When my daughter Charlotte was only a few months old, I was already thinking about the day when I was going to introduce her to the pleasure of eating. I was so excited to make purees and give him a taste of his first bite.
Obviously I had in mind to buy all the books on the introduction of solid foods! However, to my great surprise, my enthusiasm quickly faded after consulting the few books available on the subject. The theory seemed so rigid to me and the recipes all the same. I couldn't understand why foods as nutritious as edamame, quinoa, blueberries, and leafy greens weren't star foods in toddler recipes. Three years later, I decided to write the book that I would have liked to have, that is to say a refreshing and non-judgmental work, which combines the new benchmarks concerning the introduction of solid foods and recipes simple and original, concocted from key foods for the development of toddlers. On September 24th, I gave birth to “Bébé is hungry”, published by La Presse!
For me,the experience of discovering food must be made in the greatest pleasure. Unfortunately, too many parents want to follow the food “rules” of toddler nutrition to the letter. Failing to succeed, they worry and feel guilty. Even if certain principles deserve to be adopted, there are no absolute rules when it comes to introducing foods. As my mother would say: “In our time, once the baby was born, we were sent home, without any particular dietary advice. Even breastfeeding was not encouraged; it was not fashionable”. And yet, millions of children have grown into he althy, smart adults!
This is why I adopt a flexible attitude that is focused on my children's food needs. It is important to remember that each child is unique and that the order in which foods are introduced varies according to the families, customs and culture of each country. My advice: follow your instincts and common sense! Listen to your child and respect their tastes, their interest in food, their speed of adaptation and their variable appetite. For the quantities of food to offer him, rely on his hunger. If your little coco follows its growth curve, is happy, smiling and he althy, it means that it is sufficiently well nourished.
Superstar Baby Foods
Because of their exceptional nutritional richness, certain foodsdeserve a prominent place in baby food. I am thinking, for example, of avocado, which contains good fats for baby's heart he alth, millet which is rich in phosphorus and magnesium, two important minerals for the he alth of bones and teeth, and lentils which are rich in iron, which is important for cognitive development. That's why I included twenty superstar foods and their benefits in my book.
Cooking for the whole family
Like all of you, I like to cook he althy, quickly and simply. This is why I have made it my mission to offer recipes that will please, as often as possible, all members of the family… with a few minor adjustments, of course! For example, I have a delicious recipe for Stewed Lentils, Carrots and Parsnips for 9 to 12 month olds. Thus, I suggest to other members of the family, who are older, to garnish the stew with a generous spoonful of plain Greek yogurt and fresh cilantro, and to accompany everything with rice. There you go, everyone is happy… and mom (or dad!) doesn't have to cook two different recipes.
Practical and comforting
If the discovery of solid foods is fun for some parents, it can however be a source of worry and significant stress for others. With Baby is hungry – 85 recipes and advice on food, from 4 months to 2 years, I want to reassure you, make you feel guilty and above all,inspire you to feed your child he althily with confidence and pleasure. You will find food guidelines according to your children's age, 85 recipes adapted to their needs as well as answers to frequently asked questions. A friendly reference tool that will allow toddlers to discover food in a fun way and their parents to feed them without stress.
Recipe from Baby is hungry, by nutritionist Julie DesGroseilliers, published by Éditions La Presse
Servings: 4 cups (1 litre)
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutesFreezing: yes
- 250 ml (1 cup) whole wheat macaroni
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped onion
- 225 g (1/2 lb) ground horse meat
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) spaghetti spice
- 1 can 398 ml (14 oz) diced tomatoes
- ½ green bell pepper, finely diced
½ yellow bell pepper, finely diced
- 250 ml (1 cup) grated sharp cheddarPepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to manufacturer's instructions; drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic and onion for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring.
- Add horse meat and spices. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes oruntil the meat is cooked.
- Add tomatoes and peppers. Continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and brown under the broiler. Let cool and serve.
Horse meat is a very nutritious choice for children. Known for its richness in iron, it is even richer in vitamin B12, which keeps nerve cells and red blood cells he althy, and zinc, which fights infections and helps wounds heal.
By Julie DesGroseilliers, Dt. P.
Nutritionist and spokesperson for the "I like 5 to 10 servings a day”