Alfresco dining the BLW way!

Alfresco dining the BLW way!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

First Foods

My big sister Fran has just started weaning my nephew Matthew so I thought I would pop down a list of foods that you can give your baby to start out with.

Cucumber slices
Breadsticks dunked in cream cheese or hummus
Avocado on toast
Cherry tomatoes sliced in half
Grapes sliced in half (to stop being a choking hazard)
Mango slices
Crusty bread
Pasta (slightly al dente makes it easier for baby to handle)
Eggy Bread
Broccoli/Carrot/Cauliflower/Parsnip/Pear & Apple slices steamed slightly
Minced meat (like beef in bolognase sauce with no salt or cottage/shepherds pie etc)
Slow cooked meat (like casserole, hotpot etc)
Rice (normal rice cooked a bit longer or risotto rice is a bit easier to begin with)
Cous cous
Banana pieces
Orange Slices

Basically anything you're having minus the salt.  Once babies develop their pincer grip you can give them stuff like peas, sweetcorn and raisins and sultanas.

Always feed baby supervised sitting upright in a highchair or on your lap and don't panic if you hear coughing and gagging noises sometimes - that usually means baby has overfilled their mouth and are dealing with the problem by coughing it all up again.  Babies gag reflex is further forward in their mouth to start with for this purpose!  Don't ever put your fingers blindly in a babies mouth as you may push a blockage further down.   If a baby is really choking you won't hear any noise.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Busy Bee!

Had so much on lately but keep thinking up more things to a crazy fool!  I have just been making Ethan some more cheese and carrot pretzels for snacking but the thing is...I forgot the cheese...Oops!  Tasted them and although they are much blander, they are still very moreish...good to know the recipe still works when you miss a major ingredient out.  Since that homemade challenge though, I have found it easy to schedule in time to bake snacks for Ethan to eat ready for the next few days.  It's saving money as well as being healthier which is great.

I wrote my business plan today for setting up as a childminder.  It's helped clarify a lot of things in my head and reassured me that a lot of the information from the first briefing session last night went in.  The second briefing session is next week where we will fill in forms to become registered and find out about training.  It's scary to be setting up my own business but now I have Ethan I want to spend as much time with him as possible and go back to work in January with a heavy heart only lifted by the knowledge I will be being made redundant in the next few years and it's only 2 days a week til then.  

As well as that I am well on the way to setting up a Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity) support group.  I have a few fundraisers in the pipeline and will be going away to train as a befriender soon.  When Jack died we got so much support and it helped us not fall apart and find the courage to move forwards...if I can offer others a supportive environment where they can find healing and strength I will be so happy.  I feel like it's a vocation - my pain feels like it was meant to happen in a way so I could help others. 

Better get to bed...going to a maternity services liason committee meeting in the morning to represent Sands on the committee.  Then a relaxing afternoon with Ethan I think...he gets very cross if I don't take him to the park for a go on the swings every day now!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Caribbean Veggie Casserole

Ingredients: 1 onion diced, 100g potatoes diced, 3 carrots (175g) sliced, 400g tin of plum tomatoes, 250g cabbage, 1 large (175g) sweet potato, 1 large (100g) parsnip, 1 green pepper (capsicum), 2cm piece of fresh ginger or 2 tbsp of ground ginger,  2 tbsp of curry powder, 2 tbsp all purpose seasoning, vegetable low salt stock cube, teaspoon of chilli flakes/powder, 2 garlic cloves finely chopped, 10 allspice berries, 2 tbsp parsley, 2 tbsp fresh coriander.

Put all ingredients except stock cube in a large pot on medium heat.  Make up stock and pour into pot until all vegetables are covered. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for about 45 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. 

This can be quite spicey.  I served it with crusty bread but you could also serve with rice or cous cous.  The heat mellows a bit and it tastes even better the next day.  A lot of the heat is in the sauce but Ethan did not seem at all bothered by the spiciness.    

Tomato & Chard Pancake Bake

Ingredients: 1 onion diced, 300g chard shredded, half a yellow pepper (capsicum) cut into strips, 400g tin of plum tomatoes, 1 small sweet potato (150g) finely sliced (using a julienne slice if possible or failing that a peeler will do), 50g of hard cheese grated, pancakes made as per previous recipe, olive oil, clove of garlic and fresh basil.

Method: Place olive oil in medium heat frying pan or wok and fry onion until softened.  Add chard stirring.  Add tin of tomatoes, using wooden spatula to break up. Add sweet potato and then yellow pepper.  Cook for about 10 minutes until all ingredients are done to your taste before adding garlic and stirring torn basil through.  Take one pancake and spread some of the tomato sauce into the middle before rolling up and placing in an ovenproof dish.  Keep repeating until all pancakes have been used, reserving a little sauce.  Pour the remaining sauce on top of pancakes and cover in grated cheese.  Put dish under a hot grill until cheese bubbles and pancakes crisp up. 

Ethan really enjoys this and the tomato sauce tastes surprisingly sweet.     


110g Plain (All Purpose) Flour, 200ml Whole (Full Fat) Milk, 80ml Water, 2 Free Range Eggs,

Grease a non stick frying pan with vegetable oil and once it is very hot add some batter.  You'll need to experiment a bit to work out the best quantity of pancake mix for the thickness of the batter, the size of the pan and the thickness of the pancake you like. Immediately tip the pan from side to side to get the pancake mix to evenly coat the base of the pan.  Keep the pan on medium heat. If the pan is hot enough, the pancake should take just 30-40 seconds to cook.  Flip the pancake (I do this with a spatula, safer and less chance of problems!) and cook the other side for around 20 seconds or so. Repeat process until you have used all the batter up. 

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Duvet Day!

I'm pretty exhausted this week.  After being away for the whole weekend, crazy old me had organised a cake sale for Tuesday so I spent Monday baking.  The cake sale went really well and raised nearly £50 for the Sands (stillbirth & neonatal death) support group I am starting.  Even better than that though, I now have a committee formed so the wheels are in motion to get off the ground.  There is a desperate need for such a group around here so I am humbled by and very grateful for the response.  Sometimes help comes from unexpected places as well as from those people in your life who you know are there for you.

Ethan Bear is a bit off his food this week (due to having a nasty cold) so not much going on food wise.  He has had banana, bread, broccoli and cauliflower but has not been as experimental as usual.  I am making chard lasagne tonight so hopefully he will try that.  Recipe and photos to follow!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Homemade Challenge Debrief

Just spent the weekend in the Midlands as my sister was getting married and then her gorgeous baby  Matthew was getting baptised so a very busy and lovely time was had.  From the point of view of the homemade challenge...well it's a bit impossible to do when you're not at home but Ethan ate quite well most of the time which was amazing seeing as we stayed in a hotel Friday & Saturday night.

Having the tupperware tub full of carrot and cheese pretzels meant if Ethan wanted a snack I always had something to hand plus I took a stash of his favourite food of the moment - bananas! Dinner on Friday was a carvery and Ethan tucked into lots of vegetables, roast turkey, cauliflower cheese and some melon. The buffet breakfast the next morning meant he had toast, scrambled egg, sausage and satsuma segments.  Ethan happily ate some of the pretzels for lunch followed by a banana but there was a bit of trouble at tea time.  We were tired and hungry in a strange town (Walsall) looking for something to eat.  Frankie & Benny's was fully booked, Pizza Hut had long waits plus a rowdy party of 8 year old girls and we couldn't find any other restaurants.  We ended up in that shrine to all that is wrong with consumerism McDonalds.  Me and Stevo had burger and fries each and offered Ethan some of our buns.  EBC did us proud...he point blank refused to even taste any of the bun!  We both looked at what we were eating through Ethan's eyes and realised if he didn't even register it was food then we probably shouldn't be eating it either.  So we left there and Ethan was getting a little grizzley so we bought him some corn thins and he was well excited as he hasn't had them in months.  Today he had some toast for breakfast and a banana followed by some breadsticks and tomato pieces at his cousin's baptism.  I bought some apple rice cakes for him in Asda for convenience.  So we are back home and I feel pretty proud of how Ethan mainly ate very healthy food on our little mini break. Staying in hotels with no facilities for preparing or cooking food limits you massively but it is possible to do a mainly homemade/fresh food weekend away with a little planning.   Next time I would take a knife and a chopping board though.  Looking forward to reacquainting myself with the cooker tomorrow!