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Turn A Family Dinner Into Baby Food: Summer Squash Soup

July 3rd, 2013

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Move over Gerber, there are some delicious meal options out there that the whole family can enjoy. Here’s the thing: babies can eat real food, and from our experiences, they enjoy it more than what you can find in a jar. Furthermore, if you turn up your nose at bland, over-steamed vegetables, your baby might have the same reaction. Therefore, don’t be afraid to make baby food taste good. Get creative and add fresh cilantro, chopped chives, and dried seasonings to a meal, and serve it to the entire family (just take an additional step to puree or chop into small pieces for your little one).

All over the world, babies are introduced to flavor very early on. In India, curry spices are mixed in with yogurt and rice after 6 months of age. In other parts of Asia, lemongrass, tamarind, and coconut milk are introduced within the first year – and in South American – babies can be seen enjoying food with chili peppers!

A great trick to get the entire family eating one nutritious meal is a creamy, choc-full-of-good-stuff soup. You can make a soup out of just about anything (and we have!). In the summer, seasonal summer squash, carrots and sweet potatoes can turn even a baby who wants to only be fed by a sock puppet (ahem, our baby) into one that grabs the spoon to feed herself. If your baby eats the whole bowl, go ahead and call it a miracle as you ladle another helping for yourself.

Summer Squash Soup With Basil

Serves 4-6

Recommended starting at 8 months of age

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 ¼ pounds yellow squash

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1 sweet potato, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

½ cup julienned basil

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Heat oil in a large saucepan, and add the onion and a pinch of salt until it’s translucent. Add the remaining vegetables and vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Bring down to a simmer, and allow the vegetables to soften, partially covered for 20 minutes. Stir in the basil and puree.

Friends, what is your favorite way to turn dinner into baby food? We’d love to hear your recipe ideas and inspiration.

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed.

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From Sprouts To Sprouts: Introducing The Garden To Babies

April 7th, 2013

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The snow is melting and the sun is shining – spring is here and you’re in the kitchen preparing a fresh salad for dinner with the windows wide open. A cool wind breezes through as you chop your garden fresh leaf lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots, slice a few Washington Cherry Tomatoes in half, and drizzle on your favorite herb vinaigrette. As the family sits down to eat, you reach for a jar of baby food in the cabinet.

What’s wrong with this scenario?

Providing the proper nutrients is vital for a baby’s growth and development – so why rely on jarred food with ingredients including overcooked vegetables, unfiltered water, preservatives and additives? This is why more parents are harvesting food for the entire family – babies included! Doing so can guarantee baby food with organic and non-GMO fruits and vegetables, and without ingredients like choline bitartrate, gelatin, and alpha tocopheryl acetate (our motto is to avoid ingredients our grandmothers never heard of).

How to incorporate the garden

You don’t have to be an Earth mother to strive for garden fresh fruits and vegetables for your children. Once you get the hang of it – many parents enjoy the process of using the garden to feed the entire family. If you’re new to gardening, we recommend devoting your time to planting a few favorite fruits and vegetables, and supplementing using store bought organic produce in the beginning. Many new gardeners prefer growing carrots, green beans and summer squash to start, as these veggies are easy for beginners.  As you grow more confident, continue planting other fruits and vegetables you think your baby will enjoy.

If you’re interested in learning how to squeeze baby food making into an already jam-packed schedule, momadvise.com has some worthwhile tips on how to do it (like making a large batch on the weekends, and using water instead of breast milk so it won’t spoil as easily).

Deciding which fruits and veggies to grow

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to which foods to introduce first to your baby. In fact, experts say, “There is no evidence that the introduction of any sequence of foods is better than any other,” said Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, neonatologist and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on nutrition. Therefore, a variety of fruits and vegetables will work well. If you’re an experienced gardener, try introducing sweet potatoes first, as this vegetable is rich in vitamins and is sweet like breast milk. Other mild vegetables also work well, like carrots, peas, green beans, squash – as well as pears and bananas. If you’re new to gardening, check out this list explaining the top 10 easiest fruits and vegetables to grow.

This month’s baby food recipe

As parents, all of us at Humble Seed are big believers in using the garden for our children –and we’d like to introduce a new baby food recipe each month. To kick off this endeavor, this is an easy recipe that’s packed full of protein (one cup of peas contains as much protein as a tablespoon of peanut butter!).

Peas and Carrots

(for babies 6 months+)

Ingredients

½ pound fresh carrots

½ pound peas

Method:

1. Wash vegetables thoroughly. Open the pea pods and scrape out the peas from the pod. Combine fresh peas and chopped carrots in a large pot.

2. Add enough filtered water to just cover the vegetables.

3. Cook until tender yet still colorful, drain water and reserve.

4. Puree vegetables in a blender or food processor.

5. Add the reserved water from the vegetables until mixture is of the desired consistency.

*Cooking tip: To get peas to puree smooth, try immediately plunging your hot peas into very cold water after they have cooked. This will stop the cooking process and will allow for smoother baby food.

Store in ice cube trays until ready to use.

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed.

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