Easy Gluten Free Toddler Food

Here’s a few of my favorite easy, fast, microwavable foods for our daughter:

1. Amy’s gluten free Mac & Cheese. Both boxed and frozen are great–though the frozen seems to have a more creamy consistency

2. Ian’s gluten free Fish Sticks

3. Bell and Evans gluten free chicken nuggets

4. Dr. Praegers gluten free frozen products: Spinach Littles, Sweet Potato Littles, etc

5. Peas of Mind puffets (there are several gluten free flavors)

And for on the go snacks, gluten free pretzels and the “Just Tomatoes” line of dried fruit is great (Just Strawberries & Bananas is great)

Easy way to make your own baby food

When I first started feeding my baby solid food, I was using the Earth’s Best Organics. It tasted good and seemed fine. A good friend of mine pointed out that this was my golden opportunity to introduce a large variety of vegetables and that after a certain amount of time passed, that window would be gone. She explained that this is the stage where kids develop tastes for foods and after a certain amount of time passes, they’ll be choosing their own foods.

I’m really glad she gave me this advice. Even though I’m so busy and the thought of making food seemed daunting, I found it to be very easy and it’s been very rewarding to see my daughter eat so healthy.

Here’s what I do:

Each Sunday I steam a bunch of veggies: spinach, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower are the main ones I use. I steam them seperately. Once cooked, I put them in a Cuisinart Mini Prep chopper ( you could use any food processor) and blend to desired consistency (I used to totally puree them, now that she’s older I leave them with a little more “chunk”.) Then I put them in ice cube trays and freeze. I use the Tovolo silicone square trays–they make perfect square cubes and are easy to snap out.

Then you have a few ice cube trays of fresh-frozen organic veggies. I typically pop out 2-3 squares per meal and microwave for 30-60 seconds. I usually then add Plum Organic’s Veggie and Beef Stew frozen food to this so she has some protein. You could obviously add whatever protein or additional stuff you want. Sometimes I add in Happy Baby (fresh in the refridgerated section of Whole Foods) sweet potatoes. They’re so creamy and yummy. I also sometimes use Happy Baby’s frozen foods–they’re all great and are of the same premise–fresh frozen food in cubes.

I got a few faces at the beginning, but now eagerly she eats this for breakfast and dinner and loves it. Yes, that’s right–breakfast. I found that she was the least picky with breakfast, because she was good and hungry and started feeding this to her then. Then it just became routine we kick off the day with some good greens and protein.

As of today (she’s 11 months today), she’s not yet had any processed food or sugar. She doesn’t even know what they are. Her diet is veggies, protein and fruit. She’s very healthy and happy and doing great.

I know I can’t keep her from sugar forever, but I figured there’s no sense offering her processed foods when she doesn’t even know the difference or know what they are at this point. And we’ve got a good base of her eating and liking healthy foods.

I was at a baby shower a few weeks ago and one of the games was to pass around baby food in a jar and guess what it was. Some of those foods were so revolting I dry heaved! It’s no wonder parents say their kids don’t like veggies or meat. If you smelled or ate that stuff, you wouldn’t like it either. It was really an eye opener for me to see the huge difference between frozen veggies and jarred veggies (i.e. green beans, peas, etc.) I always taste the food before giving it to my baby and it’s yummy. This stuff was really gross. So I think if you want your kids to like their veggies, serving them fresh or fresh-frozen is the way to go. 🙂

healthy oils for baby

At breakfast a couple days a week I give my daughter a small amount of Omega 3-6-9 oil. There’s heaps of research on why these oils are critical for everyone’s health– especially children. I found a non-fish oil blend, which I think is more palatable. 🙂 Omega oils are also key for balancing out women’s hormones during and after pregnancy. Some studies say you shouldn’t have flax during pregnancy, but I had freshly ground flax seeds every day through mine. Probably best to do your own research and consult your doctor.

immune boost for babies and children

Ever since our baby’s first cold, I’ve been routinely giving her a small amount of healthy bacteria (aka pro-biotics). When I first gave it to her, it knocked out the cold immediately. Since then I’ve been using it for prevention and also to help her immune system deal with vaccinations. Vaccinations have been a complete non-issue for her–she never gets sick and has never had a fever. I take a capsule and put about 1/3 of it in her food.