Favorite Little Bites: Sticks!

As I mentioned in my first post, I spend quite a bit of my time feeding my family. Cooking for my daughter, especially is a labor of love. I get to be the one who gives her first tastes of everything, Do you know how much it warms my mommy heart to prepare her first experience with a given food and have her absolutely love it?! You guys, it is the best.

So, when I’m looking for recipes on blogs, I’m not always interested in the back story. To tell you the truth, I’m basically never interested in the back story. I’m usually in a hurry, trying to find something to cook during one of my daughter’s naps. I like to cut right to the chase. So for those of you like me, I’m putting the links to these two recipes at the top: Oatmeal Bars and Frittata Sticks.

For those of you sticking around, let’s do this!

I like foods for my daughter to meet three criteria:

  1. Easy for my daughter to feed herself — Some of our weekly staples are steamed sweet potatoes and green beans, shaped pasta, and cheese sticks.
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  2. Easy for me to clean up after (since she feeds herself, this saves me a headache)
  3. Appetizing to both baby and mom (if I wouldn’t eat it, I’m not feeding it to my kid)

The fourth, unofficial criteria is that the food is easy to freeze so I can cook a large-ish batch once and enjoy servings for weeks with little hassle.

Introducing foods to my daughter was a bit of a stresser at first. Because she has eczema, she is more likely to have food sensitivities or allergies. One sensitivity that we discovered in the days before solids was dairy. This meant in order to keep breastfeeding her, I needed to cut dairy from my diet. Cue: somber violin music. For someone who basically lives, eats and breathes dairy this was a blow.

All this is to say, we have been more cautious than most about introducing foods. This meant the first few months of solids were painfully boring. We did puréed vegetables and for a while all she would eat was sweet potatoes, carrot carrots and butternut squash. However, around eight months we turned a corner. She was increasingly interested in varying textures and we had introduced enough foods without incident that I could actually start combining individual foods into recipes.

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The first recipe I made Cody was made up of a few of her new favorite foods: blueberries, oatmeal, yogurt and bananas– her number one jam. Seriously, I can’t touch a banana in her line of vision unless I plan on serving it to her IMMEDIATELY for fear of death (or a mild baby meltdown). I had been mashing up all these ingredients with a stick blender every morning, which was fine. But, the baby led weaning approach was so appealing to me that I was anxious to prepare something she could easily feed herself. So, I basically just threw everything into a food processor and baked them in a casserole. The resulting oatmeal bars are still one of Cody’s favorite foods. Since my first attempt, I’ve gotten a bit more adventurous with these bars and have started adding special extras like chia and flax seeds.

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The frittata sticks came about after Cody successfully tried and fell in love with eggs. I adore that these are a basically a complete meal on their own, which makes our mornings so much easier. What’s even better, they freeze like a dream so I can just pull them out as we want to eat them.

Basically, stick-shaped foods make mommy life easier. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend getting aboard this train!

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