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Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places

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baby food

Rhyming prayers for toddling tums

Ah yes. Trying to get into the routine of praying with Arddun before meal times. We used to be so good at it, but somehow that’s fallen by the wayside. I’m also trying to get back in the habit of reading more books with her. We’ve been rather slack, and keep reading the same ones over and over. No wonder she’s getting bored!

One of the things I love about Koorong here is how cheap some of the books are. Managed to score a hardcover Rhyme Bible for >$15! Yes. You read right. It’s bible stories. In rhyme. How groovy is that!

In the spirit of making prayers and bible stories more entertaining engaging for Arddun, I’ve cobbled together a couple of “Ta for the Tucker” prayers.

*ahem*

BREAKFAST

Thank you for my cereal, Lord
And my banana too.
Thank you that we can afford
This special breakfast goo.

LUNCH OR DINNER

Thank you for my food so yum
And thank you for my healthy tum.
I pray as I begin to eat
That I remember to be neat;
Not throw my food right off my chair,
Or make a messy everywhere.
Please bless this home, please bless this meal
And thanks for hearing how I feel.

Teach a girl to fish

Messy, but worth it!

In case you haven’t already figured this out, Tony and I are big on building independence in Arddun.

The earlier she can feed, entertain, settle to sleep and clean after herself, the closer we feel to Mission Accomplished. I know this runs completely against the parenting ethos in other households, but we can’t all be the same. Where’s the fun in that, huh?

Anyhoo – in the latest Parenting Experiment, we’ve delved into Self-Feeding with Implements. Arddun’s been feeding herself solid food since 5.5 months, so we’ve ticked off the self-feeding bit at least. And I usually hand her a spoon and a bowl towards the end so she can play at eating, if you know what I mean.

But this week, I got a little more daring and left a sludge of cereal in the bowl. And then I handed her a spoon. And after a few misses (butt of spoon in mouth, cereal in left nostril etc)… she started feeding herself sludge!

One step closer to figuring out French cuisine and escargot.

Recipe: All things white and beautiful

It’s official: Arddun has an intolerance to salicylates, of all things. And salicylates are in EVERYTHING veggie and good. Actually, they’re even in skincare products and anything that uses plant extracts.

And my girl has a low-to-medium threshold for especially brightly-coloured veggies. Eat too much, and her skin gets ravaged by extra-itchy eczema. The kind she scratches till she bleeds because she cannot stop. So tomatoes are baaaaad. And broccoli can get baaaad. As well as pumpkin, and sweet potato, and carrots, and even corn.

Anyway – long story short, here’s a medley of veggies that don’t give my baby girl the itchy-itchy. And even if your baby doesn’t suffer from such a pesky intolerance, this recipe makes a yummy meal and uses two veggies I’d never bothered eating in my life till now: parsnip, and swede.

Garnished with chopped chives, parmesan cheese and a dash of pepper, this easy dish is surprisingly tasty and uber nutritious for baby.

Ingredients

  • ½ swede the size of your fist, peeled and roughly diced
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and roughly diced
  • ¼ small brown onion, peeled and roughly diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ large parsnip, peeled and roughly diced
  • 100g pork or chicken mince (optional)
To garnish
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Chopped chives
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Chuck everything except mince into a small saucepan.
  2. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Add pork mince and mix with vegetables. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Process mixture to consistency you’re after.
  5. Serve.

Not dull dhal

Whether you make this vegetarian or add a bit of meat, this puree is tasty, colourful, and was a huge hit with Arddun.

Dhal puree

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (180ml) water
  • 100g pumpkin, chopped coarsely (or 180g if going vegetarian)
  • 90g carrot, chopped coarsely
  • 90g broccoli, chopped coarsely
  • 90g pork mince
  • 2 tablespoons red lentils

Instructions

  1. Chuck everything into a small saucepan.
  2. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are tender.
  3. Process mixture to consistency you’re after.
  4. Serve.

Hiding in plain sight

The moment: a full half minute, trying to figure out where her toast disappeared to.

She tried, mind you. She looked over her chair on the right. She looked over her chair on the left. She even looked behind her. And then she looked right into my laughing eyes, her face all quizzical.

Arddun's toast under her chin
"Alright. This isn't funny anymore. Where did you hide it?"

Peas, Corn, Pork, Risoni

Otherwise known around this house as The Yummy Green Gloop

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups (310ml) homemade chicken broth or water
  • 1 cup (160g) fresh or frozen peas and corn
  • 100g thawed pork mince
  • 1 tablespoon risoni (“Big rice” pasta)
  • Smattering of dried onion flakes (not fried)
  • Dash of pure garlic powder
  • A crack of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Chuck everything into a small saucepan.
  2. Bring water or broth to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Process mixture to consistency you’re after.
  4. Serve.
Total time taken: 20 minutes. Serves: Approximately 2.
———————————————————–
Variations

It may not look very appetising, but Arddun would snort all of it through her cute button nose if I let her. And she’s developing quite the discerning palate nowadays.

I used to add carrots to the mix, but Arddun gets red and blotchy around the mouth when she goes all Bugs Bunny during mealtimes. So this one is the green and yellow version.

Also, you can use 100g of chicken breast fillet if you prefer. Or any other meat, really. I like to mix it up so Arddun gets exposed to more than just chicken and fish. I also prefer using lean mince, because it thaws so easily. Usually freezer bag them in 100g stashes so I can chuck them all in the freezer and grab a portion when needed.

Enjoy!

Chicken licken good

Had TWO favourite people at home last week with the sniffles, so I thought I’d whip together my usual there-there chicken broth for Sniffles the Older, and then save some for Sniffles the Younger. If you’re into recycling leftovers – or at least cooking food that you AND your baby can enjoy – perhaps this might come in handy.

Velle’s own Chicken Soup for the (Sniffly) Soul

Ingredients

  • 1 Spanish onion, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 baby wombok, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 spring onions, cut into 2cm-long pieces
  • 4 chicken thigh cutlets (you want the bones for the stock)
  • Spiral pasta or macaroni, cooked separately
  • Croutons and sliced red chilli to garnish

Instructions

  1. Dump all ingredients, except pasta/macaroni and croutons, into a large pot and fill with 2.5 litres of water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for at least an hour. The idea is to get the chicken falling-off-the-bone soft. Oh yeah.
  3. When ready, dish up with cooked pasta and garnish with sliced red chilli and croutons. Yes. It is that simple.

Baby food conversion

With Arddun, what I did was to continue simmering some of the soup until the ingredients got truly mushy, and then froze the soup in small 150ml containers. Whenever I needed to get a quick meal for Arddun, I’d whip out one of the containers, thaw it, and then add a tablespoon of cous cous. Nuke it or heat over stove top until cous cous has expanded and is nice and soft. Fork-mash ingredients to the consistency your baby can handle.

Ta-da! Yummy baby food. Enjoy!

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