Sunday, November 8, 2009

What's for dinner? Food.

As I mentioned, Girly decided to go on a spoon/fork strike right after we left for Hawaii. I called my Mom to check in and she said that Girly didn't like any of the food I made for her.

Umm, thanks.

More like she didn't like them served on a spoon. I had an inkling this was coming - we were having a lot of food spitting and batting at the spoon.

So, now I've gone to almost exclusively finger foods and I use a spoon only very occasionally to feed her. I should have her start to practice feeding herself with a spoon, but I'm not quite ready for that level of mess.

Breakfast has been the bigger challenge for me - I used to feed her plain yogurt and a fruit puree every morning. It was fast, easy, and she gobbled it up. I had a recipe for some pretty healthy oatmeal pancakes, so now she gets one of those in the morning, all chopped up. I made a double batch, froze them and can zap one at a time in the microwave - super easy.

Oatmeal Pancakes - 1 recipe, makes 10-12 small pancakes
1 1/2 cups whole oats
1 cup whole milk cottage cheese (small curd)
2 eggs, lightly beaten, or 1 cup Egg Beaters
splash of milk
1-2 Tbs sugar (less for baby)
1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
2 tsp baking powder

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add in wet ingredients and stir together. Puree with a stick blender / immersion blender / blender. It will be very thick and unappetizing looking - can thin a little bit with milk, but it doesn't have to be too thin. I cook them on an electric griddle at about 250 degrees. Use lower heat because they are thick and take longer to cook than your average pancake. Use about 1/4 cup per pancake. Also good with sliced bananas/apples/pears added after the first flip. Cool on a cooling rack, then stack between wax paper in a tupperware container to freeze. This is a version of a Weight Watchers recipe - can make them very low fat for yourself with fat free cottage cheese, egg beaters and Splenda for Baking. Good and filling!
(Note - I'm not really sure about the rule with baked goods and eggs. I know egg whites should be put off until after 12 months, but our Girl has had them before in other foods and was fine. If you are concerned, ask your doctor, of course!)

I don't know if it is good or bad timing to start the finger food phase at the start of Fall/Winter. On the one hand, there are very few fresh/seasonal fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, it is probably easier to pull stuff out of cans and the freezer. And, the seasonal stuff now, like pears, have to be really ripe before she can eat it - takes quite a bit of pre-planning.

I've got cans of peaches, pears, tropical fruit and fruit cocktail in my pantry - all packed in juice. It is surprisingly hard to find fruit packed in juice and not syrup. I just chop up a can or two at a time and leave in the fridge. I also have frozen mangoes in the freezer, which thaw quickly in the microwave and have a good texture. Bananas, of course, always work. Did you know that you can put bananas in the fridge when they get to the perfect eating texture and they will stay that way? The skins get super brown, but the fruit stays good.

As for veggies, frozen peas work great - just thaw a few at a time in the micro. I think only certain veggies taste good frozen - if I'll eat them, I'll make them for her. I have also been chopping up squash and sweet potatoes in a small dice, roasting it, flash freezing it and storing in the freezer. It is a bit tedious, but if you take an hour or so to make a bunch, it lasts forever. Butternut squash seems to be the easiest to chop. I just pull out frozen veggies, cover in water in a ramekin and zap for a minute.

Girly really likes beans - canned black beans, white beans, garbanzo beans, refried beans. I just rinse the beans and store them in a plastic container in the fridge. She eats them cold, cut up if big/firm, and it's easy protein. She also really likes a quesadilla with a whole wheat tortilla, refried beans and shredded cheese. She'll eat half of a small tortilla, all cut up, and I can save the other half for the next day.

As for other dairy, I've stayed away from yogurt and cottage cheese because it is so messy for now with the spitting. Fresh mozzarella is a good option, but goes bad quickly. She also likes string cheese chopped up, or shredded cheese. Whole milk ricotta is good mixed with pasta.

Mixed up pasta with some combination of veggies / cheese / meat / sauce is also good and freezes great.

As for gear, we're starting to use plates - for learning and because the lip of the plate is good leverage for picking up foods. And, good for throwing! The one drawback of the Fast Chair is that it is hard to use a place mat. We are fully past the cute little baby bibs and on to bibs that catch things. So far, I really like the Bumkins and the DexBaby brands. I plan to use one of those easy 3M hooks to hang the bibs up to dry on the side of the cabinet by my sink. If you have a nice kitchen, you may not like the look. Me? With all the bottle paraphernalia and pacifiers, I don't think anyone will notice! The bibs have really helped with the splatter on the floor, but I know you can get cute splat mats. I've also read a tip to use one of those plastic pads that go under office chairs from Office Max, or just plastic sheeting that you can buy by the yard at JoAnn.

More than anything, I strive to get my act together to plan meals that we can eat and that will also provide leftovers for Girly. Alas, the biggest challenge of them all ....

1 comment:

RC said...

Yum - sounds delicious!!! I make some buttermilk pancakes that have oatmeal and nuts in them, but these sounds good to - especially with the cottage cheese.