Oh it’s been a year since I last posted here! If you’re following me on Instagram, you will notice how erratic my posts are. It’s hard to practice presence while facing the screen so I usually ditch the phone. Also, we’re expecting number 2 by the end of this year, so I have very minimal energy left for blogging or even keeping my Instagram posts regular.
In a year or so, I’m imagining I’ll be posting [chaotic] YouTube videos of my kids and I cooking. It will be oh so FUN (30% sarcasm). 100% fun if only someone will clean up our mess... volunteers?
On the hindsight, it will probably be no sweat for me, for we’ve been doing baby-led feeding since my toddler started eating solids at 6 months. I clean up her meal mess three times a day, so having to clean the mess of two children won’t be so different... or not? Hmm...
If you’re looking into trying baby-led feeding as well, or already on that course, you might find this post helpful.
I want to share with you my favorite way of surviving the preparation of a vegan plate for a picky baby/toddler— freezing food.
When my daughter was about 8 months old and it seemed that she didn’t have any food allergy, I started mixing up and cooking real dishes for her, but without the use of salt or sugar.
It was tough introducing food to a picky child, so I always made sure I offer her at least one dish that she loves. When I discovered her favorite dishes, I made sure to make extra for freezing. I would then offer them with a new dish— that way I make sure she’ll have something to eat that was homemade but wasn’t stressful for me to prepare.
I'm still not a fan of microwaving food so I usually let them thaw at room temperature or in the fridge overnight or just add water and boil them. Sometimes I also put them in silicon cups and put on top of the rice in the rice cooker to warm them.
Here are the ingredients of the frozen baby food in the picture above, and how I usually give them to my daughter:
1. COCO-SIMMERED TOFU. This one is best frozen without the tofu (my daughter didn’t like the texture of freeze-thawed tofu). I usually put fresh tofu when reheating it, then I serve it as is or on top of rice. Watch the super simple cooking video I posted on Instagram here.
2. CORN PUREE. Corn kernels and the water I boiled them in, puréed together. Mix it with rice or pancake batter, or pour on warm silken tofu.
3. POTATO SOUP. Potato, corn, carrot, green peas, salt-free kombu powder (optional). Boiled together then puréed and swirled with some coconut milk before freezing. Mix it with salt-free udon or pancake batter, or drizzle on top of tofu or baked potato.
4. COCONUT CURRY. Potato, carrot, bell pepper, curry powder, coconut milk, water. Boiled together then frozen. Mix it with rice or salt-free udon or pasta, or serve with bread or pour on tofu.
5. VEGETABLE TOMATO SOUP. Tomato, carrot, sweet peppers, fire-roasted eggplant, Italian seasoning (optional). Boiled together then frozen. Serve it with pasta/bread/rice/tofu/udon.
6. SALT-FREE UDON. I bought some salt-free udon at babies-r-us but it takes 9 minutes to cook. It's wasteful to cook 1-2 baby serving size every time so I thought of cooking a lot and freezing them. Now I just boil it for less than a minute and it's ready!
7. FROZEN FRUITS: GRAPES, KIWI, BLUEBERRIES. Great finger food or an addition to smoothies and yogurts!
8. ROASTED SWEET POTATO. Just sweet potato wrapped in wet kitchen paper then aluminum foil and baked in the oven/roasted in the fish grill until soft. Made into balls using fruit baller. Serve as is or mix with pancake or cookie batter as sweetener.
Here’s another batch of frozen homemade food for 6 months and older. Most of these I just thaw in room temp, others I boil; while the quiche, I pan-fry without oil or toast in the oven toaster.
1. WHITE SOYCE. White sauce made using soy cheese. Use as pasta sauce, cheese spread or dip/dressing.
Ingredients: soy cheese, Italian seasoning, water, coconut oil (very little, optional).
2. CHEESOY AVOCADO SAUCE. Use as pasta sauce, cheese spread or dip/dressing.
Ingredients: soy cheese, avocado, Italian seasoning, water, coconut oil (very little, optional).
3. VEGETABLE QUICHE. Watch the recipe video through my Instagram here. Serve as it is or mashed/minced and top on pasta in white soyce or cheesoy avo-sauce.
Ingredients: tofu, salt-free kombu powder, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, carrot, komatsuna, broccoli, sweet peppers, soy cheese, oat flour.
4. PUMPKIN PURÉE WITH RIND. Cook as soup, dip/dressing, spread on toast or mix in pancake/muffin batter or cookie dough.
Ingredients: pumpkin, water (boiled with rind, then pureed).
5. PUMPKIN PURÉE. Cook as soup, dip/dressing, spread on toast or mix in pancake/muffin/cookie or serve as is. Ingredients: mashed and pureed boiled pumpkin without rind.
6. CORN. Serve frozen or thawed, as topping to rice/pasta, mix in soup or pancake/muffin batter. Ingredients: corn kernels (boiled and pureed).
7. APPLESAUCE. Serve frozen as dessert, thaw and serve as dressing/dip, mix as natural sweetener or flavoring for yogurt, pancake, muffin, smoothie. Ingredients: apple (boiled in very little water without skin, puréed).
8. POTATO-VEGGY SALAD. Serve as is or as topping/filling to rice/pasta. Ingredients: potato, carrot and broccoli boiled in little water (or steamed) until tender then mashed roughly and mixed with soy cheese and formed into balls.
9. BABY CARROTS. Perfect addition to soups, sauces and smoothies. Ingredients: baby carrots (boiled for 3 minutes then soaked in cold water then frozen. Boil a bit further if to be served as finger food.)
10. FARFALLE PASTA: Just one of the easy to pincer-grasp pasta shapes but it takes 13 minutes to cook so I cooked a batch and froze them. Now it takes just a minute of boiling to thaw them, or just leave in fridge overnight or in room temp for several mins.
As I read on the IG post of @relaxingmommy (through @themommyconfessions):
Parenthood is all about food: buying the food, cooking the food, bargaining about eating the food, cursing the food, and throwing away the food...
I hope these tips help you enjoy more time with your baby or toddler! Or take a bath for goodness sake.
Have a great day!