Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Few Recipe Ideas for an Overly Independent Eater

Today's post is going to be taken from snippets from a couple of posts I did on the cooking blog that my sisters and I share. 
Erik went through a phase where if he wasn't putting food in his mouth with his own fingers, than it wasn't going in at all. This meant every meal had to be finger foods, but they also had to be soft since he was kind of a late bloomer in the teething area. Finding a variety of things to feed this kid was a daily challenge. 
 I started to look around online for ideas, and that's when I discovered tofu as a baby food. Tofu is packed with protein and nutrients, but is very soft, so it can be easily mashed between a baby's gums. It has almost no flavor of it's own, but will take on the flavors of other things very easily. This makes it the perfect baby food, that you can use for any meal. 
(Just in case you are also in a menu rut and need some inspiration, some of the websites I looked at while looking for meal ideas are here, here, and here.)

For breakfast: Cold Cereal Tofu 
What you need:
Firm tofu, cut into bite size pieces
A handful of baby's favorite cold cereal, we used whole grain Cheerios, crushed in a small resealable bag.
What to do:
Toss the tofu in the bag of crumbs, give it a good shake, and then you're ready to go. You now have cheerio flavored tofu bites. Slightly crunchy on the outside, but smooth and creamy on the inside. Add some diced fruit (in this case strawberries and blueberries) and you've got a perfect way to start the day!  

 For Lunch: Crunchy Tofu Nuggets
You will need:
firm tofu, cut into bite size pieces
flour (about 2-3 TBS maybe more, depending on how much tofu you've got)
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, or anything else you want to use to season the flour
Your baby's favorite crackers, I used gold fish, crushed up
milk (maybe 2 TBS?)
What you do:
Mix whatever seasonings you've chosen into your flour. Roll the tofu bites into the flour to coat.
Dip the bites into the milk, just long enough to moisten them, not long enough to soak the flour off.
Roll in the cracker crumbs, and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, or until nice and crunchy on the outside. Add some veggies and you've got a meal.

For Dinner: Italian Tofu Treats

What you need:
Firm tofu, cubed
spaghetti sauce
bread crumbs (either pre-seasoned, or you can mix in some garlic and onion powder, basil, oregano, parsley, etc...)
What you do:
Roll the tofu in the spaghetti sauce, then in the bread crumbs. Bake at 350 until they are warm and crunchy.

You don't think this sounds yummy? Well, let's see what the baby thinks...

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