Monday, August 30, 2010

Yum, yum...

Now that my little one is turning into a toddler, he is very interested in what his Dad and I are doing.  That includes eating.  That's right, he wants to try everything we have. As long as our food of choice is "safe" for him we have been letting him try it.  At this point he has liked everything we have given him including homemade burrito bowls!  They are very spicy and I let him lick the sauce off my happy!  This kid is amazing!  So here are some tips for starting finger food for your little one.  

Start with fresh organic vegetables. 

It is often better to steam veggies rather than boil them. Steaming helps preserve the nutrients.  Today I'm making carrots, squash, spinach with onions and sweet potatoes. 

Peel veggies (I love this KithenAid peeler) and dice into small pieces.  **Use the tip of your pinky finger as a size guide. **

Bring water to a boil and add veggies to steamer insert/basket.  Cover and steam until very soft.  It is best to steam one vegetable at a time since each type will require a different cooking time.  

Remove from steamer and place in individual containers to freeze.  If you are making a large batch and do not have enough small containers don't worry!  Grab a cookie sheet and line it with parchment or wax paper.  Sprinkle veggies on in a singe layer.  Stick the whole tray in the freezer until frozen (about 2-3 hours).  Then toss into a large zip lock bag.  This will keep the veggies from freezing into one solid mass.  You should be able to grab a single serving easily from the bag.  
I sprinkled a little thyme that my father dried for me (fresh from his garden) after cooking and before freezing.  

Spinach will be too stringy for your little one after it is cooked so you need to puree.  Since I knew I would be adding the spinach into "omelets" for Kieran, I sauteed onion (in olive oil) to puree with the spinach.  

Use a blender or immersion blender to puree.  (Be careful using the immersion blender.  I recently had an accident with mine resulting in a "crime scene" situation in the kitchen and 11 stitches in my left index finger!  YIKES!  All for a few pureed peas, iron fortified peas...)

So, when you are finished pureeing, spoon your spinach/onion mix into an ice cube tray.  There is a lot of spinach in each one of those little cubes.  Freeze and then pop into a zip lock.  

Simply microwave the sweet potatoes individually.  Kieran will eat half of a potato for one meal so it doesn't need to be frozen to preserve.  Just cut into small pieces and stick in the fridge. 

This whole process took less than an hour and Kieran has weeks of homemade fresh food to enjoy!  

The little dude with a little lunch left on his face.

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