Thursday, March 12

Super cheap & healthy breakfast for babies/toddlers/anyone!

If you haven't heard of the Super Baby Food book by Ruth Yaron, you need to check it out! There are lots of great ideas and recipes in there for feeding your baby from first foods on to toddler years and beyond. The author's philosophy is vegetarian, but it is certainly a useful book for everyone (we're not vegetarian).

The one recipe we use ALL THE TIME is the one for Super Porridge, which is a mix of grains and legumes (which create a complete protein by the way) that makes a superb breakfast cereal (or other meal of the day). DS has been eating it for breakfast every morning for months now and he loves it! The cool thing is, you make it differently every time by choosing different grains, legumes, or different combinations of grains and legumes. For example, this batch of Super Porridge DS is eating now is a mix of organic whole grain brown rice, organic millet, organic black turtle beans, and organic green lentils. Next time it might be pearled barley and split peas! The possibilities are endless.

I typically make a double-batch of it, which lasts us for 6 days, making roughly 6 1/2-cup servings. Depending on the age and appetite of your child, this may last you for a longer or shorter amount of time.

I just bought a 3-lb. bag of whole grain brown rice (not organic this time), a 1-lb. bag of organic french green lentils, and a 1-lb. bag of organic black eye peas at Harris Teeter last night, so I thought I would calculate the cost of a typical morning's breakfast.

The 3-lb. bag of whole grain brown rice = $3.39
The 1-lb. bag of organic french green lentils = $1.99 (VIC special $0.50 off)
The 1-lb. bag of organic black eye peas = $1.99 (VIC special $0.50 off)

For a double-batch of Super Porridge, it takes 2/3 cup grains and 4 tablespoons of legumes. So if I was making next week's Super Porridge with the above ingredients, here's the breakdown:

2/3 cup of whole grain brown rice = $0.38
2 tablespoons of organic french green lentils = $0.12
2 tablespoons of organic black eye peas = $0.12
TOTAL = $0.62 for 6 day's worth of super healthy breakfast or roughly $0.10 per day!

And, you may be able to get better prices for your grains and legumes depending on where you buy. Once you get a good variety of grains/legumes built up, you hardly ever have to buy more because they last forever and you use very little each week! And the only extra cost for this cereal is for 2 minutes of blender action, 10 minutes of stovetop heating, and 4 cups of water once every 6 days.

If you combine this breakfast with your child's vitamin/iron drops and some fruit or fruit juice, you will also boost your child's iron absorption (just don't serve with milk/dairy as that inhibits iron absorption).

For the recipes and more directions on when your child can begin certain grains/legumes, etc. please snag yourself a copy of this book! I can't say enough about it!

There are really cool DIY yogurt meals, too!

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