food for nursing mom and toddler

Hi Blogging Nana,
Love your blog!  And I’m hoping you can help with a odd question.  I have several co-workers who are expecting, and another with a new born.  Someone had a great idea that we should take turns making meals for them while they are on maternity leave.  My problem is, I don’t know what to fix for moms who are nursing, and have other young children at home.  My first thought was lasagna, but someone said that if a nursing mom eats tomato sauce, it changes the taste of the breast milk, or it may even give the baby colic.  Then I thought maybe
carrot sticks and celery sticks with dip, but heard that carrots can be choking hazards for toddlers.  Plus, there are some foods that really young children should avoid like honey or nuts. So I ended up making a cake when it was my turn.   I’m just trying to think of dishes that…
1. will feed a crowd and appeal to both children and adults
2. will freeze well and reheat easily
3. will be healthy
Can you recommend any websites or cookbooks?  Are there ingredients should I definitely avoid?
Thanks in advance!
–Jenny

Hi Jenny,

That’s a great question, Jenny.  And such an important way to support a young family.  What you and your friends are doing for them will have a major impact on these families’ ability to relaxedly parent their children.  But, unfortunately, the problem of what to cook is not my greatest strength .  When it’s my turn to cook for the family (my adult children and their children live nearby), I usually have to ask someone else what I should cook, unless it’s burritos [hey that might work], my fall back meal.

I do remember using a little food mill with my toddlers and just grinding up whatever I was eating.  It just shouldn’t have too much salt. My guess is that any dish with a grain, like rice or kasha, and vegetables and meat [if not vegetarian], served with yogurt, full fat is best, would be safe and nourishing for everyone. I’m partial to martha stewart, you might want to try some of the rice casserole dishes on her site.

Here’s a site for toddlers that might be useful:
http://www.wholesometoddlerfood.com/

And here’s a site on what moms might need to avoid if their babies have a gassy reaction.  The site said that babies don’t object to tastes, they have experience with these flavors from drinking the amniotic fluid;
http://www.babycenter.com/404_are-there-any-foods-i-should-avoid-while-breastfeeding_8906.bc

Hope this was useful.  Let me know too, what you’ve figured out.  My son and daughter-in-law are expecting a baby any minute now and I’ll be facing the same challenge.

[If you have a question for the blogging nana, email margotbrinn@mac.com]

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