You Need a Back-Up

Now that the baby of the household is in school I’m amazed by the number of pairs of shoes, extra clothes, snow pants, mitts, hats, scarves and everything we must have.  This one kid is giving the Smith quintuplets a run for their money in school wears required.  We need back-ups for everything “just in case”.  We thought we were well on our way with 2 pairs of shoes but no he needs 1 for home, 1 for outdoor, 1 for indoor, 1 for before and after school daycare and 1 in case he takes an expedition to the moon. (o.k. maybe not the last one).  And then the back-up clothes in case of the ever feared (more by parents than the kids themselves) “accident” at school.  Even something as simple as a scarf of which you would think one would be plenty, can succumb to the “you need a back-up” rule.  From time to time a plastic bag comes home with clothes that for some reason needed to be switched out.  The other day the infamous plastic bag came home with his scarf inside so I asked why his scarf was in there.  He replied, “it may have touched the toilet water.”  OK, no further questions.  I hope we still have his old “Bob the Builder” one kicking around even if it’s just big enough to wrap around his neck and just small enough to look like nothing more than a neck brace.

Ok, what homemade baby food creation is it going to be today?  I think it’s time for baby to discover the many splendors of the English classic Fish & Chips.  But we’ll put a healthier spin on it by baking rather than frying, using coconut oil in place of artificial fat courtesy of vegetable oil, and rutabaga and sweet potato in place of standard potatoes.   Babies seem to love the sweetness of yams (sweet potatoes) but in this recipe I wanted to sneak in some rutabaga as well.  They’ll be none the wiser since they’ll all be mixed together.  At this point they’re just so excited to be eating (playing with) finger foods that chances are they won’t call you out on the rutabaga.  They may instead say something like…”mmm sweet sticks”!


Fish & Sweet Sticks

Spoonfed Baby Food Fish Sweet Sticks.jpg
Spoonfed Baby Food Rutabaga.jpg


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 small rutabaga
  • 2 tbsps. coconut oil plus a bit more to grease the baking sheets
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 3 Tilapia fish fillets fresh, or frozen and thawed
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • Juice from ½ a small lemon

Baby Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 425 ˚C and grease 2 baking sheets with coconut oil by spreading it on with a paper towel.
  2. Peel sweet potato and rutabaga and cut into French fry shaped pieces.  For the rutabaga, cut down the center than cut each half into discs about 1cm thick.  Then it will be easy to cut the discs into strips like French fries. See picture above for reference.
  3. Place sweet potato and rutabaga fries into a large bowl.  You should have about 4 cups or so of each.
  4. Melt coconut oil in the microwave and pour over fries in bowl.
  5. Add salt, pepper and paprika and mix fries with hands to distribute the oil and spices evenly.
  6. Put fries onto prepared baking sheets and make sure to separate so they’re not touching each other…kind of like the kids in the car.  Giving them some space will allow them to crisp up when baking.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes then take out and flip fries with a spatula and place back in the oven for approx. 15 more minutes.
  8. Meanwhile sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides of the fish fillets and melt butter in pan over medium heat.
  9. Place fish in pan and cook for approx. 3 minutes per side until lightly browned and cooked through.
  10. Add lemon juice to pan and cook for 1 more minute.
  11. Remove from heat and set aside.
  12. Remove fries from oven when ready and crisp on the outside and put in a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
  13. Serve fish and fries together.

Makes – Dinner for 2 adults plus baby.

Note: The “sweet sticks” are great dipped in a salsa mixed with sour cream for the rest of the family who are enjoying them.

The next time I need to justify buying another pair of shoes for myself I’ll refer to my kindergartener’s protocol.  I need a pair for home, indoor, outdoor, before and after work and for an expedition to the moon (code for a nice restaurant).