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Friday, March 25, 2011

Squash it!

So I got an amazing organic winter squash from the farmers market...

Then I scooped out the seeds...

( I did roast the seeds, but got distracted and they burned)

Then I cut the squash and placed it cut side down in a pan with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.

I roasted the squash in a 350 degree oven uncovered for 40 min.

It was a little over done and lived up to it's name...

Some decent chunks and squashy ones... Jack ate it up like a champ!
He has a pretty good pincer grip, so I made the shapes all different sizes to keep it interesting.

Now there's a look of satisfaction! Messy messy good times:)

Squash facts:
High Carbohydrate food, very high in vitamins A and C and some amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron! They do have a mild diuretic action, so keep the quantity in check. The phytonutrients: beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, cucubitacins, pectin and squalene are all present ... Eat 'em up!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pumping Iron!

I hear a lot of parents asking about how to ensure their babies are getting enough iron.
This is an important thing to consider, especially for breastfed babies. A baby begins to lose it's iron stores from birth and by 6 months of age begins to need to ingest iron.

Red blood cells are made up mostly of iron, they are responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood. We need iron in muscle repair and growth. Some important enzymes require iron for energy production and protein metabolism. There is some evidence that iron also plays a role in the formation and development of collagen, elastin, as well as the immune system. Considering babies grow at such an exponential rate, it is easy to understand the importance of ensuring that they have an adequate amount. Iron is difficult to absorb and so since babies digestive systems are developing we need to make sure we give babies iron containing foods that are in easy to digest forms.

Infants iron requirements:
birth to 6 months need 1 mg of iron/day
7 months to 1 year need 11 mg of iron/day
1-3year olds need 10mg of iron/day

Iron concentrations:
Lentils cooked, 1 cup = 7.0 mg
Quinoa, cooked, 1 cup = 6.3 mg
Kidney Beans, cooked, 1 cup = 5.2 mg
Venison, 4 oz. = 5.1 mg
Chickpeas, cooked, 1 cup = 4.7 mg
Lima beans, cooked, 1 cup = 4.5 mg
Pinto beans, cooked, 1 cup = 4.5 mg
Black eyed peas, cooked, 1 cup = 2.3 mg
Swiss Chard, cooked, 1 cup = 4.0 mg
Tempeh, 1 cup = 3.8 mg
Black Beans, cooked 1 cup = 3.6 mg
Turnip greens, cooked, 1 up = 3.2 mg
Spinach, cooked, 1 cup = 2.9 mg
Asparagus, cooked, 1 cup = 2.9 mg
Beet greens, cooked, 1 cup = 2.7 mg
Tahini, 2 tbsp = 2.6 mg
Raisins, 1/2 cup = 2.2
Brown Rice, cooked, 1 cup = 2.1 mg
beef tenderloin, 4 oz, 2.0 mg
Cashews. 1/4 cup = 2.0 mg
figs, dried, 5 medium = 2.0 mg
Bulgur, cooked, 1 cup = 1.7 mg
Potato, 1 large = 1.4 mg
Avocado, 1 medium = 1.4 mg
Peas, cooked, 1 cup = 1.3 mg
Green beans, cooked, 1 cup = 1.2 mg
Kale, cooked, 1 cup = 1.2 mg
Sesame seeds, 2 tbsp = 1.2 mg
Broccoli, cooked, 1 cup = 1.1
Brussels sprouts, cooked, 1 cup = 1.1 mg
Millet, cooked, 1 cup = 1.0 mg
Prunes, 5 medium = 1.0
Watermelon, 1/8 medium = 1.0

Remember that babies 6 - 10 months should not be given nuts or meat... their digestive systems cannot break it down quite yet. Non-allergic babies can eat nuts beginning at 12 month, but babies with a family history of nut allergy should wait until 24 months before introducing nuts.

Symptoms of low iron is weakness, fatigue and loss of stamina


Beard, J.L.2001. "Iron Biology in immune function, muscle metabolism, and neuronal functioning" journal of Nutrition 101 (2S-2):568S-579S, discussion 580S.

Ben-Shoshan M, et al. Is the prevalence of peanut allergy increasing? A 5-year follow-up study in children in Montreal. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2009;123:783

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Peaches and He

We canned our own peaches last summer. We canned them without sugar because they're better that way!
The sweetness is enough! Why try to improve on perfection? I canned them to preserve perfection.
So fresh, you can taste summer! Right now, I need a little reminder of summer.

After breakfast (you can see the remnants of his rice cereal on the table in the photo) - note: clean table between meals... He thoroughly enjoyed these slippery little taste sensations! I had to help him out by putting  each one in his hand, but after that... he gobbled down more than half of the 500ml jar!

Facts about Peaches:
  • high levels of vitamins A and C, potassium and phosphorus
  • good amounts of calcium and magnesium
  • trace amounts of copper, iron, iodine, manganese, selenium, sulfur and zinc
  • Phytonutrients: hydrocinnamic acids, catechins, procyanidins, keampferol, and quercetin


In case you're wondering what the towel-looking things are behind Jack, they are in fact rolled up towels. It's my ingenious husband's solution for our little bean slouching in his chair for still being said little bean.

So asparagus does make a babies diaper smell.
It's also the best finger food for a little person. I steamed these for jack. ( I then lightly saute'd  a few for Sean and I in lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper) The three of us sat down to a nice lunch of asparagus and blueberries! I wasn't sure how Jack would take to these, but he ate them with such gusto that I was at once confident that we had something he was into! I will have these on the menu for our little man again for sure!

Asparagus facts:

  • good amounts of vitamin C, Vitamin A, sulfur, folic acid and potassium
  • has some iron, calcium, magnesium, iodine and zinc
  • high in protein 
  • good fiber food
  • the amino acid asparagine is responsible for the strange smell our urine takes on after eating asparagus
  • Phytonutrients: alpha-carotene, asparagine, asparasaponins, cyanidins, inulin, kaempferol, lutein, quercetin, rutin, sarsapogenin, and zeaxanthin

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Apples were an obvious choice. They're in season, plentiful, and a favorite in our house. As you can see from his messy face, this was after/during his breakfast of rice cereal.
He loved them. I peeled it and cut them into "chip" shapes for him to grasp, ensuring that there is a handle for him to grab onto. He them proceeded to eat it right up. He didn't have much of a problem with the bit that was in his hand anymore.
The first few times trying apple, he did! He would eat the top of the apple that stuck out of his hand and couldn't work out how to get at the bit that was still clenched in his fist. Cute!!

Apple facts:
  • High in fiber
  • Pectin has a detoxifying quality
  • Eating them helps to clean the teeth
  • One apple has 100 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 10 mg vitamin C, 150 IU vitamin A, some B vitamins, and various minerals: lots of potassium, 15 mg  each of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus; 330 mcg of iron and traces of copper, manganese, selenium and zinc. Phytonutrients: quercetin and pectin

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rice cereal! ...spoons?

After the cucumber burping incident, I decided to begin feeding Jack rice cereal and add probiotics to it. It's been going on now for a few weeks. It originally was a solo meal, followed by another meal later in the day. Now, he has cereal with a fruit of some sort on the side. 

There are commercially available organic brown rice cereals out there, I prefer to make my own. It really doesn't take very long to prepare and to make and I like the fact that I know exactly the processes that were taken. The nutrients are more abundant this way!

To prepare rice cereal: 
Soak 1 cup of organic brown rice in water for a half an hour, drain and spread on a cookie sheet.
Toast in a 300 degree oven for 15-20 min. or until the rice turns a light shade of brown. This increases the digestibility of the grain and gives it a nutty aroma.
I then keep all of the rice in a clean mason jar with a tight fitting lid. I now have enough prepared rice for two weeks worth of cereals!

To make the cereal:
Take one Tablespoon of rice and grind it in a clean grinder (I use a clean coffee grinder) Ground rice begins to lose it's nutrient value quite quickly, so make sure you use it right away.
Place the ground rice in a small saucepan and add 1/2 cup of water.
Bring to a boil for one minute and then reduce heat to simmer for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. 
Pour in to bowl and let chill to room temperature (to quicken this time, I pop the little bowl into the freezer for a minute or two)
I then take a 1/2 teaspoon of infant probiotic powder and stir into the cereal. This helps Jack digest his food, as well as ensuring that his intestinal tract is adequately populated with good bacteria. This seemed important to me at this time. The probiotics will help to strengthen his immune system and considering how many new foods we are introducing at this time in his life, his digestive system will be able to handle it like a pro!

So, the spoon was interesting!
He really likes to put it into his own mouth, which is exactly the point.
I load it for him and he brings it to his mouth. Some goes in and some dribbles down his chin... somehow he gets it EVERYWHERE! His hair, ears, fingers, knuckle dimples, belly, legs!
Considering how much he loves to drink water from a cup, I thought he might like to drink his cereal from his little bowl... um, yes! He appears to get a lot more in that way and he loves it! I particularly love the little "tick, tick, tick" sound his teath make as he's 'drinking' from his bowl! The whole endeavor is CRAZY messy!

We now strip him down to a diaper and a bib before this morning event and then he gets a little sponge bath followed by a creamy massage. Oh, what a charmed life he leads!

Monday, January 31, 2011


Okay, so this was really clear!
Jack LOVES blueberries.
This makes me very happy as I love blueberries more than most things. I imagine I will feel the same if/when he enjoys other things I do. I can't describe the weird sense of pride that gave me.
It took a long time to pick them up and for him to find his mouth.
I tried to help him by putting them in his hand and when I did his mouth would dart forward and he would eat them out of my hand! Yes, I have video.
I was ill prepared however for the diaper the next day.

I will not post a photo... even though I really want to. I didn't take any... yet?