Infused Water Recipes

Infused water is a great way to making sure that you are staying hydrated during pregnancy and postpartum. By adding a few simple things to a large carafe and letting it sit over night, or in a fancy water infuser bottle, you can create so many flavours right at home!


One of our favourites for summer is Lemon Cucumber. The benefits of lemon water are longstanding with it being a go-to for liver and organ detoxification, and to reduce swelling and inflammation. The cucumber adds a hint of summer flavour. It's refreshing and cool; a great way to increase your water intake, keep your baby body cool, and ensure that you are staying hydrated.

Another great addition to your water is a combination of Watermelon and Mint. It's absolutely delicious and I haven't met a pregnant woman yet who isn't addicted to watermelon during a summer pregnancy. While not evidence based, I would hazard to hunch that the craving of watermelon is our bodies telling us that we need to increase our fluid intake. What a better way to do it than to add some fruit and veg to your water, let it sit and sip the tasty rewards?

xoxo
Shannon

Rhubarb Peach Oatmeal Baby Food Recipe

If you have a friend with rhubarb growing in their garden, you'll want to scoop some up this summer for this awesome and nutritious oatmeal recipe for your babies and toddlers.



If you are just starting out with solids for your little one, adding a cube of pureed rhubarb and a cube of pureed peach to their oatmeal is definitely a treat!

I like to roast my rhubarb. It's a super easy way to cook it down, without having to add any additional sugar. I tend to mix the rhubarb with things like apples, peaches and pears to add a bit of sweetness since it is often rather tart on its own.

For older children, diced bits of soft cooked rhubarb and peaches are easily mixed with a bowl of oatmeal and enjoyed as a hearty breakfast before school or even in the evening as a substantial snack.

In terms of nutrition, peaches are an excellent stonefruit that can help with tummy troubles and constipation. Lots of fibre, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and it is easily digested and enjoyed by little ones. Rhubarb is high in calcium and potassium, important for growing bones and bodies!

Nutty Oatmeal for New Mom's #recipe

For every new mom, we make a few packs of wholesome oatmeal to take to their first postpartum appointment. Why?

Well, because oatmeal is an awesome whole crain that lowers cholesterol. It is a super food, so while you may or may not be breastfeeding, it is just really healthy to incorporate into your every day routine.

Add in spices, nuts, seeds and a bit of sweetness...it's the perfect breakfast for a new mom who may have been up all night cluster feeding a growing newborn, tending to older children, trying to remember to sleep.

And, oh yeah...eat to fuel her body. Being a mom is exhausting, so if we can help by bringing breakfast...by all means we will!


1/2 cup oats
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp flaxseed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp hemp seed
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp walnuts

Add boiling water or steamed milk (or almond milk if you are dairy free), and let stand for 2-5minutes. Mix together...and enjoy!

xoxo
Shannon

Beginner Juice #Recipe for Moms

One thing that I really love to bring to a new mom's home following childbirth is some fresh juice. There's a lot to be said for prepping a massive jug of juice that they can pour themselves a glass from!


A photo posted by Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei (@sweetstellas) on
This juice has just four simple ingredients, but is great for breastfeeding mama's and gets a kick from some fresh lime!

To make a large 42oz jug, juice...

10 large kale leaves and stalks
10 apples, seeds and core removed
1.5 limes, green rind removed but white pith let on
8 medium carrots

Start with juicing a few of your kale leaves with an apple wedge or a carrot. You always want to follow your leafy or soft fruits with a harder fruit to ensure they get totally juiced.

With your remaining half lime, cut it into wedges and add to your juice jug.

Keep your juice in the fridge and consume within 72 hours.

Enjoy!

Oatmeal with Parsnips and Blueberries #babyfood

One of our favorite vegetables is parsnips and at around 9 months, was something that Graeme really enjoyed. I would mix it with beef and broccoli, but I started wanting to figure out other ways to offer this nutritious, nutty vegetable to him and it dawned on me...breakfast!


This pairing is really amazing for babies. My guy is a bit of a tank, so adjust the amounts according to your own baby but you can introduce this around 7-8 months. It even makes a really hearty breakfast for toddlers and preschoolers!

3 tbsp oatmeal (cooked with a bit of water in the microwave)
3 cubes of pureed parsnips
2-3 tbsp frozen blueberries

Parsnips, when pureed, make a great substitution for apples when you are trying to transition to chunkier foods, like the whole frozen blueberries. For this recipe, I took the cubes of parsnips and frozen blueberries out of the fridge the night before and let them thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, the next morning, I added the freshly made oatmeal and he chowed down.

Parsnips are rich in fibre and potassium, as well as antioxidants, making them an excellent choice for baby food!

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Green Beans, Squash and Oatmeal Baby Food Recipe

I know, I know...super weird combination but it's one of those ones that is sweet from the acorn squash, hearty because of the oats and rich in vitamins with the green beans. It's sort of a super food meal for baby, packed into one serving.



3 cubes green beans
2 cubes squash
1-2 tbsp prepared oatmeal

I like to defrost my cubes in a dish overnight in the fridge, then add freshly made oatmeal to the puree mix. It makes the mixture creamy and warm, very hearty for your little ones' tummy!


I introduced this recipe when our baby was 8 months old, but you could certainly do it closer to 6 months. As you can tell from the pictures, my mixture is chunky however you can make it the appropriate consistency for your own child.


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Lactation Granola Bars #recipe

This Spring when prepping food for a postpartum client, I developed a recipe for a delicious lactation granola bar. After testing out a few versions, I finally settled on one that I was really happy with and one that my clients really enjoy.


In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together...

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil (no substitutes here!)

When those are combined, you can opt to add 1 cup of chocolate chips (dark for added health benefits) or you can move on to adding the dry ingredients.

Add to your saucepan....

 2.5 cups oats
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Mix together well and then pour into a 9"x11" pan. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge until firm, about an hour or two. When they are firm and you are ready to cut them, let them sit out for 10-15 minutes to make cutting them into bars a bit easier.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container, or freeze in a bag. Enjoy these cold, as they will get a bit melty when they're sitting out for a bit.

Toddler approved! These bars also make a great after school snack, or a hearty brain-boosting breakfast on rushed mornings.


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Chicken and Peaches #babyfood #recipe

Finding great recipes that incorporate lean fats and protein into baby food is a lot easier than what you think. Sure, pureeing meats isn't for the faint of heart, but they hold great nutrition for your growing babe and their busy body.


Mix together

2 cubes of pureed chicken
2 cubes of pureed peaches
2 tbsp of infant oatmeal cereal

If you are making your own baby cereal, I find that it is best to add the oatmeal while it is still warm to defrosted cubes of baby food. Then, let it all mix and sit over night and you will have a really hearty breakfast for your little one.

To make pureed chicken, poach your chicken breasts or thighs in boiling water until cooked through, then puree in your blender or food processor. Otherwise, do like I did and roast them! I love roasting nearly all of my baby food ingredients. It heightens the flavour, and I can set a timer and go on about my day while the oven is cooking. Two roasted chicken breasts will yield approximately one ice cube tray of chicken puree.

If your baby isn't a fan of peaches, try this recipe with pears, apples, plums or even cauliflower!


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Stuffed Mushrooms for Breastfeeding Moms

This recipe is nutrient packed for breastfeeding moms, and it probably one of the yummiest, heartiest and healthiest dinners that I made all winter. I have two variations of it: dinner with large portobello caps, and appetizer with minis!


Mushrooms and spinach are fantastic for breastmilk supply, and bacon....well....it's bacon. It should be in everything.

4 large portobello mushroom caps
3 slices of bacon, chopped
2 cups of spinach, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1-2 cups of goat cheesse
shredded cheese for topping

Preheat your oven to 400F

Chop your bacon into small pieces, then brown in a hot skillet. Remove and drain away the excess grease, then return to the pan. Add in your chopped garlic and spinach, cooking just long enough to heat up and wilt the spinach.

Remove and mix well with your goat cheese, then fill your mushroom caps. Top with  shredded cheese and place the caps on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400F, then broil for 2-3 minutes to make the cheese nice and bubbly.

These stuffed mushrooms are amazing and hearty. We each had two for our dinner one night in February, and it was definitely enough to fill us up, without feeling guilt about what we ate.

To make mini versions, simply fill mini portobello mushroom caps with a half tablespoon of your filling, top with a little bit of cheese and bake for 5 minutes, until tender.

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Individual Apple Crisp Recipe

If you're set to host Easter or another gathering, here is a quick and easy dessert recipe that take only moments to prepare, and will leave your house smelling absolutely delicious.



Preheat your oven to 350F

Prepare your bowls or ramekins with a bit of butter, then add chopped apples. If you're using soup or cereal bowls, one apple is all you will need for each bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon, stir and set to the side.

For each cereal bowl, mix together

1/4 cup oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon
2 tbsp cold butter

If you're using smaller ramekins, the above topping mixture will fill about four ramekins.

I find it easier to mix the topping with your fingers, but a pastry fork would work well also. Top your apples with the mixture, then bake for 15 minutes, until the topping is crunchy on the top.

Caution! The dish you used to bake your apple crisp in will be extremely hot, as will the contents! Let it cool for a couple of minutes before eating. Best served with vanilla ice cream or a large dollop of whip cream!


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Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas, please! #babyfood #recipe

Now that our guy is a few months into solid feeding, we are getting into combination foods. This is something that I really loved doing with Owen, and it was great to know that at one sitting he could experience two, three or sometimes four different flavors and foods all at once.

One thing that I never thought to give him were chickpeas. Back in the fall, I was searching Pinterest for some ideas and came across one that used chickpeas as one of the ingredients. I got thinking about all of the different things that I could mix together, essentially making baby hummus, and came up with this awesome baby food recipe.



Preheat your oven to 350F. Peel your sweet potato, chop into chunks, and put into a baking or casserole dish. Add 1/2" of water to your casserole dish and put the lid on.

Roast for approximately 45minutes to an hour, or until the flesh of the sweet potato is tender. Allow to cool slightly in the pan, then put into your food processor or blender.

Add canned chickpeas and blend until smooth, using the water from your roasted sweet potatoes to thin as needed.

Yield 42 cubes



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Cranberry Walnut Lactation Muffin Recipe for Breastfeeding Moms

Have a baby on the way and not really sure where to start with stocking your freezer? Most often we turn to casseroles, but a lot can be said for stocking your freezer with healthy snacks, and ones that support breastfeeding if you know that is something you want to do.

Granola Bars
Muffins
Cookies
Waffles
Pancakes

These are all things that I make for my postpartum doula clients, as one basic recipe can stretch into a load of different, yummy varieties!


Preheat oven to 400F

2.5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp flax seed
5 tbsp ground oats
1/2 cup melted butter
1.5 cups milk
2 beaten eggs

Mix all of the above ingredients in a large bowl, adding more milk as necessary to thin the batter. Once mixed, add in two big handfuls of dried cranberries, one big handful of chopped walnuts and 2tsp cinnamon.

Line your muffin tin with paper cups, then add batter to the cups so they are about 2/3 full. Bake at 400F for 18 minutes, then allow to cool slightly in the pan. Remove and transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely.

Toss them into freezer bags and store in the freezer! They make a perfect breakfast or snack, and the cinnamon, flax, oats, nuts and cranberries all support lactation!

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Simple Baby Food Combinations: Beef with Pear and Sweet Potatoes

When I got to making homemade baby food purees with my first baby, I experimented with combination foods and adding spices and herbs to vegetables and fruits. This time around, I really like sticking to pure foods and then mixing them up to create mini one-pot meals for our baby.

While making pureed beef isn't for the faint of heart, it is really nutritious for baby and if you get the texture just right, thickens other purees. It is great combined with things like parsnip and carrots, but I wondered about combining the beef puree with pears as they are (currently) our baby's favorite.



I mixed on cube of beef puree with two cubes pureed pears and two cubes of pureed sweet potatoes, and the combination was a huge hit with our little guy.

Since trying the combination, we have experimented with a few other beef based combos that are likely unexpected, but delicious for baby.

Beef with peaches and parsnips
Beef with oats and green beans
Beef with apples and carrots

I like storing all of my cubes in separate bags in the freezer so that I can mix and match combinations as needed.

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Carrot Ginger #juice #recipe for Breastfeeding Moms

Proper nutrition when you are breastfeeding is super important, and something that I have been doing alot of research on to help out my postpartum doula clients.

Breastfeeding didn't exactly go as planned for me, so I wanted to make sure that I had a load of knowledge in my doula toolkit...what to eat, how to create a comfortable environment, touch base with local lactation consultants etc.

One way to get amazing lactation boosting nutrients is to juice, and juicing is something that I have become pretty proficient at over the past year, so it is something that I really love to be able to provide my clients with. A fresh juice, delivered to your door? Pretty awesome.


Now, when I'm making juice for my doula clients, I usually like to make a big batch, then transfer it into a sealed pitcher that they can put in the fridge. Fresh made juices can keep 24-48 hours once chilled (max. 72 hrs)

7 apples (cored)
5 large carrots (rinsed)
3 pears (cored)
3" ginger (peeled)
1 lemon (rind removed, white pith left on)

Yes, that's a lot of produce but it will yield about 50oz of that beautiful vibrant orange juice that you see above! Since all of the ingredients are firm, the order that you push everything through your juicer doesn't really matter.

Once you've juiced everything (you may have to take a break to transfer some into your pitcher, then resume juicing), swirl it together in your pitcher then seal it up, and refrigerate.

If you're not fond of the ginger flavor, add another lemon. Lemons and apples naturally cut strong flavors when juicing, and both are great lactation boosters.


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Apple Cherry Cranberry Oatmeal Muffin #recipe

Need a wholesome after school snack, addition to your kiddos lunch, or just something yummy to have on hand? Whip up a batch of these Apple Cherry Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins!

I like to have a few different kids of peanut free muffins in the freezer so that our four year old, Owen, can choose his muffins the night before school when we are packing his lunch bag.

 
Preheat your oven to 400F

1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter

Once you have mixed all of those lovely ingredients together, add in...

1/2 an apple, finely diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried cherries

Mix well, then put in your prepared muffin tin using a cookie scoop or spoon.

Bake for 18 minutes, then allow to cool in the muffin tin.

If your child has an issue with textures, you could bake your apples first with a bit of water and the dried cranberries and cherries, then puree. If you add a puree, keep in mind that the batter will turn whatever color your puree is. When this happens, I usually tell my son that is is something cool. This is how we came up with Dinosaur Juice for any juice that is green, and Tiger Juice for orange ones. Since these ones would turn a pinky red color, we would probably call them something like MacQueen Muffins.

No matter what you call them, they are wholesome and delicious!

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Homemade Oatmeal Baby Food #Recipe

If you have a spice or coffee grinder at home, making your own homemade oatmeal or rice baby food is super easy!



Simply add rice or oatmeal into your grinder, and pulverize until it is a powder. This takes about 10-20 seconds.

Once you've ground your oats into oat powder, you're ready to make baby oatmeal.

Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil, then add in 2tbsp of oat powder, and whisk continuously for 30 seconds. Turn the heat down to medium low, and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring occaisionally.

To thin, use breastmilk or formula. For older babies, add fruit or vegetable puree, and experiment with spices such a ginger (great for digestion!), nutmeg and cinnamon!

Notes:

The type of oats that you choose doesn't really matter. We had large flake oats in the house at the time, so that's what I used. For added nutrients, use steel cut! In a pinch? Minute oats are just fine!

The recipe above provides one serving of baby oatmeal. You can make a larger batch and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 72 hours.

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Post Vacation Recovery Juice #recipe

Chocolate
Brownies
Three birthday dinners
Carbs carbs carbs
Red meat

One thing that I couldn't wait to do when we got home from our extended Christmas Vacation was put my juicer to work and get rid of all of the junk I had put into my body. We ate out alot on vacation, and being at Disney for a few days didn't exactly help (but boy were those cherry danishes after my 10km race good! mmmm!)


1 lemon, cut in half and yellow rind removed
1 peach, cut in quarters
2 apples, cut in quarters and seeds removed
1" knob of peeled ginger
1 large handful of spinach

Start off with a chunk of apple, then alternate your spinach with apple pieces, ginger, and peach. Finish with your lemon and your last pieces of apple.

Now...this juice is crazy tart. It's kind of like drinking the healthiest, sourest lemonade ever. But! Think about the benefits! That lemon is flushing out toxins in your body. The apple is loaded with fibre and vitamin C. The peach is sweet and balances the other flavours. The ginger is great for digestion. And the spinach? Hello, Popeye! Iron!

This is a super nutrient rich juice to get you back on track after vacation has bloated your belly and added weight that you weren't exactly looking to find!

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Cherry Berry Carrot Apple Flax Waffle Recipe

Last fall, I noticed that one thing was consistent with my son's lunches: the containers of applesauce+veggies were coming home. He ate it the first day, even picked out more varieties at the grocery store, and then....they came home.

So, waste not...want not! I developed a recipe that incorporates them and gets some added goodness from ground flax.


Preheat your waffle iron so it is nice and hot when you need to drop your batter.

2 cups flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
5 tbsp ground flax

Once you have blended your dry ingredients together, mix in your wet ingredients.

1 1/2 cups milk
2 beaten eggs
1 tbsp melted butter
1 cup cherry berry carrot applesauce

Mix well and ensure all of your dry ingredients are combined into the batter.

I like using an ice cream scoop to drop my batter. This makes the waffles a little smaller, which is perfect for school lunches and small hands. Let cook for 4.5-5mins

And here's a bonus...all of the ingredients are lactation boosting and breastfeeding friendly! Make a batch and pop them in the freezer, then when you're in a pinch for breakfast for yourself or your kids, reheat in the toaster!


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Lactation Boosting Fresh Juice Recipe

Last fall, I was supporting an amazing mama duo with their breastfeeding efforts, and when I found out that they enjoy freshly pressed juice, I started doing my homework on lactation boosting fruits and vegetables, then employed my experience in juicing during pregnancy to come up with some awesome combinations.


3 beets
1 large bunch of spinach
5 apples
2 pears
1 lemon
1 small fennel bulb

Before you begin, a word of caution. This recipe makes a lot of juice. I'm talking about 30oz. of juice, so be prepared with a pitcher that you can pour the juice from your juicer into.

Alternate fennel, apple, spinach, beets, beet greens, pear, lemon and finish everything off with two apples.

Store in a tightly sealed pitcher in the fridge for 24-48 hours (72 hours at the absolute maximum). As this is as fresh as juice can get with no preservatives, it can go bad quickly.

In terms of breastfeeding support and lactation boosting ingredients, there is goodness in each and every one of the fruits and vegetables in this juice recipe, however the most impactful is the fennel and the beets. The apples and lemon balance out all of the strong flavors.

Serve cold over ice!

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Simple Baby Food Recipes: Squash Apple Carrot Puree

We are right in the thick of experimenting with solids. It was my absolute favorite time with our first son, Owen, and I am loving the experience with Graeme so far. Whether you choose to go with baby led weaning or start with purees, all of the recipes that I will be sharing here on the blog will be easy to make at home, and nutritious for your little one!



Ingredients

Acorn squash
2 large apples
1 small bag of baby carrots

My favorite method for prepping ingredients for baby food is roasting. Set your oven to 425F and while it is preheating, prep your veggies and fruit.

To prep your acorn squash, simple cut it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. I saved the seeds to roast them later, at the request of our 4 year old who learned about them at school, but certainly you can toss them, or try your hand at planting them in your veggie garden. Place your squash flesh side down in a casserole dish, and add about a quarter inch of water to help it steam. Cover and set aside.

In your second casserole dish, place your rinsed carrots and cored apples. Add about a quarter of an inch of water to help with steaming.

Put both casseroles in the oven for 25minutes to roast. When your timer goes off, remove the dish with your carrots and apples and leave it to cool. Continue to roast your squash for another 20 minutes.

Once both pans have cooled, scoop out the flesh of the squash with a spoon.

Now, puree! Using your immersion blender, food processor, blender...whatever device you use for blending and pureeing in your kitchen, blend together the apples, squash and carrots. Divide into ice cube trays or your baby food freezing system and freeze, then pop the cubes into a freezer bag for storage!

Apples, carrots and squash are all great first foods for your infant and can be introduced from 4 months on (with the approval of your pediatrician of course!).

Yield: 60 cubes



To adapt for baby led weaning, chop your squash, carrots and apples into bite sized chunks and lightly steam until soft and easy for your baby to pick up off of their tray.

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