Monday, February 28, 2011

Toddler Foodie Curried Vegetable Pancakes

I've read on so many message boards that babies don't have the same tastes as older people, that their food needs to be bland. WRONG! Babies love tasty food, and it's actually good that they be introduced to spicy foods fairly early on to develop a palate for healthy foods. What's more, did you know that spices contain high levels of antioxidants? Check out this article that Kiwi ran a few months ago about slipping spices into your baby's diet.

Not only does this freezer-friendly pancake recipe introduce the yummy flavor of curry to your little one, it's also packed with veggies. Linus liked these so much that he did a little jig in his high chair. If your toddler foodie needs a little more motivation, try adding a small dollop of sour cream to the top of these veggie-packed pancakes.

My pitiful attempt at food photography. It's supposed to look like a cat. You can see it, right? Tilt your head to the right... yeah, like that. Now do you see it? 
You'll need:

2 Carrots, grated, excess moisture squeezed out
2 Zucchini, grated, excess moisture squeezed out
1/2 Cup frozen corn, thawed
1 Onion, diced - the smaller the dice, the better
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup flour
1 tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Curry powder (mild)
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Olive Oil

1. Mix all ingredients together except for olive oil.
2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet or griddle.
3. Drop ice cream scoop-sized dollops of the batter onto the skillet/griddle. Flatten each out to a pancake shape.
4. Turn when first side becomes golden brown.
5. Remove when the second side is golden brown and set on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess oil. Either serve at this point, or continue with freezing in the next step.
6. After the pancakes have cooled, fold them into aluminum foil pockets and put into a freezer bag.

To Serve After Freezing:
1. Heat oven to 450 and bake for about five minutes on each side.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finger Foods By Aisle: The Dairy Case

This post is the second in a series of posts cataloging the abundance of finger foods at your grocery store that require minimal to no preparation. Again, please feel welcome to leave any other ideas you may have in the comments.

String Cheese
Diced Blocks of Cheese
Cream Cheese (for spreading on bread or crackers - My kids love cream cheese sandwiches)
Goat Cheese (aka Chevre, for spreading on crackers)
Boiled Eggs
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Finger Foods By Aisle: Produce

The other day I was talking to a friend about how much easier feeding my little folks is now that they're on (almost) all finger foods all the time. While making purees was a good experience that I'm glad I delved into, I wasn't sorry the last time I put the food processor away. All of the pureeing is a lot of work. With finger foods, so much is readily available and ready to go. In this series of posts I'll construct lists of those ready to go finger foods by grocery store section in hopes that you'll either get some new ideas for your own tot(s) or remember some toddler-friendly foods that had slipped your mind - or maybe a little of both. And I'm ONLY including the stuff that requires minimal preparation. When I say "steamed" something, I mean that I put it in a bowl with a little water and nuke it in the microwave for about a minute and a half.

It's almost easier to pick out what ISN'T finger food-able in the produce section than what is. I'll list what comes to me, and please feel free to make additions in the comments. I'll also add a star* beside our go-to- all-the-time favorites.

By the way, I'm working on a couple of toddler-friendly eat-your-vegetables recipes for your freezer convenience. Stay tuned!

Honeydew Melon
Oranges (with membrane removed for choking hazard purposes - true of all citrus)

Baked Sweet Potatoes*
Baked Potatoes
Steamed Bell Peppers
Steamed Eggplant
Steamed Carrots
Steamed Zucchini*
Steamed Yellow Squash
Baked Butternut Squash
Baked Acorn Squash

As an aside, you know what Veda readily ate off of my plate the other day? Brussel sprouts. I had to fight her for them. Granted, they were prepared in the super yummy way I love my brussel sprouts (sauteed in olive oil, dusted with kosher salt and roasted). She is so my daughter.
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Cloth Diaper Hike

Get a handful of marbles and put them in a bag. Jiggle the bag. Now grab some dry leaves and rustle them. Mesh those two sounds, and you have an approximation of what my left knee sounds like when I go up the stairs. And, yeah, it feels like it sounds.

After months of the knee issue getting worse, taking a break while I stayed at my parents' house (which has no stairs), and then resuming with angrier intensity when we returned home, I finally broke down and saw the random primary care doctor my insurance company had assigned me to. I went to this appointment with both babies, by the way. Dr. Random was a pretty nice guy. He bent my knee about fifty different ways and then ordered some x-rays. Having witnessed the cranky x-ray tech telling me I would have to come back without the babies after waiting at least thirty minutes, a kind lab lady offered to watch them while I went in the room o' radiation.

The good news: It isn't arthritis! Yay!

The bad news: Dr. Random thinks it's Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, which is something hikers get. I haven't been hiking in, oh, about three years. So I've developed this from walking up and down the stairs THAT. MUCH.

Why do I go up and down the stairs that much? Cloth diapers. Unless we want to enjoy the wafting aromas of poopy diapers while we're eating, downstairs is out for a diaper pail, so that means that with every diaper change, I've been going up and down the stairs a total of six times (take Baby A up, go back down for Baby B, take Baby B up, change diapers, take Baby A down, go back up for Baby B, take Baby B down). Nevermind taking the diaper laundry up and down the stairs.

The prescription: weight lifting for my quads and hamstrings to strengthen the muscles that support that joint, wearing a knee brace, and laying off the cloth diapers.

I love cloth diapers. They're wonderful, but for now we're on a break.

The moral of the story: Stairs suck.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

13 Months Schedule

We've now been back home for a week and a half, and just yesterday did I feel like we had "clicked" back onto a schedule. That, friends, is the dark side of travel. Here's the schedule we've settled back into, at least for now. Our activities vary from day-to-day, but here are the constants.

7:00 - Wake, nurse, cuddle, dress and change babies
7:45 - Breakfast
11:00 - Nurse, nap
1:00 - Wake, lunch
3:00 - Snack
5:30 - Dinner
7:00 - Bath and bedtime routine
8:00 - Nurse, bed

Somewhere in there, I make sure that we leave the house EVERY DAY. This is so, so important for keeping all of us happy. And as they're getting older and more mobile, I'm fitting in as much play outside time as possible. I also schedule "Structured Activity" into each day (the most valuable thing I took away from Toddlerwise by Gary Ezzo). Examples of Structured Activity are finger painting, working with puzzles, reading, or playing a rudimentary version of Simon Says - just something that's led by a parent to help direct learning.

Wait until I tell you about the baby classes I've found for them. They're super dreamy.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mommy Confessions: The Paci

Remember the post about giving up the pacis by the first birthday? Well, we're now thirteen months old and still using them to fall asleep. The dental authorities are welcome to visit our house and attempt to get two babies to sleep, one of whom is the world's most reluctant sleeper. Until then, I'll be doing what gets them some rest and saves my sanity. That is all.
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Friday, February 11, 2011

12/13 Months Appointment

Since we’ve been out of town for a while, we were late on getting the 12 months appointment done. As in a whole month late. So it was really sort of a 13 months appointment. The doctor at our small practice was out of town, but I was anxious to get it done, so we saw a nurse practitioner. I wish I had waited for the doctor to get back. She didn’t do anything wrong necessarily, but I wasn’t impressed. She asked me twice if they’re eating solids and remarked on how well they were sitting up on their own. Uh, yeah. Then she looked at Linus’s ear after I told her about the ear infection horror of the last month or so. His ER Rocephin shot was nearly two weeks ago, and she said that his ear still looks pink (but not red or bulging). It “may be” resolving, and the Rocephin is “probably” still working. Maybe I feel so uneasy about this because she didn’t seem to have much confidence in what she was saying, but I’m not cool with the status quo. My thoughts: 1 This kid has had an ear infection for the last month and a half. 2. He’s in a critical window for language development. 3. If I don’t put the numbing drops in his ear and give him Ibuprofen, he’s up crying every 1-2 hours at night. 4. Do something! He’s my baby! I’ve got plans to take him back when the doctor returns. What do you think? Am I overreacting? Should I wait for him to get a fever again before I take him back?

The stats on my skinny minis:


Height28 inches5th
Weight15 lbs 14 ozNot on the Chart


Height30 inches50th
Weight19 lbs 13 oz5th

Yes, they're both on the low (and very low) ranges for weight, but I'm not concerned. No one who looks at them would say that they're underweight or malnourished. And while their appetites have decreased (which is expected at this age), they're still good, healthy eaters.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Still Love You!

Dear Blog Readers,

I'm so very sorry for the hiatus. Last post on January 31st - what's the deal?! Just to quickly fill you in, we flew back home after an extended holiday visit with our family. It's been a whirlwind of packing, unpacking, flight delays, dog drugging, laundry, and OMG WHEN DID A TORNADO TEAR THROUGH OUR HOUSE (?!).

But I want you to know that I like you. I really, really like you. Thank you for giving me an audience to write for and for being patient with me. Be back soon.

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