As a trained chef and creator of Weelicious, a website (weelicious.com) dedicated to healthy eating for babies, toddlers and kids, I’ve learned that one of the easiest ways to add extra zip to homemade baby food is with herbs and spices. One of the first vegetables I offered my son, Kenya, was puréed butternut squash. Much to my chagrin, he rejected it on the first three tries. But on the fourth go-round, I added a pinch of pumpkin pie spice and, voilà! He gobbled it up.
Yeah, so much mobility, as I said last week. Tuck has really gotten the hang of crawling, though it isn’t a pretty, smooth action yet. But he is a madman, moving all over the place so fast we can’t even figure out how he’s doing it. We lowered the crib mattress last week because he suddenly figured out how to sit up/try to climb over the edge. This morning he’d pulled a blanket rack over to himself and gotten a blanket into his crib (that’s been moved).
You'd probably do just about anything when you’re pregnant to keep your baby from developing food allergies. Avoid shrimp? Check. Stay away from eggs? No problem. Skip soy? Consider it done. Unfortunately, the advice on how to prevent food allergies keeps changing. So where does that leave you if someone offers you a peanut butter cookie?
Having a young child around presents a dinnertime choice: will you cook fast and simple, and sit down to toddler-friendly fare before 6 pm, or will you feed the kid, put him to bed, then cook and eat an adult meal? For the longest time, we tended too often towards the latter on weeknights. Leo got microwaved leftovers from the night before, or super-simple menus like scrambled eggs, toast and avocado. Back then he was usually in bed before 6:30, and I would spend as much as an hour cooking before sitting down to dinner with Aaron close to 8.
Cold season, for those of you who need to be informed, is upon us. Tissues! Motrin! Humidifiers! I hung fresh eucalyptus leaves from the shower head in an attempt to turn our tiny bathroom into a health-giving steam room. I gave Leo two lollipops when we went to the doctor for his pinkeye/croup the other day just to keep him from touching anything in the doctor’s office. I was pretty sure he’d infect every other kid who went that day and also manage to bring home some more fancy germs while he was at it.
Have you got baby product ideas that you know would go over big if you could just get them in stores? Or are there items you’ve searched for fruitlessly, wondering why no one has come up with them yet? When Leo was small, I was always dreaming up innovations that would make our lives easier.
When our daughter started solids four years ago, my husband and I had the do's and don'ts memorized: wait until she's 6 months old, introduce cereal first and absolutely no eggs. Lucky for you, parents today can reject many of the strict rules we sweated just a few years back. Take a look:
Old Rule: Give nothing but breast milk for 6 months.
Your toddler clamps his mouth shut, turns his head away and screams--loudly--as if you're inflicting the worst kind of torture on his fragile soul. The offense? Vegetables.
Our experiment with solid food was a total bust. We brought the high chair down from the attic, got out the video camera, mixed up some warm rice cereal, and sat Jack in the chair as our entire family stood by expectantly, excited to witness his ceremonial first meal. Will manned the video camera while Julia stood by with a spoon and Charlie ran around in excited circles.
Interested in whipping up a batch of fresh fare for your nascent eater? The right tools will make the job simple and rewarding, so invest now in equipment that will last a lifetime. Eileen Behan, R.D., author of The Baby Food Bible (Ballantine Books), offers her kitchen gear hotlist:
Your baby’s first tastes of solid foods are thoroughly entertaining to watch, as new flavors and textures provoke faces that are equally adorable and hilarious. What’s not so amusing is that, in some instances, there are invisible contaminants, fillers and other unhealthy ingredients lurking in his food.
A new study out of Britain has revealed that some baby foods contain more fat than a cheeseburger and more sugar than chocolate, MSNBC.com reports. "Many foods marketed for babies and young children are often advertised as healthy. In reality, ... some are worse than junk food," said a spokeswoman for Britain's Children's Food Campaign, which conducted the survey.
Simple Foods, Complicated Rules