Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

They make Baby Yogurt, you know?

Recently, Ryan made a run into the grocery store to grab some yogurt because we had coupons that would make them free. And you don't pass up free stuff, you know.

He came back with what he was supposed to get, plus a little extra (which is ironic because the whole reason he went was because I will usually come out with the extras...). The first thing he said was, "you know, they make baby yogurt." Yeah. "Oh, I just didn't know if you knew."

Why did he tell me this, you might be wondering. Because we "make" Aiden's yogurt each morning. Meaning, we buy organic, plain, whole fat yogurt and blend it with extras. Every day. I thought I would share how we make his yogurt (which is actually soooo yummy), why we bother, and why we don't give him the "baby yogurt" (that Ryan clearly did not even know existed).

What we do...
Like I said, we buy organic, plain, whole fat yogurt. A big container of it. Lasts a long time, and if it is lasting too long, we can use the extras in a smoothie or even freeze some of it. No worry about wasting it around here. In our freezer, we always have a stash of frozen fruits - just about every kind you can imagine. So, I take some yogurt, some organic frozen fruit (or fresh - whatever we have on hand), half a banana, and some ground flaxseed - pop it in one of the magic bullet containers and blend it up. We make all sorts of fruit blends - a popular one is blueberries, strawberries, and banana. But Aiden will eat and love just about anything we put in there - including but not limited to raspberries, mango, cranberries, blackberries, peaches, mixed tropical fruits, etc, etc...I mean, ANYthing we can get. We always have a ton because we make this and we make a lot of smoothies - I'll have to share that recipe sometime. Simple but so yummy! Anyway, banana always goes in because sweetens it up just enough. Without the banana in either his oatmeal or yogurt, Aiden is so-so about it. Add the banana, and he is bananas for the stuff.

Now, if you don't know what flaxseed is all about, it might be time to check it out. It's got great stuff in it (omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, lignans). It's good for fighting/preventing all sorts of health issues and diseases. It's EASY to use. We use it in our oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, cereal...all sorts of things. You can even bake with it - and use it to replace other ingredients like eggs, flour, etc....(I usually have intentions of baking with it and remember as soon as I put something in the oven.) We keep ours in the freezer. You can buy it at any grocery store. Just get ground, not the whole seeds. More info below...

Mayo Clinic on Flaxseed/Flaxseed Oil
Mayo Clinic on Whole vs Ground Flaxseed
WebMD on Benefits of Flaxseed
Of course there is plenty more. Any google search will bring up tons, but these are pretty decent to start out...

Anyway, back to the main topic. I blend all this up in the good 'ol Magic Bullet, and then Aiden can't get enough of it. Any of us will eat it, too. It really is quite good. I only make enough for one serving at a time. I could make more if I left out the banana, but if you put the banana in there, it doesn't keep well for long.

So..why don't we just buy him the baby yogurt? It would be quicker in the mornings. Not that our typical routine takes longer than two minutes, but peeling off the top of a yogurt container would be somewhat easier. Those of you that have looked at, bought, or regularly use baby yogurts....have you noticed what is added to the yogurt? Sugar. That's fine if anyone else wants to use that. I mean, I buy regular yogurt that has sugar added. No biggie. But I'm still very picky about what Aiden eats, and I try to avoid added sugar. Besides, there is a LOT of sugar in the baby yogurts!! And I can EASILY whip up some plain yogurt that has no added sugar, is full of fruits, and has lots of great stuff for Aiden - and he LOVES it. So, to me, it's totally worth it. Especially since he eats it once each day.

That said.... I'm also picky about what we eat, and we've been trying to eat the "healthier" yogurts, too. This means organic, without quite so much sugar, with natural ingredients. I'm surprised (well, not so much really...) at how many "healthy" yogurts have High Fructose Corn Syrup in them. These do not count as being healthy at all, as far as I'm concerned. I do NOT buy any of those containing HFCS, even if they're free with a great coupon and a good sale. And actually, the yogurt we make for Aiden is very yummy. With all of this in mind, we actually just bought a yogurt maker. So, we'll see how this goes. I'll let you know. I'm excited to see. Ryan was hesitant - until he learned how cheap the yogurt maker actually was. ;)

Maybe not something you care too much about...but I thought I would share. Surely someone out there was curious. I've actually had some people ask, so... There it is.


Amy said...

How do you think Greek yogurt compares? I just ask because I just had some last week and LOVED IT. I was wondering if/how good it is for babies, what you knew about it.

I have to say, you have researched these topics more than anyone else I know, so I appreciate your reviews and suggestions.

Daisy and Ryan said...

Interesting you ask about the Greek yogurt... That's the "extra" Ryan came out with. We were wanting to try that b/c the yogurt isn't too thick. Fine with me and Aiden, but Ryan always thinks it should be thicker (even though it's FOR Aiden...haha!). So, we were going to try some Greek yogurt, but all we can find is low-fat. I really want to stick with whole-fat for Aiden right now (esp b/c he's not supposed to be getting whole cow's milk until we know more about his allergies), so I haven't tried the Greek. I've even looked at Whole Foods and can't find any that is whole-fat... :( If you happen to see any anywhere, let me know, though!

And thanks for the compliment. :) I wouldn't say I've researched this topic too much - I just hate the thought of giving Aiden all that sugar! And the way we feed him is changing some of the ways we eat - which was a not-so-secret plan of mine. ;) Ryan is slowly coming over to the organic side of things...esp as we discover ways it doesn't have to be so expensive. :)

Becky said...

Oooo so guilty! Colin eats yogurt for his snack every day and we use YoBaby. I started with the plain which has no extra sugar, but the other flavors that we use now do have extra sugar. But it is organic sugar! =) I just got a magic bullet recently and I also have a freezer full of organic fruit. I've been annoyed with how thin the yogurt is now that he is older so maybe I'll try making my own. I usually add wheat germ and Colin's vitamins (Dr. Greene's Toddler drops) to ours. Ground flax seed is a good idea.

Daisy and Ryan said...

Nothing wrong with that, Becky! :) I know many people that buy the baby yogurts. I just don't feel right doing it quite yet. Trying to stay away from all that sugar as long as possible. I figure if he likes what we do now so much, why change it, you know? Our yogurt isn't all that thick - adding the banana helps a bit. And you can add whatever other fruits might make it thicker - or use less yogurt. That's one thing I like about mixing it myself - I can control what I use, how much, etc. And I can make whatever fruit combinations, too. :)

And yeah, organic sugar is better than regular. ;)

Aiden is still taking just regular Vitamin D drops for now. He LOVES how those things taste - gobbles it up and always wants more! He gets quite disappointed when I tell him it's all gone after he sucks it out of the dropper! (And get this...when Camden was younger, he had to take iron drops, which are gross...and he loved those soooo much. He loved any kind of medicine, even Robitussin. Strange. Not anymore, but still.)

Daisy and Ryan said...

Amy - Another mommy just informed me on fb (my blog posts show up there, too) that Trader Joe's has plain, whole-fat Greek yogurt. I'm going to pick some up this weekend. I wonder if that will thicken the yogurt up some more... :) And then I'll get to see how making it different ways, etc, etc will affect the thickness when we use the yogurt maker. But I'm interested in trying the Greek, too.

badbin said...

Try the flaxseed in bread -- yum! You can use the ground in place of some of the whole wheat flour, and add some whole flaxseed and sunflower nuts for texture... our little ones love it.