All About Kids
1 YEAR TO 3 YEARS
1. Forming New Habits
Now that you've made it past the first year with baby, it's time to focus on forming new habits for the family. The biggest change during this time is that baby will be transitioning from mostly breastmilk to more regular foods.
Hopefully by now the decision has been made to provide baby with as much healthy, traditionally prepared foods as possible. Assuming this is the case, it is time to finally put into practice all of the techniques, recipes and habits that you've been reading about.
It is quite helpful to keep a list of action items to be completed in the kitchen. A great tool for this is a kitchen planning dry-erase board on the refrigerator.
When it comes to consistently providing baby (and the rest of the family) with traditionally prepared foods, it is absolutely necessary to plan ahead and stay organized. This means finally cleaning out the pantry and stocking it with staple items, acquiring, or upgrading certain kitchen tools or appliances, and planning meals ahead of time. Many traditionally prepared meals take advance planning of two to three days.
2. Carbs for Kids
Our children seem to have a limitless supply of energy. Because they are growing so fast and stay so active, it is more critical than ever to provide them with high quality fuel to burn in their metabolic fires.
High quality carbohydrates are critical to this equation, so take the time to learn how to properly prepare them. The recipes below offer a great start for learning how to traditionally prepare carb dense foods that are perfect for your little one.
Carbs for Kids Recipes:
Einkorn Sourdough Sandwich BreadThis is our absolute go-to sandwich bread recipe. I use a blend of 1/2 freshly ground einkorn flour and 1/2 all-purpose einkorn flour, as I've found this ratio to yield the best result for sandwich bread consistency. Any higher fresh ground flour ratio and the bread is too dense for sandwiches. I also multiply the ingredients in this recipe times 1.3 to make a large loaf in our extra long Pullman Loaf Pan (found on the HD Approved Products page).
Sourdough Einkorn Goldfish CrackersThese crackers are amazing! Some of the best crackers we have ever had. I don't always take the time to cut out the goldfish shapes, so you can also use a pizza cutter and cut the dough into squares. You can also make plain sourdough crackers by omitting the seasonings and cheese - works just as well. The only problem with these is they get eaten up so quickly!
Baked OatmealBaked oatmeal is so good, and once it's cooled it can be served broken up in a bowl and topped with milk and maple syrup. This eats like cereal, but is waaay better for the kiddos. We always roll our own oats to maximize the freshness and nutrient availability. I highly recommend investing in an oat roller because pre-rolled oats are nothing like freshly rolled; there is a night and day difference.
Soaked Pumpkin BreadThis is so moist and delicious and perfect for that fall/winter baked goods fix. I always use at least 1/2 freshly ground flour because there are so many more nutrients in fresh flour. Give this a try!
Bircher MuesliThis is a classic Swedish oatmeal dish that soaks the oats overnight, and it's super healthy, especially when you use freshly rolled oats. Very, very tasty and the flavors can be adapted any way you like. The key is to soak the oats and dairy together at least overnight and up to 5 days in the fridge.
Soaked PancakesWe always use freshly ground kamut or einkorn flour and soak it overnight with homemade kefir, or cultured buttermilk. I also add extra butter to the batter - about 1/2 cup all together, then top them with a mixture of 1/2 butter, 1/2 maple syrup. These are so, so good and are waaay better than your typical flapjacks.
Soaked Banana BreadSoaked flour breads are far more nutritious than bread mixed up right away, and it's easier than using sprouted flour. I like to use at least 1/2 freshly ground flour to up the nutrients in this bread. Serve with a nice spread of grass fed butter and your kids will love you!
Burger BunsThis is the only recipe where I'll use some instant yeast. As the author notes in the recipe, these are still far, far better than store bought. I've found almost all store bought buns to be so terrible with the ingredients, I just have to shake my head. These are worth the extra effort for burgers, and they double as a great base for PB&J.
3. Sugar - A Hidden Enemy
BE WEARY OF ALL PACKAGED FOODS.
There are two main reasons to be skeptical of packaged foods for your little one.
Sugar is in EVERYTHING! The companies that make packaged foods have learned that sugar, even when you don't taste it, makes products more addictive and tasty. There are a multitude of ways that food labels misrepresent the sugar content, so it's time to learn how to decipher the coded secret language on labels.
Packaged food is sterilized, pasteurized, and/or neutralized. Even when the food doesn't have sugar added (think baby food smoothie packs) the fruit and/or vegetable ingredients are so highly processed that the body responds to them as if they were sugar. For example, when you take a perfectly healthy fruit and yogurt smoothie and pasteurize it, the smoothie loses most of the nutritional benefit, and becomes a junk food for your little one. There is no way around this fact, no matter how many promises food companies may make.
I know as well as anyone how tempting it can be to throw a few fun looking kids items into your cart at the supermarket. They promise an easy solution to your hungry kid problem, and they have every health term under the sun backing up their claim that this food is ok - but I am telling you it is NOT.
With the very rare exception, it is of paramount importance that supermarket snacks and food items be avoided at all costs. Not only is there sugar in nearly every kids item, but the flours and fats used are wholly unacceptable and have no place in the belly of a child.
Very few packaged food products have properly prepared flours or grains (only 1 that I am aware of - Jovial Foods Products), and if they do then they likely use cheap oil as a substitute for natural fats like butter.
Nearly all packaged food products use the cheapest oil or fat available. Even when there is a seemingly decent fat like butter in a packaged product, it is butter of the lowest quality. I cannot count how many times I have asked a chef or company representative where they source their ingredients, and their answer is Sysco Food Corporation, ugh!
The packaged food industry simply would not be profitable if it were to make truly healthy food. Real food would never stand up to sitting on market shelves, plus it would cost a huge premium to offer real food on such a massive scale.