Easy Apple & Blueberry Pockets

Best for Babies 10+ Months

I love the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City. Farmers, bakers, and cheesemakers set up stands in the center of the bustling square to sell fresh fruits and veggies, artisan cheese, meats, baked goods, wine, and flowers. Hundreds of people mill around, and it’s as fun to people watch as it is to shop. My favorite part is the fresh produce, and right now that produce includes many different varieties of juicy, crisp apples. From applesauce to chicken-apple soup, Mason seems to enjoy apples as much as I do — so I decided to make a variation of this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens so that he could enjoy apples in a new way.

To make this fruit-filled deliciousness, I used frozen blueberries, smashed apples, and whole-wheat bread. I skipped the sugar but kept the cinnamon. The fruit was enough sweetness for Mason, and the cinnamon gave the fruit pockets just the slightest hint of spice. The combo is a great make-ahead breakfast for Mason — a tasty alternative to fruity oatmeal or cheese-and-veggie omelet.


Easy Apple & Blueberry Pockets


3/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp. smashed apples
12 slices soft whole wheat bread
1/4 cup vegetable oil


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash berries and spread to dry on paper towels.

2. For each pie, spoon 1 tablespoon of smashed apples (recipe below) in the center of a bread slice. Top with 3 to 4 berries and another slice of bread. Gently press the top slice around the fruit. Trim crusts from bread using a serrated knife.

3. Using a fork, press the edges of the bread together to seal in the filling. Lightly brush the top slice of bread with some of the oil. Pick up each fruit pocket and, while holding in your hand, lightly brush the opposite side with oil. Place fruit pockets on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon.

4. Bake pies for 18 to 20 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted and bottoms are browned. Transfer to a cooling rack. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Smashed apples: Wash, peel, and core apples. Slice into small chunks. Set aside. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Turn heat down until bubbles are soft and add apples to the water. Cook for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse apples with cold water for 3 minutes to stop the cooking process. Mash with a potato masher.

Tuesday Timesaver: 7 Toddler-Friendly Breakfasts in 15 Minutes or Less

Best for 1-Years-Old & Up

Now that Mason’s been in daycare for two weeks, we’re settling into our new morning routine. We’re still working out the kinks: Should I wake up Mason if he sleeps past 7 or let him sleep and cut breakfast short? What’s the best time to give him breakfast so he poos before he’s strapped into the Ergo — not right after? Which is faster,  the bus or the subway?  I’ve learned that the more I can organize  the night before, from what we’ll each wear to what we need to take with us, the smoother our morning will go.  Breakfast requires the most foresight. I want Bug to get a good start to his day, but I don’t have much time to put the morning meal together. Here are his fave weekday breakfasts right now. They’re so quick I can put him in his high chair with some puffs and he’s entertained until his food is ready. What are your go-to breakfasts?

1. Omelet with cheese and veggies, sliced banana, and whole-wheat toast with fruit jam. (Hint: If your babe is spitting out cut up veggies, puree a few faves and spread a layer of the puree on top of the cheese in the omelet.)

2. Whole-grain strawberry-banana waffles, Greek yogurt, and chicken sausage.

3. Oatmeal mixed with peach puree and Greek yogurt and Canadian bacon.

4. Blueberry yogurt, granola, and fresh cantaloupe.

5. Scrambled eggs with tomato and spinach, applesauce, and whole-grain toast.

6. Toasted cinnamon-raisin bagel with low-fat cream cheese and fresh orange slices.

7. Pancakes topped with cinnamon-spiced fruit and chicken sausage.

Tuesday Timesaver: Strawberry-Banana Waffles in 10 Minutes


Thursday marks a major transition for us:  Mason will begin daycare. Chris stayed home with him for the first six months of his life — I had to go back to work after three months — and then we found a nurturing nanny who stepped in when it was time for Chris to go back to work. Now that Mason is a year-old, he’s ready for more stimulation and socialization than a few play dates a week in our tiny apartment, so we’ve decided to enroll him in a daycare where he’ll enjoy art and music lessons, daily Spanish lessons, trips to the playground, and so much more. He’ll make friends with other kids his age, and he’ll be on a solid schedule. I won’t have to worry about being late for work because my nanny is late once again, and I can get to Mason in 10 minutes if he needs me during the day.

Despite all the positives, I’m super nervous about this transition.  I’ve lost sleep over the logistics of just getting to daycare in the morning. Come Thursday my commute will go from a leisurely 10 minutes to a harried hour. Mason and I will need to stick to a strict routine instead of the looser one we generally follow in the morning. I’ll haul him in our borrowed Ergo up five flights of stairs to the subway platform, we’ll ride into the city, and then we’ll walk the remaining five blocks to daycare. If there were an elevator in my subway station then I’d bring the stroller, but the stroller I currently have is 25 pounds (the lighter one I ordered hasn’t arrived yet),  and I’m not buff enough to carry that stroller with 18 pounds of toddler in it up all those steps. Then there’s the trauma of leaving Mason with someone new. I’ve met both of his caregivers, I like them very much, and the daycare has an excellent reputation, but I’m still going to worry until I actually see that Mason is happy and thriving in his new environment.

With our mornings becoming so crazy, I’ve been looking for some new fast and healthy breakfast ideas. I brought up the issue at my regular Sunday workouts with a group of other moms in my neighborhood. My friend Diane mentioned that her son Zann loves frozen multigrain waffles in a pinch. Worth a shot, I thought. I purchased a box of 7-Grain Kashi waffles on the way home. I’ve never tried them since I’m gluten-free, but I liked how healthful the ingredients were. The next morning I toasted a waffle, topped it with homemade strawberry-banana puree, and cut it in tiny pieces that Mason could feed himself. I’ve never seen anything disappear from his plate so quickly. He loved it. I served chunks of fresh cantaloupe and pieces of organic cheddar on the side, and breakfast was complete. So easy. Thanks for the great idea, Diane!

What are your fave breakfast shortcuts?

Strawberry-Banana Puree


Fresh or frozen strawberries


Wash and slice strawberries. If berries are underripe, fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat until bubbles are soft. Add strawberries and cook 3 minutes. Drain and rinse berries with cold water. Combine in a food processor or blender with banana (use 1 banana per every 6 strawberries). Puree until smooth. Freeze leftover strawberry-banana puree in airtight containers for up to three months.

Photo courtesy of Kashi.com