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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Cheese biscuits

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I'm in a baking mood these days!  Baking for baby is actually quite fun, and its good that you can control what's in the biscuits - eg reduce sugar, salt and preservatives, and anything you think your baby might be allergic to. 

Ingredients:
115g flour
55g butter
55g grated cheese
2 egg yolks

(Original recipe suggested using 1 whole egg and sprinkle of sesame but I've omitted in case of allergy)

Mix everything to make a dough, put in the fridge for 30 minutes, bake at 200C for 10-15 min or until golden. Can keep in a air tight box for 4 days. 


Friday, 21 June 2013

Apple rice cakes

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Have been experimenting with homemade finger food for my little one. 

This is a really simple and healthy recipe using only apple purée and rice!  It was experimental but I think it went well!

All you need is a small bowl of cooked rice, and some fruit / veg purée (depends what favour you want I make) mix them to get a paste like mixture, get into the desired shapes and bake at 175C for 15 minutes, till they get dried. I tried some and they feel light and delicious!  Since its only rice and apple purée you can let him/her have as many as he/she wants. 


Friday, 7 June 2013

Travelling with a new born - travel tips

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General travel tips:

1) Car seats aren't compulsory in some countries, some people would just hold the baby in their arms when they travel on a taxi.  Maybe I'm abit paranoid and risk adverse, but I don't feel safe with that as the baby might fly out of my arms if there's any accident.  Better be safe than sorry so  I always use a baby carrier and put my son in it during taxi journeys.  When he's older I may get those booster seats that he can carry as a back pack.

2) Bring baby food for contingencies.  Some people thought they could buy baby food when they get to the destination, but I would bring a decent supply just in case.  That's particularly important if you go to less developed countries.  We could still get Ella's Kitchen pouches in the countries we visited, but they are like double the price.

In terms of stuff we bought for our trips, we found these really useful:

1) flexible foldable bath


As we don't have a bath tub at the place we're staying, we need a bath tub to bathe our son.  This folds up easily and fits nicely in our suitcase.  Although it's plastic it feels very sturdy.  Looks cool too!

2) Microwave Steriliser Bags



These microwave steriliser bags are great because it's so light and compact, and fit into any microwave ovens.  I know some people would use steriliser tablets, but because we haven't used those before, we'd rather stick with microwave sterilising than using chemicals to sterilise.


3. Annabel Karmel Food Masher and Bowl


This food masher and bowl set is so handy when you want to mash up banana and potatoes or other soft food for your little one.  Light, dishwasher safe, and cheap, and does the job beautifully.

4. BabyBjorn Active Baby Carrier

As mentioned above I use baby carrier when we travel on a taxi without a car seat.  Maybe I'm abit paranoid and risk adverse, but I don't feel safe with that as the baby might slip out of my arms if there's any accident.  I also used the carrier when we visited places that aren't pram friendly, this BabyBjorn active carrier has a decent back support which I think is more comfortable than other models.  The carrier seems well designed and well made, and I didn't have to worry that I might drop my son. He also seems comfortable and fell asleep fine in it. The baby can face you or face the world, I usually let him face me when I want him to fall asleep.

Weaning pots

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Weaning pots.

I'm a strong believer of "economy of scale" so batch cooking is definitely the way forward for me.  I've purchased lots of different ones, not that I was experimental, it's just that the one I picked initially didn't quite meet my expectation.

This is how I would rank the pots

1. Vital Baby Freezer Pots
2. KOKO Weaning Food Freezer Tray
3. Baby Cubes
4. Brother Max




The Vital Baby Freezer Pots are so good!  They stack really well, and are well made.  You can push the frozen content out easily.  The large ones are ideal size (90ml) for portions as the little one progress with weaning too.  I'd say these pots are the best I've bought, way better than the other ones.  And they are very good value too.  Highly recommended.



The KOKO Weaning Food Freezer Tray comes second, you can "click" the lid into place, and they are very neat in the freezer.  Slight downside is that they don't stack that well without the tray, so when you only have 4 of these left the tray still takes up as much space in the freezer.  They're smaller so it's useful when the baby first start weaning, then I use them for fruit puree "desserts"



We bought these 140ml Baby Cubes because the 1st stage pots are becoming too small for our growing son.  The tray is a good idea as it keeps things neat in the freezer, but these pots are not as well made as I'd hope, one of them chipped after falling a short distance (OK I know we're not supposed to drop them, but accidents do happen, right...?)






I find the Brother Max ones most disappointing.  I bought these before we started weaning as they are apparently "award winning", and I did think they look cool.  How naive...  looking cool doesn't mean they're practical... annoyingly they don't click together properly so they don't look that neat in the freezer / cupboard.  And the bit at the bottom that's supposed to push the frozen content out doesn't quite work...... so, a very disappointing buy from Brother Max (their other products are quite good!)

You can read more info and more reviews here:
    

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Homemade apple teething biscuit

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Bought my son some teething biscuits, the ones from Plum has syrup in it and the ones from Heinz has sugar in it... so I thought I'd try making my own.

Saw some recipes with "prohibited" ingredients such as sugar and eggs, eg Vanilla Teether Shapes from www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/teething-biscuit-recipes.html
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

There are also egg free ones from www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/egg-free-teething-biscuits.html
1 cup pure apple juice
1 to 1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup uncooked baby rice

Feeling experimental ... thought I'd mix and match (It's all about mixing some baby friendly dry and wet ingredients together, can't go too wrong, right...) I didn't have any apple juice at home, but I do have some apple puree.  I prefer using baby rice than flour, my son is not allergic to egg yolk, and I didn't want to use sugar, so this is what I came up with:

3/4 cup uncooked baby rice (with dried apple and apricot puree)
1 cup flour
40ml apple puree
40ml baby milk
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon oil

Bake at 180C for 20 minutes (or until it looks dry)

Result!




Not bad I thought, and my son seems to like them :)

Might try a different recipe next time!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Travelling with a new born - flying tips

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It's been a while since I update because we flew from London to the Far East to see grandparents.  We managed 4 flights fine, 2 long haul and 2 short haul, and we're pretty amazed that our 8 months old slept OK during the flights and didn't make too much noise.

Some flying tips:

1) Pick flight times that coincides with your baby's bed time.  We had a 12 hours flight and we picked an evening flight, our son slept beautifully for maybe the first 9 hours!  Even when he's awake he didn't make too much noise as he wasn't tired and hence wasn't grumpy.

2) The in flight infant seat belt doesn't look very safe, we put our son in a baby carrier during take off and landing.

3) The bassinet isn't that long, our 8 month old is already too big for it.  Luckily the airline we flew with (British Airways) also has a reclined chair we could use, otherwise my son's legs would be sticking out for the entire journey.  Please note that whenever the seat belt sign goes on, you'll need to take the baby out of the bassinet / reclined chair for safety reason.



4) When you book your flight, confirm the flight, get to the airport check in desk, get to the gate and get on the flight, let the flight attendent / check-in staff know that you're travelling with a baby and want the bassinet.  They won't install it for you until after take off, but they only carry so many on board and it's first come first serve.  You wouldn't want to carry the baby in your arm for the entire flight...

5) Bring lots of spare stuff, nappies, clothes... just in case.  (we were fine, but our friend's daughter threw up on the taxi on the way to the airport...)

6) Let your baby suck during take off and landing.  I breastfed and I also got some dummies with me, my son wasn't hungry so didn't want my breast, but he did suck on his dummy and didn't complain at all about ear pressure.

7) Bring some toys.  Our son slept most of the journey, but if he didn't, he'd need some entertainment.

8) Don't worry too much and chill.  The flight is only so many hours, and passengers sitting nearby are generally very understanding.


 

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