Week 15: Kidney beans or pinto beans and Pasta

Kidney beans or pinto beans

Beans for Your Baby

The kidney bean is red in color and shaped, well like a kidney. The pinto bean is brown and is also shaped like a kidney. These beans are most commonly found in the American version of chili, and they are really great finger foods for your baby. The easiest way to serve them is just right out of a can! But, you will have an entire can of beans to use up before they go bad. We have included an easy bean salad to use up all those beans that your baby will not be able to eat.

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When is baby ready?

8 months old

How to buy

Just buy cans of beans. Cooking beans from their dried state is very time consuming unless you have a pressure cooker. There is a little added salt in the can, but that shouldn't concern you. Also, canned beans retain their vitamins and minerals.

Homemade Baby Food Recipe

Open can and rinse beans for easy baby pick up and to wash off the added salt.

How to store

Store the leftovers in a plastic container in the refrigerator.

Are there baby food jars?

No.

Should I buy organic?

Yes, if you can find it.

Adult Recipe

Cold beans can just be tossed onto any salad to add a texture and bit of flavor. Here is a simple bean salad that baby might even enjoy.

Basic Bean Salad

1 can leftover beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Just mix and serve.

Pasta

Pasta For Your Baby

Pasta is a great child favorite and one that you can feel good about serving. There are many shapes, brands, and types of pastas to buy. There has been a surge in recent years of whole grain pasta, and if you like it, by all means serve it. But, it may surprise you that pasta is not the same as bread. Unlike bread, pasta is made from semolina flour, which comes from durum wheat. When eating pasta, blood glucose absorption is much slower than when eating whole grain bread. This means that you won’t experience a large “spike” in blood sugar after eating pasta. Regular pasta has both protein and fiber. We recommend buying Italian pasta because under Italian law there must be a high percentage of protein in the pasta. Imported Italian pasta tastes good and is good for you. The best pasta for babies is easy to pick up shapes such as spirals.

If your baby is at risk for food allergies, (for example: if they have eczema, asthma, allergies or if they have other family members with these conditions) then you should avoid all wheat products until your baby is at least one year old.

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When is baby ready?

8 months old

How to buy

Buy Italian spiral pasta.

Homemade Baby Food Recipe

You are supposed to boil 5 quarts of water for a point of pasta. This can be time consuming if your stove is weak, and you might not have a big enough pot. You can get away with a gallon of water for a pound but if the pasta sticks together you should increase the water. After the water comes to a boil, salt it (use 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt for each pound of pasta). This improves the taste of the pasta. Bring the water back to a boil and stir it to keep from sticking. Cook the pasta until it is rather soft, but not so soft that it falls apart.

How to store

Store in cupboard for a year or more.

Are there baby food jars?

Yes. There are jars with pasta and sauce for toddlers.

Should I buy organic?

Yes, if you can find it.

Adult Recipe

Making tomato sauce is easy and quick. You can make it in the time it takes to boil water and cook the pasta. But, if you decide to buy tomato sauce, try buying "Newman's Own" brand. This brand has less additives than other jarred pastas and a more fresh taste. You want to avoid added sugar in your pasta sauce.

Easy Tomato Sauce

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic peeled and lightly smashed
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil and garlic in skillet over medium low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden brown. Drain the tomatoes and squeeze them one by one over the skillet as you add them. Raise the heat to medium high and cook stirring occasionally until the tomatoes break down. Stir in salt and pepper.

Eating tip of the week

Your baby's pincer grasp is now probably very developed. Give him a chance to practice his new found skill on his food! It will save you time (no more just sitting there spooning in the food) and he will have a great new game that, hopefully, will keep him occupied so you can do something else.

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