Homemade Baby Snacks – Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Grain-free, Vegan, Sugar-free, Nut-free, Egg-free, PaleoDecember 19, 2012
Homemade, allergy-free, super easy, 4-ingredient, nutrient packed baby finger snacks!
Soon after starting baby foods with Tabitha and Charlotte, I started giving them those little puffs and cheerios. I always loved the convenience of puffs and cheerios. They are easy to pack. You can keep a stash in your diaper bag. And they create little mess. But they are nutrition-lacking-tummy-fillers-that-often-begin-the-cycle-of-bad-snack-habits-and-ruin-mealtimes…at least in my case. ;)
So what is a Mama to do but make her own baby snacks. And here they are:
Don’t they look like little cookie dough balls?
They hold together pretty darn well so they really are a great little finger food. Charlotte loves them too! Tabitha is not interested in baby-food. Ha!
I love love love that these little morsels are packed, no no…jam-packed with healthy goodness! Check out these lovely healthful ingredients…
Homemade Baby Finger Snacks
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1 Tbsp ground chia seeds
1 Tbsp fruit or veggie puree (I used apple sauce and sweet potato. Pumpkin, butternut squash, and carrot would be great options)
1 Tbsp sunflower seed butter
1. Preheat oven to 350* (I just used my toaster oven).
2. Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl.
3. Roll into little baby bite-size balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Alternatively, you can roll out the dough to make crackers. That saves you a bit of time for sure.
4. Bake 10 minutes and then turn off the oven keeping them in there until they feel pretty hard and start to brown a little. Allow to cool completely to set.
Makes about 1/2 cup and I am sure this could be easily doubled or tripled. Store in an air-tight container in a cool place. Keeps for 3-5 days.
Do you hear those crickets? And see those cobwebs? Yep, this here blog is getting a little dusty.
I am still here. I finished the Whole30. I am trying to figure out where to go from here.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving which involved a trip to Raleigh and my sister-in-law’s wedding which was beautiful and perfect for a very deserving woman I am happy to call my sister. And I just love Jeff’s family. Really, he has a great family that I am so blessed to be a part of. Wish we could see them more often.
Other than that I have been busy with Kindergarten and Holiday fun. Kindergarten projects, homework, and pick-ups and drop-offs really are enough to keep me busy. But then there are all the fun holiday festivities and projects that comes with this time of year. I am making every effort to remain stress-free and present so that it is as enjoyable as it should be. And that means less time here.
It is a little bit of a bummer because there have been some fun and tasty recipes that I would like to record and share. Some I have written down and photographed, but most of them I can only hope to remember and recreate.
But, I will try to get some recipes up soon! Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying this wonderful time of the year as much as I am!!
The Whole30 is becoming second nature at this point. I am not having to think too much about it anymore. I have come up with a good number of go-tos. And I have gotten pretty good at throwing something together when the pickin’s get slim.
The only time I want sugar or a muffin is when I see it or think of it. I can’t decide which comes first: the craving or the thought. Oh well. I am certainly not feeling like I really have to have it. It’s just kind of a hmmm, that sounds good but I will pass (quick! make a mental note of that tasty treat for post whole30….kidding).
So here’s what I ate:
Breakfast – CBB Milkshake, 2 apple slices with HOMEMADE cashew butter YUM!
Lunch – 2 fried eggs, sauteed spinach & mushrooms, strawberries, and leftover butternut squash
Snack – Celery, cashew butter, and raisins
Snack – Celery, cashew butter, raisins
Breakfast – Pumpkin Breakfast Pudding (PBP), CBB Milkshake, 2 fried eggs
Lunch – Cashews, dried apples (crazy busy day on the go)
Dinner – (which I snatched out of the crockpot at 4pm before heading to my dentist appointment and then again after) Korean beef (I used shoulder roast), onions and pineapple
Snack – Celery, cashew butter, raisins
Breakfast – CBB Milkshake, PBP
Snack – Larabar
Lunch – Canned wild tuna, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper over salad. 1/2 grassfed beef hot dog, cantelope
Snack – Celery, cashew butter, raisins, pineapple
Dinner – Leftover pizza casserole, kale chips
Breakfast – 2 fried eggs, avocado, CBB Milkshake, PBP
Lunch – Sauteed zucchini, onion, and hot dog with pizza sauce over kale
Snack – Apples and cashew butter (tastes like apple pie!)
Dinner – Primal tacos over lettuce with avocado, salsa, sauteed onions and peppers, pineapple
Snack – Larabar
Breakfast – 2 fried eggs, avocado, ABC Milkshake
Lunch – Grassfed beef hot dog, cantelope
Snack – Larabar and my lunch was not enough so I dipped into the Pizza soup in the crockpot at around 3:30. That’s twice in one week the crockpot saved me!
Dinner – Pizza soup, sweet potato
Breakfast – 2 fried eggs, ABC Milkshake
Lunch – Pizza soup
Snack – Apple
Dinner – Mushroom burger and green beans at Fresco’s (great place – Jeff said it was the best GF pizza he’s had and I did take a nibble of their GF bun, which Jeff ate, and it was SO good! Light and fluffy and tasty.)
Breakfast – ABC Milkshake
Lunch – Pork carnitas (only meat with no soy, FYI) salad at Chipotle (no beans no dressing – still delicious), apple
Dinner – Sausage, sauteed green cabbage (the coconut oil gives it such a yummy flavor – I could eat it all day!), salad, cauliflower
I am currently on Day 25. Six more days! Actually I am not counting down the days like I thought I would. I have been very happy eating this way. More so than I thought. A few things I have learned:
1. You can get over your sugar craving! I love being able to look at a sugary treat and feel like I could take it or leave it. I am not as sad about that as I thought I would be.
2. Protein for breakfast is essential for me. Without it I tend to be hungry a lot more through out the day.
3. I really like fried eggs!
4. When you eat less carbs, it is A LOT easier to get in more fruits and veggies.
I am starting to think about post-Whole30–my goals and plans. I will share those next week!
Almost halfway through! I can’t believe it. The week before the official start when I was tapering off, I thought this was going to be impossible. I thought I would constantly be starving…and I didn’t feel great either.
But with some planning, I have been very well-fed. I have noticed this week that my constant hunger has subsided. I eat and I no longer feel hungry. My meals are more satisfying. Which is great because I get grumpy when I get hungry. Plus, my sugar cravings are all but gone! So exciting!
I have also noticed that I am less irritable and just overall more cheery.
That’s about it! Check out some awesome news at the end…
Here’s what I have been eating:
Last weekend Days 6 & 7 (I didn’t write anything down but this is what I ate for the most part)
Lunch – Fried eggs and sauteed veggies, Canned tuna (seasoned with dijon mustard and my apple cider dressing, see Days 2-5) and cucumbers and grape tomatoes
Dinner – Fruits and veggies and two hot dog wieners (probably not entirely Whole30 compliant, we were at a party and the tri-tip was not gluten-free) and chicken breast at home, Roasted chicken and veggies
Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, watermelon, Chocolate Cherry Milkshake (CC Milkshake – same as the Chocolate Blueberry Milkshake but with cherries)
Lunch – Leftover roast chicken, baked sweet potato
Snack – Larabar, turkey meat (weird, I know but it is a quick easy to grab snack)
Dinner – Pecan crusted cod, parsnip fries (first time eating parsnip…interesting flavor), paleo slaw (basically green cabbage and shredded carrot + my apple cider dressing and onion powder and garlic powder)
Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, watermelon, CBB Milkshake
Snack – Larabar,
Lunch – Leftover cod, baked sweet potato (I cooked a couple of sweet potatoes in the crock on low for ~ 5 hours)
Snack – Pistachios
Dinner – Pork carnitas, sauteed onion and green peppers and pineapple, lettuce, salsa, and avocado (This dinner was AMAZING! The pork is to die for! Instead of topping it with intended toppings, I made the toppings into a delicious dressing-free salad. I told Jeff not to put any cheese on it because cheese would ruin the pork. It was so flavorful! It needed to be eaten alone.)
Breakfast – CBB Milkshake, banana
Snack – Larabar
Lunch – Hard boiled egg salad (seasoned with dijon mustard and my apple cider dressing), turkey, avocado in lettuce wrap, 1/2 apple
Snack – BBQ Kale chips (seasoned with salt, smoked paprika, chili powder, and onion powder) YUM!
Dinner – Sausage Spinach Egg Bites (SSEB), fruit
Breakfast – SSEB, CBB Milkshake
Snack – Larabar
Lunch – SSEB, grapes
Snack – Cashews
Dinner – Chicken No-noodle soup (pretty much the filling of my chicken pot crumble pie, more broth, no flour)
Breakfast – SSEB, Chocolate Pumpkin Banana Milkshake (1 or 2 handfuls spinach, 1/2 c pumpkin puree, 1 c canned coconut milk, 1 1/2 frozen bananas, 2 T cacao or cocoa, splash of vanilla, dash of cinnamon) I shared with Henry
Snack – Cashews
Lunch – Leftover Chicken No-noodle soup, SSEB, Salad
Snack – Cashews, grapes
Dinner – Thai yellow curry take-out in a bowl, no rice (not completely Whole30 compliant, but I just wanted to enjoy the evening with my family without having to deal with cooking and dishes)
This past weekend:
Lunches – Breakfast cookies and fruit, Turkey lettuce wrap and leftover roasted butternut squash and Chocolate Cashew Banana Milkshake
Dinners – Almond flour crusted chicken, cauliflower and roasted butternut squash; Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Skillet (will have to post this recipe sometime, yum!), grapes
So how ’bout some wonderful news…
My mom and my dad are starting the Whole30 TODAY! My mom took some coercing but I never in a million years thought my DAD would be up for this. I am so proud! And I am so excited that I made a meal plan and grocery list for my mom (and our friend who is also doing this). I am praying that this will be life-changing and set them on a path of healthy eating. Yippee!!
* I know these are not Whole30 approved. A big no, no really. If you want to follow the Whole30 to the letter of the law (and I think that is a great idea), don’t be like me.
The Whole30 is still going well. I am not bored yet and have actually made some tasty discoveries. It’s amazing how going outside the box of your norm opens the door for things you never would have ever considered, much less tried. I have said it before and I will say it again, I feel like I was depriving my taste buds BEFORE I made all these dietary changes. I know that the vast majority of people who know what I don’t eat, think “oh my goodness, you can’t eat this or that?!” But I enjoy food now more than ever before. …If you can’t already tell. ;)
Breakfast: Savory Pumpkin Torte (SPT), Orange, Almond Butter-Banana-Chocolate Milkshake (1/4 c Almond Butter, 1 1/2 Frozen Banana, 2 Tbsp Cacao Powder, 1 1/2 – 2 c Almond milk)
Snack: Sweet potato chips (this is a little indulgence I allowed myself for starting this whole30 gig, I am not exactly hard-core folks)
Lunch: Leftover pork tenderloin and mashed sweet potatoes
Snack: Watermelon, sweet potato chips
Dinner: Italian meatballs over kale (this was one of my awesome discoveries: put a bed of kale down, plop a big steamy spoonful or two of meatballs and sauce on top, and it softens the kale and the flavors go really well together!), broccoli and watermelon
Breakfast: SPT, Almond Butter-Banana-Chocolate Milkshake (ABC Milkshake), watermelon
Snack: Sweet potato chips
Dinner: Leftover meatballs, kale, and pork tenderloin
Snack: Grapes, pistachios
Breakfast: SPT, Chocolate Blueberry Milkshake
Lunch: Meatballs, half of an apple
Snack: Nitrate-free turkey lunch meat, apple with almond butter, small slice of SPT (obviously I didn’t eat enough for lunch…oh and I ate lunch at 10:45 before kid pick-up and errands)
Dinner: Jerk Chicken with Roasted Pineapple, Spinach and tomato salad with Apple cider dressing, watermelon
Snack: Dried cherries (I tried to resist, I really did…those things are so yummy and I seriously don’t know why they would ever add sugar to them. I like Peeled.)
Breakfast: SPT, 2 apple slices, Chocolate Blueberry Milkshake
Lunch: Leftover Jerk Chicken, Spinach, tomato, cucumber salad with Apple cider dressing
Snack: Small bowl of Cinnamon Faux-st Crunch Cereal ( I made this for tomorrow morning but I couldn’t wait. :) Charlotte and Henry like this too) with Almond milk.
Dinner: Stir-fry over cauliflower “rice”
Observations and notes: I am still eating more fruit than I would like, BUT I am still pretty proud of myself for going this many days without a nibble of chocolate here and nibble of chocolate there(okay, okay! maybe more than a nibble) and eating half of the baked goods I make all by myself…in one day.
I still feel like I am hungry a lot of the time, but I have been able to skip a snack here and there which is pretty huge. Not that I am trying to lose weight by any means, but I am trying to eat in a way that satisfies for longer periods of time.
Planning and having lots for leftovers has made this week pretty easy for me. It has been helpful having something to eat whenever I got hungry without having to search and scrounge.
I don’t really feel any different at this point…maybe just a little “cleaner” on the inside. :)
Coconut Mama is going Paleo! For the next 30 days at least.
Today is Day 1. So far so good.
Here is what I have eaten today -
Whole30 – DAY 1:
Breakfast: Savory Pumpkin Torte (that I made last night and should last me several days), Strawberries, and Chocolate Blueberry Milkshake (2 Tbsp Cacao, 3/4 c frozen blueberries, 1/2 frozen banana, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 cup unsweetened organic almond milk, i.e. carrageenan free)
Lunch: Leftover Bratwurst; Sauteed kale, onions, garlic, and mushroom; 1/2 green apple
Snack: Unsweetened dried cherries
Dinner: Pork tenderloin, sauteed spinach and garlic, mashed sweet potato (sweet potato, coconut oil, cinnamon)
Snack: TBD ( if needed)
I feel good. I have been transitioning my way into this to hopefully avoid the withdrawals and fatigue you might feel at the beginning of this. I have probably been eating more of the fruit stuff than is intended for the Whole30, but I will try to continue cutting back on the fruit. I plan on keeping you posted on what I am eating and how I am feeling/learning.
I also plan on posting about why I am embarking on this little adventure in the upcoming days, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, wanna join me? Feel free to jump in at anytime. You can get meal/snack ideas here or check out my Whole30/Paleo board on Pinterest. Let me know if you want to join in and how I can help!
It’s been hot here in San Diego. Like triple-digit hot. But that hasn’t stopped me from making things like chili, tortilla soup, and this chicken pot crumble pie. It’s September and whether it feels like fall or not, I start thinking fall. And I am so ready to start jumping right into fall foods. I LOVE fall foods. Hearty, flavorful, comfort foods. Makes me feel all warm and cozy and gives me a sense of peaceful relaxation…a false sense but makes me happy nonetheless. :)
So a little confession first. I really dislike making anything that involves a rolling pin. ESPECIALLY anything gluten-free that requires a rolling pin. Unless I have a solid hour to devote entirely to rolling it out with no interruptions. That kind of hour is rare these days. This crumble top, inspired by The Spunky Coconut’s Chicken Pot Pie, was the perfect solution. So easy! But I wanted to make mine without nuts so Henry could also partake sense he is not eating nuts yet.
This was so yummy! Jeff went for thirds and that is always a good sign! Charlotte and Henry gobbled theirs up as well. Tabitha ate the chicken and the carrots. Makes great leftovers too. I have never really loved leftovers so I love a great meal that you actually look forward to eating again for leftovers.
Chicken Pot Crumble Pie
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup starch (I used tapioca)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthum gum*
4 Tbsp Earth Balance (soy-free) or other allowed butter
1/2 Tbsp honey
3 to 6 Tbsp (start with 3) allowed milk, I used unsweetened almond milk
1. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter, fork, or in my case a potato masher (works great!) until batter forms pea like clumps.
2. Add in honey and egg. Stir to combine.
3. Add milk starting with 3 tablespoons adding more one at a time until all of the flour is incorporated.
4. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.
1 lb chicken, cooked and shredded
3 to 4 cups chopped veggies (we like any combo of carrots, celery, onion, peas, mushrooms, red pepper, and broccoli)
2 Tbsp oil, I used coconut
2 Tbsp flour, I used brown rice*
1 garlic clove
1 heaping tsp of spicy mustard or dijon
salt and pepper
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken stock
1 to 2 Tbsp tahini
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the flour, mustard, salt, and pepper. Cook about 2-3 minutes until bubbly and forms a thick paste.
2. Slowly whisk in 1 1/2 cups of the chicken stock. Return to a boil. Add the vegetables and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender.
3. Add the cooked chicken and tahini and combine well. Add more stock to desired consistency.
4. Put the vegetable mixture in a 9×13 baking dish. Top with crumble mixture and bake for 30 minutes or until crumble top is slightly browned. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes before serving.
5. Dig in and go ahead and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Mmmm!
* Sub psyllium husk powder for xanthum gum (1 or 2 Tbsp I believe but don’t hold me to it as I have not used psyllium husk before and a starch or grain-free flour in the vegetable mixture to make this completely grain-free. Not sure how well a grain-free flour would do but starch should be a safe bet.
Do ahead: This is so essential for me these days. If I try to do it all at dinner time, I am sure to lose my mind. So I cut the veggies the night before and prepared the crumble top at nap/quiet rest time (yes we have still managed to have a nap/quiet rest time!). The rest is pretty easy to throw together.
I think the easiest meal to adjust when you want to make a major dietary change (switching to gluten-free, real foods, or just over all healthier eating) for your family is dinner. For me at least.
Breakfast comes second.
Snacks and lunch a distant third.
For months and months I have been wracking my brain for lunch ideas. Packable lunch ideas. Well, two weeks into school and I am pretty happy with how the lunchbox has been going. I decided to include breakfast ideas because we have not been eating cereal hardly at all and I had gotten into the habit of cooking/baking breakfast but now with the school schedule and limited time in the morning I am doing things a little differently.
So here is two weeks worth of lunches and breakfast:
All lunches include water.
Breakfast: Chocolate almond flour zucchini bread, fruit
Lunch: Apple ring peanut butter sandwiches (this was before I learned the class was peanut-free), carrots, pumpkin scone
Breakfast: Pancakes with PB and berry sauce, fruit
Lunch: Turkey meat, pumpkin scone (minus the cranberries and frosting), fruit
Breakfast: Chocolate oatmeal, bananas
Lunch: Sunbutter and banana sandwich, grapes
Breakfast: Eggs, toast, fruit
Lunch: Yogurt and blueberries, Chocolate zucchini bread
Breakfast: Yogurt and blueberries
Lunch: Sunbutter and banana sandwich, honeydew
Breakfast: Oatmeal, fruit
Lunch: Sunbutter sandwich, oranges
Breakfast: Almond flour Blueberry muffins (I omitted the chocolate chips), honeydew
Lunch: Blueberry muffin, yogurt and blueberries, apples
Breakfast: Chocolate granola crunch, banana
Lunch: Spaghetti, orange slices
Breakfast: PB toast, fruit
Lunch: Blueberry muffins, grapes, carrots
Tabitha has been really happy with her lunches! I cannot tell you how happy that make me. The first week she didn’t eat a whole lot of her lunch. She said she wasn’t hungry. I think it was because of all the excitement and probably a little bit of nerves too. But she ate what was left on the walk home or for snack that afternoon so I know it wasn’t because she didn’t like her lunch. No complaints!
Since a lot of what I pack is homemade, there has been some planning and prep required. This is what I have done so far…
The week before school started, I made the pumpkin scones. We ate most of the batch and I froze 4 or so (Charlotte had one in her lunch too). I also made a double batch of pancakes a few weeks back and had some in the freezer. I baked the zucchini bread the night before and the blueberry muffins I baked Tuesday morning when both girls were at school and Henry was napping. And for the granola, I prepared the night before, put it in the fridge overnight, and baked in the morning.
That is pretty much what I plan to continue doing. Baking here and there, doubling batches, eating some and freezing the rest, baking breakfast the night before, etc.
Tabitha also really liked the spaghetti for her lunch, so I will try to make dinners that will make good thermos hot lunches for her. I can even freeze them in small servings to pull out down the road.
I have to tell you, I have never been much of a freezer user, but what a difference it makes when you can just pull something out and heat up or just toss in the lunchbox. Just takes a little planning. …AND a little self-control! I am such a sucker for baked goods.
Off to a good start. I would like to get more veggies in there perhaps some nuts, but other than that I am pleased. And I don’t think this is too much work so I think I can keep it up.
I have been a little MIA lately, haven’t I?
Tabitha started kindergarten and Charlotte started Preschool so we are all getting used to our new schedule. We also had some family in town. Oh and let’s not forget that little Henry has been teething, and he does NOT handle it well. He is pretty much attached to my hip during waking hours. And now I plan on working on a few projects over the next couple of weeks. So I will not be posting a whole lot for a few weeks, but I will be back!
In the meantime…
Tabitha on her first day:
Charlotte on her first day: Continue reading
Thank you so much Laura from Laura’s Gluten Free Pantry for passing on this award to me. I seriously never expected it would come around to me, and the fact that it came from Laura whom I admire so much for her knowledge in food and nutrition, makes this a real honor. Laura is so sweet and is the kind of gal that I would love to sit down with over tea or green smoothies (preferably one of her green smoothies because she comes up with some super yummy smoothies and shakes) and pick her brain. So thanks again Laura!
“The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer 10 questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favorite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award! Don’t forget to copy and paste the award on your blog!
Here are the questions attached to the Sunshine Award and my answers: Continue reading