Friday, July 23, 2010


I'm not referring to the type of staples that are sharp, metal, and dangerous to little ones. I'm talking about the meal-time staples that ALWAYS feed a little body better than anything you could nuke in the microwave or grab in a drive-thru. Good food can be simple and easy, and for nights like last when we had company stay a bit late and dinner was put on the back-burner (get it???), these meals are perfect. I stress about what goes into our girls' bodies - I have from the very beginning, literally. I stopped drinking, quit eating sushi, and steered clear of delicious but unpasteurized cheeses as soon as it was possible that I might be pregnant. During my pregnancy, I made sure I was getting all the right nutrients, plenty of water, fruits and veggies... you get the idea. So when dinner rolls around and I don't have a well-balanced meal prepared, having these staples gives me peace of mind knowing that those adorable little bellies have just what they need for their next adventure.
  • Avocado - diced and served as is; full of good-fat and high in vitamin E
  • Fresh fruit - kiwi, oranges, blueberries
  • Yogurt with flaxseed - we keep a container of ground flaxseed in the freezer and add a tablespoon or so to yogurt everyday; the yogurt provides good bacteria and probiotics, the flaxseed has fiber and is a good source of omega-3s
  • Eggs - scrambled, with some cheese
  • Whole wheat tortilla roll-ups - peanut butter and honey are a fave here
  • Super Porridge - I highly recommend the book Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. This book was fantastic during the 6-12 month range while I was making baby food (another post on that yet to come). The "super porridge" recipe is simply homemade hot cereal, made from whole grains: brown rice, barley, millet. I grind up a big batch each weekend, keep it in the fridge, and serve it regularly for breakfast as well as for dinner on nights when needed. It is incredibly hearty and I have encouraged any of my friends who have little ones that struggle with constipation to give it a whirl - one day during our first super porridge week, I changed EIGHT dirty diapers by 2:00 in the afternoon. Yes, that's 4 dirty diapers each. And now, well over a year later, the girls still LOVE this meal and I love knowing that they are starting their day with a bowl of pure goodness! Here are several of our porridge add-ins:
    • Mashed banana (sweetens nicely instead of using honey or agave nectar)
    • Raisins
    • For younger ones, not yet getting a lot of veggies from other sources, I often combined steamed/pureed spinach with pureed pears or mashed sweet potatoes with cooked/mashed apples
    • Flaxseed or wheat germ
    • Milk or yogurt
    • Berries (blueberries are requested daily)
On a side note, vitamins have always been a biggie in our house as well. The girls came home from the hospital already on vitamins high in iron to prevent an iron-deficiency that is common in preemies. We gave the girls a daily liquid multivitamin everyday for their first 2 years and they have just switched to an organic chewable that includes probiotics and vegetable compounds. Now, based on how heartily Abby and Elise eat, I honestly don't worry about what might be lacking but a vitamin is a good security blanket, just to be safe. And for those little ones who aren't yet getting everything, I sure don't see where a vitamin can hurt.

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