It can be tricky preparing food for little ones. Particularly when most, if not all kids cook books, include recipes with diary or wheat ‘early on’ (not to mention fish, beans etc).  I have stumbled across some cookbooks for children which were horrifying; recipes for 6 month olds with white flour, potatoes and diary all in one. SIMPLY an allergy feast for babies!!


Let me assure all mothers who may be becoming tired of creating separate meals for babies and adhering to recommended food groups from Which Foods When that the long-term health benefits for your bub will be tremendous.  These ideal methods for preserving and developing digestive enzymes are a LONG TERM HEALTH GIFT for your child.

So pat yourself on the back every so often, it is hard work being disciplined with their diet. It would be a lot easier to feed your nine month old white flour and diary products, to throw them a cheesey/bacon roll or a doughnut. However in a few years, when girlfriends say to you, “It’s alright for you, your kids don’t have allergies!”, you can feel really proud of all the researchyou did and the consistent time and energy you put into preparing your babies food.

The important thing to remember is that very young children don’t get bored with foods as quickly as adults do, so don’t stress about repeating menu items every few days.

I would like to discuss some recipes or food combining for 9 – 12 month olds. As many mums find this stage a little monotonous and the novelty of creating separate meals has worn thin.

In keeping with the “Which- Foods-When” Chapter and Chart, if your baby is 9 months old  you may still include all the fruits, vegetables and the gluten-free grains that you have been utilizing from the “6-9 month old” section but you can also add in most of the 9-12 month foods with just a few exceptions. If possible withhold sweet potato and corn until 10 months and eggplants, peppers, tomato and potato till closer to 12 months. Ground nuts and seeds ae included in this age group so if you have any concerns re Nuts (family history) you will need to have your child tested for nut sensitivity. If positive simply remove the appropraite ingredient below.

Here are some combinations. My apologies if it seems ‘self-explanatory’ but I had hoped that by over-emphasing the variations, it might give you more ideas.

BREAKFASTS, SNACKS, DESERTS.

Fruit

-Any of the 6-9 mth & 9-12 fruits cut & served plain

-Any of the 6-9 mth & 9-12 fruits stewed individually

-Any of the 6-9 mth & 9-12 fruits mixed & stewed

-Compote of Dried fruits served with organic soy yoghurt, see below.

Porridges/ Rice Porridges;

-Any of the 6-9 mth & 9-12 fruits stewed individually and added to brown rice cereal, amaranth, millet, barley flakes (which look exactly like the traditional oats used for porridge), oats and or organic soy yoghurt. With a nine mth old I would stick with barley for a few weeks before oats.

-Any of the 6-9 mth & 9-12 fruits mixed & stewed & added to brown rice cereal, amaranth, millet, barley, oats & or organic soy yoghurt.

Toppings for porridges

These toppings are delicious with any of the grains. Once stirred through, the warmth of the porridge will kick-start the flavours and add a natural sweetness.

Compote of dried fruits (sulfur dioxide free) such as dried apricots and prunes mixed with perhaps an orange. Place in a pan bringing to  the boil, then simmer until nearly all liquid has been reduced. Mix the compote through the porridge and serve with organic soy yoghurt.

Banana and Almond : 1 small ripe banana – 1 tablespoon almond butter (or ground almonds) – 1 tablespoon of Flax Oil. Some people may like to add some maple syrup (remembering to leave honey until post 12 months), however I find children only crave extra sweetness if we encourage it. Getting them used to the full flavours of food, rather than an overriding sweetness, sets them up to succeed with good nutrition.
Using a fork, mash up the banana in a bowl, add all the other ingredients and keep mashing until you are left with a sweet paste to stir through the porridge.

-Berries apples and ground seeds : A handful of mixed blueberries, blackberries and raspberries – 1 tspn of apple concentrate/juice mixed with a tspn of water – ½ organic apple or pear grated – 1 tblsp ground or blended seeds such as handful of sesame seeds, linseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, almonds.

Heat the berries and apple juice very gently in a pan until the berries start to soften. Add the grated apple or pear and, after a quick stir, pour on top of the porridge and sprinkle with ground seeds.

Tofu – Try Organic Soft Silken Tofu drained and cut into very small pieces, topped with banana slices, and passion fruit pulp or alternatively topped with some of the dried fruitcompote. You may also like to try blending some raspberries or strawberries and pouring this berry pulp over the tofu and banana.

DIY Muesli– 150g of rolled oats/or barley, 100g of millet flakes, 50g of rye flakes, 2 tablespoons Apricot Seed Oil, 100ml of apple juice. 50g of dried apricots, 50g of dates, 50g of sultanas ( all sulphur dioxide free). Then crush through a blender one handful of sesame seeds, linseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped hazelnuts, almonds.  Preheat the oven to 160C/ Gas mark 3.

Put all the ingredients other than dried fruit into a bowl and stir thoroughly, then tip into a roasting tray.

Spread evenly and bake in the oven for 20-30minutes, stirring a couple of times. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, chop the dried apricots and dates and dust them in a little rice flour (or a wheat-free flour ) to stop them sticking together. Add them and the sultanas to the muesli.

This will keep in an airtight container for a month.

Ice-blocks -(Great for Summer) Any of the 6-9 mth & 9-12 fruits cut into cubes & then put on a paddle pop stick assembling as an ice-block, wrapping or placing in a cup to freeze then serving on the stick, in a bowl for them to slowly devour.

LUNCHES & MEALS

Steamed vegetables as finger foods

Grilled Chicken drumstick

There are also many combinations for lunches and meals.

Combining any of the Vegetables with pre-cooked quinoa or basmati rice. You may also be able to find a high quality gluten free, wheat free, rice pasta.

Combining vegetables with either Chicken or (slow cooked casserole style) Meat with quinoa, basmati rice or a gluten free, wheat free, rice pasta.

Combining vegetables with grilled Tofu and either quinoa, basmati rice or a gluten free, wheat free, rice pasta.

Vegetable/chicken/rice soup

Place two-thirds of your cut vegetables in a pan and allow to simmer until soft enough that you can blend to make your soup stock. Add the remaining vegetables to this simmering stock to cook for about 10 minutes, then add a handful of chicken pieces cut very small and simmer for another 5 minutes until chicken is still tender but cooked through. Place some pre-cooked basmati rice in a bowl and then add the soup to the rice.

Allow time to cool before serving to bubs.

Beetroot and Sweet Potato Soup (post 10 months)

For a bright pink fun soup try :-olive oil, 1 carrot finely chopped, 1 celery stick finely chopped, 2 raw beetroots peeled and chopped, 2 sweet potatoes approx 376g, peeled and chopped,1 liter vegetable or chicken stock (home-made if possible).

Splash a little oil in a medium-sized pan and heat. Add the carrot and celery and fry gently. After five minutes or so, when they are soft, add the beetroots, sweet potatoes and stock. Simmer for thirty minutes.

When all the vegetables are very soft, remove the pan from the heat and leave soup to cool for 10 minutes. Then using blender/processor or stick blender, blitz until creamy and smooth.

Rissoles

Lean organic mince, 1 small carrot grated, 1 small zucchini grated, ½ cup rice flour/ soy flour or a wheat-free, gluten free flour, ½ cup breadcrumbs.

Place the mince, carrot, zucchini and flour in a bowl and mix to combine. Shape into patties, roll in rice breadcrumbs and place on a tray, refrigerate for 15 minutes or until firm. Heat the oil in pan and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve with vegetables.

I hope these thoughts on how you may like to combine the food groups and the recipes, offer you all some FRESH ideas.

In years to come both you and your children will truly appreciate the benefits of strong nutritional health. My most heart-felt applause to you all and keep up the hard work – believe me, it so worth it.

With love and deep respect,

Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani
(B.App.Clin.Sci, B.Chiropractic)

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