Almost one year ago, at 7:53pm on Christmas Eve night, we welcomed our little Joey into the world. He was the best Christmas present we could ever ask for. However, whenever someone asks when his birthday is, it’s typically met with a response of “poor kid” or “oh no.” Sure having a Christmas birthday may make it seem as though you will miss out on presents or the benefits of a birthday on another day, but I think there’s many positives as well. As Joey gets older, I plan to just highlight the many benefits a Christmas birthday brings, so he can see just how wonderful a gift he was to our family!
Because there’s still a few days of Fall left, why not celebrate it with some delicious, and healthy, baked apples? These are so simple to make and a huge hit! Joey is a big apple fan, but at times tends to gag on the texture of fresh apples. Baking them softens them just enough so that he can enjoy them more easily. I love them because they feel like dessert, yet are packed full of fiber and low in calories.
Although Joey has, for the most part, been really good about trying new foods, lately he seems to prefer some textures to others. For instance, he loves carrots and broccoli pureed or baked into foods, but if you hand him a slice of the vegetable, he will pick it up, feel it for a while, then drop it on the floor while giving me a look like “what are you trying to feed me here?!” So for some of the more “unique” textured foods that he doesn’t seem to want to self-feed anymore, I figured mixing them in with foods he loves may help.
Currently, Joey would much rather feed himself than allow anyone to spoon-feed him. Because of this, his food choices are rather limited at times. He isn’t yet able to feed himself from a spoon, so choices like purees, yogurt, and cooked grains like oatmeal are out. He does a great job picking up foods, but anything sticky, slimmy, or mushy seems to end up on his body rather than in his mouth.
He loves soft bread, mostly because of its texture, and how easy it is for him to pick it up and feed it to himself. However, as a dietitian, I get concerned that he may want to fill up on bread, and only bread, and miss out on vital nutrients such as antioxidants and protein. So what better solution than a muffin that’s packed full of protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and even vegetables? And a muffin that both Joey and my husband love?! It’s a win-win!
I love Daisy Brand cottage cheese (full disclosure- I am also a member of the Daisy brand Health Network) and Joey loves it too. But again, it’s one of those foods he has to be spoon-fed, so some days he will eat a full bowl, and other days he refuses because he can’t feed it to himself. Daisy, however, has this great recipe for Cheesy Cottage Cheese and Flax Muffins with Chives.
With just a few tiny adjustments, it makes the perfect finger food for Joey and gives him a great source of protein, whole grains, and veggies J He even loves to help make them!