Tuesday, May 29, 2012

breakfast for a baby girl

Moriah is almost 2 (I can't believe it), and will celebrate her birthday in August.  Since she's been old enough to eat solids she's pretty much eaten the same breakfast.  I have a few reasons for this which work for us, but might not for you.
By feeding her the same meal,
- I know she has a healthy breakfast every day
- she doesn't fuss over an infinite multitude of options
- she looks forward to it and enjoys it, little ones DO love routines! (or at least she does)
- it's affordable
- it's quick

on Southern's lovely campus

So as a young baby she ate baby cereal with a fruit puree and plain yogurt.  I started out with a name brand organic baby yogurt but quickly realized the expense even though she only hate 1/2 of a container for breakfast.  I discovered a Crock-Pot yogurt recipe, from the Nourishing Days blog, and started making homemade yogurt for her with organic whole milk, only needing to buy one small yogurt container to work as a "starter".  Since then we've been crunching our budget more in ways that we can and have opted for conventional milk making this recipe even more affordable.  It makes yogurt from a 1/2 gallon of milk so there's plenty of yogurt.  I enjoy it also and we've never had it spoil (usually we eat it for about a week and a half to two weeks).  I'm not sure of an exact expiration point, though I'm hoping I'd be able to tell by smell if it had indeed gone bad.

As a toddler we've added blueberries to Moriah's plain yogurt to flavor it a bit in a healthy way.  I just buy a bag of frozen blueberries at ALDI and sprinkle on a few.  Sometime I'll add a bit of honey, though she's happy to eat it with our without the added sweetener, so I mostly serve it plain.  (For myself, I always sweeten it with maple syrup, strawberry jam, or honey and add a bit of granola or fruit!  It's a treat, I promise)

Along with her morning yogurt I also continued to serve oatmeal.  Matt and I eat oatmeal every morning and have found it to be a healthy, affordable, and energizing start to the day.  After stopping baby oatmeal, I wasn't sure what might be best to use as I knew many instant oatmeals were highly sweetened and not really all that healthy.  Then I found Chop, Chop magazine during an appointment with our pediatrician.  They compared their homemade instant oatmeal with Cheerios oat cereal and obviously raved about the added nutrition from the real oatmeal.  Their homemade version is slightly sweetened but healthy and easy to make.  (I've tasted it myself and needed to add something to make it a bit more pleasant for my taste, but thus far, Moriah loves it without knowing that sweeter things exist!) I usually double the recipe and store it in our Tupperware cereal box for daily use (a doubled recipe lasts about 2 weeks).  Add hot water in the morning and it's ready to eat!

This certainly isn't the only way to feed a baby/toddler and it may not last forever.  I'm well aware of that and want to feed Moriah what is healthy and enjoyable as well.  With that said this is working for us and will hopefully last awhile :)  Our mornings are more peaceful and with quick prep, she enjoys a good breakfast after waking up saying "oatmeal, yogurt, blueberries!"

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