Monday, August 26, 2013

Banana Porridge

If you want easy---this is IT....Banana Porridge!   This is my go to breakfast for my kids and has been since they were both about 15 months old.


  • Ripe Banana
  • 1/2 Cup Quick Oats 100% Oats Oatmeal
  • 1 Cup Water (or Milk)
  • Dash of Salt
  1. Cut the banana into small pieces (I usually cut it lengthwise in an X and then slice horizontally making small triangle pieces.  Place in a large cereal bowl.
  2. Add oats, water and dash of salt into bowl.  Stir to combine.
  3. Microwave for two minutes.
  4. Remove from microwave and allow to stand for at least 5 minutes (so it can thicken).
  5. out its hot!
Yield:  I split this between my 21 month old and 3 year old and its JUST enough for them both so---two hearty toddler servings.

Note:  I have also used applesauce and cinnamon vs bananas and even strawberries too!

Timing:  As early as 9 months if they are good at chewing

Difficulty:  1 out of 5; easy as it gets!

Epicutie Rating:
Little Joy and Little Asher:  YUMMY IN THE TUMMY!  Sometimes Little Joy gets tired of having it day in and day out but she always gobbles it up and then sometimes says "so tomorrow we will have something new" :)

A Dinner with an Epicutie

A glimpse of a Little Tummy Yummies meal around our house!

Easy Peasy Baked Cod, Kale Chips, Wild Rice and Zucchini, Mushroom, Onion Sauté with Parmesan

To the right of the toothpicks are garlic kale chips

An epicuite's plate

Zucchini and Kale Chips
(She ate her mushrooms already)

She loved the Kale Chips
"I want a big pile of those Mommy"
She's our adventurous eater, always willing to try new things---and she usually likes them the first time!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tomato, Carrot and Kale Spaghetti

So this recipe was created by my friend Meg for her little boy Calvin, and I asked her if I could feature it on LTY.  I made this recipe last month and I think that it is going to be my new go-to spaghetti sauce.  I doubled the recipe and froze the sauce and its so nice to have on hand in a pinch.  Please ignore Little Frances’ reaction – she may be the only child in history to not like marinara sauce! This recipe is delish.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 of a large onion chopped, about 1/2 cup
  • 2 cloves of garlic, or a teaspoon of jarred garlic
  • a handful of baby carrots chopped, about 1/2-2/3 cup
  • 2 16 ounces cans of whole tomatoes, no salt added.
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 shakes of red pepper flakes or 1/8 teaspoon – omitted
  • 2 handfuls of chopped kale, approximately 1 cup
  • Spaghetti or other type of pasta – we used spinach spaghetti to add just a little extra green to our meal!
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
  2. Add onion, garlic and carrots and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Stir occassionally.
  3. Start water boiling for pasta.
  4. Drain juice off the tomatoes and add the tomatoes to the pan.IMG_1850
  5. Add basil, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes if using, and kale.IMG_1851
  6. When water boils, begin cooking pasta.
  7. Bring sauce to a boil, crushing the tomatoes.
  8. Reduce to simmer and cover and cook on low.  A minute or so before the pasta is done, blend the sauce using an immersion blender, or place it in a blender or food processor
  9. Serve the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with parmesan (7)
Misc: Don’t you think Little Frances’ spaghetti looks a little bit like a heart? Serve it with salad or a side of steamed broccoli and you have a nice family meal.
Timing: The ingredients can technically be introduced at 1 year, although with noodles I would suggest waiting until 18 months or you feel like your little one can handle chewing the noodles.
Difficulty: 3 out of 5. It was pretty easy, but it did have a lot of steps and you can’t just throw everything in at once and let it cook.
Epicutie Rating (see left side of page for rating descriptions):
Confused. So Little Frances does not like spaghetti!  Until fairly recently she did not even like noodles, although now she loves them.  Usually even if she does not love something, she will eat it if I give it to her by hand and/or add a little cheese, but this she was not willing to eat this after a bit or two.  We are going to keep working on spaghetti sauce until she likes it!

Little Joy and Little Asher:  YUMMY IN THE TUMMY
photo (9)
Although Little Elizabeth is not yet old enough for solids, it seems she wanted a little taste of what we were eating and she reached down and helped herself to some of my salad! Smile  More on her first foods in the next few weeks.
photo (8)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Kale Chips

 This recipe is so fun! And its cheap, quick and easy.  I spent approximately 98 cents on this huge bunch of kale. These are a pretty tasty way to get some green into your kids, and are a great replacement for potato chips.
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • olive oil to taste (I used a generous 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a little bit goes a long way but add more to taste
  1. Separate leaves from the thick kale stems and break into small pieces. I saved the stems for our compost pile (more on that later!).IMG_0023
  2. Pour tablespoon of olive oil over kale and toss to coat.  Add oil 1 teaspoon at a time until you feel that it is properly coated. Sprinkle with salt to taste. IMG_0025
  3. Spread leaves on a baking sheet.  You can line it with wax paper if you want to.IMG_0027
  4. Bake at 350oF for 10 minutes.  Remove baking sheet and flip kale.  Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes until leaves are crispy.IMG_0029
  5. Serve and eat right away!
Timing: 1 year, if crispy, 18 months if they are not 100% crispy.  It might require more teeth and more chewing!
Difficulty: 1 out of 5, super easy, super quick!
Epicutie Rating (see left side of page for rating descriptions):

  • Little Frances is not so sure she likes it… yet! Little Frances initially seemed very into these, especially when I told her they were chips, however I think that I over salted them.  Next time I am going to try them with less salt and maybe a few other seasonings. I think that they would be fun with a little bit of parmesan cheese too!  I thought that they were pretty tasty myself… I am going to work on a salt and vinegar version, yum yum.
  • Little Joy:  Yummy in the Tummy; she asked for a pile of them
  • Little Asher: Confused; he tried very hard to like it but after four bites, he was done.  If at first you do not succeed, try again!

What flavors do you think would make for tasty kale chips?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Kid Friendly Kale

Last year I shared with LTY readers a little bit about our family’s journey with trying to adopt a more nutritarian lifestyle.  Although I don’t think we will ever be the type of family to be strict anything – why give yourself more reasons to stress in this world – we have been trying to be more conscious of the nutrient content of our food, not just the caloric content.  One key takeaway from our food journey was the importance of eating greens of all shapes and sizes.  Someone once told me that just eating iceberg lettuce was just like eating nothing and had no nutritional value simply because it had very little caloric value.  Now that we know about micronutrients, not just macronutrients (ABC+ vitamins and such), we know that that simply is not true!

Unfortunately in Russia it was very difficult to find fresh greens.  I could occasionally find fresh spinach, and usually red and green leaf lettuce if I went to the market.  The grocery stores might have one or two types of old, gross looking greens, arugula maybe once or twice a year, and we found baby spinach one time right before we got ready to move.  Anyway, it was hard to find greens!  And the one green that I absolutely never, ever found – kale!

For a nutritarian, kale is the gold standard for nutrient density.  It scores a perfect 1000 on the nutrient density chart.  Now that we are in the states, I am super excited by the abundance of greens at my local HEB, and most especially the kale!

Here is a snapshot of all of the nutrients that can be found in a single cup of kale!

kale chart

For more information on kale and its health benefits, visit World’s Healthiest Foods kale page.

Any kind of green is difficult for little mouths to chew and kale has a slightly bitter flavor, so I think it might be difficult for an epicutie to love.  I want to focus on a few easy to eat, delicious kale recipes that will make it attractive for your little one’s developing palate.

Look for these kale recipes in the upcoming weeks -

  • Kale Chips
  • Tomato, Carrot and Kale Spaghetti
  • Green Smoothies

Does your family eat kale on a regular basis?  If so, I would love to know some of the recipes that you love!

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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