 month old good eater :)

Timing: 10 months or later; there are some strong flavors in here and lentils are best to wait to introduce until 10 months. This food does not require much chewing/grinding so if your Little One does not have many teeth, do not despair!

Storage: I would say 3-5 days in the fridge and I would not recommend freezing this particular dish.

Miscellaneous: Little Joy does not like it when things hang/dangle out of her mouth...she MUST push it all in her mouth. For example, when the stringy spinach would not make it allll the way in her mouth she was using the back of her hand to get it all in her mouth---in other words, this got a bit messy even for my tidy baby to eat.

Difficulty: 3 out of 5 simply because you have to cook three different things all at once AND i consider it difficult when I cannot freeze something because that means I have to MAKE it more often.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy -- see right side of page for rating descriptions
In looking back at all my ratings I notice that my epicutie loves almost everything. I promise I am not exaggerating. She gobbled up a HUGE bowl of this.


Step 9: All ingredients incorporated for the cream of spinach

Step 11: Getting ready to mix the spinach/lentil mixture with rice then---serve!

Checking out the new food

After one bite, signing "more"

TRYING to feed herself, but very unsuccessful with this food.

Yummy in the Tummy!

See....loved it :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Nuggets

I have been posting a number of recipes lately that have iron rich foods as main ingredients and this is one of them. Broccoli is high in fiber, vitamin C, iron and much much more! For more nutritional information on broccoli, check out's information on Broccoli. Broccoli has a very strong flavor, but this recipe seems to tone down the strong flavor to me. If your little one does not like this at first, try it several days in a row at the noon meal (maybe 4 days in a row), take a several day break and then repeat. I will write more on testing new foods in another blog post one day :)

Overall Review: I sampled this food like I do most when I offer it to Little Joy...and I loved it. I might to make these for my husband and I too next time!! I think the texture (somewhat crispy) took Little Joy slightly off guard at first. This makes a great finger food OR food to use with a fork. I had a bit of trouble getting the right ratio, but honestly you just have to eyeball somethings. I halved the recipe that follows.

  • 1 16-oz Package frozen broccoli, cooked, drained, and chopped
  • 1 cup seasoned/Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ cups REAL shredded cheddar cheese (I used medium cheddar)
  • 3 large eggs or 5 egg yolks (If eggs are in a baked good you do not have to worry about it as much, but if your little one is less than a year are not sure what to do ask your pediatrician or use the yolks only)
  • Spices of your choice (garlic, basil, etc--I did not add any this time since I know the bread crumbs I purchase have lots already in them)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside (I used a silpat)
  3. Combine all ingredients and mix well. *Add seasonings if you like - garlic powder, pepper, extra basil & oregano for example. Add a fruit or veggie puree to substitute for the eggs if desired.
  4. Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or squigglies etc..and place on baking tray.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes.
  6. Serve warm - Chop or mash these broccoli nuggets if your baby isn't able to handle bigger finger foods.
Yield: 16 with the half to 3/4 of the recipe.

Serve: Serve warm and mashed up, cut up into bite sized finger food pieces OR if your baby is older give them the whole nugget for them to bite off themselves.

Timing: 8-10 months since broccoli has a strong flavor AND tends to cause gas. If your little one has any tummy issues as mine did, you may want to introduce broccoli later rather than sooner. Be sure to watch your baby carefully as they eat this if they do not have molars. Using this as a finger food is, in my opinion, for the more experienced finger food eater. Even though Little Joy does not have molars, she has demonstrated an ability to (most of the time) bite off small bites from larger foods. I gave this to her as a finger food and also gave her half a nugget to gnaw on. ALSO, she used her fork to pick these up and had a big time!!!

Difficulty: 2 out of 5; simply because it is messy when you make the nugget shapes :)

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy---see right side of page for descriptions
Little Joy made a few funny faces with the first bite, but ended up eating two nuggets for lunch!! This was not the first time she had broccoli, we had to try broccoli about a dozen times prior to this before she liked it. must preserve!


Cooked and chopped broccoli

Step 3: Combine all ingredients.

Step 4: Shape into balls (or whatever fun shape you decide)

Step 6: Serve Warm (this is after fully cooking and flipping after 15 min)

Served chopped up along with one of her favorites, Turkey Loaf (top of plate)

Braving the first bite.

Initial reaction; I think she was expecting something else.

Second bite...and loving it!

Trying a big nugget...and she handled it fine!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bananas and Lentils

Lentils are a fabulous source of protein and fiber and many other nutrients; for more
nutritional information, check out's page on Lentils and Legumes. Since they are packed with so much protein, this is a great option for baby's that may not be too keen on meats (which is not uncommon). This is sort of a sneaky way to get some extra protien in your baby's diet or promote good bowel health :)

Little Joy loved this simple little side dish along with her normal lunch. Its easy and fun to let me test their self feeding with a utensil abilities!

  • 2-2.5 tablespoons cooked red lentils (I made more than this at a time since I was using the lentils for other recipes too)
  • 1/2 medium sized banana
  • Prepare red lentils according to package instructions (or check out this website with some lentil cooking guidelines)
  • Mash banana to desired consistency (by 8 months, most babies can handle chunkier soft foods)
  • Add lentils
  • Mash or mix until well blended
Yield: 1 serving

Serve: Serve this as a side dish or a snack.

Timing: 8-10 months according to I believe lentils are a little tough to digest for younger babies.

Difficulty: 1 our of 5

Epicuite Rating: Yummy in the Tummy -- see right side of page for descriptions
Little Joy loved this simple dish and LOVED trying to feed herself with a spoon!!!

She got a lil excited there at the end! HA!

Take 2

Baby Meatballs

I am always always looking for beef recipes because Little Joy has slightly low iron (she is still within normal range, just the low end of normal range). This caught my eye because it was SO easy. This recipe came from "Super Baby Food" but I added the spices on my own...Little Joy loves her some flavor packed foods!

  • One part beef
  • One part mashed potatoes or raw rolled oats (I used mashed potatoes because I did not have any rolled oats on hand)
  • Pinch of garlic
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Two pinches basil leaves
  1. Preheatoven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix well raw beef with all other ingredients
  3. Form into one inch balls
  4. Place on ungreased cooking sheet
  5. *Bake at 350 degrees for at least 20 minutes or until cooked completely (you could use a meat thermometer but I do not have one so I just sliced into the middle of the biggest one and when it was cooked colored I pulled them; mine took more like 40 minutes)
  6. Drain all fat
  7. Allow to cool completely
*You can also cook in a pan

Yield: Depends on the amounts you use in your "parts" above

Storage: In the fridge for 24 hours, frozen up to a month

Serve: Serve as a finger food along with some other veggies. Also, be sure to avoid cutting this into any size similar to the windpipe (that is true for any food). Can also be spoon fed if yours are not firm enough like mine were :)

Timing: I would wait until 10 months or later. Be sure your baby demonstrates the ability to chew and grind and be sure to watch your baby closely when they eat it.

Miscellaneous: Mine were too soft so I think I had too much potato and not enough meat; but thats ok!! Add your "parts" slowly to avoid this.

Difficulty: 1 out of 5; super quick and easy!

Epicutie Rating: Somewhat Yummy --See right side of page for descriptions
I think when Little Joy tried this she was expecting Turkey Loaf so she took about four in her hand and crammed them in her mouth!! She sorta looked at me like "whaaat??", took and break and then pressed on. She ate about one and a half meatballs. She liked them but not LOVED them.

I recommend this...its an easy way to get some beef in the diet!

Step 2: Beef, herb and potato mixture. As you can see I have too much potato but it still worked.

Step 3: Formed into balls, ready to cook

Step 6: All the fat drained and cooling

Serving as finger food

Epicutie confused by this new thing

Well it's not so bad!

Yeah...I like it!

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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