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Cooking with a Microwave Browning Dish or Skillet

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microwave-browning_cSmall pieces of food - chops, steaks, hamburgers, liver - which are normally grilled or fried may be cooked in the microwave on a browning skillet. You use less fat this way, but the skillet must first be preheated for about 6 minutes on full power - this ensures that it is hot enough to brown the food. After preheating, brush the skillet with a thin layer of foil, as this also helps the foods to brown.

Which Foods to Choose for Your Baby

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baby-food_cWith the exception of raw or lightly cooked eggs, peanuts, whole nuts, shellfish and soft cheeses, your baby should now be able to eat most foods. At this age, your baby should be eating three to four servings of starchy food, three to four servings of fruit and vegetables, at least one serving of meat, chicken or fish, or two servings of a vegetable protein (soya, peas, beans, lentils and smoth nut butters) per day.

Rules and Tips of Roasting Meats in Microwave

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Roasting-Meats-in-Microwave_cAlways buy prime cuts of meat for microwaving; they should be roasted on no higher setting than medium and if a cut proves tougher than expected, braise it on low (or defrost), with extra vegetables, sliced in a little stock.

Basic Methods of Cooking Fish

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fish_cFish is an excellent low-fat source of protein and it is important to encourage a liking for fish early on. You can mix fish with vegetables, cereals, creamy cheese sauce andso on. Cooking fish can be not so easy. Learn to cook fish steaks, whole fish, fish fillets in a sauce and also to steam fish. Read about recommended cooking times for fish fillets, fish steaks and whole fish.

Choose Finger Foods for Your Baby

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finger-foodsAs your baby develops better finger control (this usually happens at around eight months), introducing finger foods will help to develop the all-important skills of biting, chewing and self-feeding. Finger foods should be big enough for your baby to pick up, easy to hold and should not have any stones, pips or bones in them.

Your Baby's Meal Planner

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meal-planner_cPlan your child's meals for a week. Vary the desserts with lunch and supper. Give your baby some fresh fruit like a banana or grated apple, fruit puree and occasionally other desserts like ice cream, rice pudding, yoghurt and fromage frais. Here is a table that will help you to plan baby's meals.

 

Defrosting and Reheating Foods in the Microwave

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Defrosting-and-Reheating_cYou can defrost and reheat food in microwave. Any type of food can be successfully defrosted in the microwave whether meat, fish, prepared dishes, soups, or vegetables. Full power is used and food is quickly heated through with very little effort. Do remember to allow it to stand for a few moments before serving, so that the residual heat spreads evenly throughout the food.

Specially Designed Microwave Containers

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Microwave-Containers_cThere is now a huge range of containers available for use in the microwave, the quality of which varies considerably as do the prices. Before purchasing any items you think you need, get to know your microwave and find out where the gaps are in the equipment you already have. It makes no sense to buy a whole range of different-shaped dishes when you can use some of the equipment you already possess.

Your Baby's First Teeth

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tooth_cYour baby will be teething from around six to eighteen months and so gums may be sore and your child may be quite unsettled and not interested in food. A chilled teething ring can help soothe sore gums. You could also give chilled raw vegetables like sticks of carrot or cucumber. Rubbing an infant teething gel on to the gums may help - they contain local anaesthetics and can be prescribed by a GP, who is the best person to discuss whether they are suitable or not.

Feeding Baby. Self-Feeding

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self-feeding_cLet your baby experiment with feeding herself, using her fingers or a spoon. The more independent your growing baby, the sooner she will master the art of feeding herself. Use special equipment: high chairs, special bowls and spoons, feeding cups.

Let Your Six-Month-Old Baby Explore New Tastes of Food

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spoonBy the age of six months, your baby should be eating three meals a day. The quantity will vary from child to child but by this stage your baby is ready to enjoy a wide variety of tastes. This is a stage of quite rapid development and your baby will spend many more hours awake. Whereas a six-month-old baby still needs to be supported when you are feeding him, a nine-month-old is usually strong enough to sit in a high chair.

Cooking Equipment for Microwave

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Cooking-Equipment-for-Microwave_CAs a general rule, cookware which is dishwasher-proof is suitable for the microwave. Test cookware for the first time by placing a glass jug half-filled with water in the microwave. Put the dish beside it and cook on full power setting for about 30 seconds. If, at the end of this time, the water is warm and the dish is hot, the dish isn't suitable for use. If, however, the dish is still cool, then it should be fine provided it has no metallic (gold or silver) decoration on it.

Meal Planning for Babies: 1-4 Weeks from Weaning

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baby-meal_CEvery baby develops at his own pace so these should be used as a guide since there are many variations on the foods that can be given and the order in which they can be introduced. I have tried to give as wide a choice of recipes as possible, although I know that in practice, meals that your baby enjoys will be repeated many times and there is nothing wrong with giving the same food on two consecutive days - it is also a more practical proposition. Adapt the recipes according to seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Microwave Cooking Techniques

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Microwave-Cooking-TechniquescIf your microwave has a turntable, rearrange foods halfway through cooking by turning them sides-to-middle. Place a single dish in the centre of the reach turntable, or arrange individual dishes or portions evenly spaced in a circle round the edge of the turntable. Microwaves cook the outsides first and tend to fizzle out as they the centre of the cooker. This is why you should always arrange foods with the thickest part to the outside, and the thinner ends towards the centre.

Weaning Pre-Term Babies

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baby-eating_cIf your baby was born prematurely, weaning times can vary. Some pre-terms will be ready for solid food before four months corrected age (times since birth) and weaning could begin earlier if your baby is over 5 kg (11 lb), the extrusion reflex is lost and they can eat off a spoon.

How Long To Cook Foods in Microwave

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Cook-Foods-in-Microwave_cDifferent types of food heat up at different rates. Dense foods, as I have mentioned, will take longer to heat through than lighter-textured foods, and foods with a great deal of water, fat or sugar in them will heat up or cook though more quickly than foods without. (This is why, again, when reheating a mince pie, the filling gets very not before the pastry seems warm. Always test with a skewer.) Meat on the bone cooks quicker than meat off the bone. Thin ends cook more quickly than thicker ends.

Making Baby Food

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Making-Baby-Food_cBy making baby food yourself, you can be sure of using only the best quality ingredients without the need for thickeners or additives. It also works out much cheaper to make baby food at home rather than buying commercial brands. Introducing a wide range of foods is important in establishing a varied and healthy diet and you can make up your own combinations to suit your baby. You have the choice of organic fruit and vegetables if you like.

Best Way to Feed Your Baby. Introducing Solids

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Feed-Your-Baby_cCurrent medical advice is that solids should not be given until at least four months after your baby's due date. A very young baby's digestive and immune system is not sufficiently developed before this time and there is a greater risk of food allergy occurring. In special circumstances, pre-term infants may be offered solids earlier than this but check with your paediatric dietitian first.

Chinese Cuisine. Cook Noodles and Rice

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Noodles-and-RiceNoodles are among the quickest foods to cook, and rice, while it takes a little longer, re-heats nicely and so can be prepared in advance. Indeed, some rice dishes require re-heated rice. Asian cities are filled with street stalls and wagons that sell the area's 'fast food', rice and noodles, for a quick meal or snack. These are warming and satisfying dishes, easy to serve and as easy to make. They are the perfect base for a one-dish meal.

Feeding Babies. Breastfeeding Benefits

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Breastfeeding_cFor the first four to six months of life, babies need nothing more than milk as this provides all the energy and nutrients that they need. Brest milk contains particular proteins called antibodies and white blood cells, which help to protect a baby from infection. Brest milk is also rich in the omega-3 essential fatty acids that are important for brain development. Resent research shows that breastfed babies may well have higher IQs than babies given infant formula. A study of school-age children reared on breast milk found their IQs were five points higher than those brought up on formula milk.

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