Friday, August 29, 2014

Introducing Solid Foods

      
     We've entered new territory- solid foods! I originally intended to use the Baby-Led Weaning method in which the cereals and purees are skipped in preference to offering whole foods. I still believe in many of the advantage points of this method. However, the fact that nourishing the baby wouldn't be entirely on my shoulders (because our breastfeeding experience has been a challenge, but I'm proud to say we're still going!) was a deciding factor to going ahead and starting solids with purees. Plus, Tennyson is so curious and eager to explore new things that I was excited for him to begin experiencing the many tastes and textures of food.
      I liked the idea of purchasing real fruits, vegetables, and grains and making our own purees. There are no additional ingredients, just the actual grain, fruit or vegetable. I can also vary how thick or thin to make the puree according to his abilities. Moreover, there is also a cost advantage to homemade baby purees. I puree a larger batch of a vegetable or fruit and then freeze it in tablespoon size portions in an ice cube tray. Whenever I need that particular food, I simply pull it out of the freezer, let it thaw and then rewarm it (adding breastmilk to cool or thin it out if need be).
      In order to have greater ideas for foods to offer and in various combinations, I purchased the book 201 Organic Baby Purees by Tamika L. Gardner. I don't necessarily do the "organic" part, but I have otherwise really enjoyed this little book! The book includes lots and lots of great recipes from beginner single food purees to rather complex ones for older babies. We've tried about fifteen so far with great success. I've browsed the other recipes, and they appear to be pretty tasty and nutritious. My favorite part is the menu plans! The recipes are divided into sections based on age: 6-7 months, 8-9 months etc. At the end of each section is a weekly menu plan with the recipes inserted for breakfasts, lunches, and dinner (and then later snacks for older babies). I would've created a similar calendar on my own, and so I love that one is already done for me! The menus make planning and preparing his meals very simple. And like I mentioned above, I frequently make a puree in a large batch and then freeze it so all I have to do when I come across it on the menu is to pull it out the appropriate foods and thaw.
video     I'm always eager to see what foods he'll get to try the next day! He hasn't had one of those picture moments in which he makes a funny face in response to a food. He is loving solid foods! So far, he's had: pumpkin, green beans, butternut squash, rice, oatmeal, zucchini, cantaloupe, apricot, mango, banana, apples, peaches, sweet potato, avocado, and pear.  His favorites are apricot and green beans.  We often can't spoon it into his mouth fast enough! He gets all excited and pops his little mouth open like a baby bird when we ask/sign "more" to him (see video).  We're enjoying this new stage of his and excited to see his response to even more food combinations!

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-


Friday, August 22, 2014

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

 
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
     These cookies have very quickly become one of my favorites when I want something sweet but not full indulgence. The ingredients include lots of healthy (and yummy!) alternatives to traditional cookie ingredients such as whole wheat flour and oats and flaxseed meal. It sounds a bit odd for a dessert, but trust me- they're delicious!
 
Ingredients:

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. + 2 T old fashioned oats*
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. + 2 T. peanut butter
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. flax seed meal
2 T + 2 t water
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 egg
1/2-1 c. chocolate chips**
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

*I sometimes substitute half quick oats 
** Try adding butterscotch chips or peanut butter chips. mmm!

Directions:
1. Combine whole wheat flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.

2. In a second bowl, mix together peanut butter, butter, sugars, vanilla, flaxseed meal and water until creamy. Mix in egg.

3. Gradually add in flour mixture. Then, add nuts and chocolate chips.

4. Spoon onto baking sheet in tablespoon portions. These don't rise much, so you can really fit a bunch on a single pan.

6. Bake at 350F for approximately 12 minutes.


Recipe adapted from Created To Be His

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Menu Plan: Summer (Aug. 17 - 23)


**There is now a photo album on the RH Facebook page just for food photos. If you like to see a photo of a dish to judge whether you want to try it or not, then follow the link to view the album. (I tend to like recipes & cookbooks that include lots of photos). Let's be honest, some dishes are just too pretty to not take a picture! ;) **


  Strategies
  • I picked up at a Crock-Pot cookbook last week. I've been wanting to have a meal ready for us as soon as we returned from church on Sundays. I've never really used our slow cooker for meals, and so hopefully this little book will give me some ideas for meals that I can prepare in it. We made philly cheesesteak sandwiches this week and they were pretty good! I think Sunday Crock-Pot lunch will be here to stay!
  • We didn't quite get to three meals last week, so they'll roll into this week. I've found it helpful to have at least one meal that has mostly pantry ingredients, so that it can roll over to the next week if need be.
  • We're expecting company next week, so we're trying to plan lighter for this week to make up for a higher grocery trip next week. It's all about balance :)

OUR MENU PLAN FOR THIS WEEK

*Note: I include links to the recipes if they are available online. Some recipes are from cookbooks we have at home, and while I can't share the recipe I can direct you to the source. Other dishes or meals are created by myself or my husband, and we can do our best to explain how to recreate it. If you'd like additional information on any of the meals or our menu planning, then please feel free to contact me. :) 

Breakfasts
- apple and walnut granola cereal
- strawberry & peach green smoothie
- broccoli & parmesan omelet, toast
- breakfast tacos (eggs, salsa and black beans in a multi-grain wrap)

Lunches
- (leftover) philly cheesesteak sandwiches 
- [Sandwich] Tomato & provolone cheese sandwich, chips
-  (leftover) pizza
- [Salad] cucumber & black eye pea salad (I'm adding greens to make it a full salad)
- [Sandwich] BLT sandwiches
- Bean & rice burritos (black beans, rice, cheese, salsa, avocado)
next Sunday- [Crock-Pot] Sweet & sour shrimp with pineapple

Dinners
- (Hubby's request) fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread
- leftover chicken meal
- (summer veggie plate) fried green tomatoes, tomatoes, turnip greens, black eye peas, corn, cornbread 
- Cheese quesadillas, chips & salsa
- [Pizza] Spinach and sun-dried tomato stuffed pizza (I'm going to use white beans instead of tofu) 



Snacks
- apple and peanut butter
- popcorn
- snack bars
- yogurt with mixed berries


Grocery Shopping
- broccoli (fresh or frozen)
- bananas
- multigrain tortillas
- eggs
- milk
- coffee creamer
-tomato (slicing) x2-3
-green tomatoes
-provolone cheese
-bacon
-lettuce
- avocado
- frozen snow peas
- canned pineapple chunks
- chicken bouillon
- ground ginger 
-turnip greens
-cheddar cheese
-salsa
-tortillas chips
-snack bars




*Note: Reviving Homemaking is not affiliated with any of the sites or companies included in the links, and was not asked to include or recommend them or their recipes in this post. (I simply like what they have to offer!)

What's on your family's menu plan this week?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Menu Plan: Summer (August 10-16)

**There is now a photo album on the RH Facebook page just for food photos. If you like to see a photo of a dish to judge whether you want to try it or not, then follow the link to view the album. (I tend to like recipes & cookbooks that include lots of photos). Let's be honest, some dishes are just too pretty to not take a picture! ;) **


  Strategies
  • I picked up at a Crock-Pot cookbook, and am excited to begin including the recipes into our menu plan each week. I've been wanting to have a meal ready for us as soon as we returned from church on Sundays. I've never really used our slow cooker for meals, and so hopefully this little book will give me some ideas for meals that I can prepare in it. 
  • We didn't quite get to two meals last week, so they'll roll into this week. I've found it helpful to have at least one meal that has mostly pantry ingredients, so that it can roll over to the next week if need be.


OUR MENU PLAN FOR THIS WEEK

*Note: I include links to the recipes if they are available online. Some recipes are from cookbooks we have at home, and while I can't share the recipe I can direct you to the source. Other dishes or meals are created by myself or my husband, and we can do our best to explain how to recreate it. If you'd like additional information on any of the meals or our menu planning, then please feel free to contact me. :) 

Breakfasts
- apple and walnut granola cereal
- strawberry & peach green smoothie
- broccoli & parmesan omelet, toast
- breakfast tacos (eggs, salsa and black beans in a multi-grain wrap)

Lunches
- Lentil and rice burritos
- (leftovers) BBQ chicken, potato salad, baked beans
- [Salad] cucumber & black eye pea salad (I'm adding greens to make it a full salad)
- (leftover) lasagna, green beans
- (leftover) lasagna, green beans
- [Sandwich] avocado  egg salad wraps
next Sunday- [Crock-Pot] Philly cheese steak sandwiches (I plan to make a full recipe, but only cook half. The other half will go into the freezer as a freezer meal for a future occasion).

Dinners
- Green pizza with a homemade whole wheat crust
- agedashi tofu, crispy vegetable spring rolls
- lasagna, green beans
- [Grill] pork steak, asparagus, applesauce (canned last year), corn
- [Pizza] Spinach and sun-dried tomato stuffed pizza (I'm going to use white beans instead of tofu so that we don't have two tofu meals in one week)



Snacks
- apple and peanut butter
- popcorn
- snack bars
- yogurt with mixed berries


Grocery Shopping
spinach (large container)
salad greens
red & green bell pepper
eggs
olives
cottage cheese
mozzarella
avocado
celery
round steak
French roll
cheddar cheese
monterrey jack cheese
firm tofu
sesame oil
cabbage
rice noodles (or other thin asian-style noodle)
boston butt (sliced into steaks by meat department)
corn
apples
cantaloupe
bananas



*Note: Reviving Homemaking is not affiliated with any of the sites or companies included in the links, and was not asked to include or recommend them or their recipes in this post. (I simply like what they have to offer!)

What's on your family's menu plan this week?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...