I blogged about #lunchforjunya since he started solid, and I think it is time for #lunchforsakura!
To be honest, when Sakura was approaching 6 months old, I was dreading to start solid with her. I mean, nursing was a breeze. All I need is a pair of boobs. No cooking utensils, baby meal sets, food processors, sterilizers, cleaning up, a million bibs to wash and bathing multiple times a day, etc etc etc. Just typing it out makes me stressed lol.
I had lots of fun cooking for Junya because… well, first time mom novelty haha. Also because I also had a helper and lots of free time back then. But I also know how much hard work it is to cook for a baby, and also that this time around, my plate is already quite full from having to care for an active toddler.
I believe every mother wishes to give her child the best effort and hand make her baby’s food fresh from scratch. But reality is often not so close as ideal especially for busy working mothers. (Even not working also busy enough liao!!) My take on this is that as long as the overall nutrients for your baby are not compromised, mommies can take it easy and sometimes are allowed to cheat a little lol.
In this post I will be sharing some of my CheatOne™ tips (which some I have already explained on Instagram):
Most of the time babies who just started solid needs only a tiny bit of ingredient variants, and it would not be very cost-effective to buy a whole pack of fresh produce every day and use just a little for baby food.
I know the trick to freeze blocks of pureed baby food but I am not a big fan of blender because of how messy it is and also wastage.
So I learnt a very useful trick from Japanese mamas, which is to freeze your vegetables and meat in blocks!
- Fresh spinach
- Blanch it, remove excess water and roll it into a stick.
- Cling wrap and freeze immediately.
- Grate any amount you like when needed
- Wrap it up again and put back into freezer immediately.
This is also great for vegetables with a hard texture or need long cooking time like carrot, pumpkin, daikon… and also perfect for young babies who needs finer food texture.^^
And you can also create many different food variety with this method!! Can even use it add it into baking to make cookies, etc ^^
Toriwake in Japanese means setting aside a small portion from the family’s meal for the baby ( usually before adding sesonings for adult taste) to save time since you do not need to cook twice for both adults and baby.
So the other day I made oden for the family!
The ingredients are simmered till soft in mild dashi soup so I fished out some ingredients (potato, daikon and egg yolk) and mixed it into the porridge for Sakura. And no additional baby seasoning needed because the ingredients were so flavorful!
She loooves it!
Infant cereal is another big, big help! It is the most convenient meal solution for busy mothers, because you can cook up a meal in just… minutes. Minute, actually. Haha.
Often we wonder if our baby is eating enough, or well, or balanced, especially if one is a first time mom. One of my concerns is that if Sakura receives sufficient iron intake, since breastfeeding alone is no longer enough now, so infant cereal comes along as an ideal early weaning food as it is iron-rich and fortified with essential vitamins & minerals.
My food cabinet is now stocked with CERELAC.
Let me tell you a secret. When I am hungry in the middle of the night sometimes, I would eat Sakura’s CERELAC lol. Don’t judge me! It’s a taste super nostalgic for me because that was what I grew up with. Even when I went to uni, I sometimes would stock up CERELAC in the kitchen… for me lol. It is really really yummy.
So that’s how long I have known CERELAC, a trusted brand for over 150 years! Did you know that NESTLE is founded in 1866 by a pharmacist and infant cereal is their founding product? 150 years ago the mothers already know various cooking hacks for baby food haha.
There are different variants for different stages so you can pick whatever that suit your baby. CERELAC has no added preservatives and is the only cereal fortified with Bifidus BL Probiotics.
Here’s a quick buying tip:
- Red CERELAC logo means with added milk – just add in water and voila!
- Green CERELAC logo means no added milk – to allow breastfeeding moms to add in their breast milk into the cereal
(I didn’t get green CERELAC because I am too lazy to express milk. I just nurse Sakura after each meal. :P)
Preparation is super easy too: Add in cereal powder spoon by spoon into lukewarm water, stirring after each spoonful for to reach a preferred consistency. You can reduce milk/water when your baby grow older, for a thicker texture!
Here are some of my super simple recipes:
If your baby is bored of the the same taste, you can mix two or more flavors for a new taste. Here I have Rice & Mixed Vegetables with Brown Rice & Milk.
Served with a small portion of fruit.
Sakura loves her meal times.
Finished and asked for more 😛
You can also add extra ingredients to the cereal!
I added grated spinach into Rice & Chicken Cereal for a new taste!
Also served with a small portion of fruit.
CERELAC has many variants so you can keep surprising your baby with a new flavor!
You may request for CERELAC sample here (for Singapore residential addresses only)!
Also, check out Nestle Singapore’s newly revamped website for more parenting tips!
Happy Weaning! ^^