Bun in the Oven

foodie adventure though conception and beyond

Merry Christmas Daddy!

Merry Christmas to one and all! Yesterday was a very exciting day for everyone but especially for my husband as he felt our baby kick for the first time (23 weeks and 3days). I of course have been feeling baby for several weeks now, but its so lovely to be able to share our little dancer with him! And what a wonderful day for it to happen, I think it maybe one of those things he’ll remember for the rest of his life ūüôā

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20 weeks scan photo

20121223-083339.jpg

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How much can breast feeding really cost?

As a chef, I want to be feeding my baby in the best way possible. I’m dying to get started on Purees and interesting flavours which baby may like, but, as baby isn’t even born yet I thought I’d look into the big issue of breast feeding.

In this age of knowledge we all want to do the best for our baby, and breastfeeding is highly recommended for health benefits, but economically how does it work out?There is plenty of gadgets and gizmos to make  it easier/more socially acceptable/ more pleasant, but what is necessary?

So here is a list of the type of things  that are available;

Manual pump £30

Tommee Tippee – Closer to Nature – Manual Breast Pump

Electric pump £50 *

Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Electric Breast Pump

Nursing Bras £15 each (4 = £60) *

Bottles £30 *

Philips Avent – Natural Newborn Starter Set

Steriliser £45

Philips Avent – Digital Bottle & Baby Food Warmer

Nipple cream £5.50 (x4 = £22) *

Philips AVENT SCF504/30 Moisturising Nipple Cream

Nursing pads £5.50 ( 4/day = 15 days = 12 packs= £66) *

Lansinoh – Disposable Nursing Pads 60 Count

Nursing sling £25 *

Faye & Lou – Breastfeeding Cover – Denim Cherry Blossom

Nursing pillows £41 + £12 *

Dreamgenii¬ģ Pregnancy Support & Feeding Pillow ¬£41 + cover ¬£12

Nursing chair £175

Tutti Bambini GC35 Deluxe Reclinable Glider Chair and Stool

Multi-vitamins 11p/tablet x 180 = £19.80 *

Vitabiotics Pregnacare Breast Feeding Tablets and Capsules 84 Capsules £8.95

£525.80 manual / £545.80 electric

And if you we’re to purchase all this, and breast feed for the recommended 6 months, this would work out at approximately ¬£3.00/ day.¬†

What I think is really nessasary (*); £216.50

If you keep to the basis then it will only cost £ 1.20 / day.

The Alternative; 

Formula; what is the cost?

Based on Cow and Gate

1 scoop = 4.2g

1 900g tin = 214 scoops

Suggested feeding table. Birth-12 months
Approximate age of baby Approx weight of baby Preparation for single feeds Feeds in 24 hours
Cooled, freshly boiled water
kg lb Level scoops ml fl. oz. (approx)
Birth – 2 weeks 3.5 7 3/4 3 90 3 6
2 – 4 weeks 4.2 9 1/4 4 120 4 6
2 months 4.7 10 1/4 5 150 5 5
4 months 6.5 14 1/4 7 210 7 5
6 months 7.5 16 1/2 8 240 8 4
7 – 12 months 7 210 7 3

Based on the table above, a normal baby & current prices on http://www.amazon.co.uk of Cow and Gate First Milk;

For the first 6 months of life, a baby would consume 22.5kg of powdered formula (or 5358 scoops or 25 900g tubs) which woks out at approximately £199.75

But as a minimum, you would also need; 

Steriliser £45

Philips Avent – Digital Bottle & Baby Food Warmer

Bottles £30

Total; £274.75

This works out at approximately £1.50/ day

Health benefits compared;

Why is breast best;

  1. Breast milk is made up of the exact mix of proteins and nutrients your baby needs
  2. It’s full of antibodies giving added protection against infection
  3. It reduces the risk of asthma, eczema and other allergies
  4. It’s sterile
  5. It’s easy to digest
  6. It’s available on demand at exactly the right temperature

Formula compared;

Most infant formulas are based on cows’ milk protein but with some major changes:

  1. The protein content is reduced
  2. Whey/casein ratio in First milks is increased
  3. Milk fat is replaced by vegetable oils
  4. Carbohydrate (usually lactose) is added so it’s at similar levels to breast milk
  5. Levels of other minerals, vitamins and trace elements are adjusted
  6. Additional substances found in breast milk are added (e.g. nucleotides and omega 3 & 6 long-chain polyunsaturates (LCPs))

When it comes to breastfeeding you are giving your child so much more then nutrition. It also is a crucial bonding experience. But if for whatever reason you can’t or decided for whatever reason not to then it is important to have the bonding experience , so feed your baby in the same position you would if you were breast feeding. Baby has a vision field of approximately 20cm which by no coincidence is the same as the distance from your nipple to eye, which I’m sure is no coincidence.

So my conclusion is that although breast feeding is not as cost free as it is made out, it doesn’t need to cost as much as some of the big companies out there would want. Also, if you for what ever reason feel formula is your only option, rest assured it is not much difference in price.

As featured on www.talkmum.com

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Excitement

If you haven’t picked up my news on Twitter, I thought I should let you all in on my exciting news that me and my husband are expecting our first child! Our little bundle of joy is expected on the 20th April 2013! Our second scan is happening soon, and I will fill you all in on my progress soon!¬†

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Breakfast Burrito:

I find it difficult to get excited about breakfast which is dry and comes in a box. I do have a wonderful Super fruit granola that I have on a regular basis, but sometime you just need a hot breakfast to kick start your day.

What you need;

Wholewheat tortilla wrap

3 eggs

splash of skimmed milk

1/4 red onion

5 cherry tomatoes

1/4 red or yellow pepper

1 tsp sweet paprika

Salt and pepper

Slice the onion and peeper, and quarter the tomatoes. Add to a hot dry pan, and “fry” until tomatoes and onions a start to soften.

Add the paprika, and “fry” until it seems ready, (It should be gooey and soft).

Meanwhile make your scrambled eggs, I do this with a splash of milk in with the whisked eggs. Into a warm pan, and keep it moving until it is a loose consistency. Take off heat, and season. Put tortilla in the microwave for 20 seconds to warm.

Place the tomato and onion mix on the tortilla, and then the eggs, fold into a pocket and serve!

This is such a satisfying breakfast and takes about 5 minutes to prepare!

Bliss

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Cheesy Aubergine Bake

My Cheesy Aubergine bake, is great as an easy lunch, or as a side dish to your evening meal. It is tasty and very very easy.

All you need is an¬†aubergine, an onion, some garlic (I’m using smoked as I love the taste), some cheddar and a bit of margarine to sweat the onions in.

First, slice your onions and place them in a preheated pan to sweat for about 5 minutes. Then add in two cloves of crushed garlic and friy for about a minute.

While the onion is sweating, slice the aubergine into disks (about 1/2cm thick) and layer into a dish.

This is also a good time to grate your cheddar ready for the bake. I used 50g.

Season, and scatter 1/2 of the onions and garlic over the first layer you have made. Now scatter some of the cheddar over this layer.

Repeat this for the next layer. MAke sure the top layer is neat, as once the cheese melts it will be visable.

Place in a preheated oven at 180c for about 25 minutes.

This could be spiced up to go with a nice lamb chop by adding apricots and a pinch of  each ground coriander, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and brown sugar.

Or it could be on the side of one of your two fish portions for the week.

I personally like it with an egg on top (not runny of course) as an easy lunch ūüôā

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Blog of the Week; Local kitchen

bruschetta risotto

http://localkitchenblog.com/2012/08/11/bruschetta-risotto/

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Tea of the week

This is a lovely ginger tea which is zingy, warming and refreshing. It has been my drink of choice this week at work, as it is conveniently in teabag form, and is delicious both hot and cold. This uplifting drink is caffeine free and has hardly any calories. It is available from all good health food shops, as well as Sainsburys, for £2.19.

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Cocktails

I love a good drink. So much so that when I married my husband, we got married in Britain’s Oldest brewery, Shepherd Neame in Faversham Kent. We even had our own wedding ale for our guests to drink.

One of my favourite things apart from drinking was cooking with the stuff. I love making steak and ale pies, cider braised pig cheeks with asparagus, Porter sundae (dark chocolate and porder sorbet topped with porter frozen yogurt with chocolate chunks), and good wholesome stews such as venison and bramble stout. So giving up eating and drinking alcohol has been a bit daunting. I love my beer, I love my gin and whisky, so finding a replacement in the glass Рand the kitchen Рis going to be a challenge. But there are a fab range of juices and cordials out there which, along with sparking water or tonic in place of alcohol, can be amazing. Mixed together into a super non-boozy cocktail, you will feel special on those occasions when you would most miss a drink. 

Jazzy Juice; 

100ml Innocent Apple juice

100ml Fever tree Ginger Ale

20ml Belvoir Ginger Cordial

Serve with a fresh mint leaf.

Tangerine Sunrise;

1. Pour a nice glass of your favourite orange juice; Mine is Innocent Smooth orange juice.

2. Pour 20ml of Belvoir Spiced Winter Berry through the orange, and it should sink to the bottom, as it is heavier. Do not stir!

Citrus sparkler;

This is totally my favourite at the moment. It feels special. It is a perfect replacement for champagne and is so simple to make!

20ml Belvoir Lime and Lemongrass Cordial

200ml Diet tonic water

Chopped fresh mint

I will publish more recipes for scrummy cocktails in future posts, but for the time being, enjoy!

* I must point out that I bought all products with my own money, and am not affiliated with any companies mentioned.

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Tea

The myth that a cup of tea contains the same amount of caffeine as coffee is untrue. It can be explained by the fact that one kilo of dry black tea and one kilo of dry coffee contain similar amounts of caffeine, but a kilo of tea will make over three times the amount of brewed tea compared to coffee. Therefore a cup of tea contains about a third of the caffeine in an average cup of filtered coffee.

I have always loved my coffee. I have a very nice coffee machine, and it has long been my morning routine to make myself a strong, sweet, full of flavour coffee. The thought of giving it up was originally an horrific one, but the more I have read about the benefits of teas, the more I have tasted, the more interesting I have found it.

I love the rich, smoothness of coffee, the intenseness of flavour and the silky feel on my mouth. You can also find this within Stout and Dark chocolate. Unfortunately I also cannot drink stout, as it alcoholic, and that is definitely a no-no. But a little bit of Dark, organic, fair trade chocolate is allowed. But remember, it also has caffeine in it, so you must take that into account. Approximately 50g equals 50mg of caffiene.

The other option of course is decaffeinated coffee. I was surprised to discover that a standard mug contains 15mg of caffeine! It seems that it is very difficult to totally avoid caffeine, even though there are alternatives to be had.

The safe level of caffeine consumption during pregnancy is a matter of argument among experts. It ranges from no caffeine all the way up to 300mg per day. A standard cup of instant coffee is about 100mg and black tea is between 15-40mg. I have decided to limit myself to 3 cups of tea a day, which means at a maximum my caffeine intake should be no more then 120mg. I am aiming to keep below 200mg, but this should not be difficult.

Caffeine content compared with coffee

  • One mug of instant coffee: 100mg
  • One mug of filter coffee: 140mg
  • One mug of builders tea: 75mg
  • One can of cola: 40mg
  • One can of energy drink: 80mg
  • One 50g bar of plain (dark) chocolate: around 50mg
  • One 50g bar of milk chocolate: around 25mg
  • One mug of decaffeinated coffee; 15mg

Types of teas;

Black teas; Black teas get their characteristic flavour and colour from a natural oxidation process, which follows initial drying and rolling of the leaves after they have been picked. Black teas include Earl grey, black flavoured teas, lapsing soughing ( a intensely smoky tea) and Chai.

Blue teas; Blue teas are essentially between green tea (0% oxidized) and Black tea (100% oxidized). They fall from 10% to 70% oxidization, giving them a large range of flavors and processing methods. Oolongs are complicated and sophisticated teas, with a large spectrum of tastes, aftertastes and smells.

Green teas; Green tea is made from unoxidized leaves which are simply heated after picking to destroy the enzymes that cause oxidation. They are then rolled to release their flavour. Green teas are sweet and contain many of the vitamins and antioxidant properties of the fresh green tea leaf, making them highly regarded as a healthy, fragrant and delicious drink.

White teas; White teas are less processed and are naturally lower in caffeine. Teas include; White Peony which is one silvery new leaf bud surrounded by a cluster of tiny silvery-green leaves; a pale yellow liquor and a soft, sweet flavour with a hint of nuttiness. White teas are less processed and are naturally lower in caffeine.

Ice teas; I have found many of the fruit flavoured teas are really nice as iced teas. I sweeten with a bit of honey, and allow to cool. I then throw some ice into my smooth maker (though a blender works just as well) and pour in the strained tea. Then whizz it all up and you have a fab crushed iced tea which is best enjoyed in the garden. This can also be done with Chai tea with milk quite nicely, and a little maple syrup.

Herbal teas; Made purely of herbs and spices, not leaves from the tea plant. Please read labels, and double check the herbs, as some, such as raspberry leaf should only be taken in the last trimester of pregnancy, and others which should not be taken at all by pregnant women.

Over the next few weeks I will review some of my favourite teas and add links so you can try them too.

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