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#Outlier Nutrition Archives - Kohler Created

Life with kids: reclaiming our evenings

By | Weekend | No Comments

life with kids - kohler created

I had several different titles for this post, but everything sounded like an adult film title, or possibly would have made our site look like a hub for adult film titles, so I went with something a little less SEO-optimal, but a little more safe. Oh the perils of blogging…

It’s no secret that life with kids kind of warps your concept of personal time and how you spend it. Our downtime is very kid-friendly. Since KK has been old enough to know TV/movies exist, our viewing choices have been dictated by her. The list of new movies we want to see and TV shows we need to catch up on has been out of control for a year and so finally last weekend, Neil put his foot down and Saturday and Sunday night we watched an hour of adult programming.

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It’s not like we NEED to see these films or shows, I honestly live in la-la land and am behind in most things. But when all your friends are talking about them, it does give you something to contribute.

So last Sunday we kicked it off with Seth Rogan’s latest, The Night Before. And this Saturday we watched Sisters (Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were brilliant!) and Sunday we caught up on Game of Thrones.

With homemade pizza, because what goes better with movies than pizza right?

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I really thought KK would go wild not being able to watch Mickey or Minions and try to run wild in the house, but she was great! She got a little squirrely at the end of both movies, but we played with her baby dolls and read books. I didn’t really effect following the movie for me at all.

We had a great rest of the weekend. I coached and did a WOD Saturday morning at CrossFit Fringe. It was a grueling 20-minute partner WOD:

20-minute AMRAP
20 overhead squats (95/65)
20 calorie row (resting person has to do a handstand hold)
20 power snatches (95/65)
100 double-unders

My 9am warriors going after it:

Some partner WOD action from early morning warriors!

A video posted by CrossFit Fringe (@crossfitfringe) on

Don’t you just hate how great tall people are at rowing? Us shorties just can’t catch a break! We were into our fifth round when we ran out of time. I was definitely dazed for a bit!

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Meal prep was super easy this week. I made the super soft banana cookies that were a hit last week (I need to share that recipe with you guys) and tried a Creamy Cucumber-Radish salad recipe that popped up on Pinterest. It literally is just green onion, radish, and cucumber mixed with cottage cheese and a little salt and pepper. So easy!

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Neil smoked a bunch of whole chickens he had brined, and we also did our normal salad/breakfast prep.

life with kids

All in all, a good weekend. KK has been talking up a storm and devouring books like crazy, so I have a feeling another language post is going to be in the works!

How is your week going?

Whole30 Week 4 - Kohler Created

Whole30 Nutrition Challenge Recap: Week 4

By | Food, Menu Planning, MK, Paleo, Toddler Meals, Uncategorized, Whole30 | No Comments

A little-belated recap of our Week 4 of the Whole30/Nutrition Challenge and honestly it took me about 5 minutes to even remember what we ate last week. No joke, talk about zombie mom!

Our last week’s challenge meals were all comfort food. We started the week with big meatloaf we baked in our cast iron pan (seriously, cast iron all the way). Served with easy sides of taters and veggies. Kaitlan put away quite a bit of meatloaf so I have a feeling that will be back on the menu soon.

Whole30 Week 4 - Steak and Potato

Halfway through the week, we dined on steak, salad and baked potatoes. Again, steaks are such an easy way to feel like you’re eating out.

Whole30 Week 4 - Kimchi Braised Chicken and Bacon

We closed the week with the Kimchi Braised Chicken and Bacon. Definitely not as pretty on our plates as it was in Bon Appetit, but it was sooooo good. And Kaitlan loved it as well, kimchi and all.

Whole30 Week 4 - Smoked Chicken

We ended the week buying a smoker and making chicken and ribs. I honestly can’t wait grocery shop for what we’re going to smoke this week. We’ve been eating so easily this week!

Whole30 Week 4 - Smoked Chicken

If you follow me on Pinterest, you probably noticed the massive amounts of soup, bread, and toddler snack recipes pinned. Thinking ahead to our meals, I definitely think we’re going to attempt to make a few more of the convenience items we’ve been buying, including whole grain bread, crackers/puffs for Kaitlan and the ramen soups Neil sometimes grabs at lunch.

We’ll see what I come up with this weekend, but our first attempt at our favorite grocery bread wasn’t all that successful, even though Kaitlan loves it. I am so excited to finally feel like I’m in the kitchen more!

That closes out the weekly recaps for the Whole30 Challenge, stay tuned for the our thoughts and reflections!

Kaitlan does Whole30

Whole30 Nutrition Challenge Recap: Week 3

By | Food, Menu Planning, MK, Paleo, Toddler Meals, Whole30 | One Comment

Whole30 Week 3 is done and gone, and there is just one week left!

Whole30

Thankfully, this week went much smoother. Kaitlan seems to have completely recovered from her stomach bug and went back to daycare. Even though we haven’t reintroduced any dairy, she’s doing really well on almond milk and we found enough alternatives to make her lunches exciting (she loves Greek yogurt and string cheese — it was a legitimate concern).

This week she has been on an eating tear, not only NOMing through her portions, but ours as well. She must be in some growth spurt!? And she’s definitely sprouting some molars. Needless to say, we haven’t felt like we’ve gotten much of a break.

Whole30

Whole30

Whole30

Dinners this week included a lot of chicken. Rotisserie chicken salads and NOM NOM Paleo’s Damn Fine Chicken (with mashers and broccoli) through most of the weeknights. We did one Chipotle day (we were desperately craving not to cook, and Neil was feeling over chicken), and will finish off this week with meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

Whole30

Whole30

Lunches were quiche and salad, and breakfasts were either eggs or the rice pudding (adapted from this recipe) I’ve been making every week (rice is one of my exceptions as part of the hybrid challenge.

Whole30

Thinking ahead to life after Whole30

Being a parent is a mixed blessing when it comes to Whole30. On one hand, I feel like it’s made what used to feel like eternity spent on Whole30 go much faster. But on the other, the fact that SHE herself isn’t on Whole30 means there is non-Whole30 (albeit healthy) items lurking all over our kitchen.

That all being said, I can not believe we are headed into our last week already! Seriously, time has just flown by. And although our Challenge got a little derailed in Week 2, I’m so happy with how it’s gone.

Week 3 is typically the time when most people start thinking about life after Whole30. While it’s easy to get caught up in wanting that first beer, or a slice of pizza, I know from experience that the transition must be undertaken with a plan and goals in place for what comes after 30. At even just 3 weeks in, I’m seeing some physical results and I’m definitely feeling them. Where do we need to be in order to eat better, and keep our results, but not feel deprived, depressed or socially isolated? In our conversations so far we’ve talked about:

What we need to do better:

  • The amount of prep for Whole30 is too much for our lifestyle, but we could definitely be prepping/planning for meals other than dinner. We were doing great until Halloween, but the holidays always seem to throw us for a loop.
  • Meals out need to be special or something we really want, not just out of laziness.
  • We definitely don’t need all the snacks we were buying. Much of it is mindless snacking that could be eliminated with better meals.
  • If we are paying so much attention to eliminating processed foods, we need to do so in our health/beauty/household products as well.

Why Whole30 doesn’t work for us long-term:

  • Our lifestyle just doesn’t support it. That’s not a cop-out — you can’t work full-time, have a toddler, own a business, and essentially have a part-time job and spend as much time food prepping as we have. Not without something (mostly our sanity) giving way.
  • We are feeling less energetic. We’re just really active people, and can’t prep/eat enough to alleviate it, nor do we really want to be constantly eating.
  • Because we’re busy, we batch a lot of things, and they get redundant fast — like chicken.
  • We miss the diversity in our meals (we like Asian food and homemade bread).
  • We definitely miss the life balance 80/20 gives us a much-needed break on Fridays and Saturdays with a pizza or dinner out.

I think most of all, we just like to enjoy food and feel balanced. We’ve never been super regimented or strict. I don’t believe food should become punishment or something you don’t look forward to. I’ll definitely be sharing more about life after Whole30 in a few more posts!

Paleo Crock pot Chili

Whole30 Nutrition Challenge Recap: Week 2

By | Food, Menu Planning, MK, Paleo, Parenting, Whole30 | No Comments

Whole30 Week 2

Sorry for being a bit belated, but Whole 3 week 2 in the books!

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t perfect. Neil had pre-arranged plans in Tulsa with friends for a concert over the weekend. About 45 minutes after he left on Friday morning, Penny our daycare provider called and said that KK had thrown up. She’s never been sick, so that kind of threw a wrench in the fun things I had planned for us, as well as trying to stay on track with Whole30. I didn’t eat terribly, but I did survive on mostly peanut butter sandwiches, protein shakes and fruit. A little more on that below.

Whole30 Week 2

The rest of the week prior went great. We finished off the hot wings and then did a big pot of paleo chili that carried us through most of the week dinner-wise. We did salads and quiche for lunches. Simple to prep, delicious to eat. I swear, I could live on those hot wings — they never get old.

Whole30 Week 2

Whole30 Week 2

KK even dug the chili a bit…

Whole30 Week 2

A lot of the “hangover” symptoms from Week 1 abated during the week and I even felt a bit more energy in the tank during workouts. Definitely not 100%, I still feel like I’m working with just enough energy for a good workout, but nothing much more. I definitely probably need to just eat more at this point, as it was my goal not to drop any weight and I have.

Now from yummy food to tummy trouble…

Whole30 Week 2

As for KK’s vomiting, we’re not sure what is going on. While the other little girl at daycare also appears to have come down with a stomach bug, Kaitlan’s vomiting has occurred only after dairy products. Not all dairy, but milk and Greek yogurt for sure. She’s had diarrhea, but no fever, and no vomiting outside of the 15-20 minute window following dairy consumption. We’re hoping it’s just a noted symptom of the stomach bug, and not an emerging issue on its own.

Whole30 Week 2

At the suggestion of Penny, we thought it might be the whole milk and dropped to 2%, but it gave her enough stomach pain/cramps that we took her to the emergency room Sunday night. After about 90 minutes of screaming she started to calm down, but I’ve never seen her in so much pain and scared the crap out of me. Because milk is so integral to getting her to nap, we bought some almond milk and she thankfully loves it and experienced no issues so far.

Here’s to a much less eventful week 3!

Meal Planning - Kohler Created

Meal Planning (4/19-4/25)

By | Baby Meals, Food, Menu Planning, MK, Paleo | No Comments

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I feel like a broken record, but time is really flying this month. As I was typing in the date range for this meal planning post, I can’t help but think that Beeb will soon have been on the “outside” as long as she was on the “inside” — is that weird? I’m weird.

And again, like a broken record, we are super busy this week: Neil is on-call, has after-hours work, and freelance work along with mowing. My week is relatively tame, but that means I’m on baby duty. We got caught up on outstanding freelance over the weekend, but I just have this feeling (maybe it has something to do with this) that our week is about to get even more hectic.

Roughly $65 so far, with ingredients for lunches, breakfasts, etc. and some fun stuff like drinks and snacks. We saved a TON because there was a super sale on Chicken at Lucky’s. What did we do before Lucky’s?

Sunday

Pizza Date Night: Part Deux

Monday

Crockpot Orange Chicken with Rice

Tuesday

Leftover Crockpot Orange Chicken with Rice

Wednesday

Leftover Crockpot Orange Chicken with Rice

Thursday

TBD Meat and steamed veggies

Friday

TBD Meat and steamed veggies

Saturday

Pizza Date Night

Beeb Food

We suspect that Beeb has or is preparing to hit some kind of growth spurt. She put away a TON of food over the weekend. Just non-stop hungry, definitely more irritable and short of patience. She is super close to crawling and we suspect this is all connected.

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I made a batch of a mixture of sweet po, squash, and broccoli. She loved it so I’m excited to put that into rotation. Still rocking a ton of meat from our mid-week batch cook last week, so I suspect we’ll be good on food for a few weeks — unless this eating trend continues.

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Over the weekend, we let her try organic Toasty-O’s (Cheerios) and they were a hit. We’re still working on her pinch grip and putting smaller items toward her mouth. So close!

Happy eats this week!

Meal Planning - Kohler Created

Meal Planning (4/12-4/18)

By | Baby Meals, Food, Menu Planning, MK | No Comments

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The week after a race weekend was always a scramble pre-kid (although now I’m looking back and laughing) but they are even more so now with Kaitlan here. The mountains of laundry, the house that didn’t get cleaned over the weekend, and of course the meals that didn’t get prepped.

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Thankfully, chicken was on sale at Lucky’s (we save so much money planning meals around sales), that we were able to scrape together meals for the beginning of this week, which is always the biggest hurdle.

We’ve managed to regroup this morning to plan out the rest of our week, but boy will I be excited for a “normal weekend” this week, especially since Neil goes on-call Friday morning for work.

Roughly $65, with ingredients for lunches, breakfasts, etc. and some fun stuff like drinks and snacks.

Sunday

Grilled Chicken and Spaghetti Squash in Tomato Sauce (literally that, not fancy, but really good!)

Monday

Leftover Grilled Chicken and Spaghetti Squash in Tomato Sauce 

Tuesday

Grilled chicken sandwiches with chips and salsa (remember, I said we were regrouping today haha)

Wednesday

“Stank-a-Dank” Crock Pot Pork Spare Ribs from Small Footprint Family

Thursday

Leftover “Stank-a-Dank” Crock Pot Pork Spare Ribs from Small Footprint Family 

Friday

Wing it! 

Saturday

Pizza Date Night

Beeb Food

Beeb had a great food weekend and really loved her food packet options. She’s figured out how to suck food from them, so it’s not so much a slow process of feeding her little bits. I can’t believe how quickly she figures things out — and then wants to do them herself. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great and I love when she looks to us for affirmation and praise (little ham), but it’s just a constant reminder of how fast everything is going!

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We’re doing mid-week prep for the Beeb. Another batch of veggies, as well as chicken, that will be mixed with sweet potatoes and one other veggie (TBD — winging it!).

This weekend I’m looking at doing another bigger batch session of “sides.” Definitely more peas, but some other greens as well, and hopefully some other fun little things. Textures and more structure doesn’t seem to phase her anymore, so I feel like that’s opening a world of options.

Happy-belated eats this week!

Warm Salad - Kohler Created

Meal Planning (4/5-4/11)

By | Baby Meals, Food, MK, Paleo | No Comments

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Ack, Wednesday. It’s been a really busy week, but Neil’s first race is this weekend. Our normal preparations have been complicated by the onslaught of “April showers” that have made getting the trailer out of storage and other things around the house impossible. Our lake, I mean yard, is so saturated that the dogs refuse to enter it. Needless to say, the carpet shampooer is getting more workouts in this week than we are.

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Our roast from last week lasted much longer than we thought (thanks to serving over salad and in sandwiches, etc), and this week we decided to go equally as economical and buy a whole chicken and a mess of side veggies. Again, not very entertaining or inspiring (are any of my meal plans “inspirational” really?) but I think we’ll be eager to diversify a bit next week once things settle down a bit. I’ve been a pinning machine after Kaitlan falls asleep.

Roughly $45, with ingredients for lunches, breakfasts, etc. and some fun stuff like drinks and snacks.

Sunday

Easter Dinner at the parents house

Monday

Leftover MEGA Pot Roast

Tuesday

Baked whole chicken with steamed green beans and potato wedges

Wednesday

Leftover Baked whole chicken with steamed green beans and potato wedges

Thursday

Wing it! (Neil has to go borrow a trailer from a very generous friend)

Friday

Wing it! (We’ll be in STL prepping for the race)

Saturday

Wing it! (We’ll be in STL pracing)

Beeb Food

Well after my post last week, we have had quite a bit of success with Beeb bringing food to her mouth. While she doesn’t do it with any of her softer purees, she’s mastered anything that has a shape she can get a handle on, and it’s so adorable!

7.5 months, KK eating a green bean at Flatbranch from Kohler Created on Vimeo.

Kaitlan is still eating on her stash of food from almost a month ago. I guess I thought she’d go through it much faster, but we still have maybe a weeks worth left. It’s a testament to just how easy making your own baby food is. One two-hour session and almost 3 weeks worth of food!

That being said, I’m itching to make another round of food for her. I’ve been reading a ton of baby food books and pinning things to shake up her flavors and textures a bit. Some things I have in mind:

  • Full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Rice/Rice pudding
  • Beans and lentils
  • Eggs

As you can see, this adds new textures as well as the flavors and focuses on foods that offer a good balance of protein, carbs and fat.

Sippy Cups - Kohler Created

Something else we’ve been playing with in the past week is the new sippy cup we received from my BFF Rachel. Kaitlan loves drinking from straws and regular cups so this gives her the satisfaction of that activity while hopefully scaffolding in our desire for her to actually hold the cup while she drinks. We’re trying a few different cups. In addition to the Zoli Baby Bot, we also have a Nuby 3-Stage Bottle.

Happy-belated eats this week!

Meal Planning (3/30-4/3)

By | Baby Meals, Food, MK | One Comment

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Does anyone else get excited when a week crosses over into a new month? Just me? I can’t believe it’s April. The weather was winter-ish last week, and this week absolutely gorgeous. Last night we took a twilight walk with Kaitlan and the pups and I kept saying to Neil, “can we do this every night.” Life doesn’t get much more perfect.

I didn’t get a lot of meal prep done this weekend because we decided to take an impromptu trip to Kansas City to visit IKEA. Last week we had burritos and stir fry, and bought enough ingredients that it got us through Sunday and Monday with just a little extra chicken purchased. On Saturday we bought a HUGE roast (sorry for the unappetizing photo above) that will go into the crockpot today and probably get us through Friday. I know, not very thrilling, but I just want to enjoy this weather and my little family, so it’s perfect for this week.

Roughly $60, with ingredients for lunches, breakfasts, etc. and some fun stuff like drinks and snacks.

Sunday

Leftover Lo Mein Stir-Fry

Monday

Chipotle-style chicken burritos

Tuesday

Crockpot Pot Roast

Wednesday

Leftover Crockpot Pot Roast

Thursday

Leftover Crockpot Pot Roast

Friday

Wing it!

Saturday

Pizza Date Night

Beeb Food

Lots of cool eats happening in the world of Beeb this week!

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Even though meal prep for ourselves was almost non-existent for this week, we did a little for Kaitlan. She will enjoy her FIRST round of meat in her meals this week. I made a small batch (8 cubes) of chicken and pears for her. Here’s a video of us in the “puree” stage.

I’ll spare you the photos, pureeing meat is disgusting — both in appearance and scent. As Neil put it best, “this smells beastly.” I can’t describe it — primal maybe? It tastes perfectly fine, mostly like pears, but yikes.

As far as new eats, Kaitlan enjoyed her first scrambled eggs last week. The texture was new to her, and I don’t know if she knew what to think of it all, but it went over well. She also enjoyed some rice, so I think I might incorporate that into meal prep/planning next.

While she loves to play with food and “handle” it, we’ve having trouble connecting the purees with “food.” While she will happily munch/gnaw on things like carrot sticks, sweet potato fries or slices of bread, the purees just don’t register as food she should direct to her mouth. Any tips?

Happy eats everyone!

Meal Planning (3/22-3/28)

By | Baby Meals, Food, MK | No Comments

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I know, it’s already Wednesday and I’m just now publishing what we are eating this week. Ah well, had to get the Jerk Chicken recipe out first right?

Neil did the meal planning and grocery list this week so we are having a little mix of everything. As you might have seen, we are starting the week with Jamaican Jerk Chicken, which we’ve had with veggies, and since we were grilling, Neil cooked up a bunch of steaks that we’re making into Chipotle-style burritos. We’re also having Lo Mein Stir-Fry again, which is the next “I owe you” recipe to get on the site. Pretty effortless week!

Roughly $70, with ingredients for lunches, breakfasts, etc. and some fun stuff like drinks and snacks.

Sunday

Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Asparagus (using chicken in sandwiches for lunches)

Monday

Chipotle-style burritos

Tuesday

Chipotle-style burritos

Wednesday

Lo Mein Stir-Fry

Thursday

Lo Mein Stir-Fry

Friday

Wing it! (CrossFit Open Workout 15.5 day!)

Saturday

Pizza Date Night

Beeb Food

I’m on Week 2 of Kaitlan’s last batch of baby food. Over the past week she has definitely gotten hungrier, and we’ve increased to 3 “meals” per day. Each meal is roughly two cubes of food, but sometimes, like dinner, she tends to be a little hungrier. She hit a spurt about a week and a half ago (I still owe you all a 6-month update), and I’m wondering if she’s hitting another little jump. It’s so hard to know, but we’re going with it.

Just like I thought, I might have to do a mini batch session this weekend, and I’m thinking of doing a little meat. Anyone have any tips or recipes they recommend?

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Also, last weekend she had her first squeeze pouch and loved it — despite it being probably the grossest flavor because it had flavors she’d never tried. With Neil’s racing season approaching fast and a few day trips on the horizon, I thought it’d be easiest to bring those for convenience and wanted to give them a trial run.

Happy eats everyone!

meal planning - Kohler Created

Meal Planning (2/15-3/21)

By | Baby Meals, Food, MK, Paleo | One Comment

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Sorry, I literally dumped everything out on the counter when I got home, and the picture became kind of the afterthought. Very lazy blogger.

I tackled grocery shopping with Kaitlan solo this week! Okay, that’s not a supreme accomplishment, she LOVES the grocery store. So much to see and look at, and of course, she grabs at nearly everything. We have a great local market, so we constantly run into people we know, so more attention and stimulation there too. It’s quickly becoming our thing as Neil is doing a lot of race prep on Sundays.

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Chicken was on sale this week, and so appears all over our menu. We made most of it “yardbird” style on the grill. It has been so nice out that I hope to do this more and more, especially with Kaitlan’s food prep.

Baby Food Prep - Kohler Created

Our stew required red potatoes, so I opted for a whole bag, and made them into sides for the chicken, as well as one of the meals for Kaitlan. It goes pretty much without saying that I streamlined this week into having as few ingredients to manage as possible.

Roughly $60, with ingredients for lunches, breakfasts, etc.

Sunday

“Yardbird Sunday”

Monday

Leftover “Yardbird Sunday”

Tuesday

Kilbasa and Kale Stew (Taste of Home)

Wednesday

Leftover Kilbasa and Kale Stew (Taste of Home)

Thursday

Baked chicken and mashed potatoes

Friday

Wing it! (CrossFit Open Workout 15.4 day!)

Saturday

Pizza Date Night

Baby Food Prep - Kohler Created

I prepped a huge batch of Beeb food that I think will get us through the next two weeks and possibly longer with a maybe only a small replenish batch thrown in next week for “greens.” It only took about an hour to do while I was prepping our other stuff for the week. She is absolutely loving the variety, so in sticking with that theme, I prepped 4-5 different “meals” for the week:

  • Whipped Red Potatoes and Carrots: steam 3 red potatoes + 4-5 carrots; pureed with 3 cubes of broth
  • Sweet Peas: 1 bag of peas + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce; pureed with 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • Butternut Squash: 1 medium butternut squash; roasted and pureed with 2 cubes of broth
  • Heavenly Bananas + Pears: 1-2 bananas sliced and sauteed + 3-4 oven-roasted pears; pureed
  • Baby oatmeal: I picked up the iron-enriched “cereal” at the store. It didn’t require prepping, but I’ve added it as one of the “meals”

Baby Food Prep - Kohler Created

The homemade broth I mentioned last week turned out great! I froze it into cubes and have it in a container in my fridge. To use, I simply melted the cubes with the steamed veggies in the food processor right before pureeing. Super easy!

Happy eats everyone!