Blog Posts by Cheryl Tallman,

  • Foods Not Good for Babies

    There are many choices of tasty, healthy foods for your baby, but not all foods are baby-friendly. Here are some foods that are not good for your baby.

    Sugar, high fructose corn syrup, salt and caffeine

    Delay introducing as long as possible

    Avoid foods that contain these items as main ingredients.

    High nitrate foods

    Introduce over 8 months

    Beets, carrots, green beans, spinach, and collard greens. Also hot dogs, ham, bologna, sausages, salami, and many other deli meats.

    Foods that can contain disease-causing bacteria

    Introduce over 12 months

    Honey, un-pasteurized foods (i.e. apple cider), blue cheese, brie, and raw fish.

    Frequent allergens


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  • Reducing Holiday Meal Frenzy

    Is it your turn to host the holiday dinner this year? Lucky You! The holiday season can be stressful enough without the extra added pressure of making one of the "big" holiday meals for 15 of your closest relatives or friends. We wish we could give you an "Easy" button for your holiday meals, but the best we can do is offer you a few terrific tips that will help you get through it smoothly!

    Write down the menu: The best way to get started with the task of planning a big meal is to develop the menu. This can be lots of fun. Start this task with the guest head count divided into adults and kids and before setting the dinner menu, check with your guests about any food allergies. Buy a few magazines or look through cookbooks for ideas. Unless you have a lot of cooking experience, we don't recommend picking all new dishes. It's best to pick a few new items and few stand-bys that you know how to make.

    Don't overdo it: Holiday meals should be feasts, but you don't need to make an

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  • User post: Fresh Baby: Go Gourmet with Your Baby

    By Cheryl Tallman

    Studies are revealing that children who are fed diets of bland, tasteless food are more likely to have issues with weight. Unlike the jarred foods, homemade baby food is full of delicious fresh, wholesome flavor and adding herbs and spices is a great way to enhance this flavor.

    Here are a few tips on how your baby's food can go from simple to a culinary treat:

    · Introduce herbs and spices at 8-10 months. Keep it simple for the first few months.

    · Add herbs and spice in the cooking step. It is best for flavors to blend in cooking and become more subtle. Do not sprinkle herbs and spices on the food prior to serving. The flavor will be too strong.

    · A little goes along way. Use herbs and spices sparingly. As a general rule, add 1/8 teaspoon of spice per 16-24 ounces of fruits or vegetables.

    · Add herbs and spices only to foods that you have previously fed to your baby. Remember the "One at a Time" rule to ensure that

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  • Make the Most of Your Green Dollar

    By Cheryl Tallman

    Most people would love to buy "green" or "organic" foods, but choosing organic foods can be a pricey proposition. If you think your budget cannot afford 100% organic, here is some simple advice on making the most of your GREEN GROCERY dollar:

    Eat organic at the top of the food chain: Livestock eat pesticide-laden feed and are dosed with antibiotics and hormones. This all of this ends up in the package at the super market. There is no way to remove or reduce the contaminants. Purchasing organic dairy, egg and meat products is a great place to begin.

    Avoid the following unless they are organic: Pesticides levels vary in produce. The Environmental Workers Union found that you can reduce risks of pesticide exposure by as much as 90 percent by avoiding what they call "the dirty dozen". Here is the list: Apples, Bell peppers, Celery, Cherries, Grapes (imported), Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Red Raspberries, Spinach, and

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  • Fresh Baby: Simple, Thrifty Meals

    By Cheryl Tallman,

    Here are some affordable meal ideas to help you get dinner on the table each night without too much time or effort.


    Casseroles are an all-time favorite comfort food and can be inexpensive one-dish meals. Here are two recipes that are crowd and wallet pleasers.

    Classic Tuna Casserole:


    1 yellow onion, minced

    2 Tbsp butter or margarine

    1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

    1/2 cup frozen green peas

    1 can cream of celery soup

    3/4 cup milk

    1 5-oz. can tuna in water, drained

    3 to 4 cups flat egg noodles

    1/4 cup breadcrumbs

    Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the egg noodles according to the package directions and drain in a colander. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft (about 4 minutes), and then add in the mushrooms and peas. Cook for another minute and turn down the heat to low. Mix the soup, milk, and tuna in

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  • Fresh Baby: Essentials for Your Baby's Diet

    By Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers

    Feeding your 12-24 month old

    Babies are introduced to solid foods at about six months old, and from this time to about 24 months old, they will learn plenty about food, and it goes well beyond taste.

    First it is just swallowing solid foods, then lumps, picking up pieces, chewing (or gumming) and much more. It takes a great amount of coordination, muscle development and motor skills for your baby to master these tasks. The best approach is to take things slowly and to wait for your baby to give you signals he or she is ready. There is no need to rush this development process.

    While babies are people, they are not little adults. Their dietary requirements are different than adults, and different than toddlers, preschoolers and adolescents. Unless your baby's diet is under the supervision of a healthcare professional, it is not necessary to count calories, or choose low-fat and non-fat foods.

    In the past three

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  • User post: Valentine's Treat: Sweetheart Parfait

    A parfait is an old-fashioned layered dessert that looks pretty, and is fun to eat. With Valentine's Day around the corner, we thought you would enjoy a nice sweet treat to serve for dessert to your special loved ones.


    3 Tablespoons strawberries, diced (3-4 large strawberries)

    1. Tablespoon chocolate syrup

    1/3 cup vanilla yogurt

    Whipped cream and sprinkles (optional)


    Using a parfait glass or tall, skinny glass, make the parfait by layering the ingredients in each glass in the following order:

    2-3 Tablespoons yogurt

    1 Tablespoon chocolate syrup

    2-3 Tablespoons yogurt

    3 Tablespoons strawberries

    2-3 Tablespoons yogurt

    Per Serving: 144 Cal; 10 g Protein; 1 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 0 g Mono Fat; 24 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 18 g Sugar; 209 mg Phos; 155 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 64 mg Sodium; 216 mg Potassium; 63 mg Magnesium ; 1 mg Zinc; 11 ug Selenium; 41 IU Vit A; 10 mg ATE Vit E; 1 mg Niacin; 1 mg Pantothenic Acid; 36

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  • Finger Foods for Baby

    When your baby is between eight and nine months old, you can begin to introduce finger foods to encourage your baby to begin self-feeding. It is very important that the texture of finger foods be very soft, so that your baby can "gum" the foods. To get food soft enough for gumming, many of them will need to be cooked.

    Examples of finger foods that can be served raw include small pieces of:

    • Banana
    • Avocado
    • Tofu
    • Semi-hard cheeses -- Jack, Colby, (introduce over 12 months)
    • "O" shaped cereal
    • Puffed rice cereal

    Examples of cooked finger foods:

    • Apples slices
    • Pear slices
    • Whole asparagus spears
    • Carrots sticks/rounds or baby carrots
    • Zucchini or yellow squash rounds
    • Broccoli spears
    • Sweet potato slices or cubes
    • Whole green beans

    To smooth the way for introducing finger foods here are few tips that may help you out:

    • Always feed your baby in a
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  • Pear Nog for the Holidays

    A festive drink for the Holiday season. One the whole family will love.


    1 pear peeled, cored and cut in chunks

    1 cup of egg nog (dairy or soy)

    2 ice cubes cracked

    Dash of cinnamon

    Place all ingredients in blender. Blend at high speed for 15 seconds. Makes 2-3 kid-size servings, or 1 1/2 cups.

  • Fresh Baby: It's Pumpkin Time!

    Recognized in the literary world with stories such as Cinderella, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater, the pumpkin is no stranger to the spotlight. Each year in the USA , thousands of pumpkins are carved into jack 'o lanterns and many pumpkin pies are eaten at Thanksgiving celebrations!

    Pumpkin is excellent for you. It has no cholesterol and is low in fat and sodium and rich in vitamins. The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that it is loaded with the antioxidant, beta- carotene. Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protection against heart disease and other aspects of aging.

    On top of being good for your health, Pumpkins taste good too. That's why they are a part of the diet in almost every country in the world.

    Age to introduce: About 8-10 months (cooked and pureed).


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