OK…who’s ready for the first day of “Food For Our Brood”??! I am!

First I’ll give a run down of what the kids ate, and then I will focus in on one topic in a little more detail. Since our oldest daughter Grace is visiting Grandma, we will only be talking about the youngest two: Faithy and Little Guy.

 

Breakfast:
Faithy (age 2)- Kelloggs Frosted Miniwheats with milk, glass of Spiced Pear Cider from Trader Joes.
Little Guy (Age 8 months)- Puffed brown rice, oatmeal and applesauce with cinnamon, bottle of formula. I will address my difficulties with breastfeeding in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!

Snack:
Faithy- Banana, graham crackers, water
Little Guy- Bottle of formula

Lunch:
Faithy- We offered her a plate of leftover fettuccini alfredo and blueberries, she ate one bite of the pasta and ALL of the blueberries, glass of milk
Little Guy- Puffed brown rice, crumbled cheddar cheese, blueberries cut into quarters, bottle of formula before naptime.

Cheaper Baby Snack Puffs

Dinner:
Faithy- Snack dinner (her favorite!) Gluten free Whole O’s from Nature’s Path, sliced cheese, 4 strawberries, diced cooked carrots (she ate ONE piece), cup of milk.
Little Guy- Gluten-free Whole O’s  (broken in half), banana spears, herb roasted potatoes cut into small pieces (skins removed), small pieces of shredded ham, pureed carrots, bottle of formula before bed. He was a hungry boy!

It was kind of a mish-mash of leftovers today, and that is a great way to be economical about feeding your kids. They are happy to eat things that may not “seem” to go together, and overall they had plenty of healthy and delicious choices.

More about Puffed Brown Rice

Have you ever gone to Target and seen the price of the baby puff snacks?! You can pay up to $3 for 1.5oz of food…that’s crazy! Not to mention the fact that the ingredient list is full of long words I can’t pronounce

Here is an example of the ingredient list (Gerber Graduates Apple Cinnamon Puffs):
RICE FLOUR, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, WHEAT STARCH, SUGAR, WHOLE GRAIN OAT FLOUR, DRIED APPLE PUREE, NATURAL APPLE CINNAMON FLAVOR, LESS THAN 2% OF: TRI- AND DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, MIXED TOCOPHEROLS (FOR FRESHNESS), SOY AND SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, ZINC SULFATE, ALPHA TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (VITAMIN E), ELECTROLYTIC IRON, NIACINAMIDE (A B VITAMIN), PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), PURPLE CARROT EXTRACT COLOR, RED CABBAGE EXTRACT COLOR, VITAMIN B12 (CYANOCOBALAMIN).

Here are some examples of the commercially made puffs available at Target:

 

These products used to be made solely of rice flour and freeze dried fruit or vegetables for flavor, plus preservatives and fortified with vitamins, but now have a mixture of grains. When Little Guy was getting ready to start table foods I took a peek at the ingredients. Most brands of manufactured puffs now contain rice, corn, oat and wheat flours. Since we suspect Little Guy has an allergy/intolerance to wheat, we knew he couldn’t have the commercially made puffs. The only brand that we could give him was Plum brand, which is actually wheat-free.!  He could eat one container of these puffs in just a couple of days. I was bound and determined to find a better and cheaper way, and discovered puffed brown rice made by Arrowhead Mills in the cereal section of your grocery store for a fraction of the cost (I paid $2.29 for 6oz). These puffed rice cereals also have only one ingredient: brown rice. This product is also certified non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project.

Little guy LOVES the puffed rice, and it is a great healthy snack for him. They do not dissolve as fast as the manufactured ones, but they do dissolve pretty quickly. We have been giving him bits of food to chew since he was 5mo old, so he is very good at chewing his food. I have never had him gag or choke on these, and he stuffs them in his mouth! Please take into consideration your own child’s development when deciding to offer finger foods. I would like to explore flavoring them with dehydrated fruit powder someday, I’m sure he’d like that, and it’s a great way to add in some more nutrition.

Tomorrow I will be talking about encouraging children’s independence in feeding themselves, and how to use food to improve fine motor skills, so make sure to come back tomorrow!

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