Where we are today? At 10 1/2 months old, Audrey loves pretty much everything. After the green light to add lean proteins such as turkey, beans, chicken, fish and eggs over 2 months ago, I have literally yet to see a food she’s had a strong reaction to. Beans aren’t a favorite, but she’s often a good sport and will eat them with slight trepidation. I think it’s a textural thing. Otherwise, we are a go, she will try absolutely everything! And don’t even try to eat in front of her without offering her a bite, as she will longingly stare at you until you give in. She takes sips of my green juice, eat smoked cheeses, loves kale, and even had scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and chives this past weekend. During this time we’ve also started to experiment with different consistencies. No longer are the days of silky smooth purees; chunkier and coarser meals are letting Audrey explore chewing with her 5 adorable teeth.
Her daily routine consists of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one snack (in addition to her milk). All meals are similar to what I’d want to or am eating. Breakfast is often oatmeal, fruit, cottage cheese or yogurt. Lunches – some type of grain and vegetable combination. Recent favorites have been quinoa with beets, feta and spinach, gluten free pesto pasta salad with mozzarella, arugula and tomatoes and mashed potatoes with peas and carrots. Dinner is typically a mix of lean protein, carbs and vegetables – cinnamon chicken with sweet potatoes and spinach, thyme and orange pork with apples and butternut squash, roasted salmon with parmesan cauliflower, or turkey with rosemary polenta and kale. Snacks are simple and a time when we work on her learning how to pick up her food and eat it – often fresh fruit and cheese cut up into bite-size pieces.
I make sure everyday she has a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates. I feed her with the seasons and as organically as possible. I make everything from scratch and I have to be honest, it takes a lot less time than I thought it would. Especially since I make big batches and portion it out into feedings for the next few days and portions to freeze. I use 1, 2, and 4 oz. containers and trays. This makes it super easy and manageable to always have food available. Most importantly, grocery lists are not that separate from what I’m buying for us. I believe this is the key. Babies, toddlers and kids want to eat what they see their parents eating. My husband and I have that one down. We may be clueless new parents much of the time, but healthful and balanced eating we know.
Here are a few of the recent recipes….
9 months + up
Makes approximately 6-8 (4 oz.) servings
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 lb. ground pork, preferably humanely raised and organic
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 red apples, such as fuji or gala, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (about 1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons orange juice
Heat half of oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Once hot, add onion and cook until soft and translucent. Set aside onion and add remaining oil to the pan. Add pork and cook, breaking up the meat as you go until fully cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add onions back to the pan along with the thyme. Stir to combine. Add the apples and squash to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples and squash are lightly browned and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer contents of pan, plus orange juice, to a food processor and pulse a few times, or until desired consistency.
Makes approximately 6-8 (4oz.) servings
1/2 pound yellow yukon potatoes, diced
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Place potatoes, carrots and salt in a large pot. Cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add peas and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Drain water from pot. Stir in butter. Mash the mixture with a potato masher until butter is melted and potatoes have reached a chinky consistency. Mix in cheese and pepper.
* This is a great recipe to experiment with textures. You can also add a lean protein if you’d like, but as is, it is quite delicious.
Makes approximately 4 (4 oz.) servings
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes (about 1 large)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, patted dry and cut into 1″ cubes
3 cups baby spinach leaves (about 2.5 oz. or 1/2 clamshell)
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
Heat half of oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Once hot, add sweet potatoes and cook until soft and slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Set potatoes aside and add remaining oil to the pan. Add chicken and cook, until fully cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Add sweet potatoes back to the pan as well as the spinach. Add 2-3 tablespoons water, once absorbed add the cinnamon and cumin. Once the spinach has wilted and the flavors have combines, transfer contents of pan to a food processor and pulse a few times, or until desired consistency.