Sunday, November 23, 2008

Baby First Food Words

I was “reading” this book titled “Food” to my little girl, she is 9 months old. The book has 18 first words to teach your baby about food.

Then I have noticed that 6 words out of 18 are sweet food words.The words are: gingerbread man, cookie, orange juice, cookies, doughnut, and candy.
There are actually 2 pages with a photo of candies which is how the "book" ends.

Well, how else can a baby ask mommy and daddy for juice or a cookie? Hmm.

And my question is:
Are these the most important food words a baby needs to learn?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Why do babies need to drink juice?

We have a 9 months old baby. She is not our first child but we have forgotten a couple of things regarding raising a baby. BabyCenter is a web site we have been using as a guide in the past 6 years. It is a very informative resource for parents. So we went there to look for information on “what to feed” our baby. Here is what we found.

Age-by-age guide to feeding your baby

Reviewed by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board
Last updated: November 2008

Age: 8 to 10 months

What to feed:
• Breast milk or formula, PLUS
• Small amounts of soft pasteurized cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese (but no cows' milk until age 1)
• Iron-fortified cereals (rice, barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals)
• Mashed fruits and vegetables (bananas, peaches, pears, avocados, cooked carrots, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes)
• Finger foods (lightly toasted bagels, cut up; small pieces of ripe banana; well-cooked spiral pasta; teething crackers; low-sugar O-shaped cereal)
• Small amounts of protein (egg, pureed meats, poultry, and boneless fish; tofu; well-cooked and mashed beans with soft skins like lentils, split peas, pintos, black beans)

All looks good so far…. And then….
Non-citrus juice (apple or pear)

How much per day:
• ¼ to 1/3 cup dairy (or ½ oz. cheese)
• ¼ to ½ cup iron-fortified cereal• ¼ to ½ cup fruit• ¼ to ½ cup vegetables
• 1/8 to ¼ cup protein foods
• 3 to 4 oz. non-citrus juices

This list is obviously affected by the culture, time, and place where we live. I wonder what kids eat in countries where “low-sugar O-shaped cereal” does not exist.

Nonetheless, I do ask – why do babies need to drink juice?

See also Sugary Similac Organic infant formula and Baby First Food Words

Monday, November 3, 2008

Recipes that don’t work

I really really, really, really, don’t like recipes that don’t work. (And this is a nicer way to say it than: I really hate recipes that don’t work).
The average cookbook cost $20-$35.Not to mention the cost of ingredients and my precious time. So I really want recipes to work.
Whoever wrote the recipe is making money when I buy his/her cookbook; this is their job, to write recipes, so I want to recipe to work, don’t you?!

I like to bake a cake every Friday because it is so nice to have a cup of coffee and a home-made piece of cake on Saturday morning, and afternoon, and on Sunday too.But I really don’t like it when the recipe doesn’t work and instead of a lovely cake, I end up with this:

No need to say that my cake looked totally different than the photo in the cookbook.
It was supposed to be a cheesecake with streusel topping.
When I started making the cake, I felt there is a chance that the recipe is somewhat inaccurate, but I followed the instructions word by word and this is what happened:
* The amount of dough needed a larger pan size, so I used a pan 1-inch larger than the recipes asks for.
* The amount of filling needed a totally different kind of pan, much bigger and taller. But it was too late to change because I already put the dough in.
* Baking time was way off. It needed an extra 30 minutes.
* The streusel topping was still unbaked even after 60 minutes in the oven.

Here is what it looked like before going into the oven.

And I AM a good baker. And a smart one too. This is why I place my cake pans on a larger baking sheet every time I bake. And this is my advice to you:

Every time you bake, always, and I mean ALWAYS, place your cake pan inside a sheet pan before you bake it.

All the filling spilled over. What a mess! At least it spilled into the baking sheet and not inside the oven. Then I would have been really really angry.

Well, that cookbook goes to the garage. May it R.I.P?


Modified from A cake for the weekend: Cheesecake with streusel topping disaster

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Kiddies Holiday Treats

Yesterday I baked muffins for fall festivals celebrated in my children’s schools. Home-made muffins. Fresh out of the oven. They were still warm. The typical holiday aroma of cinnamon and ginger was in the air. No food coloring or sugary frosting. No candy topping. And no toy. I like to serve food that looks like food.

Other parents brought store bought muffins with black and orange colored fake- butter-cream, candy decorations on top and a toy ring, and some sugar frosted cookies shaped like a pumpkin.

Which treat do you think was the kids’ favorite?