Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

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Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

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.

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

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, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Green Supreme Smoothie

My once adventurous eater, now 18 months, has turned to the infamous toddlerGreen Smoothie “white diet” of only wanting bread, pasta, potatoes, bananas, Cheerios, crackers and cheese. Like any concerned parent, I wanted to make sure she was getting enough nutrients, especially since flu season is here. I turned to the “sneaky chef” method, and started making super food packed smoothies for her, which she usually drinks as a snack.

The great news is that this smoothie recipe, and the ones to follow, freeze well: just portion them in 8 ounce freezable Ball containers and label. You can semi-thaw them in the refrigerator, or for (nearly) instant smoothie snacks, submerge the container in a mug of hot water for a few minutes. Either way, just keep shaking the smoothie container to make sure the icy parts are evenly distributed. She will usually drink about 6 ounces over the course of an hour or so. I usually serve Baby K’s smoothie in a sippy cup that I’ve widened the nipple, but she also likes drinking them with a straw.

Yields 1 liter

  • 3 cups of spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 orange, peeled and seeded and sectioned
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and sectioned
  • 1 seeded and peeled papaya
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1/2 cup soy milk OR 6 oz container plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbs flaxseed meal (optional)
  • 6 ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except ice cubes into blender and blend until well blended.
  2. Add ice cubes and pulse until well blended
  3. Serve or freeze immediately

Also, I’ve found that when I feel like my diet needs a little boost, I drink one of the 8 ounce containers as a meal replacement. To see the (adult) nutritional data and analysis on this recipe driven by NutritionData.com, click here.

Photo credit to ilovemypit.

Filed under: Apples, Banana, Family, Freezer Friendly, Leafy Greens, Oranges, Recipes, Smoothies, Spinach, Vegetables

Applesauce: A Beaba Babycook recipe

Apples

Apples

If you haven’t checked out a Beaba Babycook, I highly suggest you do so. It is one of the most valuable tools I’ve used while making my own baby food. You can read my full review here.

Several readers have emailed me, requesting recipes specific to the Babycook. Pretty much any food that you would steam, you can Babycook. Here’s one to get you started, a single serving (or 2) of applesauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 large apple (I used a Honeycrisp, but consider McIntosh or Red Delicious, think sweet so you don’t have to add sugar)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)

Steps

  1. Wash, core and slice apple (you can also peel apple for younger babies who might have a hard time digesting the skin)
  2. Fill Babycook water reservoir
  3. Place apple slices in steam basket
  4. Turn Babycook to “steam”
  5. Let Babycook complete steaming, about 15 minutes
  6. Empty steamed apples into the Babycook blender container and turn to “blend”.
  7. Sprinkle a little cinnamon before serving and relish the moment when there aren’t many dishes to clean!

Does baby love applesauce or do you have a windfall of apples? (Tis the season!) Try my Slow Cooker Applesauce recipe!

Photo credit to A Million to One.

Filed under: Apples, Fruit, , , , , ,

Slow Cooker Applesauce

Choose naturally sweet apples such as Empire or McIntosh to reduce the need for added sugar. For baby’s breakfast, I’ve stirred in oatmeal cereal and ground flax seed. I haven’t tried freezing this recipe since it never lasts long at my house, but if you try, let me know how it works out! Update – I froze applesauce in 8 oz Ball freezer containers with success!

Ingredients

Sliced Macintosh Apple

Sliced Macintosh Apple

  • 8-10 medium sized apples
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wash, peel, core and slice apples.
  2. Combine apples, water and sugar in slow cooker.
  3. Cover and heat on high for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Apples will “mash” on their own, but for younger babies, you may want to blend further.

Filed under: Apples, Cinnamon, Fruit, Herbs and Spices, Holiday Menu, Slow Cooker or Crockpot, Thanksgiving, , , , , , ,

Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Sounds a little bizarre, I know, but give these a try, no syrup needed!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Combine cottage cheese, flour, blueberries, beaten eggs and oil in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Heat lightly sprayed skilled over medium heat.
  3. Pour 1/3 cupfuls of batter in to the skilled. Carefully flipping when bubbles appear on the surface.

Filed under: Blueberry, Dairy, Finger Food, Fruit, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Finger Food Ideas

Many older babies enjoy self feeding and as a bonus, self-feeding helps develop their pincer grasp and refines a baby’s manual dexterity. Here are some fun finger food ideas, but as always, be sure to check with your pediatrician before introducing new foods. Vegetables (steam, bake and cut into bite sized pieces)

  • peas
  • cherry tomatoes
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • baby carrots
  • cut green beans (large seeds removed)
  • sweet potato bites
  • boiled potatoes
  • garden burgers
  • beets
  • zuchinni
  • squash
  • Veggie Nuggets

Fruits (bake or steam most and but into bite sized pieces)

  • baked apples
  • melon (no need for cooking)
  • quartered strawberries (12+ months)
  • quartered kiwi
  • bananas
  • avacado
  • halved blueberries
  • halved rasperries (12+months)
  • ripe peaches (no need for cooking)
  • pears (no need for cooking)
  • ripe plums (no need for cooking)
  • apricots
  • pineapple bites (12+ months)
  • orange bites (12+months)
  • ripe mangos
  • nectarines
  • grapes (skinned and quartered)

Dairy

Legumes

  • garbanzo beans
  • kidney beans
  • black beans

Proteins

  • hard boiled egg yolk
  • scrambled egg yolk
  • ground beef
  • diced chicken
  • diced turkey
  • salmon (flaked)
  • mahi mahi (flaked)
  • diced tofu

Starches

  • bite sized pancakes
  • bite sized waffles
  • whole grain toast bites
  • rice
  • Cheerios
  • torn bagels
  • biscotti
  • broken rice cakes
  • graham crackers
  • any small pasta
  • cous cous
  • broken torilla chips

Watch for posts with meal ideas with the finger-food-loving baby in mind later this week!

Filed under: Apples, Avocado, Baked Bites, Banana, Beef, Blueberry, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cheese, Chicken, Dairy, Finger Food, Fruit, Grains, Green Beans, Legumes, Mangoes, Pasta, Peaches, Pear, Peas, Potato, Proteins, Snack, Teether, Turkey, Vegetables, Yellow Potato, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No-Cook Baby Food Recipe: Avocado and Banana

As Baby K gets a little older and her foods don’t need to be pureed beyond recognition anymore, it’s easy to combine soft foods and mash them with a fork for a quick, no-cook meal. I’ve already sung the praises of the banana, but have you thought about combining the sweet tasting banana with another no-cook food, the buttery and smooth avocado? (Need avocado guidance?)sliced avocado

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 ripe banana

Instructions:

  • Combine avocado and banana
  • Mash with a fork
  • Warm if baby prefers

Doesn’t get any easier!

Photography courtesy of ms. Tea on Flickr.

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Filed under: Avocado, Banana, food, Fruit, No-Cook, , , , , , , ,

Banana Veggie Blend

Nutrient-rich red bell pepper combined with the familiarity of carrot and banana. I haven’t yet tried to freeze this one. Have you? Let me know! Update: FREEZER FRIENDLY!

Ingredients

1/2 red bell pepperred bell pepper

1 carrot

1 banana

Instructions

1. Slice red pepper and remove seeds and core

2. Peel and slice carrot

3. Combine red pepper and carrot slices and steam until tender

4. Peel and slice banana

5. Combine steamed red pepper and carrot with banana slices in blender

6. Blend until you reach desired consistency. If baby is older, can also use “chop” setting for chunkier blend.

Photo by zoha_n.

Filed under: Banana, Carrots, food, Freezer Friendly, Fruit, Medley, Red Bell Pepper, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One food I’ll never leave the store without…

Bananas.

Mashed, frozen, sliced, diced to bites, in a medley – you get the point.

Banana MashBanana by Zyada (Flickr)

  1. Mash with the back side of a fork
  2. If needed, combine with juice, water or baby’s milk

Combo Ideas

  • Apple puree
  • Blueberry puree
  • Oatmeal cereal
  • Sweet potato
  • Apricot puree
  • Mango puree
  • Strawberry puree
  • yogurt

Flavor Ideas

  • Ginger
  • Lemon zest

Sliced Bananas (Freezer Friendly)

  1. Peel jacket from banana and slice
  2. Freeze slices for quick snack or to mash for a meal

Banana Bites

  1. Peel jacket from banana and slice
  2. Dice banana slices into quarters
  3. Sprinkle with Cheerio dust or toast dust to make it easier for baby to pick up (optional)

You can also freeze a banana whole in its peel. The peel will turn brown but the fruit will not. Do you have a favorite banana recipe or tip? Let me know!

Filed under: Banana, Best Of, Finger Food, food, Freezer Friendly, Fruit, Ginger, Oatmeal, Sweet Potato, Uncategorized, , , ,

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