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Category Archives: 12 Months

Carrot Rounds with Parmesan

We’ve hardly been able to get Isabella to eat lately. She’s gotten pickier, more easily distracted, and independent to a fault. Sitting at a table for any length of time and – gasp – being fed by Mommy or Daddy seems downright frustrating to her. For us, it’s an exercise in futility.  She’s been waking up early and napping terribly, due in part, I’m sure, to being hungry.

I’ve always said I’d rather have her eat two bites of some whole, nutrient-rich food instead of a stomach-full of something processed, or sugary, or whatever. But, when she’s whining and hungry it’s SO tempting to give her whatever I have, right away. I’ve found that the best way to get her to eat lately is to give her something she can eat without help, ideally as she wanders around the house. Finger foods are the best way to get something in her, which means she finds herself eating graham crackers and Pirate’s Booty more often than I’d like to admit.

Today I came up with something that’s quick – almost as quick as opening a package of chips – and just as delicious. At least, Isabella seemed to think so. Best of all, it’s healthy and not super messy.

Carrot Rounds with Parmesafinger foods for kids

  • 1 or 2 medium carrots
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • salt  to taste

You’ll need a pot with a tight-fitting lid and a steamer basket.

Peel the carrots.

Cut them into 1/4 inch thick rounds and throw them in the steamer basket.

Put about an inch of water in the bottom of your pot, maybe more depending on what kind of steamer you have. You don’t want so much water in your pot that it’s bubbling into the basket and actually boiling the carrots. Steaming actually preserves more of the nutrients compared to boiling.

Steam for 5-10 minutes to get the carrots to their desired tenderness. I go shorter now that Izzy has molars to chew with.

Transfer the carrots to a small bowl. Dust with parmesan cheese and a little salt and toss to cover.

I like to just set the bowl out and she picks and grazes as she plays – and so do I!

 

What finger foods – healthy or unhealthy – do your kids love?

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Green Pea Hummus

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As I’ve mentioned, my daughter loves hummus.  We all do, so I make at batch every few days, and we snack on it with fresh veggies and corn chips or put it in wraps.  But hummus is one of those things that’s easy to get tired of, so I’ve come up with lots of different variations on the classic recipe.  I tried one yesterday that was too good not to share- green pea hummus.  It’s a sweet, vibrant alternative to traditional hummus.

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Basic Hummus

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Izzy has been hummus-crazy lately. At 16 months she is eager to “feed herself,” and I’m always surprised by how much she likes spicy, flavorful food.  Hummus fits the bill perfectly so she eats it almost every day.  I just sit her in the high chair with a little plastic bowl of hummus and a few cut-up veggies like carrots, cucumbers, or bell pepper.

It’s incredibly messy, which is obviously part of the appeal, so I’ll sometimes strip her down to her diaper and put a bib on her.  I’d rather not worry about how messy she’s getting and just let her experience her food. You’ll never hear me say, “Don’t play with your food!”

I have a growing list of hummus variations but I figured I’d better post a basic hummus recipe first.

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Zucchini and Potatoes with Fresh Basil and Parmesan

ingredients for zucchini and potatoes baby food

I think fresh grated parmesan cheese is WORLDS better, but my grocery budget this week was a little tight. Sad.

This is a new one to me.  I got some beautiful zucchinis for free and thought, what could I do with these?  I had some fresh basil on hand and added some potatoes to bulk it up.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2 small yukon gold potatoes
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Be careful with the basil; start with a little and taste it.  I LOVE basil and could eat it in everything, but good fresh basil is pretty peppery.  The strong flavor might be too much for some babies if you put a lot in there.

Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and toss into a steamer basket or double boiler. Steam potatoes for about 10 minutes.  Since potatoes are starchy, they need a head start on the zucchini.Here’s how you make it:

  1. Meanwhile, cut the zucchinis into 1/2 inch thick half moons and add to the potatoes.  Steam another 5 minutes or more until tender.  It’s important that the zucchinis and potatoes are roughly the same size so that they cook evenly.
  2. Allow veggies to cool for a few minutes.  Put steamed veggies in your food processor along with basil leaves and parmesan cheese.  Blend well.  Add water to bring to a thinner consistency if desired.
  3. Taste!  Add more basil or cheese if you want to.

zucchinis, potatoes, basil, parmesan cheese homemade baby food

If you want this to be gluten-free, just make sure you get straight up parmesan cheese.  Some grated cheeses are coated with starch, so carefully check the ingredient list or get a block of solid parmesan.  You could easily exclude the cheese to make this dairy free.  In my opinion, there are few things that aren’t improved by the addition of cheese, and most babies do fine with cheese even if they are sensitive to cow’s milk.

Apples & Greens


This is one of Isabella’s long-time favorites and one of the foods I know I she’ll devour even if she won’t eat anything else.  I make at least 6 jars of Apples & Greens every time I make baby food.  Happily, it’s also the easiest recipe I make.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2-3 Cups Applesauce
  • 2-3 Cups Mixed Greens

You can make your own apple sauce by gently simmering or steaming cut up apples and mashing them up.  I usually just buy no-sugar added applesauce (organic, when they have it).  I usually just use organic baby spinach, but there’s a great mix by Organic Girl called SuperGreens! that we love.  This is a simple blend and is probably fine to introduce before 9 months of age- just make sure baby has had applesauce before.  I think Izzy first started eating this around 7.5 or 8 months.

Here’s how to make it:

Dump everything in the blender and blend it up!  If this is the first time you’ve offered this to your baby, start with less greens and add more to taste.  Isabella loves it to be really green but every baby is different.

apples and greens homemade baby food

This is actually a great way to get more greens into your diet if you’re one of those people that just can’t stand salad.  It tastes mostly applesaucy.  And who doesn’t like applesauce?!?

As soon as she heard the food processor, Isabella made her way into the kitchen and demanded to be picked up.  She killed a whole jar of this before I could get the lid on.  Oh well- one more jar free for something else!

eating homemade apples and green baby food

she loves her apples and greens

give me more!

I want more!