Cruz doesnt have to go with Papa on wednesday, he gets some good 'ol mama time. And wednesday is story time at the library (Cruz will someday love books, so help me God).
And even though this has been a glorious wednesday, Cruz has been a bit cranky as he is nearing the end of his bout with bronchitis. In an effort to keep him well entertained we decided to make some baby safe paint. Obviously, safety was my number one concern because EVERYTHING goes in his mouth. I did a little research and this is what I came up with...
Baby Safe (editable, should you choose) Paint:
1 cup Flour (cornstarch works great too, but use 1/2 the amount, so in this recipe 1/2 cup)
2 cups Water
3 Tbs Sugar
Mix water and flour over low/medium heat. Stir for about 5 minutes, or until you have a thick mixture. Separate into containers and add food coloring. Let cool, paint away!
If you want to be super natural you can make your own food coloring with berries, flowers, plants, etc. I've done this before and I will do it again for my next batch of paints.
Quick rundown for making your own dyes:
I usually just pick a color, for the sake of instructions I will choose blue. I like to use blackberries to make blue.
I add the blackberries to a pot of water. Just use a little water if you want a rich color or a lot if you want a muted color.
Bring the water to a boil while mashing the berries in the mixture (some recommend using a pot that you dont mind staining, but I've never had an issue with it).
Let simmer about 15 minutes or so depending on the color you want to achieve. For richer color allow it to simmer longer.
Strain into a jar. I usually cover the jar with cheesecloth to catch the berry pieces.
Allow to cool and then add to your paints!
P.S If your using the dye to color cloth/material make sure to pre-treat your material so color will stick. Water with ice in it works. So does vinegar. Just place the material into the pretreating bath and let it soak for a few minutes. Ring it out and transfer to dye bath.
Cruz chose to use his paints in the bath. But its also fun with a nakee baby and a length of butcher paper for them to crawl around on. Baby's first artwork!
He was quite smitten with it!
On a different, yet equally domestic note, I've made Cruz's baby food since he started eating it. I often intersperse it with the store bought jars. And when I get really lazy I find myself resorting straight to the jars.
I've decided to put an end to that.
A really, really close friend of mine (more like a sister really) has always made her twin's food. And a couple weeks ago, she started making it for Cruz too! She is genious. She makes the food, puts it in ice cube trays and freezes it, thawing them as she needs them. The ice cube trays make the perfect size serving!
So far she has made him:
3 layer bean dip ( organic beans, yogurt instead of sour cream, and mashed avocado)
Organic Lentil Soup
Organic Chicken Noodle Soup
Organic Pasta O's in red sauce (she makes her own pasta. I know, I'm awed by her too)
Baby Pumpkin Pie ( fresh pumpkin, fresh ginger, cinnamon and organic animal cookies crumbled up to make the crust)
Pumpkin French Toast (cut into little hand sized sticks)
Spiced Organic Apples
Organic Carrot Bread (made in the mini cupcake pans)
Organic squash, carrot and broccoli purees that can be added to any meal.
OMG, I know. How is that not inspirational, right! Right?
So, I've taken a page out of her book. I rid the house of ALL processed or store bought baby food. And today I made a couple things for Cruz as well. The first was "Annie's with Organic Family Farmers" gluten-free peace pasta and Parmesan (you can find the brand at Whole Foods. Make sure the box says "with organic family farmers" because "Annies" has some products that arent 100% organic). The pasta is little peace signs. Soo cute. And the perfect size for C (he's 9 months, so they might be a little big for beginner eaters).
And then I made my own recipe:
Organic Banana Apple Quinoa
1/2 cup Organic Pearl Quinoa
1 cup water
Banana flavored Baby Yogurt-to taste
Homemade Applesauce-to taste
Add quinoa and water to a pan. Heat until bowling. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. I used Pearl quinoa which is white when you open the package. You can tell its done when the grains turn clear and the sprouts start to pop out. Also, most all of the water should be soaked up by the quinoa. It will be fluffy and soft to the taste. If its still crunchy, simmer longer.
Add a little bit of banana yogurt and a little homemade applesauce (which is totally easy to make. Just peel and cut apples, add a teeny bit of water, cook till soft, mush up, your done) and you have a very healthy little snack for baby.
I had to convince Cruz to try it, but he liked it once he got used to it. The texture of quinoa is a little funky at first (even for adults) so be patient with baby! But its a great source of fiber. And its good with EVERYTHING. Fruit, veggies, tuna, plain, I love it!
Then we topped of lunch with a little desert. Vegan marshmallows. They are smaller then normal 'mallows, so the perfect size for Cruz. They use beet sugar, which is interesting and somehow seems less offensive then regular sugar. Either way, I know babies aren't supposed to have sugar, but sometimes I just can't help but give it to him. He's crazy about them!
I encourage everyone to try making their babies food. It is so much better for them without all those added preservatives of store bought food. And its really quite economical. Almost any adult meal can be tweaked into baby food. I love supporting local farmers and filling Cruz's belly with good, wholesome yumminess at the same time!
Have any great baby recipes? Shoot 'em my way!