Archive for the ‘baby food’ Category

Plum Organics Mighty Tots Giveaway #sponsored

Friday, July 25th, 2014

This post is sponsored by Plum Organics.

Hello, readers! Hope you’ve been having a fun and delicious summer. We’ve been on the road quite a bit, which has given us a good reason to try out some of the newest kids snacks from Plum Organics. We’re long-time fans of Plum’s all-natural products for little eaters, so we were glad to try out their new Mighty line of pouches, bars and puffs for growing tots.

Plum mighty tots | foodietots.com

As part of the launch of the new products, Plum is celebrating the wild imaginations of toddlers. When my oldest was just three, we set about planning our first kitchen garden. I gave him a sheet of paper and asked him to draw what he’d like to grow in our garden. Here’s what I got:

a toddler's garden | foodietots.com

From left, he drew three sunflowers, a hot dog plant, strawberry and peas. Of course. We couldn’t quite get our hot dog plant to grow, but we did eat a lot of garden-fresh peas and strawberries! I love the creative combinations kids come up with when you give them room to play in the kitchen or at the dinner table.

Plum has some fun “Ask a Toddler” videos on YouTube posing questions like, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” This one got big laughs from my two cow-loving foodie tots.

GIVEAWAY: Plum Organics would like to share a Mighty kit (pictured below) with one lucky reader. The kit contains Mighty 4 Pouches, Mighty Puff ‘Ems, and Mighty 4 Bars. The giveaway is open to US residents only and closes at 11:59 EST Thursday, July 31. Enter below.

plum mighty tots giveaway foodietots.com

I love the creative ingredient combinations Plum’s come up with for these new products, especially the Mighty 4 pouches that contain protein (Greek yogurt), fiber, vitamins and Omega 3s in flavors like pumpkin pomegranate with quinoa and chia seeds. Confession: I’ve been known to grab an extra pouch for myself for a quick breakfast or snack on the go.

Even my big kid, now age 7, has been enjoying the Puff ‘Ems — Cheesy Pumpkin Sage has been the favorite, and I like that it’s a cheese puff I can feel good about them snacking on, packed with whole grains and veggies. The bars are also full of nutrition, made with fruit/veggie blends like strawberry-spinach and a touch of yogurt and chia seeds, too.

Be sure to check out the Plum videos with your tots and encourage them to tell you how they’d answer the questions, too — I guarantee you’ll share some laughs!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Plum Organics. As always, all opinions are our own.

Baking with Plum Organics {and Giveaway}

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

It’s amazing how many new products for kids have been developed even just in the four years between the births of my son and daughter, particularly in the natural and organic category. Take baby food — the first time around, there was only one organic alternative on the market. This time, there are all-natural and organic options everywhere you look, at health food stores and mainstream retailers alike. I still made most of my daughter’s food, but we also found ourselves picking up the new organic pouches for meals on the go — like these from Plum Organics. Because pouches allow the food to be heated to lower temperatures than traditional jarred food, the food tastes fresher and retains more nutrients (without additives or preservatives). Most importantly, they taste more like homemade and blend flavors I might not have thought of, like blueberry, pear and purple carrot.

baking with plum organics

While the youngest is a toddler now, and eating whatever we eat, purees can still provide an extra boost of nutrition at meal time. They can be mixed in to soups or pasta, used as a dip for veggies and crackers, or used like you would applesauce to reduce the fat (butter or oil) content in baked goods. Take these Carrot Oat Cakes I developed for Plum’s Little Foodies Cookbox campaign. Full of fiber and a little sweet, they’re perfect for a quick breakfast or after school snack.

plum organics carrot oat cake

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GIVEAWAY: Plum Organics has provided a “Yum Kit” for one lucky reader, which contains coupons, stickers, and a variety of Plum pouches. To enter, leave a comment below sharing your little one’s favorite early food. The giveaway closes at 11:59pm Eastern on Sunday, May 6. Please include a valid email in the comment form. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

Three ways to increase your odds of winning (must leave a separate comment indicating you’ve done them):

  1. “follow” @foodietots AND @plumorganics on Twitter
  2. “like” FoodieTots AND Plum Organics on Facebook
  3. “pin” this post to Pinterest

Good luck!

Disclosure: I was compensated by Nest Collective, parent company of Plum Organics, for developing a recipe as part of the Little Foodies Cookbox campaign and received products for the purposes of hosting this giveaway. All comments and opinions are my own.

First Bites {Real Food for Babies}

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Here’s a little known fact: this blog’s original name was “Puree Gourmet.” That’s right, way back in the primitive days of food blogging (spring of 2007, to be precise), blogs that focused on feeding families were hard to find. The only site I was aware of at the time for baby food help was Wholesome Baby Food. (Which is still one of the most comprehensive resources out there, in my opinion.) Needless to say the baby food focus didn’t really pan out — the puree phase comes and goes so quickly that by the time I had a few spare moments to blog, the boy was well on his way to toddler foods. That’s not to say early foods aren’t important — there’s a window of opportunity around the 6-month mark where babies are naturally curious. I believe it’s important to introduce as fresh and varied tastes as possible before baby is old enough to talk back — er, assert her independence. Some foods my son loved at first he hasn’t touched in ages (avocado), while others are still favorites (bananas & tofu). You’ll never know what your child will grow to love if you don’t offer it, right?

foodie bebe eats squash

The foodie bebe began her own adventures with solid foods at the start of the year (at 6 months). There is so much more information out there now; new books, new guidelines, and a brand new campaign to encourage parents to skip white rice baby cereal (launched by the esteemed Dr. Greene.)WhiteOut: Let every child’s first grain be a whole grain I was highly skeptical of baby cereal with my son, but he did have a little before moving on to sweet potatoes. I eventually cooked real oatmeal, barley and brown rice and pureed them with fruits and vegetables for a more wholesome meal. With the new baby, we skipped the plain rice cereal and started on squash. After a couple vegetables and fruits, I started offering a little organic brown rice cereal mixed with fruits — often applesauce or bananas — so that she gets the iron from the cereal. I still believe that it’s better to feed babies and older children alike iron-rich foods, rather than iron-fortified cereals.

What are iron-rich foods suitable for baby? Starting out, there’s sweet potatoes, spinach, prunes and beets. I actually bought an organic baby food that was spinach, apples and rutabaga — not a combination I would’ve thought of on my own, but the baby loved it. As you move into proteins, egg yolks, salmon, shellfish and of course red meat are the best sources of iron, as are whole grains. The baby’s first animal-protein was (wild Alaskan) salmon — mashed with butternut squash. Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron, so pair fruits like mango, papaya, kiwi and strawberries with iron-containing foods.

foodie bebe's first foods

So far, the foodie bebe has worked her way through all the “starter” foods, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables: squash, sweet potatoes, avocado, banana, apples, pears, apricot, prunes, cauliflower, spinach, peas, green beans, blueberries, mango, carrots, parsnips, beets, yogurt, salmon, beef, turkey and tofu. We’re just starting on little bitty finger foods, and I’m working on introducing more variety into her purees. Stay tuned for some of our favorite “stage two” baby food recipes.

Any one have questions about feeding babies? What were your little ones’ first foods?

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Please consult with your pediatrician before beginning solids.*

Meatless Monday: Warm Red Quinoa Salad

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Okay, so quinoa may not be the first thing to come to mind for a romantic Valentine’s dinner, but what better day to think about heart health? This warm and hearty salad is loaded with super foods — broccoli for vitamins A & K (and lowering cholesterol), dried cranberries for antioxidants, walnuts for healthy omega-3s, and the aforementioned quinoa, a source of protein. And, it’s naturally red. To go totally vegan, substitute sauteed tofu for the feta. This would also make a nice side dish to some wild salmon. Happy *Heart* Day!

Recipe: Warm Red Quinoa Salad with Broccoli, Cranberries & Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red quinoa (rinsed*)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup walnut halves
  • 1 pound broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, cubed (optional)

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate balsamic vinegar
  • squirt of lemon juice

Instructions: In saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add quinoa, stirring to coat with the oil and cook for 1 minute, continuing to stir. Add water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

While the quinoa cooks, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside. Heat dry skillet over medium low heat and toast walnuts, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes. Remove walnuts from pan and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and shallot to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots begin to brown. Add broccoli and water, cover and cook until broccoli is tender — about 5 minutes. Uncover, add cranberries and remove from heat.

Combine quinoa, broccoli, walnuts and vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Add feta, if using, and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

* Note: I used pre-rinsed quinoa in this recipe. If your quinoa is not pre-rinsed, rinse it in a fine mesh colander and let drain for several minutes before cooking.

quinoa broccoli feta cranberries

Feeding Baby: Broccoli’s not recommended until baby is well established on solid foods as it is harder to digest. For babies 8+ months, pull out a few pieces of the cooked broccoli, a spoonful of quinoa and puree with a little water as needed to reach the desired consistency. (The boy is in a no-mingling-of-flavors phase, so the above is his salad, deconstructed. This is also ideal for serving finger-feeding toddlers.)

(And just so you don’t think I’m a total Valentine’s scrooge — here’s our dessert: black and pink cookies …

black and pinks

2010 in Review

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

It would be hard to out-do the highs and lows of 2010. Looking back, some of our most memorable meals weren’t even homemade — such as the pizza dinner in our new dining room the day we closed on the house, and the first sushi after the foodie bebe’s birth. Between the many firsts still in store for the baby, and the boy starting kindergarten in the fall (?!), 2011 is bound to be full of so many more memories. But before we forge forward, here are just a few favorite Foodie Tots moments of 2010:

3 favorite Sweet Treats

3 favorite Farmers Market Meals

And tooting my own horn for a minute, 3 notable honors:

And looking forward now … the foodie bebe ate her first solids on the first day of 2011:

Stay tuned for a few posts on baby food as we kick off 2011 with a renewed focus on good food for even the littlest eaters. Thanks for reading these past three years, and please drop me a note if there are topics you’d like to see more of in 2011. Cheers!