Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another organic something to try...

I picked up a new snack for Kyle yesterday, although they will also be great as a quickie to throw in with his lunch or dinner. There is a line of dried food products called Just Tomatoes, oddly enough though, they offer more than just tomatoes. I picked up the Organic Just Veggies (pictured here) and also the Organic Just Fruit Munchies. He absolutely loved the dried veggies, especially the peas. He also seemed pretty happy with the Fruit Munchies, although I was a little worried about the dried raisins in the mix - they are rock hard, so I ended up picking those out. I love that they are offering a decent selection of organics in addition to their conventional veggies and fruits. We'll definitely keep these around for healthy munching.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Organic Food Must-buys

With all of the changes in our lives over the past couple of years (being pregnant and now having a toddler) we have become much more aware of what we are eating. We attended a "Moving through Pregnancy" course during my first trimester, at which we heard from a nutritionist. When I mentioned to her that we were avoiding foods with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats as much as possible, I think that she actually scoffed at me and said "Good luck!" It hasn't been easy, but with a lot of reading labels and buying organic foods (Safeway has been a lifesaver in that department over the past year), we have been able to eliminate a lot of the usual sources we had of those ingredients.

I was shocked at how many of the big brands use HFCS and hydrog-fats. It definitely seems that we have to spend more to be more healthy, but if that is what it takes, we're committed to making a difference in our lives as well as our kids. Along the same line, I have been trying to buy fresh organic produce as much as possible. Here is the list of the top twelve items to buy organic (taken from the CHEC website)
  1. Peaches - Summer’s blushing fruit contains high residues of iprodione, classified as a probable human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and methyl parathion, an endocrine disruptor and organophosphate (OP) insecticide. Methyl parathion has caused massive kills of bees and birds. According to Consumer Reports, single servings of peaches "consistently exceeded" EPA’s safe daily limit for a 44-pound child.
  2. Apples - Apples may contain methyl parathion. Both fresh apples and baby food applesauce can also contain chlorpyrifos, an OP which has caused large bird kills. CORE Values IPM apple growers are trying to phase out OPs.
  3. Pears - Pears, both fresh and in baby food, can also come with methyl parathion, as well as the OP azinphos-methyl, which is toxic to freshwater fish, amphibians and bees.
  4. Winter Squash - Dieldrin, a chlorinated, carcinogenic insecticide, exceeded the safe daily limit for a young child in two-thirds of positive samples. Another potent carcinogen, heptachlor, also showed up. DDT and its breakdown product, DDE, were detected in baby food squash.
  5. Green Beans - Green Beans can contain acephate, methamidophos and dimethoate (three neurotoxic OPs), and endosulfan, an endocrine-disrupting insecticide, which showed up in baby food, too. Acephate disorients migrating birds, throwing them off course.
  6. Grapes - U.S. grapes contain methyl parathion and methomyl, a carbamate insecticide listed as an endocrine disruptor; imports may contain dimethoate.
  7. Strawberries - The enhanced red color of strawberries comes from the fungicide captan, a probable human carcinogen that can irritate skin and eyes, and is highly toxic to fish. While the lethal soil fumigant methyl bromide doesn’t show up on the fruit, it has harmed California farm workers, and depletes the ozone layer.
  8. Raspberries - Watch out for more than thorns! These berries can contain captan, iprodione and carbaryl, a suspected endocrine disruptor that has also been found in plum baby food
  9. Spinach - Permethrin, a possible human carcinogen, and dimethoate dominate spinach’s toxicity ratings, but CU notes that residue levels have been declining as U.S. farmers reduce use of these insecticides. DDT has been found in spinach, which leads all foods in exceeding safety tolerances.
  10. Potatoes - Pesticide use on potatoes is growing, CU warns. They may contain dieldrin and methamidophos, and children eating potatoes risk getting a very high dose of aldicarb, CU says.
  11. Tomatoes - high in chlorpyrifos or other pesticide residues
  12. Cantaloupe - high in chlorpyrifos or other pesticide residues
The more I read, the more I think that I should try to buy everything organic if possible!

Other sites listing foods to buy:
Consumer Reports
Delicious Organics

Friday, August 17, 2007

Snack Foods

Kyle and I recently attended a "party" for the conclusion of his music class. Snack were graciously provided by one of the other moms, and I realized that I had never given Kyle such foods before (Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Crackers, Nabisco Teddy Grahams, etc). Once I read the lists of ingredients however, I remembered why. They were packed with high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and other garbage - YUCK!

So, at Safeway today, I was very excited to find an alternative to these treats - Annie's Bunny Grahams and Annie's Cheddar Bunnies. (Additionally, they were on sale!) Each of these are available in a few different flavors and are proudly labeled with the following info:

  • Made with Organic Wheat Flour (No GMO's)
  • Made with Organic Cane Juice
  • Excellent Source of Calcium (20% of Daily Value)
  • NO Refined Sugars
  • NO Hydrogenated Oils
  • 0 grams Trans Fat
  • 0 grams Saturated Fat
  • Made with Real Cheese
  • 0g Trans Fat
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • Made with Organic Wheat Flour
  • Baked, not Fried!
These haven't yet been taste tasted by myself or Kyle, but if he enjoys it as much as he does Annie's Microwavable Macaroni & Cheese or the Annie's Organic Bernie O's, then I am sure that they will be a hit. It is great to be able to find an alternative to the junk foods that pass as kids snacks these days, and also another option to the Safeway O Organics for Toddler snacks (cookies and crackers) that I typically buy.

If you haven't already seen the Annie's brand in your local store, you can search for a store that carries their products here. Alternatively, you can also purchase their products through their website.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More on green veggies

When we went in for Kyle's 12-month check up, the topic of a well-rounded diet of course came up, and I mentioned that I really have trouble getting Kyle interested in veggies (this isn't a surprise to those who have read through earlier postings on the blog)

Because Kyle has loved the freeze dried mango, pineapple, and strawberries that we have been getting from Trader Joe's lately, I was thinking that maybe I should look for a similar product for veggies. After seeing a bag of Snapea Crisps while on vacation at the beginning of the month, I thought we should give it a try. They are GREAT! I opened the bag while Kyle was napping, and I am surprised that there were many left by the time that he woke up. He loved them too, and couldn't get enough, every time I gave him another one, he'd do a little happy dance for me. The only thing that I regret is that they are a little salty, so I am going to have to limit his intake of these. There are two flavors, Original and Caesar. I haven't tried the Caesar yet, as they have even more added ingredients. I've picked these up at both Trader Joe's and at Safeway (in the produce section), additionally, there is a list of retailers on the company's website.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Healthy snack food

I've seen these in the stores for a little while, but finally picked up a bag while I was at Target the other day. These are advertised as being baked snacks with wholesome goodness, and upon reading the package, I was shocked to learn that they are made by Frito-Lay! On top of being "good-for-you" they were actually very tasty, and even my husband who gets a little wary of "health food" agreed that they were very good. To date, I've only tried the Cheddar flavor, but will pick up a couple of more to try soon. The texture of the chip is even good for Kyle to be able to munch on and he enjoyed them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Transitioning to Whole Milk

We've made the transition to whole milk, and Kyle loves it! Before doing so though, I asked advice from my pediatrician-friend (thanks Christian!)

Her words of wisdom were that some babies can be a little sensitive to the change. So while you can just jump right into cow's milk, it might be easier on their tummies to transition slowly, and this can be done as slowly as you like. She suggested doing 25% whole milk/75% formula on Day 1, 50% whole milk/50% formula on Day 2, 75% whole milk/25% formula on Day 3, and finally 100% whole milk on Day 4. I had some formula to use up, so I actually stretched this out over a week.

We just checked in with his doctor for his 12-month check up, and she advised that he should be drinking about 16 ounces of milk per day, and that he shouldn't fill up on milk as he has to get other nutrients from his well-balanced solid diet. Unfortunately, he is still getting used to the idea of well balanced, and I struggle to get him to eat his vegetables, although he has no problem with fruits!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sample One-Day Menu for a One-Year Old

I spoke with Kyle's doctor today. We initially had his 12-month check up scheduled for the day after his birthday, but had to reschedule it for two weeks later as the doctor will be out due to jury duty. So since it was postponed, I wanted to check with her if she was OK with me starting whole cow's milk, or if we should wait until Kyle was seen at the appointment. She said go for it, so we won't have to be buying anymore formula after this week! Here's a good article I found regarding making the transition to cow's milk.

Other changes I am looking forward to... not being as wary about products containing whole eggs or honey. Right now, I am working on incorporating more snack times into Kyle's schedule, so am thinking he will have breakfast as usual around 7:30, nap from 9:30-10:30, snack when he wakes up, lunch around 12 or 12:30. Nap again from 1:30-2:30, snack again a little after he wakes up and then dinner around 5pm. With all of this food coming his way, he'll definitely be a growing boy!

Sample One-Day Menu for a One-Year Old

Taken from the AAP "Caring for Your Baby and Young Child Birth to Age 5"

This menu is planned for a one-year-old child who weighs approximately 21 pounds.

1 teaspoon = 1/3 tablespoon (5 ml)
1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce (15 ml)
1 cup = 8 ounces (240 ml)
1 oz = 30 ml

1/2 cup iron-fortified breakfast cereal or 1 cooked egg (not more than 3 eggs per week)
1/4 cup whole milk (with cereal)
4-6 oz. juice
Add to cereal one of the following:
1/2 banana, sliced
2-3 large sliced strawberries

1 slice toast or whole wheat muffin
1-2 tablespoons cream cheese or peanut butter
1 cup whole milk

1/2 sandwich - tuna, egg salad, peanut butter, or cold cuts
1/2 cup cooked green vegetables

1-2 ounces cubed cheese, or 2-3 tablespoons pitted and diced dates
1 cup whole milk

2-3 ounces cooked meat, ground or diced
1/2 cup cooked yellow or orange vegetables
1/2 cup pasta, rice, or potato
1/2 cup whole milk

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I've tried giving rice to Kyle before, but he didn't seem to fond of it. But, I decided to try again, and used some leftover rice from the night before. Again, he didn't seem too crazy about it, but after he spat out the first mouthful, I decided to try something different. The rice had come out much stickier than I had planned, so I was able to make some little rice balls for him, and all of a sudden he LOVED the rice and I couldn't make the balls fast enough. Of course, it was a little messy, as they did break apart as he picked them up and put them in his mouth. But they did stay together enough that he liked the texture instead of the individual grains.

To make the STICKY rice - I used brown basmati rice (from Trader's Joes). I rinsed it 3 or 4 times with water, and then cooked it for 35 minutes with twice the volume of water. After that, it was still a little soupy in the bottom, so I gave it another 5 minutes with the lid off.

Word of warning - using leftover rice can be dangerous...

Uncooked rice can contain spores of Bacillus cereus, bacteria that can cause food poisoning. When the rice is cooked, the spores can survive. Then, if the rice is left standing at room temperature, the spores will germinate into bacteria. These bacteria will multiply and may produce toxins (poisons) that cause vomiting or diarrhoea. Reheating the rice won't get rid of these toxins.

So, the longer cooked rice is left at room temperature, the more likely it is that bacteria, or the toxins they produce, could stop the rice being safe to eat. It's best to serve rice when it has just been cooked. If that isn't possible, cool the rice as quickly as possible (ideally within one hour) and keep it in the fridge for no more than one day until reheating.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Green veggies, part 2

I was cooking a spinach and mushroom frittata for playgroup at our house, and I couldn't help tasting the spinach as a cooked it. Fresh spinach, freshly sauteed was delicious, so I couldn't help thinking that Kyle would like it... well, I was wrong. However, the NEXT day, he absolutely devoured the leftover piece of frittata that I was trying to eat for my breakfast. So, now I know how to get him to eat his veggies! The only drawback was that there were egg whites in the frittata, however, with Kyle being this close to 1-year old, I wasn't too concerned about it.

Please note: using organic spinach is recommended to avoid elevated levels of nitrates.

Here's the recipe, reprinted from Fine Cooking magazine.

Spinach & Mushroom Frittata


8 extra-large eggs
2 Tbs milk
A dash of hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 large bunch fresh spinach, washed, drained, and chopped
3 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 pound mushrooms, trimmed, and thinly sliced
2/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese


Whisk the eggs vigorously. Mix in the milk, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In an ovenproof pan, saute the spinach in the butter, then add the mushrooms. Turn the heat to medium high and pour the eggs into the pan.

Let the eggs set for several seconds. With a heatproof rubber spatula, gently stir the eggs, starting from the center. This stirring makes the frittata puff up more in the oven.

Lift the edges so that the eggs flow to the bottom. When the frittata is half-set, add the grated Gruyere.

Transfer the pan to the heated oven. Cook for about 10 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Green veggies

Kyle did pretty well with his green veggies while we were on puree, but now that he loves his finger food, it seems that he is not as interested. The green beans and peas are just not cutting it anymore, and although he will still eat the Happy Baby Spinach and Mango puree, it's just not the same when he can't feed himself. So I tried zucchini last night for a little variety, and it wasn't a big hit. So, I'm thinking that we are going to have to try sneaking it into his diet. Here's the recipe that I am going to try the following. Of course, I am going to have to tweak it a little bit not to use egg whites, and I have already omitted the nuts from the recipe. It will definitely be easier to do these things once Kyle is past the 1-year mark! On top of that, I want to play around with using some whole wheat flour and applesauce. I'll report back with the final recipe.

Zucchini Bread

Source: © Cooking Light Magazine


3 cups shredded zucchini (about 3 medium)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups skim milk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs (YOLKS?!?!?!?)
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Press zucchini on several layers of paper towels. Cover with additional paper towels; set aside.

Combine flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, walnuts, and next 6 ingredients (walnuts through nutmeg) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Add zucchini; stir. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Divide batter evenly between 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pans on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Serving size: 1 slice (12 slices per loaf)

Recipe reprinted by permission of © Cooking Light Magazine. All rights reserved.

Nutrition Facts

Yield: 24 servings
Facts per Serving

Calories: 183 Fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 30g
Cholesterol: 19mg Sodium: 64mg Protein: 4g
Fiber: 1g % Cal. from Fat: 30% % Cal. from Carbs: 66%

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Time saving tips

These things may seem pretty obvious, but it was a while before I started doing them, and after that, I wondered why I hadn't started earlier!
  • Use a Sharpie pen to mark the date that you opened the baby food jar, cereal box, etc. If it is in a container that you don't want permanently marked, have some masking tape handy to write on and apply.
  • Prepare a whole week's (or several days) worth of cereal at once. When Kyle is sees food, he is immediately starving and wants it NOW. He doesn't want to stand around waiting for me to measure out cereal into his bowl. So I have six of the Gerber bowls with lids and I prepare 3 or 4 of those at a time and have them ready for his breakfast the next morning. Of course, the next problem is where to find the room to store the filled bowls!
  • If you are going for the fresh foods route, rather than jarred, it was much easier for me to make up a huge batch at once and then freeze all of it in an ice cube tray. Each cube was about 1 oz, so I could defrost 3-4 at a time as needed. However, be careful about making up TOO much in advance. Kyle moved on to finger foods pretty quickly, so now I have a freezer full of pureed veggies that I need to throw away or find someone to donate them to! You can also freeze prepared finger foods to save some prep time..
  • For those who use formula, I would premeasure the water the night before to save a little time when making up formula for Kyle's morning cereal. Again, he had little patience to stand there watching me trying to get the volume right! Having a formula dispenser ready helped too, although most of the time I tended just to scoop out of the container anyway.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Interesting Milk News

I was perusing the Dr. Greene website, and came across this interesting information, which is great to know since we will be starting Kyle on whole milk in just another 2-months

Preventing Colds With The Right Milk

Giving children milk that contains Lactobacillus appears to decrease the rate and severity of respiratory infections, according to a study in the June 2, 2001 issue of the British Medical Journal. Healthy children between the ages of 1 and 6 who attended daycare were randomly assigned to receive regular milk or Lactobacillus milk over the 7 months of the study. The children drank an average of 8-9 ounces per day. The study was carried out in 18 different daycares. Those who got the Lactobacillus milk missed daycare due to illness 11% fewer times. They had 17% fewer complicated respiratory illnesses, and needed 19% fewer courses of antibiotics. The evidence that beneficial bacteria can prevent infections continues to grow. Probiotic milk products and active culture yogurts are an easy way to replenish these beneficial bacteria.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Baby Food I Wish I Hadn't Bought

I love food and trying new things, so of course, I was so excited about Kyle starting solids and introducing him to as much a variety as I could. But at the same time, I want to make sure that it is healthy for him, which is why it was great for me to be able to make fresh baby food for him at home. But sometimes it is also nice to have jars handy, if we were running out somewhere, or if I just didn't have anything fresh in the house (or any purees in the freezer)

There is a great variety out there to pick from, but unfortunately, I didn't learn early enough to read the label before buying. Basically, I believe the jar should just contain the labeled fruit or veggie, with no additives, except for water or ascorbic acid. Therefore, these ones that I bought I had a hard time giving to Kyle:

Guava dessert (Guava, water, sugar, corn starch, citric acid, ascorbic acid)
Hawaiian Delight dessert (Water, nonfat milk, pineapple juice from concentrate, sugar, rice flour, corn starch, citric acid, lemon juice from concentrate and ascorbic acid)
Vanilla Custard pudding (Water, sugar, egg yolks, nonfat milk, corn starch, whey protein concentrate, wheat starch, whey and vanilla)

OK, so I guess I should have been thinking that being dessert, they would have sugar added. But on top of this, the consistency was disgusting, it's just a goo that of course Kyle didn't mind, but I probably would have gagged on. I'll stick to fresh fruits for dessert for him for a while...

On top of that, I don't know why I ever bought jarred bananas and applesauce. Bananas are the easiest baby food to make yourself! And for applesauce - I just buy a big adult sized jar, knowing that Kyle will go through it quickly enough. Just make sure that there is no added sugar!

Monday, April 23, 2007


On a recent visit to the pediatrician for her son's 9-month checkup, a friend remembered our recent conversation about how little guidance we receive in the realm of "What to feed the baby", and therefore specifically asked what the no-no foods are at this age.

She was told that wheat, dairy and berries are all fine as they are secondary allergenic foods, and since her son had been doing well on all other foods that it was now fine to give him these.This was great news to me, because I had bought a few jars of food with berries in it BEFORE I read that they were on the foods-to-avoid list. I had them stored away, thinking that maybe I could use them after Kyle turned one, if he was still eating pureed foods at that point!

I was out shopping and saw some fantastic looking strawberries, with a big sticker on the container saying "GREAT FOR KIDS SNACK" Hmm, what a great idea, a new finger food for Kyle's dinner! So I bought some and couldn't wait to give him a new treat. He was not a big fan when he tried them for the first time on Saturday. So yesterday, his dad mixed in some strawberry pieces with his yogurt at lunch time and he was happy to eat that, just no strawberries on his own. (TIP: So far, Kyle will eat anything that has been mixed in with his yogurt!) Finally, this morning, I did what I should have done from the beginning and whipped out the Gerber jars. So along with his cereal, we had Apple/Banana/Strawberry. It tasted mostly of apple, and he ate it with no problem. We'll have to work up to the strong taste of strawberries on their own. Guess it wasn't such a great finger food idea after all!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Egg Yolks

I first gave Kyle egg yolks a month or so ago, and he wasn't too wild about it on it's own. Per suggestions I picked up from a Happy Baby class (more like sales presentation), I added some mashed banana to the egg yolk, and also a little sea salt. He seemed OK with it, but obviously didn't love it because I ate what was left. It tasted like salted banana, not much of a yolk taste, although the texture was pretty creamy.

Now that Kyle is getting to be a big boy (10-months old on Tuesday!) he loves having finger food for dinner, no more of that cereal and puree, that's only for breakfast. So a typical menu for him is small chunks of mild cheddar cheese, pieces of well-cooked green beans, bite-sized pieces of toast, and cubes of chicken breast (sauteed whole in olive oil and then cut up) Tonight, I was out of chicken, and he wasn't too wild on the cannellini beans the night before, so I was looking for a new protein idea for him. Hmmmm... why not egg yolks again?

So, I VERY carefully separated the egg yolk from the egg white (no egg whites until he is past 12-months) and was going to scramble it in a pan when I realized "Kyle's already strapped into the high chair eating some dinner and waiting for the rest, so I'd better hurry. Plus, why do I want to dirty a pan for one egg yolk?" So, transfer the egg yolk into Pyrex custard cup, add a little water to try and get the rest of the yolk out of the previous container, whip it up quickly with a salad fork, and stick it in the microwave. I put it in for 30 seconds, then run a knife around the rim of the omelet and dumped it out of the cup, cut it into bite sized pieces, made sure it is cool, and voila, happy baby! He loved it, I'm thinking we may have a new favorite food! I was a little worried whether it was fully cooked or not (hence the multiple additional 5-seconds in the microwave) but it wasn't runny when I was finished, and not dried out, but light and airy instead.

Why the blog?

First of all, I have to say that after having my son 10-months ago, I have made friends with an amazing bunch of women. My only regret is that we are all so busy with our little ones that we unfortunately aren't able to get together more often. Whether it is friends from my "Preparing for Birth" class, the parents support group through the hospital, or our neighbors, it is fantastic to have others going through the same trials and tribulations (and joys!) and to be able to share our experiences and advice.

So, with so much shared experience, it was a real shock to me that everyone was very disappointed by the amount of food advice that we each received from our pediatricians. For the most part, I felt like I was hearing things AFTER the fact, and not receiving too many warning about what to avoid. Instead, I had to stumble upon this advice through books or online searches. Therefore, the blog. I'm hoping that I can pull together my experiences and those I hear from friends to help out others who feel lost in the world of baby food!

This is the first official post, however, I may put in some backdated entries so that some of my discoveries are in the correct chronological order. Also, despite the address "babyfoodie" I have to say that the food I prepare for Kyle is far from gourmet!

Finally, I speak from my experience and what I pick up from friends. However, everyone's experience is different, and if you have ANY concerns about feeding your child, please check with your pediatrician.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Kyle's Favorite Finger Food Snacks

These are great finger foods to have on hand at home, or to pack a little container into the diaper bag to keep our little one entertained!

Gerber Finger Foods Fruit or Veggie Puffs (Banana, Sweet Corn or Sweet Potato)
Gerber Finger Foods Bitter Biscuits
Zwieback Toast (these unfortunately contain high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils, depending on the brand)
Gerber Graduates Crackers (Cheese or Lightly Seasoned)
Gerber Graduate Mini Fruits or Veggies (Apple or Sweet Corn)
Safeway O Organics Original Crackers

Diced Cheese (or just bring along a cheese stick and break it up)

The Gerber Finger Foods Fruit or Veggie Puffs are great because they actually dissolve, unlike the Cheerios which actually require some serious chewing. I've had to break Cheerios in half for Kyle, and even then, I notice some worried looks from him as they get a little stuck. I also suggested breaking the toddler crackers in half as well. The Bitter Biscuits and Zwieback Toast can have some decent sized chunks break off, so just be very watchful. Also, these can get VERY messy, with mush all over hands/face/clothes, and usually mom too.

Monday, March 5, 2007

The dairy myth

I remember hearing everywhere that babies are not to have whole milk until after their first birthday. Funnily enough, it wasn't just me, but everyone I spoke to that interpreted this as "NO DAIRY". In fact, it is perfectly fine to introduce yogurts and cheeses, although you may want to discuss this with your pediatrician first. When Kyle and I went in for his 9-month check up, and were listing his daily food habits, our doctor said "Oh, you've introduced dairy already?!?" Well... the last time I saw you at 6-months, you didn't say anything about avoiding it!

It was however at a Happy Baby class that I received a handout listing suggested foods to introduce based on age, and saw yogurt listed on there. So I bought plain whole milk yogurt and Kyle LOVED it. He has it for lunch every day now. Soon after that, I was discussing foods with a friend who happens to be a pediatrician, and she suggested trying cottage cheese as her son had loved it. We tried it, and he was OK with it, but definitely not as ecstatic as he was with the yogurt! We'll try it again soon and see if his tastes have changed now that he is used to more texture.

It turns out that it is only whole milk (or any milk) that you aren't supposed to give until 1 year of age. Other dairy is OK, (1) because the lactose in yogurt (cottage cheese, cheese, etc) is already partially digested because of the bacteria and (2) breastmilk (and/or formula) won't be replaced by yogurt and cheeses. I found a good summary on the Wholesome Foods site

In addition to yogurt, Kyle has chunks of mild cheddar as a snack or with dinner nearly every day. I asked my pediatrician-friend if I needed to worry about the 3-day rule when introducing new dairy items, even though I know that he is OK with yogurt. She said that since we have no family history of milk allergy that it should be safe to assume that if he is OK with yogurt that he would be OK with other dairy products.

Other cheeses to look for are colby, jack or american. For the yogurt, I just buy "Mountain High" plain whole milk yogurt, and add a different fruit to it each day. There is also Stoneyfield yogurt that is plain whole milk, or they have their "Yobaby" line, which I don't like because there are too many added sugar and flavors which he doesn't need!

Sunday, February 25, 2007


In the days when we used a lot of jarred purees, I noticed that Kyle liked the Apple and Blueberry combo (of course, he liked everything with apple) So once I started making some fresh foods at home for him, blueberries were one of the first ones I picked. The first time I made it, I used fresh blueberries, however each time after, I went with the frozen ones.

Boil blueberries in water for 15 minutes and then strain off water (but reserve for drinking blueberry juice or to dilute puree if needed) Dump the blueberries into a food processor and puree to the desired consistency. OR, leave them as they are; from my experience with the frozen blueberries from Trader Joe's, they have all been a small size and not a problem once Kyle had moved on to more texture in his foods.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sample One-Day Menu for an Eight- to Twelve-Month-Old

Taken from the AAP "Caring for Your Baby and Young Child Birth to Age 5"

1 cup = 8 ounces [240 ml]
4 ounces = 120 ml
6 ounces = 180 ml

1/4-1/2 cup cereal or mashed egg yolk
1/4-1/2 cup fruit, diced
4-6 oz. formula/breastmilk

4-6 oz. juice
1/4 cup diced cheese or cooked vegetables

1/4-1/2 cup yogurt or cottage cheese
1/4-1/2 cup yellow vegetables
4-6 oz. formula/breastmilk

1 teething biscuit or cracker
1/4 cup diced cheese or meat

1/4 cup diced poultry, meat, or tofu
1/4-1/2 cup green vegetables
1/4 cup noodles, pasta, rice, or potato
1/4 cup fruit
4-6 oz. formula/breastmilk

6-8 oz. formula/breastmilk or water (If formula or breastmilk, follow with water or brush teeth afterward.)

Notes from Fiona:
Interesting that this is from the AAP, because when we saw the MD for Kyle's 9-month check up and I mentioned his 3 meals a day, plus occasional snack, she said that he didn't really need to be getting 3 meals a day until he is a year old, but that instead, the solid foods now are more for practice and to get him accustomed to different textures. So, what our actual menu for a day is (now at 10-months)

Breastmilk (not sure how much he gets)
1/4 cup cereal + 2 oz. formula
2+ oz fruit

Breastmilk or formula (~6 oz)
1/4 yogurt
2+ oz fruit
1/8 cup cereal + formula

Breastmilk or formula (~4-6 oz)
1-2 oz Diced cheese (not every day)
Veggie puffs, crackers, toast or pita bread (not every day)

Dinner (all finger foods)
Formula (I try to push 6 oz, but that doesn't always happen)
Veggie puffs, crackers, toast or pita bread
Green beans, peas or carrots (need to work on some more variety for finger foods here!)
Chicken, legumes or egg yolk
Diced cheese
Banana or Avocado (need to work on some more variety for finger foods here too!)