This post is by regular contributor Arlee Greenwood of Small Potatoes.
“We do children an enormous disservice when we assume they cannot appreciate anything beyond drive through fare and nutritionally marginal kid-targeted convenience foods. Our children are capable of consuming something that grew in a garden or on a tree and never saw a deep-fryer…Children deserve quality nourishment.”
~Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty.
We, as parents, hear the question at least everyday…
“What’s for dinner?”
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it’s the most aggravating question. Ever.
In the beginning of my life as a mother, the answer was easy…milk. But as my babies grew into the solid food era of their lives, the question got even harder.
Babies need nutrition, that’s a given. But babies can also be very picky eaters. New textures and flavours are tricky and babies are the most keen critics.
I have a mama in my circle of friends who takes the utmost care in making meals for her little son. He is in my care twice a week and she sends the most nutritious, careful lunches I have ever seen; each container labeled with ingredients and directions. But even better than the care and thought she puts into his meals, is his eagerness to eat every bite.
I’ve worked together with this mama to bring you a day’s worth of meals for your baby, to maybe make meal planning a little easier on you. These meals are designed for babies who are already eating lumpy, textured food, and have a pretty good grasp on using their pincer grasp, which is usually between 9 and 12 months of age.
Meal 1: Breakfast…This is simply one egg yolk mashed up into 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, whole wheat toast with butter, and an avocado. The egg yolk is packed with nutrition for your baby. It contains vitamins A, E, D, and K, essential fatty acids, calcium, iron, vitamin B6, B12, potassium, and protein, just to list a few! Cottage cheese is a very good source of protein, and avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients including fibre, potassium, Vitamin E and folic acid.
Meal 2: Lunch…The sweet potatoes, which are low in sodium and saturated fat, high in fibre, vitamins B6, C, and A, are prepared by following these few simple steps…
2 sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, blemishes removed and cut in cubes
- In saucepan, bring potatoes to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer until tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain potatoes and set leftover cooking water aside.
- Place potatoes in blender or food processor and puree (or, I use a potato masher, its less clean-up adding leftover cooking water as needed to achieve desired consistency.
- Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.
Zucchini Chicken and Cheese
- In frying pan, heat oil and saute onion on medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and continue to saute until thoroughly cooked, 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
- In blender or food processor, pulse zucchini mixture with chicken, cheese, parsley (if using), yogurt and tomatoes to achieve desired consistency.
- Fill ice cube trays and freeze.
Poached Chicken Breast
- In a shallow frying pan, place chicken breast flat and add water to cover. Bring water to a boil, then cover pan with lid and reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. Flip breast and continue to simmer for another 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of the breast. Allow chicken to cool in water. The meat should be firm to touch and white throughout. There should be no trace of pink and juices should run clear.
Meal 3: Dinner…The mashed potatoes are simply that…mashed potatoes. You can prepare those as you would normally.
Pork and Apple Puree
The Pork and Apple Puree is a recipe from the book The Baby’s Table, by Brenda Bradshaw and Dr. Lauren Donaldson Bramley…
- In saucepan, bring pork and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until pork is thoroughly cooked, 25-30 minutes. Set aside and save stewing water.
- In steamer, steam apples over boiling water for 10 minutes.
- In blender or food processor, puree apples and pork to achieve desired consistency. (For younger babies it may be necessary to add leftover stewing water to thin out the puree.) When adding liquid, start with 1tbsp at a time.
- Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.
*Yield: 12 cubes
And so there you have it.
One whole day.
Baby’s tummy is full of healthy, whole foods, and mama’s heart is happy.
What first foods does your baby most enjoy?