Friday, February 26, 2010

Mary's Market

Come along to Mary's Market in Freemans Bay tomorrow. It's easy to be an green parent and save money when you shop at Mary's Market. Top quality eco-gear for the littlies, and some great stuff for Mum & Dad too.

will have specials on select items to make way for our new Kid Basix shipment of Safe Sippys, Safe Starters and Safe Sporters arriving next week.

See you in the morning!

Monday, February 22, 2010

New tastes for the week

After having the same old, same old for the past 2 weeks, Isobel's taste buds are about to go on a whole new adventure. Now, I can appreciate just as much as anyone that when you start something new, you jump in with both feet and really get into it.

Before you know it, life gets in the way, and you don't have as much time for it any longer. And then something gives you that little push to get going again.

Making all of Isobel's baby food homemade from scratch, that little push to get going again usually has something to do with a trip to IE Produce and the walk through the far aisle. Checking out all of the in-season organic produce really gets my mind working about all of the recipe ideas and things I can cook not only for Isobel, but for the whole family.

This week, I picked up some beets, brocolli, nashi pears and some swede (similar to turnip). These are going to be Isobel's new tastes for the next little while. Of course she has already had pears (WBC), so I will roster these nashi pears right into her feeding schedule as she shouldn't have any trouble with them.

As I was standing there paying good money for this lovely organic produce, something occured to me: Didn't I grow beets in my garden last year - for free??? What I am doing buying beets when they are so easy to grow?!? In my limited, and very hit & miss garden experiences, beets definitely fall into the "hit" column. I recall planting them, watering and feeding with worm tea only very occasionally and they did really well.

I will add "plant beets in the garden" to my very long list of things to do...and we just might have (almost) free organic beets of our own in a couple of months for our autumn roasts. Isobel will be at the chunky mash and finger food stage by then!

Replenishing My Cubes

For the past week or so, Isobel has been maintaining her usual solids meals at lunch and dinner. Simply because I have been too busy to even think about it, she hasn't had any new foods introduced in 2 weeks! Not a major deal, I tell myself that she is really getting to know the taste of these foods before we move on. I do have plans to change this next week and move on with her solids into new tastes and textures.

It's been a real treadmill of taking care of everything that a mother does: spending quality time with Isobel, Max and Gavin - and the business needs quality time of its own of course, but its always very rewarding and fulfilling. Well almost always, you know what I mean.

Thank goodness I had all of those lovely homemade baby food cubes stashed away in the freezer! She has been chewing through her carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, pear, apples, bananas, kumara, cauliflower and all the rest. I have replenished most of these in the past 2 weeks and will have a good supply for the coming month especially as her repertoire is about to grow by leaps and bounds.

The little bunny will be ready to have breakfast soon and some semblance of 3 meals a day and - wait for it - protein! Her digestive system has been working hard for the first time, digesting many different types of fruits and veggies and rice cereal, and she is nearly ready to have her first meats in the next couple of weeks. In the world of starting solids, this is very exciting :)

Isobel has been on solids now for over 7 weeks and still not a morsel of store-bought, processed baby food. These mumi&bubi freezing trays really do make it easy to make big batches of healthy homemade baby food without having to cook very often at all.

I am on a business course in the city tomorrow - Budgeting and Cashflow Planning. I hope that it is a lot more fun than it sounds!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Video: A Wake-Up Story

I try to bring up my children as naturally as possible, every day. The long term, cumulative effects of chemicals in children - and all of us - is very real.

People, especially Mums & Dads with young children, are standing up together and saying ENOUGH. Their voices are being heard.

People are also starting to realize that baby food doesn't have to come in jars, boxes and tins from aisle #17 in the supermarket. Baby food is real food: vibrant, tasty and naturally colorful and flavorsome. It can come from organic farms - not factories - and is the same food that you and I eat, but pureed.

It is for this reason that I make the 'Solids Starter Kit' as I am so passionate about healthy, homemade baby food and using the best quality, non-toxic/non-leaching freezing trays. No BPA, no phthalates, no pvc, no worries.

Starting solids with healthy homemade baby food is one small step that goes a long way in promoting the quality of your baby's long-term growth and development, naturally and sustainably.

It is so simple and easy. You can do it too for your baby.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Moist Coconut Cake with Coconut Ice Frosting

If you have a baby, chances are you have a coffee group of some sort - or friends coming by once in a while. This moist, coconut cake is quick to make and so delicious everyone will want the recipe. Your home will smell heavenly too!

The ingredients are fairly standard, if you bake even occasionally you should have everything except perhaps the coconut essence. Once you have all of the ingredients at hand, you can get it in the oven in less than 10 minutes with another few for the icing. I love it freshly iced while it's still warm from the oven, and it's even better the next day.

The Coconut Ice Frosting has pink food colouring as an option, if you can believe in this day and age. I have never put artificial colouring in here as I love the pristine whiteness of the original icing, like a blanket of glistening freshly fallen snow after an ice storm (Oh Canada!).

This time around, however, I picked the last 2 strawberries from the garden and mixed them right in. I should have pureed them for a more consistent colour, but the little bits of berry that you can see in the pic have such a nice organic quality and, even using only 2 berries, gives the icing a hint of pink!

Another fabulous thing about this cake is that it is pretty hard to get wrong. I have made it about 12 times now (maybe more!) and it turns out the same every time: moist, light and delicately sweet.

You can find it in the April 2008 AWW or online here Enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Avocado, the ultimate baby fast food

With virtually zero prep time and a bowl provided by Mother Nature herself, the avocado is the Ultimate Baby Fast Food. Its smooth, creamy consistency makes it one of the first fresh fruits a baby can enjoy.

Avocados are a surprisingly complete food, with abundant minerals to stimulate growth, including iron and copper for your blood. And, due to their mono and polyunsaturated fat content, they are a great substitution for spreads and food rich in saturated fat. These unsaturated fats are known to be important for normal growth and development of your baby's central nervous system and brain.

One-fifth of a medium avocado has about 50 calories and contains nearly 20 vitamins and minerals making it an excellent nutrient choice. Vitamins in avocado include A, several B-complex, C, and E, as well as phosphorus and magnesium. They’re also a great source of antioxidants like vitamins E and C.

No recipe required: simply halve a ripe avocado and remove the stone. Serving the avocado right in its own skin, use the back of your sterilised spoon to mash the ripe fruit into a soft puree consistency and offer small spoonfuls at a time.

When your baby is older and enjoying finger food, spread ripe avocado on toast fingers alongside fruit slices for a healthy mid-morning or afternoon snack.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Typical menu at 1 month into solids

Isobel has had solid food now for a whole month. How time flies! Lucky for us, no issues have cropped up so far such as allergies or intolerance to any foods.

At 1 month into eating solid food, she has solids now twice a day - lunch, after her 11am bottle and dinner after her 5:30 or 6pm bottle. Lunch now consists of 3 cubes, 2 veg and 1 fruit. 1 cube is a "new food" which is kept separate for her to learn the taste of this food on its own, and the other 2 cubes are mixed together.

I know I should keep all of the foods separate at this stage but, as she doesn't like some things on their own such as zucchini or cauliflower, I mix these with fruit so she will eat them. I do what I have to do to get it in :) Today's lunch was kumara on its own, and a mix of cauli and pear.

A typical dinner for Isobel is about 1.5T of rice cereal mixed with about 3T of formula left over from her bottle, mixed with 1 cube of fruit and 1 cube of veg. Last night she had cereal mixed with carrot & banana. This combo always go over really well, as does pumpkin & pear or kumara & apple.

All babies are different and will eat varying amounts, and some will drive their parents crazy with fussy feeding. This is just what my baby Isobel has been up to in her solid food journey so far. Your baby will certainly not be shy let you know if they want to have more or less.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pears - The Sweetest Thing

If you are ever in doubt about what's in season, head down to your local organic store. Devonport Wholefoods is a little gem that opened in my neighbourhood last year at 63C Lake Rd.

The other day, Lynda brought out a lovely bushel of new season Williams Bon Chretien pears, aka Bartlett Pears. Well, that's easy - this is Isobel's new food to be introduced this week, along with some kumara (the Kiwi equivalent of a sweet potato).

These pears are sweet & crisp when cut for Isobel to munch on (skin peeled) in her teething feeder, and even sweeter after steaming and a quick puree. These lovely frozen cubes are not just for bubs - pop a couple into your smoothie or warm some to dress your oatmeal on a winter's morning. A year-round delight for the whole family.

Recipe for Pureed Pears:
2 small pears to make 7 cubes or fill 1 row of the tray
6 small pears to make 21 cubes or fill 1 whole tray
-wash and peel pear, slice and remove core
-lightly steam or simmer in a saucepan with 2-3T of boiling water with the lid on until tender
-allow to cool then mash with a fork for older babies or puree smoothly for 6-7 month old babies
-spoon portions into your mumi&bubi premium freezing tray, cover with the lid and freeze

Monday, February 1, 2010

You Say Zucchini...

...Kiwis say courgettes! These little green wonders are another baby fast food as they steam so quickly. From the chopping board to spooning the fresh green puree into your mumi&bubi premium freezing trays takes less than 15 minutes.

If bubs is sleeping and you set the stove burner to low for a light steam, you might just get a shower in. As a work-at-home Mum of a 3 year old and a 6 month old, I have to take these opportunities as they come along :)

That's the great thing about making your own healthy homemade baby food - you do it while you are doing other things, not instead of. With mumi&bubi, making your own baby food is really easy to fit in to your day or evening. Not only is it best for your baby but it doesn't take up a lot of your precious time which is just as important for busy parents these days.

Recipe for Zucchini/Courgettes:
2 medium courgettes to make 7 cubes or fill 1 row;
6 medium courgettes to make 21 cubes or fill 1 whole tray;
-wash, top and tail the ends, then slice evenly
-lightly steam or place in a saucepan with 2-3T boiling water and simmer gently with lid on until tender
-mash with a fork for older babies or puree smoothly if bubs is 6-7 months old
-allow to cool either before or after spooning puree into your mumi&bubi premium freezing trays before freezing

Nutritional Information for Courgettes:
Courgettes are a good source of protein, Vitamins A and C (which are both immune boosters and potent antioxidants) as well as potassium and calcium.