17 Jul 2014

Weaning #2



We are now 4 months into our weaning journey. It's flying so quickly. I think this little boy is an eater - well for now at least. He loves his food. Thats what I tell everyone. He's such a good eater. Seems a strange thing to say when written down but he is. I think having a fussy eater in M, its been a bit of a shock to have another baby that has taken to food so well.

We are approaching weaning as well weaning. I don't think of myself as baby led weaning purist and we are not completely following traditional weaning either. We are kind of hovering somewhere in the middle. A happy medium for our little chunk for sure.

We do not oppose the use of spoon feeding ( I do not want to be cleaning yogurt, baked beans or porridge off my ceiling) we love a bit of fruit smoothie pouch action. Especially the Ella's kitchen ones. They are perfect for popping in the bag and easy and filling. We are not a completely organic home cooked meals every night. Yes my kids do have fish fingers and potato waffles. And yes they clear the plates. But this is balanced with home cooked meals with new flavours and textures for them to try. (This week that includes a lamb mince hash concoction with broccoli) and yes my kids love yogurt and have an ice lolly in the evenings. (Well big does little is quite happy with some fruit)

Our approach to weaning was a way in could fit in with our lives currently. How could this be easy for us all, and satisfy little one growing needs. And I think we have found it. My 8 month old will devour a sandwich, a babybel, a packet of crisps and still eat more given half he chance. He loves cucumber and sausages. And is partial to a chip. He will try all that is put in front of him. He lights up as his food comes. But don't get me wrong, this is not neccairilly quick option. Sure I'm not sitting there spoon feeding him but he does take his time with his food. We sit together, I encourage sharing and self feeding. And yes it does make a mess. And I do feel like I am constantly making food, cleaning up food or buying food - not taking into account the washing up and washing of clothes. Those clothes get messy. But this way works for us and more importantly works for our little man. If he was struggling or not enjoying it I  would rethink our approach. But he enjoys it. He is learning. I know we will hit a fussy stage, as with all kids. I just hope that we will move through it with as little tantrums as possible.

M is still fussy, but he is getting better and as I am preparing meals for two boys some days M has to try things he is not so keen on. Its the way it works. The boys have one meal - you don't eat that I am not making anything else - may sound harsh but that's how it is.

Below is a list of  just some of the meals and ideas which work for us. I'm still learning too - so if you have any suggestions or links let me know.

Breakfast.

multi grain hoops in a little milk - little man will quite happily sit and munch through the bowl. Individually I may add.

Shreddies - as above. Though he sucks out the milk

Pancakes - standard good breakfast I say!!

Scrambled eggs - I always microwave mine, quick and makes less mess.

Porridge - I've been making a big bowl of ready Brek for both boys. And depending what fresh fruit we have in the fridge I'll stir that through. A favourite being raspberries at the moment.

Toast - cut into small square with butter, Jam or dairylea spread.

Lunch

Sandwich thin - with dairylea, peanut butter and jam (no allergy history here)

Mini rice cakes

Mini cake bars

Cucumber chunks

Cheese cubes or babybel

Fruit chunks.

Smoothie pouches

Yogurt

Biscuits

Dinners

Sausages - with mash and mixed frozen vegetables - mix altogether and makes easier to pick up as the mash makes it sticky for them.

Toad in the Hole.

Microwave rice packs - mixed in with mince (lamb, turkey, beef, chicken or pork!) , or chicken chunks.

Burgers and homemade wedges - served with baked beans or peas.

Fish fillets with couscous and broccoli.

Mild curry made using the innocent fruit tubes ( recipe on the blog this week)


We are learning and things will be changing again soon as I go back to work, little starts nursery and big starts school in September. Then who knows how things will be then!


15 Jul 2014

Kitchen Adventures : Quick Chicken Biryani


Another quick the kids need feeding meal from me this week.

This one uses a storecupboard staple of mine - tilda microwave kids rice. These are fab, quick, packed with veg and a small portion. I buy them most weeks as a perfect quick meal for the kids.

I stumbled across this recipe on the Tilda website and used this for the inspiration for super quick meal.

1 chicken breast cut into chunks best size for your kids.
1tsp mild curry powder
1tbsp of creme fraiche
1 innocent tube of mangos and pineapples
1 pack of tilda rice - I used the sunshine mix

Fry the chicken until sealed and starting to golden. While frying mix together the creme fraiche, curry powder and Innocent tube. Add to the chicken in a pan, coat and cook until bubbling. Add the rice straight into the pan and stir until all combined.

Leave to cook away until chicken and rice are cooked through. Serve straight away.

*********************************************************************************

The addition of the Innocent tube gives a lovely sweetness to the dish for the kids - plus added bonus of the extra fruit in the dish.

Both kids really enjoyed it. This was enough for my 4 year old and my 8 month old to share.

Think I will experimenting more with these rice packs!

14 Jul 2014

Little adventures : school

This past year has been a learning curve. For both me and my eldest. I've been sucked into the world of school runs, uniform washing, parents evening and small talk in the playground.

He has developed and changed so much. He has grown up. He has gone from a 3 year old with attention span that is so short by the time you finished saying his name he's forgotten your talking to him. Into a 4 year old which granted he still has a short attention span, but he take things in, can write his name, count to over 20, do simple maths problems, knows most of his phonics, can recognise letters and can reason and ask questions. His imagination has soared his thinking and ability to make stories and play is a beautiful thing.

Being sucked into a world of school has opened my eyes to me. Has changed the way I see things. It's made me look at the adventures we can experience everyday. The way his world is both so small and so big at the same time. The littlest thing can have the biggest impact in his life. Each walk to and from school we find new things to talk about, to see and to look at it. Things like the colours of front doors or cars, the number on the doors, the letters on number plates, spotting insects and bugs in the bushes, counting the flowers and pretending to be a superhero.

Each day home from school we have a snack. Trying to make this fun too. Whether it's a yoghurt "sundae" he puts together with fruit, biscuits and cereal. Or a fruit salad. Or at the moment his current favorite has been Barney bears. I like being able to offer something fun. Something yummy. And something which will not fill him up. A little treat. Not everyday. But every now and again.

Making everything you do an adventure means I appreciate all kinds of things. Like him being able to dress himself (and pretending that it's his superboots) or brushing his teeth before school. It's been a learning curve for both. New routines. New things.

I will miss this when I am back at work. But it will be yet another new adventure round the corner.

Love this week #6


1// its been a hard week with my big boy. hes a real ball of energy all the time. However this week has also seen lots of cuddles and laughs and giggles. He really is such a character.
2// and well this cheeky monkey is just getting cheekier, and cuter. Even if I do say s myself.
3// Talking of little man - well his exploring has gone up a level. Still on the commando crawling but will pull him self up on things, reach for things and we have had a few cruising steps along the sofa.
4// I finished off my square for my Once Upon a time sampler - so I picked up by Halloweentown sampler, its such a little relaxing things to do. I am enjoying it lots. Helps that the patterns are super cute.
5// Big boy has been working on his writing and maths skills at home a lot more. Its been lovely to watch him try and take an interest in learning.
6// Finally this weekend we had 3 birthday parties to attend. 3!! All preschool friends. Big boy had such fun playing with his friends and was lovely to watch there little friendships.

To be honest, last week has been hard slog. But it felt good looking back over my pictures from last week and finding some happy things to make me smile.