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Brushing my boy's 8 teeth!


Hi everyone! It's me! I have 8 baby teeth now! Mama has started brushing my teeth. See how nice they are?

They started growing since I was 6.5 months old. Mama blogged about my first pearly whites here and here.

By 9 months old, I have 6 teeth. Then, they stopped growing for quite a while until I turned one year old.

And now at 13.5 months, I have 8 baby teeth!


Mama bought an organic toothpaste for me. It's called Ankle Biters Toothpaste. Okay, let me ask mama to explain what toothpaste is this.

Phyto Shield Ankle Biters - Wickedly Wild Berry Toothpaste (75g)

According to this website, this is a toothpaste that gives every parent a peace of mind. This wild berry flavored toothpaste is formulated with the best natural ingredients that your little one deserved. The combination of totarol, xylitol and the finest beneficial oils of peppermint and eucalyptus help you safeguard your child's oral health. The toothpaste is sweetened with natural fruits concentrate and was free from any harsh and harmful chemicals.

In summary, this toothpaste is a great nasties-free (no Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), no paraben, no fluoride, no artificial sweetener, no petrochemical derivatives) toothpaste suitable for children of all ages.


I have two toothbrushes. Mama wears this mini silicone finger "toothbrush" on her index finger, smears a little bit of toothbrush on the bristles, and brushes my 8 little teeth. Then, she wipes off excess toothpaste from my teeth and lips with a wet cloth.

 

Now, she's using this banana toothbrush. It's the same one that she bought for me as a teether.

Mama hasn't brought me to visit a dentist yet. She's not sure what's the suitable age to introduce me to the dentist.

Do you have any good kids-friendly dentist to recommend? Mama will be happy to hear from you. :)


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Easy 4 Ingredients Banana & Cheddar Buttermilk Pancakes



Easy 4 Ingredients Banana & Cheddar Buttermilk Pancakes

These four ingredients pancakes are so easy to make! And they are fluffy too. What are those 4 ingredients? Pancake mix, buttermilk, cheese, and bananas. Sounds good? :)

Recipe adapted from my previous recipe: Eggless Cheddar Cheese Pancakes with Honey Butter.


Ingredients:
(Makes 10-12 if you scoop the batter with the measuring spoon set's 1/4-cup spoon)

1 & 1/2 cups Pillsbury original pancake mix
1 cup buttermilk (I use powdered buttermilk reconstituted into liquid by adding water)
2/3 cup grated Cheddar cheese
3 small bananas, peeled and mashed

Note: If you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own. Or, you can use normal fresh milk. But you might not get fluffy pancakes. So, it's up to you and your preference.


How to:

1. Combine pancake mix and buttermilk in a large bowl and whisk until blended. Stir in grated cheese and mashed banana. Stand for 10 minutes.

2. Heat up a frying pan and lightly grease with vegetable oil.

3. Scoop batter by using the measuring spoon set's 1/4-cup spoon onto the hot frying pan.

4. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter to make 10-12 pancakes.


Buttermilk Powder (bought from iHerb.com)

4 ingredients: pancake mix, buttermilk, banana, cheese

Cook until bubbles appear on the surface.

Flip and cook until browned on the other side.


4

Managing food strike @ 13.5 months

What happened to my boy's appetite?
 
Once upon a time, when my little food connoisseur was 6-13 months old, he had a steady appetite. A very good one in fact. He ate almost everything that I prepared for him. See his food journal. Ain't he a lucky little foodie?

However, somewhere in the back of my mind, I always have this little fear about the emergence of food strike. I know it will happen, sooner or later.

And it happens. SO SOON. Now, he REFUSES to eat much of anything all of a sudden. This starts when he turns 13.5 months. Oh gawd. My little plan of being my boy's best personal cook is thwarted. I feel so defeated.

So, I read up about food strike, to arm myself with some pointers to deal with him during meal times.
 
 
I ain't eating that, mama! Where are my 'O's?
 
I know it's food strike when he starts to refuse to eat certain food items, such as his favorite bananas and rice crackers. He refuses yogurt, which tops his favorite food list. He once loves bread and muffins, now he doesn't even want to open his mouth.
 
He demands to eat 'O' cereals. ALL THE TIME. I mean during breakfast and dinner. Note: He has lunch (porridge / pasta / soup / mashed potato) and some snacks (fruits / smoothies) at the babysitter's house.
 
 
These are the 'O' cereals that he wants to eat all the time - organic whole grain rice and barley cereal. At least they are healthy. I hope so. Every morning, he will ask for a bowlful and munches happily and quietly at his high chair. I guess it's better than not eating anything.

 
He demands self-feeding (which is good I suppose). He prefers to eat with his fingers, but okay with using the spoon too. He can spoon mashed potatoes quite well into his mouth. And he's nursing more often than usual (I'm happy that he's not refusing boobfeeds!).
 
 
So, why does food strike happen and when?
 
I read up that a drop in appetite is expected when a baby turns 12 months old onwards. This is because he is now experiencing a normal slowdown in growth as compared to his baby year. Therefore, he needs fewer calories and food. Thus, the food strike.

Furthermore, at this stage, he is experiencing a growing desire for control and involvement in everything around him, which explains his erratic appetite.


 
Is it gonna be permanent?
 
I also read up that refusal to eat is usually temporary. His appetite might dip during teething (I think my boy is teething is first pair of molars but I'm not too sure), spike during growth spurts, drop during sickness (my boy's appetite for nursing when he has fever), and so on.

As long as he continues to gain weight and inches and remains healthy generally (aside from common flu bouts), there's little reason for concern.
 
 
So, what can be done?
 
Know that food strike is part of growing up. Don't take it personally whenever it happens. Rejecting food doesn't mean he's rejecting you. You're not a bad mom. You're still his favorite person on earth. :)

Let him decides how much he wants to eat and when to stop. Actually, food strikes have more to do with control and willpower, not so much whether the food is delicious or horrible. He knows that food is your source of anxiety and perhaps, anger. Although worrisome, food strike should be dealt with in a calm manner. (Easier said than done, haha.)

Mini pancakes, yogurt buttons, bread as snack

Provide healthy choices. Although you can't (and shouldn't) make him eat, you can definitely prepare a variety of healthy snacks or tidbits.

Keep meal portions small. His stomach is still small. Remember, he won't starve himself. If he's hungry, he'll eat. If he likes what he eats, he'll ask for more. If he doesn't, at least you don't waste the entire meal that might (or might not) gotten thrown off his chair.
 
Check his seating arrangement. If he starts to struggle to get off the high chair, it's time to get a booster seat.
 
Make eating time a pleasant experience. If he wants to hold the spoon, let him hold. He will make a mess. He will be covered in food but hey, if he feels that he's in control and enjoys it, he will eat!


Note: He has started eating more again! Yay!
 

Sources





8

Apple, Honey & Yogurt Muffins


Apple, Honey & Yogurt Muffins

Muffins are really easy to make. Muffin recipes are usually fail-proof as long as I follow these three basic muffin rules (from Domestic Goddess Wannabe):

1. Prepare the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients separately.
2. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
3. Stir only until moistened and bake.

So, after a while, I dare myself to create new flavors by mixing and matching ingredients. This round, I try apple, honey, and yogurt.


Ingredients:
(Makes 8)

(A) 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons honey

(B) 1 cup natural (plain) yogurt, 1 large egg (room temperature), 1 medium apple (cored & grated), 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple juice

(C) 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 & 1/2 cups wholemeal flour, 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

(D) Demerara sugar for sprinkling


How to:

1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Prepare 8 paper muffin cups.

2. Melt (A) together over medium-low heat. Set aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together (B). Add (A) mixture. Set aside.

4. Sift (C) in a bowl. Fold into wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Batter will be sticky. Don't overmix.

5. Fill muffin cups to two-thirds full. Sprinkle each cup with (D). Bake for 30-35 minutes until tops are golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out.


The wet ingredients.

Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients...

...and stir until just combined.

Fill cups to two-thirds full. Sprinkle with demerara sugar.

Freshly baked!

I can still see grated apple! Moist and yummy!


Photobucket

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up (September 2014 Event: Apple) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids), Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Kit (I-Lost in Austen).


4

Garlic & Cheese Popovers


Garlic & Cheese Popovers

Have you heard of popovers? After I find out about the latest Bake-along theme being Popovers, I do some Googling. Popovers are similar to England's Yorkshire pudding, but typically lighter and less dense. Okay, I don't know what a Yorkshire pudding is. Haha.

Popovers are best baked in a special popover pan which has much deeper cups (compared to traditional muffin pans). However, muffin pans can still be used. Woohoo!

Next, popover recipes. Mr. Google provides a lot of recipes. Earlier this month, I baked some Cheddar Cheese Biscuits and I still have garlic powder and cheddar cheese. And so, I bake Garlic & Cheese Popovers.


Ingredients:
(Makes 10 in a deep muffin pan)

3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Extra butter for greasing
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup grated Cheddar cheese


How to:

1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Place popover pans (I use a deep muffin pan) on a baking sheet and put the pan at the bottom third of the oven during the preheating process.

2. Warm milk over medium heat at the stove. Switch off heat before it boils and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until smooth. Slowly whisk in warm milk and melted butter.

4. Sift together flour, salt, and garlic powder. Add into egg mixture and mix gently. Add grated Cheddar cheese and stir in. Pour batter into a large pitcher.

Note: The batter is runny.

5. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and grease generously with butter. Half-fill the cups and return to the oven immediately.

6. Bake at 220°C for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180°C and bake for another 15 minutes. Leave in the oven for about 5-8 minutes before removing. Serve immediately.

Preheating the deep muffin pan in my oven.

Basic ingredients are eggs, milk, butter, flour, salt.

Half-fill cups with popover batter.

The batter starts to pop over after 10 minutes.

The popping gets more spectacular after 15 minutes.

Almost there!

Done!

Here they are! Lovely golden brown crust.

The hollow insides. :)

I'm happy with the results! They are delicious too. Hubby eats three at one go. Hehe. :)



I'm linking this post to the event, Bake-Along #68: Theme - Popovers organized by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena from Frozen Wings, and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.


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Homemade pasta dishes for my 13mo boy

I would like to share some ideas of fast-easy-nutritious homemade pasta dishes for working moms like myself. :)

#1 - Beef, fresh white & brown button mushrooms, garlic, red lentil, ground rolled oats



I love to use fresh white and brown button mushrooms to make his pasta sauce. I wash the mushrooms in hot water before slicing them into pieces.


I make this pasta sauce this morning from beef, fresh white and brown button mushrooms, garlic, red lentil, and ground rolled oats. 

1. Heat up 2 tablespoons rice bran oil in a frying pan.

2. Add 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic. Stir fry until fragrant.

3. Add beef, mushrooms, and red lentil. Stir fry for about 5 minutes.

4. Add about 1/2 cup homemade stock to slightly cover the ingredients. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes.

5. Stir in 2 tablespoons of ground rolled oats, off the heat, and transfer everything into an electric lunch box.

6. Switch on the lunch box for another 20 minutes to cook through.


After letting the sauce cool down for about 10 minutes, I give it a few blitzes in a blender until it becomes creamy yet lumpy. My boy can take textured pasta sauce already at 13 months.


I boil some alphabet pasta separately and add into the pasta sauce.

Note: I bought Organic Alphabet Pasta from Justlife outlet at Gardens.


#2 - Broccoli, cauliflower, peas, fish, milk, ground rolled oats


This is another homemade pasta sauce. Ingredients include broccoli, cauliflower, peas, fish, milk, and ground rolled oats. This sauce is cooked in fresh milk, without adding extra water. The result is a creamier and smoother sauce. Ground rolled oats provide some texture and stickiness to the sauce.


#3 - English spinach, cauliflower, milk, chicken, ground rolled oats


Apart from alphabet pasta, my boy is also eating safari (animal-shaped) pasta. This pasta sauce is made from English spinach, cauliflower, chicken, milk, and ground rolled oats. 

Here's how I made it: Baby's Safari (Animal-shaped) Pasta with Spinach, Cauliflower & Chicken Sauce.

Note: I bought Safari (animal-shaped) Pasta from Country Farm Organics.


#4 - Millet, brown rice, white button mushroom, onion, garlic, milk, chicken


I find that adding some grains can enhance the pasta's texture and taste; same concept as adding ground rolled oats. This pasta sauce is made from millet, brown rice, onion, garlic, chicken, and milk.


#5 - Potatoes, broccoli, cream cheese


This is my boy's first pasta dish when he turned 10 months old. His first pasta is Heinz's Cook at Home Baby Pasta Stars.

Here's how I made it - Baby's first pasta with cheesy potato-broccoli sauce.


#6 - Potatoes, carrot, chicken


This is another personal favorite - alphabet pasta in ABC soup (potatoes, carrot, and chicken). The ABC soup is cooked in a slow cooker for about 6 hours. Easy and nutritious.


#7 - Spinach, cherry tomatoes, chicken, anchovies, garlic, egg


I quite like this dish but my boy doesn't like it. Hahaha. I stir fry everything together in this sequence: rice bran oil, garlic, chicken, anchovies (soaked overnight), spinach, cherry tomatoes, egg, pasta (boiled and drained). It's ready to be served under 15 minutes.


#8 - Fish, potatoes, peas, milk, grated Cheddar cheese


This is my boy's first baked pasta dish. 



What about you? Any good toddler-friendly pasta dishes to share? :)


2

Take note of long weekends (public holidays) in 2015 (Malaysian edition)


These long weekends (applicable to those working in KL) are:

1-4 Jan: Take leave on 2-Jan (Fri) to get long weekend (Thu till Sun). Public holidays are 1-Jan (New Year) and 3-Jan (Prophet Muhammad's Birthday).

31 Jan - 3 Feb: Long weekend from Sat till Tue. No need to take leave. Public holidays are 1-Feb (Federal Territory Day) and 3-Feb (Thaipusam).

19-22 Feb: Long weekend from Thu till Sun. Public holidays are 19 & 20 Feb (Chinese New Year). Some companies might give extra leave day on CNY eve, 18-Feb (Wed).

1-3 May: Long weekend from Fri till Sun. Public holiday is 1-May (Labor Day).

30 May - 1 Jun: Long weekend from Sat till Mon. Public holiday is 1-Jun (Wesak Day).

17*-19 Jul: Long weekend from Fri till Sun. Public holidays are 17 & 18 Jul* (Hari Raya Puasa). Some companies might give an extra leave day on 20-Jul (Mon).

27*-31 Aug: Take leave on 28-Aug (Fri) to get long weekend (Thu till Mon). Public holidays are 27-Aug* (Nuzul Al-Quran) and 31-Aug (National Day).

24*-27 Sep: Take leave on 25 Sep (Fri) to get long weekend (Thu till Sun). Public holiday is 24-Sep* (Hari Raya Haji).

14*-18 Oct: Take leave on 15 & 16 Oct (Thu-Fri) to get long weekend (Wed till Sun). Public holiday is 14-Oct* (Awal Muharram).

24*-27 Dec: Long weekend from Thu till Sun. Public holidays are 24-Dec* (Prophet Muhammad's Birthday) and 25-Dec (Christmas).

* Subject to changes


Other sources:


2

Honey Buttermilk Chia Bread (baked in bread maker)

Here's my latest loaf of homemade bread baked in my Cornell Bread Master bread maker.


Honey Buttermilk Chia Bread

Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients:
(Makes a 2lb bread)

1 & 1/4 cups buttermilk (I use powdered buttermilk reconstituted into liquid by adding water)
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons honey
1 & 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups bread flour
1 cup wholemeal bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast


How to:

1. By following the bread maker's manual, I have listed the ingredients' sequence correctly - in terms of which ingredient goes into the bread maker first - in the list above.

2. Close the lid, select the "basic" setting, loaf size (2lb), crust type (light), and press start.

3. Once the baking cycle is done, remove the bread pan from the machine to cool down.

Note: Please add the ingredients into the bread pan by following your bread maker's manual.

Buttermilk Powder (bought from iHerb.com)

Sliced and ready to be served.


0

Apple, Red Lentil & Chicken Stew


Apple, Red Lentil & Chicken Stew
This is a healthy, delicious adult-and-toddler-friendly stew. Apples give this stew a lovely, sweetish taste that will appeal to your toddler's taste buds. This stew is on the light side, but for those of you who are looking for a healthy meal, this stew is a keeper.

Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

2 tablespoons rice bran oil
2 pips of garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken breast, de-skinned and cut into strips
2 small apples, skin on, cored and chopped into cubes
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup red lentils, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
3 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
Chia seeds for sprinkling


How to:

1. Drain the red lentils and set aside.

2. Heat up oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; stir fry until both are slightly browned and fragrant.

3. Add in chicken breast, carrot, and apples. Stir fry for a few minutes until the chicken breast strips are no longer pinkish. Add in red lentils and water.

4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and simmer until the carrots and apples are tender, about 45 minutes.

5. Off the fire and let the stew cool for about 10-15 minutes. Transfer soup to a blender and give it a few pulses. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chia seeds. Serve warm with rice or boiled pasta.

Photobucket

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up (September 2014 Event: Apple) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids), Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Kit (I-Lost in Austen).


6

My latest purchase from iHerb.com

My groceries from iHerb

Gotten my stuff from iHerb.com on Tuesday after I ordered them last Friday. Glad that I chose DHL for shipping. Their superb tracking system gave me peace of mind.


From the United States to Malaysia.

http://www.iherb.com/?rcode=WLB090

If you're buying stuff for the first time from iHerb, you can use my code - WLB090 - or just click http://www.iherb.com/?rcode=WLB090 and continue your shopping. You get to save $5-$10 off your first order!


Now, let's see what I've bought.


Grains for the baby

Arrowhead Mills, Organic, Whole Grain Amaranth, 16oz (453g)

Whole Grain Amaranth is an ancient "grain." And being thousands of years old doesn't keep this "grain" from combining with other ingredients to create delicious flavorful soups, breads and even dressings.

To prepare 3 cups of cooked amaranth, boil 1 cup of amaranth in 2 cups of water. Simmer for 25 minutes. Grains will absorb water and bind together.

Arrowhead Mills, Organic Quinoa, 14oz (396g)

Quinoa was a staple of the ancient Incas and means "the mother grain". It's high in iron and has a distinctive flavor and fluffy texture. It makes a tasty choice for casseroles, pilafs and even salads when cooked.

Before cooking, rinse quinoa thoroughly. Rinsing is recommended to wash away any naturally occurring bitter tasting saponins remaining after processing. To prepare 3 cups of cooked quinoa,  boil 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed (10 to 15 minutes). Once done, grains will be translucent and the outer germ layer will separate.



Pasta for everybody

Eden Foods, Organic Small Vegetable Shells, 12oz (340g)

Made from organic whole grain durum wheat, organic golden amber durum wheat semolina, organic beet powder, organic spinach powder, organic carrot powder, and organic annatto powder. These small shells are lovely in salads and soups. Cook in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes.

Orgran, Gluten Free Farm Animals, Rice & Corn Vegetable Pasta, 7oz (200g)

Made from a natural blend of rice, sun-ripened corn and vegetables. It's naturally wheat-free, gluten-free and provides energy, nutrition, and variation essential for a well-balanced diet. Cook in boiling water for 8-10 minutes or until preferred consistency.

Andean Dream, Quinoa Pasta, Fusilli, 8oz (227g)

Made with organic Royal Quinoa, which is grown only in the Bolivian Andes, at an altitude of 13,000 feet, which produces the finest quality quinoa in the world. Cook in boiling water for 13-15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and serve promptly.



Cereal for the baby

Earth's Best, Wheat Toddler Biscuits, 12 Biscuits, 4.6oz (130g)

Earth's Best Toddler Biscuits are perfect for snacking children (12 months and above) who can self-feed and enjoy using their teeth to bite and chew. These biscuits are individually wrapped in portable packages of two so busy toddlers can nibble on the go, and mom can feel good about giving her little one a tasty, wholesome snack that's full of healthy goodness.

Earth's Best, Organic Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal with Bananas, 8oz (227g)

Mix 1 tablespoon of dry cereal with 3-4 tablespoons of breast milk or formula. Increase liquid to reach desired consistency. Gradually increase serving amount over feedings.

Earth's Best, Organic Whole Grain Multi-Grain Cereal, 8oz (227g)

Mix 1 tablespoon of dry cereal with 3-4 tablespoons of breast milk or formula. Increase liquid to reach desired consistency. Gradually increase serving amount over feedings.


Not in photos



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