Saturday, January 29, 2011

Back to work!

Can you believe it, first day back at work after over two years and my little boy has a fever! So I've booked an extra day of childcare for this important day and I'm thinking about whether to take a sickie or not! Yeah, not a good look. Fortunately, I have a wonderful husband who ended up staying at home for the day instead and I'm sure this is just the first of many days where we pay for childcare but don't use it.

Mind you, it was gorgeous, when our son waved goodbye to me saying, "Mummy go to work. Matt Matt stay at home with my Daddy."

As for work? It was lovely to see old faces and have everyone welcome me back with such enthusiasm. Totally exhausting, trying to catch up on new systems and get the old brain into gear, but good none the less. Another good point? Perhaps my hands will get softer again since I don't have to wash my hands a million times a day every time I touch something or have a cup of tea... all the little things count :-)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Childcare update

Well, it's official. Our toddler loves his new childcare! He wakes in the morning and asks, "New childcare today?" No, not today... on Thursday you go to childcare. "Today not Thursday?" No, today is Saturday. You've got to love it!

As for me? I love childcare! It's been 2 weeks of settling in and things are going great, after a minor hiccup. One of the best aspects of where we are going is that the centre is new. This means I am able to walk into the kitchen in the morning and have a chat to the chef if I need to. They went out to the shops with our list of approved foods and haven't raised any concerns about having to buy specific brands for our son's allergies. In fact, they've decided that on the two days he attends, they will simply cook using only his ingredients for all of the kids! That reduces the risk of contamination at the lunch table and helps our little boy feel like he's just one of the kids.

This was the third centre I considered because even in the suburbs, it can be hard finding a suitable place. The second centre I considered didn't even give me all the right forms for his allergies. If they can't even give me the right forms, how are they going to actually understand the complications of it all? But I'm not upset - afterall, it meant that I had to look elsewhere and have now found a place that has surpassed my expectations in may ways.

So I can return to work knowing that my son is being carefully cared for. Two weeks of someone else feeding our son and not a rash in sight... Priceless.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hamburger Patties

Wow, I am so excited - this is my first successful attempt at making something with a few more ingredients. I have tried making little patties before from chicken mince as well as beef mince but with only a few ingredients to work with, they have always turned out dry and very strong in their meat taste. Thus, my little one has a taste and that's about it. So I'm very very excited that he has already eaten 4 small patties and is currently working his way through another four!

Ingredients:
500g Beef mince
1 C Freedom Foods Corn Flakes crushed using a blender or food processor (this replaces bread crumbs)
2T St Dalfour Strawberry Jam (this replaces egg and binds it all together)
2T Tomato paste
1/2 C water (add gradually)
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. If the mix is too dry, simply add more water to moisten the mix. Shape into small balls, then flatten in your palm.
Fry gently on both sides in melted Nuttelex or whatever oil you choose.

I just fried a little bit up first to see if I like the taste. I ended up eating quite a few... taste testing of course! But yum!





 I also fried up some leftover rice in the pan afterwards to soak up the juices. This is a handy way to flavour any carbs or vegies - I use rice, potatoe, corn - whatever I have on hand.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pan Fried Meat and Soup Pasta

My son loves to eat top quality meat – simply picks it up with his little fingers and feeds himself. The baby pasta I’m afraid isn’t mess free. However, it is small so that toddlers can manage to get some of it onto their spoon without too much drama. Whether they get it into their mouth will depend totally on the individual!

This recipe uses soy sauce as well as pasta. The soy sauce I used is called Tamari, reduced salt soy sauce, made by Abundant Earth. Although I should be able to use normal soy sauce with my son, the fact that this soy sauce says it is wheat free hopefully means that the company is more serious about not contaminating it with other ingredients. I am always a little wary of products made in Asia, despite what the ingredient labels say.

I used San Remo Soup Pasta – for some reason, all the other wheat pastas made by this brand say they can contain traces of milk and egg. The soup pasta is the only wheat pasta we can use made by San Remo, although I think there are wheat-free products we can probably use.

1, Slice meat into bite size pieces. Marinate in Soy sauce if you are able to, or whatever flavouring you choose to use. I have used no flavouring up to now, so my son thinks soy sauce is amazing!
2. Melt Nuttelex in a pan, or simply use whatever oil you choose.
3. Add meat and cook until just done.
4. Take out meat to cool and serve.
5. Add enough water to the pan to get the flavour from the pan.
6. Add San Remo Soup Pasta – however much you choose to cook then add water to suit. The more pasta you use, the more dilute the flavour will be. I typically cook enough for 2 meals for the little one.


 7. I let the pasta simmer until done, stirring occasionally. I only add enough water for the pasta to totally absorb. I simply add about ½C at a time, and if the pasta is not yet done, I add another ½C and stir.
This should leave with you with a moist pasta and not too much soup to splash everywhere.


If you need to cool it quickly, I add an ice cube to the bowl (use this method when the little one won’t wait!)
Of course feel free to add other vegies to it too, but for some reason our toddler doesn't seem to like it when there are multiple ingredients in a dish. He will go through and pick what he wants, leaving a very very big mess. Thus, I serve the vegies afterwards, as third course.
Hope your little one enjoys it too!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stuff nobody tells you till after

Longlife Soy milk
Our son happily drinks So Good Regular Soy milk fresh from the refrigerated section- apparently this is the most fatty of soy milks. However, when I tried him on Longlife Soy milk, by the same brand, he ended up with diarrhea for 3 days! I had checked the ingredients list as well as the nutritional panel on both products. They were exactly the same. However, after a little internet research, I found a reference to the UHT process making the milk harder to digest. This is the only answer I can figure out. But no more long life milk for us. Oh, here's a tip... we couldn't get our son to drink soy milk initially but once we warmed it up slightly he loved it. Makes perfect sense when you compare it to breastmilk, but hindsight is always your friend ;-)

Vegemite
Our son loved the taste of Vegemite, but it gave him diarrhea for a week. For some reason, when you tell people this, they all let out a sigh and say yes, it's probably the yeast... but nobody every says anything about any problems when you tell them you're thinking about giving it to your child! Oh well, we'll give this another go in about a year when hopefully his digestive system improves.