Saturday, October 2, 2010

Foodbuzz 24x24: Pee Wee Puree Party!

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It's crazy how quickly babies really grow up. It seems just like yesterday that my son Joel, came home from the hospital. Now, he's just about 5 months old and growing more and more everyday. Soon, he'll be starting a new and exciting stage... eating baby food! To join me in this exciting phase in parenting, I hosted a 'Pee Wee Puree Party' with friends and family. As an added bonus, FoodBuzz surprised me by featuring my party for their October 24x24 Food Event, highlighting parties for kids. For FoodBuzz's 24x24 Food Event, they showcase food blog posts from 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publisher bloggers of 24 unique meals occurring around the globe during a 24-hour period. I was thrilled to have my party featured!

 
Fruit and vegetable purees are often associated with baby food... but for my Pee Wee Puree Party, we used the same purees in everyday dishes too. Regardless of age, fruit and vegetable purees are great ways to add some additional nutrients, flavor and color to our childen's (and adult) meals. Besides, all parents can appreciate every little bit of nutrition we can sneak in, right?!

For my Pee Wee Puree Party, I purchased a few sets of freezable baby food containers for my guests. Everyone received a tray, eight 2.0 ounce containers and labels. I chose these containers because they could be used for both food and milk, and are safe to use in the freezer, microwave and dishwasher. They have attached lids for convenience and are also BPA free. You could also use standard ice cube trays, in which each ice cube well portions out to about 1 ounce.

There were quite a few kids in attendance, ranging from the age of 6 weeks up to 10 years old. Because of the amount of kids in once place at one time, I made it easy for us parents by making some of the purees in advance and also demonstrated how they were made. The purees we made included:

Carrots
Green beans
Sweet potatoes
Sweet peas
Butternut squash
Mango
Pear
Banana

We each portioned the purees out for everyone, regardless of how old their child was. Every parent took home purees to use as is or to mix in with their daily meal with recipes I printed out for them...

When we took care of all the purees, the bigger kids got involved in the kitchen too! I had the bigger kids learn how to make homemade pizzas and each of them had a lot of fun making their own pizza creation. My nephew, Justin, volunteered to show us how he made his pizza...
The first step is to make the pizza crust with prepared dough. I prepared the dough in advance and the kids shaped their own crust.

Justin had a great time working with the dough and even was brave enough to give it a few tosses in the air just like the pros!

Once we had the crust down, it was time to top them. I prepared a homemade pizza sauce using some mixed vegetable puree, to sneak in some nutrients. The kids couldn't even detect it so it was a definite success! As an added bonus, us parents were quite pleased the kids used fresh vegetables as toppings including spinach, bell peppers and mushrooms...

After a few minutes in a hot oven, the pizzas were ready. All the kids were anxious to eat and Justin was really proud of his creation...

Aside from the pizzas, I also made some Mac & Cheese Muffins for everyone to enjoy. These were a hit and the best part was sneaking in some butternut squash puree into each serving. The puree added color, a little flavor and a lot of great nutrients!

For dessert, I made these Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Muffins, which ended up going home with folks since we were all pretty stuffed from the pizza. It worked out great since they could enjoy them the next day for breakfast or a sweet snack anytime. Little do the kids know that these muffins are healthy with a nice dose of carrot puree and applesauce mixed in!

To wash everything down, we had some fruit punch pouches for the kiddies...

Overall, it was a great event that everyone from the parents to the kids enjoyed. The parents took home some vegetable and fruit purees to use with their little ones and/or for their bigger kids to cook and bake with. The bigger kids had fun too getting hands on in the kitchen with pizza making and trying mac & cheese in a new muffin form. Everyone was happy and the party left me with a tired and sleepy baby, which is a good thing for this mommy! Stay tuned for all the recipe which will be featured this week!

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