I am in this daily struggle of convenience verses nutrition. I want easy but I want healthy and I don't want to go broke doing it. I am far from the no preservatives, organic, whole, raw, food pyramid, no refined sugars, white flour, crack-laced mom when it comes to feeding my kids. I am more of a please eat more than goldfish crackers, kind of mom. Every time I think I suck at getting good food into them, I realize that Ava does eat a lot of healthy stuff. I just don't always go for THE healthiest of those foods. Rhys is a finger food only kind of baby. Unless I am also eating it, he does not want it from a spoon. So I have been trying to avoid going down the "typical kid food" route that Ava got on while at daycare. He also only has 2 teeth so I have to watch for choking. So I found a few recipes today and had a kid food cooking extravaganza.
Breakfast started off with blueberry and oatmeal muffins. I think they can be improved to have more of an oatmeal taste, probably with a different kind of flour.
I happened to have a couple baking pumpkins lying around. Seriously, I did. So I halved and gutted them and got them going in the oven. I later turned them into 5 cups of pumpkin puree. I am hoping to make some super healthy pumpkin muffins with wheat flour tomorrow. I think they will go over well.
Then from www.wholesomebabyfood.com, I prepared (recipes at the bottom of the page)the following: Broccoli and cheddar cheese nuggets, apple turkey sticks, and applesauce gel squares. The gel squares were by far the EASIEST thing ever. They came out awesome and Rhys and Ava both loved them. I have a feeling they will be a staple and I will be trying some variations with different types of fruit. Rhys ate the turkey sticks and the broccoli bite things right up. I tried them all and they all tasted decent. Ava wasn't a huge fan, but we will see what she has to say tomorrow. I froze the extras and this way I can just microwave them when it is time to eat.
What is your favorite nutrient rich kid food? It doesn't have to be just for kids, but what they also like to eat? I can make muffins all night and day, but I want them to have as much good stuff in them as possible and less "cakey" stuff.
Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Nuggets
1 16-oz Package frozen broccoli, cooked, drained, and chopped
1 cup Seasoned bread crumbs (you could try using baby cereal if you want, we know it works well with "baby meatballs")
1 ½ cups Shredded cheddar cheese (please use real cheese and not a "processed cheese food" product. Try tomato & basil cheddar.)
3 Large eggs or 5 egg yolks
Preheat oven to 375
1. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
2. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.
*Add seasonings if you like - garlic powder, pepper, extra basil & oregano for example. Add a fruit or veggie puree to substitute for the eggs if desired.
3. Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or squigglies etc..and place on baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes. Serve warm. Be sure to crumble these if your baby needs.
Applesauce or Fruited Gel Squares
1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce (or add thin dices of banana, peach, pear, grapes, blueberry etc)
2 cups apple juice
3 small packages unflavored gelatin
In a small bowl, mix cinnamon into applesauce and set aside.
Pour 1 cup cold apple juice in 8x8 pan and sprinkle gelatin on top. Heat remaining 1 cup of apple juice in the microwave for 3 minutes or until boiling.
Stir boiling juice into the gelatin and cold apple juice. Stir in applesauce.
Refrigerate for 1/2 hour and then stir to keep applesauce evenly distributed. If you do not stir when in the fridge, the applesauce settles to the bottom, but it still tastes great.
Refrigerate for an additional 2 1/2 hours or until firm. Cut into squares with a knife, or use cookie cutters to cut into shapes, and serve.
Apple Turkey Sticks
1 lb ground turkey
1 whole egg or 2 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup pureed carrots
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup unprocessed natural wheat or oat bran
1/4 cup bread crumbs
pinch of basil
pinch of garlic powder
Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl.
Add the egg/yolk, carrots, applesauce, spices, bread crumbs and bran.
Mix well - If this mixture appears too dry, add more carrots or applesauce. If this mixture appears too wet, add more bran and/or bread crumbs
Place mix into a lightly oiled (olive oil) loaf pan and bake at 350F for approx. 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. **You may wish to cover with foil to prevent the top from burning
When finished baking and cooled, remove loaf from pan and slice as you would for bread. Break into small bits for finger feeding or Mash or chop gently
This recipe may also be made into "Turkey Sticks" for Toddlers and older babies who are able to handle more textured/chunky finger foods.