Friday, June 26, 2009

Beef Stew

When your baby is eating purees it's very simple to add fat. If your child is eating dairy you can add butter, heavy whipping cream, or cheese to any food. If they aren't eating dairy then you can add olive oil. If you're able to find extra light olive oil... the "extra light" refers to the taste not the calories, so your kids might not notice if you're pumping up their squash with some oil :) If you have a Cost Plus World Market in your area you can even find mini 1oz bottles of olive oil that are great to throw in your purse for eating out and travelling.
Purees are such an easy way to get all the food groups in your child (if they'll eat that is). It's so simple to steam any food and then puree it. I would cook large batches of fruits and vegetables and then puree them to my desired texture and pour them into ice cube trays and freeze. Once they were frozen it was easy to pop them out and store the 1oz cubes in freezer bags. Then when mealtime came I was able to defrost as many cubes as I needed and make whatever flavor combinations came to mind. Once she ate meat I would also freeze ground up meat in ice cube trays. One of my daughter's absolute favorite purees was Beef Stew. This was always a winner in our house and I knew if I pulled this out of the freezer she was sure to eat :)
One of my favorite things about this recipe is you can add whatever you have in the house. I've added many combinations of vegetables depending on what I have around. This basic recipe is NOT high fat so if you are worried about packing on the calories please add more butter or oil. I would make the stew with a stick of butter and then add butter to each serving I gave my daughter (I usually add oil to foods since it's a better fat, but butter and beef stew works really well together).

Beef Stew

· 1 1/2 pounds cubed beef stew meat

· 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

· 2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth

· 4 carrots, chopped

· 1 large onion, chopped

· 1 large potato, peeled and chopped

· 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped

· 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

· salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine meat and flour in a large plastic food storage bag and toss to coat evenly.

2. In a 6 quart saucepan brown meat in hot vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

3. Add onion and carrots and saute for 5 minutes. Then add beef broth, potatoes and thyme. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover; and simmer for 1 hour or until beef is tender.

4. Puree

notes: you can puree this as smooth or chunky as you like. If your child is eating chunkier foods you can also cut everything into tiny pieces and then cook. This recipe also does great in the crockpot, just omit 1 can of broth.

I chose not to post a picture of the stew because once it's pureed it's not very photogenic.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Great article

I hate that other moms deal with the same thing, but at the same time it's nice to know I'm not alone :)

read article here

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I dream of the day...

Today started out as a great day. Emma ate a stellar breakfast and I was hoping it would be a sign of meals to come. LOL! What was I thinking? For some reason my child doesn't get hungry after 9am. For lunch she had one cracker and 2 pieces of macaroni. For dinner she ate nothing. That's right, nothing. The few bites she actually put in her mouth were spit right back out. I fed her ice cream in hopes of getting something in her stomach and once I got it in (thinking that once she tasted it she'd come back for more) she spit it right back out at me. ICE CREAM! What kind of kid spits out ice cream??
Why oh why does my child hate food so much? Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to have meal after meal of this? I know that some of you do and I know that some of you have it much worse. I just feel like I work my butt off to make sure she has high fat, nutritious food to eat only to be reminded it doesn't matter how much effort I put into anything if she's not going to open her mouth.
I dream of the day when I can just put something on a plate and not give any thought to what it is AND have her actually eat it. I dream of the day when I don't have to use a spreadsheet to keep track of her food intake because it won't matter. I dream of the day when people don't respond to me telling them how old she is with "oh, she's so tiny" or "but she only looks 6 months old" or "is something wrong with her?" I dream of the day when she doesn't get "lapped" by kids a year younger than her. I think I'm going to be dreaming for a while :(


Eggs have quickly become one of Emma's favorite breakfasts, which is great because they are super quick and easy. Since I was usually just scrambling up one egg I was looking for a shortcut and I've found the microwave to be the perfect helper.

I start with 1 egg, 1 tbs cream and 1 tbs cheese (you can use whatever you have on hand) in an individual size ramekin.


Microwave on high for 1 minute and voila! Scrambled eggs!

Cut into bite size piece and enjoy! With fruit and toast it's a well rounded breakfast (or lunch or dinner).
(sorry about the photo, blogger keeps turning it)


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Favorite Product #1

Yesterday while I was shopping at my favorite ghetto fabulous superstore (hey, we needed pediasure, it's cheaper there), I came across what could be my new favorite food item.

Powdered Whole Milk by Nestle Nido!!! The perfect thing to mix into a glass of milk and boost your child's calorie intake.
2oz (1/4 cup) includes:
150 calories
8g fat
8g protein
10% RDA Vitamin A
25% RDA Calcium
25% RDA Vitamin D
(RDA values based on adult's recommended daily allowance, not a child's).
I've been mixing 1 tbs into 4oz of milk and Emma doesn't notice a difference and it gives her 40-50 extra calories with each sippy of milk she drinks, which can add up to over 200 extra calories a day!!!
I prefer to feed Emma organic/hormone free dairy products but haven't been able to find an organic version of this in stores yet, if I find one I will let you know!
For now click here to find out where Nestle Nido is carried near you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nutrition Facts

One of the hardest parts, for me anyway, about trying to fatten up my child is also making sure she eats a balanced diet. I know she needs fat and calories, but she also needs fruits and veggies which are lacking in both the fat and calorie department. If your child is still on formula or breast milk you don't need to worry about the variety of food that they eat because both are complete nutrition and any solid food that they are getting is a bonus to their diet. However if you've made the switch to whole milk it's important that they get their vitamins from their food.
Serving sizes for toddlers are much smaller than those we eat as an adult, though the food pyramid is basically the same. For toddlers 1 serving is 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) per year of age, and on a daily basis they should be consuming
  • Fruits and Vegetables: 4-5 servings
  • Protein: 2 servings
  • Dairy: 16-24oz
  • Grains: 4 servings

As important as it is to offer a varied diet, it's also very hard to get it all in when your child doesn't eat much. Don't stress about what your child is eating each day, instead try to concentrate on what they are eating over a week. Offer a different fruit and veggie with each meal and try to vary the colors of food that you offer.
A couple other important meal tips... don't let your child snack all day if they are trying to gain weight. It's important that children learn hunger cues and spreading their meals out helps them eat more at each meal. Offer 3 full meals and 2 snacks during the day, serving milk with meals and snacks. Try not to offer juice or water as you want everything that goes into their stomach to have calories but also don't let them drink a ton of milk. If your child is filling up on liquids they aren't going to want to eat and food has more nutritional value than milk (the same does not go for formula/breast milk). Offer all meals at a table, it's an important that your child get used to meal times and the more often you can eat as a family the better! And don't make meal time a battle. I know it's hard to want to force them to eat, but you don't want them to have negative associations with food. Respect their cues, if they are done then let them be done.
One last thing. I've seen it mentioned many times that a 1 year old should be consuming about 1000 calories a day. PLEASE keep in mind that is for your average toddler and not really for kids who are underweight. A good guideline is to shoot for 50 calories per pound, per day.