Thursday, February 09, 2012


Feeding a growing boy gets really interesting once he decides to be independent and feed himself. Get ready for prunes smeared in the hair and far flung bits of Cheerio to appear in random places days later. I just happened to discover some crusty green stuff on the back of a dining room chair leg the other day. It took a butter knife to scrape it off and I have no idea what it was. Nice. One of the ways to avoid a little of the mess and to allow your little to still explore the fun of self feeding is combo finger foods. Jude had issues with finger foods at first, in that all he could pick up were Cheerios and puffs. Banana chunks slipped right from his fingers like a bar of wet soap. Even when rolled in baby cereal. Any cooked fruit or veggie shot right out of his hands. It was sad to watch, really. He'd try so hard to pick up a bite, only to have it escape him inches from his mouth. And a kid can't live on baby puffs, even if they are fun to stick to his forehead.

I started making Jude fruit and veggie bites so he'd be able to feed himself something nutritious that he could actually hang on to. Now they are his favorite snacks. E sneaks them, too. They're delicious, honestly. I make a couple of different variations, and now I actually make them double sized. He houses them, even if I still have to break them into a few pieces. We're still working on the "take a bite" idea. They obviously defrost faster when small, so make whatever is most convenient for you and your babykins.

Carrot Apple Cheddar Bites
makes 2 dozen

1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded apple
1 cup shredded chaddar cheese
4 egg yolks
1-1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour, bread crumbs, or baby cereal (I use Earth's Best Rice Cereal)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Toss all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out the mixture and press it firmly into the scoop. You can also use a tablespoon and roll into balls with your hands. Place a few inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown at the edges.
Store a few bites in the fridge for up to three days. Freeze the remaining bites in ziploc bags for up to a month.

Zucchini Ricotta Bites - Substitute 2 cups of shredded zucchini for the carrot and apple. Add 1/2 cup ricotta and increase dry ingredients by 1/4 cup.

Sweet Potato and Pear Bites - Substitute 1 cup shredded sweet potato and 1 cup shredded pear (use a firm pear like Bosc) for the carrot and apple.

If you come up with a new flavor combo that your baby loves, let me know!


Helen and Sammy said...

Joanna - this is great. THanks for the idea and recipes! the picture of jude is amazing! love it!! Miss you guys and hope to see you soon! :)

Rachel & Greg's Life said...

I love your blog, I have a 4 month old baby girl that we are introducing solids to. She is a sport so far, and surprising clean (I know this is not going to last long!). How old is your son? I look forward to making these little treats in a few months. Keep up the great blog!

**** April **** said...

My little guy is approaching two and I'm STILL trying to get him to eat a veggie! I'm definitely trying this! Thank you for the idea!

Kat said...

This is such a great idea! I make something similar with veggies, eggs, and whole wheat breading, but these look amazing! I can't wait to try them

Joanna said...

Rachel - Jude is quickly approaching 11 months - yikes! He's a champ who will eat most anything so far! I try not to get too excited about that so I don't regret it later when he decides to only eat chicken fingers and fries :)

Kat - Your peanut must be one already right? She's so cute!

Attiya Lynn said...

This has helped so much to get my 3yr.old to eat veg he is extremely picky. I have made all sorts I just throw together whatever veg I have in the house. So far I've tried sweet potato, parsnips and zucchini. Just try a bit of everything. I call them cheesy bites if I say veg he will refuse. Frustrating. Any egg replacements for this that you can recommend. I tried without egg added little extra cheese and coated in bread crumbs. Not bad at all but what other options are there?

Joanna said...

HI Attiya! I'm so glad your son likes these! I do lots of variations, too. Right now our favorite is sweet potato, carrot, and butternut with cheddar!

Can you use egg beaters, or do you need a true egg substitute due to allergy? The egg here acts as a binder, so you could try 1/4 c. applesauce or mashed banana. You can also use ground flax seed to replace egg. For each egg, mix 1 Tbls. ground flax with 3 Tbls. water and let stand a few minutes. I'd love to know how you make out!

Danielle said...

Great idea!! My son is so active it's hard to get him to sit still to eat- let alone trying to get him to eat many different things in one meal! I added broccoli and cauliflower too cuz I had a mixed veggie bag. He loved them,!, cant wait to try new variations

Danielle said...

Great idea! My son just turned one and barely sits still long enough to eat anything. Love getting veggies and fruit and baby oatmeal in one punch!! Can't wait to try other variations!

Becky said...

Please make sure you use a small cookie scoop! I used a big one because that's all I had and it wasn't done after the time. I flattened them and flipped them over and just watched them. They seemed to be OK after that. In fact, mine only made a dozen + 2 due to the scoop size.

Joanna said...

I have used both large and small scoops, but you are right, Becky! The smaller scoop makes bite sized nibbles and cooks in 20 minutes. The large cupcake scoop takes about 35 minutes to bake. We call them veggie burgers at that size!

Tubby Baker said...

I just made the carrot and apple ones today I like them (which rocks because I don't really like carrots) and so does my 1 year old.
Thank you!!!

Krystin Boehnke said...

His did you serve them? After freezing how did you reheat?

Joanna said...

Krystin, I just microwave them to reheat and put them on a plate! Nothing fancy:) If you don't have a microwave, you could certainly defrost them in the fridge overnight, then put them back in the oven on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes to warm.

Anonymous said...

I've made twice and unfortunately they haven't cooked seems they always get super flat and soggy and have no shape just looks like mosh!!! Help!

Joanna said...

Are you using carrots and firm apples? Or zucchini? Sometimes a soft apple will have too much liquid! If you use that or zucchini, put shreds into a clean kitchen towel and squeeeze all of the liquid out first! It could be too much cheese or you just may need to add more of your flour to the mix!