Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

Icon

Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

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.

Advertisements

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

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

100k playspaces in 100 days

How great would it be to have an online resource of playgrounds and playspaces online at your fingertips?!?

KaBOOM! is parterning up with non-profits across America to encourage families to get out and play. Their web site is full of resources and reasons why we should be encouraging our children to play:

Too many kids are missing one of the most important childhood experiences—play. It can help kids grow to be healthy, happy, and successful through an experience full of creativity, exploration, physical activity, friendship, and adventure. The experience is play.

KaBOOM’s current major initiative is to map all of the playscapes in America, and has partnered with Julianne Hough to achieve this goal. Julianne is donating $1 to one of nonprofits listed partering with KaBOOM to build this resource. You can joing one of the “teams” and for each playspace you add, Julianne will donate $1 to your cause. It’s a win-win!

Filed under: Around the Play Yard, Family, News, , , , , , , ,

iPlayPhone

If your todler is anything like mine, or any of the other millions of tots of tech-savvy parents, she loves mommy and daddy’s cell phones. Baby K has a fisher price phone and an old Blackberry, but nothing is as entertaining to her as the real thing. Enter iPlayPhone for the iPhone by Ryan Neudorf:

“I’ve just released my first iPhone app – iPlayPhone – it’s a toy phone for toddlers. I built it for my 1yr old son who’s always running off with my phone. It’s simplictic but super fun. All the buttons play goofy sounds. The onShake sound totally baffles my son, he’s like “woah, i shake it and is makes sounds…weird.”

Here’s the iTunes link: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=308425921

Ryan’s Blog: OHRYAN.CA – Ryan Neudorf Certified Web Expert » OhRyan.ca.

Filed under: Around the Play Yard, baby, Family, , , , , , ,

Sweet Potato Minestrone

Filled with healthy antioxidants, this recipe makes enough minestrone to freeze for baby, or share with the entire family!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced thin
  • 6 ounces green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. 
  2. Saute onion, celery, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until tender, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Stir in tomatoes, with the juice, broth, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans and garlic. 
  4. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Filed under: Carrots, Celery, Family, Freezer Friendly, garlic, Green Beans, Recipes, Sweet Potato, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pants-Free Potty training in three days or less

From BabyCenter, one of my favorite web parenting resources, this article appeared about the Diaper Free Toddlers Program: Potty training in three days or less | BabyCenter . Although I think the name is a little misleading, since the program suggests that baby go “bare-bottomed” for  3 months following the 3 day “initiation” period.

Diapers and training pants are okay for nap time and bedtime, but if you rely on them more often you’ll undo your potty training progress, Fellom says.

“If you really want this to work, it only works naked,” Fellom says. “There are absolutely no pants in the house for the first three months.”

Think of the 3 days as a kick-off to pottty training I suppose. When she’s old enough for this program, I might give it a try – my toddler is going to LOVE being diaper free for 3 months!

Filed under: Around the Play Yard, Family, Reading, , , , , ,

Veggie Patties

Toddlers love finger food and being able to pull apart and inspect their food. These veggie patties are easy, quick and healthy and are a big hit when served with a little tomato sauce or sour cream for dipping. This recipe makes 6-7 small patties.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated zucchinicarrot
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tb dried parsely
  • olive oil
  • tomato sauce (optional)

Instructions

  1. Using a mixing bowl, combine, zucchini, carrot, beaten eggs, onion, flour, cheese and parsely. Stir thoroughly.
  2. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. 
  3. Drop mixture into skilled by spoonfuls and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden.
  4. Serve with tomato sauce for dipping.

Photo credit to John-Morgan.

Filed under: Cheese, Dairy, Finger Food, Parsley, Zucchini, , , , , , , , , ,

Mommy, where does meat come from?: Part 1

If you’ve been following this blog, I’m terrified of the day I explain to Baby K where meat comes from. So I asked HARO, my followers on Twitter, and followers of Vanilla Pumpkin to weigh in on how to best answer this question: Where does meat come from? I searched Amazon looking for books like “My Beautiful Mommy” “A Terrible Thing Happened” or “I Miss You: A First Look at Death” that tactfully explain the concept of where food comes from, but didn’t find any.

Due to the great response I had when I asked this question, I’ll post in two parts. 

From Parenting Experts:

Julie Freedman Smith, Parenting Power

Firstly, parents don’t always have the answers or don’t feel confident in trying to explain something to the child so stalling is important.

1. Thank the child for asking the question: “That’s a great question!” “I’m glad you asked that.”

2. Find out what they know: “Where do you think meat comes from?” “What have you heard about that?”

When we find out their perspective, we can clear up any misunderstandings and find out what they are really asking.

3. Explain that you are not sure how to answer but that you’ll find out and get back to the child: “I need to check with Daddy about that – let’s talk about it on Saturday”

So you now know where your child is coming from and you have supported the child in asking good questions rather than freaking out so much that the child doesn’t ever want to ask you anything again.

The content used in the answer is each parent’s choice. We recommend giving facts and in very small doses. Only answer the child’s specific question. Don’t give a multi media presentation because that is overkill. If you answer the direct question with a fact, that might be all the child wanted to hear. OR the child might ask another question and then you take the next step.

When we get involved in answering our children’s questions, it means we can also inject our values so after giving the facts you could then add:

“In our family, we believe that … and that is why we choose to only eat…” – Julie Friedman Smith, Parenting Power

From Parents:

I’ve always told my kids the truth… and that some animals are raised for food, others for pets. But we live in a rural area, so they know a lot of farm kids and go to the 4-H fair….. I guess you COULD just say ‘from the butcher’s shop!’ =) – Deirdre

My toddler asked this question a few months ago. I told her that some people like to eat animals. She was horrified. “People EAT animals?!” she said in disbelief. Then she asked WHY? I said because some people think they taste good. I then explained that I’m a vegetarian–that unlike her Dad I don’t eat animals. I explained that I don’t like the taste of meat that’s why I eat soy. No judgement –just a matter of fact. Later, when she’s older, I’ll teach her about the importance of knowing where your food comes from & treating animals humanely and all that. – Jen Matlack

I took my nieces out to eat and my 4 year-old was eating chicken. She said, “Where does chicken come from? Is it like chicken at Granny’s?” Uh oh.  She’d just made the connection between the chicken she was eating to the chickens running around on her grandmother’s farm.  I said, “Yes. They are both the same.” She thought about it and then said, “Really?  [Pause]  Mmmmm….” Not a big deal! – Hali Chambers

I don’t know if this will help but we told our daughter that all food comes from the ground.  As she got older, it’s become quite a family joke. On family road trips, when we see a cow, she’ll say, “Remember Mom, all food comes from the ground,” and we all laugh. 🙂 – Erin Peacock

I would simply be honest and let the little ones decide for themselves. I was very young when I decided to be a vegetarian, mainly for the reason that I could not bear to eat animals, since I naturally loved them (as most children do).

It’s only later as I became a certified nutritionist that I learned that a vegetarian (vegan, in my case) diet is extremely healthy.

It’s not a surprise that we call food “beef” instead of “cow” or “pork” instead of “pig” — we naturally find eating animals offensive. If you ever visited a slaughterhouse, you would stop eating meat in a minute.

For some reason, we deaden our hearts to the suffering of animals all in the name of food.

As people become enlightened about the environment, it becomes all too clear that the amount of energy it takes to raise and kill one cow could be put toward feeding countless other.

I say: tell the little ones the truth and let them decide.

My son at 6 was a very picky eater – one of the few foods he would eat was chicken fingers. So he ate them alot – I would guess 4 to 5x a week? One day, he asked if chickens “laid” chicken fingers the way they do eggs.My wife explained, that no, that was the chicken itself. He was very unhappy with the answer, and he swore off eating animals forever (he loves animals, like many boys).  I didn’t think much about it, I really assumed it was a “phase.”
He has been a vegetarian ever since (about a year and a half).  Incredibly, he is alone in his efforts – no one else in our family is a non-meat eater!  He is an amazing kid! – Cotter Cunningham

Dear friends, I try hard to exceed your expectations with my posts. If you enjoyed this one, please share it via DeliciousTechnoratiStumbleUpon,Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!

 


Filed under: Around the Play Yard, baby, food, nutrition, Reading, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Lentil Veggie Soup is most appropriate for babies at least 9 months, and can be made in a saucepan or a crockpot!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup dried lentils 
  • 1 cup organic vegetable stock
  • 1 medium organic carrot, diced
  • 1 medium organic yellow potato, diced (could also substitute sweet potato or winter squash)
  • 1 stalk of organic celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup organic tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of dried basil 

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine water, lentils, vegetable or beef stock, carrot, potato and celery.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 4-45 minutes. (may need to add a little more water)
  3. Add tomato sauce and basil and heat until thoroughly warm
  4. Remove from saucepan, blend or puree if needed

FREEZER FRIENDLY

  1. Pour into ice cube trays
  2. Cover and freeze overnight

Filed under: Basil, Freezer Friendly, Herbs and Spices, Legumes, Lentils, nutrition, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lasagna: Italian Dinner for the Whole Family

As Baby K gets older and is able to eat more complex meals, I find it easier at times to prepare parts of our family meals for her. Lasagna is a family favorite at my house, and I’ve adapted my tried and true recipe to suit her needs as well. As a bonus, both the family portion and baby’s portion are freezer friendly!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 jar of organic, basic tomato sauce
  • 12 oz shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1 12 oz container of cottage cheese
  • 1 package whole wheat oven ready lasagna
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat tiny pasta for baby (I used acini di pepe)
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1/4 finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tbs dried parsley
  • 2 whole bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef (or turkey) in pan, drain excess fat if any and return to pan.
  2. Add chopped onions and continue to cook on low for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently
  3. As onions start to turn translucent, add chopped mushrooms, garlic and tomato, continue cooking for about 5 minutes
  4. Stir in tomato sauce and bay leaves, bring to a boil
  5. Remove mixture from heat
  6. Remove bay leaves

Baby’s Dinner

  1. Cook baby’s pasta, drain, rinse and set aside
  2. Remove about a cup of the beef and sauce mixture and place into a mixing bowl
  3. Add 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, mix well
  4. Blend this mixture into a puree
  5. Combine with baby’s pasta
  6. Add 1/2 tbs of dried parsley if desired
  7. Serve, or pour into ice cube trays, cover, freeze overnight and store

Family’s Dinner

  1. In an ungreased 9×13 pan or 2 9×9 pans, spread a layer of about 1/3 beef and sauce mixture on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add a layer of lasagna noodles
  3. Add a layer of 1/3 of the cottage cheese
  4. Add a layer of 1/3 of the shredded cheese
  5. Sprinkle with parsley if desired
  6. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees

Filed under: Bay, Beef, Chicken, Family, food, Freezer Friendly, garlic, Herbs and Spices, Parsley, Pasta, Proteins, Turkey, Uncategorized, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Explore

All A-Twitter