The Baby and Toddler Cookbook

The Baby & Toddler Cookbook

I came across this cookbook on Amazon while searching for another book. I decided to give it a try since it has pretty good ratings. So far, I made a few things and Caleb seems to like them all. I like how versatile same of the recipes are. For example, the omelet with asparagus (will be in my later post) can substitute asparagus with some other ingredients such as salmon, spinach, or whatever you have on hand!  The book has recipes from puree for solid food starters to big eaters around 12-18 months. It has information on nutrition and tips on storing the leftover. It’s a pretty good guidebook for those who are looking for new ideas especially those mamas with a LO who demands new taste all the time.  These recipes are pretty simple and grown-ups can enjoy them too!

French Toast Sticks

French Toast Sticks

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I couldn’t believe my eyes how much Caleb loves these French toast sticks.  The only things he really loves to eat are puffs and Pocky (chocolate covered biscuit sticks). So to say he loves these sticks, I do very much mean it. Words can’t describe how happy I am to see him chow down 3 sticks in record time of 2 minutes. I got some whole wheat bread and was thinking how to make them more excited and pack it with more nutrition. Caleb likes bread in general so I wasn’t too worry, although I was taking a risk of him refused to eat anything after skipping a nap. His appetite hasn’t been too good due to teething. This is on top of him being a picky eater! Anyways, I came across this recipe on my trusted Weelicious.  I served them with warm maple syrup. After I ate one, I couldn’t resist for more. For the leftover, I will heat them up on a hot pan and spread some peanut butter on top.  I will try adding fruits to the batter next time and see how he likes it. It is differently a keeper!

Butternut Squash and Salmon Mac N Cheese

Butternut Squash and Salmon Mac N Cheese

I really wish Caleb likes mac n cheese as much as I enjoy making it.  I just received the latest issue of Parents magazine and inspired by all the variations on mac n cheese. I realized I have a few things at hand that can make a good combination. I served these as finger food which I am thankful that the mess is easy to clean up. Caleb liked the sauce more than the pasta. How do I know? He took a piece in his mouth and spitted only the pasta out. But since I am having so much fun making these, he will have more in different variations.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup of pasta
1/4 cup grated cheese (I used Monterrey jack)
1-1/2 butter
2 tablespoons of flour (I used wheat flour)
1-1/2 cups of whole milk (you can use heavy cream. I just used what Caleb drinks)
1 cup of mash cooked butternut squash
1/8 cup of mash cooked salmon

Direction:
Cook pasta according to the instruction on the package. I like them on the softer side so I cooked them longer.  In a pan, melt butter and add flour, cook flour for 1-2 minutes. Stir in milk and cook until it thickens and bubbles.  Add butternut squash and salmon until incorporated. Turn off the burner and stir in cheese. Add pasta.

Chinese Style Soft Cooked Rice with Spinach and Salmon

Chinese Style Soft Cooked Rice with Spinach and Salmon

Almost all my Chinese friends and the elderly family members told me about making porridge or “jok” in Chinese for babies and toddlers. Because Caleb went from puree straight to eating chicken chunks, I didn’t bother to make him any porridge. Why filling up the belly with rice instead of chicken meat since there’s a lot more nutrition in chicken? For the longest time, I gave Caleb chicken and a vegetable for dinner. Occasionally, but rarely, rice was part of his dinner.  And then I discovered the time-saving benefit of making porridge using rice cooker, I then tossed into the rice cooker ground butternut squash and a little bit of rice.  This lasted until I realized Caleb has been missing out on red meat. My parents have been nagging me about giving Caleb red meat because they worried that he didn’t get enough iron. They also worried that chicken chunks are harder for the little belly to digest.  So here I am, feeling like making a step backwards, making Caleb some real “jok”. But as it turned out, not only Caleb likes it (that’s always a thumbs up for me), the method is so versatile that I can mix in any meat and vegetable. It can be served as one dish meal which is easier to feed.

Since I was pretty much clueless on how to make jok for toddlers, I asked family members, friends, and even random Chinese moms that I encountered. They all told me the same thing – make a broth using pork bones and/or chicken, then using that broth to make the jok base, and add ground meat and vegetable. Ah ha! so the essence of baby jok is the broth. Why not packaged organic broth? Well, in this case, it is not so much of the flavor, it’s the calcium from the bones that been boiled for a long time. So it’s like calcium fortified! So far, I find it easier to make a big pot of broth each week and make a small amount of jok each day adding different meat and vegetable.  Because Caleb’s now able to take more chunky and thicker food, the consistency of jok is really like a soft cooked rice…think risotto.

Broth:
2 lbs of pork bones
1 quarter of a chicken (or a few drumsticks if you have that instead)
however much water  to cover the ingredients and to fill up the pot
a few pinches of salt
– Before start making the broth, boil all the ingredients in hot water for 10-15 minutes to get rid of the fat and strong porky smell.  Rinse all the ingredients cold water. Put them all back to the pot and boil for 3-4 hours or until the liquid turns milky white. You will need to add boiling water during the process.  (Tip: cool down the broth into the fridge over night. You can skim off the fat on top the next day.)

Soft Cooked Rice (Caleb’s 1 meal portion..which is not a lot. Feel free to adjust accordingly):
2 tablespoon of rice
2 cups of broth
1/4 cup of chopped spinach
1/8 cup of mash cooked salmon (I used wild salmon which is a safer choice than the farm ones and steam cooked it.)
– Cook the rice with broth. Check and stir frequently for softness and consistency. Add salmon and spinach when the rice reach to desire consistency.

Variations:
Butternut squash
Carrots
Zucchini
Broccoli
Ground pork
Ground beef
Ground chicken
Ground turkey
Fish – wild salmon, wild cod, sole, tilapia

 

 

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

Muffins are a great way to hide things that  my little picky eater doesn’t eat. Blueberries, for example, rarely end up in his belly. But they are just so nutritious that I don’t want him to miss out. For what I know, he loves pastries and cakes. So the solution is simple, throw together some blueberries and bananas (something he likes) in a “cake” form! Hubby happened to bring home some super ripe bananas tonight and I have a nice box of organic blueberries in the fridge that little picky eater doesn’t eat. I quickly went online and found an Easy Banana Blueberry Muffins recipe and made my own twist. I gave the feeding job to hubby and took only 15 minutes to get the muffins going in the oven. In 20 minutes, wow la – fresh blueberry and banana muffins that Caleb couldn’t resist after dinner.

Ingredients:
3 bananas
1 cup blueberries
1 egg
1/3 stick of butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-1/2 whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Direction:
Mash bananas and clean blueberries. In a large bowl, mix whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt together. In another bowl, beat egg, add in melted butter and maple syrup. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add in mashed banana and blueberries and mix well. Prepare muffin tints by lining 12 muffin cups. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full. Bake in a preheated oven for 20-22 minutes at 375 degree.

Apple and Pear Sauce Yogurt

Apple Sauce Yogurt

Apple Sauce Yogurt

Yogurt is so versatile. I can pretty much mix in any fruit or veggie and still doesn’t sound odd. Here I mix maple whole fat yogurt with homemade apple & pear sauce.  Caleb is not a fan of yogurt, so I will have to keep trying. But for me (and Daddy), it’s really yummy.

Cheesy Egg Omelette

Cheesy Egg Omelet

Cheesy Egg Omelette

This pleases my little picky eater in the morning.  Egg, butter, whole milk, cheese, what’s not to like? I got the recipe from Weelicious – Cheese Omelette. Thank you for saving my sanity from feeding a picky eater in the morning!