Mo’s Sopinha & Frutinha

by Andrea on April 28, 2011

Portuguese kids live off of sopinha (soup).  I guess adults figure it’s an easy way to shove a ton of vegetables and nutrients into their little bodies.  Sopinha is given to them for lunch and dinner in addition to their main meal.  The meal, by the way, is typically followed by some fruit. It sounds like a lot, heck it is a lot, but it’s nutritious.  Sopinha starts early and is given to infants as one of their first solid foods.

Even though it’s recommended States-side to introduce one new food at a time, Mo started off his culinary adventure with sopinha.  The very first one had chicken, broccoli, carrots, leek, and potato.  While American pediatricians no longer insist on starting your baby with rice cereal, they still tend to recommend that you introduce one new food at a time and wait 3-4 days before the next one.  I kind of blew that with his very first bite.  I’m not saying this will work for everyone, but it worked for us. Mo loves to eat and hasn’t developed any weird reactions or allergies to food.

Making Mo’s food is very easy, and the best part is that I know exactly what is going into it.  In under an hour, I can prepare all of his meals for the week, which is important for this working mom.  I’ll make one sopinha and two different kinds of fruit (or frutinha).  The other thing I love to do is add spices and herbs.  I read early on that infants don’t need bland food, and in fact it’s good for them to explore new flavors.  Thus far, I’ve added cinnamon, cumin, parsley, and rosemary to different foods.

For any of the dishes, I’ll make a big batch 6-9 servings and put them in covered ice-cube trays.  I love these trays because not only can I freeze the food for the whole week, I track how much he’s eating by cubes.  When he first started eating, each meal was one cube.  He’s currently up to five cubes.  Emily is letting me borrow these Fresh Baby trays with snap on lids.

They work great, but when I wanted to double my stash, I found these OXO non-baby specific trays on sale at Fred Meyer for a fraction of the cost of the Fresh Baby trays.  I just keep the food in the trays until it’s frozen, and then transfer the cubes to ziplock bags.

So what actually goes into sopinha will vary depending on what I have in the fridge.  This week’s sopinha recipe was 2 pieces of veal, 2 cups of carrots, 2 small heads of broccoli, 1 leak, 1 small Yukon Gold potato, 2 cloves of garlic, cumin, and 1 cup of water.  I let this cook for 30 minutes, and then pureed it with my immersion blender.  I ladled it into the trays, popped it in the freezer, and out came these little guys:

One of this week’s frutinhas was mango.  I used the immersion blender (my new best friend, by the way) to puree three ripe mangos.  As a side note, pureed mango is velvety and delicious.  I’ve taken to eating it myself and adding it to ice-cream (for me, not Mo).

The great thing about having these cubes is that I can mix ‘n match.  A few days this week, Mo had 3 cubes of applesauce and 2 cubes of apricots.  I will admit something.  I get a huge kick of looking at his ‘pantry’ in our freezer.  At any given time, I might have six to seven different kinds of foods all cubed up in ziplock bags.  These little nuggets of goodness make me smile each and every time.

 

 

 

 

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