Baby


I’m fortunate enough to have a job where I get “earned time off”or ETO days, which for me means that I get an extra day off every other week.  Today was my ETO, and I was busy all day.  It wasn’t until after my son went to bed that I finally rested, so it barely felt like a day off.  Except of course that I got to spend the day with my little man.

My day started around 6:30 when my son woke up, at 7am I got out of bed and went downstairs to make breakfast, since I’d slept in an extra half an hour and Cole was happily playing in his bed, I made mini blueberry-pancakes for breakfast.  Yummy, Cole liked them too.

At naptime I made pumpkin butter; I wasn’t totally sure what to expect, but I feel like Cole’s getting bored of his food and pumpkin is a great source of fibre and vitamin A so I figured it was worth a shot.  It was so easy to make and at first I thought it tasted  little too much of honey but once it cooled down it was amazing.  I think I have found a new must-have item for my fridge.  It tastes a bit like pumpkin pie and is delicious on toast, crackers, yogurt.  Mmm.  Seriously, Mmmm.

For lunch, I decided to try Pasta Wee-One for my little guy, but I didn’t have any sun-dried tomatoes, so I added broccoli instead.  It didn’t go over so well, he likes all the ingredients separately, but the truth is that he’s been and continues to be, a little bit sick so I may have been pushing my luck giving him two new things at one meal, since I also gave him the pumpkin butter, which he seemed to like.

After lunch we went to Costco then it was naptime again; this time Imade baby fishsticks and lentil loaf, both of which are favourites of Cole.  No wonder I bought a rotisserie chicken for my dinner, I was pooped from cooking for Cole all day.

So today, I would like to share my gluten-free fishstick recipe; although it may seem a little time consumptive to dip your fish 3 times to coat it, I promise you, its worth it.  It keeps the fish from getting soggy when you bake it.  Feel free to add extra seasoning to the rice flour to mix things up.  I’d like to try smoked paprika and chipotle for myself, plain  salt and pepper, Italian or lemon pepper seasoning whatever your tastes.  You can also add Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs, but my Cole doesn’t tolerate dairy all that well, so I leave it out where I can.  Sorry I don’t have a picture of the cooked fishsticks – Cole’s always chomping at the bit when they come out of the toaster oven.

Gluten-Free Baby fishsticks

Baby Fish Sticks

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces Cod Fillet, boneless
  • 3/4 cup Rice Flour (sweet rice flour will also work)
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp (Rice) Milk
  • 3/4 cup Gluten-Free breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Cut fish into strips, I make mine about 10cm thick.
  2. Setup 3 bowls, in the first pour the rice flour (you could also add seasoning, salt, pepper, italian etc) , in the second bowl whisk together egg yolk and rice milk, in the third place the breadcrumbs.
  3. Dip fish in rice flour, shake off excess.
  4. Dip coated fish in egg mixture.
  5. Dip fish in breadcrumbs.
  6. Place the fish on a tray sprayed with non-stick spray.
  7. Freeze fish overnight, then store in a ziploc until ready to use.
  8. On eating day, bake fish from frozen in (toaster) oven at 375F for 10-12 minutes, flipping once, fish should flake a little bit when you bend your fishstick.
  9. Allow to cool slightly and serve.
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It’s hard for me to believe that my son is almost 10 months old, I will have to return to work in less than two months, and as my husband says, everything will change AGAIN. My little man is now grasping at independence, including when it comes to eating. He wants to feed himself, though he does allow me to shovel in spoonfuls of food between bites, provided its something that he likes/wants. Unfortunately, as most parents know it is difficult to find finger foods that my guy can pick up and eat, that are safe for him to eat, that he likes and that are nutritious.

He likes to eat pasta with sauce, meatloaf, chunks of chicken, sweet potato fries, cheese, pears, bananas (sometimes), gluten-free cheerios, mum-mum crackers, avocado, gluten-free toast, rice cakes, natural baked white cheddar cheesies and I’m sure at least a few other things that I can’t think of right now.

Of course I continue to make him baby foods (much thicker and chunkier nowadays) and I have been searching the internet for recipes and ideas that might suit our needs. He really likes the fruited jello (last recipe, scroll all the way down) – I think I’m going to make it with blueberry puree next time instead of plain applesauce. I’ve also tried making meatballs with rice cereal to thicken it (he didn’t care for those too much, but I’m going to try cooking them in pasta sauce (which he loves) and have a feeling that might have better success.

Then for some reason last night I had a thought, MORNING GLORY MUFFINS they have some protein (from the Quinoa), vegetables (zucchini and carrots) and not too much sugar. This morning I got to work and was super happy with the results.

I made a few changes, namely:

  • I used the 1/2 cups of white sugar the recipe called for, but no brown sugar
  • I replaced the 3 eggs with, 2 egg yolks, 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup warm water mixed with 2 Tbsp ground flax (allow this to sit for at least 5 minutes before using, it should get goopy)
  • I used the flour mixture in my post (less quinoa than the whole foods recipe)
  • I used cornstarch instead of potato starch (because I was out of potato starch, though I prefer it to cornstarch – either would do)
  • I omitted the walnuts and orange juice
  • I used chopped craisins instead of raisins (I like craisins better and they are related to blueberries which my little guy loves)
  • I used a pear instead of an apple (combined with the applesauce egg replacement these are plenty sweet enough without the extra sugar)

I baked these mini muffins at 355 F for 17 minutes (yield 3.5 dozen mini muffins), until the muffins were golden and a toothpick inserted came out clean. They are delicious and my little guy seemed to like them – now Mom must refrain herself from eating them all herself!

Being a new Mom means that pretty much everything in my life has changed; my world is no longer solely focued on me, and I absolutley love it.  My little man is the centre of my world and I just can’t get enough of him.  Of course there are days where I want to tear my hair out, but those days are few and far between.

As a gluten-free Momma, I have of course been researching, reading and contemplating the introduction of wheat and gluten to my son.  I have spoken to the doctor, I’ve read books and I’ve searched the internet, although my doctor recommended I go gluten-free I have not formally been diagnosed with an allergy to gluten or with Celiac’s, so of course that does complicate things slightly.  All that being said, we have decided to wait until my bubba is a year before introducing any wheat products.

To a non-gluten-free Momma that probably sounds extremley difficult, but for me its totally reasonable.  When its time to have toast, he can have Mom’s potato bread, when its time for pasta he can have rice pasta, when it came to baby cereal we stuck with just rice instead of jumping on the barely and wheat train.  Now that he’s over 6 months however, I was a little worried that perhaps rice cereal for breakfast everyday was getting a little mundane.

So after a little research, (Wholesomebabyfood was very helpful) I decided to introduce some Millet to my little man.  It is a natural source of iron, protien and potassium to name a few.  I discovered (like the other grains) you can make your own cereal by simply grinding millet down and cooking it on the stove.  Since I didn’t have any millet grain on hand, I decided to use millet flour.  The first batch was lumpy to say the least, but after  few attempts I had a pretty good system.

Gluten-Free Baby Millet Cereal

Ingredients:

  • generous cup of water
  • scant 1/4 cup of millet flour
  • fruit puree

Directions:

  • Mix together water and millet flour (this worked best in a shaker for protein shakes or a cup with a lid).
  • Put mixture into a pot and heat over medium-high heat, stirring often with a whisk.
  • Once the mixture becomes hot, reduce heat to low-medium and continue to cook, stirring often for approx 7 minutes until the cereal has thickened and doesn’t taste too grainy.
  • Scoop one portion into a dish for your baby to eat right away and mix in some fruit puree if desired.  My little man loves to eat his cereal with pears!
  • The cereal will thicken as it sits, so if you don’t add fruit, you may need to thin with a little additional water, breast milk or formula once it cools enough for baby to eat.
  • Put extra cereal in a container in the fridge or in ice cube trays to be frozen.  The cereal defrosts and reheats well, however it takes longer to heat back up than fruit puree, so I recommend microwaving the cereal briefly (10-15 seconds) before adding the fruit and reheating to the desired temperature.

My baby loves his millet and pears for breakfast, but I was eager to introduce oats as well, so I’ve been keeping my eye out for wheat-free oats at my local health stores.  I can always get some at Choices, I just haven’t made a trip there in a while.  Just this week I excitedly found some Bob’s Red Mill Wheat-Free Steel Cut Oats and although I’ve never had steel cut oats, I read that since they are less processed, they are actually better for making baby food.

September 09 - 281I also picked up some millet grain, my Mom donated an extra coffee grinder that she had and suddenly I was ready to make a healthy whole grain cereal that both the baby and I could enjoy.  I have a food processor, but the coffee grinder is just so much easier for the small quantities that this cereal calls for.  I found this recipe for a millet and oatmeal cereal (akin to cream of wheat) and happily began to create.  We’ve had millet/oatmeal cereal for breakfast the last three days; the bubba had his with pears and Momma had hers with raspberries, flax and honey.  Mmm, Mmm Good!

GF millet/oatmeal cerealnote: the pear puree is just softening up, I do of course mix it all up for him to enjoy!

As and aside, I’ve found that I like to use 2 cups of water (rather than the 1-3/4 cups the recipes calls for) and that more stirring/whisking is required than the recipe alludes to.  All in all an easy and nutritious breakfast!

Millet Porridge on Foodista
Oatmeal Porridge on Foodista