One for the Kids…

I have recieved a few e-mails, surprisingly about Kosher Baby food. This shocks me, but then I thought about it and realized it could be a difficult problem for new Jewish parents, so let’s look into it. First off, Earth’s Best is an excellent organic Kosher baby food (Excluding the ones with meat). Also, Beech-Nut Baby Foods has a wide variety of baby foods that are Kosher, including some Kosher for Pesach (I can hear some mothers screaming at me over the internet now… “You meshugganah, you! You couldn’t shlep your way to a computer and post this BEFORE Pesach?!?” No, I couldn’t, now hush.)

Now, for my family, my mother settled this by just using a blender or food processor to puree whatever her & my Father were eating, or so I’m told. I’ve heard from many others this is a very effective process, but it can have complications. Do we really want to see what brisket, mashed potatoes, corn, and challah look like processed into a paste? *shudders* But, there are alternatives! Yes, your babies need not fret, for Uncle Steven is here to help! For those that prefer not to buy premade baby food use a food processor to make the table’s dinner the little one’s, we can look at some easy recipes to provide them with kosher food! Now, I know… What’s this MAN know about feeding babies? Very little, but I know good food! So, I put on my thinking cap for SOME recipe for this article…

An additive in a lot of Gerber baby foods now is the Taro Root (also known as Dasheen), an Polynesian tuber sold in most asian grocery stores that is high in vitamins, minerals, low in calories, and is just all around good for you. Now, while thinking of how to best use this root, I remebered that the Hawaiians, in their wisdom, allready HAVE a use for Taro root that can make an excellent baby food: Poi!

Poi

1 medium-sized taro root
water

After washing the root, toss it into a pot and JUST cover it with water. Boil it in the pot until soft, which can be anywhere from 30-40 minutes.

Taking out the root, let it cool back down before tossing it into a food processor with about a tablespoon or two of water.

From here, you can add a little bit more water to keep it thick and creamy as it’s mashed and mixed, or add a lot to make it almost soupy.

Now in Hawaii they will sometimes put it in a bowl and cover it for a few days with a clean towel to sour it slightly, but this is for BABIES! We want it as sweet as we can get it so they’ll eat it. This being the case, just store it in a sealed container. It is great eaten plain, or as a dip for veggies, or atop Matzos, or whatever you prefer. Like Hummus and Baba Ganoush, it’s quite versatile!

Now, for those on a budget, there are standbys that are classic. Cherrios are a famous standby for teething, and even before then they can be soaked in milk or soy milk to soften them for eating. Likewise, another healthy yet cheap baby food is to pop up some popcorn and soak it for about 5-10 minutes in milk or soy milk to soften it. Make ABSOLUTELY sure not to give them an unpopped kernel, of course, but my mother had me eating this after a few weeks as she couldn’t keep up with my hunger. (Yes, even as a baby I loved food!) There’s also the standby of grits with a bit of jelly or honey stirred in. It’s nutritious, filling, and does the job! Also, talk with your local Jewish Federation if you are ABSOLUTELY without any budget for food for you or the little one(s). They will likely have a food bank of some sort to assist Jewish families who are in need and/or may have financial assistance to help those Jewish families that are NOT wealthy.

Now, I’m hoping this article has been of use to some of you out there. In closing I also reccomend looking to find Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. This book includes over 300 recipes to feed your child up to age 3 with a healthy diet. While some recipes are trafe (Nobody’s perfect…), the number that can be kept kosher are enough that the book is worth purchasing. All in all, I do hope this has helped somewhat. I’m slowly working back up to more updates, and update when I can. So, until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

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April 26, 2006. advice, recipes.

One Comment

  1. Anonymous replied:

    I know I’m a little late at posting a comment but make sure to mention that parents should not add honey to anything or ever give it to there child if their child is under 1 year of age. They could end up with Botulism and have serious medical conditions.

    Just a word to the wise.

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