Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

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Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

Haunted Gingerbread House

Looking for a fun kids’ project this weekend? You’ve done gingerbread houses at Christmas, but have you ever made a haunted gingerbread house??

Haunted Gingerbread House Project

Filed under: Uncategorized

Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal

Since oatmeal is pretty much a daily staple at our house, we have to mix it up sometimes. I found this recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal on Women’s Health Magazine and adapted it to use regular, old fashioned oats instead of instant oatmeal.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups soy milk (or regular milk, I find that soy milk sweetens oatmeal more than regular)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or 2 squares of baking chocolate, 1 ounce each)

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small saucepan and cook on low for about 20 minutes, or until the oatmeal reaches a creamy consistency.
  2. Enjoy! Store unused portions in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for tomorrow.

Yields 2 cups.

Filed under: Berries, Fruit, Grains, Oatmeal, superfoods, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pumpkin Waffles by Weelicious

Ok, you all know how I feel about pumpkin. We love it in oatmeal and soup, Little K still loves it as a puree. Catherine at Weelicious posted a recipe for Pumpkin Waffles which of course I had to try. Delicious! They are indeed as good as they look in the photo. I served them for breakfast and K was hooked. She asked for them again at dinner and I used Catherine’s suggestion of making a sandwich. I sliced one waffle in two and made a sandwich using about a tablespoon of cream cheese and thinly sliced apples.These would also be fantastic as finger food or a snack for younger, self feeding babies (torn into small pieces, of course).

Great recipe, I’ll definitely be making a batch to freeze for quick, healthy meals.

Filed under: Finger Food, Freezer Friendly, Pumpkin, Snack, , , , , , , , ,

A Hurried, Sneaky Chef Mom’s Dream

First, I want to make a quick apology that I haven’t been posting much lately. Recently I lost my job (thank you economy!) and am working on some freelance projects to bring in a little income. My goal is to continue posting for chefs of both toddlers and babies. That said, onward!

While perusing Walmart a few weeks ago (yes I peruse Walmart occasionally since I don’t typically YoBaby Meals, Apple and Sweet Potatoshop there), I saw they are carrying the new Stonyfield Farm’s YoBaby 3-in-1 Meals. Yes, sneaky chef has arrived to the dairy case. The packaging boasts, “yogurt + fruit + veggies” and is certified organic. It comes in a 6 ounce container, which is the perfect size for my 2 year old. Basically the meals are plain yogurt with the fruit and veggie puree at the bottom. Stir it up and you’ve got a fruity and creamy delicious yogurt meal. As I’ve mentioned before, she has turned into an incredibly picky eater, and refuses to eat anything green, let alone green AND leafy.

Currently, the YoBaby Meals are available in Apple and Sweet Potato, Pear and Green Beans, and Peach and Squash. (Any of these combos sound familiar, baby food makers?) Little K likes any of them, but loves the Apple and Sweet Potato.

Not to be fooled by clever marketing, one question remains, how much fruit and vegetable puree is actually in this little cup of wonder? I emailed Stonyfield Farms and got a friendly and very timely response:

Thanks for reaching out to us regarding YoBaby Meals! Great to hear that your family is a fan of our latest baby yogurt🙂

In regards to your question, our current 6oz cup contains 2 tablespoons of fruits & vegetables, which is considered to be one serving for children 0-5 years old. (combined, not each).

Considering Little K will eat the entire cup with no hesitation or fight, I’ll take 2 tablespoons for fruits and veggies ANY DAY. Plus it’s pretty nice that YoBaby Meals cost about $1.

Let me just throw this out there: Dear Meijer, I usually shop at your stores but you’re not currently carrying YoBaby Meals. I’d love it if you did so I didn’t have to go to Walmart for a single item on my list. If you could fix that, it would be great, thanks! Love ya!

In all seriousness, do you shop at Meijer? Tell them you’d like to see YoBaby in their stores by sending them a message.

Disclosure: I have not been compensated, received payment, or accepted any product or service for this review. Please see this blog’s disclosure policy in full here.


Filed under: Apples, Around the Play Yard, baby, Best Of, Butternut Squash, Dairy, Fruit, Green Beans, No-Cook, Peaches, Pear, Reviews, Sweet Potato, Vegetables, Yogurt, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Link: Big List of Toddler Art Gift Ideas

I’m busting it trying to find low cost, personal gifts this year for my family and close friends. I came across this list at The Crafty Crow, and thought it was worth sharing.

Since my shelves and refrigerator are filling up with tiny masterpieces, what better way to cut some clutter and gift them? Homemade gifts are so much more personalized that store bought in my opinion. I’ve already matted and framed some of her art, but many of these ideas are new to me.

I’ve also purchased a few canvasses from Hobby Lobby during a 50% off sale and let her paint them. I could go on for days about how much she loved painting these. I picked out colors that matched her room and let her paint, using one color at a time. We let each color dry for about a day so the colors didn’t get all muddled. After she was finished I sprayed it with a matte acrylic spray and we hung it in her room. She is super proud! I’ve had several family members ask for her to paint a canvas for them in the colors of certain rooms in their homes. More Christmas gifts done!

I love the idea of making a portfolio book, maybe in a few years when she’s amassed a variety of projects, and she can see her progress. Read the full list here from The Crafty Crow.

Photo credit to Lodewijk van den Broek

Filed under: Around the Play Yard, Best Of, Homemade Crafts, links, , , , , , , , , ,

Pumpkin Oatmeal

I’ve recently roasted a few pumpkins and pureed them for use in baby foods and probably a few breads and cookies in the next few months. My toddler loves oatmeal, and even though we have been using apples primarily, we’ve started using pumpkin, both roasted and canned. She now asks for “punka” almost every morning! Great way to get baby some veggies first thing in the morning. First time roasting pumpkin? Click here to read instructions.

Ingredients
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup soy milk (or you can use regular cow’s milk)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (if you’re using puree that you’ve stored in ice cube trays, 1/3 cup equals 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon, so use either 5 or 6 cubes since a cube is roughly a tablespoon. Either way, you really can’t go wrong here.)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice, note that if you’ve already spiced your pumpkin cubes using this recipe, you don’t need the ground cinnamon)

1/2 tsp agave nectar (in a pinch, you can use honey or brown sugar to taste)

Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir. If you’re using frozen pumpkin puree cubes, just throw them in frozen
Heat over medium heat, stirring consistently about 8-10 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.

I’ve found that this makes about 3 meals for my little one, each about 3/4 cup. Enjoy!

Filed under: Cinnamon, Dairy, Grains, Herbs and Spices, Oatmeal, Pumpkin, Uncategorized, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Infant Entrapment and Suffocation Prompts Stork Craft to Recall More Than 2.1 Million Drop-Side Cribs

From the US Consumer Product Safety Commission:

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc., of British Columbia, Canada, today announced the voluntary recall of more than 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs, including about 147,000 Stork Craft drop-side cribs with the Fisher-Price logo. The recall involves approximately 1,213,000 units distributed in the United States and 968,000 units distributed in Canada.

CPSC urges parents and caregivers to immediately stop using the recalled cribs, wait for the free repair kit, and do not attempt to fix the cribs without the kit. They should find an alternative, safe sleeping environment for their baby. Consumers should contact Stork Craft to receive a free repair kit that converts the drop-side on these cribs to a fixed side.

The cribs’ drop-side plastic hardware can break, deform, or parts can become missing. In addition, the drop-side can be installed upside-down, which can result in broken or disengaged plastic parts. All of these problems can cause the drop-side to detach in one or more corners. When the drop-side detaches, it creates space between the drop-side and the crib mattress. The bodies of infants and toddlers can become entrapped in the space which can lead to suffocation. Complete detachment of drop-sides can lead to falls from the crib.

CPSC, Health Canada, and Stork Craft are aware of 110 incidents of drop-side detachment; 67 incidents occurred in the United States and 43 in Canada. The incidents include 15 entrapments; 12 in the U.S. and three in Canada. Four of the entrapments resulted in suffocation: a 7-month-old in Gouverneur, N.Y.; a 7-month-old in New Iberia, La.; a 6-month-old in Summersville, W.Va.; and a 9-month-old in Bronx, N.Y. Included in these incidents are 20 falls from cribs; 12 in the U.S. and eight in Canada. Fall injuries ranged from concussion to bumps and bruises. The cribs involved in these incidents had plastic drop-side hardware that had broken, missing, or deformed claws, connectors, tracks, or flexible tab stops; loose or missing metal spring clips; stripped screws; and/or drop-sides installed upside-down.

This recall involves Stork Craft drop-side cribs and Stork Craft drop-side cribs with the Fisher-Price logo. This recall does not involve any cribs that do not have a drop-side. This recall does not involve any cribs with metal rod drop-side hardware. It involves only those cribs with plastic trigger and one-hand-system drop-side hardware.

This recall includes Stork Craft cribs with manufacturing and distribution dates between January 1993 and October 2009. This recall also includes Stork Craft cribs with the Fisher-Price logo that have manufacturing dates between October 1997 and December 2004. The Stork Craft cribs with the Fisher-Price logo were first sold in the U.S. in July 1998 and in Canada in September 1998. The cribs were sold in various styles and finishes. The manufacture date, model number, crib name, country of origin, and the firm’s name, address, and contact information are located on the assembly instruction sheet attached to the mattress support board. The firm’s insignia “storkcraft baby” or “storkling” is inscribed on the drop-side teething rail of some cribs. In Stork Craft cribs that contain the “Fisher-Price” logo, this logo can be found on the crib’s teething rail, in the manufacturer’s instructions, on the assembly instruction sheet attached to the mattress support board, and on the end panels of the Twinkle-Twinkle and Crystal crib models.

Major retailers in the United States and Canada sold the recalled cribs including BJ’s Wholesale Club, J.C. Penney, Kmart, Meijer, Sears, USA Baby, and Wal-Mart stores and online at Amazon.com, Babiesrus.com, Costco.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com from January 1993 through October 2009 for between $100 and $400.

The cribs were manufactured in Canada, China and Indonesia.

For additional information, contact Stork Craft toll-free at (877) 274-0277 anytime to order the free repair kit, or log on to http://www.storkcraft.com

Read this recall in its entirety on CPSC site.

Filed under: Family, Recalls, , , , ,

Steamed Parmesan Carrots and Parsnips: Beaba Babycook Recipe

I also have a puree version of this recipe here for younger babies. Beaba Babycook fans, I know you’re out there!! I’m working on a page listing all of the Babycook recipes so check back soon. Thanks for visiting! If you have a Beaba Babycook recipe you’d like to share, please let me know by emailing me at vanillapumpkin at ymail dot com. Thanks so much!

Ingredients

  • One carrot, washed, peeled, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of parsnip (about a quarter of a parsnip) , washed, peeled, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 tbs parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Place sliced carrot and parsnip in steaming basket of Beaba Babycook, or steam them in a steamer, or place them in the microwave in a bowl of water or chicken broth for about 10 minutes. If you’re using your Babycook, fill the water reservoir.
  2. Remove veggies, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and serve!

 

Filed under: Babycook, Carrots, Parsnips, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , ,

Haunted Gingerbread House

Baby K and I decided to take on a project this week for Halloween, building aHaloween Gingerbread House gingerbread haunted house. I wasn’t sure Baby K would be able to enjoy this very much, at 18 months, but we gave it a shot anyway. We’re using a guide from Allrecipes and just finished today. Follow the link above for the template and recipes for the gingerbread and royal icing. Be sure if you plan to eat your haunted house, that you use meringue powder instead of egg whites for the royal icing. Meringue powder is found with the cake and baking supplies at the store. In addition to the tools and supplies listed on the guide, plan on needing extra TIME. As in time for cleaning. And patience. You might as well forget the picture perfect gingerbread house in your

Marshmallow Baby Ghost

Marshmallow Baby Ghost

head, too, unless it is a picture of a gooey, handprinted, smeared up mess. That said, we sure had a lot of fun – an this was a good teaching opportunity for counting, colors, and shapes.

Changes we made: I used a round pizza stone instead of a cookie sheet. Also, I next time I will cut out the shapes AFTER I bake the gingerbread, instead of before as instructed. Cutting them before meant when they baked, the edges changed shapes slightly. Extras we used: oreo cookies, candy corn, Brach’s pumpkins, oats, mini white chocolate morsels, marshmallows, and black licorice.

Baby K loved putting all of the pumpkins in the pumpkin patch, but she also tried toBoo pull off the door, the roof, made the marshmallow ghosts fly, and she even gave the entire house a hug, repeatedly!

We also bought a little battery powered flickering light for carved pumpkins and placed it inside. When it’s on, it makes the house look spooky.

(Yeah, I know the piping is bad. Is there a “piping pen” product?)

Happy Halloween!

 

Filed under: Family, Halloween, Homemade Crafts, , , , , , , ,

Butternut Squash Puree

Butternut squash is a fantastic source of both vitamin A and C, and just one vegetable can go a long way. Widely available in October and November, butternut squash has a sweet, creamy flavor, and is enclosed in a tough skin. Stored correctly in a cool, dry place, butternut squash will keep for 2-3 months.

You can serve Butternut Squash puree alone, or mix it with apple puree, carrot puree, applesauce, mashed banana, pumpkin, sweet potato, rice or homemade rice cereal, chicken or peaches. Baby K loves her Butternut Squash Puree with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

For a toddler, I’ve had success with mini bagel “pizzas”, that is, halve a whole wheat bagel, spread about a tablespoon or two of butternut squash puree over bagel, sprinkle with a little parmesan or asiago cheese, and bake for about 10 minutes.

To make the puree:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degreesButternut Squash
  • Wash butternut squash just before slicing
  • Carefully cut the vegetable in half lengthwise
  • Scoop out the seeds and fibrous strings
  • Using a small knife, carefully peel the skin from each half
  • Cube the remaining squash into about 2 inch cubes
  • Place cubes on a foil lined pan, and drizzle a little olive oil over the squash
  • You will probably have a pretty full pan, be sure to use a spatula and toss the cubes around making sure that all sides have a little EVOO
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, using the spatula to turn the cubes occasionally.
  • Squash should be baked until tender.
  • Allow the butternut squash cubes to cool
  • Transfer to cubes to blender or food processor with about 1/2 cup of water
  • Blend away, adding water if necessary.
  • Pour into ice cube trays, cover and freeze immediately.

Photo credit to Rex_roof.

Filed under: Butternut Squash, Finger Food, food, Freezer Friendly, nutrition, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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