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Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup

June 3, 2016

No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Confession…

Other than bone broth and an occasional whole chicken on a busy week, my Instant Pot has gathered some dust over the winter…

Cooking is a relaxing, stress reliever of mine. So cooking stovetop is a labor of love to me, and I really don’t mind it!

But as our schedules started getting more packed this spring, and the weather begged us to be outside more and more, my focus turned to figuring out this convenient Instant Pot cooking so we could still eat nourishing meals without so much kitchen time.

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

My toddler especially has become fond of my Instant Pot veggie soups. She has been teething 2 year molars this spring and raw veggies are tough to get her to enjoy. It is pretty typical at this age (from my experience at least), so I don’t sweat it, and get the veggies down in more cooked form until my toddlers can manage chewing raw veg better.

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

It makes for a great way to getting nourishing bone broth in (which, by the way, you can make quick in the Instant Pot too!)

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Spring is a time for fresh, detoxing greens and mineral rich roots. Our spring tends to linger around where I live so gathering fresh local spring veggies is pretty easy even into June. It is nice to use the entire vegetable – including the green tops that so often people toss away!

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

The veggies I used in the recipe here only scratch the surface of the possibilities! Change things up as much as you want. I always try to be sure to have some “sweeter” veggies such as carrots, golden beets, peas, potatoes, and even radishes (they are spicy when raw but when they are cooked they are soft and sweet like a potato) to offset any bitter greens.

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

The best part just might be how “one pot” this whole soup is. Toss all the veggies in and after it pressure cooks, just puree right in the Instant Pot with an immersion blender!

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

This recipe is super forgiving – I haven’t made it the same way twice because there are so many great spring veggies to try! Here is a list of great in season spring veggies to use in your spring soup!

  • Beets or golden beets (I have used golden beets and the color is beautiful!)
  • Spring greens such as nettles, baby spinach, chard, and green tops from radishes and/or beets
  • Peas
  • Leeks
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Green Onions
  • Celeriac
  • Carrots
  • New potatoes

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Don’t forget this soup is great for all ages!

Soup purees are a great way to introduce veggies to babies ready for solids. Just serve on a spoon, in a mug with a small straw, or let them drink it right out of an open cup! And since this soup freezes so great, it makes the perfect pull out thermos soup for school lunches!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 quarts bone broth
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 head of garlic (peel the cloves but you can leave them whole!)
  • ½ lb spring greens such as nettles, baby spinach, radish greens, beet greens (about 5ish cups)
  • 5-6 small/medium carrots, tops removed
  • 1 bunch radishes (about 10 or so radishes. If your radishes are small you can use more. You can leave the tops right on!)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends discarded
  • 1 medium leek (Discard the green top and slice length-wise to wash out the sand from the insides - no need to chop further!)
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
  • Optional raw cream or whole sour cream, and fresh chopped chives to garnish
Instructions
  1. Everything but the salt, pepper, and garnishes into the Instant Pot, put the lid on, and close the valve.
  2. Push the "Soup" setting and bring the time down manually to 10 minutes. It will turn on automatically and take about 15 minutes to come to pressure before the 10 minutes counts down.
  3. When the Instant Pot is done cooking the soup, release the valve to let the pressure out, remove the lid, and use an immersion blender (or pour the cooked soup into a regular blender) to puree the soup until smooth. Add sea salt and pepper to your taste.
  4. Garnish each bowl with raw cream or sour cream, and freshly chopped chives.

For more Instant Pot recipes, you can follow my Instant Pot board on Pinterest!

More real food recipes you might like:

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce :: Weeknight dinner friendly, this 20 minute spring stir fry with a garlic butter sauce will satisfy on the busiest of spring evenings!
Spring Roasted Asparagus and Garlic Stinging Nettles Soup

Roasted Asparagus & Garlic Stinging Nettle Soup :: Enjoy the freshest tastes of spring with roasted garlic and asparagus soup filled with nourishing, mineral rich stinging nettles!
How To Make Instant Pot Bone Broth

Instant Pot Bone Broth :: Learn how to use *any* bones to make fast, nourishing bone broth with your Instant Pot!
Crispy Plantain Crackers

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!

Cold & Flu Season Drinks Feeding Babies Natural Remedies Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

Post Tummy Bug Recovery Smoothie

March 25, 2016

You’ve made it through a tummy bug, and are ready to eat – but what do you eat on a sensitive empty tummy? This smoothie is not only gentle, but is loaded with minerals and nutrients to nourish your family back to eating again!

Post Tummy Bug Recovery Smoothie :: You've made it through a tummy bug, and are ready to eat - but what do you eat on a sensitive empty tummy? This smoothie is not only gentle, but is loaded with minerals and nutrients to nourish your family back to eating again!

We made it through the whole winter with no more than a little cold bug…until last week.

The weekend spring began to be exact! How ironic!

I went on a field trip with my preschooler on a Friday morning and listened to the teacher’s warnings to the mothers there that 6 or 7 kids plus 1 teacher were out with the flu that week…

Post Tummy Bug Recovery Smoothie :: You've made it through a tummy bug, and are ready to eat - but what do you eat on a sensitive empty tummy? This smoothie is not only gentle, but is loaded with minerals and nutrients to nourish your family back to eating again!

And my 6 and 4 year olds ended up with buckets at the bedside by Saturday morning.

What a drag!

It’s bound to happen – our kids don’t live in bubbles right?!

We do what we can to keep their immune systems boosted during the winter with quality cod liver oil, whole food sourced quality vitamin C, eating nourishing food and getting quality sleep, and here and there do rounds of daily elderberry syrup or elderberry tincture when there are viruses going around in herds in the classroom.

But sooner or later the body does a little house cleaning and a bug takes over.

We spent the greater part of the next 24 hours nursing the 2 girls’ high fevers with yarrow baths and cool washcloths, hourly elderberry syrup doses, sips of homemade electrolyte drinks and nettle tea, and lots and lots of sleep and rest.

By Sunday morning the girls perked up a bit, fevers had been broken, and {most importantly!} there had been no throwing up since late Saturday morning.

We were in the clear to try a little bland food at the girls’ request, and I typically start with sea salted bone broth. They both had a tea cup full that morning which stayed down well, and they were ready to try more.

Post Tummy Bug Recovery Smoothie :: You've made it through a tummy bug, and are ready to eat - but what do you eat on a sensitive empty tummy? This smoothie is not only gentle, but is loaded with minerals and nutrients to nourish your family back to eating again!

I decided to try a gentle smoothie to start while I worked on getting more bone broth made to make some soup for later that afternoon.

Here are the components and purposes of the ingredients:


Mineral Boosting Liquid Base

The purpose here is getting the liquid part of the smoothie to do some work for you in replenishing the little ones electrolytes without being too heavy. While raw milk and coconut milk are great in smoothies, when you are just coming off a tummy bug you want to ease into those heavier fluids. Coconut water or nettle tea work well. Or even just water with a big pinch of mineral rich sea salt, Celtic salt, or pink salt works great.


Gentle Mineral Rich Veggie

While we love green smoothies, the focus here is getting the digestion up and running again. Gentle veggies like sweet potatoes or any of the squashes (yes even zucchini) are loaded with minerals and (in their cooked form) are very easy to digest as well as provide a slow burning carbohydrate to the mix. Just use whatever you have on hand. I had mashed sweet potatoes leftover from dinner earlier in the week so I used that. You can steam up a little sweet potato or squash in just 20 minutes time.


Easy To Digest Fruit

Fruit makes the smoothie palatable for little ones without adding any extra sugar. Because we are talking gentle ingredients while recovering from a tummy bug, I chose to use mango and banana. Both are low in pectin which can irritate sensitive tummies. Banana also contains amylase which is helpful in carbohydrate digestion. All in all it is just a great choice to not only make the smoothie taste good after coming off a nauseating tummy bug, it is nice and easy to digest. Papaya is another low pectin fruit if that is more readily available to you. Most of the time I purchase frozen mango in bulk at Costco, though sometimes I catch a sale in the fresh produce department.


Grassfed Collagen

Not only does a quality grassfed collagen add an easy to digest, natural protein source, it is also fantastic for repairing stomach lining and just over all digestive support. I have been using Perfect Supplements grassfed collagen since early fall last year and I couldn’t be more pleased. Zero taste, blends in perfectly, and great price point.


Gentle Fat Source

This boosts the satiating part of the smoothie balancing out the fruit sugars and protein to make it well rounded. Just a small splash to start digestion running is all you need and really you could choose whatever you wish. I typically add egg yolks to the girls’ smoothies but I ended up using avocado oil this time just to keep it simple and smaller in portion size. Melted coconut oil works well too and is extremely nourishing.


Optional Add-Ins

If you have kids that are tough to get probiotics or vitamin C into, this is where you can get a dose of those in easy. My 4 and 6 year olds swallow probiotics and C’s without issue but I know there are some that don’t! You can add a quality probiotic and vitamin C to the smoothie and they’ll never know 😉

Another star player that I like to add-in is slippery elm. This herb helps soothe and repair the entire digestive tract from the stomach to the rectum – so if things have been happening at both ends, this is a great remedy to have on hand. It does have a bit of a taste that my kids don’t mind. Add a bit of raw honey to the smoothie if you need to cover it up, but really just a teaspoon or so is all you need! (If you would like to try slippery elm outside of the smoothie, simply mix the powder with some raw honey and have them take it off the spoon. Sometimes my kids prefer to take it in tincture form, which is fine too!)


 

Post Tummy Bug Recovery Smoothie :: You've made it through a tummy bug, and are ready to eat - but what do you eat on a sensitive empty tummy? This smoothie is not only gentle, but is loaded with minerals and nutrients to nourish your family back to eating again!

5.0 from 6 reviews
Post Flu Recovery Smoothie
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups coconut water (Other options for mineral boosting fluid would be plain water with a big pinch of sea salt, or brewed nettle tea. The fruit will mask any flavor.)
  • 3-4 TB sweet potato mash (or about ¼ cup cubed and cooked sweet potato - I just used leftover mashed sweet potato from dinner earlier in the week. Squash is gentle and would work too)
  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup mango or papaya, fresh or frozen
  • 2-3 TB grassfed cold soluble collagen
  • 2 tsp avocado oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp slippery elm powder (optional - see notes above)
Instructions
  1. Everything into the blender and blend until smooth. Serves 3 small child sized servings. Can also be poured into ice pop molds for popsicles.

More real food recipes you might like:
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Nettle Infusions For Kids!

January 9, 2016

A kid friendly, hydrating & mineral rich herbal infusion made with busy kids in mind!

Nettle Infusions For Kids!

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

An almost daily staple in our home, I can’t believe I haven’t posted this nettle infusion recipe before today!

This nourishing nettle infusion stands right alongside bone broth in our home as mineral rich boost for busy bee kids and is one of the first teas I like to introduce to their palates to develop a love for herbal tea.

As little ones, I like to give sips right off my tea cup or glass around 6 to 9 months old. Obviously not a replacement for breastmilk, letting baby take tastes of an infusion like this helps create a taste palate for tea for later in childhood. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a toddlers that willingly drink a cup of mineral rich tea with their lunch, or sip on a healing herbal tea when ill.

Nettle Infusions For Kids!

But wait!

If you have big kids this is for you too!

Even if you have a big kid or teen that has never had a cup of tea before today, I left instructions on how to slightly tweak the recipe to make it palatable for them. Nettle infusions are a fantastic way to hydrate and boost minerals for kids that are busy with school all day, in sports, or are just busy outdoors playing! It is a great replacement for working on getting juice out of the routine in the house, and a little lemon and raw honey make it taste really good.

Nettle Infusions For Kids!

Those who follow my Instagram account know that I often pack nettle infusions in my first grader’s lunch for school. While the students take a mid morning break for a quick snack that includes water, as I have volunteered in the room I notice just how little the children drink during the morning! You can physically watch some of them start puttering out by lunchtime…including my daughter who gets a very nourishing breakfast every morning. They need a big re-fuel at lunchtime and that includes hydrating.

Nettle Infusions For Kids!

Giving them an extra mineral boost with an herbal infusion works great – and I have seen my own daughter perk right up for the rest of the day after her meal and infusion. (To follow our lunch ideas and routine, you can search the hashtag #rgnschoollunch on Instagram to follow her lunches!)

You don’t need fancy equipment to get started – just the loose herb and a quart mason jar is all I used for years. I have a dedicated French Press that I have been using just for infusions for a couple years now, and I love how convenient they make tea making. No straining or fuss. Just push down and pour. I even have a smaller French Press so that my 2 and 4 year olds can do it themselves!

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Nettle Infusions For Kids!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tsp nettles
  • 2 tsp hibiscus
  • 1 quart of hot water
  • Juice of ½ lemon (Optional - leave this out for babies as the acid can be irritating for sensitive digestion)
  • 2 tsp raw honey (This is optional for using for those bigger kids that might need a little sweet to make it more palatable. Leave this out for the babies and toddlers to work at developing their palate for tea without honey. We use a local raw honey - the linked brand is a good one if you don't have access.)
Instructions
  1. Put the loose herbs at the bottom of your mason jar, French Press, or other glass container or teapot.
  2. Pour the hot water over the herbs and let them steep anywhere from a couple hours to overnight. You can steep up to 24 hours if you wish. My routine is to make the infusion at night before I go to bed and then I strain it off in the morning for school lunches and myself so that I can make another infusion for the afternoon that steeps all morning. Do what works for you!
  3. After the infusion has steeped, strain off the herbs and enjoy. You can add a squeeze of lemon (my favorite!) and for the kids new to herbal tea you can drizzle in the raw honey. Just shake up the infusion and honey in a jar and it will dissolve. The hibiscus herb gives a slightly sweet and tart flavor to the bitter nettles so you actually might be surprised at how much they like it without the honey. It is certainly enough with just the hibiscus herb for young palates in babies and toddlers.

For more nourishing staples in our home, you can follow my Nourishing Staples board on Pinterest!

More real food ideas you might like:

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Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids!

November 13, 2015

Your one stop tutorial for all things green smoothies for kids! Any flavor and nutrient packed for growing brains and bodies!

Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids!

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” I was compensated products for my time and Perfect Supplements is providing the giveaway prize. Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Simplicity.

I literally thrive off of it these days. As my kids get bigger the “busy” has changed from the survival mode of the newborn season of life to the “busy” that comes along with one set of kids in school and preschool, and still another in the (very) busy toddler season.

In an effort to streamline healthy, real food meals in my house, I have been working on making sure I’m not, in fact, in the kitchen all day.

I have one kid in school all day that needs certain things packed, another kid in preschool half time that needs snacks packed and quicker morning breakfasts (*not* a morning person that one!), and still another in toddler season that needs all of her meals at home – but gets to tag along on all of the “taxi” driving I do all day.

Especially for my younger two girls, green smoothies have become my staple on certain busier days of the week, as well as my back up when my planned cooking doesn’t happen. Smoothies used to completely intimidate me because of all the various different recipes.

Have you ever been in the presence of a hungry 2 year old?!

“Just a minute” doesn’t work with them. They want something to eat *now*.

Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids!

I needed a smoothie framework to pull from when it came to smoothies.

I didn’t have time to pull up this flavor or that. I knew the nutrient dense components I always wanted to have included, so I figured out how to make *any* flavor green smoothie with all the same base and use whatever fruit or flavor I have in house or whatever is in season. Simple, right?

So what are my nutrient dense components and why?

Rapidly growing children require nutrient dense food at every meal. Period.

Empty calories or “filler” snacks to “hold them over” until the next meal don’t fly in my book. Even if this smoothie is to be a small snack, my motto of “make every bite count” still is in the back of my mind.


FRIENDLY FAT

Anything from raw milk, kefir, coconut milk, or yogurt for the liquid base of the smoothie along with an additional fatty add-in such as raw pastured egg yolk, coconut oil, or avocado oil. Coconut oil will change the flavor, though my kids like coconut and don’t mind it. Avocado oil is tasteless!


VITAMINS & MINERALS

All of the components from the “friendly fat” category provide vitamins and minerals, but children do benefit from vegetable mineral sources. Lightly steamed greens such as spinach or kale provide a gentle vegetable mineral source. (Lightly cooking the greens takes the oxalate level down. Greens should be eaten with friendly fat for better digestion and vitamin absorption which is covered in the friendly fat portion of the smoothie). You can keep a container of steamed greens in the fridge, or use blanched/frozen greens to make smoothie prep run quick.


QUALITY PROTEIN

Anything from a scoop of nut butter to a pastured egg yolk counts, though I am a huge fan of using grassfed collagen in my smoothies. It is a simple, real food protein source that I can get into my kids that doesn’t make the taste change, and it doesn’t compromise my real food standards like other protein powders would. I love and use Perfect Supplements grassfed collagen in my house. It provides a great protein source, is tasteless, and collagen is also great for gut lining integrity just like bone broth! Win win!


From there you can flavor your smoothie however you want!

We U-Pick seasonal fruit every summer from berries to peaches that I keep in the freezer, and when that runs out I rely on the organic frozen fruit at Costco. We also love to occasionally make vanilla or raw cacao smoothies like a milk shake! I also keep a bag of frozen bananas – you know the ones that start going too ripe before you can eat them off the counter? Yep! Just peel them, toss them into a freezer bag, and use them when you want!

Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids!

This is the serving that I make for my 3 girls, ages 6, 4, and 2 to split. You can half if making for less servings, or double if you are making it for older kids with bigger appetites.

5.0 from 7 reviews
Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole raw milk, kefir, yogurt, or coconut milk
  • 2 cups frozen fruit (If the kids will need it on the sweeter side, be sure part of this is a frozen banana)
  • ⅓ cup or so steamed spinach or kale
  • 2 TB grassfed cold soluble collagen
  • 3 pastured egg yolks OR 1½ TB avocado oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1-2 tbsp raw honey (If you have a baby under age 1 that will be sipping on this, use pure maple syrup or just leave it out - trust me, their young palates won't miss it!)
Instructions
  1. Everything in your blender, puree until smooth, and serve. After using a regular blender for years, I do want to mention that there is a huge difference in smoothness using a high powered blender like a BlendTec or Vitamix - they are a great investment to put on your birthday or holiday wishlist!

A couple of tips!

  • Try a straw with the little ones like baby and toddler, and if they aren’t quite catching on yet, you can serve it with a spoon or medicine syringe – our local pharmacy gives out nice big medicine syringes for free! I love our shorter, stainless steel straws that are perfect for smaller cups, and these re-useable straws have fun patterns.
  • I tend to keep any smoothies for my babies from 6-18 months mostly mango/papaya and banana. Raw berries, apples, cherries, and peaches that are typical fruit for smoothies have high pectin which can be tough on young digestive systems (which is why these fruits are recommended to be cooked for babies). Mango, papaya, and bananas don’t have the high pectin so they work well. I get organic frozen mango at Costco.
  • Serving cup suggestions. I have just plain not gotten into plastic cups. It might be the Montessori momma in me but you would be surprised at how a young baby/toddler can use a regular/glass open cup. I adore my small, small, 8oz jelly jars from Ball to use for all drinking – they are for canning jelly but they are the perfect size for little hands and great serving size for small smoothies. My big girls drink from pint mason jars.
  • To make a raw cacao milkshake smoothie, instead of the 2 cups of fruit, use 1 or 2 whole frozen banana (or more if they are small) along with a 2-3 tablespoons of raw cacao – which is loaded with antioxidants and minerals by the way!
  • To make a vanilla milkshake smoothie, instead of the 2 cups of fruit, use 1 or 2 whole frozen banana (or more if they are small) along with 1 1/2  tablespoons of vanilla extract.
  • Freeze leftovers in small popsicle molds or little paper cups with a straw or popsicle stick for a great snack or teething aide.

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Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids!


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Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Real Food Tips school lunches Snack Ideas

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!

September 26, 2015

The perfect crispy bite sized crackers for little hands! Perfect for crumbling in a bowl of soup, or stacking with some cheese for snacktime!

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!Two year olds.

Need I say more?

Well I probably should because mentioning the world of a 2 year old can mean so many different things. Random household objects scattered in the strangest places of the home. Meltdowns over “broken” bananas. Complete and utter joy over noticing a butterfly…

But today we are going to talk about 2 year olds and eating. Age 2 can be a tough age in the meal world. Some because I think our expectations for what a meal should be at this age are unrealistic. While 2 year olds still need nutrient dense food choices, their appetites do drop off a little at this age. They just plain don’t need as much as what you probably would expect they would – at least not every day. Two year olds will eat like a teenage boy one day and the next have no more than a cup of milk and a banana and be perfectly fine.

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!Two year olds are also B.U.S.Y. 🙂 Expecting a 2 year old to sit for a full meal to your standards just might not be realistic until they are closer to age 3 or 4 in my experience. So my experience has been smaller, more frequent meals just work better at this busy age.

My goal is always – make every bite count.

If my two year olds are going to eat 5-6 times per day, I’m going to make sure most of those are “mini meals”. Instead of snacking toddlers on empty calories of fishy crackers and the little O’s cereal, you are going to find these little guys will do better eating some friendly fats with a little bit of carbohydrate. Their blood sugars will be more stable making less volatile little people, they will be satiated longer, and their brain and growing bodies will be nourished to grow.

One of my go-to on the go “mini meals” for my 2 year old who has to sit in the car for a loooong time during drop offs for my elementary school kiddo and my preschooler, are these plantain crackers with some sort of fat – sometimes raw cheese or butter, sometimes chunks of avocado, other times some olives. The point is, it is a quick “mini meal” that I can throw in a little cup or bowl that my 2 year old can handle herself while in the car for these taxi driving trips to drop off or pick up her sisters.

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!And bonus! The big kids love them too.

A quick handful into my 1st grader’s lunchbox (See my Instagram hashtagging #rgnschoollunches to see how I pack them!), or into a little container with a hard boiled egg for my 4 year old’s preschool snack, and that is as quick as it gets!

I have been working on these plantain crackers for… a while. My problem was always an end result that was soggy or chewy instead of crispy like a cracker. How did I master the cooking method? Go figure…by accident!

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!One day, my 2 year old was having a particularly “2 year old day” and getting her ready to leave for school pick up took longer than expected. I had some plantain crackers in the oven for a while, and before we left for school pick up I turned off the oven, and just left the crackers in there because I knew they didn’t look “done” yet. When we got home a half hour later, they were perfectly crisp and NOT over cooked! It was like that extra time in the oven with the heat turned off almost dehydrated them the rest of the way. I have been making them this way over the last month to test my theory out and they have come out perfect every time!

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!I am so excited to share this recipe with you! I hope your little 2 year old treasures enjoy them 😉

Product links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 large plantains (If your plantains are smaller use 4. My plantains have been yellow using this recipe - I think if you use green plantains you will need more moisture somewhere in the recipe - either some water or more plantain.)
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp each of onion and garlic powders (Optional)
  • Sea salt to sprinkle the top of the crackers
Instructions
  1. Everything into your food processor and blend until smooth. You will have to scrape down the sides once or twice.
  2. Spread the batter onto 2 large jellyroll pans that are lined with Silpat or parchment paper (I have tested both liners and both work). Spread it as thin as you can - this is really important so that they cook even and don't come out soft/chewy. Pay attention to the middle making sure there isn't too much there - push the batter all the way to the edges. It spreads easily with a spatula. Sometimes if my bananas are on the bigger side and I have too much batter I will get a third sheet out - you just want to make the batter on the sheets thin. You can see the thickness in the crackers on my images in this post.
  3. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes and then use a pizza roller or a butter knife to score the sheets into cracker shapes.
  4. Put the sheets back in the oven and bake another 30-40 minutes at 300 degrees. If you see any browning around the edges move to the next step.
  5. Turn the oven OFF while keeping the sheets of crackers IN the oven to dehydrate the rest of the way about 20-30 minutes minimum. I have left them in there for an hour or so if I am out and about running errands without any issues or burning because the oven is off.
  6. Let the crackers cool a few minutes before handling - they crisp up even more after they cool. Store the crackers in an airtight container and eat within 2 weeks.

For more real food snack ideas, you can check out my Snack Ideas board on Pinterest!

More real food recipes you might like:

Tuna Salad For All Ages

Energy Bars

Guacamole

Fresh Tomato Soup

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Antioxidant Rich Berry Gummies

Antioxidant Rich Berry Gummies

 

Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Real Food 101 Real Food Tips School Holidays school lunches Snack Ideas Summer Picnic Series

Antioxidant Rich Berry Gummies

May 9, 2015

Antioxidant Rich Berry GummiesI cannot even wait for warmer weather to *finally* be (consistently) here! My goodness do we have a long winter – but, you guys…we have the best summer. I’m talking warm but not too warm, and on the hot days the amazing waters of Lake Michigan are right down the road to you cool you off with the world’s best kept secret in beautiful beach sand to relax in. Antioxidant Rich Berry GummiesAs much as I like to keep summer popsicles in the freezer for lazy summer days at home, we are actually on the go to the beach or park quite a bit during the summer. These berry gummies come in handy for a quick pick me up for the girls and an extra protein boost. They make for a pretty special treat in their eyes as well! One of my feeding mottos for kids is to make every bite count. I’m not a huge fan of empty calories, or just giving kids something to “hold them over” until lunch. They are on the grow all the time even through the teenage years, so I want every bite they take to count toward that. And especially in the little ones like toddlers, who don’t take in a whole lot of food volume in the first place – I am not about to snack them on a bag of fruit snacks with zero nutrient value. Antioxidant Rich Berry GummiesThese gummies are not only packed with protein rich grassfed gelatin, but my choice of fruit has a purpose too. Berries are loaded with antioxidants to protect and repair in the body. And since they have amazing flavor they is really no need for extra sweetening. Many days grabbing a hand full of berries and a slice of raw cheese or crispy nuts to bring to the park for a snack is my choice, but as my kids get older and see their peers with fun snacks in colorful bags, its been nice to have something like this to bring a smile to their face. They also make for great classroom birthday treats. We definitely do up fun birthday ice cream and special birthday cakes at home to celebrate, but I don’t think cupcakes need to be consumed both at their party and in the classroom (that usually happen within the same week!). These have been popular with my little girls’ classes so far (yes I realize they are young yet – we will take one year at a time to see if it goes over as well as they get older!) Antioxidant Rich Berry GummiesProduct links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

A couple notes on the molds for the gummies! I really like the silicone molds that are firm to give a good hold, but also flexible enough that I can push out the gummies easily without them sticking, by popping the mold “inside out”. I have been using mine for years now and they have held up very well! I obviously have a house full of girls so I have a couple sheets of these flower molds and these bunny molds (which are great for celebrating Easter too!). But I am actually thinking about getting some of these plain circle molds, and these square molds since I’m thinking my nephews might prefer those to eat when they come visit! I thought these lego molds were pretty cool too! And I’m pretty sure even my girls would love these dinosaur molds and robot molds! The molds are a fun investment that you can use for everything from these gummies, to ice cube trays!

5.0 from 10 reviews
Antioxidant Rich Berry Gummies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups frozen organic mixed berries (I get the big bags of frozen organic at Costco. Since berries are a heavily pesticided crop I would opt for organic.)
  • ¼ cup water
  • Optional ¼ cup raw honey (My kids are used to just the fruit, but if I am making these for other kids that might be used to sweeter food then I add it. If you have little ones I would leave it out and keep their palates used to just the fruit)
  • ¼ cup grassfed gelatin
Instructions
  1. Put the berries and mwater in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir for a few minutes while everything melts and warms.
  2. Turn off the heat and add the raw honey. Stir to combine/melt.
  3. Put the warmed berry mixture in a food processor or blender, add the gelatin, and blend completely.
  4. Pour into your silicone molds (this amount fills about 48 slots in my molds) and refrigerate. I like to stick them in the freezer to make this part go faster – only takes about 15 minutes or so! The firmer, almost frozen gummies pop out of the molds nicer/easier too!
  5. After the mixture gels up, you can pop out the gummies – I just push the silicone mold “inside-out” – works great!
  6. Store your gummies in the fridge. They keep fine in the lunchbox without an ice pack though!

For more nourishing snack ideas check out my Snacks board on Pintrest!

More real food you might like:

5 Nourishing Summertime Popsicles

COVER Granola Bars

landscape bars Tropical Blender Sorbet

Tropical Blender Sorbet :: Refined Sugar Free & Dairy Free Energy Bars

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Dinner Ideas Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food Tips

The Best Way To Spirilize & Cook Sweet Potatoes!

April 19, 2015

The Best Way To Spirilize & Cook Sweet Potatoes!Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

So! Has the spirilizer craze hit your house yet??

When my oldest was a toddler about 4 years ago, I started using a julienne peeler to make veggies smaller and easier for her to chew and handle. I quickly learned how easy it was to make “noodles” out of just about any vegetable, and through the years my kids have really loved them!

Last year I saved for a spirilizer to make the veggie noodle thing a little more stream lined…and last summer my new spirilizer was on my counter in almost daily use!

Spirilized potatoes make great curly fries (you can use my homemade potato chips method to make them so yummy!), and getting zucchini and summer squash in there makes for great pasta salad or spaghetti night!

Since I spirilize and cook sweet potatoes a little differently than all the rest, I figured it deserved a post all on its own!

The Best Way To Spirilize & Cook Sweet Potatoes!When spirilizing sweet potatoes, I don’t use the lever arm to push it through – sweet potatoes are too hard and it just doesn’t work well. I just hook it onto the blade and turn the sweet potato with my hand like turning a door knob.

I have also found that sweet potatoes get to mushy and fall apart when you cook them in the pan – especially if you are cooking them with a bunch of other veggies, seasonings, and oil/butter. One day I decided to try a quick roast on them to see if they would come out less soggy, and it really worked great!

The Best Way To Spirilize & Cook Sweet Potatoes!Sweet potato noodles work great at lunch or dinner! I pile up stir fried veggies up on top – you can add some meat or a fried egg too! Don’t forget about the little ones! Sweet potato noodles were my kiddo’s first “spaghetti” tossed with butter and sea salt! It makes a great first food finger food!

4.8 from 4 reviews
The Best Way To Spirilize & Cook Sweet Potatoes!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put your spirilized sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet , and toss with the oil and sea salt. If you are making more you can split them up between 2 baking sheets.
  2. Roast at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. This will leave them with a little “bite” like a noodle – if you want them softer you can go longer. If you want to crisp them up you can set them under the broiler on high for a few minutes.

Let me know how the sweet potato spirilizing goes!
For more household nourishing staple ideas you can check out my Nourishing Staples board on Pintrest!

Dinner Ideas Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Real Food Tips school lunches

Tuna Salad For All Ages!

March 29, 2015

Tuna Salad For All Ages!
Tuna salad is on my lunch or dinner menu at least once a week. It’s a great way to get fatty fish into the girls’ diet without a lot of fuss – and they love it! (Read this post and this post about how tuna is a nourishing food to consume, and as long as the tuna is wild caught it is a safe food to consume too!)

I’ll be honest…this last year of balancing my first kindergartener, plus a preschooler and a baby has thrown my game off a little! Playing taxi driver, maid, cook, and playmate is a lot of work!

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take it for granted, and I love every minute! But a lot of times 11:00am rolls around and I haven’t even cleaned up from breakfast, let alone thought of what’s for lunch for these bottomless pits!

Tuna Salad For All Ages!
I’ve learned how to plan ahead a little bit more, and it helps that typically whatever I make my little girls for lunch ends up in my kindergartener’s lunchbox for the next day. It makes life run smoother with less thought 😉

I can get this tuna salad put together in less than 10 minutes – which is priceless on a day of endless diaper changes, cups of spilled milk, and kindergarten stories to listen to.

Tuna Salad For All Ages!
Serving possibilities are endless! Pile it on top of tomato and cucumber rounds, scoop it into bell pepper boats, dip crackers in it, or wrap it up in a rice wrap! It also mixes up into a big bowl of lettuce for a salad nice! If you have littler ones, you can just feed it off a spoon or put chunks of it on their plate to finger food. My girls enjoyed this tuna salad from about 9 months old (sans the nuts before they were 1 year).

Product links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Just a quick note on the tuna! Just be sure you are sourcing well! We like to use Wild Planet Tunathat we can get from Costco – if you don’t have access there, you can get it HERE!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Tuna Salad For All Ages!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cans wild caught tuna, drained
  • ½ small/medium apple, quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, quartered
  • 2 medium carrots, quartered
  • ½ cup crispy nuts (almonds, pecans – whatever you have! If you are nut free you can use any seed of your choice or just leave them out!)
  • ½ cup – 1 cup mayonnaise (Amount depending on how you like the consistency of your tuna salad. Homemade preferable to avoid toxic oils/preservatives in store bought – my 5 minute mayo is SO yummy!)
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Put the apple, celery, carrot, and almonds into your food processor and pulse into a medium chop. (If you don't have a food processor just chop the veggies and crush the nuts.)
  2. Add the tuna and mayo and blend to combine – if you want a full puree go for it! (That works well if you are feeding smaller toddlers). If you are looking for a chunkier consistency just pulse to combine. Add more mayo if you wish. (If you don't have a food processor, just use a fork to mash in the tuna and mayo to mix and combine.)
  3. Sea salt/pepper to taste, and serve in lettuce cups, tomato or cucumber rounds, as a dip for crackers, or in a rice wrap!

This batch makes quite a bit – usually a couple lunches or dinners worth for my family of 5. Go ahead and half it if you need less!

You can follow my Lunches board on Pintrest for more lunch ideas!

Keep me posted how the kids like the tuna salad!

Dinner Ideas Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Real Food Tips Snack Ideas

Parmesan Baked Zucchini Spears

March 29, 2015

Parmesan Baked Zucchini Spears
A couple weeks ago, one of the #toddlerlunches on my Instagram showed some baked zucchini spears that the girls were having with lunch…and I think just about everyone commented or inboxed me how to make them…ask and you shall receive 🙂

I never thought to post them before because they seem so simple – but isn’t that what this is all about? I really want to show you that you really *can* feed real food to kids in the “real world”. As in…simple. As in…busy schedules and not a lot of time to prep lunch.

Parmesan Baked Zucchini Spears
I’m not a fancy chef. I have zero culinary background! But I have figured out some ways to not only make real food just as fun as the processed stuff some kids are used to…but also make it taste amazing!

These literally take about 5 minutes to prep and a little over 15 minutes in the oven – just as fast as making a box of mac n cheese for lunch! It’s a great way to get some extra veg in the kids for lunchtime, and it makes a great side to grassfed burgers for dinner!

Parmesan Baked Zucchini Spears

5.0 from 1 reviews
Parmesan Baked Zucchini Spears
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 5 small zucchini, sliced long into spears (smaller ones work better for this way of cooking than the big fat ones)
  • 2 TB avocado oil (or melted butter or coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup or so grated parmesan cheese for the top (you can leave this out if you are dairy free!)
Instructions
  1. Put the zucchini on a baking sheet and toss them with everything but the cheese to coat them well.
  2. Line up the zucchini so the flesh is facing up, and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, and then under the broiler on high for another 3-5 minutes. Just watch them under the broiler after a few minutes so they don’t get too brown.

See! I told you! Simple!

Don’t forget the babes too! My 9 month old was grabbing away at these last summer and inhales them at almost 19 months now!

You can follow my Lunches board on Pintrest for more Lunch inspiration!

Keep me posted how the kiddos like them!

Batch Up Meals Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches Soup

Asparagus Soup

March 22, 2015

Asparagus Soup
Happy first week of spring!

I can hardly wait to get my hands on some fresh Michigan asparagus! It will be another month yet until we see local asparagus, but it is popping up at our markets from warmer locations, and after a long season of squash and winter greens…we are longing for some fresh spring produce!

Asparagus Soup
Slightly sweet from the natural slow cooking, the smooth, creamy texture is perfect for little ones! My girls all enjoyed asparagus soup around 6-9 months or so! It’s a great way to get bone broth in, and start forming that taste palate to accept a great variety of veggies!

Asparagus Soup
Toward the end of asparagus season when you can get great farmer’s market deals on bundles of 10 pounds, you can triple up this soup and store it away in the freezer. It is so fun to pull out a quart of asparagus soup around November to remind you of spring.

Product links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Asparagus Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup friendly fat to cook in (butter, coconut oil, lard)
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ½ - 2 quarts chicken bone broth (depending on how you want your soup consistency to be)
  • 4-5 small/medium potatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 bunches asparagus, hard ends discarded, coarsely chopped
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (optional but a little heat is so good!)
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
  • Garnish with sour cream or a splash of coconut milk (optional)
Instructions
  1. Saute the onions in the friendly fat over medium high heat for about 5-10 minutes with a couple pinches of salt to bring out their juices and sweeten.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  3. Add the broth, potatoes, and asparagus and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the asparagus and potatoes are cooked through.
  5. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the soup smooth. Add the cayenne and salt/pepper to taste.
  6. Garnish with sour cream or coconut milk if you wish.
  7. This makes about 3 quarts of soup - Packs up great in the school lunch thermos or travel CrockPot too!

 

Breakfast Ideas Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches Snack Ideas

Homemade DIY Coconut Yogurt :: 3 Ingredients, No Cooking, & A Great Probiotic Rich Dairy Free Alternative!

February 22, 2015

Coconut Yogurt :: 3 Ingredients, No Cooking, & A Great Probiotic Rich Dairy Free Alternative!
Coconut yogurt?!

Why, when I have access to beautiful raw milk weekly, do I still make coconut yogurt??

We love (love!) our raw milk share, but from the months of January until May our milk supply is lower so there just isn’t enough to go around. It is a great time to give our guts a little bit of a dairy break (although we still enjoy the gallon that we do get every week!), and rotate some food around.

I have made many (many!) coconut yogurt attempts. I say attempts because many of them were fails that landed themselves in the next morning’s smoothie mix up. There is just no way I can afford to buy the coconut milk yogurt on store shelves, so if we wanted to have that tangy, creamy goodness with our breakfast granola, or lunch smoothie, I was going to have to figure out how to make it myself.

Coconut Yogurt :: 3 Ingredients, No Cooking, & A Great Probiotic Rich Dairy Free Alternative!
Not only are the store bought coconut yogurts super pricey, but they all have added sugar – a LOT of added sugar. They also have some questionable gums/fillers that I don’t want to be giving my family over and over again on a weekly basis.

This coconut yogurt has a nice, tang and a great creamy consistency. You can play around with the amount of time the yogurt cultures for more or less “tang”, and you can play around with the gelatin amount to make it the consistency you like! It is pretty forgiving, and super fast to put together.

Coconut Yogurt :: 3 Ingredients, No Cooking, & A Great Probiotic Rich Dairy Free Alternative!
While the yogurt does end up tasting like coconut (which doesn’t bother my girls, but I don’t really care for), you can dress up your yogurt to taste how you want! Get some raw honey or pure maple syrup in there especially if your children are used to sweetened yogurts. Get some fruit puree down at the bottom of their cup of yogurt for them to stir in like fruit on the bottom yogurt. Use some granola to give it some crunch!

Coconut Yogurt :: 3 Ingredients, No Cooking, & A Great Probiotic Rich Dairy Free Alternative!
Also! Don’t forget the babes! This is a great first food yogurt for baby to try if you don’t have access to raw dairy and/or your baby doesn’t tolerate dairy. Even though my girls tolerate raw dairy just fine, I do introduce the coconut milk and coconut yogurt as babies so they get used to the taste. And as the kids get older they will love having it packed in their lunchboxes with fruit on the bottom or granola to add in!

One quick note before we get to the recipe! If you choose to use canned coconut milk, you probably won’t need/won’t want to use the same amount of gelatin as the thickener since canned coconut milk has added gum to thicken it already. Also – I have only done the coconut yogurt with the probiotic powder that I will link in the recipe – I’m sure other powders would work, but be mindful I’m not sure how the amounts will compare. The one I choose to use is a quality, pharmaceutical grade powder that my chiropractor recommends.

Product links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

5.0 from 8 reviews
Homemade DIY Coconut Yogurt :: 3 Ingredients, No Cooking, & A Great Probiotic Rich Dairy Free Alternative!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups full fat coconut milk
  • ½ tsp quality probiotic powder
  • 1 tsp grassfed gelatin (If you want it more like a “kefir” consistency (thinner), than you can use half the amount. You could also make the consistency a thicker/pudding/custard like consistency with more gelatin. Do NOT use the cold soluble gelatin – it will not work for this project!)
Instructions
  1. Stir the probiotic powder and gelatin into the coconut milk and put a lid on the container (I use a pint mason jar which fits this amount perfectly.
  2. Place the jar under the light in your oven (withOUT the stove on) overnight or 8-12 hours. You can taste for "tang" and if you want more you can go up to 24 hours under the light.
  3. Shake up the jar and place it in the fridge for 2 hours to finish the culturing and thicken the yogurt.

 

Batch Up Meals Breakfast Ideas Feeding Babies Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

Breakfast Porridge For Baby :: Free From Grain, Nut, & Legume

January 4, 2015

Breakfast Porridge For Baby :: Free From Grain, Nut, & Legume
Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use!” Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

One of my favorite milestones in babyhood is when those sweet chubby little hands start reaching out for food.

It is so fun to start introducing the tastes and textures of your home to them, teach them about sitting around a table to share a meal as a family, and, ultimately, nourish them both physically and mentally as you form their taste palate for nutrient dense food.

One thing that I struggled with on babies number 2 and 3 that I didn’t struggle with on my first born was the sibling factor.

From crawling to toy manipulation, that little baby sister was super set in her way of copying big sister at play. In the same way, both my second and third babies would see big sister having a bowl of soaked oats in the morning even from about 6 months old and just be intent on having the same thing!

I created this grain free baby porridge when my second born (who is extremely stubborn by nature from even infanthood compared to my other girls!) was about 7 months old and was just so set on having everything her big sister was having. So on oatmeal morning this is what she would have in the same kind of bowl as big sister. It is very important to keep infants away from grain as they do not have the enzymes to digest grains like rice, oats, wheat, etc until well past the age of 1. Read more about why baby cereals are actually in fact toxic to baby HERE.

Breakfast Porridge For Baby :: Free From Grain, Nut, & Legume

This breakfast is loaded with nutrient dense but very simple ingredients.

If you are a busy, working momma you can double, triple, or more batch this up, and freeze it in ice cube trays. Baby can have a few thawed out “cubes” in the morning or packed up to daycare. I did the ice cube tray thing with baby number 3 since I wanted to save time and didn’t want to have to prepare different breakfasts for her and the big girls.

Be sure to be flexible with the ingredients according to what you have already introduced to baby. If you haven’t tried egg yolk with baby yet, maybe start with just a yolk to be sure baby digests it fine before you put it in there. Read more about how to prepare egg yolk for baby HERE.

If you don’t have access to quality yogurt or kefir (preferably raw/grassfed etc), just leave it out. You can add some quality coconut milk if you want, and add a trustworthy probioticfor some culture benefit to the gut.

The squash or sweet potato are plenty sweet enough for baby – don’t go by your taste. If you start sweetening everything now, their taste palate will expect that for everything. I would even just leave out any fruit from this for a while. Let them form their palate for savory and lightly sweet. You can even stir in some leftover veggie puree from the night before – I did that a lot. Left over pastured chicken and bone broth puree, peas, etc all work just fine.

Breakfast Porridge For Baby :: Free From Grain, Nut, & Legume

One final note has to do with the “orange” veggies – the squash or sweet potato in this case.

Have you ever seen a baby with a little orange “tint” to their nose? Baby’s little liver needs some time to learn how to convert the carotenoids into vitamin A. (Read more about this topic HERE). So if they are getting too many orange veggies, you’ll see the little orange nose – just back off on the orange veggies a little. I usually served this breakfast twice a week so I never had an issue. If you plan to serve it more often just switch up the veggie with something like peas or even avocado so they aren’t getting too many orange veggies.

You will find much more in depth conversation along with almost 100 nourishing recipes in my cookbook, Nourished Beginnings Baby Food!

Whether you are a new or seasoned momma, Nourished Beginnings will be a treasure on your bookshelf that I hope gets spilled on used, and loved for years to come. Not only are there great first food starts for baby in the first quarter of the book, the rest of the book will show you how to make full meals for the whole family that baby an also enjoy too, cutting your kitchen time in half!

Breakfast Porridge For Baby :: Free From Grain, Nut, & Legume
Author: 
 
This breakfast porridge for baby is a great nutrient dense start to baby's day right around 6-7 months when baby has been already introduced to each of these ingredients individually first, and can continue to be a breakfast staple well after the age of 1!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix together and serve. You can serve it warm or cold – I tried getting my babies to get used to it either way. If you decide to warm it up do NOT use a microwave or you will destroy all the nutrients. I usually warmed stovetop, or used a small container in my bottle warmer! Double or triple batch up and freeze in ice cube trays for convenience.

 

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, & Allergy Free Wednesday!

Feeding Babies Occasional Treats

The Perfect 1st Birthday Cupcake :: Grain, Nut, Egg, & Refined Sugar Free

August 18, 2014

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site! Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

The Perfect 1st Birthday Cupcake! Grain, Egg, Nut, & Refined Sugar Free
One year ago this sweet babe came flying (literally!) into this world and has absolutely stolen our hearts. She has made our family complete in ways we never knew possible, and it has been such a joy to watch her grow this year!

The Perfect 1st Birthday Cupcake! Grain, Egg, Nut, & Refined Sugar Free
I am, admittedly, having a bit of an emotional week thinking about the last year and her turning one – I think I have done this with all the girls now. There is just something so nostalgic about that first year that seems to sleeplessly move along, and yet every time I would do it all over again.

I am really looking forward to seeing Caitlyn grow in the next year, and this is just such a super fun age – she is literally into everything and it is all such a new discovery!

So let’s talk first birthday goodies!

The Perfect 1st Birthday Cupcake! Grain, Egg, Nut, & Refined Sugar Free
My goal for a first birthday cupcake is always grain and nut free since it is recommended to keep babies from grains and nuts until after they turn one. This was not too difficult with my first two babies since the main nut free flour that is not a grain is coconut flour, and coconut flour works very well with eggs to create a great texture and rise for cake.

This year I threw the wrench in of wanting to make it egg free since we have severe egg allergies now in our extended family. I also decided I wanted to make them refined sugar free – such lofty goals!

The Perfect 1st Birthday Cupcake! Grain, Egg, Nut, & Refined Sugar Free
After experiments 1 and 2 I got the right ratios, and I am really pleased with the texture and taste of these cupcakes! I am not a fan of dry, crumbly grain free baked goods – these are perfectly soft and moist. And between a bit of applesauce and a few splashes of maple syrup, the taste is wonderfully sweet without the refined sugar – I even thought the sweet could have been backed off a bit! I was prepared for them to taste like apple, but I was pleasantly surprised that the vanilla extract really shines through and makes it taste like a vanilla cupcake.

The Perfect 1st Birthday Cupcake! Grain, Egg, Nut, & Refined Sugar Free
I originally planned on just making a simple real whipped cream topping for the cupcakes since I wanted to stay away from refined sugar. Buttercream frostings are mostly powdered sugar, but I was able to create the taste and texture of real buttercream frosting with a just a few simple, real ingredients. Will she probably have some organic pure cane sugar at some point in the next year? Probably. But at this age it just isn’t necessary, and everyone enjoyed the cupcakes – yes she ate the whole thing!

The Perfect 1st Birthday Cupcake! Grain, Egg, Nut, & Refined Sugar Free

5.0 from 5 reviews
The Perfect 1st Birthday Cupcake :: Grain, Nut, Egg, & Refined Sugar Free
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • VANILLA CUPCAKE
  • ½ cup olive oil (Butter or coconut oil would work although coconut oil might change the flavor)
  • 1 cup whole organic cream (If you are dairy free use coconut milk)
  • 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 TB apple cider vinegar (DON’T leave this out – I know it is a strange ingredient and I promise you won’t taste it! It reacts with the baking soda to create the rise!)
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 2 cups tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup Great Lakes cold soluble gelatin (the green container – see Tips section for where to get this – this helps with the bind since we aren’t using eggs!)
  • 1 TB baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • MAPLE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup butter (if you are dairy free use coconut cream)
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
Instructions
  1. For the cupcakes, literally dump it all in and blend with hand beaters!
  2. Scoop the batter into silicone muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Check them around the 25 minute mark in case our ovens run differently.
  3. For the frosting you can put everything into a small mixing bowl and beat with handbeaters until smooth. If you want a thinner frosting you can use less tapioca flour.

Tips:

  • This made 2 dozen cupcakes. I did end up doing 2 batches of the frosting since I piped on the frosting and that takes up more – if you plan to just spread the frosting with a knife I think this amount would be perfect.
  • Here is a safe source of coconut milk if you are dairy free and need to replace the cream.
  • This is the Great Lakes cold soluable gelatin. It helps bind without the egg.
  • Here is the coconut flour I like to use – it is less clumpy. And this is what the tapioca flour looks like.
  • I baked these off a couple days before her party and they were just fine! Make them up ahead of time and then frost them the day of!
  • I am just in love with silicone muffin cups! They not only help with clean up, but I have taken the same batter of the same batch and done part in silicone muffin cups and part in just a greased muffin tin and they come out so differently – for some reason without the silicone muffin cups they just don’t form/rise as pretty. Here are the pretty flower cups I use, and here are some that are just plain colors in case flowers aren’t your thing!
  • If you have an older little one that can handle a few simple gluten free grains ok you could try my chocolate cake or strawberry cake too! These are also egg and nut free!
  • Baby Caitlyn also enjoyed a few baby spoonfulls of this refined sugar free maple vanilla ice cream too! Super simple!

Please keep me posted if you try the cupcakes for your little one! I would love to see pictures!

This post was shared at Allergy Free Wednesdays!

 

Feeding Babies Herbal Recipes Snack Ideas

Elderberry Popsicles

August 6, 2014

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site! Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Elderberry Popsicles
I know I already posted some popsicle ideas a couple weeks back, but I thought I would focus in a little bit on how to use popsicles when you have little ones that are either ill, coming down with something, or have been around illness at school.

These elderberry popsicles are great because you can cater the recipe to how your little one is feeling. At the height of illness, when she doesn’t want to eat or drink much, they can be made as bland as possible while still hydrating and getting the virus zapping elderberries in. If he doesn’t have a full blown illness, but is either just a bit run down or has been around some cold or flu at school or the library, they can be made with very nutrient dense ingredients as if almost a smoothie.

Elderberry Popsicles
It is important to listen to the body. Letting their bodies use their energy to fight off illness instead of digest food is important. They obviously still need to stay hydrated though, so using a popsicle during fever can be helpful when they don’t feel like drinking.

Elderberries are well known for their immune boosting properties specifically against viruses like the cold and flu. Elderberry syrup packs a powerful punch of immune system support!

Elderberry Popsicles
Grab some popsicle molds for little hands or bigger popsicle molds for older kids and have fun making some summertime popsicles this month, and then keep them on hand for this fall to make immune boosting elderberry popsicles!

BLANDER VERSION FOR THE HEIGHT OF ILLNESS (Blend and freeze in molds. Makes about 6-7 popsicles):
2 cups coconut water or water
1/3 cup elderberry syrup
Juice of ½ lemon
2-4 TB raw honey
¼ tsp sea salt
Optional immune boosting supplements – quality sourced vitamin C and/or quality probiotic

NUTRIENT DENSE VERSION FOR FEELING RUN DOWN OR PREVENTATIVE MEASURES (Blend and freeze in molds. Makes about 6-7 popsicles):
1 ½ cups blueberries
¼ cup elderberry syrup
½ cup water or coconut water
3-4 pastured egg yolks (Optional if you don’t tolerate egg. 1-2 TB of coconut oil would be a good idea for a friendly fat in the popsicle)
¼ cup cold soluable grassfed collagen (optional – this is a great grassfed protein source – also very good for gut health!)
Optional immune boosting supplements – quality sourced vitamin C and/or quality probiotic

 

Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Occasional Treats Snack Ideas

5 Nourishing Summertime Popsicles :: Great For Teething Babies, Busy Toddlers, & Kids of All Ages!

July 21, 2014

5 Nourishing Summertime Popsicles :: Great For Teething Babies, Busy Toddlers, & Kids of All Ages!
Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site! Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Happy summer!

Sometimes the warmer weather can lead to lighter appetites in our kiddos (and I say “sometimes” lightly because, am I the only one with bottomless pits to feed every day?!).

This doesn’t mean they don’t need proper nourishment for their rapidly growing bodies though! On the contrary, my mantra of “make every bite count” is even more important when they are in a season of eating lighter with warmer weather.

Make every bite that they are taking in worth something with beautiful friendly fats to nourish their growing brains from coconut oil, raw milk or safe coconut milk, and pastured egg yolks. Make every bite count with a safe, real source of protein from grassfed collagen that will nourish their gut lining.

Most store bought popsicles are riddled with behavior altering food dyes and blood sugar spiking corn syrup or sugar. Even organic brands are typically just the fruit juice and can send those little blood sugars on a rollercoaster of spikes.

I love THESE kind of popsicle molds for smaller hands like teething babies and toddlers! Caitlyn has been relieving her sore gums with frozen nourishment lately and just loves them!

5 Nourishing Summertime Popsicles :: Great For Teething Babies, Busy Toddlers, & Kids of All Ages!
For older toddlers and school aged kids, THESE molds work well and I have been using mine for years. I have THIS set on my wish-list because frankly, I need to make more at time! With 3 little ones now we are just going through them faster and I don’t want to have to make them more than once a week. (Update 2017 – we have had that 10 pop mold for a couple years now and I use it exclusively! I make a round of pops once a week in the summer!)

5 Nourishing Summertime Popsicles :: Great For Teething Babies, Busy Toddlers, & Kids of All Ages!
Here are 5 of my staple summer time popsicles to keep around! Each recipe makes about 6 popsicles. Just blend everything up, pour into the molds, and freeze. Each of these recipes fits in a Magic Bullet fast which is what I use.

BLUEBERRY COCONUT
2 cups blueberries
1 cup safe coconut milk (raw milk, whole yogurt, or water would work too)
1-2 TB melted coconut oil
2 tsp almond extract (vanilla extract would work too)
Optional 2-4 TB grassfed collagen and/or pastured egg yolks

5 Nourishing Summertime Popsicles :: Great For Teething Babies, Busy Toddlers, & Kids of All Ages!
STRAWBERRY BANANA
1 cup strawberries
½ banana (could use a whole banana)
1 cup raw milk, whole yogurt, or safe coconut milk (water would work too)
Optional 2-4 TB grassfed collagen , pastured egg yolks, and/or 1-2 TBof coconut oil.

5 Nourishing Summertime Popsicles :: Great For Teething Babies, Busy Toddlers, & Kids of All Ages!
CHERRY LEMONADE
2 cups pitted cherries
Juice of ½ – 1 whole lemon (depending on how juicy your lemon is and how tart the kids will like it)
1 ½ cups water (could do raw milk, whole yogurt, or safe coconut milk instead)
Optional ¼ cup grassfed collagen, pastured egg yolks, and/or tablespoons of coconut oil.

5 Nourishing Summertime Popsicles :: Great For Teething Babies, Busy Toddlers, & Kids of All Ages!
PEACHES & CREAM
3 pitted peaches
½ cup sour cream (or whole raw cream, whole yogurt, or safe coconut milk)
4 pastured egg yolks (if you don’t tolerate eggs just omit)
Optional 2-4 TB grassfed collagen, and/or 1-2 TB of coconut oil

5 Nourishing Summertime Popsicles :: Great For Teething Babies, Busy Toddlers, & Kids of All Ages!
RASPBERRY VANILLA
2 cups raspberries
1 cup raw milk, whole yogurt, safe coconut milk, or water
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
Optional 2-4 TB  grassfed collagen, pastured egg yolks, and/or 1-2 TB of coconut oil

 

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday, and Real Food Wednesday!

Feeding Babies Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips Snack Ideas

Avoiding The “O’s” :: 5 Real Food Finger Foods To Teach Self Feeding While Nourishing Your Baby

July 9, 2014

Real food finger food ideas that will teach self feeding while nourishing your baby!

Avoiding The "O's" :: 5 Real Food Finger Foods To Teach Self Feeding While Nourishing Your Baby
Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site! Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

“Just throw a few Cheerio’s on the tray and let her chase them around!”…

That was what my pediatrician told me 5 years ago when I brought my first baby in for her 9 month well baby check up. He told me it would be a great way for her to work on her pincher grasp and start learning how to eat finger foods.

At the time I was about 6 months into learning about traditional foods, and how to feed a nourished baby. I knew I didn’t want to throw cereal or baby puffs on her tray after feeding her such nourishing powerhouse foods like egg yolks, avocados, and bone broth for the previous 3 months. Baby puffs and other so called baby friendly cereals like the O’s are nothing more than toxic, extruded grains. Not only is there zero nutrient value, but baby doesn’t even have the digestive enzymes to process grain until well after the age of one! We set our babies up for digestive havoc when we introduce grain too young.

So my simple brain went to work figuring out a different way. She was already loving nourishing food mashes and purees I was feeding her, so why not just feed those same foods to her in a less mushed up way?!

Turns out you really can have a quick finger food to throw on the table or tray for baby to learn how to self feed. Here are my top 5 favs I have come to use with all 3 of my girls now:

1.  BANANA:
Pinch off a few pieces and onto the table or tray – that is just as fast as those O’s. And very travel friendly since banana’s come in their own wrapping! Many times in the morning I’ll put a few pieces on the tray along with a few chunks in some raw milk or safe coconut milk for her to fish out.

Avoiding The "O's" :: 5 Real Food Finger Foods To Teach Self Feeding While Nourishing Your Baby
2.  AVOCADO:
One of the perfect foods for baby! And another one in its own travel wrapping! One of the reasons my big girls to this day eat avocados right out of the shell is because it was how it was served as baby. Just score the inside of the flesh into cubes and scoop onto the tray or table. They are a bit slippery but it is really great finger practice – they’ll catch on!

Avoiding The "O's" :: 5 Real Food Finger Foods To Teach Self Feeding While Nourishing Your Baby
3.  STEAMED OR SAUTEED VEGGIES:
Peas, green beans, carrots, zucchini, summer squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, winter squashes! Super simple! Be sure to give them a good dollop of butter or coconut oil to melt. Friendly fats help the veggies digest better, and since the vitamins in veggies are fat soluble they will be getting more of the nutrients in the veggies. Get yourself a good steamer, and keep a small container of steamed veg in the fridge for quick grab and go. Sautee in butter and a splash or two of bone broth if you have it – so good!

Avoiding The "O's" :: 5 Real Food Finger Foods To Teach Self Feeding While Nourishing Your Baby
4.  SOFT RAW CHEESES:
If you have access to raw cheese, baby is gonna love this one! Edam is a great mild one to start, but I also recommend working up to some of the stronger soft raw cheeses so baby’s palate will get used to it. I typically warm it up in my hand at first so it is very soft, but then baby gets used to it right out of the fridge.

Avoiding The "O's" :: 5 Real Food Finger Foods To Teach Self Feeding While Nourishing Your Baby
5.  WHAT’S ON *YOUR* PLATE! :
Ok so baby may not be able to have everything on your plate if there are some grains or a big steak on there, but if you want to create a broad taste palate for your baby, and help baby get used to all the flavors of your home, eating right off your plate is the best way to do that. (And the best “eating clean plan” you’ll ever encounter – those little eyes watching you are the best accountability to feeding *yourself* well!) Sans any grains, raw veggies, or tough meats, scoop out some of your soup onto the tray or table, or give babe a bit of your stew or stir fry! Three kids into this thing and I have never had a babe refuse what was on my plate – and it creates those healthy broad taste palates YOUNG so you don’t have to fight for it later.

Other foods to consider! My babies love coconut butter, so when they start finger foods sometimes I’ll chunk off a few pieces of that to melt in their mouth, or spread on some banana. Pastured egg yolks pack a large nutrient dense punch in a small package. Read THIS on how to serve a soft yolk to baby, as baby transitions into finger food I occasionall serve a cut up hard boiled or scrambled yolk. Keep in mind baby shouldn’t have the whites of the egg until he is over age 1. Small pieces of shredded crockpotted chicken or grassfed beef seem to work well for my babies around age 1 and older as well.

Let’s continue the conversation!

My new cookbook, Nourished Beginnings Baby Food is full of almost 100 recipes to pave the way for healthy eaters in your house! Simple tips and recipes right from my home to raise my 3 girls with broad, nourishing taste palates!

So talk to me! What are your favorite non grain finger foods for baby to learn self feeding?


Feeding Babies

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Pastured Chicken

April 22, 2014

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Pastured Chicken
 

(THIS is a good place to start if you are new to the Feeding Nourished Babies Series!)

One of the questions I get so often about the more traditional/WAPF way of starting food with babies is: How am I supposed to fill baby up without baby cereals? You can read HERE about why baby cereals are not a great choice for baby.

There are just so many things besides cereal that baby can have though! Babies love nourishing fats to their brains from pastured egg yolks, avocados, and coconut butter! And there are so many great veggies they can try that are easier to digest like peas, carrots, green beans, and squashes!

Chicken was one of those foods I was hesitant to try because it just didn’t look pretty. Much to my amazement however, all 3 of my girls now just devoured chicken pureed with bone broth. My first born made some faces at the texture at first (probably because I waited so long to try it), and after a week ate it without a flinch. My second and now third babies inhaled chicken!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Pastured Chicken
The nutrient profile of chicken meat from birds that have been on pasture (eating bugs and grass!) and raised properly is amazing! If you are unsure if you have access to pastured chickens, try asking around at your farmer’s markets for farmers that raise their chickens on pasture. Ask them what sort of feed they supplement with. Let them know you are looking for non GMO feed, and soy free. You can try looking on FarmersPal for your area, or even THIS site where you can look up raw milk farmers – sometimes those farmers also provide pastured meats as well.

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Pastured Chicken
Cooking your chicken is super easy – into the crockpot over night or all day. You can either make up the whole bird as baby food to store in your freezer, or just a portion. I am in a routine of roasting or crockpotting a chicken almost every week, so I haven’t been making huge batches of chicken this time around. With my first and second babies however, I would crock a whole chicken just for baby food storage – it would last quite a while as you can imagine, which was nice! I highly recommend pureeing the chicken in bone broth versus water for added protein and nutrients from the gelatin in the broth. You can make your bone broth right from the chicken bones you pulled the meat off!

I like freezing my chicken purees in ice cube trays. Once they are frozen, I pop out the chicken cubes and store them in freezer bags. They thaw fast this way so I can just take a few chicken cubes out before we sit down to dinner and baby can eat right along with us!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Pastured Chicken

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Pastured Chicken
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Chicken meat from your crockpotted or roasted pastured chicken
  • Bone broth to puree to the consistency you wish
Instructions
  1. Into the blender to puree!
  2. Freeze in ice cube containers or freezer safe containers to store.

Tips:

  • Use the dark and white meat! I have had to get myself used to the flavor and texture of dark meat over time. I didn’t want my girls to have to do that! They never bat an eye whether there is dark meat on their plate or if it is white. Makes for easy dinners.
  • Add a pinch of sea salt to baby’s chicken puree! Babies need minerals too!
  • Watch baby for a week during those first introductions of the chicken. If you see any weird diaper action going on, redness around the mouth, or rashes on the skin, you will want to stop – this is the same with any first foods introductions. Try the chicken again in a month and see what happens.
  • It can take up to 15 attempts of a new food for baby to accept the new food! This is the same for all first foods! If baby makes a funny face at first, don’t give up! They are getting used to new tastes, textures, and feelings in their mouth! Give them a chance to learn how this feels, how to use their tongue, etc.
  • THIS is a great first foods chart to give you an idea of what to follow when choosing first foods for your baby if you are wanting to follow the WAPF guidelines for feeding babies.
  • Read THIS for common FAQ’s and thoughts to keep in mind about feeding babies.

Keep me posted on how the baby feeding goes!

Batch Up Meals Feeding Babies

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Carrots

March 19, 2014

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Carrots
If you are just getting started with feeding your baby solids, start HERE!

Carrots are so fun to try with your baby! Really all those orange-y veggies are. They are brightly colored and quite sweet to those baby taste buds!

Just like mentioned in my baby food peas post, carrots, along with all veggies prepared for baby ought be served with a friendly fat to aid digestion and absorption of the nutrients in the carrot. I like to stir in a bit of coconut oil. Real butter or olive oil works too. And don’t be afraid of a pinch of sea salt as baby will benefit from the minerals!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Carrots
Orange veggies like carrots (also squash or sweet potatoes) need to be fed a little more spread out than other veggies. Their little livers need some time to learn how to convert the carotenoids into vitamin A. If baby’s little nose or skin starts looking yellow/orange just back off a bit. I don’t do more than twice a week with orange veggies when first starting out. Maybe closer to a year old I don’t worry about it as much. And that schedule was just learned via trial and error. With my first 2 babies I noted the little orange nose if they got orange veggies every day. So until they are a bit closer to 1 year, I just do a couple times per week of the orange veggies.
Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Carrots
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Organic carrots (I get large bags of organic carrots at Costco. If you don’t have access to organic, then I would peel the carrots – I don’t with organic.)
  • Bone broth or water to puree
Instructions
  1. Steam the carrots 45 minutes.
  2. Puree with bone broth or water to the consistency you wish.

Tips:

    • Just like the peas, this is another one that you can batch up into freezer containers so you only have to make the baby food version of carrots a couple times before baby can just eat finger food steamed carrots.
    • Transition your baby to bite size steamed carrots when he is ready! It is so helpful to transition baby out of baby foods closer to one year so they start getting used to the texture, along with getting used to seeing the veggie on their plates weekly. Steamed carrots make great finger food practice for those pinchers!
    • Start with a couple teaspoons of the peas and work up to a tablespoon or 2.
    • HERE is how you can make simple bone broth to puree your veggies with more nourishment.
    • A simple roasted carrot soup is a great first soup to try with baby a little closer to a year old too!
    • Watch baby for a week during those first introductions of the carrots. If you see any weird diaper action going on, redness around the mouth, or rashes on the skin, you will want to stop – this is the same with any first foods introductions. Try the carrots again in a month and see what happens.
    • It can take up to 15 attempts of a new food for baby to accept the new food! This is the same for all first foods! If baby makes a funny face at first, don’t give up! They are getting used to new tastes, textures, and feelings in their mouth! Give them a chance to learn how this feels, how to use their tongue, etc.
    • THIS is a great first foods chart to give you an idea of what to follow when choosing first foods for your baby if you are wanting to follow the WAPF guidelines for feeding babies.
    • Read THIS for common FAQ’s and thoughts to keep in mind about feeding babies!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Carrots
Keep me posted how it goes and send me those sweet little orange faces!!

Batch Up Meals Feeding Babies

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Peas

March 13, 2014

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Peas
(If you are just getting started with solids for baby, start HERE for the rest of the Feeding Nourished Babies Series!)

After I start my babies on some nourishing fats like pastured yolks, avocado, and coconut butter, I usually start introducing tastes of some gentle steamed veggies.

Vegetables should be served with friendly fats to ensure proper digestion and absorption of vitamins. I usually stir in coconut oil, real butter, or olive oil. A pinch of sea salt is also a good idea as baby can benefit from vital minerals.

I am a big believer in not “hiding” vegetable flavor. I don’t mix peas or green beans with apples, carrots, or squash to “sweeten” it up. A lot of the baby foods you will see in jars will have these combos and you might as well just feed them a jar of apples because there are barely any veggies in there!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Peas
To this day my big girls don’t bat an eye at a side of peas or green beans…because they have been eating them since they were babies. I did my best to pave the road for them to not have to deal with pickiness. Please understand that I do get that there are kids with certain oral issues going on that contribute to texture issues and therefore pickiness. I do not believe this is the majority of children, however. Quite sure that all 3 girls now have “made a face” at first tastes of most foods. That doesn’t mean you need to strain it more, puree it more, sweeten it up, or quit trying. Within a few sessions of trying, they get the hang of it! One of my girls took a good couple weeks to accept pureed meats. Another took the longest to get the texture of banana. My current baby took a few tries of peas to get the hang of it. Now she is delighted to eat them.

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Peas
Peas are a great first veggie to start with. They are a great source of vitamins and protein and have a pleasant, slightly sweet taste. They are delicious with any friendly fat, and, for the majority, they are a gentle vegetable to digest. I puree most of my veggies, including peas, with bone broth for extra nourishment. You can certainly puree with water if you wish.
Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Peas
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Organic peas (I get large bags of organic frozen peas at Costco)
  • Bone broth or water to puree to desired consistency
Instructions
  1. Steam the peas for 30 minutes.
  2. Puree in a blender or processor with bone broth or water to desired consistency.
  3. Store them in freezer safe containers, or make ice cube trays of them and store the cubes in freezer safe bags.
  4. When serving the peas warm them gently (NOT in a microwave! I like to put them in a container in my bottler warmer. You could warm over the stovetop if you wish.), and then stir in some coconut oil, real butter, or olive oil with a pinch of sea salt.

Tips:

    • This is obviously one of those baby foods you can just make a nice big batch of and store in the freezer. I think I make peas maybe twice before baby is ready to just eat regular, non pureed peas. I like THESE freezer containers. They are cheap, stack well, are BPA free, and are dishwasher safe.
    • HERE is how you can make simple bone broth to puree your veggies with more nourishment.
    • Start with a couple teaspoons of the peas and work up to a tablespoon or 2.
    • I couldn’t even find a steamer like the one I have anywhere online that is how old it is! And yet it has worked just fine for all my girls. It is sorta on it’s last leg as I have had it since college, and I do have my eye on THIS one for a little more room 😉
    • Peas make a great “finger food” closer to a year old. I very often will have a small container of steamed peas in the fridge that I can put out on the baby tray while I’m getting dinner ready. Great fine motor/pincher work too!
    • A simple pea soup is a great first soup to try with baby a little closer to a year old too!
    • Watch baby for a week during those first introductions of the peas. If you see any weird diaper action going on, redness around the mouth, or rashes on the skin, you will want to stop – this is the same with any first foods introductions. Try the peas again in a month and see what happens.
    • It can take up to 15 attempts of a new food for baby to accept the new food! This is the same for all first foods! If baby makes a funny face at first, don’t give up! They are getting used to new tastes, textures, and feelings in their mouth! Give them a chance to learn how this feels, how to use their tongue, etc.
    • THIS is a great first foods chart to give you an idea of what to follow when choosing first foods for your baby if you are wanting to follow the WAPF guidelines for feeding babies.
    • Read THIS for common FAQ’s and thoughts to keep in mind about feeding babies!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Peas
Show me those sweet little green pea faces! Let me know how it goes!

Feeding Babies Soup

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Bone Broth

February 8, 2014

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Bone Broth

If you haven’t read FAQ’s and Things To Keep In Mind about Feeding Babies yet, that would be a great place to start first!

One of the most satisfying things to feed my babies (besides mama’s milk!) has been bone broth. If you have never read Broth is Beautiful before – take a peek! You will be so proud of yourself for getting bone broth into not only your kids – but YOURSELF!

Bone broth made from healthy pastured cows and chickens is extremely nourishingfull of vital minerals, and protein rich, digestive assisting, gelatin that you just can’t get anywhere else.

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Bone Broth

I have found that creating a taste palate for bone broth in my kids has helped immensely down the road for having healthy eaters of beautiful veggie soups, and broth straight out of the sippy cup when they feel under the weather. My big girls (age 4 and 2) drink it right out of the pot with a sprinkle of sea salt. I can’t tell you how many times I have relied on just a cup of broth as a lunchtime staple – especially during the busy toddler years when they just don’t want to sit and eat – they want to play!

So right around 5 months I start with little tastes of bone broth with a sprinkle of sea salt. It gets messier than I want to deal with on a spoon right at first, so I use a little dropper or syringe! I usually have one lying around left over from little herbal bottles of chamomile. You can also go to your local pharmacy and ask them for a medicine syringe – ours gives them out for free. Just a tablespoon or so right in the beginning. Within a few times of trying it, all 3 of my girls now have been so in love with it they literally grab for the syringe to put it in their mouth!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Bone Broth

I don’t always have jars of bone broth in the fridge to pour from – it usually goes right from the pot into making soup, or into the deep freezer until I need it. So while I’m straining out my broth, I usually freeze up an ice cube tray or two with broth so I can pop out cubes for baby as I need. DO NOT warm up the broth in the microwave – it will kill all the good stuff! Use the stove top, OR I like to just put it in a little container in my bottle warmer!
Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Bone Broth

From there the possibilities are endless! I use bone broth as the base for pureeing all of my meats and veggies for baby. Veggie soup purees are a meal staple in our house, not only because they are so easy to make, but because it is a great way to get bone broth in my family. I start baby tasting simple pea soups, squash soups, etc at some point between 6-8 months. It is such a nice meal staple to get baby’s taste palate used to so that they can continue to eat these great soups into toddlerhood and beyond.

So HERE is my method for bone broth making! Give it a try and let me know how it goes! Remember – it can take up to 15 attempts of a new food for baby to accept the new food! This is the same for all first foods! If baby makes a funny face at first, don’t give up! They are getting used to new tastes, textures, and feelings in their mouth! Give them a chance to learn how this feels, how to use their tongue, etc! Watch baby for a week during those first introductions. If you see any weird diaper action going on, redness around the mouth, or rashes on the skin, you will want to stop. Try the broth again in a month and see what happens.

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Bone Broth

Feeding Babies Real Food 101

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: FAQ’s and Thoughts to Keep in Mind

January 22, 2014

I have spent a lot of time over the last few months putting together some tips that have helped me learn how to feed my babies in a traditional, nourishing way.

Wait a minute…”learn” how to feed my babies?

Yes.

Feeding my babies in a traditional, nourishing way was very foreign territory to me. I grew up in up an environment where toxic baby cereals are considered a good first food. In fact my first born had baby cereal as her first taste of solid food. When she was constipated a week later I trashed it. I had no idea where to start from there – but I knew I didn’t want to start with that. There was very limited information with details for this type A personality to follow 5 years ago when I had my first baby.

I hope this detailed Feeding Nourished Babies Series will help you wade through mainstream medicine’s processed baby food recommendations so you can make your own decisions on what is best to feed *your* baby to nourish their growing minds and bodies!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: FAQ’s and Thoughts to Keep in MindSo here are some important things to keep in mind as I’m talking introducing nourishing solids to baby, and some FAQ’s that I usually come across! I hope this is helpful – and feel free to post questions in the comments!

  • HERE is a general idea of what I have followed for feeding my babies – it is basically the WAPF guidelines for feeding babies.
  • I have started my girls with tastes of nourishing solids between 4-5 months. You don’t have to though! All three of my girls now have sat up by 4 months! They had very great head control early as well. This is not the same for all babies, and if your baby isn’t sitting well or doesn’t have great head control then I would wait. Follow your mama gut instincts and start solids when you and baby are ready!
  • When I started tastes of solids around 4-5 months it was exactly that – *tastes*usually no more than a teaspoon or two until they were closer to 6 months. It takes baby a week or two to figure that tongue out – I look at the “feedings” as oral practice for learning the coordination of how to eat, learning how to sit at the table with the family and be together, and share a meal!
  • Out of all the “first foods” that I mention from egg yolks to avocadao, to gentle veggies and bone broth, my babies were never getting the same thing day after day. In those first months some days they got a “feeding” once or twice a day, and some days they didn’t get any at all. When I introduced a new food I would give it to them one or two times and then not give it to them again for a week so I could watch for reactions. This is one reason I liked started around 4-5 months with the foods – it takes a while to get things introduced! Relax! Don’t force it all down!
  • Be sure to change up textures and tastes! One of the reasons I feel my big girls are not “picky” eaters (I honestly can’t think of one food they won’t eat!) is because I never “babied” them when it came to food. I’m not a strainer, or flavor masker. If they made a face a new texture or taste – we kept trying. I don’t mask veggie flavors with apples or something else “sweet.” I don’t strain or over puree. I make the food a fairly smooth consistency for the first month maybe, but not forever.
  • It can take up to 15 attempts of a new food for baby to accept the new food! This is the same for all first foods! If baby makes a funny face at first, don’t give up! They are getting used to new tastes, textures, and feelings in their mouth! Give them a chance to learn how this feels, how to use their tongue, etc!
  • Watch baby for a week during those first introductions. If you see any weird diaper action going on, redness around the mouth, or rashes on the skin, you will want to stop. Try the food again in a month and see what happens.

So talk to me! And keep the questions coming!

*PLEASE NOTE: Baby’s first foods can be a very heated topic. Please let’s play nice and respect every mama’s choice to start solids when she feels is right for her baby. I am a STICKLER on this!

Feeding Babies Real Food 101

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Coconut Butter

January 22, 2014

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Coconut Butter

If you haven’t read FAQ’s and Things To Keep In Mind about Feeding Babies yet, that would be a great place to start first!

Coconut butter is something I didn’t find until my first born was close to 1 year old. She just loved it, and after learning more about coconut butter, I made it a part of my second and now third born’s menu of first food introductions.

Coconut butter is basically the “meat” of the coconut in a pureed/buttered fashion. It is more than just the oil of the coconut – though it does contain that. It is like eating a coconut! It is very palatable, so unlike taking straight coconut oil on a spoon, the coconut butter is very kid friendly.

Coconut oil, like human breastmilk, contains lauric acid which helps the body fight viral and bacterial infections and makes immune systems strong. It is full of medium chain fatty acids and friendly fats that are great for brain development and health.

As baby gets older into toddlerhood you can use coconut butter for so many things other than just off the spoon! I often add melted coconut butter to my big girls’ smoothies, yogurt, or soaked oatmeal. I also spread it on gluten free pancakes or apple slices!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Coconut ButterI do buy the Artisana Coconut Butter from my local health food store. You can make coconut butter if you have a high powered blender! (On my someday wish list!)

Here is how I prep coconut butter for my babies:

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Coconut Butter
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1-2 tsp coconut butter
Instructions
  1. Melt the coconut butter (NOT in a microwave though!). I like to use my bottle warmer! I put the coconut butter in a little container that fits in the bottle warmer and let it warm up a few minutes! You could also just put the whole jar in a bowl of hot water and it will get soft and melt. If you live in a warm climate your coconut butter may be nice and soft already!
  2. Add a splash or two of breastmilk, coconut oil, or water to the melted coconut butter to make it the consistency that you want, and serve to baby.

Tips:

  • It can take up to 15 attempts of a new food for baby to accept the new food! This is the same for all first foods! If baby makes a funny face at first, don’t give up! They are getting used to new tastes, textures, and feelings in their mouth! Give them a chance to learn how this feels, how to use their tongue, etc!
  • Watch baby for a week during those first introductions of the coconut butter. If you see any weird diaper action going on, redness around the mouth, or rashes on the skin, you will want to stop – this is the same with any first foods introductions. Try the coconut butter again in a month and see what happens.
  • THIS is a great first foods chart to give you an idea of what to follow when choosing first foods for your baby if you are wanting to follow the WAPF guidelines for feeding babies.
  • Read THIS for common FAQ’s and thoughts to keep in mind about feeding babies!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Coconut ButterHave you tried coconut butter with your littles before? What do you like to use it for?

Feeding Babies Real Food 101

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Avocado

January 20, 2014

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Avocado

If you haven’t read FAQ’s and Things To Keep In Mind about Feeding Babies yet, that would be a great place to start first!

Mashed up avocado has been one of my girls’ favorite baby foods – that has transitioned to be a favorite food in general as they grow into toddlerhood!

Both of my big girls will eat avocado right out of the shell with a spoon to this day – that makes this mama very happy!

Avocados are full of nourishing, filling fats and are very gentle to digest for most babies. As baby ages into toddlerhood, creating a taste palate for avocado can transition to them loving to dip veggies in guacamole, or spread avocado mash on sandwiches or crackers.

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Avocado

Here is how I prep avocados for my babies to taste!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Avocado
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Ripe avocado
Instructions
  1. Scoop out a couple teaspoons of avocado into a bowl.
  2. Use a fork to mash it up and add splashes of breastmilk or melted coconut oil (could do water if you wish) to make it the consistency/smoothness you want. (You could also use a blender if you wish)

Tips:

  • I don’t batch up avocado. It turns brown with air unless you squirt some lemon on it, and I don’t like having citrus in my baby’s foods for a while. I do use the Ziploc Air Lock Vaccuum to keep the cut avocado fresh though! It works great! Between my other daughters, myself, and the baby we do usually go through a whole avocado in one sitting, but if I only need the little bit for baby I air lock it up and it stays great for a couple days in the fridge! You can also use any leftover avocado to make guacamole for the bigger kids (or mama!) or spread on sandwiches.
  • It can take up to 15 attempts of a new food for baby to accept the new food! This is the same for all first foods! If baby makes a funny face at first, don’t give up! They are getting used to new tastes, textures, and feelings in their mouth! Give them a chance to learn how this feels, how to use their tongue, etc!
  • Watch baby for a week during those first introductions of the avocado. If you see any weird diaper action going on, redness around the mouth, or rashes on the skin, you will want to stop – this is the same with any first foods introductions. Try the avocado again in a month and see what happens.
  • THIS is a great first foods chart to give you an idea of what to follow when choosing first foods for your baby if you are wanting to follow the WAPF guidelines for feeding babies.
  • Read THIS for common FAQ’s and thoughts to keep in mind about feeding babies!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Avocado

Have you tried avocado with your littles? What did they think?

Feeding Babies Real Food 101

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Pastured Egg Yolk

January 17, 2014

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Pastured Egg Yolk
 

If you haven’t read FAQ’s and Things To Keep In Mind about Feeding Babies yet, that would be a great place to start first!

What?! You are going to feed your baby eggs??

I can’t tell you how often I have heard that phrase in the last few years! And yet, if you look and new mamas around the globe, giving the yolks of eggs to babies as first foods is common practice.

The yolks of eggs from chickens that have been on pasture to eat grass and bugs is extremely nourishing! You can’t pack more punch in to such a small package!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Pastured Egg Yolk

Babies don’t have very big bellies! If you have been reading material from me very long, you will find that my mantra is always – make every bite count. Why do we start babies on nutrient-less foods like processed cereals? This practice makes no sense. If babies don’t even have the enzymes to break down grains until well over the age of 1 year old, then why are we introducing them to baby cereal so young? This sets our children up for a myriad of gut issues.

The Weston Price Foundation recommends egg yolks from pastured chickens to be introduced as early as 4 months old. I have enjoyed seeing my sweet babes yolky faces as soon as they are sitting up well, and it feels so good to know how nourished their bodies and brains are!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Pastured Egg Yolk

A couple of notes before I show you how to prep those yolks for your baby. First, ONLY the yolks before age 1. I will be showing you how to soft boil your egg so you can easily get the yolk separated away to feed to baby. Second, I want to be sure to mention that I am not a doctor. First and foremost you need to follow your mama gut instinct – if you don’t feel comfortable giving your baby a yolk, then by all means – it is your baby! Don’t do it! Following the WAPF guidelines for feeding babies is what has worked for my family, and I want to share how to do it if this is how you want to feed your babies! And third, always nurse before food! In those first stages of introducing solids to baby around 4-6 months, breastmilk is always first priority. If you are formula feeding same thing.

All set? Ok! Lets soft boil those eggs!

Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Pastured Egg Yolk
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pastured egg
Instructions
  1. Fill a small or medium pot that has a lid with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, lower your egg into the boiling water and put the lid on the pot.
  3. Set your timer for 5 minutes.
  4. After the 5 minutes, use your slotted spoon to take the egg out, and run the egg under cold water for about 30 seconds.
  5. Tap the top of the egg to crack the shell and pull away the white.
  6. Pierce the yolk with your spoon and scoop it out into a bowl.
  7. Sprinkle sea salt and/or grate some grassfed liver over top the yolk and serve to baby.

Tips:

  • UPDATE! I recently started using my steamer for soft and hard boiling eggs – and oh! SO so (so!) easy! You must try it! On mine it is about 11 minutes for soft boiled and 15 for hard. This steamer also has 2 baskets so you can steam your eggs on the bottom and then some peas or carrots to puree for baby on the top! Yeah!
  • This is not a make ahead food unfortunately 😉 I always served this when I knew I would be home and had the time – usually did it when we were sitting down for dinner (this also introduces the routine of sitting down as a family for the dinner meal!) , or before bedtime. I do a lot of baby food batch ups for the freezer (such as meats and veggies), but this is just one that is made to order. It is worth the small amount of time to get that nourishment into baby though! And while the 6 minutes is ticking that is plenty of time to change a diaper, put dinner on the stove, or even have a nursing/feeding/snuggle session.
  • Watch baby for a week during those first introductions of the yolk. If you see any weird diaper action going on, redness around the mouth, or rashes on the skin, you will want to stop – this is the same with any first foods introductions. Try the yolk again in a month and see what happens.
  • It can take up to 15 attempts of a new food for baby to accept the new food! This is the same for all first foods! If baby makes a funny face at first, don’t give up! They are getting used to new tastes, textures, and feelings in their mouth! Give them a chance to learn how this feels, how to use their tongue, etc.
  • As baby gets older, you can hard boil your eggs, mush up the yolk with a back of a fork, and add some breastmilk to make a thicker paste if you wish. Sometimes I add the crumbled hard boiled egg yolk to plain, whole milk yogurt.
  • THIS is a great first foods chart to give you an idea of what to follow when choosing first foods for your baby if you are wanting to follow the WAPF guidelines for feeding babies.
  • Read THIS for common FAQ’s and thoughts to keep in mind about feeding babies!
  • Feeding Nourished Babies Series :: Pastured Egg Yolk

So tell me about your baby’s first foods! If you can figure out how to post a picture on here we want to see those yolky faces! Or post them to my facebook! I wanna see!

*PLEASE NOTE: Baby’s first foods can be a very heated topic. Please lets play nice and respect every mama’s choice to start solids when she feels is right for her baby. I am a STICKLER on this!