Think Outside the Jar: Nutrition outside of baby food

Homemade Baby Food - Carrots

Homemade Baby Food – Carrots (Photo credit: Cascadian Farm)

 

We know that baby food isn’t always the best option for your baby. But sometimes, you just can’t help it. It’s what’s available. You work with what you got, right? (especially if there’s a lot of it, and especially if it’s free!) Last week, I discussed some options you can do to make baby food more nutritious.

 

Now, let’s take a look at alternatives. Baby food does its job, but you don’t want to be using it all the time. With that in mind, let’s explore other options baby can have.

 

Pre-made

 

Half of the convenience of baby food is in the fact that it’s already prepared, right? No cooking, no heating up- just pop the lid and serve. Did you know you can do the same thing with homemade food?

 

Freeze it

 

A lot of foods freeze really well. When you make up a batch of food, set some aside into containers to freeze. Make sure you leave room for liquids to expand! This works great for meals with a lot of leftovers. Recently, I made a large pot of soup and had plenty leftover. I poured some of it into empty baby food jars and stuck them in the freezer, so they’d be handy later!

 

Pre-prepared

 

Most foods will keep well in the fridge for at least a few days, sometimes even up to a week. Pre-make certain foods and just keep it in the fridge, ready to pull out when needed. Most of the time, you won’t even need to reheat them, so whatever is left uneaten can simply go back in the fridge! My 8-month-old daughter LOVES eggs. I often cook up to four or five eggs at a time. I scramble them as if for scrambled eggs, pour into the pan, and let sit for several minutes, until nearly cooked through. Do NOT stir! After a few minutes, I flip it to cook the other side. When done, I let it cool and then serve small portions to her. The eggs are healthy for her growing body, and the “pancake” style makes it easy for her to pick up the pieces. The leftovers I’ll put in the fridge to pull out later and serve cold.

 

Snack foods

 

If you have the time, you can also make up certain snack foods for your little one. The idea is to make foods that the baby can pick up and feed herself. Crackers, cookies, and other such things make great foods. For babies under a year old, consider using coconut or some other flour other than wheat. Some research shows that babies are unable to fully digest grains before one year old, and some experts recommend up to two years. If all you have is wheat flour, then try and at least limit your baby’s grain intake.

 

Fruits are also a great food. Your baby can have most fruits, barring allergies. Some, like apples, may need to be cooked first in order to soften. Keep bananas and avocado on hand to give your baby a healthy, nutritious snack!

 

I understand there’s a LOT more that can be said about this issue, but I didn’t want to go on too long! What foods do YOU give to your baby? Are there any suggestions you’d like to add?

 

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Nutrition on more than just a budget

Tasty Food Abundance in Healthy Europe

Tasty Food Abundance in Healthy Europe (Photo credit: epSos.de)

I grew up in a low-income family. We (almost) never went out to eat, and clothes came from the Goodwill, and then only if you absolutely needed them. Foreclosures and repossessed cars were common. We moved around a lot, once even staying with my dad’s father- five kids in one small bedroom. Most people would find it small just for one person.

That lifestyle also included food stamps. In fact, early into my marriage, I came to the shocking realization that I just kind of expected food stamps to be a part of life. No, I wasn’t “bumming” off the government. I just never expected to financially stable enough to buy my own food. To have one or two or three hundred dollars from your own pocket to buy food was incomprehensible to me. Who has that much money?

Consequently, I felt separated from everyone. Those who could casually talk about the things they buy or going out to eat, seemed to me to be just brazenly announcing how much money they had. How much they were not like me. I still struggle with that.

When it comes to my grocery shopping, these feelings are compounded. I’ve been doing a lot of research. Do you have any idea what is in our foods?? Most of it isn’t good. Much of it is toxic. There are few options for true “healthy” eating at a grocery store. The ones that are good, like organics, are insanely expensive. Again, who has that kind of money?

If you recognize what I’m talking about, then you’re the one I want to talk to. In my search for good nutrition, I’ve read a lot about buying from the farm. About getting good, grass-fed meat straight from the butcher. And I can’t help but think- those doors are closed to me. I can’t do that. I can only get what the state allows.

So I want to take a different spin on things. I want to show, from a “poor family’s” perspective, just what you CAN do to get your family good, healthy food. Because for a certain class of people, it’s more than just “living on a budget.” It’s being limited in your options, because you can only go to certain stores with that EBT card.

Follow me on my journey, and maybe you’ll learn some tips yourself. Healthy eating CAN be possible, even if the farm is not.

Catching Up

Yes, I’ve missed all week for posts. Sorry! We had to wipe the computer yesterday and reboot it after it got a small virus a few weeks ago. But now it looks like things are back to working again! I just wanted to share this little update with you, so you all know what’s going on. I’ll be posting later on today about why it’s a good idea to set up a Facebook page for your business! (and when to set it up)

Enjoy your day! 🙂

It Matters

I told myself a lot in starting this blog. I told myself no one would read it. I told myself no one would be interested. It wouldn’t make a difference one way or the other.

But sometimes, you just have to throw away those words and just do it.

There’s always going to be obstacles. Something will always get in the way. But when you have something to say, don’t whisper it in the dark where no one can hear you, where no one can reject you.

Shout it to the world! Let the world hear your voice! Because after I told myself all those things… I told myself something else. I said that what I had to say- it mattered. It mattered to me.