Monday, March 29, 2010

Wrigglepot 'Solids Starter Kit' review

The cost of these seem high in comparison to other trays on the market, however, unless you only want to cook up a single carrot you will be forced to buy several of the others which will end up being more expensive. These trays really will save you money and are a joy to work with.

* Super easy to clean because of the unique shape of the individual portion sections and only 2 trays to contend with. The individual pots of other brands means individual cleaning and are a lot more time consuming.
* The unique shape of the portions makes removing the food easier than any other tray I have tried.
* A total of 42 portions means I can cook more food at one time.
* Easy to stack in the freezer.
* They are a great shape and in between babies I fill them with lime and lemon juice and melt them in jugs of soda water, etc and they look great.
* BPA free!!

I used to make up a big batch and then take out all of the portions and store in a zip lock bag in freezer for super easy access.

review from wrigglepot In Australia, buy your Solids Starter Kit from Wrigglepot and get free shipping nationwide!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tonight's dinner

Isobel's evening meal is the only one she has before her bottle. This is simply due to the fact that she is hungry long before her bottle is due, so I feed her dinner early most days, anytime between 4:30 and 5:30 depending on how her day is going.

This is also practical as I can feed Isobel her solids and she is happy to entertain herself with a tasty frozen cube of banana or other treat in her teething feeder while Max and I have our dinner together. She also likes sitting up at the table in her chair with us as part of the family meal. (Gavin works afternoons so it's just the kids and I in the evenings) She has her bottle after her bath sometime between 6 and 7pm depending on her naps for that day.

Tonight's dinner consisted of 2 cubes of carrot baby puree and 1 of swede along with 2 cubes of pear puree on the side. She loves drinking from her pink Safe Sippy2 which she can use all by herself.

I still haven't found a good stainless steel baby feeding spoon so - for now - I like this nifty silicone one that I found at Smith & Caughey. Although it wasn't intentional, I love that the vibrant orange colour of the spoon exactly matches the handles on the Safe Sippy :)

No Time? Think BIG!

These 4 du comice pears are at least twice the size of the pears I normally see in the produce section. One glance and I knew that they would be a huge time-saver. You can see how big they are, just a bit shorter than my mustard bottle!

It takes roughly the same amount of time to peel and quarter a large piece of fruit as it does a small one and the same effort will yield twice - or more! - the number of homemade baby puree cubes.

So, to make twice as much baby food in the same amount of time and with the same effort as using small or medium-sized fruit, GO BIG.

Choose large-sized of produce when taste or flavour isn't compromised by going big. This works well for fruit such as apples and pears and veggies like potato and pumpkin. Just be careful with things like parsnip and swede, the bigger ones tend to be a bit woody in the middle.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Introducing chicken!

Around 7-8 months is a good time to introduce chicken into your baby's diet. Your baby's digestive system has been getting stronger over the past couple of months, experiencing all sorts of fruits and vegetables and may now be ready for some protein.

It is very important to serve your baby free range chicken that has been exclusively corn fed or, ideally, organic chicken. Any hormones or antibiotics that have been added to the feed of non-organic chickens are not ideal for the optimal development of your baby.

Serve chicken at lunchtime, this will allow the rest of the day to digest. It takes a lot longer to digest protein than the simpler structures of fruit and vegetables.

Recipe for Pureed Chicken:

A chicken breast of approximately 300g made 8 portions. Using 2 portions per week, this works out to nearly a 1 month supply.
-bake or grill the plain breast as you normally would for yourself.
-chop into small pieces and process, using cooled boiled water, until completely smooth.

Chicken is one of those foods that may need extra water added once thawed and warmed for baby's meal. You can also add formula or breastmilk to achieve the desired consistency.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Baby Puree in Action

Here are the baby purees of beet, broccoli, swede and nashi pear in my super-capacity freezing trays from one cooking session. It was quite an evening as I had 4 pots on the stove at one time - a record for me as I usually make baby puree on a one-off basis a couple of times a week (ie: only cook 1 food but make a whole tray of cubes for a 1-month supply of that one food).

I wanted to have a big baby food cook-up to show that it really is easy to make your own healthy homemade baby food, without cooking very often and without taking up precious time.

I threw this all on the stove at once and from start to finish, it took less than 30 minutes including prep (washing, peeling, chopping, etc).

Of course, it takes 2 to make a baby, so if 2 of you made the baby food together it would take even less time. Good luck with this one!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Recipe for beetroot puree

Beets are one of my favourite veggies - with that beautiful rich-red colour, they just have to be good for you. They are naturally sweet and they puree into a stunning velvety smooth texture. Isobel's eyes light up when she sees this gorgeous deep red colour on offer.

Of course it gets all over - I will speak for my sleep-deprived self when I say that all common sense goes out the window when Isobel and I are both usually wearing white when eating beetroot! And I had such little common sense to begin with! I am not one to plan our meals around our wardrobes after all...just one to enjoy good food :)

And beets don't disappoint in the nutritional arena: beetroot baby puree is one of those great iron-rich foods that we all look for when our babies start solids. Folic acid keeps baby's cells growing and developing normally and potassium helps to regulate baby's blood pressure. And that rich red colour means that beets contain antioxidants to protect healthy cells all over your baby's little body.

Recipe for Beetroot Baby Puree:

2 medium sized beets made 12 x 2Tbsp (or 1 oz) cubes. Next time I will cook more to fill a whole tray.
-wash and peel beets, chop into cubes
-steam in half a cup of boiled water for minutes
-use some of the reserved cooking water to puree using your hand held (stick) blender to achieve a nice puree consistency. Beets can be mashed for older babies.
-spoon cooled puree into your mumi&bubi freezing trays, put on the lid and freeze.

Recipe for swede baby puree

With their creamy-purple skin and rounded shape, the swede is very similar to turnip and is also called rutabaga. It is a very versatile veggie as it can be boiled, mashed, roasted, baked, stir fried, etc. When we were little, we used to eat raw swede slices as a snack.

Swede baby puree is a lovely pale yellow/orange colour with a very distinctive taste! If the taste is just a bit too distinctive for your baby, mix it with something they really enjoy ~ Isobel likes her swede mixed in with a cube of carrot.

Swedes are surprisingly filling and are a good source of Vitamin C and fibre, folate and potassium. Choose smaller swedes with smooth skin - the larger ones can tend to be woody.

Recipe for swede baby puree:
2 medium sized swedes, cooked and pureed filled a whole tray plus a few more cubes, about 25 x 1 oz (2Tbsp) portions in total! Very economical.
-Scrub and thickly peel swede and remove any roots
-Chop into cubes and boil or steam until tender, about 15-20 minutes
-Add some reserved cooking water to adjust the consistency for a perfect puree
-spoon portions into your mumi&bubi 'Solids Starter Kit' freezing tray, put on the lid and place in the freezer.

Recipe for nashi pear puree

Nashi pears taste like a combination of apple and pear: they are naturally crisp, delicately sweet and totally delish.

This is one of my favourite baby purees to make as the colour and consistency of the puree is so pure and pristine, like a fresh blanket of snow in every cube!

And the flavour is so lovely, I add them to Isobel's baby rice cereal and they also help to take the edge off of those slightly offensive veggies (ie: any one she doesn't really like). She will pretty much try anything mixed with a cube of nashi pear.

Recipe for nashi pear

5 large fruit would fill 1 whole tray, or yield 21 cubes. The store only had medium nashi pears when I was there so I only filled half my tray!

Quarter, peel and core nashi pears. Lightly steam until tender. Puree using your hand held or stick blender. The fruit is so tender and naturally juicy that no extra water should be necessary.

Spoon portions into your mumi&bubi premium BPA-free freezing tray and allow to cool before placing in the freezer.

Nutritional Information for Nashi Pear
Nashi Pear is also called the Nashi Apple, Asian Pear, Taiwan Pear, Sand Pear or Korean Pear. So many names for 1 delicious little fruit!

Nashi pears are good sources of the B-complex vitamins and also contain vitamin C.

Recipe for broccoli puree

Take one head of broccoli, wash well and cut into florets. Lightly steam until tender. Puree using your hand-held or stick blender using some of the reserved steaming water for a nice liquid (but not too runny) consistency.

Spoon portions into your mumi&bubi freezing tray and allow to cool before placing in the freezer.

Broccoli is one of those veggies I find that is less watery after freezing the puree, so if you don't use enough water when making the puree, you may have to add a little more after heating the cubes for mealtime.

Nutritional info for broccoli
Broccoli is one of the most healthy foods you can eat. It is packed with Vitamins A and C, is an immune booster and is full of those all-important antioxidants. Broccoli is a must-have veggie in your growing baby's nutritional plan.

Beets, brocolli, nashi pear and swede - baby puree recipes

Isobel's taste buds have really been going on an adventure for the past 2 weeks! These new foods are very appealing to her little eye as they are saturated with rich colours and intriguing new aromas.

She has never experienced the sight of the rich red of a beet on her spoon before. Or the delicate whiteness - and delicately sweet flavour - of a nashi pear.

This doesn't go unnoticed either - her little fingers are all over it, and the beets are all over everything. For the first time, she is grabbing the spoon and taking an interest in the proceedings. Previously she was quite content to simply "be fed".

It happens all so quickly! Mealtime is pretty interactive now, in a good way. Needless to say, wearing white is not recommended for baby food feeding of any kind, especially beets :)

All in all,Isobel has really taken to the beets, brocolli she doesn't mind tooo much. The nashi pears are really good mixed in with her cereal - which she still has at dinner, and the swede still needs work. These have a fairly strong scent coupled with a foreign flavour and so far, not a winner.