Category Archives: 7 Months+

One year down…What I’ve learned so far

What a year! Rafaela has absolutely transformed my life forever. I don’t think I have learned so much about my husband, or myself than I have in the last 12 months and I know we have not even scratched the surface. It has been an amazing journey so far and we feel truly blessed. We have to keep telling ourselves “she is our daughter”. When we look back on the thousands [and I mean thousands] of photos, I’m surprised at how much she has grown and the vast amount of memories we have created in just one year. It is exhilarating!

I’ve also reclaimed the joy of cooking as she has inspired us to eat better as a family and to try new foods. The hubby even enjoyed sugar free pancakes, although they were drenched in maple syrup. As you become a parent and a new mum, actually from the moment you announce you’re pregnant, the advice just rolls in and you yourself can’t help but impart any little nugget you have found out that might help another new mum. These are the things I thought about when I decided to start this blog. I had spent so much time researching about solids that it would make me so happy if anything I post here can help save you some time, and give you more time with your bubba choo.

In this post, I thought I would re-cap what I’ve learned and the 12 commandments I now live by;

  1. Steam and bake as much food as you can, why? Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani (author of Well Adjusted Babies) believes cooking for longer and at lower temperatures preserves the natural goodness of vegetables more than any other cooking method. A bamboo steamer is a cheap and effective solution over baby food makers;
  2. Fruit naturally sweetens;
  3. Flavour with herbs and spices, not salt. Cinnamon is a must!
  4. Protein should be the width and length of your baby’s hand. I should practice what I preach here with my own plate;
  5. Always have green on the plate, even if it’s herbs. Green Foods are Super Foods;
  6. Buy organic food where possible. Why? No pesticides and herbicides and certified organic is GM free (genetically modified) Also it it getting far more cheaper and more readily available at your local supermarket;
  7. Start reading and understanding food labels. I avoid foods with preservatives, unnecessary salts, sugars and what’s with the numbers? They are not ingredients;
  8. Texture, texture, texture! It will help avoid a fussy eater and it’s fun to watch their facial expressions;
  9. Once your baby is around the 10month mark, start considering how you can adapt your adult meals for baby, omitting sugar & salt and in my case Chilli. I will remove Rafaela’s portions before I season;
  10. Try and cut finger foods into strips rather than squares. You will find your baby picking them up first working towards cubes;
  11. Buy seasonal fruit and vegetables, its cheaper and tastier;
  12. Commercial baby food is NOT that bad at all. Always go for the organic brands. Woolworth Macro Wholefoods is great, Only Organic, Organic Bubs, Raffertys Garden. Buy them on sale (usually at Woolies) and keep them for those ‘Fast Food’ moments. My advice is to pair it with Quinoa to add more texture. It travels well at room temperature.

These are all pretty stock standard and you will find most of this information in baby food cookbooks and from your baby nurses. This advice has worked for me and I hope it works for you (what’s a mum without giving advice). Thank you for reading. I hope you stick around, I have many more recipes to come.

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Summertime Frozen Yoghurt Pops

Here is a delicious little treat for you and bub, just in time for the scorcher about to hit tomorrow here in Sydney – 42 degrees and baking! Also if you’re on a bit of post festive season, pre Australia Day detox like me then this is the kind of treat your after.

This is a great substitute for craving ice-cream after dinner, which is my current downfall. We are trying to eat together as a family. I’m hoping Rafaela clues onto using her own spoon by watching us. So far we just have her wanting our and refusing to eat out of her bowl unless it comes from either mine or her dads. Eating together means eating super early for me, like at 6:30 pm. In my former life I was likely to be at work or on the train at that time. The task for us in the coming weeks as I plan on heading back to work is to maintain our dinner time, therefore the freezer will be my new best friend!

The below recipe is for Blueberry & Banana flavour. You can substitute or make many different combinations. Think about Raspberries, Mango, Strawberries and Banana. Once your bub is old enough you can use Honey. However this recipe uses Agave Syrup, easily available at Coles or Woolworths. We also use Organic full fat Yoghurt. Babies need full fat products until the age of two.  I use Macro Foods Organic Greek  Yoghurt or Jalna Bio Dynamic Organic Whole Milk Yoghurt. These are both staples in the fridge. For adults, try reduced fat vanilla yoghurt.

You don’t need to make them into Popsicle’s.  I  did picked up some cute moulds from Ikea for $2.99 last week. I’ve also made some smaller baby friendly portions in Ice cube trays. You can easily put this into a freezer friendly tub and scoop it out like normal frozen yoghurt.

Stay Cool!

Frozen Yoghurt Popsicles (makes about 1 litre)Frozen Yoghurt Pop

Ingredients:

1 Cup (280g) of organic plain yoghurt (see above)

½ cup (125ml) Soy Milk or Full Fat Milk

1 Banana

1 Cup (150g) fresh or frozen blueberries

¼ cup (60ml) of Agave Syrup or Maple Syrup

Method:

Place all the ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth. Pour into your moulds and freeze for 4-6 hours.

To remove the Popsicle from the case, run under warm water or place in a cup of warm water.

There is plenty to fill up 6 Popsicle moulds and a decent amount of ice cubes.

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‘Tis the season for Turkey & Quinoa Meatloaf, gobble gobble!

Tis the season indeed! This year will be our first Christmas with Rafaela and the excitement is slowly growing. The tree is up and the ham is en-route! She has no idea what is going on, she was given her first gift the other day and just ripped and ate the paper.  On the bright side she was eating with her hands…

What I do love about Christmas is the copious amounts of food. My family have a pot luck type soiree, while it’s more of a traditional affair on my husband’s side. Turkey tends to be a quintessential meat at both events. I thought to myself what a great meal for babies at Christmas, all that excitement and energy. Remember that Seinfeld episode when Jerry feeds his girlfriend Turkey so she would fall asleep and he and George could play with her antique toy collection, Priceless! While it does contain certain amino acids that bring on sleep it’s a combination of things that make you sleepy after turkey, usually all the other food and alcohol that goes with the feast.

Regardless, Turkey is a great lean protein; it was one of the first meats I tried. Most supermarkets have a select range of turkey products and its pretty affordable.

Below is a super healthy and protein packed meal for the whole family. While meatloaf is not normally a glamorous meal, you can dress it up by wrapping it in thin rashers of bacon for the Christmas table. Adding Quinoa gives the loaf a great nutty flavour and actually keeps it quite moist. I’ve provided a healthy glaze that is suitable for babies. For older kids you can use the standard tomato sauce type glaze.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Turkey & Quinoa Meatloaf 

Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cup water

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

500g ground turkey

1 tablespoon organic tomato paste

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (optional)

2 egg yolks

1x zucchini & carrot, grated

Handful of Cheddar cheese

Glaze (Combine these two ingredients in a small bowl):
• 1 Can organic tomato paste
• 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or more if you’d like your glaze to be a little thinner consistency)
optional: add 1/8 cup of honey to sweeten glaze

Method

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat an oven to 180 degrees C and line a loaf tin with Baking paper.

Heat the olive oil in a fry-pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute; remove from heat to cool.

Combine the turkey mince, cooked quinoa, onions, zucchini, carrot, tomato paste, cheese, Worcestershire sauce and egg, in a large bowl until well combined. Shape the mixture into the loaf tin. Either brush on your chosen glaze  or add rashers of bacon, ensure you tuck in the ends to avoid curling.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes  The loaf is ready when your meat thermometer reaches 70 degrees C . Let the meatloaf cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Add your seasoning to your portions and cut a slice into fingers for the baby.

Keeps in the fridge for 2 days and freezes well.

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Organic Tahini Snowballs

Yay! Raff can now finish a slice of toast with her own two hands… Ben Harper would be so proud and so is mum! Now this opens up a whole new world of meals for us, I’ve been looking for different spreads to keep it interesting.

Nutritionist Leanne Cooper suggests Tahini (hulled sesame seeds); it is a great source of calcium, especially for babies with milk intolerance. Marco Whole foods at Woolworths sell Organic Tahini, easily found next to the Vegemite. Once I buy a product like this, I like to find other recipes that use it, just so it doesn’t go to waste. Below is a recipe for Tahini Balls, perfect little snack for everyone in the family. It’s also found the Smokey Middle Eastern dip, Baba ghanoush. Recipe coming soon!

The recipe below uses dried fruits. There are some thoughts around the use of dried fruit versus fresh fruit with babies. Yes, fresh is always best. Dried fruit has lost its water content; this concentrates the nutrients which can be good and bad. You won’t need to eat as many sultanas as grapes; however the higher fibre content will give it a laxative effect.

You are able to give babies dried fruits from 6 months of age. Always ensure that you find varieties that are organic and without sulphur dioxide which is used to preserve the bright colours. This can trigger asthma and tummy problems in predisposed babies. Dried fruits are higher in sugar and present a choking hazard for younger babies. You can however re-hydrate them to make them easier to puree and consume. You can do this by soaking or gently simmering the fruit in water until soft.

The great thing about this little snack, zero actual cooking and they look like little snowballs, Great festive treat.

Organic Tahini SnowballsOrganic Tahini Balls

Ingredients

½ cup Organic Unhulled Tahini

½ cup Organic Honey

½ cup Desiccated Coconut + a bit extra for rolling

½ cup Organic LSA (ground linseed, sunflower and almonds)

½ cup Organic Dried Apricots

½ cup fresh Dates

½ cup Organic Dried Cranberries

You can use  different combinations of dried fruit based on your tastes. Think about apple, mangoes, figs, pears and cherries. 

Method

Place dried fruits in a blender and process until finely chopped. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly with a spoon. Scooping up heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture from the bowl, roll into balls with your hands. Roll balls in extra desiccated coconut. Refrigerate until time to eat.

Makes 20-25 balls.

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