Super Peanut Butter Applesauce

Packing in the calories for Hermione since  the cleft repair isn’t the easiest thing. We’ve had to get creative in order to help her grow (and we’ve seen some great weight gain in the past couple of months, she’s closing in on 20 lbs FINALLY!)

When she was on formula, we could just fortify it to squeeze them in. But we’ve been off of formula for three months now, and are on solids completely. With a cleft palate child, all of those food introductions get wonky. Normal kids get solids introduced slowly starting at 6 months, then gradually move to table foods by 18 months. Hermione didn’t get to start solids until she was more than 14 months old because of her palate. Most babies learn solids slowly, she got a crash course. She had to learn in a whole different way how to move foods to the back of her mouth.

Her palate is closed but still short and her uvula doesn’t quite fit to block the entrance to her nasal cavity, so we work hard to keep it from coming out of her nose. Table foods help a lot with that. But  she does eat some mushy kinds of things, like this recipe.

We aim for 1200-1500 calories per day. A normal 18 month old weighs 25 lbs and needs 900 calories to grow. Hermione is 20 lbs and has always needed more calories to gain, and that’s still the case. She burns more than normal kids, mainly through all of the awesomeness that she creates during the day. With four little mouths to feed, getting those kinds of calories into her can be a little insane. Hermione has the same thing for dinner nearly every night and this is it. She scarfs it and sleeps from 6:30pm to 6:30am on a belly full of super peanut butter applesauce.  It’s working well for now, but part of the fun of kids is that things are always changing!



  • 3/4 cup applesauce (Yes this is the kind with added sugar, that’s intentional. We’re really just trying to pack it in with her)
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter (again, the kind with added sugar.)
  • 3/4 cup baby cereal

Mix the applesauce and peanut butter. Heat  until warm in your method of warming (microwave, stovetop, whatever you like). Mix in the baby cereal until it’s really chunky and thick, see below. You can add a little soy milk if you want it thinner, or use less baby cereal.


Calories 505

Protein 10 grams

Carbs 78 grams

Fat 19 grams

Sodium 103 mg


Categories: Recipes, Special Needs Parenting, Stories from My Life | Leave a comment

Celery Appleberry Smoothie

So I’ve decided that it’s time to expand my repertoire when it comes to smoothie making. For a long time I’ve shied away from more exotic ingredients, and by exotic I mean vegetables. So this morning I looked in the fridge and came up with a little something different.


Celery Appleberry Smoothie

Makes one 8 oz smoothie.

  • 1 stalk celery, washed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 apple, chopped
  • 1/2 banana, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water

I have a GREAT GE single serving blender that I got for 20 bucks at Walmart.  Use your full size blender if that’s what you’ve got.

Just spin for 2 minutes, to make sure that everything is well blended!

MUCH better than I would have thought! The celery adds a little zip, but isn’t overpowering.

I love my veggies, but I’ve been in a veggie rut for a while.  Everything you read says how great vegetables are in smoothies, but I’ll admit that though I’ve tried it at restaurants, I’ve always maintained a fruit only smoothie regimen at home.

This is one that I’ll have again. Without a doubt.

Categories: Health, Recipes | 1 Comment

Oatmeal Heaven

Yay oatmeal!

I have a love/hate relationship with oatmeal – I love the health benefits and the fact that it’s so darn cheap, but I hate the taste.  Well I don’t HATE the taste, but  I’d rather eat a lot of other things for breakfast.  Oatmeal does everything for you from lowering cholesterol to increasing a nursing mother’s milk supply.

Here’s my favorite recipe for oatmeal – it’s high in protein and get’s a serving of fruit in to boot.  It’s like I died and went to oatmeal heaven

Oatmeal Heaven

1/2 cup whole oats

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup dried cranberries, raisins, blueberries, currants, whatever you like

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 scoop brown rice protein

dash vanilla

Mix the oats and almond milk and either simmer it on the stove for 5 min over medium heat or microwave for 3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla and protein, then the then pecans and cranberries.  Eat it while it’s warm!

Here’s a nutrition breakdown of this yummy meal:

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Make your own 0 calorie Gatorade!

The unofficial start of summer is this weekend, so to celebrate here’s a 0 calorie homemade electrolyte drink recipe.  With the current heat wave here in the Blue Ridge, our family has really noticed that we’re slowing down.

When you sweat, you loose not only water but sodium and potassium as well.  Sodium and potassium are essential for muscle function. In fact, it is the interaction of these two molecules that allow your muscles to move at all!  In order to stay hydrated and healthy, particularly if you’re working out, you need to replenish both H2O, potassium and sodium.  One easy way is to grab a sports drink or some coconut water.  These are both great sources of electrolytes, but in this economy that can get pricey.  Not to mention the calorie load that you’re getting.  8 ounces of a sports drink or of coconut water contains about 50 calories.  That doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re drinking a lot of it, that adds up. Do note – this is NOT a recovery drink.  It only replenishes your electrolytes!

The average 8 oz sports drink contains 110mg of salt, about a pinch. It contains 30 mg of potassium which can be found in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

What’s a good solution? Make your own!  It’s surprisingly easy! Here’s the recipe:

Lemon Electrolyte Drink

  • 8 oz water (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: sweetener of your choice

Mix and enjoy!  You can also make this in a larger batch to keep in the fridge, just remix before you drink. Drink plenty, the importance of replenishing your electrolytes cannot be overstated. It’s pretty tasty without sweetener, or use stevia if you want a natural no calorie drink.

Ahh . . . tasty, super healthy AND 0 cal!

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