Monday, 31 December 2007

Plain lentils? No way!

Happy New Year! :0)
Apologies for the lack of posts over the last week - we have been very busy as I'm sure have you! We had a lovely family Christmas and I hope you all did too.
I mentioned in my last post that I was experimenting with some new recipes. Some went well and others were not so good - bad in fact.
I tried falafels on Christmas Eve and instead of getting a recipe I made it up. I ended up with a chick pea jumble which didn't hold together so I didn't even try to cook it. I offered it to both Millie and her cousin neither of whom seemed too interested. Luckily I am friends with the best falafeler in the world. Rosie is one of the cooks at Cafe Kino in Bristol a truly special vegan not for profit co-operative. If you're in the area drop by and say hello from us and try her falafels. I should be able to get a recipe from her which avoids dairy and eggs and is a darn site more tasty than my attempts.
I did have more luck with a vegetable risotto which I have added to the bottom of this post. I decided to cook a risotto for us as well as Millie on New Years Eve but didn't have enough rice to go around. I thought I'd replace Millie's rice with red lentils but she was having none of it and spat them out with a distressed look on her face. I can see why she didn't like the taste as they are quite earthy. Next time I will try them with spice.
Vegetable Risotto:
*Quantities as required*
Celery, shallots, carrot and garlic finely diced.
Veg such as frozen peas, courgette, broccoli (whatever you want / have) coarsely diced.
Risotto rice.
Veg stock (salt free if cubed) celery, onions and carrot brought to the boil and simmered while you prep the veg does nicely.
A little oil for cooking.
Parmesan if you do dairy.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
Add the celery, shallots and carrot and heat over a medium flame.
As they start to soften add the garlic.
Add the rice and stir through the veg.
Once the rice is almost crackling add a small ladle of the stock (the noise is called the sigh of the rice according to an Italian girl I know).
Add the remaining veg here. *Because of the veg I used I added them raw but you may wish to add them mostly steamed*
Once the stock is absorbed add another small ladle and stir it through.
Keep the risotto moving and adding stock until the rice is done - probably quite soft for babies.
If using, stir in a scant sprinkling of Parmesan.
Nice served warm. Great cold as it's stickier and you can make it into risotto fingers as in Jenny Maizels' Finger Food.
Happy Days,
Kat x

Sunday, 30 December 2007

German treats, Christmas & teething again!

Things have improved a little food wise, well the did for a few days at least!

George has taken a liking to a German Christmas speciality called Riebekuchen - they are just the most delicious potato dish...a cross between a pancake and a rosti, shallow fried and served in three's with apple sauce. In the end I get fed up sharing, so we ordered special kinder portions! lol

George was less keen on the bratwurst - but then he seems to be largely veggie these days! He has also had a few chips, and far too many gluhwein stall biscuits! Dad is still stuffing chocoalte down him too!

Christmas dinner was a non-starter really. He ate a bite of a baked camenbert very unenthusiastically! He seemed to like smoked salmon, but when given more refused to eat any! In the end for his meal he had philly on brown bread - I ask you huh! He loved the christmas pudding though!!

Since Christmas we have sort of drifted more to grazing than meals - and then with the onset of full on teething again (4 pre-molars and 2 top canines) food has slipped off the menu. George is mainly surviving on porridge with banana and dried fruit in it - so at least it is good for him! He has also been enjoying ice dates or fresh dates. All I knw is they are much easier to chop than the usual sort! lol

Will add pictures asap

love

Mel x

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Breakfast Inventions.

Another good eating day. Millie is still most contented to munch through a pile of vegetables (Carrots, courgettes, sweet potatoes, parsnip and celeriac today). I mentioned a couple of days ago that I thought she might want a third meal (breakfast) as she is a little feeding demon in the mornings knocking back formula and whatever booby milk she can get once I've expressed. She's also feeding twice before her first nap which she hasn't done since the early days. I was going to go with the 'super-porridge' we tried the other day (sampling does work!) but this evening I think I have stumbled across a homemade alternative.
I was making a fruit puree to combine with some quinoa and it came out a little runny. While Millie is ok taking a firm puree from a spoon this would have been carnage. Even once I'd mixed in the quinoa it was just slop. I felt loath to waste perfectly good food so I set about thinking of what could thicken it up. I came up with the idea of mixing in some 'baby rice' which as far as I can tell is just ground rice. Luckily we had a package in the cupboard and it did the trick. A firm fruit porridge which is absolutely perfect for breakfast. A recipe is at the bottom of the post.
I was reading a string of posts on the BLW group on Yahoo this evening and came across a thread about weight gain. I left a post which was probably really unhelpful. Despite Millie's gain-lose-gain-lose pattern of the last couple of months I have not had her weighed for two weeks and will not be doing so until next year. All at once I feel liberated and adrift. Without the weigh-ins I have none of the worry and guilt following a weight loss but this is now replaced with worry about not knowing what is happening. I have to guess at which way she is going (a loss following the last weigh in but now gaining by my estimations) and focus on giving her as much milk and food as she asks for. As always, I have a happy active baby who shows no signs of anything being wrong with her!
DH's family are arriving tomorrow and then we are off to my family in Yorkshire on Boxing Day (Yikes - first big trip since food began!). I hope to post a recipe which I'm making up tomorrow for Millie and her cousin to enjoy. If time gets away from me and I fail to do so: Happy Christmas to you and your family! :0)
Fruity Porridge:
2 bananas (brown)
1 pear (essentially you could have any fruit)
juice of half a lemon (stops the fruit going brown)
Some cooked quinoa
Some baby rice
Blend the fruit.
Mix in your desired amount of cooked quinoa.
This mixture will keep in the fridge for a day or so.
When ready to serve: mix in enough baby rice to make the mixture stiff.
Happy Days,
Kat x

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Quinoa.

A very busy few days. I have finally finished my Christmas shopping and managed to get most cards and presents out in time! I have also managed to cook some quinoa for Millie.
I started by giving it to her in its naked state which did not go down well. The grains stuck to every part of her mouth which she found as offensive as rice cakes. I then tried rolling the veg in it which worked better as she ate it but it made an awful mess. Today I mixed it with a puree of banana and plum which was best of all as she ate all of the quinoa even though the puree element made an almighty mess. I went through five spoons too, as she kept ditching them on the floor. Still can't complain when she is so obviously happy. She was totallly hyper after supper this evening - has anyone else noticed this with any particular foods?
Busy food shopping day ahead of us and Millie's first sprout tomorrow...
Happy Days,
Kat x

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Please Sir, can I have some more?

Millie has just been on a super feeding mission. She finished a lion's share of her veg and then looked at us as if to say, "What else have you got for me?". As she was still hungry I thought I'd try one of the free samples from Plum Baby. I used a 10g packet of 'super-porridge' as it had a good range of grains which I am trying to increase in Millie's diet. I mixed it with some of her expresso milk to make a stiff dough. I rolled the porridge-dough into little balls and helped her get it into her mouth (if I'd let her pick it up herself I think it could have been a disaster in terms of housework created). All eaten and still the look of a baby after food. She managed half an avocado and another parsnip before her evening expresso. I think I must underestimate her capacity for food as I was totally unprepared for this!
After the success of super-porridge I think I will give her some quinoa and millet tomorrow and see how she goes with that. Now, is it too early to bring in a third meal? I must say I'm at a loss as to how I will know when to do this; after all she eats more than guidelines say she should so maybe she could go for another meal. Then again, I don't want her to cut too much milk so maybe I should just let things stay as they are. What do you think?
I was speaking to a chum of mine today about EC and BLW. She said something so lovely that I feel the need to share it here. She said: "I really admire you for just getting on and trying things out rather than treating life as a dress rehearsal." I have never thought of myself like this and am incredibly flattered that she does. Her words were so needed especially when I feel unsupported by my family at times. I think we could all tell our chums what makes them special more often. So Fiona, I admire your enthusiasm for life and lack of reserve on the dance floor. I am glad you are my friend.
Happy Days,
Kat x

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Teeth, Car Journeys, New Friends & Porridge

Hello Girlies!

Well George and I are in Germany for Christmas with my folks. We came on the ferry, and stopped overnight with a friend in Belgium and her lo to break up the journey. For 2 days George pretty much survived on bread products (brioche and croissants) and banana porridge!

We also have 4 pre-molars coming through in various stages, so food seems to be off the menu in general.

Oh, except one thing....his god damn advent calender..that he can always manage - he has become a chocolate fiend! In fact, out & about yesterday he also had a chocolate santa on a stick given to him by FC himself! lol - coupled with 2 biscuits from a gluhwein store and the ever present advent chocolate it is a wonder George wasn't totally hyperactive!

Grandad is also giving him manuka honey on everything....so a tubby baby with no teeth may be coming back to the uk with me! pmsl.

love

Mel x

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Same old food.

Not a great deal to report on the food front. We continue with our veg, fruit and occassionally pasta. I offered her some chicken the other day. She had a small taste but made a face which said; "That's not going in my mouth Mama!" so I guess she's a vegetarian for now. She eats loads more than she did before. Tonight she put away a whole banana and half a pear on top of a big portion of squash sweet potato and parsnip. As I write this she also downing a bottle of expresso.
I'm sure you're all as fraught as I am with Christmas looming on the horizon. We have our tree up and that is as far as we have got! I am going to brave the shops tomorrow for some last presents and hope that we don't get crushed. I thought I'd been smart in ordering my food to be delivered but Sainsbury's substituted most of my Organic veg for regular - very frustrating!!
What are your babies eating for Christmas? Let us know what you plan to serve them in the comments section. Millie for her part will be eating sprouts...
Happy Days,
Kat x

Friday, 14 December 2007

Grandma's in town.

Hello! Sorry we haven't posted for a couple of days - Grandma payed an unexpected visit.
Food News:
Skin on? I decided to leave the skin on Millie's veg the other day once I'd scrubbed them. I reasoned that as they were organic and clean there couldn't be any reason to peel them. Millie did not agree. Somehow parsnips and carrots weren't as nice or easy to chew unpeeled. Courgettes remain a favourite skin on or off.
Pasta isn't very interesting. Millie loses interest in the pasta quite quickly so last night I mixed some with soup and she enjoyed it much better. A bonus is that it was not as messy as letting her have soup from a spoon. As I have had great success with this soup I shall share my closely guarded recipe at the bottom of this post. Finding things to mix with pasta could be tricky. I have a tomato allergy and so don't use them in any of my cooking. Tomatoes belong to the Deadly Nightshade Family, along with potatoes, aubergines and peppers (which I won't be introducing until nine months), and are a common allergen. I'm thinking that classic purees will make good 'sauces', what do you think?
Peel, chop and roast up a butternut squash until soft.
Heat 50g butter over medium heat.
Add: 1 onion sliced, 1 carrot diced, 1 garlic chopped, 1tsp ginger chopped, 2 cloves, 2 cardamom seeds, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp ground white pepper (I buy spices from the Indian Supermarket not normal one they're cheaper and nicer).
Fry for about 5 minutes stirring constantly so the spices don't stick and clump.
Add 2 litres of hot chicken or veg stock and the roasted squash.
Simmer for a while.
Blend until smooth.
Add yoghurt to serve.
Eat with lashings of bread and butter.
Keep sleeves out of soup.
**For babies: I cut out the dairy and use salt free stock (homemade or from Free From aisle)**
Happy Days,
Kat x

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

New food!

We had another wonderful eating day today. It was our last post-natal yoga class, something which is very sad as we have a fantastic group. We went for lunch afterwards and Millie sat quite happily in a highchair feeding herself. She kindly shared some parsnip with her chum William who was looking to break away from the orange food. I met this group nearly a year ago when I was pregnant and now here we are with babies in highchairs - what an fantastic metamorphosis.
Millie has been eating fruit and veg for a couple of weeks now. I've been thinking about branching out and decided that today was the day. I gave her some pasta. I bought rice and millet pasta from Orgran (who make an amazing falafel mix too). Rice is a lovely first food and millet has some fantastic properties. Millet has all eight amino acids and is a good source of silicone and is suitable from six months so perfect for us. I cooked the little spirals and then rinsed in cold water once drained. They were a little sticky to the touch but absolutely fine for Millie to handle. Best of all - she loved it! Went down much better than rice cakes (coughing and face making) so will be in the menu alongside her fruit and veg from now on.
Happy Days,
Kat x

Babies who lunch.

We don't have many friends doing BLW. Actually, we only have one. I have lost count of the conversations I am not part of as I don't puree. Happliy, I have many conversations about what Miss A is eating as she is a little older than Millie. Here are the girls enjoying some fine dining at lunch today.
Carrots, swede and parsnips with some rice cakes for laughs. They had all but finished their food once ours came which made it a little tricky getting our lunch eaten. Another Mama came over and asked us how we had introduced solids and was astounded to hear that we had just given sticks of food to the babies and let them get on with it. I hope seeing them chow down gave her the courage to try letting her baby take the lead.
Happy Days,
Kat x

Sunday, 9 December 2007

I want your teacake.

Not content with fruit and veg, Millie tried to swipe a teacake today. Her appetite remains strong and she is once again eating everything she can get her hands on. I made a mistake earlier. We had a late lunch and so rather than being just before Millie's nap it was just after. She came to sit with us at the table and ate her way through a pile of veg. When it was time for her milk shortly afterwards she didn't want any. I remember being told to always give the milk first as this is where the majority of calories come from. I live and learn.
As she is now over six months I will be gradually introducing some grain based foods. A lot is written about allergies and often advice conflicts so I won't be adding my (unqualified) opinion to the clamour. What I will do when relavent is tell you what we are avoiding and what led us to that choice. More of that in posts to come.
I have been reading a blog called Motherland written by a woman from Winchester living in Cambodia. I think it is really lovely and thought you would like to read it too.
Happy Days,
Kat x

Saturday, 8 December 2007

All the food is pink...

After a night in with the boys Millie has recovered her appetite. I thought I might be ok to skip lunch but she was having none of it and happily munched her veg in Costa. DH steamed a large pot of veg last night which all turned pink as he mixed the beetroot in with the rest, lol. It wasn't enough to deter Millie who happily filled up on parsnip, swede, courgette, carrot, sweet potato and beetroot with a nice pear for pudding. By the time she had finished the beetroot had stained her hands, face and mouth bright pink. It didn't end there... In the early hours of the morning DH got a fright when he looked in the potty - a bright red poo! *apologies to those of you not keen on talk of poos!*
Millie has developed an interest in forks. I think it started as I would use my fork to move food into her reach during mealtimes. I once offered her a a carrot from my fork and instead of picking it off, she took the fork and ate from that. I think this is probably a useful development as all the little pieces of food which she can't sort out can easily be taken from a fork. Back to the supermarket I guess.
The weather is rotten today. We went to our local school bazaar with our neighbour this morning and the water in the road was so bad that great arcs of water were covering pedestrians. Sadly another village neighbour and DS were covered head to toe by and inconsiderate driver :0( The bazaar was fantastic - absolutely heaving with merriness. The rain is clearing up now so may head off to the Christmas market and ice rink in Winchester. None of this has anything to do with BLW - I just felt like sharing!
Happy Days,
Kat x

Thursday, 6 December 2007

What do the supermarket aisles have to offer?

As Millie is still off her food I thought I'd write about something a little different today. The company who deliver my shopping have noticed that occasionally I have a packet of nappies in my order. As a result they have started to send me free samples of baby food. It started about two months ago and they haven't stopped despite me not buying any of the products they have sent. As you can imagine the samples consist of purees and similar. I got curious and decided to take a trip down the baby aisles of my local supermarkets.

Food:

As you can guess the food is all geared towards puree weaning or older children. With the exception of some plain rice cakes (only different from the normal ones I buy because they have added vitamin b1) I came away empty handed. Rice cakes are very useful for squashing discarded lumps of veg onto so they're not wasted and can be picked up by Millie. I noticed that you have to keep a very close eye on the labels as even rice cakes have flavours added.

Equipment:

The supermarkets did have some good equipment. Leading the way is Tommee Tippee who have some very good BLW products. Their 'flip & sip' first cup is excellent (even if Millie is more interested in the sloshing sound than drinking!) and many other Mamas I know love them too. They have some long sleeved bibs which proudly say: "Look, I'm feeding myself." which I thought was very apt. My only critisism of these bibs is that they take ages to dry so you need a few. I found a slightly more expensive bib here which doesn't have any cloth so easier to re-use. By far and away the best thing I found was the Magic Gripper Mat which is fab to take out and about. At home I'm using the mat Mel recommended here which comes from Blooming Marvellous, a little pricey so if you find it cheaper post below and share your good fortune! Always good to get tips and ideas from everyone else so get comment happy :0)

Finally, it was Millie's half birthday yesterday. We celebrated in style and gave her a BLW friendly rice cake.

Happy Days,

Kat x

PS Won't be posting tonight as on a Mamas' Night Out to the Indian - DH is teaming up with another Papa for the evening shift. :0)

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Juicy Melon.

She's still off her food a bit. I suppose it's because it's not easy to eat when you can't breathe properly. We tried swede again today which was greeted with a little more interest than last time. I think that it's less interesting than the other root vegetables as it's not as sweet.
Following yesterday's pear success we had pear and some galia melon (ok, I went overboard on the exotics but even though they were on their sell by date they have all kept well). Both fruits were met with glee and so I gave her extra at supper.
Tuesday is weigh-in day with the HV.......Hurrah......she has gained a bit of weight! I am very pleased with this as I'm sure you can imagine. Luckily my HV is actually supportive of letting babies get on with eating on their own. She also didn't bat an eyelid when I said we were going to stop using nappies - what a trouper. I know its not always the case to have a HV who is so good on weaning. A good friend of mine had a lot of trouble with her son losing weight because the HV didn't sit down and talk to her about what they were doing. A few minutes early on and a couple of months of heartache could have been saved. Luckily they are back on track and moving back up through the centiles. I could write about this for hours! I won't though. :0)
Happy Days,
Kat x

Monday, 3 December 2007

Pears are yummy.

I know I'm posting a little early today and that's because I'm off out tonight! Nothing terribly exciting though.
So for lunch we had some familiar carrot, parsnip and sweet potato. Good rooty yumminess. I may start branching out to some other veg - all suggestions welcome. Now, I know I got a bit spend happy with the reduced exotic fruit last week but that doesn't fit my ethics so well. Over the last week or so we have been ripening some lovely seasonal local organic pears. The food miles pale into insignificance compared to my exotic fruits so helping Millie's carbon footprint. Most importantly - she loved it. She ate two thirds of a big pear after very little of her veg. So more pear tomorrow. I may even make a pear cake for her half birthday - probably a little selfish as she's not having gluten or eggs yet but I'm sure we'll enjoy it! :0)
Lisa left a comment last night (great to hear from a Mama just about to start out) saying she found us through Google. We're currently on page two of a Google search on Baby Led Weaning. You can help us move up the ranks! If you post our link on your own website or in any discussions you may be having online relating to BLW then we will start to move up. Also, new Mamas can join us and share their experiences which is the whole purpose of this blog!
Happy Days,
Kat x

Sunday, 2 December 2007

She's still not very well and off her food a bit. We've had sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, butternut squash and swede today with some melon for good measure. Most of what we gave her went on the floor, ah well. I guess it is to be expected considering she's poorly. We did have some spicy butternut squash soup which she took from a spoon (as well as smearing it all over her face).
I have come to the conclusion that we need to get serious about feeding and buy some equipment. As you can see from this photo, we are a little messy around meal times.
My first port (or post) of call is Mel's page on BLW equipment. I will report back on what we have come up with once I'm kitted up.
Thanks for your comments on the amount Millie is eating. I will chill out and let her tell me how much she wants.
Happy Days,
Kat

Saturday, 1 December 2007

and Millie too.

Oh dear, it must be going around! Millie has a cold and horrible cough. Apart from that, and a high temperature, she's happy in herself so we still had food today.

Lunch was sweet potato and carrot with some mango (a bit orange perhaps - will she end up looking like David Dickinson?). Supper was parsnip, carrot and some papaya. The papaya came from my reduced fruit shopping and did not go down well with Millie or DH. I decided to try some banana instead! I have been letting a couple of bananas go black over the last week (great for my avacado) to avoid a repeat of No Poo Week. Millie had a small stick which she ate happily, only spitting out the merest of morsels.

I need your opinions. Millie is having about 6 - 8 steamed veg chips at each meal (lunch & supper). She is surprisingly good at getting this into her tummy so about 80% of this is getting swallowed. She also has a little fruit and water. As far as I can tell she is taking the same amount of milk if not a little more. Am I giving her too much solid or should I chill out and let her get on with eating? Answers on a postcard or in the comments section. Cheers!

Happy Days,

Kat x

Poorley George

What a week!

After the triumphant return to eating when the molars arrived, we have slipped into a really bad cold, and food is off the menu again.

The gp has given us an inhaler to use, as whilst his chest is free of infection, he is rattling like an old man on 40 Woodbines a day. It is horrible. The sleep has also gone to pot too, so I am a very irritable mummy at the moment! We also have tooth no 7, another bottom front one - so all in all not a great week!

As such, George is back to subsisting on a diet of fruit, bread, cheese and malt loaf...with the odd kids tin of ravioli thrown in...it is too depressing to see him eat 1 bite of something I have slaved over. Oh, how could I forget - yogurt - I think he is addicted to the stuff! lol. As a treat I have bought a few of the asda extra special pots, and he adores them!

My replacement laptop has finally arrived from my insurers, so once I get the it guy at work to make it all work properly I can put up some pictures!

I hope you are all liking Kat - there seem to be lots of new mummy's commenting, which is great to see. It is also lovely to see my "regulars" are still around - and good to know that the blog is still helping those starting out on the BLW route!

love

Mel x