I Care, I Cook

I tend to stock my car with 2 weeks worth of cd’s for my drives home from work.

I’m still drawn to cd’s rather than ipod’s, but to be honest, my Toyota Echo doesn’t have a plug in for an ipod…or power windows for that matter.

Anyway, tonight on my way home I was listening to Matthew Barber and got lost in some lyrics.

“If you want to know what love really means, it’s when the one you’re with goes and sews a patch in your jeans.”

“All the hugs and kisses in the world can’t compete when the one you’re with goes and sews a patch in your jeans.”

Doesn’t that just ooze warm feelings of being cared for??

If I ever sewed a patch on my husband’s or kid’s jeans they would wonder what happened to their wife and mother because I don’t sew.

So instead I cook.

There’s something warm-hearted about lingering in the kitchen preparing my family’s favourite meals to sit and share with them upon culmination.

Even throwing together something simple and easy is joy inducing because I know they will still appreciate it and ultimately feel cared for.

Maybe it’s just me, but I get immense happiness out of it.

Let’s get back on track to baby food specifics.

It’s always great to have some staple items in your pantry so you can make a quick meal for baby without having to run to the market.

Below is a list of some must haves to make your life and that little one you care for’s life a little easier.

Cow’s Milk – For babies 7 months + you can use cow’s milk to add to recipes to thin them out, or to make a nice versatile cheese sauce to add to veggie and pasta purees.

Yogurt – Great to have on hand for 7 months +.

Eggs  – Cooked and scrambled eggs can be given to infants 6 months +.

Cheddar Cheese – Cheese is a great protein to add to the 7 months + veggie purees and scrambled egg yolks.

Mini Pasta – Mini pasta such as the tiny ABC’s or Orzo is a great staple grain to have on hand for baby.  You can cook the pasta following the package directions but don’t add salt to the water, then add the cooked pasta to various veggie purees with an easy tomato cheese sauce.

Stay tuned for detailed sauce recipes.

Rice – Just as pasta, rice is a fantastic grain to have on hand and can be used in a similar fashion.

Frozen Veggies – Frozen veggies such as peas, beans, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots are great to have on hand in a pinch to create cooked veggie purees or stews. Most store bought frozen veggies are flash frozen at their peak of freshness which retains most of their nutrients. Since they are originally frozen in their raw state, it is fine to take them out of the freezer, steam or cook them, puree them and re-freeze your batch of puree. If they were cooked before freezing originally, which is rarely the case with store bought frozen vegetables, you cannot re-cook and then re-freeze them.

Frozen Berries – Blueberries for 6 months + and Strawberries for 8 months +. Berries are perfect to cook over medium low heat in a sauce pan for about 10 minutes or until they are nice and juicy. You can then let them cool and mash them and add to baby cereal or to some fresh mashed banana. For 6 month old babies you may want to press the cooked, mashed blueberries through a strainer just to get rid of the tough skins.

Potatoes  – Always great to have on hand for stews or cooked and pureed adding in some fresh spinach.

Canned Tuna in Oil – Cans of tuna are perfect to have on hand to mix with some tiny pasta and cheese sauce. Tuna packed in oil is better for baby as it retains a lot of the healthy fats babies need for brain development.

Frozen Chicken – Cooked and crumbled chicken added into stews and veggie purees adds a protein punch that all babies require.

Veggie Broth – Homemade is great, but a store bought organic, low sodium variety works too. Always good to have on hand for soups and stews.

Chicken Broth – Again homemade is great, but a store bought organic, low sodium variety is also o.k.

Iron Fortified Baby Cereals – Starting with rice cereal at 4 months + and then introducing barley, wheat and mixed baby cereal as baby grows is an essential part of baby’s feeding routine.

Flour – Always good to have on hand to thicken a nice cheese sauce or stew.

Unsalted Butter – Butter is a staple fat used to sauté chicken, add to sauces, to cook scrambled eggs, to add to veggie purees, etc. etc. etc. With these basics on hand and a little imagination you can whip up some great meals for baby in no time. 

Let’s all keep propagating those warm feelings of being cared for by sewing a patch on a loved one’s jeans, or for the darning impaired…cooking!