Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Solid Food 12mo-18mo

View Solid Food 6mo-12mo here.

Time flies. My boy is now 20mo. Since he started his solid, I have tried my best to have family meals, except weekday lunches when we are out to work and Phin Zhe is in daycare. When it is meal time, daddy will bring Phin Zhe to wash hands while I set up the dining table. Then one of us will put Phin Zhe in his IKEA high chair. He will definitely ask for his spoon and fork and we start eating. Basically at 20mo, he eats almost everything we eat and that includes bitter gourd. When having family meals frequently, there is a lot of positive impacts on kids, in both physical and mental development. This is a food post so I do not intend to talk on parenting. Do google for it if you are interested.

4 day rules?
After my boy turned one year old, I started to introduce him with more varieties. For certain food, it is very difficult to serve the same food for consecutive 4 days. But I still keep an eye on what he eat and introduce one new food at a time. This is very important. In the case of food allergy(touch wood!), you would be able to trace down to the source.

Processed food
The reason I do not like processed food because you will never know the exact ingredients in the food and the exact process to produce it. Even organic food, it could be contaminated along the production line. Another reason is I found that it is very hard not to exceed the daily salt and sugar intake limit if I were to give my boy processed food. So I want to stick with raw and real food whenever possible. But then after one year old, I started to give ghee(14mo), butter(18mo), cheese(14mo)(want to try making own cheese, but I am a busy FTWM) and organic non-gmo toufu(16mo)(when I don’t have time to make my own toufu). The only less healthy snack that I ever gave to him is Arrowhead Mills organic puffed kamut(14mo). But my son was not too keen with the puffs, he did not finish the bag I bought.

Dine out?

No, Phin Zhe has not tried outside food yet. Everytime when we have family gathering or when we are on vacation, I will prepare simple food for him. It is not troublesome at all if you do some proper planning. When will he has his first real restaurant dining experience? Emm...soon, we have an oversea trip when he is close to 2. It is impossible to cook the first meal after touch down. But I will choose a healthy restaurant and cook as much as possible during the trip.

Still organic?
His food is still mainly organic, with some exceptions like garlic, onion, ginger, kiwi, avocado, orange etc. Of course there is no organic pork(at least I could not find it in penang) and no organic fish.

Pork: Shinju Foodstuffs Enzyme Pork(Non halal)
Chicken: DQ organic clean chicken(only grass fed chicken in Malaysia)

Fish: fresh fish from Penang market(most of the time promfret, eel or threadfin) and aeon(salmon and cod fish)

Dairy products?
Ghee is one of the least likely dairy products that can cause unpleasant lactose intolerance. Therefore I introduced ghee first, then cheese at 14mo. Butter came later at 18mo. Ghee also contain all the essential fats for baby’s brain development. In India, Ayurvedic believes that ghee has healing effects and is gentle to stomach. I use it widely in bread and cooking.

Ghee – Purity Farms Organic Ghee

Tasmania, Kerrygold and Taiwan four ways are not organic. But their cows are not treated with growth hormones and antibiotics. Besides that, grass fed cows produce dairy product that have higher omega 3 to omega 6 ratio than grain fed cows. It is very hard to find happy cows that graze on lush green fields all year long. Most of the farm will feed with hay, silage and grains in winter. Therefore different period of a year I will get cheese from different countries, for example in July I will get Clover Organic Cheddar and in January I will get Tasmania Ashgrove Cheddar.

Butter – Organic Times
I seldom use butter. But this is the only butter I can get from the organic shop in Penang. I use it when I am running out of ghee.

Yogurt – Easiyo Biolife Organic
I have made yogurt 2-3 times using this Easiyo Biolife Organic sachet from New Zealand. It is unsweetened so I mixed it with lots of fresh fruits.
Fresh milk - Not yet as Phin Zhe is still on breast milk.

Switching from porridge to rice?
I was not in a hurry to switch him to rice because porridge is easier for digestion. My son poops 2-3 times a day. I am glad that his digestion system works well. Ahem! I know this is a food blog. ;-) When he was at 17mo, he showed interest in the rice we were eating. So I gave him some rice after his porridge dinner. He enjoyed them. He took around 1 month before he had his first full serving of rice meal. Wait for baby’s cue. Some babies are ready for rice earlier but some are not.

Little one rejects food?
When your little one rejects your food, my son does that too, most of the time it has nothing to do with the food itself. It could be they are sleepy, they want to poop, they are teething, they are not well, they are not hungry, the food is too hot or too cold, it is a new food, they do not like the texture or the way the food is cooked, and many other reasons. I also read in somewhere that little one takes 6-8 times before he decides that he really do not like that food. I know how it feels when little one keeps the food untouched because it happened to us too. But clever little one can sense our emotions. Just relax and take it easy. I still remember we let him skipped his dinner because he rejected the food, not once but few times. Don’t worry, he still have his milk.
How many meals a day?
My son has 3 main meals and 2 snacks, supplemented with breast milk.
Breakfast: Bread, Mantou, Oatmeal, Pancake, Steamed cupcakes, red bean soup, green bean soup, soy milk, fruits
Lunch(weekdays): 1 pot porridge(after 18mo, he still eat 1 pot porridge)
          (weekends): meesua, pasta
Dinner(weekdays): 1 pot porridge(after 18mo, he eats what we eat)
         (weekends): dishes and soup with soft grains
Snacks: Fruits, Bread, Mantou

Here is his food record

13 months old
Leek, tomato, promfret, black rice, long grain rice, pearl rice, adzuki bean, mung bean, pumpkin mantou, brown sugar, wholemeal mantou, cherries, red lentils, siew pak choy, chayote
** Brown sugar is used in mantou, then later in bread and steamed cupcakes.
** Lentils are added to porridge. It makes porridge very fragrant. But they need to be soaked overnight in fridge to speed up the cooking time.
14 months old
Burdock root, white radish, dried shiitake mushroom, orange, yellow bell pepper, asparagus, ghee, puffed kamut, aged cheddar cheese, flaxseed(ghee and flaxseed mantou)
** I cooked burdock root in 5 colors soup. Burdock root(brown), dried shiitake mushroom(black), radish(white), radish leaves(green) and carrot(red).
15 months old
White button mushroom, garlic, chia seeds, rolled oat, macaroni(mac and cheese), yellow lentils, pandan leaf(mantou), pomelo, cold pressed sesame oil
** Chia seeds are added in yogurt and later soy milk.
** Rolled oat is cooked into oat meal and pancake.
16 months old
Miso, smooth toufu, alaria(sea vege), dulse(sea vege), grape seed oil, red grape, wax apple, lady finger, threadfin(fish), virgin coconut oil, green onion, chinese coriander
** I love to serve meesua in miso soup with smooth toufu, mushroom of any type, alaria, dulse and radish. Sea vegetables are high in calcium and iron. And this dish can be kept in thermos on the go.
** Virgin coconut oil is used in banana pancake
17 months old
Brown rice, barley, buckwheat, soy milk, bitter gourd, luffa, green bell pepper, lettuce, lotus root powder(lotus root soup for cough),  molasses sugar, enoki mushroom(brown and white), brown button mushroom
** Remedy for cough: Double boil/Steam few red dates, some wolfberries, one small slice of ginger in 0.5l water for 20-30mins. Then dissolve 1tsp lotus root powder in water and add to the soup. Bring the soup to boil and consume within the same day. Whenever my son has blocked/running nose and cough, I give him this drink consecutive few days and can see good result.

18 months old
Black sesame(powder form), sweet corn, cucumber, lotus seed(lotus seed red bean soup), pea sprout, Chinese yam(powder form), red dragon fruit, unsalted butter, oyster mushroom, codonopsis pilosula(党参), polyganatum(玉竹), bak kei(北芪), eel(fish)
** I cooked mild Chinese herbal chicken soup with codonopsis pilosula(党参), polyganatum(玉竹) and bak kei(北芪) twice so far.
After 18mo
Before that, I prepared his food separately. I do not season his porridge, so his only salt and sugar intake are from bread, cheese and other food. After 18mo, he eats what we eat. I tweaked our recipes so that it is suitable for both adults and toddler. Sometimes I take out his portion of food before I add in salt, light soy sauce or sugar. And sometimes he will have lightly seasoned food. I have summarized the daily recommended salt below. Do note that 1tsp salt equal to 6g salt. And also do note that many food like cheese, bread etc has salt in it too. As for sugar, the recommended daily intake for 3-8year old is 3tsp and for bigger kids is 8tsp max. There is no guideline for smaller babies. But sugar is not needed in our diet, it does more harm than good, obesity in children and related health issues. So avoid it whenever possible.   

1 to 1.5 year – below 1g salt a day( below 0.4g sodium)
1.5 to 2 year - 1g salt a day (0.4g sodium)
2 to 3 year - 2g salt a day(0.8g sodium)
3 to 6 years – 3g salt a day (1.2g sodium)
6 to 10 years – 5g salt a day (2g sodium)
10 years and over – 6g salt a day (2.4g sodium)

More new food
As for new food, I have introduced prawn and honey to him at 20 months old.
Honey – The minimum age for honey is 1 year old. At younger age, there is a risk for baby to develop botulism. If not because of his daddy want to let him try some lemon honey drink, I would have dragged him even longer.
Prawn – Since there is no family food allergy history, I decided to try out prawn at 20mo too. Prawn is low in mercury and it is a good source of protein. Furthermore it is easy to get fresh prawn in Penang. The first time I stir fry some greens with prawn and let him eat the veggies only. Then the second time I let him try the prawn.
Beef – The reason I did not introduced beef yet because it is hard to find a good source. But not long ago, I saw Cold Storage in Gurney Penang selling grass fed beef from Australia. I am thinking to let him try some before our Australia trip few months later. Emm…how about minced beef in spaghetti Bolognese?
Seeds – I have introduced flax seeds(14mo), chia seeds(15mo) and black sesame seeds(18mo). However I did not give him those seeds regularly. Next in the list will be pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Oh yes, except chia seeds, all seeds I give in powder form.
Nuts – Nuts are top in the allergy list too. So I will save it for later.
Other seafood – Not yet

Last but not least

Parenting is an on going learning process. It is not for us to compare or judge each others as there is no absolute right or wrong. This post is just to share what I have read and experimented with my only boy. Follow your senses and do what you feel right and comfortable. Happy parenting! :)


jas said...

Hi mummy soo sean, may I know that how you mix & match with different ingrediets ( 13-18months)?Any suggestion? You buy what's miso brand? Tks your advise.

soo sean said...

Hi Jas,

Glad to hear from you again. Hope you and your baby are doing well.

After my boy turned 1 year old, he still had his 1 pot porridge on weekdays. Then weekends I will cook him something more "fancy", soft grains with dishes or meesua. It is just simplified dishes from adult version with no seasoning. All ingredients are cut to very small pieces and cooked until they are very soft. This is a transition stage before he can join us for meal later. Also, I found that at this stage, he prefer to have dishes rather than 1 pot. He made a "wow" sound when he saw me serving the dishes. :)

Here are some meals that I have captured during that 13mo-18mo period. His favourite combination will be:
1. soup of any kind. bittergourd soup, abc soup, miso soup, old cucumber soup etc.
2. started with soft green leafy veggies of any kind, then at later stage he prefer texture, green bean, lady fingers etc.
3. steam fish/steam egg/scramble egg/meat patties. After 18mo, he have on meat/chicken stripes.
4. finely cut and well cooked mushroom of any kind


Then from 17mo+, I don't cook separately for him unless we are going to restaurant. Hope this can give you some ideas.

I am using Eden miso paste, but I heard BMS miso series is good too.

jas said...

Mummy soo sean, tks for your reply & sharing. My boy (15 month)rejected porridge recently. I feel headache when prepare his meal.I like to read your blog. Thanks so much.

jas said...

Hi Soo Sean, may I know that you use which brand of virgin coconut oil? Can use VCO to cook veg & etc?

soo sean said...

Hi Jas,
Thanks for your compliment. How about alternating between some other food, eg. pasta, noodles etc and porridge?

For cooking, you can just get Country Farm from Aeon. But do note that VCO has a relatively low smoke point of 175c, it is only suitable for lower temp cooking.

jas said...

Ok, will try to give him alternating between pasta & etc. Will learn from you:)

For cooking, grapeseed oil more suitable, right?

soo sean said...

No problem, we learn together.

I have one post about cooking oil years back, not sure you have read it or not.

I do have few cooking oils at home now.
1. extra virgin olive oil for cold dressing and very low temp cooking
2. grape seed oil for normal cooking
3. rice bran for frying, but seldom fry because of my boy now. :)
4. ghee for baking, even cooking sometimes
5. cold pressed sesame oil - drizzle on cooked dishes or steamed fish
6. vco - basically everything, from cooking to mossie bites.

Not sure if I have missed out any. Yes, u are right that generally cooking can use grape seed oil. But I do notice some grape seed oil on the shelf have trans-fat. Check the label before you buy.

jas said...

Mummy soo sean, tks for your sharing. You really a awesome mum!! Any brand for avove oil will do, right ? What brand of cheddar cheese for baking biscuit? Difficult to get organic product here.

soo sean said...

Hi Jas,
Just get any extra virgin olive oil will do. Where do you stay? Some of the cheddar cheese I used are not organic too, mentioned in this post.

jas said...

Mummy soo sean, I m stay at sitiawan,Perak. Thanks for useful tips.

soo sean said...

Hi Jas,
I am from Perak too, Ipoh. You remind me of Pangkor. I am hoping to get some dried white bait for my son. You have any reliable source? I wonder if they add anything to the fish when they sun dry them.

jas said...

Hi soo sean, u want "银鱼"right? Normally I will purchase at Lumut & ask tauke to intro good quality anchovey & etc... I not sure whether they add anything to fish when they dry it, but I can help u to ask if go there,ok?

soo sean said...

Yes, I want 银鱼. If you go please help to ask.

White bait is one of the famous longevity food that have many benefits. And because we can consume the whole little fish, it is also one of the whole food. I prefer to give this compare to anchovy. But I want to make sure I can find reliable source first. Still trying hard.... :p

jas said...

Sure,no problem. Will help you to ask.

jas said...

Hi,mummy soo sean, sorry for delay. May I know that any question you wanna me to ask regarding white bait? Are you convenient to give me your hp no? Easier for me to contact you.

soo sean said...

Hi Jas, I just want to know if ikan bilis and the white bait has any food additives other than salt. Sure, we can talk offline. Please contact me via soo_sean(at) hotmail(dot)com first.

jas said...

Hi mummy soo sean, I did send ikam bilis image to your hotmail, but invalid.

soo sean said...

Did you change the (at) to @ and (dot) to . ?
my hotmail prefix is soo_sean.

jas said...

Yes, yes, I did change. I did leave my message at ur facebook personal nail as well, did you receive?

soo sean said...

Wah, you can find me in fb. :)
I check tonight.

jas said...


soo sean said...

Hi Jas, I did not receive yr fb message. Can you leave your email add?

jas said...

Hi soo sean, sorry, just saw ur message. My email add: jaslyn516@yahoo.com