Win, Win

I am pleased to report that Carter made the leap from crib to big boy bed without a hitch.

It’s been 3 weeks and we’ve only had one episode where we had to run to his room at 2 am. after a clamorous thud and a loud combo call “MOMMYDADDY!!”

I couldn’t quite make out where he was when I got into his room.

The dark, “where are you?”…“here!” game went on for a little bit until I finally found him on the floor in his closet.

He had fallen off the end of the bed into a luxurious cloud of pillows purposefully placed there by me in anticipation of this very event, and rolled into his closet.

He was fine and we laughed.

The new bed even helps the family figure out what to wear in the morning.

We all rise to a pointed brief on the weather as Carter wakes up, sings an American Idol worthy version of “twinkle, twinkle, little star”, stands on his bed, manoeuvres the window blind out of his way to peek outside and holler, “NO SUNSHINE TODAY” or “RAIN” or “IT’S FREEZIN’ OUTSIDE”!

We have our own little meteorologist in the house.

This bed has been a real WIN, WIN.

Since the “freezin’ outside” days are now numbered with nature’s reclamation of spring in a week or so, I wanted to fit in one more cold weather, warm your baby’s bones, stew recipe.

You probably won’t feel like making a stew once the warm weather and humidity sets in so let’s make one today instead.

This beef and barley stew is hearty and healthy for baby and doesn’t take very long to prep…it just takes a while to stew.

But that’s fine because I’m sure you can think of 47 other things you could be doing while the meal is simmering away on the stove.

Don’t worry, the stew won’t grab at your ankles until you have no choice but to pay it some attention, or demand that you change their diaper RIGHT NOW!

No, it will just sit and stew quietly on it’s own leaving you free as a bird to do whatever you want.

There used to be the belief that you should wait until baby is 8-10 months old to introduce beef but more and more pediatricians today are recommending the ingredient at 6 months +.

This is due to the fact that it’s a great source of iron which is key to a healthy baby’s diet.

Beef is also an excellent source of protein, potassium, zinc, niacin and vitamin B12.

Barley is a perfect grain to use in baby stews as it has a nice soft texture that baby can handle and is an excellent source of soluble fiber.


Where’s the Beef and Barley Stew

Age – 6 months +


  • 1 tbsp. of butter
  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1 cup of chopped parsnips
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped
  • ½ cup of frozen peas
  • ½ kg. stewing beef
  • 4 cups of low sodium beef broth or homemade chicken or veggie broth
  • ½ cup of pearl barley
  • 1 tsp. each of dried thyme and marjoram if baby is 8 months +

Baby Steps

  1. Peel and chop veggies and set aside.
  2. Cut stewing beef into small pieces and set aside.
  3. Heat butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat until melted.
  4. Increase heat to medium/high and add beef and onions to pan.  Cook, stirring often until beef is no longer pink, approx. 5 mins.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and add all remaining veggies and continue to cook for another 5 mins.
  6. Add broth and pearl barley to pan, and herbs if baby is over 8 months old.
  7. Stir and bring to a boil over medium/high heat then reduce heat to medium/low, cover and simmer for 1 ½ hrs. stirring occasionally.
  8. When there is about 10 mins. left to cook, stir in the frozen peas, cover and continue to cook for the remaining minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.  Transfer to a food processor, blender, or bowl in batches to use a hand held blender and puree to desired consistency depending on age of baby.  8 months + can handle a chunkier consistency than that of a 6 month old.
  10. This recipe makes a lot so you can set some aside for the rest of the family before you puree and add some salt & pepper for added flavour.  Puree the rest for baby’s meal plus extra to freeze in cube trays for future.

Makes – Over 30 servings (1 serving = 2 tbsps.)

Note – You can always half this recipe if you just want to make this for baby and not the rest of the family, otherwise you may not be able to use up all the frozen servings within 3 months which is recommended.

I hope you give this a try and let me know how it goes, and I hope that one day your baby grows into a toddler that can bellow out weather observations as astutely as mine can.  Enjoy!