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Halloween candy ideas October 28, 2011

Filed under: Baby Food Business — YumTum Delivers @ 12:26 am
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I have fond me memories of Halloween as kid. All that candy! The fun of dressing up, even though my mom dressed me as a clown for something like 4 years in a row. When my brothers and I got home we would dump our bags and start bargaining and trading our favorite candy with each other. I think we probably ate it all within the first week of having it with the exception of the stuff we didn’t like very much. As much as those are fun memories I want to create a different type of memory for my daughter. Instead of memories of eating candy, I want to create family activities using the candy that we can all look back on with warm fuzzies.

I started looking up online what everyone else is saying to do with all the candy. I found the more common ideas such as buying your kids candy from them, or stashing it away and giving them rations. I did find this one site that came up with creative recipes using Halloween candy. This inspired me to come up with some of my own candy inspired ideas. Here are some healthier ideas of fun things you and your children can make together using up large portions of that Halloween candy. Fun activities for the whole family.

Fruit and Chocolate Pizza

You need:     

peanut butter, bananas, strawberries, blueberries (really any fruit of your choice) and any halloween candy you want. Make it fun and decorate with M&M’s, or write words with your Kit Kats and Twix.

The crust ingredients:

2.5-3 cups of wheat flour

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup flaxseed

1 cup of water

1 Tablespoon honey (you can sub maple syrup or agave)

1 table spoon of salt

1 packet of quick rise yeast

1/4 cup olive oil

In a large bowl add salt and honey, pour cup of hot water, stir until salt is dissolved and add yeast packet. Let sit for 5min in warm place or until yeast is frothy. Then mix in olive oil, flax, and wheat germ. Continue to stir in flour. Knead for about 3-5 min until mixed and moist but not sticking to the counter. Cover and let rise about 1 hour. ( I sit mine on a heating pad to help rise)

Preheat oven 450 degrees.

Roll out and place on pizza stone poke holes throughout the crust. Bake for about 7-10 min until crust starts getting brown and the outer crust starts rising. Spread peanut butter down for the sauce and load it up with fruit and your fun Halloween treat toppings. Bake until chocolate is melted. You can even drizzle with plain organic yogurt.

Ewey Goey Fundey

Get all your favorite fruits like strawberries, pineapple, peaches, bananas and even cheese. Cut them into nice bite size pieces.

Gather all those candy bars and throw them into a double boiler system, or even the microwave. If you have a fondue pot this is a great time to break it out. Have a family game night and eat fondue!

Trick or Treat cookies

Get your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe out. Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour and get creative with your kiddos. Create some crazy master pieces with M&M’s, or experiment with all varieties of chocolate bars. You can freeze some of them for later.

Artsy Fartsy

Arts and Crafts time? Use the candy to create wonderful pieces of art. Build sculptures using toothpicks, tape, glue, yarn, beads, ribbon, and whatever else you have laying around the house to build candy cars, houses, wreaths, frames, whatever their little heart’s desire. Afterward while you are waiting for them to dry everyone can put their costume back on and you can photograph them with their works of art, so the candy lasts forever.



When Your Toddler Won’t Eat October 25, 2011

As you can imagine, now that we are in the baby food business we hear a lot about the eating habits of infants and toddlers. Having our own eighteen month old children we are also in the thick of the toddler feeding circus. Because nutrition is so important to the growth of our children, we spend a lot of time thinking about it, and as moms often do, worrying. Is she getting enough protein, too much dairy, what about veggies?

I myself struggled when my son was six months old and our pediatrician told us that he was in the 5% range for weight. While we weren’t supposed to worry, by the time he was nine months old we were advised to start dumping olive oil on his food, maybe slip him some whipping cream in with his pumped breastmilk, and pile on the high fat nut butters. I am now comfortably out of the woods and lucky to have a really good eater. My theory is that he’s making up for his slow weight gain in his toddler years, where as many toddlers eat less and gain less during this time. While I was stressing but trying desperately not to show it, I found some valuable tips from the infant and toddler nutrition pros.

One of my favorites is just to trust that they’ll eat what they need to eat to grow. A more nuanced explanation comes from Ellyn Satter, author of Child of Mine. Ms. Satter’s theory is called the division of responsibility. In the toddler years it basically says;


  • We as parents are responsible for what, when and where our kids eat
  • Our kids are responsible for how much they eat and whether or not they eat at all

For a great introduction to her book, check out chapter two.

Dr. Sears, the well known pediatric nutrition resource gives seventeen solid tips for getting your picky toddlers to eat. I’ve definitely had luck with;

2. Dip it – using crackers and breadstixs to dip in yogurt dips or hummus is like art play.

4. Top it – I bought one of those Door County Cherry Sprinkles containers and honestly it sat around for over a year, but when I sprinkled it on something for my son he ate it up and wanted to put them on everything. This came in handy on sautéed greens and sparked up a few sad looking leftovers.

15. Make every calorie count – find out which foods pack the most nutrition and get them hooked now – avocados, sweet potatos, nut butters, eggs, cheese, beans, yogurt, broccoli, blueberries, greens. Lots to choose from – the more color the better.

I can’t wait to try, 1. Offer a nibble tray, 3. Spread it – let him spread himself, 11. Give him shelf space and of course 17. Relax! That is the hardest one of all sometimes. But we’re all in this together!

Here’s to raising the next generation of foodies.




YumTum Delivers – Find Us At Hy-Vee! October 20, 2011

When you need YumTum Delivers right now!

Move over jarred baby food, there’s a new kid in town. Excuse the momentary competitive excitement. YumTum Delivers is VERY excited to announce that starting Sunday October 23rd, Hy-Vee  https://www.hy-vee.com/stores/detail.aspx?s=529  will be carrying ten of our menu items. If you haven’t been lately, you should come in to pick up some food for the babes and check out the expanded natural foods section. It features four large isles of staples from snacks to baking essentials, sauces and pastas as well as a brand new bulk foods section.  Hy-Vee is also very proud of their expanded organic freezer section, which is where we are moving in.

Come find YumTum Delivers nestled amongst the gluten free bakery items from Molly ‘s http://www.mollysglutenfreebakery.com/ Gluten Free Bakery and yummy stews from local Jordandal Farms http://www.jordandalfarm.com/index.php .

Add any of these items to your shopping list, and visit on Thursday when everything in the natural foods section is 10% off.

Singles – Sweet Potato, Green Beans, Pears, Butternut Squash

Sides – Packer Stuffed Potato, Pearrot

Tummy Grubs – Black Bean, Chic Pea

Snacks – Date Suns, PB Moons


The Wonders of Wheat Germ October 18, 2011

Filed under: MMmmM Food News — YumTum Delivers @ 4:59 pm
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Wheat germ is something I used to think was for old people.  Anything with the word germ in it lacks a certain appeal.  When Heidi and I started researching how and what to feed our babies she mentioned wheat germ to me. Why? This wonderful little part of the wheat kernel is so packed full of good stuff it almost makes your jaw drop.

The germ in the name refers to germination.  Wheat germ is the reproductive part of the wheat kernel that germinates and grows into a plant.  It is very small and is only about 2.5% of the wheat kernel.  It is also where most of the kernels fat is stored making it the most nutritional part of wheat.

Wheat germ contains more protein then most meat products.  For vegetarians, picky eaters, toddlers, or babies 8 months or older it is a good way to make sure they are getting all the protein they need.  Wheat germ is also a great source of vitamin-E, which is an antioxidant that helps your skin.  It also contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids which are important for the nervous system to function and helps elevate the blood. It lowers cholesterol and promotes healthy hearts.  Wheat germ is a good source of fiber.  Fiber helps us all stay regular and helps prevent heart disease and diabetes.

In addition wheat germ is a good source of B vitamins-folate, niacin, thiamin, and vitamin B6, calcium, complex carbohydrates , iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, and zinc.  As you can see this little guy packs some punch.

Wheat germ will go rancid so it is best to store it in the freezer or refrigerator in a sealed container. How do you eat wheat germ? You can sprinkle it in oatmeal, pasta, eggs, quesadillas, and even yogurt. I also like to bake with it. Add it to your bread, pizza crust, muffins, cakes, and pancakes.  All of these are fast and easy to do for your little one. They will never know the difference in the taste of the food but will feel really good.  Treat yourself right and start adding it to your food. You deserve it!







Pumpkin Pumpkins Everywhere! October 13, 2011

Filed under: Yummy Recipes — YumTum Delivers @ 6:33 pm
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I think my new favorite thing about the fall are pumpkins. They are everywhere! I can’t wait until Vivienne is old enough to enjoy carving pumpkins, until then I will learn to love to cook them.  I was first introduced to eating pumpkin when I was in New Zealand. The family  I stayed with for awhile had it all the time with dinner and it was so good. They roasted it like we would potatoes or squash, and it melted in your mouth.  There are so many varieties of pumpkins and so many sizes which ones do you use for cooking and baking and what do you cook and bake with them?  We are about to learn.

Apparently all pumpkins are edible. This doesn’t mean they all taste good.  The common jack-o’-lantern pumpkins have now been bred to have less meat and thinner walls for easier carving. They tend to be stringy and do not have the greatest flavor.

There are many  different varieties of pumpkins out there. I want to focus more on recipes because I found some fun ones! There are a few varieties that kept popping up in my searches, some of the most common baking pumpkins are these highlighted on Food Trends website.   http://marcia-passos-duffy.suite101.com/pumpkins-that-are-made-for-eating-a77186.

Baby Pam

These pumpkins fit the mold for the stereotypical pumpkin as far as shape is concerned.  They weigh about 5 to 6 pounds and have a deep orange color.  Commercial growers like to grow the Baby Pam because of the uniformity in shape and are high quality. The flesh is starchy, sweet, bright orange and dry which make them ideal for pies.

Small Sugar or New England Pie

These varieties of pumpkins are the ones you most commonly find at your grocery store. They are known for making delicious pumpkin soup and have the perfect consistency for making puree. They are bright orange, string-less, and have a sweet flavor and weigh between 5 to 8 pounds.

Winter Luxury

These are an old heirloom variety and have a smooth round form.  The skin is netted and the and the flesh is highly sweet. The Winter Luxury had a whole thread of gardeners and bakers who raved about this variety on a discussion board. They use it from purees, pies, to savory meals.

 Of course we need to know how good pumpkin is for us! It makes it even more fun to eat.  Pumpkins are low in calories, have no cholesterol or saturated fats, but are a great source for dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins.  The pumpkin is packed full with vitamin -A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E.  For more details on all the wonderful things you give your body by consuming pumpkin go to this website: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/pumpkin.html

I found many different recipes that now I’m so excited to try! One is a pumpkin pizza dip. Yup,  I mean does it get any better?  I also am excited about making some puree and baking pumpkin zucchini bread. ( I have a ton of frozen zucchini from my garden and this will be perfect).  A few weeks ago I tried making pumpkin fries. I peeled and wedged them, laid them out on a cookie sheet, sprinkled with olive oil, salt, and pepper. They were pretty good. I think the pumpkin needed to be a bit riper. That is what actually inspired this blog. I wanted to figure out the pumpkin. I did learn that pumpkins do need to be ripe, so maybe cooking it the day I bought it in September isn’t the best idea.

Get out your pumpkins and be ready to be inspired! These recipes are from http://www.pumpkinnook.com/ There are many more on this website, worth a trip to.

Pizza Dip in a Pumpkin Recipe

Description: Everybody loves pizza. So, this recipe will be a sure success at your Halloween party for kids or adults. This recipe is so good, you just might find yourself making it for an evening snack. Just set this dish out on the table and watch it disappear!


  • 1 small pie pumpkin
  • 1 jar or can of pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon margarine
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pepperoni
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Breadsticks

How to Make Pizza Dip in a Pumpkin:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut the lid off the pumpkin and scoop out the insides.
  • Replace the lid.
  • Put pumpkin onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until hot.
  • While the pumpkin is heating up, prepare the dip.
  • In a saucepan, add onions, green pepper and margarine. Saute until tender.
  • Stir in the pizza sauce.
  • Add the remaining ingredients.
  • Stir and cook over medium heat until the dip is hot and the cheese has melted.
  • Pour dip into the hot pumpkin.
  • Serve hot with the breadsticks.

Make it Quick: In a hurry? Just heat the pumpkin, then pour in a jar of pizza sauce, leaving out all the extras.

Pumpkin Chips Recipe

Description: Yes, you can make pumpkin chips, similar to “potato chips”. And, there’s just a couple steps to it. When it comes to Fall recipes, this is one you should try.


  1. Pie pumpkin, peeled. You can use a regular Jack-o-Lantern or field pumpkin, too
  2. Salt, to taste

Preparation Directions:

  1. Preheat deep frying oil in a fryer to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice pumpkin pulp as thinly as possible, no more than 1/8″ thick.
  3. Carefully, drop a few chips at a time into the hot oil.
  4. Fry until crisp.
  5. Remove chips from the oil and place on paper towels to drain.
  6. Salt to taste.

Tip: Pumpkin Chips are best served warm.

Pumpkin Dip Recipe  (how fun for a kids party!)

Description: Spice up crackers, gingerbread, veggies, and more with this great pumpkin dip recipe!


2 cups Pumpkin Puree- canned or fresh
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Ginger
1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg
1 Package Cream Cheese, softened

How to Make Pumpkin Dip:

  1. Place pumpkin puree and cream cheese into a large bowl and mix together.
  2. Add all other ingredients.
  3. Mix ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
  4. Refrigerate at least four hours or overnight.
  5. Serve with Crackers, gingerbread, celery, carrots, etc.

Tips: For a lighter dip, substitute sour cream for cream cheese.

How to Make Pumpkin Vinaigrette Recipe

Description: Blue Cheese, French, Italian, no way! Pumpkin Vinaigrette is the proper dressing for any salad!

Did you know? The word Vinaigrette is often misspelled. Many people transpose the “ai”, incorrectly spelling it: viniagrette. However you spell it, you will enjoy Pumpkin Vinaigrette.


4 Tbs Pumpkin Puree
1/4 cup Vinegar- use Cider Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar
1 Clove Garlic
1 Tsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/8 Tsp Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Olive Oil

Preparation Directions:

  1. Finely chop or mash the clove of Garlic.
  2. Put all ingredients except the Olive Oil into a bowl.
  3. Whisk all ingredient together. Mix well.
  4. Add Olive oil and whisk well.

Note: is important to mix the olive oil in last as salt will not dissolve in oil.

Stuffed Miniature Pumpkin Recipe

Description: Small  three to four inch “Pepo” or “Jack-Be-Little” pumpkins make a novelty serving dish for your favorite stuffing. Your guests will talk about it until Christmas.

Select the Pumpkin:

  1. Select fresh pumpkins about three to four inches in diameter.
  2. Make sure to buy a couple of extra in case your family or guests want more or even one to take home.

Pumpkin Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Wash the pumpkins.
  3. Cut the tops off the pumpkins.
  4. Scoop out the insides.
  5. Place a piece of foil on a cookie sheet and place the pumpkins on the sheet.
  6. Put the pumpkins in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the insides just begins to soften.
  7. For use with cold foods, allow to cool.

Stuffing Tips and Suggestions:

  • You can use a wide variety of foods and recipes to stuff in the pumpkin.
  • Food can be hot or cold.
  • For hot foods, you can even cook it right in the shell.
  • Use creativity and when in doubt, try it.
  • Some of our suggestions are listed below:

Hot Foods:

  • Hot Apple Sauce
  • Turkey or Chicken stuffing
  • Soup, especially Pumpkin Soup

Cold Foods:

  • Apple Sauce, a great serving dish for kids.
  • Pumpkin Puree, add Nutmeg and Whipped cream on top
  • Jello
  • Vanilla or Chocolate Pudding
  • Ice Cream- Vanilla, or Pumpkin are great, Chocolate for the kids

How to Make Pumpkin Puree Recipe

Making your own pumpkin puree is really an easy task. It is surprising that more people do not do this. If you have ever made fresh squash from a butternut, hubbard or other squash, you can follow the same process.

Here is our recommendation on how to make pumpkin puree(or pulp as some call it):

  1. Select a ripe and firm medium pumpkin. Larger pumpkins can be used for making pumpkin puree, but they begin to take on a grainy texture (the larger they get).
  2. Cut open the pumpkin and remove the seeds and fibrous strings.(We call them pumpkin brains)
  3. Cut the pumpkin into four to eight pieces.
  4. Line a large baking pan aluminum foil. This will minimize the cleanup task.
  5. Place the pumpkin pieces onto the baking pan.
  6. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for one to 1 1/2 hours, or until pulp is soft.
  7. Remove the pulp from the rind with a spoon and discard the rind.
  8. Blend the pulp until smooth using a blender, food processor or mixer.
  9. To create a really thick puree, put the pulp into a cheesecloth and squeeze out excess water.

Make and use fresh puree whenever possible for the best taste and freshness. Leftover puree can be frozen for a short period of time. Canning of pumpkin puree is not recommended by the USDA.

Here are a few more recipes from


They have many more sweet tooth recipes.


Everyone has their favorite method. Here’s one that we recommend:

Rinse seeds well. Soak seeds for a day in salt water. Drain water and put seeds in single layer on cookie sheet. Bake 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees F, stirring once or twice.

Or, if you want your seeds a little more quickly:

Wash seeds. Place on cookie sheet. Bake in 350-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until lightly brown. Stir occasionally. Roast plain, or sprinkle with salt.

From food writer Ellen Carlson, in the St. Paul Pioneer Press

Or, if you like it a little more complicated:

Mix 4-1/4 cups of raw pumpkin seeds, 1 tablespoon of oil, and one teaspoon of salt. Spread on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Let stand for 24 to 48 hours or until dry, stirring occasionally. Remove wax paper and toast seeds in a 325-degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring once or twice. Let cool slightly, and pat seeds with paper towel to remove excess oil.

PUMPKIN BARS ( a Downing Favorite!!!)

2 cups Pumpkin
4 Eggs
3/4 cup Oil
2 cups Sugar
2 cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup Nuts (optional)

Mix pumpkin, eggs, oil and sugar. Add rest of ingredients. Pour into one 9×13 cake pan and one 8×8 pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes.

FROSTING: Beat together 4 oz. softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup soft butter, 1-1/3 cup powdered sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla. Spread on COOLED bars.

That should be enough to get you started or at least get you thinking about incorporating pumpkin in a meal or two this fall. I can’t wait to try the pizza dip!



Manners October 11, 2011

Filed under: Baby Feed — YumTum Delivers @ 5:36 pm

Mommy is teaching me some manners. Throwing food used to be cute but not so much anymore. I also guess I’m supposed to say please instead of howling and pointing. Manners work nice. Especially when I grin when I say it.

Now if I could just get her to understand the difference between ae-pee that flies in the sky and I pee.



First Foods Around the World

What do babies eat in other countries? When I lived in Sweden I remember seeing bouncing blond haired babies in the most enormous buggies you’ve ever seen. In a cold dark climate where the growing season is short, hmmm, sound familiar, what do they eat?

My Swedish friend, who fed his kids twenty years ago, thinks they started with rice cereal and mashed bananas.

In Japan, babies start on rice – go figure. Followed by veggies like carrot, spinach, and pumpkin and proteins like tofu and white fish. Pics from one baby food site look yummy

In Australia, far from home but not distant in terms of cultural norms, new babes might eat mashed squash, carrot, bananas, mango or rice and even millet.

Kenya Healthline suggested a similar fare, Purees of vegetables such as carrots, swede, parsnips – which by the way are awesome, sweet potato, courgette, butternut squash,  apple, avocado, mango, papaya, or mashed banana and Gluten-free baby cereals such a iron – fortified baby rice or maize floor, mixed with baby’s usual milk.

Turns out that most countries start their babies on similar first foods. I was somewhat surprised to see that most also recommended gluten free cereals as opposed to wheat based. From various reports including those from the American Academy of Pediatrics, it seems that as with most foods you should consult your physician, and that there is not consensus on whether holding off on gluten beyond six months is helpful. In fact there is growing support for introducing small amounts of wheat early as to avoid a sort of larger shock to the system later.

I did ask Katy Wallace of Human Nature LLC, about her opinion on gluten introduction. She suggested waiting until babies have molars, as a benchmark, before introducing wheat. Possible indicators of a reaction to gluten would be digestive issues, sleep issues colic or skin problems.

When I became a mother I didn’t quite realize how murky the parenting water was. I expected to find cut and dry answers to the big questions of what to feed when. Like everything else though, feeding your baby depends on a number of factors and is a highly personal decision. Luckily there are some guidelines to refer to, whether you are in the U.S. or Kenya.