Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chicken Fingers- Baby Style

So once again, in an attempt to introduce more protein into Olivia's diet, I went on a quest for a chicken recipe. She has not been a chicken fan thus far, and I think it may be because it is sort of hard to "chew" for her. 

I found a recipe on a new site I happened upon, that I now love. Here is the recipe I followed:

¾ - 1 lb. package organic chicken tenderloins 1 cup vegetable puree, thinned out with water  2 cups baby cereal (rice, oatmeal or other whole grain) Cooking spray Pinch kosher salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice chicken tenderloins into 1-2 inch long strips and set aside. Fill a wide, shallow bowl with the cereal mixture and another bowl with the vegetable puree. Dredge chicken in baby cereal, then in vegetable puree and go for a second dredge in the cereal mixture. Place chicken fingers on greased cookie sheet (lightly coated with cooking spray).

Bake in oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve immediately or freeze in freezer bags to re-heat for another time.

And with this, Olivia still remains NOT a chicken fan. Dinner was changed last minute to cottage cheese, banana,broccoli pieces, and a few Puffs. I'll try again tomorrow :)

Turkey Meatloaf- Trial and Error

Well, it seems both Sabrina and I now have independent eaters. I completely agree in that it is hard to find ways to incorporate the necessary nutrients when you have to make it in a form that they can pick up with their little fingers!

I scoured my favorite websites and books, and decided to try's recipe for Apple Turkey Meatloaf. Olivia has loved sauteed ground turkey so I thought this wasn't a far stretch. 

Apple Turkey Loaf/Sticks 


1 lb ground turkey
1 whole egg or 2 egg yolks, beaten 
1/2 cup pureed carrots
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup unprocessed natural wheat or oat bran
(I used baby oatmeal)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
pinch of basil
(I didn't use*)
pinch of garlic powder
(I didn't use*)

*but maybe should have, since it was so bland



Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. 
Add the egg/yolk, carrots, applesauce, spices, bread crumbs and bran.
Mix well - If this mixture appears too dry, add more carrots or applesauce. If this mixture appears too wet, add more bran and/or bread crumbs

Place mix into a lightly oiled (olive oil) loaf pan and bake at 350F for approx. 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. **You may wish to cover with foil to prevent the top from burning

When finished baking and cooled, remove loaf from pan and slice as you would for bread. Break into small bits for finger feeding or Mash or chop gently

This recipe may also be made into "Turkey Sticks" for Toddlers and older babies who are able to handle more textured/chunky finger foods.


Ok, first things first, I do not recommend adding any more veggies or fruit even if it does seem dry, because then it is too moist. I ended up dumping out about a 1/2 cup of water halfway through the baking. And even then, it was still really squishy and thus not great for little fingers. 

I tried feeding it to her on a fork and letting her eat it herself. Every bite came right back out with a shake of the head. (Shaking 'no' is her new thing!) So then I tried adding cheese to it, as that usually gets her to eat just about anything. She didn't buy it. So I'm all sad since I made this big meatloaf and no one is going to eat it. Yes, I tried it, and it is really bland..... so I'm not eating it either!

I cut it up and froze it, and thought we would try again another time.

So I reproached it today at lunch. I made her some macaroni noodles and shredded cheese, and mushed up some of the meatloaf into it. She bought it! She ate quite a good helping and didn't spit any out! 

Needless to say, it was an experiment and I will keep trying different ways to hide it from her!


Friday, May 29, 2009

Finger Food Grocery Shopping

So Drew is quickly getting over his beloved purees. As you may be experiencing, finding "healthy" finger foods that babies will eat is becoming tricky. There is a great grocery store near my work called Newflower Farmers Market. They are a small, non-fancy organic grocery store with great prices. Besides some great fruit and veggies I got some "packaged" foods for Drew to try. This is what I bought (some of which is not that healthy, but it will do):
  • All natural nitrate free turkey dogs (One of Drew's new favorite foods)
  • Organic whole wheat small bunny crackers
  • Hummus (I spread some on the crackers above and Drew ate it just fine, thought it might be too much for him but it was all good)
  • Italian style turkey meatballs (a hit)
  • Organic brown rice cakes (a hit)
  • Buckwheat pancake mix (a hit, I add apple sauce or winter squash puree)
  • Organic apple-cinnamon cereal bars (a hit, just a few bites at at time)
  • Frozen organic butternut squash filled raviolis (LOVES them)
  • Organic apple & turkey sausage (Haven't tried yet)
  • A can of organic beef ravioli (Haven't tried yet)
  • Organic boxed macaroni & cheese (Haven't tried yet)
  • Frozen organic salmon patties (Haven't tried yet)
  • Not shown, but have to mention: Canned tuna (packed in water) I didn't give a lot of it, just a few bites. Drew LOVES this.
  • Also not shown: Gerber dried fruit. I was afraid these would be hard like regular dried fruit but these are freeze dried and very soft. Much like the yogurt bites; which Drew also likes.
I would love to hear any ideas for finger foods that you have that have not been mentioned yet.

*Drew is 10 1/2 months old now

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cheesy Sweet Potato Quesadillas

This is a great, easy finger food to prepare. I used whole wheat tortillas; put some thawed sweet potato puree on half of it. Next I spread shredded chicken and cheddar on top the sweet potato. Fold it in half and microwave for 10-15 seconds; just enough to have the cheese melt. Cool and cut in to bite size squares. Drew can't get enough of these.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Not so good baby food review

Plum organics frozen baby food is not worth the money, in my opinion. I almost bought this once before but didn't because it was almost four dollars for two servings. The next time I saw it I thought what the heck; maybe it is really good stuff. As you can tell, it looks nothing like the picture on the box. It smells as bad as it looks. Drew will not have anything to do with the stuff. So, if you see it in the frozen section at your local store, don't be tempted.

Monday, May 18, 2009

French Toast

We made French toast for breakfast the other day and it went over well. I used three egg yolks with a dash of cinnamon and vanilla. I added a touch of water to help lighten the egg mixture. I soaked two pieces of bread and than cooked (without oil or butter) on a nonstick pan. I than cut it into small pieces so they were easy for Drew to eat.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lunch/Dinner foods

Since they are essentially the same!

We are trying chicken, but not liking it yet, pureed or in pieces. I'll keep trying!
Pieces of bread
green beans
sweet potatoes
steamed apples (have also been adding cinnamon, she loves this!)
steamed squash of all kinds
bananas- this is my go to food if she doesn't eat anything else. She will always put away a good 3/4 of a banana!

need to try:

That's all I can think of right now, although I think there's more!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Our Breakfast Foods

Here's a list of the things I give Olivia for breakfast now, and I would love to have any input from others as to things that I am missing, or could add.

This is still a work in progress as she is still trying new foods. Breakfast and lunch are my favorite times to add them, to prevent overnight waking in case they don't agree with her. 

Yo-Baby Yogurt
Steamed and chopped apples or pears
Avocado sometimes

We tried strawberries today, with the ok of the pedi, and she hated them! I've tried grown up oatmeal, both the "real" kind, and the packaged Quaker Oats kind, and those were a no go. Maybe a weird texture?

I am sort of coming up blank when it comes to more things to give her here, so feel free to help!

Is she over it??

I feel like I haven't been able to contribute much lately. Olivia is over purees for sure, and it really over anything that I feed her! She wants to feed herself everything for the most part. This has led me to try and become more and more creative! 

There are not many "recipes" out there for finger food! I will post our "normal" foods for each meal over the next couple days, so that those of you who may have kids like mine may get some ideas. 

I feel sad because I was so wanting to make her food (which I still am technically) and she just doesn't want it anymore. I think I have an independent child when it comes to eating!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Congratulations to our Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to Carol D. & Julie G.; you two are the winners of our Happy Baby Food Giveaway. Check your email for details.

Thank you to everyone that entered.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Last Day for Giveaway!

Don't forget to sign up for the Happy Baby food giveaway! Click here for details.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Barley & Mushrooms

Barley & Mushrooms from the Cooking for Baby book.

I made barley & mushrooms with hopes that Drew would not like it so that I could eat all the leftovers! This is a very adult flavor and would go great as a side dish steak or chicken. But alas, he gobbled up every last bite!

1/2 cup pearl barley
1 Tbsp butter
1 clove of garlic, minced
6 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped (about two cups)
1 cup low sodium broth (I used chicken)
1/3 cup of water
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp thyme (I used dried)

In a dry saucepan, over medium heat, toast the barley. Make sure to stir it often. Cook until brown, about three minutes. Transfer it to a bowl. In the same saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook until it is aromatic, about one minute. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until tender, about three minutes. Stir in the toasted barley, stock, water, salt, pepper and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until barley is tender; about 30-35 minutes.
*Make sure to watch this. I didn't pay that much attention and it ran out of liquid, making much of the barley stick and burn. Luckily I was able to salvage enough of it. Just add more water if need be.

Depending on your child's age and ability, serve it as is or puree it (adding water) for a coarse puree. It will refrigerate (in an airtight container) for up to 3 days.

Barnes, Lisa. Cooking for Baby. Gold Street Press, page 65.

Edamame, Carrots & Cauliflower

I wanted to introduce edamame, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. I didn’t want to just give it to him plain just yet, so I thought some carrots would accompany it well. I used frozen, shelled edamame that I thawed in the microwave and fresh steamed carrots. I hand chopped them into fine pieces. I gave Drew one bite; hmmm, no. Tried a second bite; hmmm, still no. So, I thawed out one of my dressed up cauliflower cubes and mixed it in. That did it; Drew was good to go after that! Just goes to show that cooking for your baby is mostly trial & error and experimentation.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Giveaway: Happy Baby Baby Food & Yobaby Yogurt

If you have read the blog before, than I am sure you have seen my post about Happy Baby frozen baby food and Yobaby yogurt. These are awesome, organic, tasty prepared baby foods that are extremely convenient when mom (or dad) needs a break from making their child's food. What I did not blog about was their other line of organic foods for baby, such as Organic Puffs, Healthy Kids Meals, and Organic Cereals. The good people of Happy Baby Food and their partners at Stonyfield Farm were kind enough to provide coupons for free products. Two lucky winners will each receive the following coupons good for:
  • One Free cup or drinkable multipack of Stonyfield Farm Yobaby Organic Yogurt
  • One Free box of any flavor of Happy Baby's Fresh Frozen Organic Baby Meals
  • One Free Canister of any flavor of Happy Baby's Puffs healthy finger foods for babies
  • One Free canister of any Happy Bellies Flavor; the only baby cereal with DHA & Probiotics
  • Also included is one buy one get one free box of Happy Bites healthy kids meals coupon
This giveaway is open until May 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm CST.

1. Leave your name and email address in the form below.

2. For extra entries:

  • If you have a blog, share this giveaway with your readers then come back and make a second entry by leaving us the direct link to the post in the field "URL."
  • Twitter and/or Facebook about the giveaway. Be sure to include the link to the giveaway so that we know you twittered. Come back and make another entry letting us know you twittered.
3. Winners will be chosen by's integer generator. Your information is confidential and used for this giveaway only. One entry per person please with the exceptions listed above. You will not receive an extra entry for being a "subscriber". Multiple entries other than the ones listed above will be deleted. Feel free to leave us a comment but comments will not be counted as an entry- Please use the form.

4. Winners will be contacted by email where I will request an address to mail the coupons. Again, your information is confidential and used for this giveaway only. If I do not get a response back from a winner within 4 days of notification and address request, I will select a new winner by random.

Thank you and good luck!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Applesauce Pancakes

So, I've got all this leftover applesauce (Drew does not like anything apple) and I am trying to be creative about using it up without Drew noticing it. I decided to make pancakes with it and they turned out really well; and of course very easy. I had Hungry Jack pancake mix on hand (the kind you just add water to), so I used that. For 6-8 pancakes it normally calls for 1 cup of mix and 3/4 cup of water. Instead, I took one package of applesauce, which turned out to be a 1/2 cup. I used a 1/2 cup of water with that, because if I used any less the mixture would have been too thick. I slightly oiled my nonstick pan and made several small pancakes. I cut one pancake up into small squares for breakfast and froze the leftovers.
If you have a creative way to disguise applesauce in baby food I would love to hear about it!