Feed the Baby

You know how if you have more than one kid, you sort of forget everything from the first one by the time you make it to the second one.  Things like, how often they wake up in the middle of the night? Or what they eat when they stop nursing/taking bottles?

I sort of forget about this part, the one where they are learning to eat table food and you can’t just make them eat what you had for dinner, you have to make them their own food, but it needs to be like regular food, but mushier.

Yeah, that is where we are.  Its complicated by a no dairy because she might be allergic thing.  No replacing calories from milk with cheese and yogurt.  Instead, we’ve had to get creative, and she isn’t always up for that.  She doesn’t like avocado, but loves guacamole.  She doesn’t like soft, poached in apple juice apples, but goes nutters for applesauce with cinnamon.  We’re realizing that she is like her sister, looking for complex flavors.

So, I’m back to making “Mama’s Meatballs”.  A name they got when I made them for M.  I’ve made a few adjustments to the recipe, but it goes something like this.

Ground meat (I used to only use turkey, or beef, but this time I’ve been grabbing a little bit of whatever is left over when I make dinner). It can be fattier, we are after all looking to replace calories here.

Garlic, fresh, finely chopped, and a good quantity. At least a clove or two per half pound.

Dried herbs. Italian, herbs du Provence, etc all work great.  Don’t be stingy though, there isn’t salt in these and the flavor needs to come from somewhere.

Mix together by hand or in a mixer (for larger batches, I just my batter attachment for the KitchenAid) and form into small balls, no more than an inch & a half in diameter (portion control).

Brown in a pan or in the oven, but be gentle and oil the pan/baking sheet.  I use a good olive oil to get food fats involved.

A mix of 50/50 reduced sodium chicken stock & water.  So it doesn’t get too salty.  I used to do M’s in just a can of crushed tomatoes & water.  Something to add a little more flavor. Depending on the size of your pan, enough to cover.

After browned, carefully add to the poaching liquid.   Simmer very gently.  Without a binder to hold them together, they are fragile until cooked through.  Too strong of a boil and they will turn your liquid into a meat sauce.

Cool before serving, and stores in the fridge for a few days or freezer for a few weeks.

This daycare requires that we pack food until she’s in toddlers, so I’ve been struggling with what to send with her.  I’ve got the meatballs, applesauce, banana, and pre-made guacamole (brilliant idea, since the individual serving size won’t go bad), but I need other ideas for a beginning self feeder.  What am I forgetting about?

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4 Comments

  1. Kellyn
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Leo loves food. He likes more flavors too. We do applesauce with blueberries, pasta with puréed veggie sauce, seasoned chicken pre-baked or homemade chicken tenders for even more flavor. Roasted veggies are a big thing with him too, he lives sweet potato fries (20 seconds to heat). I add anything I can to increase the calories, oatmeal ( the sprout kind, works as a binder in his meatballs too!).

  2. Elizabeth
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    My LO is 13 months today. He will still eat baby food…I feel like my older one refused it by this point, but, like you, I don’t really remember. My LO does like to self-feed also, so I’ve been giving him lots of small finger foods…blueberries cut in half and peas are my favorites because they aren’t too messy.

  3. Karyle
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    Some of my kids are definitely eating adult food already at their early age and they love it more than those baby foods..
    Karyle recently posted..Sharepoint Hosting

  4. Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Hrm…those meatballs sound good! You’re right in that you forget this stuff…but thinking back, we did banana, chunks of sweet potato, goat cheese on bread or melba toasts (we also avoided dairy, for the most part), black beans, pasta in fun shapes…

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