Hello World 🙂
This is my first post, my very first words to the universe about Smart Bites for Baby.
It is a very special moment.
Given the amount of time I spend pondering over how I should share this idea with you .
The idea being Smart Bites for Baby, an approach to food and cooking that looks at eating as a developmental tool that can stimulate and enhance growth for the budding bodies and brains of babies and toddlers. Using fresh, organic and whole foods, Smart Bites for Baby is about finding the most delicious and fun ways to provide your child with the most vitamin packed superfoods in simple and easy recipes.
So to begin, I would like to share recipes for a very simple and vitamin-packed meal for your toddler (2 years+).
Orange infused salmon with flaxseed/sesame green beans and carrots, a hijiki salad with mushrooms and a little fresh strawberry for color and sweetness.
This meal is packed with Omega 3 fatty acid, folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B, beta-carotene, iron, zinc, and much more. Orange infused salmon with flaxseed/sesame green beans and carrots, a hijiki salad with mushrooms and a little fresh strawberry for color and sweetness.
The salmon is roasted for a mere 4-6 minutes, and the green beans are cooked al dente for a crunchy texture. The green beans and hijiki can be made in large batches and kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 or 3 days. My son loves to eat the green beans as a snack, and when I put the leftovers in his bento lunch box, they are always gone when he comes home.
Why do I serve the two vegetables in the small wrappers? Because Magnus thinks they are fun, and they are small enough for a toddler portion, and he is very proud when he finishes everything in the little cup-like wrapper. So I think it is good for him to have a sense of accomplishment. I play with serving plates and different ways I can serve him food. These disposable wrappers are what are traditionally used in Japanese bento boxes, but you can use cupcake holders, dixie cups or other small containers.
Orange Infused Salmon
2 salmon filets
zest and juice from half an orange
2 teaspoons olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 380 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place 2 salmon filets, drizzle the juice from the orange and the olive oil. Sprinkle the orange zest.
3. Roast for 4-6 minutes, depending on your oven. The fish should be very moist and almost undercooked – it should not be dry and flaky.
4. Take out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Serve.
Green Beans and Carrots with Flaxseeds and Sesame
2 cups fresh young green beans (or french haricots verts if you can get them)
half a carrot
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1 tablespoon grilled white or black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1. Bring to boil a large pot of water with a dash of salt.
2. Wash and cut the ends of the green beans. Wash and peel the half carrot and cut into thin slender pieces, similar to the shape of the green bean.
3. Boil the green beans and carrots for 8-10 minutes, making sure they are still crunchy. Immediately dunk the vegetables in cold or ice water to stop the cooking process.
4. In a bowl, mix together flaxseeds, sesame seeds, soy sauce and brown sugar. Toss in the vegetables, mix well and serve. It is also good to keep in the fridge for 10 minutes for the flavors to marinate before serving cold.
Hijiki Seaweed with Mushrooms
1/2 cup dried hijiki seaweed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3 dried shitake mushrooms
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1. Rinse hijiki well under running water.
2. In a bowl, place dry shitake mushrooms and cover with water and let stand for 15-20 minutes. In a separate bowl, place hijiki and cover with water, and let stand for 15-20 minutes.
3. Drain the hijiki and the mushrooms, saving the liquid.
4. Dice the mushrooms into thin pieces, cutting off and discarding the hard stem.
5. In a small saucepan, heat sesame oil over low-medium heat. Add carrots and cook until softened.
6. Add hijiki, mushrooms, soy sauce, the liquid from the hijiki/mushrooms, and mirin to the carrots. Heat through.
7. Serve warm or cool.