Kitchen Basics

For the Freezer:

Fresh is usually best for taste and nutrients, however frozen can be convenient stand-by.  Frozen items such as peas and blueberries make convenient finger foods for older babies and toddlers.  Frozen poultry, meats and fish will create all kinds of meals.

Don’t forget to use the freezer for left-overs and storage to create your own convenient “frozen dinners”.  Your baby’s purees, as well as sauces and broths store beautifully in ice cube trays and zip top bags.

For the Pantry:

Dried Foods-Bread, grains and pastas are good sources of carbohydrates that can be the basis for a quick and healthy meal.  Some dried beans and legumes require more cooking time and preparation but are economical and healthy.

Pasta – this can be any shape or size, so you’re ready to make spaghetti, lasagna, macaroni and cheese, udon, and soups.  Best choices are egg-less noodles for those under 12 months and wheat semolina for those over 12 months.

Dried Grains – these include couscous, quinoa, polenta and risotto.  These make good side dishes to meats and fish dishes as well as appropriate main dish with steamed vegetables or stews.  A good staple for Indian and Mediterranean dishes.

Beans and legumes – these include lentils, red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, and white beans.  You’re prepared for healthy dips such as hummus and black bean, as well as side dishes, soups and salads.

Breads – including pita, multi-grain, lavosh, bagels, and tortillas.  Different breads allow for various stuffings.  Create healthy pizzas, burritos, wraps, sandwiches and more.

Rice – infant rice for first meals and to mix in with vegetable and fruit purees.  Brown rice makes a good and healthy companion for Asian stir fry, and Mexican dishes.

Dried fruits – these are great healthy snacks alone, as well as good mix-ins for yogurt, granola, oatmeal, and cottage cheese.

Breakfast cereals – these include muesli, granola, low sugar cereals, oat bran, wheat germ, and oatmeal.  It’s also easy to make your own cereal mix by simply combining your favorite grains such as rolled oats, toasted wheat germ, and oat bran with dried fruit.