Ella’s Kitchen Fabulously Filling Fish Pie (with mash)

So I did a review of all of the current Stage 2 meals available in Finland a few months ago. Not completely satisfied with the range, I took the opportunity when traveling to pick up a few more flavors to try out on our little bottomless pit. This was an exercise in giving him variety, though I wasn’t so sure his reactions would be consistent since he only got to taste these once or twice. Then again, there isn’t much that he won’t eat in the end, so who knows? Ella’s Kitchen Fabulously Filling Fish Pie with mash. It looks like… well, mashed …

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Ella’s Kitchen Stage 2 Textured Meal Pouches

We’re jumping forward a bit here from the Stage 1 stuff that I’ve previously reviewed because I wanted to follow along our dinner progression path for a bit. I mentioned that we started out with veggie purees, to which I began adding a bit of meat or couscous as the weeks went by. At 6 months, we moved on to Stage 2 meals entirely, which are “textured not lumpy”, as the pouches point out. They list these meals as 7 months and up on the label, but based on what I’ve read and Blob’s willingness to try everything, we thought it’d …

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The 2014 Ramen Review

Wow, has it really been almost 4 years since my last ramen review? So much for this being the annual post I’d intended. But I had intentions, yes! Here are the pictures and notes that have been sitting on my computer all last year to prove it. While I have tried to eat healthier over the past couple of years, there are still some days when I really needed a noodle fix. Pregnancy cravings are a thing, yo. So, as a public service to those of you in Finland who would like to know what’s what in the world of …

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Ella’s Kitchen Stage 1 Vegetable and Fruit Puree Pouches

After a month of only giving solids for breakfast, I decided it was time to expand into another meal. I didn’t particularly feel like giving cereal for dinner, so we went with these 4 month+ fruit and veggie purees. I picked up a lot of hints from these pouches for how to blend my own versions, such as combination ideas and what ingredient proportions gave the most baby-attractive results. Basically, it came down to using a lot more “filler” fruit (banana, apple, pear) than I would have thought. No wonder these were so happily devoured while my homemade pure veggie …

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Ella’s Kitchen Banana-Blueberry, Pear-Apple, Peach-Pear, and Banana-Apricot Baby Rice Pouches

A couple weeks after we started with the Valio gruels, I went browsing the shelves for other brands and flavors that looked interesting. Blob was so enthusiastic about his new non-milk breakfasts that I wanted to get in as much variety as possible while the getting was good. They also came in those handy little sippy pouches which both babies and moms seemed to like so much better than jars. So I brought home a sampler and we started going through them 🙂 These 4 month+ fruit and baby rice pouches were the perfect consistency for our beginner breakfasts, providing a stepping …

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Valio Onni Blueberry-Oat and Banana-Lingonberry Yogurt Snacks

Here’s something different from the long list of porridges and gruels I’ve been presenting – yogurt and fruit snacks! These were actually what gave me the idea of adding yogurt into my own baby smoothies — Blob developed a huge fondness for these particular blends but there were only two flavors available from this line, so we improvised. Blueberry-oat yogurt snack. Ingredients listed: grape juice, organic yogurt (23%), fresh milk whey, blueberry (8%), rice starch, wholegrain oat flakes (1%), rapeseed and sunflower oils, calcium, vitamin C. What I am translating as “blueberry”, by the way, is most likely bilberry since blueberries as we …

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Valio Onni 4-Grain, Raspberry-Blueberry, Lingonberry, and Raspberry Porridges

So after a month of gradually thickening the gruels (both pre-mixed and powdered) with additional baby cereal, we were pretty much at porridge consistency. This coincided with the 5-month+ age recommendation for these porridges above, so I started serving them up as well. Although I started playing fast and loose with age recommendations for lots of foods after the 6 month mark, I tried to go a bit more slowly in the beginning since we were still mastering the whole get-it-into-the-mouth-and-swallow routine 🙂 Four-grain porridge. Ingredients listed: fresh milk whey, milk, wholemeal flour and flakes (oat, barley, rye and wheat; 10%), …

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Protect your child’s mullet from sharp corners.

I had to post this the day after April Fools’ because although I did get a good giggle from this packaging, it is a real product. These came from the local toy shop, which carries some truly dated stuff (I’ve been told they still have some Space Jam games lying around). While the corner cushions inside were actually quite nice, the poor child in the photo is something else altogether. To think, there was a time when that look sold products. Be a responsible parent – pad sharp table corners and do not let them to get a mullet haircut. It’s …

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Valio Onni Wheat and 4-Grain Gruels

In addition to the four 4 month+ flavors from last post, there are two 5 month+ ones that contain wheat. I suppose it was the addition of gluten-containing ingredients that added the extra month to the age limit, though I’m not sure how much of a difference it truly makes. We had already moved on to thicker porridges by 5 months, but we gave these a shot anyway since Blob liked the other ones so much. One-grain oat gruel. Ingredients listed: fresh milk whey, milk, wholegrain oat flour (5%), lactose, rapeseed and sunflower oils, emulsifiers (vegetable-based fatty acids), vitamins (A, D3, thiamine, niacin, …

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Valio Onni Potato-Carrot, Banana-Blueberry, Corn and Rice Gruels

The first food we tried after the fruit purees was liquefied baby cereal. Gruel, to be exact. A friend pointed out that “gruel” wasn’t a term regularly used in the States, but I’m not sure if there is anything else that quite describes this stuff. The word that comes to my mind is “muay”, which is Taiwanese for rice congee — when we were young, my mom would make a version of this with various broths instead of milk. The Finnish word is “velli” and it refers to a milky, starch/grain-based beginner’s baby food/beverage. Lots of babies get this instead of formula for their …

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