Illuminating Stella

Archive of ‘Baby Food’ category

No Shirt, No Shoes….Yes Service!

Mealtimes have become a mix of fun and drama around here. Stella is tasting more foods all the time. She will usually try everything, though some things get the once over and are promptly chucked to the floor. For a while it was all red fruit, not sure why that color fruit was so offensive. Thank goodness we got a Haan Steam Mop from Costco (LOVE) otherwise the floors would be so gross and berry stained.

She is stubborn about feeding herself, especially anything I try to give her with a spoon. Sometimes I give her another spoon (tip from my Ped) to play with and I can sneak bites in, but other times she looks at me like, “as if”. I’ve often thought whoever invented pouches is a genius!  Apparently they were introduced by Plum Organics, which happens to be one of our favorite brands. The Peas with Mint are probably Stella’s #1.

Mealtimes really bring out the most sassy (which can range from cute to bratty) aspects of her personality. It is funny to me because this comes very naturally to her, it’s not like she is modeling behavior she has seen anywhere.  Mercy me. The mess ranges from mild to epic. She’s ruined enough clothes with food stains that I am now feeding her shirtless whenever possible.











No shirt, No Shoes…..Yes Service! The new mealtime dress code.


Kinda says it all.

Breakfast Club

So my Sister and I have been getting together about once a week to make baby food for Stella and her Cousin Genna. We make enough that about 1/3-1/2 of what she is eating weekly is homemade. I am feeling pretty good about that. We supplement with store-bought organic food. My favorite brands are Plum Organics, Happy Baby, Ella’s and Sprout. We have been adding in Organic Puffs and Yogurt Melts and letting her have some “real” food with each meal like banana, blueberries (her favorite!!), peaches, mangos, avocado, soft pita bread and things like that.

She LOVES to eat food with her own hands and is getting pretty good at picking things up with her tiny fingers and maneuvering them into her mouth. She is also holding her own bottle or sippy cup. A lot of the meal ends up on the floor and we play fetch with the sippy cup. Things get banged and hurled to the floor. I have been trying to teach her the signs for “more” and “all done”. She stares at me like I’m crazy, but I think she is starting to understand.

Ally and I have been experimenting a little more with blends and different vegetables. The new Lazy Acres grocery store carries a lot of great organic vegetables. Last week we made a blend of blue potato, parsnip with a little apple juice to sweeten that both girls really liked. They also really liked a zucchini and peas combo.

I am currently loving breakfast time when it’s just the two of us.  Both of us still in our Pajamas, I put on some music (usually the Pandora Indie Kids station) and drink my coffee while she eats and plays. I am so grateful for this time with her. I take a picture of her almost every morning to send John and report what she is eating. Here are a few of my fave pics.








Guest Post by My Sister Ally – Boogers du Jour


My oldest daughter Maddie is a picky eater. She’s three years old and my husband is a picky eater as well, so this is not exactly shocking news but it annoys me anyway.  One of the many reasons it annoys me is because she has no problem whatsoever picking and eating her boogers. A classic toddler habit I know but it just irks me to no end that she will say the food I cook tastes terrible (cut to her tongue sticking out in disgust ) yet she will gobble down whatever nasty morsel her nose has to offer. It is especially annoying to have her turn down my cooking without even trying a bite. I mean it HAS to taste better than boogers right? So I guess I have two issues – 1) how do I get her dang fingers out of her nose and 2) how do I get her to broaden her palate?

The first issue I suppose she will grow out. Unfortunately I have a super queasy stomach and her booger eating repulses me sooo much. Also it is cold and flu season so I’m sure this nasty habit is not helping to keep her healthy.  No wonder our family has been stricken with colds every 2 weeks since November. On the plus side her booger eating will probably ensure that she has a super strong immune system as an adult since she ingested 1/2 the viruses and bacteria in Southern CA as a toddler.  I guess unless I’m willing tie her hands behind her back I need to just keep telling her to stop picking her nose, offer her tissues, explain she will get sick if she eats her boogers, etc until she learns the hard way that booger eaters often find themselves alone on the playground with no friends.

Broadening her palate is probably the more important issue I need to deal with. I have always been a pretty healthy eater, but have only recently gotten into cooking.  As stated above my husband is a picky eater and he also works pretty late so cooking seemed futile in the past. Why bother making something when I could just eat a salad or takeout and my hubby was happy with a turkey sandwich every night.  However a few things happened to help spark my interest in cooking. Last summer we moved into a new house with a kitchen that is actually enjoyable to cook in, Maddie is now old enough to really eat dinner with me even though my hubby isn’t home, and I joined Pinterest which for some reason has made cooking seem less daunting since many of the recipes are simple with not too many ingredients.  My husband has also been really supportive and has pretty much eaten everything I’ve made (shocking!) – although I think the spaghetti squash lasagna still haunts him. Maddie on the other hand hardly ever eats my cooking without a battle. She would be perfectly happy to eat fruit, PB & J’s, Turkey Meatballs (only Trader Joe’s brand), yogurt, oatmeal, chicken nuggets, rice, and Mac and Cheese from the box (and not to mention boogers) every day. I have done some sneaky chef recipes where I hide vegetables in some of her favorite meals to get her some nutrients, but it would be nice if she would at least try some new foods without acting like I’m trying to poison her. It seems like every night Tim comes home to a food standoff between Maddie and me. Since he can understand the mind-set of a picky eater he usually steps in and can coerce Maddie to begrudgingly eat a few items until she can be excused. This hardly seems like a well-balanced diet, but I guess the hope is we wear her down so that she realizes some of the things I cook are not that awful . Who knows maybe she will even learn to think of them as yummy.  If not, I suppose I could see if there is a booger seasoning at Penzey’s that I could add to everything since that seems to be her favorite flavor. Sounds delicious – barf!