There are two things I feel like almost all moms have in common: 1) they want the best for their kids, and 2) they have very little time. I fall firmly in that camp with my work at LGP (Melissa here – one of the co-founders), the interior design firm I run and, most importantly, my amazing little girls Bailey (2) and Parker (7 months). Also, my addiction to Pinterest doesn’t help.
So a month ago, when Parker turned 6 months and was ready for real food, I found myself wondering how I was going to find the time to make all of her baby food like I had done with Bailey (isn't it amazing how much easier things are when there is just one baby?). I realized I’d forgotten all of the rules, which foods were best to introduce when and the easiest way to make everything. And it occurred to me that I'm probably not alone. So in an attempt to make all of your lives a little easier, I've decided to start a regular post called “What’s in Parker’s Pouch” where I plan to share what I’m doing to make sure Parker is getting the best, real food, I can make.
Our current pouches hold 7 oz., which is a great size but a little more than a new eater needs in one sitting. So, the very first thing I stored in Parker's Pouches was my homemade rice, oatmeal and barley cereal. I 'm including each of the 3 recipes (super easy as long as you have a strong blender or food processor) below. I never made Bailey’s rice cereal, mostly because I didn’t know I could. But after I started following 100 days of real food and the food babe (bad name, great blog), I decided I'd try to make absolutely everything for my girls. So far, so good :).
Anyhow - here are my tips for these cereals:
1. GRIND GRIND GRIND: Grind them longer than you think, especially for new eaters. Any time Parker got a chunk of anything she spit it out. They're so used to having a liquid diet that “chunks” don’t go over well at first.
2. USE BREAST MILK AS YOUR LIQUID: Adding breast milk (or formula) instead of water was a huge success after a few failed tries with just water. Parker wanted something familiar! Plus, it made the mealtime that much healthier.
3. DON’T TRY INTRODUCING SOLIDS TO A HUNGRY BABY: Breast (or bottle) feed your baby first. Wait about 30 minutes and then try feeding them the solids. This is good for two reasons – you want to make sure you don’t skip the breast milk feeding (for milk supply and nutrition reasons) and 2 – a happy (i.e. not starving) baby is much more open to trying new things.
4. ALLERGY 3 DAY RULE: When introducing new foods, try only one new food every 3 days. If after 3 days no allergies (skin rashes, crankier than normal baby, or more extreme symptoms) appear, you can safely introduce the next new food. I kept worrying that Parker would get really bored of the same thing over and over, but I quickly had enough items in the repertoire that she could eat to mix things up a bit.
5. OATMEAL IS THE NEW BLACK: If you only choose one cereal to make, go with Oatmeal. Though rice cereal is the most common it actually has the least amount of nutrients and oatmeal will help keep your little one nice and regular (vs. rice cereal which can do the opposite!). Plus - from a flavor perspective it was by far the yummiest!
I look forward to sharing this journey with you, and if you have any topics you want to read about, let me know in the comments. Next time I will be covering shopping in bulk for babies and prepping ahead of time.
Alright. It’s 2014, and that means resolutions. The residuals from partying like it’s 2013 are officially gone. Vacation’s over. It’s Monday. It’s time to get serious. (I hope that was somewhat motivating, if not, try reading again with the Rocky Theme Song playing in the background. It works, right?)
It’s time to take 100 Days of Real Food’s 10-Day Real Food Pledge, along with us here at Little Green Pouch. By doing so, you’ll start of your 2014 with a commitment to Real Food, and real health. 100Days of Real Food predicts that, upon completing your 10 days, you’ll notice improved health, “such as having more energy, losing weight, improving regularity, or just feeling healthier overall.” After the 10 days are over, you can continue with your life however you’d like, but with knowledge as to how and why you should avoid processed foods.
We hope you do this with us! Don’t forget to sign up for the 10-Day Pledge with 100 Days of Real Food, and review the Real Food Rules while you’re there. Also, be sure to "Like Us" on Facebook where we will be checking in with you on how your 10 days are shaping up along with giving away a 4-pack of Little Green Pouches and an accessory of your choice each day when you engage in our daily Real Food Pledge posts.
Finally, start cooking some real food. If you need inspiration for recipe ideas don’t forget to check out our Real Food Pinterest Board and Real Food Recipes hub. And 100 Days’ Real Food Tips is another wonderful resource.
On our end, we’ve made a few real food plans to get started. Here is Melissa's Plan for 7 month old daughter, Parker. And Maggie's plan for, her, her two boys (3.5 and 5) and her husband. You can download a blank meal planner HERE.
We’ll make sure to let you know how it’s going here on our blog and on Facebook. And please do the same. We’d love to hear from you on Facebook, in our inbox (email@example.com), on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, or carrier pigeon. Let us know you are taking the plunge, we mean pledge, with us. Let's do this!
On a parting note, we’ll leave you with some motivation from the king of all motivators, Rocky Balboa. It is a little bit over the top, and not entirely appropriate for the situation, but we couldn’t resist.
“Going in one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life.”
“I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.”
(Rocky IV (curse you Ivan Drago!)) We’re looking forward to getting healthy with you (and hanging out) these next 10 days.
- Maggie & Melissa
Coming next week: guest post by Courtney Haswell at Family Gone Healthy, “Real Food Inspiration”
As we get ready to take the 10 Day Real Food Pledge, 7 month old Parker didn't want the big kids and grown ups to have all the fun. So we present to you, Parker's Pouch. This is Parker's weekly meal plan as prepared by mom, Melissa. You can download Parker's Meal Plan and then use our blank Meal Planner template to create your own.
Since food at this stage is pretty simple, Melissa will be mixing homemade grain cereals with pureed fruits and vegetables. On the weekend when there is a little more time, Parker and mom will get a little more adventurous in the kitchen and make some of our Real Food recipes.
To save time during the week, Melissa is spending some prep time this weekend to puree all of the fruits and veggies listed in the meal plan to store in the freezer in 1oz cubes (these are our favorite trays). Another way Melissa is helping Parker stick to her Real Food pledge is by making all of the cereals (rice, oatmeal & barley) in the Vitamix. All you have to do is blend the whole grains until they form a powder. Then we store them in empty, dry Little Green Pouches to easily grab and mix with water or breast milk for each meal.
Stay tuned this week for lots of pictures and update of how our 10 Day Pledge is going. And be sure to LIKE us on Facebook to follow along and to win fun prizes throughout the 10 days.
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Little Green Pouch Takes the 10 Day Real Food Pledge - Join Us
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