Sunday, March 8, 2009

Feeding the Family

This week has really been a transformation between the dead of winter and the approach of spring. Here is Maia the snow bunny dressed in her poofy mouse snowsuit.

Ryan has been enjoying
attending Lego Club
meetings at the Lego
. Here he is showing
off his new Bionicle
shirt before school. We
have to curb his printing
of downloadable blueprints
from the website. Some of
them have been over 70 pages!

Ryan has also been
creating more recipes.
His latest "Iron Chef"
dish was a salad to
accompany our dinner.

Bon appetit!

Maia wore her first
real hair accessory,
a vegetable headband.

Meanwhile, the boys
continued to celebrate
Mardi Gras days later
with music, toys, and
lots of beads of course.

After emptying his basket
to the "crowd", AJ wore
the basket as a hat.

He gathered small toys
and tossed them around
while parading to Dan

Ryan gathered every
bead necklace he'd ever made,
plus those he got during his
two trips to New Orleans.
I think he'll be ready to
catch his first throws
soon! He can't wait to
go to a real parade
now that he's old enough
to understand what it's
all about. He wants to help
me score a Zulu coconut!

And Nate just wanted
to hog all the beads...
in the typical Carnival spirit!

He wore his beads for

Maia just watched amused
at the whole escapade.
Next year I'm sure she'll
be part of the action.
This year she just wanted
to eat the pretty colored

Speaking of eating,
here she is in one of her
homemade bibs, ready
for a meal. She adores
pears, beans & coconut

Being the little sister, she
has to endure a lot at the
hands of her big brothers...
like spiders in her hair.
She didn't seem to mind.

The snow finally began to
melt, so we all went on a
walk along the rail trail
behind our house.

When we first moved here
almost 7 years ago, there
were still active train tracks
just beyond our property.
They have since been removed
and a rail trail is under
. I hope it is
completed so the kids can
use it to ride on before too

The boys absolutely adore throwing rocks in the Hop Brook. This was Nate's first time now that he's old enough.

Maia just hung out enjoying
the warming weather. She
absolutely loves being outside.
As a new baby the only way to
calm her crying was to take her
outdoors. Even in the pouring
rain I'd sit on the porch bench
and rock with her wrapped in
a blanket.

Zucchini were on sale
this week at the supermarket.
So of course we made...
In fact, the best vegan
brownies I have ever had
And I've tried a lot of recipes.

The boys all helped--Ryan
shredded the zucchini, AJ
added the other ingredients,
and Nate helped scrape the
batter into the pan with AJ's

The batter seems dry at
first, but after you spread
it into a baking dish and
pat it down it seems to
moisten up.

I baked them for 5 minutes
longer than the recipe called
for, we did not add any nuts,
nor did we frost them.
Just a cold glass of almond
milk accompanied them.
Absolutely perfect. There
were only 2 squares left from
the entire pan by the end of
the day...burp...

A sunny day was ideal for
Ryan to show off his Lego
creations. He'd built a bunch
of rock vehicles that he
wanted pictures of. He
hopes to someday get his
picture in the Lego Club

If any of
you have
older kids,
then you
heard of
the Magic

and he built a Lego treehouse from the first book about visiting the time of the dinosaurs.

Nate meanwhile has his
mind on baseball. He's
happy to be outside without
snow to prevent him from
playing his favourite game.
Indoors he had even invented
a new game called "Base Duck"
using a Ty beanie baby mallard
duck and an orange Hot
Wheels race track piece just
because we won't allow balls
to be hit or thrown inside the
house. Clever.

He is such a typical boy.
Check out his muddy pants.
He tried so hard to keep up
with his older brothers and
one of the neighbor boys
on their adventures.

He no longer wants to be
carried, and on the rare
occasion that he does he's
getting just too darned

Speaking of carrying...I
haven't been able to coax
my husband in to using a
mei tei carrier, but I bet he'd use an Ergo if he had one to carry either Nate or Maia. So when I saw this blog giveaway for a free Ergo I just had to enter!

If you've made it this far
today you deserve to be
rewarded! Here's an easy
hands off meal for a busy
family day...

Rice Cooker Rice & Beans

1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 15.5 oz can light red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 15.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained, or 2 chopped tomatoes
1 T. dried minced onion, or 2 diced shallots, or 1/2 a medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
1 avocado, peeled, pitted & diced
3 scallions, chopped

Place all ingredients except last 2 in rice cooker. Stir. Set on regular, close lid, press cook!
Top with avocado & green onions/scallions.

Here is a typical "meal" for
my vegan babies at 6-9
months old: puffed rice, a
slice of ripe pear, halved
cooked beans; well-cooked
carrot; diced ripe avocado.

I begin offering food around
6 months of age if baby is
ready, as recommended by most major medical establishments these days. But babies certainly don't need to start that early unless they are ready. Signs of developmental readiness for solid foods include:

- the ability to sit upright unassisted
- use of a pincer grasp
- loss of the tongue thrust reflex
- an interest in grabbing & chewing food
...and in my opinion some opposing teeth can't hurt!

I offer a combination of finger foods for self-feeding and some spoon-fed items like soups, applesauce, coconut yogurt, hummus, etc. A great up-to-date resource for following baby's lead when introducing food is the book Baby Led Weaning. Don't be confused by the term "weaning"; in the U.S. it is associated with cessation of breastfeeding, whereas in Europe it simply means the introduction of solid foods which begins the weaning process. Of course it is recommended by the World Health Organization that all children receive breastmilk for a minimum of 2 years for optimal growth and development. There are many great baby food books out there if you want to make your own more nutritious and cheaper baby food. But jarred baby food, nutritionally-devoid baby cereals, and watered-down purees are simply not necessary...they just make the baby food manufacturers a ton of money!


River (Wing-It Vegan) said...

What a super fun post! First things first - Maia is the cutest snow bunny ever!!

Wow, check out Ryan Iron-cheffing and rockin'! What a cute little chef!

Maia's veggie headband and homemade bib are adorable! The spider freaks me out!!

I'll have to check out the brownies, they look really really good!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.