• follow us:

  • Join 237 other followers

  • weekly features:

  • categories

  • Advertisements

Monday Meals: Iron & Your Wee One

So in lieu of an actual meal, I decided to do some research on foods that are good sources of iron.  However, you should note that if your baby is still breastfeeding, breastfeeding is a really good source of iron.

Jax just had his one year check up and was a little low in iron (just barely – .1% lower than “normal).  We are starting to phase out breastfeeding, so I’m not sure if that is the cause.  Typically people think iron comes mainly from meat, which is what my pediatrician suggested I add more of to his diet.  Meat is also a great source of protein, which is doubly important for your babies developing mind and body.

Jax isn’t really into meat (we try to include a meat option at every meal, but getting him to eat it is another issue altogether).  Yes, I’ve got a somewhat vegetarian child.  I wonder if this has to do with my mostly vegetarian diet when I was pregnant?  Well here are some websites with lists of high iron foods and explanations of the benefits of iron:

http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/Iron.htm  (also has a list of how much iron your child should be getting and at what age – I love these types of list.  They aren’t always easy to find.)

http://kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron/)

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/dietary-sources-of-iron-for-vegetarians.html

http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm

I didn’t want to copy and paste a huge long list, sorry . . . it just seemed redundant.  The important thing to note is there are two types of iron – heme (protein/meat foods) and non-heme (plant foods).  Adding foods with Vitamin C into the meal with iron rich foods will aid the absorbtion of iron, especially with non-heme (plant) foods.  Non- heme foods are where we get most of our iron, but it doesn’t absorb as easily as  heme foods do.  Here are some sources of Vitamin C rich foods:

  • Citrus
  • Berries
  • Green Veggies (broccoli & cabbage)
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Tomatoes

The non-heme foods that I’ve been trying to incorporate into his diet are:

  • Spinach- freshly steamed and added to a smoothie that has a berry or peaches (Vitamin C rich food), we usually have a smoothie at snack time or as part of one of his meals
  • Beans- he likes black and pinto especially.
  • Oatmeal – about every other day for breakfast
  • Quinoa

I normally include a heme type food, but like I said, he usually won’t eat those.  I include it so that at least he tries it, since they are good sources of iron that aren’t as hard to absorb as non-heme.

Take a look at the list provided in the links.  For me,  I was able to realize, yeah I am providing lots of foods with iron, but here are some other ones that are higher in iron that I could include more often so that I can increase his iron.

Just wanted to share this with you if your little one has the same issue!  Or keep doing what your doing if they don’t!

Hope you had a great Monday!

Ash

Advertisements

Congrats to the Winner of our Good Morning Mom Giveaway!

Chris Shari Alligood is the winner of our fabulous Good Morning Mom Giveaway!

She’ll be receiving:

  • A super kitschy vintage “Mom” mug from Bohemian Seed and Starbucks coffee donated via Tumblewee for a good ol’ cup of joe when mom wakes up.
  • One dozen “Nana’s Cinnamon Rolls” from Love to Create3 to round out the breakfast tray you’ll be delivering the coffee on (it is Breakfast in Bed)!
  • A $25 dollar gift certificate  for mom to spend as she chooses at Naked Eye Beauty so she can get ready for her day after her breakfast in bed!
  • Earrings and a matching ring from Jeannie Richard so she can look stylish in her outfit for the day.

She shared this story with us about her mom:

It’s so nice to know that you’re mom and you are back on speaking terms!  Life without our mothers just isn’t the same . . . regardless of problems and disagreements we may have with them. We hope your mother loves the gift . . . or that you do ;)

Thanks for liking us on Facebook and following our blog!

Happy Mother’s Day,

meg & ash

 

Featured Etsy Seller: Love To Create3

Oh My. I need this in China – stat!

We’re all fans of cinnamon buns and Love to Create3’s look so good that, well, we could gobble them up (even if it would be bad for our waistlines).  But there’s no harm in indulging every once in a while and Mother’s Day is one of those days!  We’re giving away one dozen Nana’s Cinnamon Buns for some lucky winner of our Mother’s Day Giveaway but if you’re getting a sweet tooth just looking at them and need to indulge a little sooner check out some of here other goodies like the chocolate chips above or these mouthwatering brownies:

The Chocolate Lovers Brownies from Love to Create3

But if sweets aren’t really your thing and you’re more into cuddling up on the couch with a good book on Mother’s Day then maybe you should take a look at these beautiful quilts:

As quilters we can’t help but be a little jealous of such a beautiful quilt and the talent that produced it

Perhaps with a cup of coffee and some toast with strawberry jam in the morning?

Oh great – we got back to food again didn’t we??

Go enter our Mother’s Day Giveaway for a chance to win those fabulous cinnamon buns!

Monday Meals: Low-fat Cranberry Almond Scones

Perfectly golden brown Cranberry Almond Scones

We thought we’d post something for a Mother’s Day breakfast for Monday Meals since Mother’s Day is this Sunday.  Plus, this hidden nutrition – baking edition will spoil mom but also make her feel nice and healthy!

This recipe is adapted from the blog Farmgirl Fare with some tricks from some of her other scone recipes. Farmgirl Fare is a treasure trove of delicious home-made recipes. If you’re going to try baking your own bread, her farmhouse white is the place to start!

I like to use whole-wheat flour and sneak flaxseed meal into pretty much everything I bake for added nutrition. Flaxseed meal is so good for you I love using it, but I try not to add more than 1/2-1/3 of a cup so I don’t mess with the texture of the final product. But in my opinion, every little bit helps!

Also, the best-kept secret to low-fat baking? You can use cream cheese in place of butter and yogurt+milk in place of buttermilk for some recipes like these!  Talk about cutting down on calories!

Low-fat Cranberry Almond Scones
Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1/3 cup almond meal (you could sub another healthy grain here, I just used it to add nutrients and boost the almond flavor)

Hidden nutrition!

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried nutmeg
1/2 cup low-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 egg
2 Tablespoons yogurt
3/4 cup low-fat milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the cream cheese to the dry ingredients and mix with a pastry blender or with your fingers to make fine crumbs.
  4. Toss in the dried fruit and nuts you want to use and mix well.

    Add your favorite nuts and dried fruit

  5. Whisk together in a small bowl the egg, 2 tablespoons yogurt, and 3/4 cup low-fat milk. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing well but not overworking the dough (it doesn’t seem like the wet ingredients will be enough, but I promise the dough will come together!).
  6. Turn out the mixed dough onto a floured surface and use your fingers to push the ball down into a circle about an inch thick and 6-8 inches in diameter.
  7. If you want little scones make two circles to cut into slices, for larger scones make a single circle.

    Make 1 large circle if you want big scones, 2 circles for small

  8. Use a serrated knife dipped in flour to slice the circles into triangles and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes until they are golden brown. Then enjoy the crumbly goodness!

And okay, we all know eating a diet of just scones isn’t healthy, but at least now when you have a craving for some baked goodies you can feel better about indulging on these!

Enjoy!
D”

Monday Meals: Hearty Vegan Kale and Suasage Soup

We’re thinking of adding Diana (“D”) on as a full-time writer to our blog since her Monday Meals are SO yummy . . . and healthy to boot!  (Plus she’s quite the little thrift-fashionista and I promise once I get back to Portland I’ll prove it to you guys by forcing asking her nicely to be featured one week).

delicious, hearty, and vegan!

Here’s something quick and hearty, an easy solution when I feel like a home-made lunch but don’t want to spend more than 15 minutes. It’s one of my favorite things to do with kale, too. It was originally adapted from some food network recipe (www.foodtv.com) but it’s been modified enough at this point that I can’t remember which one it was.

Hearty Vegan Kale and Sausage Soup

Ingredients:

1/4 onion, finely chopped or sliced
1 veggie sausage (something spicy is best, I recommend Tofurky Italian sausage. I suppose you could do real sausage if you’re a meat-eater)
a few tablespoons oil
2-3 tablespoons cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on your desired spice level)
1-2 tablespoons salt (less if you can stand to be that healthy like Ashley!)
1/2 bag or ~4 cups uncooked kale
1 can white/cannelini beans
3 cups vegetable stock

  • Sautee the onion and the sausage in a large saucepan at medium heat in a few tablespoons of oil until the onions are well carmelized and the veggie sausage is good and brown (this helps the texture).

you want well carmelized onions and browned sausage to start

  • Add in the spices and salt and toss the onion/sausage mix, then add in the kale and mix well.
  •  Cover and sautee at medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kale has turned bright green and wilted/softened so that it is about half its original volume.

wilted kale ready to become soup!

  • Next, pour half of the contents of a can of white beans into the pot, then mash the other half in the can to make a bean paste. Add this paste to the pot as well – this will make the broth thick and hearty!
  • Then add 3 cups of vegetable stock, plus 1-2 cups of water, stir and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Bring the pot to a simmer and allow to cook for at least 10 minutes (longer would make the kale even softer, but I can never wait that long to dig in!). Serve hot, ideally with crusty bread for dipping.

Makes 4-6 servings. I don’t have tips for freezing this one because even these big batches get eaten within 2 days in this house!

Enjoy!
D

Monday Meals: Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Perfect for birthday breakfasts! Perfect for ANY breakfast!

OK so this is what we SHOULD have done for Dee’s birthday.  The Plan was to fill her room with balloons while she slept so she woke up to a surprise and then finish the morning with chocolate chip pancakes but . . . Hong Kong happened!

So Saturday we threw the “party” I had planned for no reason, and you know what?  I think it was better that way – just a nice surprise for the weekend! So without further ado, here’s my recipe for healthy semi-healthy Chocolate Chip Pancakes:

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour (or regular flour)
  • 1/3 cup oats (I actually used one a pack of brown sugar oatmeal and left the next two ingredient out)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and optional 3 drops almond extract
  • brown sugar or stevia, if desired
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder (and optional: pinch baking soda for flavor)
  • 1 egg (or egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup w milk (or water or maybe even juice, if you wish)
  • chocolate chips galore!

Steps

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients. (This can be done days in advance.)
  2. Put liquid ingredients into dry, then stir.
  3. Cook on medium-low, flipping 1/2-way through.
  4. Top with grated chocolate or chocolate syrup sauce.

Optional:

5.  Add a toddler and a room full of balloons and you’ve got yourself one happy little camper!

Had to test the waters first but then she dove right in!!

Fun times with a room full of balloons!

meg

Pieces of Our Life: Ya’An China

Lots of people have been asking what Dee and my daily life is like in China so I thought I’d put together a little pictography (I think that word could apply right?  def: picture writing. it seemed appropriate).

1.  We start our day like any other US family by waiting for Dee to wake up (around 8am now-a-days) and carrying all of her stuffed animals + slinky dog onto the couch so they can partake in watching a little Sesame Street as well.

2. While Dee is occupied I go whip up a batch of something – this morning chocolate chip pancakes (tune in on Monday Meals for the recipe that I modified to make a little healthier.  OOoooo and Ash said she’d include a smoothie of some kind because it turns out that smoothies are super popular!).

Sneak peak at the chocolate chip oatmeal pancakes Dee and I made. For the complete recipe visit us on Monday! (PS some little bugger took a couple bites while I wasn't watching . . . )

3. We head out to the waterfront park to walk around and be celebrities for a little while.  This isn’t really a joke – Dee attracts so much attention here that we often get mobbed.  In fact, we’ve caused traffic jams before which required real cops to show up and everything (we call them Dee Jams around these parts).

The local school children coming to look at our little foreigner.

4.  At lunch we usually stop by the local noodle shop for some vegetable noodles and perhaps a little jiaozi (dumplings).

She's getting quite adept at those chopsticks!

5.  We then visit Dee’s favorite person in the world, the book store owner downstairs and start a bubble party with all the kids on the block.  This also usually involves some shop owner trying to get more pictures with Dee by bribing her with a  bang bang tang (suckers).

Bubbles; endless entertainment for toddlers

6. Time for a nap after all the morning excitement – Dee sleeps anywhere from 2-3 hours (yeah I know she’s a sleeper that one).

7. And if she wakes up by 1pm then we’ll head to the panda base to watch some mating pandas and feed the “baaaaarrrees”. If not we go to the grocery store and fumble our way through buying stuff that’s packaged entirely in a language I can’t even hope to read.  This requires lots of hand gestures and miming on my part as well as some frantic words typed into my very slow translator on my iPhone.

She's fascinated with the panda bear behavior - just like her mom!

8. Shower while weirdly cramping into the small space over our toilet and then to bed with Dee’s favorite book “Oh the wonderful sounds Mr. Brown can do” by Dr. Suess.

Hope you enjoyed a little peek into our lives over here.

meg

%d bloggers like this: