Putting the Kabosh on Teething Pain with Chilled Fruits & Veggies

We had the Saturday from h-ll. Poor Mason’s cutting three new teeth and he has a brutal cold so he just clung to us and screamed most of the day. His little gums were horribly swollen and red, his nose was running nonstop, and his chest was rattling when he breathed. I’ve never felt so helpless as a Mom. He’s always been a good baby so we don’t have much experience with crying/screaming jags (yes, there’s an excellent chance we’ll get hit hard with #2). I kept wishing there was something I could do to make his misery go away, but I could only try to minimize his painful symptoms. At one point, I started to cry, too, out of sympathy and exhaustion and worry. I became Worse Case Scenario Mom and was convinced something was seriously wrong with him. Luckily Chris is an excellent voice of reason or I probably would have taken my baby to the ER…for teething and a cold.

To treat his cold, we turned on the shower and had him breathe in steam from hot water for 10-minute intervals (Chris and I took turns holding him and distracting him from the discomfort of the hot, wet air with his toy cars). He also slept with a humidifier running and a thick coating of Vicks on his chest. To help the teething pain, which seems to be the greater of the two evils, I gave him baby Motrin and frozen pacifiers. At mealtime, I coaxed him to eat a few different soft, squishy foods. He didn’t want to eat much (he even rejected mac ‘n’ cheese!), but here are the things that he would eat. We’d go through the list, try a few other things, and then repeat. (Other moms have recommended frozen bagels and waffles to us in the past, but unfortunately Bug wouldn’t go for either.) Any other suggestions to add to the list?

1. Homemade applesauce, chilled in the freezer for 20 minutes before serving

2. Beets, diced, cooked, and chilled

3. Banana, sliced and partially frozen

4. Full-fat Greek yogurt mixed with icy smashed pear; try one spoonful of yogurt for every two spoonfuls of fruit.

5. Ripe melon, diced and chilled– not the easiest thing to find this time of year but we lucked out.

6. Ice cold milk — a drink, I know, but Bug consumed more milk than anything else.

Other foods that Mason was willing to eat included chunks of Swiss cheese, toast with melted cheddar cheese, corn, and peas. He rejected eggs, pasta, turkey meatballs, blueberries, and grapes.

Tonight I’m making a chicken-ginger soup (recipe to come soon!). Now that both Bug and I both have his cold we need a little TLC and hot bowls of homemade soup just sound good!

Tuesday Timesaver: Homemade Cherry Applesauce in 18 Minutes

One of our fave parts of summer is all the fresh produce. This summer we’re especially loving cherries, one of this year’s “in” ingredients according to trendspotters at the annual Fancy Foods Show, which took place in Washington, DC, last week. Mason first tried and enjoyed cherries in oatmeal. When I picked up a carton of cherries at the market last Thursday, I decided to combine some with organic Gala apples to make cherry applesauce. In addition to all the fiber from the apples and vitamins from both fruits, the cherries pack a powerful punch of antioxidants. The applesauce still tastes like applesauce but with a slight hint of cherry and it has a gorgeous rosy color. I cooked and pureed the rest of the cherries to make cherry yogurt (2 ounces of cherry puree + 3 spoonfuls of full-fat Greek yogurt). I made cinnamon-spiced applesauce with the rest of the apples.

Of course I could have just gone to the store to buy the cherry applesauce but the brand my store carries has 17 grams of sugar and 15 milligrams of sodium. No thanks. If there were an all-natural brand at my store and I were to walk there  to buy it — I live in New York City and never drive  — it would take 30 minutes round-trip, plus I’d have to haul Mason in his stroller. It only took 18 minutes to whip up the cherry applesauce after Mason went to bed (I already had the fruit on hand as part of our summer staple). I felt great knowing that the vitamin-rich applesauce I was going to feed Bug the next morning was totally natural — and that I saved time making it. Does your babe like applesauce? If so, do you mix it with other fruit?

Homemade Cherry Applesauce


10 fresh cherries
2 Gala apples


1. Wash cherries, remove pits, and slice in half. Set aside.
2. Wash, peel, core, and dice apples. Fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Add apples and cook for 9 minutes; add cherries and cook both fruits together for 3 more minutes.
3. Drain and rinse the fruit under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture or mash with a potato masher for a chunkier texture. Makes about 10 ounces.
4. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to 3 months.

Cherry Puree


Fresh Cherries


Wash cherries, remove pits and slice in half. Fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Cook cherries for three minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture or mash with a potato masher for a chunkier texture. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Cinnamon-Spiced Applesauce


4 Gala apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Wash, peel, core, and dice apples. Fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Cook apples until tender (about 12 minutes). Puree until smooth, adding in cinnamon halfway through.  Add water if needed. Makes 16 ounces. Freeze leftovers for up to three months.

Pancakes with Cinnamon-Spiced Blueberries & Apples

Best for Babies 6+ Months (puree) and 11+ Months (pancakes)

Sunday brunch is one of our fave weekend traditions. This morning we made Mason a cheese omelet with a side of Cinnamon-Spiced Blueberries and Apples that I whipped up Thursday night. The fruit recipe was inspired by one I had seen on Parents.com, and Mason enjoyed the warmly spiced fruit mixture with his oatmeal Friday morning. While Mason ate his breakfast, Chris and I whipped up some pancakes and bacon for us. We made an extra pancake for Mason and topped it with a spoonful of blueberries and apples. It was his first pancake and he dug in, face, hands, hair — you name it! — covered in crumbs and blueberries.

I love this fruit puree because it’s so versatile — and so simple to make. I peeled a Gala apple with a potato peeler, then removed the core and diced it. Then I added the apple to my steamer, along with 1-1/2 cups of frozen organic blueberries. I steamed the fruit for about 7 minutes, then dumped it into the blender. I sprinkled 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon on top of the fruit, then blended it until it was smooth (you can also smash the fruit instead of blending it if you want a chunkier texture). I originally intended to make the puree with pears since the Parents.com recipe calls for pears but I ran out of pears so I substituted apples instead (the fruits are incredibly similar). The puree was so delish that Chris ate it on his pancakes as well!

Try out this idea with your babe (or mix up the fruit as a topper for oatmeal or cooked apples), and let us know what you think!

Cinnamon-Spiced Blueberries and Apples


1 Gala apple
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Peel and core the apple. Dice. Combine with 1-1/2 cups blueberries. Steam for 5-7 minutes until soft. Drain fruit and pour into a blender for pureeing or bowl for smash. Puree in a food processor, or smash with a fork or potato masher. Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

Sweet Potato-Apple Puree with Yogurt

Sweet Potato-Apple Puree

Best for Babies 6+ Months Old

Our love affair with yogurt continues. Yogurt is still the one thing that Mason will eat with a gigantic grin no matter what — and he’s a brilliant eater. I’ve made many fruit yogurts for Mason — peach, pear, banana, apple, mango, papaya, apricot (get the recipes) — but YoBaby gave me the idea to blend yogurt with green beans and pears. Before I mixed green beans with yogurt, Mason refused to eat them. Now he loves them. Since that combo was such a winner, I decided to try a new yogurt-fruit-veggie combo tonight: Sweet Potato-Apple Puree with Yogurt.

Baby Yogurt

I didn’t plan to invent a new yogurt tonight. In fact, I hadn’t thought about dinner at all before we got home late from a friends house and Mason was absolutely starving. (Isn’t how that always works?!) After rooting around my freezer, which is filled with rows and rows of homemade baby food (pic below), I settled on frozen sweet potato puree and frozen apple puree. I pondered adding beef to it, but Mason already had beef for lunch. I opened the fridge and noticed some yogurt. Hmmm, Mason hadn’t had yogurt today. What if I just stirred the three together?

My frozen stash of homemade baby food

I started with about four ounces of rich and creamy, full-fat Stonyfield organic yogurt, then stirred in two ounces of Sweet Potato-Apple Puree (one of Mason’s faves). I felt excited about this duo — the sweet potatoes were packed with beta carotene, while the apples were rich in vitamin C (and lots of other good stuff). The yogurt was filled with healthy Probiotics, which are super good for Mason’s little tummy. The meal was pure and simple, uncomplicated, and an absolute hit.


What about you — what’s your babe’s fave way to eat yogurt?