Monday, September 27, 2010

Pumpkin Time!

Fall is now here...(although you would never know it with this heat!). Know what that means??

Pumpkin season! 

Pumpkins are great for first foods for baby and for the whole family. Now- time to think outside of the box- they are not JUST for pumpkin pies!

Here are some great recipe ideas for babies and the entire family!

Pumpkin Yogurt- Mix pumpkin puree with plain yogurt and add some cinnamon or nutmeg- or both! (remember, spices are great for babies- just follow the 4 day wait rule the same way you do with foods)

Pumpkin Cupcakes- (This recipe is amazing, but I half the amount of sugar or use a mix of agave nectar when making this for little ones)

Pumpkin Soup- I found this recipe online- but I am pretty sure you can add just about anything you like to make this favorite!

Pumpkin Cheesecake-  Another recipe I would substitute agave for if serving to my toddler- or just leave it for the grown ups, hehe.

Pumpkin Chili- I have never tried this- but it sounds really good. Another recipe you could really be creative with and make your own! Ground Turkey, vegetarian...whatever you like!

Pumpkin Pancakes- This is a great way to make a morning favorite healthy! This recipe is great because it only has a tablespoon of sugar- you can substitute or just leave it since it is such a small amount. 

Click here for more Pumpkin recipes

Or here!

Or here!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Why African Babies Don't Cry"

Here is a great article I came across and discuss!


"Why African Babies Don't Cry:
An African Perspective
by Claire Niala
I was born and grew up in Kenya & Cote d'Ivoire. Then from the age of fifteen I lived in the UK. However, I always knew that I wanted to raise my children (whenever I had them) at home in Kenya. And yes, I assumed I was going to have them. I am a modern African woman with two university degrees and I am a fourth generation working woman - but when it comes to children, I am typically African. The assumption remains that you are not complete without them; children are a blessing it would be crazy to avoid. Actually the question does not even arise.
I started my pregnancy in the UK. The urge to deliver at home was so strong that I sold my practice, setup a new business and moved house / country within five months of finding out I was pregnant. I did what most expectant mothers in the UK do - I read voraciously: Our Babies, Ourselves, Unconditional Parenting, anything by the Searses - the list goes on. (My grandmother later commented that babies don't read books - and really all I needed to do was "read" my baby). Everything I read said that African babies cried less than European babies. I was intrigued as to why.

When I went home I observed. I looked out for mothers and babies and they were everywhere (though not very young African ones - those under six weeks were mainly at home). The first thing I noticed is that despite their ubiquitousness it is actually quite difficult to actually "see" a Kenyan baby. They are usually incredibly well wrapped up before being carried or strapped onto their mother (sometimes father).
Even older babies already strapped onto a back are then further protected from the elements by a large blanket. You would be lucky to catch a limb, never mind an eye or nose. It is almost a womb-like replication in the wrapping. The babies are literally cocooned from the stresses of the outside world into which they are entering.

My second observation was a cultural one. In the UK it was understood that babies cry - in Kenya it was quite the opposite. The understanding is that babies don't cry. If they do - something is horribly wrong and must be done to rectify it immediately. My English sister-in-law summarized it well. "People here" she said "really don't like babies crying, do they?"

It all made much more sense when I finally delivered and my grandmother came from the village to visit. As it happened - my baby did cry a fair amount, and exasperated and tired, I forgot everything I had ever read and sometimes joined in the crying too. Yet for my grandmother it was simple - nyonyo (breastfeed her!). It was her answer to every single peep.
There were times when it was a wet nappy, or the fact that I had put her down, or that she needed burping that was the problem, but mainly she just wanted to be at the breast - it didn't really matter whether she was feeding or just having a comfort moment. I was already wearing her most of the time and co-sleeping with her, so this was a natural extension to what we were doing.

I suddenly learned the not-so-difficult secret as to the joyful silence of African babies. It was a simple needs-met symbiosis that required a total suspension of ideas of "what should be happening" and an embracing of what was actually going on in that moment. The bottom line was that my baby fed a lot - far more than I had ever read about anywhere and at least five times as much as some of the stricter feeding schedules I had heard about.
At about four months, when a lot of urban mothers start to introduce solids as previous guidelines had recommended, my daughter returned to newborn style hourly breastfeeding. She needed hourly feeds and this was a total shock. Over the past four months the time between feeds had slowly started to increase. I had even started to treat the odd patient without my breasts leaking or my daughter's nanny interrupting the session to let me know my daughter needed a feed.
Most of the mothers in my mother and baby group had duly started to introduce baby rice (to stretch the feeds) and all the professionals involved in our children's lives - pediatricians, even doulas, said that this was OK. Mothers needed rest too, we had done amazingly to get to four months exclusive breastfeeding, and they said our babies would be fine. Something didn't ring true for me and even when I tried (half-heartedly) to mix some pawpaw (the traditional weaning food in Kenya) with expressed milk and offered it to my daughter - she was having none of it.

So I called my grandmother. She laughed and asked if I had been reading books again. She carefully explained how breastfeeding was anything but linear. "She'll tell you when she's ready for food - and her body will too." "What will I do until then?" I was eager to know. "You do what you did before, regular nyonyo". So my life slowed down to what felt like a standstill again. While many of my contemporaries marveled at how their children were sleeping longer now that they had introduced the baby rice, and were even venturing to other foods, I was waking hourly or every two hours with my daughter and telling patients that the return to work wasn't panning out quite as I had planned.

I soon found that quite unwittingly I was turning into an informal support service for other urban mothers. My phone number was doing the round and many times while I was feeding my baby I would hear myself uttering the words, "Yes, just keep feeding him/ her." "Yes, even if you have just fed them" "Yes, you might not even manage to get out of your pajamas today" "Yes, you still need to eat and drink like a horse" "No, now might not be the time to consider going back to work if you can afford not to". "It will get easier". I had to just trust this last one as it hadn't gotten easier for me - yet.
A week or so before my daughter turned five months we traveled to the UK for a wedding and for her to meet family and friends. Especially because I had very few other demands, I kept up her feeding schedule easily. Despite the disconcerted looks of many strangers as I fed my daughter in many varied public places (most designated breastfeeding rooms were in rest rooms which I just could not bring myself to use), we carried on.
At the wedding, the people whose table we sat at noted, "She is such an easy baby - though she does feed a lot". I kept my silence, then another lady commented, "Though I did read somewhere that African babies don't cry much." I could not help but laugh.
My grandmother's gentle wisdom:
  1. Offer the breast every single moment that your baby is upset - even if you have just fed her.
  2. Co-sleep. Many times you can feed your baby before they are fully awake, which will allow them to go back to sleep easier and get you more rest.
  3. Always take a flask of warm water with bed to you at night to keep you hydrated and the milk flowing.
  4. Make the feeding your priority (especially during growth spurts) and get everyone else around you to do as much as they can for you. There is very little that cannot wait.
  5. Read your baby, not the books. Breastfeeding is not linear - it goes up and down (and also in circles). You are the expert on your baby's needs.

J. Claire K. Niala is a mother, osteopath & writer based in Nairobi, Kenya."


What do you think?? Have you read anything else about the topic? Let me know!


Annie's going GF!!

To all of my Gluten Free friends...Great news!!

Annie's (a company that I just love) is now offering several gluten free items.

From their website:

"Annie's totally natural Gluten Free offerings are tailored to those who follow wheat-free or gluten-free diets, but they're so delicious everyone will enjoy them! Our family of gluten-free products is always:

• Made with all-natural gluten-free ingredients
• Consisting of no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
• Processed without GMOs
• Free of trans fat and cholesterol

For lunch box snacks, try our new Gluten Free Bunny Cookies, or toss in a package of our Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks.  Annie's also offers two delicious pasta meals - Gluten Free Rice Pasta & Cheddar and new Deluxe Rice Pasta with Extra Cheesy Cheddar."

Click here to read more and find out where to purchase Annie's GF items!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Make Ahead Breakfast Ideas

So my favorite cooking Mama at One Hungry Mama posted this great article with recipes for make ahead breakfasts!


Whether you have kids in school or are just too tired to be creative in the morning (!) these are life savers!!

One Hungry Mama got these recipes from Simple Bites

Cottage Cheese & Yogurt Parfait with Fruit

Coconut Milk & Berry Smoothie

Buckwheat Pancakes

Berry Powerful Bars

Egg ‘McMuffin’

Scottish Oat Scones

Muffins…your way

Chai-Spiced Granola

Click here to read the entire article

AND Click HERE for the recipes!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Groups to Follow on Facebook

So, Facebook is great! You can keep in touch with friends and family- but also get some great information from companies and organizations with similar interests to you.

Here are some of my favorites:

Healthy Child Healthy World

(Healthy Child Healthy World is igniting a movement that inspires parents to protect young children from harmful chemicals.)

Stonyfield Farm!/stonyfieldfarm

(1983 - More than 27 years celebrating healthy food, healthy people, healthy business and a healthy planet!)

Seventh Generation

(1988. For more than 20 years, it's been Seventh Generation's mission to help you protect your world with our naturally safe and effective household products.)

Let's Move

(Americans working together to address the obesity epidemic and raise a healthier generation of kids.)

Kelly Mom

( provides evidence-based breastfeeding and parenting information to both professionals and parents.
Please visit our message boards if you have questions about breastfeeding or parenting:

 Click here to follow Littlest Foodie on Facebook

What other pages do you like? 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Arizona Midday Recipes

Sweet Potato Pancake Recipe:


  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Combine remaining ingredients; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop by tablespoons onto hot greased griddle or skillet and fry, turning once, until browned on both sides.
Makes about 24 pancakes.

Zucchini Muffins Recipe

For those of you who prefer to use oil over butter, be my guest (use 1 cup vegetable oil instead of the butter) but I have to tell you, I've made these both ways, and the butter version just tastes better.


  • 3 cups grated fresh zucchini
  • 2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)


You don't need a mixer for this recipe.
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the zucchini mixture and mix in. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. Stir in walnuts, raisins or cranberries if using.
2 Coat each muffin cup in your muffin pan with a little butter or vegetable oil spray. Use a spoon to distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups, filling the cups up completely. Bake on the middle rack until muffins are golden brown, and the top of the muffins bounce back when you press on them, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a long toothpick or a thin bamboo skewer to make sure the center of the muffins are done. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin let cool another 20 minutes.
Note, if you are including walnuts and dried fruit, you will likely have more batter than is needed for 12 muffins. I got about 14 muffins from this batch, and that included filling the muffin cups up as far as they could possibly go (above the surface of the muffin tin).

Saturday, September 4, 2010

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Presidential Proclamation--National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

  One of the greatest responsibilities we have as a Nation is to safeguard the health and well-being of our children.  We now face a national childhood obesity crisis, with nearly one in every three of America's children being overweight or obese.  There are concrete steps we can take right away as concerned parents, caregivers, educators, loved ones, and a Nation to ensure that our children are able to live full and active lives.  During National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, I urge all Americans to take action to meet our national goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.
Childhood obesity has been a growing problem for decades.  While it has afflicted children across our country, certain Americans have been disproportionately affected.  Particular racial and ethnic groups are more severely impacted, as are certain regions of the country.  In addition, obesity can be influenced by a number of environmental and behavioral factors, including unhealthy eating patterns and too little physical activity at home and at school.
We must do more to halt and reverse this epidemic, as obesity can lead to severe and chronic health problems during childhood, adolescence and adulthood, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and asthma.  Not only does excess weight adversely affect our children's well-being, but its associated health risks also impose great costs on families, our health care system, and our economy.  Each year, nearly $150 billion are spent to treat obesity-related medical conditions.  This is not the future to which we want to consign our children, and it is a burden our health care system cannot bear.
Earlier this year, the First Lady announced "Let's Move!"    an initiative to combat childhood obesity at every stage of a child's life.  As President, I created a Task Force on Childhood Obesity to marshal the combined resources of the Federal Government to develop interagency solutions and make recommendations on how to respond to this crisis.  The Task Force produced a report containing a comprehensive set of recommendations that will put our country on track for solving this pressing health issue and preventing it from threatening future generations.
The report outlines broad strategies to address childhood obesity, including providing healthier food in schools, ensuring access to healthy affordable food, increasing opportunities for physical activity, empowering parents and caregivers with better information about making healthy choices, and giving children a healthy start in life.  I invite all Americans to visit to learn more about these recommendations and find additional information and resources on how to help children eat healthy and stay active.
The new landmark health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), includes a number of important tools for fighting and reversing the rise of childhood obesity.  All new health insurance plans will be required to cover both screenings for childhood obesity and counseling on nutrition and sustained weight loss, without charging any out of pocket costs.  The ACA also requires large restaurant and vending machine operators to provide visible nutritional information about the products they sell, enabling all Americans to make more informed choices about the foods they eat.  As part of my Administration's comprehensive approach to combating this epidemic, the ACA includes millions in new funds to implement prevention activities nationwide that support recommendations of the Task Force on Childhood Obesity.
Our history shows that when we are united in our convictions, we can safeguard the health and safety of America's children for generations to come.  When waves of American children were stricken with polio and disabled for life, we developed a nationwide immunization program that eradicated this crippling disease from our shores within a matter of decades.  When we discovered that children were going to school hungry because their families could not afford nutritious meals, we created the National School Lunch Program.  Today, this program feeds more than 30 million American children, often at little or no charge.  When we work together, we can overcome any obstacle and protect our Nation's most precious resource -- our children.  As we take steps to turn around the epidemic of childhood obesity, I am confident that we will solve this problem together, and that we will solve it in a generation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2010 as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.  I encourage all Americans to take action by learning about and engaging in activities that promote healthy eating and greater physical activity by all of our Nation's children.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.