Friday, January 28, 2011

Turkey Loaf

I will admit I was very skeptical about trying this recipe for Turkey Loaf I found on wholesomebabyfood.com but as it turns out it was a HIT. When reviewing this recipe, I thought it would be a great food because it has everything in it: meat, veggie AND fruit. I am also always looking for good finger food options!

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 whole egg or 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/2 cup pureed carrots (you can use baby food here instead)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (you can use baby food here instead)
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian bread crumbs)
  • pinch of basil
  • pinch of garlic powder
Steps:
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
  2. Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the egg/yolk, carrots, applesauce, spices, bread crumbs and bran and mix well.
  4. If mixture appears too dry, add more carrots or applesauce. If mixture appears too wet, add more bran and/or bread crumbs
  5. Place mix into a lightly oiled (olive oil) loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes covered (to prevent burning) or until an inserted knife comes out clean and turkey is cooked.
  6. Allow to cool, remove loaf from pan and slice as you would for bread. Break into small bits for finger feeding or Mash or chop gently.
Miscellaneous: Cook the ground turkey separately, add the other ingredients and puree if desired. This can also be turkey sticks for toddlers. I cut mine into large pieces and Little Joy loves to eat it. I also HALVED this receipe and still cooked it the same way and it turned out great.

Timing: 9-10 months

Storage: This is not scientific but I stored some in the fridge for two days and froze the rest in 2 serving sized portions in zip lock bags. I plan to use within 1-2 months.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy-see right side of page for descriptions
I was shocked by how much Little Joy loved this; other meats have not been as successful! I find that she is picky about when she is in the mood for finger foods so sometimes she scarfed it down...sometimes she does not.

The final product. Looks yucky huh? HA!

"Hmm...what is this?"

"I like it!"

"OHHHHHHH so good"

Friday, January 14, 2011

Finger Food Thoughts

Little Joy has started into finger foods quite a bit now so as you (and I) venture into the marvelous world of finger foods, a few thoughts:
  • Remember, self feeding is FUN so your baby may baulk at purees after sampling many tasty finger food treats. I would recommend that you offer finger foods as a snack or towards the end of the meal. I *think* most babies should get the majority of the calories from breastmilk/formula and purees up until close to a year sometimes a bit later. Due to their lack of efficiency, they just will not self feed themselves enough calories. I do however offer finger foods before her main meal IF I am not sure she will like the finger food---in other words I need her good and hungry to give it the true test!
  • It is messy! I am such a clean person so this is sometimes hard for me!
  • Watch them carefully, anything can choke them up!
  • Experiment with lots of different foods as finger foods. As you make purees consider saving some aside for a finger food. For example, take the Butternut Squash post we have and cut some dices of squash before pureeing.
  • Store small amounts of finger foods in small zip lock bags and the freeze them. Then, when you need some you can grab, heat (if applicable) and go!!!
  • Sometimes they will just get tired of self feeding because it can be tedious and frustrating for them. Do not be alarmed if your Little One seems to digress a bit; I think they all get lazy about finger foods at some point.
  • Here is a FABULOUS resource on finger foods; click HERE!
Some of our finger food favorites so far:
  • Cherrios
  • Shredded and/or diced soft cheeses (Monterey Jack, cheddar, mozzarella)
  • Grapes (washed, peeled, and cut into 1/4 or 1/2)
  • Steamed baby carrots
  • Diced baked butternut squash
  • Sweet Potato "Fries"
  • Spaghetti
  • Gerber Puffs
  • Gerber Wagon Wheels
  • Graham Crackers
I cannot wait to try some new things soon!!! This is such an exciting time because finger foods means independence and nothing makes me more proud than watching Little Joy gain her independence!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Baby Omelet

This is my FAVORITE food for Little Joy yet!!!! I HIGHLY recommend it!!

Let me begin this post by giving a firm warning to our readers; eggs tend to be an allergen! Please be very careful when introducing eggs. Egg WHITES are generally the allergy culprit. Doctors will advice you against introducing the WHOLE egg before one year but instead try the egg YOLK. If you, your spouse or anyone in your immediate family is allergic to eggs, I would not introduce even the egg yolk.

This was so much fun to make, feed her and watch her attempt to self feed! I cannot wait to try it again! Remember, if your baby has more than one ingredient listed below, I would recommend introducing them one at a time to eliminate any potential allergies.

Ingredients:
  • 2 Egg YOLK (if under one year; and yes TWO egg yolks because just one is not enough to cook well)
  • Formula or breastmilk (we used breastmilk; also Little Joy has had whole milk already, so if your baby has had that; its fine too)
  • Chunky or pureed veggie of your choice (we used steamed baby carrot chunks)
  • Cheese of your choice (we used Monterey Jack Cheese; see this article about cheeses to decide what cheeses are good to start with)
Steps:
  1. Prepare and heat up a small frying pan with olive oil or a small pat of butter (this is where I made a mistake because I was so excited about making this; make sure the pan is nice and hot when you put the eggs on it so they wont crumble. If you splash water on the pan the water should "dance around" and sizzle.)
  2. Whisk milk and egg yolks together
  3. Pour egg mixture into heated and prepared pan
  4. Grate the cheese of your choice
  5. Scramble eggs
  6. Just before they are finished, add the veggie or your choice (chunky steamed baby carrots for us) and scramble until no longer runny
  7. Remove from pan and add cheese on top
  8. Allow to cool, serve warm but not hot
  9. If you are brave----let your little one try this as a finger food!
Miscellaneous: Serve with fruit pieces or pureed fruit for a balanced breakfast! The only thing I will do differently is cook it on a higher heat so that maybe the egg wont be in such small pieces; it was hard for her to self feed. The cheese helped keep it together some. However, maybe thats just how the egg does when it is egg yolk vs the whole egg.

Timing: 9-10 months

Storage: I do not recommend saving any leftovers

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy-see right side of page for descriptions
I was shocked by how much Little Joy loved her very first omlete; I was so convinced she wouldn't like it that I had a back up breakfast ready. It was a big omelet but she ate the majority of it. Although I will stick with cereal and fruit as her "go to breakfast" this is a great meal to mix things up once a week!

Step 2: Egg yolk and milk mixture

Step 4: Grated Monterey Jack cheese (we didn't use that much I just made extra to have on hand as a finger food)

Step 6: Adding carrot chunks; I made the chunks a bit smaller than the size I use for her carrot finger food

Step 7: Finished!!

Step 8: Allowing to cool!

Little Joy sampling it as a Finger Food. She must investigate it first of course!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chicken with Apples

Meats. Yet another interesting adventure into world of textures. Due to her sensitive tummy, Little Joy did not sample any meats until 9 months per the advice of our doctor. I would recommend asking your doctor before introducing any meats. Our doctor encouraged us to start with chicken, then move to turkey then beef and any other meats.

We decided to start with the Chicken and Apples recipe on wholesomebabyfood.com (you will have to scroll down a bit to find it) since Little Joy loves apples. There is not much to this recipe so I did not take any photos this time.

Warning: Meats are not only odd tasting, they are texture radically different from anything your baby has probably had. Be prepared for rejection and remember our mantra "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again"!

Ingredients
  • Cooked chicken (I used 2 chicken breast)
  • Applesauce from 2 apples (here is our applesauce recipe) or you can buy natural applesauce
Steps
  1. Bake chicken (baking maintains the most nutrients, but if you have to cook another way thats fine)
  2. Refrigerate the chicken after it cools and before you cut it (its easier to puree if it is cold)
  3. Meanwhile, Make applesauce (here is our applesauce recipe)
  4. Cut refrigerated chicken into 1 inch cubes
  5. Place chicken and applesauce in food processor; add liquid until you reach your desired consistency and puree until the thickness you want. I did one chicken breast VERY pureed and left the other a bit thicker to see which she liked better
  6. Freeze in cubes for up to a month; serve WARM
Timing: 9 Months (ask your doctor though)

Yield: Knowing that chicken may take several introductions I put less in the cubes for freezing than I normally do. This made about 12-16 oz of food. We may have trouble using it all!

Storage: In the fridge about 2-3 days, in the freezer about a month

Epicutie Rating: Sour Puss-see right side of page for rating descriptions. Little Joy would only eat 2-3 bites before she was signing "finished". We have tried it several times since the initial introduction and she eats more each time. I have a theory that she will like chicken better when she can have it has a finger food. She has enough teeth to eat it that way, but I am scared she will not chew it up enough and then it would be hard to digest.

Difficulty: 2 out 5; its easy just takes a while to make it since you *should* wait for the chicken to cool completely

Blueberries with Cottage Cheese

Welcome to the world of TEXTURE Little Joy as you sample, cottage cheese! After doing a lot of research on diary and cheeses I decide to allow Little Joy to sample her first taste of cottage cheese. Most people balk at cottage cheese, but I have always loved it! As always, wholesomebabyfood.com has some great information on cheeses, when to start and what to start with.

I love the idea of Little Joy getting used to diary before we dive into cow's milk (whenever that happens). We did the 4 day wait rule with yogurt and Little Joy had no reaction-which opened us up to the world of diary. Remember, most babies do not have food aversions (in the beginning) to the tastes as much as they do the texture. I knew this going into testing cottage cheese, so I braced myself for gagging! The great thing about making your baby food from the beginning is your foods will likely not ever be perfectly smooth; I HOPE this pays off in the long run :)

4% cottage cheese is hard to find!! I got lucky and found it packaged as 4-4oz containers; this was great because I could open a small amount at a time. I am sure it is possible to make cottage cheese, but I choose certain things to buy vs. make. Although this is not a recipe here is how I tested cottage cheese with Little Joy:

Ingredients:

Steps:
  • Knowing this was a big texture shock, I served up about 2 oz of cottage cheese with approximately 1/2 oz of blueberry puree. I wanted her to taste SOME of the cheese and not just all blueberry, when I tasted it, it was just a hint of blueberry.
  • Stir well
  • Offer to baby
Timing: 8-10 months; I would not offer this is a first diary nor as a first rich texture food.

Storage: Once you open a container, use it by the sell by date.

Miscellaneous: You could put just about any fruit puree with cottage cheese; try it out and see what your Little One likes!

Epicutie Rating: Confused-see right side of page for rating descriptions. Little Joy did not know what to do with the the lumps once they got in her mouth. She just moved it around for a while then swallowed. She took two more bites without much conviencing, but was done after that. Upon the second attempt, she took about 5 bites with lots of "yay" and "yummy". She loved it for 5 bites then realized, something was weird and was done. We will keep trying over the next several weeks.

Difficulty: 1 out of 5 since I bought the cottage cheese and used stored blueberry puree.

I am a warrior!

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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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