Feeding Baby Cookbook Giveaway

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I’m thrilled to be one of the many awesome bloggers on the Feeding Baby book tour! Author Clancy is a registered dietitian and blogger behind Fields of Flavor. Her new book, Feeding Baby: Simple Approaches to Raising a Healthy Baby and Creating a Lifetime of Nutritious Eating, is the best overall baby meals book I’ve come across.

Here’s why:

The book is full of researched-based advice on current best practices on all the baby food hot topics (all cited in a references list). Moreover, Clancy gives tons of tips on using herbs and spices with babies, teaching flavor preference, preventing picky eaters (as much as you can!) and more.

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I love a cookbook that includes more than just recipes, and there are a handful of great charts to give you good ideas.

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Of course there are plenty of recipes too (80 of them!), and lots of techniques to get you started on your own twists.

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Lastly, the recipes are sorted by nutritional focus, such as bone building or brain boosting. A nice plus.

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Mazen and I made the Broccoli & Cheddar Quiches together. (He stirred the eggs and helped add ingredients to the bowl). (I got these colorful silicone muffin liners on Amazon!)

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They were fabulous – especially with the fresh thyme inside!

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He loved them! (But he also loves broccoli, eggs and cheese…sooo I picked a good one to try : ) )

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As part of the book tour there are a ton of giveaways you can win! Check out all the prizes below! The entry form is at the bottom – scroll down! And good luck!

Feeding Baby Cookbook Release Party & Giveaway over $2000 in Prizes

Feeding Baby Release Party & National Giveaway

Hosted by Fields of Flavor & Measuring Flower

2 Giveaways, $2000 in Prizes & 30 Winners

baby food cookbook

About Feeding Baby:

"Your baby deserves the best in life- food is no exception! Feeding Baby is the ultimate guide to preparing and feeding wholesome foods for your infant, with helpful nutritional tips, picky eating solutions, and with over 80 recipes. Once you discover how easy and affordable it is to make baby food at home, you’ll take comfort in knowing your child is receiving the best nutrition possible."

Feeding Baby Book Signings & Events:

The Prizes:

1 Winner: Vitamix 5200 Blender $450.00

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1 Winner: Babycook by Beaba $150.00

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9 Winners: Feeding Baby Books $180.00

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1 Winner: Fairhaven Health and The Naked Nursing Tank Bundle: $142.00

Milkies Milk-Saver Milkies Freeze Nipple Nurture Balm Nursing Time Tea DreamBelly Stretch Mark Butter

The Naked Nursing Tank

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1 Winner: Infant Book Bundle $100.00

Feeding Baby by Clancy Cash Harrison

Dinnertime Survival Guide by Sally Kuzemchak

Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD
Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD

Oh, Yes You Can Breastfeed Twins! by April Rudat

Getting to the Yum by Dr. Karen Le Billon

I will Breastfeed Anywhere by Jennifer Saleem

Milkies in the Morning by Jennifer Saleem

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Scentsy Gift Card $100

  

NuRoo Baby Bundle: $85.00

NuRoo Swaddler

NuRoo Pocket Baby Wearing Shirt

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1 Winner: Buttons Diapers Gift Set $58.00

Charming-Promo

1 Winner Kiddo Feedo Freezer Trays (2) $40.00

Kiddo Feedo Silicone Freezer Trays

Blueberry & Apple Baby Food and Fruit Leather

  

1 Winner: The Sili Company Squeeze Pouches: $34.00

4 oz Sili Squeeze (spill proof) 6 oz Sili Squeeze with Ease Free-Flowing Sili Funnel

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1 Winner: Life Without Plastic Stainless Steel Set $33.00

3-Piece Stainless Steel Dish Set

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1 Winner: Yoomi 8 oz Feeding System $33.00

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1 Winner: Undercover Mama $25

Undercover Mama Nursing Shirt

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1 Winner: FunBites Cutter $13.00

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The Entry Form:

MVP Baby Items: Year 2

A while back I wrote about our MVP baby items and stand by how awesome and necessary they were during Mazen’s first year. And if you go way back, you’ll find our newborn must haves!

Now that we’re approaching 2, I figured I’d write an updated post with some MVP items during our second year as parents. These are items we use every single day, and I can’t recommend them enough!

Sesame Street Bus

We got this bus for his first Christmas. He wakes up in the morning and says “Pway bus!!” He fills it with animals from our Old Macdonald tractor (another fav) and loves to open and close the door. Of all of his toys, I’d say it’s his very favorite! When Grammie and Pea babysat during our Sonoma trip they reported that they played a total of 20 hours of bus.

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Our Train Table

I bought our train table on Craigslist for $40. When we first brought it in the house I regretted it right away. The table is HUGE and takes up a large section of our basement. But within a few days I realized how great of an asset it was. It’s so much easier for a toddler to play standing at a table compared to the floor, and the table contains toys so that they don’t need to be cleaned up after every use but still look relatively neat. He got his train set (this basic one) for his first birthday and plays with it daily. Every time we go downstairs – even if it’s just to get in the stroller and leave through the basement – he pays a visit to his trains. When we spend longer periods of time playing in the basement he will focus on the trains for up to 45 minutes at a time. A secret: he’s getting more train and track for his birthday! I got him this set of 12 trains and my mom is adding another track set.

OXO Tot Sippy Cups

These have been our favorite overall cup for an older toddler for a couple of reasons:

1) The straw is open so it’s great for thin water or thick smoothies

2) It’s very easy to disassemble and assemble to clean and put in the dishwasher

3) The cup is petite so it fits well in things

4) When closed it’s very leak proof

I mentioned older toddler above because Mazen is very good about not spilling his cups these days, but this cup when tipped over WILL allow liquid to escape. The open straw means water can flow out if it sideways, so that’s a con if your child tips over his or her cup a lot. But a pro for ease of drinking!

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Aden + Anias Blankets

I’m putting these blankets on this list for year 2 because Mazen always sleeps with his blankies so they remain a daily use items for us. He rolls them into a ball and actually sleeps on them. He’s not attached to any particular one, but he sure loves them as a set. While these blankets are not cheap, the fact that we’ve used them every single day for 2 years means we’ve gotten our money’s worth (or our gift’s worth!). A perfect shower gift for any mom.

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Clek Foonf Car Seat

We got the Foonf when Mazen was about 6 months old and after well over a year of use I continue to sing its praises. I’ve experienced a number of other car seat brands when traveling or riding with friends, and can say with confidence that this is the best car seat I’ve encountered. Not for safety (because they are all safe), but for lots of other reasons: its look and feel, the ability to clean the fabric (vegetable pouch stains just wipe off with a little water), the ease of installation and instruction book, Mazen’s apparent comfort, etc. I really have zero complaints about it. I will say that a big part of why I love it is because of a really nice aesthetic, but that was important to me, and I’m so glad we spent extra to get something really nice.

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Wipe Warmer

I was on the fence about needing a wipe warmer and I felt a little silly when I  bought one at the beginning of our first winter. But we’ve continued to use this one all four seasons of the year. I actually prefer our OXO wipe holder for its look and smaller footprint, but when I tried switching back to it when the weather warmed up both Mazen and I thought the wipes were just too chilly – even for summer. He got instant goosebumps! Maybe that’s just because he’s used to the warmer wipes, but I thought they felt cold too. The first wipe in the stack does dry out a bit, but otherwise I am very happy with this warmer. If you’re debating between wipe holders, go ahead and get a warming one.

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Crocs

We are a croc family! I bought Mazen’s first pair at a consignment sale and quickly realized why they are such great shoes for toddlers. First, unlike cloth shoes, there’s no need for socks (although sometimes they smell stinky before I give them a wash). But it’s nice to know socks are optional. Second, they are super easy to clean – dunk in soapy water, scrub and rinse. Third they are great for splashing in puddles or with socks in the winter – versatility at its best. They come in many colors and designs – these are our favorites!

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Curious George and Richard Scarry

Two of our most-read books. These are not only great picks because they are good books (see this post for a bunch of great books) but because they are long so you get a lot of entertainment out of them. The Complete Adventures of Curious George (a chapter book) was a gift from Papa and Mimi, and Mazen loves it. George is his favorite TV show as well. Richard Scarry: Cars, Trucks and Things That Go is probably his very favorite bedtime book, and what’s great is that when Matt and I are tired we don’t even have to read the text – the pictures say it all. We spend hours just looking at the pages and pointing things out. M learned the words “big mess” from a page with a pile of things that collided, and he knows a lot more about life from these pages (and non-life – like pickle cars!)

No surprises with these last three…

Our Motorola Video Monitor

I can’t sing its praises enough. Our monitor has become even more valuable as Mazen has gotten very mobile. I watch him playing in the crib or assess his climbing skills to see if he’s figuring it out (so far, he hasn’t but he’s getting closer). This is the one we have, FYI! The ability to pan around is worth the extra cost over the less expensive model.

The BOB

Like the monitor, the BOB gets a spot in this list simply because we use it every single day. It’s another in the category of “expensive but worth it” due to the frequency of use for many years. We bought the CE model because it has smaller wheels for easier transport and it’s been great for both walking and running.

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OXO High Chair

Still loving it! I’ve used a variety of different kinds during travel and friends’ houses and think the OXO Tot is one of the best. Looks great, easy to clean tray, easy to clean seat, lovely to look at.

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A Few Duds…

This place mat. Bought it at a friend’s recommendation and never used it.

This bike. While we did get a lot of use out of it, it fell apart many times and eventually bit the dust. An outdoor bike made out of plastic intended for pushing over rough landscape is just not the brightest combination. Go for metal!

Fubbles bubble machine. We had this one and it was a battery hog. And since it’s a kids item that needs a screwdriver to change the batteries, it was a pain to maintain. It was supposed to be no spill, but it spilled on me several times. And finally it just stopped working. We loved the concept while it lasted, but I can’t recommend this model. Anyone love their bubble machine?

Anything you swear by with daily use?

Tips For An Awesome Baby Shower

This post is sponsored by Target

Babyshower

A few weeks ago I hosted a baby shower for my good friend Meg. Her baby girl is due any day and her name will be Rose! Thus, I knew a rose theme would be perfect!

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Here are a few tips that I took away from a fun and festive baby shower!

1. Bunches of Brunches. This is the second brunch baby shower I have hosted, and both have been wonderful occasions. Brunch is such a nice time for a ladies’ morning, and it’s a good time of day for a menu that is delicious but doesn’t require hours of preparation. I served egg casserole, bacon, three kinds of fruit salad, raspberry crumble bars, raspberry cupcakes, punch, wine and coffee. My girlfriends made the crumble bars and cupcakes (their specialties!), and I prepared the rest. Since everything was hands off once it was prepared, I was able to completely enjoy the party with my guests.

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2. Put some prep in your step. I have entertained guests enough to know that the hour before they arrive will be a hectic one. Since my shower was in the morning and I knew I had to take my son to his play date beforehand, I had to be as organized as possible. The night before I set the table, picked out my serving dishes, prepped anything that wouldn’t get mushy overnight, rolled napkins, filled the coffeepot, put flowers in vases, washed my dishes, planned for the game and wrapped the gift. The morning of I just had to assemble and bake the casserole, fry the bacon, put the finishing touches on the fruit salads, make the punch and flip the coffeepot to ON.

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3. Keep it glassy. I am a believer that a beautiful event doesn’t need over-the-top decorations. I could have spent hours making paper roses or sewing garlands, but what guests enjoy most is good food and good company. To make the shower feel fancy, I brought out my grandmother’s vintage champagne glasses (along with my own from my wedding), a crystal punch bowl, real plates and cloth napkins rolled and secured with washi tape.

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4. Punch it up. Man oh man, was the punch a hit!! I called my mom the week before and asked if she had any punch recipes. She told me about a cranberry punch that was equal parts 100% cranberry juice, ginger ale and lemonade. Sherbet floats on top to form a layer of sweet foam. The punch was a HUGE hit! Those women who were pregnant didn’t miss out on the fun of a champagne glass, and those of us who wanted a bit more fun mixed in some rosé wine, which added to the rose theme and tasted delicious!

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5. Guessing games (that people actually like). Candy-bars-melted-in-diapers game, I’m looking at you! I decided since all of the ladies in attendance were already moms we’d have a little “Price Is Right” game with some of the baby items we all love and use. We should all be familiar with the cost of things, right?! I picked up the follow items at Target the week before:

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Everyone got an index card, and as I pulled out and named each item the ladies had to guess the price and organize them from least to most expensive. The person who got the order right and guessed the closest price without going over won a prize! (Chocolate and jam!)

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And of course the mom-to-be got to keep all the items as a gift.

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As one shower does not fit all, I’d love to hear some of your favorite tips from showers you have attended, hosted or been given!

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The above links are not affiliate links. Love me some Target though!

This post is sponsored by Target. The adventure begins here: Discover all Target has to offer for your baby registry and throughout your motherhood journey.

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Cozy Wall Art

Cozy Wall Art asked if I’d like to try out one of their wall decals to dress up one of Mazen’s play spaces. My first thought was his reading nook! And what sealed the deal was this cute Dr. Seuss “The More You Read” quote – it was perfect!

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Here’s what his nook looked like last week after I cleaned it out (it had been storing some of his bigger toys that I’d thrown in there for out-of-sight keeping)

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I was very nervous to put the decal up because every DIY project I do has some kind of error, so I read the enclosed instructions three times before beginning. There are good ones on the Cozy Wall site too!

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The first step is to tape up your decal and then peel the bottom layer away and cut it out from underneath the decal and transfer paper on top.

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Easy does it…

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Once the backing is gone you can press the decal onto the wall and then remove the backing from the other side.

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After the decal is on the wall, you use the provided plastic card to press it in and remove all bubbles

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And then you peel away the transfer paper to reveal the finished decal!

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Surprisingly, my install was flawless!

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Mazen is more interested in his train table than his reading nook at the moment, but I hope he’ll grow into it in the years to come and Dr. Seuss will inspire him to keep on reading!

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Toys From Hasbro

I received an email from Hasbro recently asking me if Mazen would like to test out some of their toys. I asked Mazen if he’d like to participate and he said an enthusiastic “JES!” Especially when he heard Elmo was involved.

The box included an assortment of both classic Playskool products and new items for Spring 2014. Here’s what we got:

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Playskool Sesame Street Hugs Forever Friends

I’ll start with Mazen’s favorite – the Elmo! They had lots of fun playing slide all afternoon.

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Elmo’s arms hook onto things like a slap bracelet which has been almost as fun for me as it has been for Mazen. I’ve hooked him on funny things like dinosaurs and Mazen’s bike!

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Playskool Gloworm

In comparison, the Gloworm he was not into.

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But luckily Elinor loved it!!!

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I let her take it home and Alice said that she wouldn’t put it down for days.

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Playskool Shapes ‘N Colors Turtle

I think Mazen was too much in a developmental black hole to enjoy this turtle. He isn’t focused enough to concentrate on the shapes and colors and is too old to be amused by the flashing lights.

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But our friend Virginia loved it so we let her take it home!

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Playskool Busy Ball Popper

This cute elephant shoots balls out of his trunk into the air and catches them with his ears. It’s quite exciting, but Mazen was a little scared of it. Once he figured it out he liked it but only for 5 minutes at a time. I keep it hidden and bring it out for a fun change on rainy days. I think it’s one of those toys that is best in small bursts – or for a group of kids to play with together.

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Playskool Sesame Street Elmo Bath Adventure Steamboat

And finally, this cute Elmo steamboat has been a big hit in the bathtub. The Elmo squirts water and the back wheel comes off to suction to the side of the tub. M loves it!

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Thanks for the fun times Hasbro!

New Favorite Books!

We read a ton of books – before every nap and bedtime. Our collection is a combination of gifts, hand-me-downs and books my mom knows from her writing circles and sends to us. Here are some of our very favorites!

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How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

Every book in this series is awesome! My mom actually knows the author! Mazen loves dinosaurs and so these are some of his favorite books. My mom just got us How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? and it’s hilarious! We also have the small board book version of Clean Their Room? and Play with Their Friends? All fabulous!

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LMNO Peas

Mom also sent this one because of my dad’s name of Pea and because we didn’t have a good alphabet book. The peas inside are doing all kinds of activities and they are so cute! Mazen loves to point out the peas.

Orla Kiely Numbers

I bought this book when I was pregnant because it’s Orla and obviously beautiful. It has been great for introducing counting because the objects (elephants, pears, houses) are really clear and neatly organized on the page, so it’s obvious what I am pointing to when I count them. Mazen knows how to count by pointing to each thing on the page, but we’re not counting up to 10 yet : )

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Llama Llama Hoppity Hop

We love all of the Llama Llama books, but this one is Mazen’s favorite. He likes to go through the motions we invented with us, especially the biiiiig huuuug at the end!

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Potty

Mazen has started to show some signs of being ready for potty training, so I figured we should get a potty book. I bought two – the above and this one. Potty is hilarious and Mazen is fascinated with it!! As soon as I finish the last page he says “Mo! Mo!” {more} The Potty Book for Boys, however, he could care less about. Go figure!

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The Complete Adventures of Curious George

Mimi and Papa got Mazen this book and he LOVES it. He loves all things Curious George in general, and this book is story after story of George’s adventures. Mazen listens right along.

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Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go

This book is craaaaazy fun! There are a million and one kinds of truck inside and we stare at them for hours. I don’t even have to read the words (which are small) – we just stare at the pages and point out funny things on wheels.

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Goodnight Moon

And of course the classic! M loves the moon so this book is one of his favorites. He loves the details (the giraffe and elephant on the shelf) and I think he likes how soothing the words are.

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My Big Dinosaur Book

More dinosaurs! This one is packed with big photos of dinos in all their glory. Maze loves to read this one.

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Diary of a Wombat

My cousin Caroline lives in Tazmania and she sent us this book. It is hilarious!!!! It follows the life of a wombat as told by the wombat herself. “Morning: Slept. Afternoon: Slept. Evening: Found something to scratch again.” SO cute!

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Red Truck

Man oh man have I read this book 100 times this year! PULL Red Truck with all your might, PULLLL! M points out red trucks and school busses around town now.

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Little Gorilla

One of our all-time favs, Mazen still loves it. On the page where the grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles are mentioned someone (likely my mom) must have pointed out all of our family members because there are certain gorillas that Mazen knows by name –

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What are your favs?

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Feeding Baby: 14 Things That Make It A Whole Lot Easier

This post is sponsored by Target.

Our baby has been Eating Real Food for over a year now, and looking back I can condense dozens of trials and errors into a list of 14 products that have made feeding Mazen easier. From the first purees to the messy finger foods, may these help you turn your baby into a mean, green, real-food-eating machine!

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1. A good highchair. It’s an obvious start, but you really do need something for baby to sit on and for containing the inevitable mess he’ll make! I’ve used a handful of different high chairs while traveling and at friends’ houses and have learned that the things most important to me are a medium-sized flat tray (too many nooks and crannies just gets messier and medium so it fits in our sink!), a really easy to wipe seat (again, nooks and crannies are bad!), an easy-to-remove tray (some of them are tricky to figure out for grandparents and visitors!) and a stylish look (not the most important but nice to consider.) This is our OXO Tot highchair and we love it!

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2. A mix of good spoons with both shallow and deep bowls. When we started feeding Mazen, he couldn’t get his lip into a deep spoon bowl, so these OXO Tot Spoons were our favorite. They are super soft and durable and the shape was great for parent feeding. Now that Mazen can feed himself, we love these Munchkin spoons – because the bowl is so deep, the food stays on his spoon better as it heads toward his mouth. A plus is that they are super cheap.

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When Mazen first started to eat purees, I made most of them myself. This was not nearly as daunting as it seemed at first thanks to a few great pieces of equipment.

3. Ice cube trays. The OXO Tot Baby Food Freezer Tray is great because it comes with a lid (so there’s no need for plastic wrap) and the shape of the cubes makes the frozen food cubes really easy to pop out.

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But of course, a cheap ice cube tray works too – especially when you want more food per cube. These are harder to get out, but after a little thawing I could dump them all into a zip lock bag for storage.

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4. Freezer storage. Sometimes I wanted to put more food into one container for a bigger meal so I found these OXO Tot Baby Blocks Freezer Storage to be great. They even had their own little tray to keep them organized in the freezer.

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5. Reusable pouches. These were also great for anything pureed, and we still use them for yogurt and applesauce some of the time (like when we’re on the go). These saved us a lot of money because we didn’t need to buy a ton of the pre-filled pouches, and of course they’re better for the environment too.

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6. A baby cookbook. When making purees, I knew how to steam and blend, but a good baby cookbook will give you lots of inspiring ideas and take the guesswork out of wondering exactly how long to cook the veggies or how much water or milk you needed to add to puree. The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet was my favorite reference – it was simple with lots of information.

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7. A stick blender, food processor, or blender. I find all of them to be super helpful in blending up purees and smoothies. Mazen can’t really chew greens yet, so green smoothies have been a nice way for him to get more of them. And our stick blender was great for pureeing in the same container I cooked the food in. I found my regular kitchen appliances to be easy enough, I didn’t consider a specialized baby blender or steamer.

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8. Premade squeeze pouches. Of course I couldn’t make Mazen’s food 100% of the time, so I do always have a few squeeze pouches in stock. Our favorites are vegetable-heavy and low in sugar. For bigger “meals,” I look for ones with protein from beans or meat. These two are our favorites: Carrots + Broccoli Pouch and Ella’s Kitchen Four Bean Feast. Mazen loves the carrots + broccoli, but I gotta say, it doesn’t smell delicious to me!

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9. The perfect bib. We love the soft plastic bibs with the deep bowl for catching food. {Like these} We also put a Command hook on the back of Mazen’s high chair, where we store the bib between uses. This way we don’t have wet bibs hanging all over the kitchen and it’s tucked out of sight : ).

Bibhook

10. Baby dishes. Once Mazen started to want his own spoon and fork, we had to get a few of his own bowls. I’m such a huge fan of the OXO Tot line that I got him this set. The non-skid bottoms and curved lips are great.

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11. I have written about sippy cups before, but our favorite after a year of using them all are the OXO Tot ones with straws. I will say that this cup’s straw is open, so it’s not ideal for a first cup that will end up sideways all the time, but as M has gotten older it’s our favorite all-around cup mostly because it’s really easy to clean and does well with water, milk and smoothies. Straws that you have to bite to suck aren’t as good for drinks other than water because the gunk gets caught in the straw. This straw is easy to get in and out for washing and washes out easily. And the cup is leak-proof when you close the lid.

OXOTot cup

12. Snack containers. Another must-have is the Munchkin Snack Catcher. What did moms do without these? We still fill them with cereal or cheddar bunnies if I need a quick on-the-go snack. It works great with fresh fruit like blueberries too (although that’s messier if they fall out…which they do).

Snack traps

13. Disposable placemats. Ones like this Neat Solutions Table Topper were great when we would eat out in restaurants before Mazen was old enough to not send a plate flying. They stick to the table and your little can make as much mess as he or she wants. Also, there’s no need to worry about how clean the table is! And after the meal you just ball it up and toss it. M is old enough now to be fine with a real plate, but these were lifesavers in the earlier months.

Placemats

14. And finally – Lunch Skins! These reusable pouches are wonderful for sending snacks to our gym’s Kids Zone. I fill them with everything from fruit to pretzels, a roll or whole apple. I will say that the gooier the food, the harder they are to clean, but they are dishwasher safe so it’s not a huge deal. They come in dozens of super cute patterns!

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And there you have it – 14 of our finest feeding props! Was there something you used and loved that I have yet to discover?

The above links are not affiliate links. Love me some Target though!

This post is sponsored by Target. The adventure begins here: Discover all Target has to offer for your baby registry and throughout your motherhood journey.

Culture Baby

A friend of mine introduced me a friend of hers, Natalia, who is the owner of Culture Baby. Culture Baby is a global children’s boutique specializing in international clothes, toys and accessories for babies and children from birth to age 6. Natalia adds products all the time from all over the world, and her goal is to help parents shop consciously and ethically for their kids from small scale manufacturers, artisans and entrepreneurs internationally. The site is perfect if you’re looking for a unique gift for a new mom and baby.

Here are a few of the most popular items:

 

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1. Helicopter Onesie

2. Kyrgyz Elephant Rattle

3. Kimono Playset

4. London Tea Party Dresses

5. Indian Quilted Cotton Blankets

And I can’t wait for Mazen to fit into the cute helicopter shirt Natalia sent me as a thank you. It was made in Barcelona by AltoVolta Kids, a design shop committed to fair-trade and eco-friendly materials and practices.

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I am helping Natalia spread the word about Culture Baby with a $50 gift certificate giveaway to one of you. The giveaway will run until Friday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Warm N Snuggly

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Baby it’s NOT cold outside!

Here are a few warm and snuggly items that are helping us get through the winter.

Bundle Me

First the JJ Cole Arctic Bundle Me. I knew I needed something really warm for Mazen to use in the BOB if I wanted to keep walking outside all winter. Blankets were fine in the fall, but when it’s 20* they just weren’t warm enough. I did quite a bit of research and ended up buying this stroller “muff” that is like a sleeping bag with holes in the back for the stroller straps.

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It’s SUPER warm – when it’s zipped all the way up I don’t even need to put a coat on him (although I bring one in case he wants to get down). And surprisingly, he likes it! He doesn’t even mind the hood being on his head. The only complaint I have is that if he gets out to play his dirty shoes make a mess on the inside, but since it’s machine washable that’s not a huge deal. I love the fabric too – it’s nice and rugged feeling on the outside and soft fleece on the inside.

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Sleep Sacks

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We have two sleep sacks for winter. One was given to me to review and the other I bought.

The Baby Deedee Sleep Nest Baby Sleeping Bag I got on Amazon first. It’s a big sleep sack for toddlers. I considered some of the fleece versions, but I was worried about M getting too hot, so I choose this one because it seemed softer and more breathable. It cost about $40. I also really like the look (the zipper glows in the dark!)

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He doesn’t love putting it on, but once it’s on he’s happy. There are two straps that snap at the top. He has stepped on the bottom and popped these open once or twice at bedtime and the sack has slipped off. (In contrast to the next sack, which won’t fall down). His toes are never cold, and he seems to be very warm all night. I’ve never seen any signs of overheating or being too cold.

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The second sack was sent to me to review: Merino Kids Baby Sleep Sack For Babies 0-2 Years. It’s made from “luxuriously soft Woolmark-certified Superfine Merino” and organic cotton and you can tell it’s a quality product just by the velvety touch. {You can read a lot more about the features of the sack here.} It’s designed for rooms 64° to 80°, so we will be able to use it year round. (I suspect the Baby Deedee sack would be too warm for the spring and fall.) I do feel like the Baby Deedee is a little warmer, so we use that on our coldest nights. But with footie PJs (these are our favorite ones) or socks, his little toes have been fine in both.

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I love that the shoulders have one snap and one permanent strap so it won’t slide down if the strap unsnaps. It is a bit trickier to put on a squirmy toddler, but not by much.

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The fabric is the perfect weight and softness. At $99, you are paying for quality material, but I am considering buying a second one to have on laundry days I like it that much.

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Endue

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And lastly, we have a new line of beautiful baby clothing.

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Endue sent me this outfit for Mazen along with a sleep sack and outfit that were for a younger infants so I am saving them for #2 : ) I call this Mazen’s rainy day outfit because it’s so soft and cozy and perfect for days when we stay inside. The pants are reversible so you can either match the top or contrast with navy and the cuffs rolled up. He gets lots of compliments on it!

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Endue’s clothing is made from 100% GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic Peruvian pima cotton and is super soft. It’s also a thoughtful company – with every product purchased they donate food to a child in need. Additionally, Endue supports fair labor practices and transparent manufacturing procedures. This line would make a perfect baby shower gift. 

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And here’s a gift to one of you! Enter to win either a boys or girls bundle from Endue! Giveaway open to USA folks for a week’s time.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas Morning

Did you know that Santa makes special trips before and after Christmas Day to accommodate families that travel? When was young, we traveled for Christmas every year, so I had several years with presents dropped off at special times. Santa came to our house a few days early this year so that Matt could be home for the big moment. {Matt was working Mon + Tues mornings before we flew out to Dallas.}

Since Mazen was still a tiny baby last year, this was his first official Christmas morning. Santa debated whether or not to wrap all of his presents, but based on the fact that M has not been the biggest fan of wrapping paper this holiday season, he decided to just bring everything directly from his workshop. It made for a really exciting first look!!

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Mazen ran towards the presents, picked up the claw and pointed at everything else with glee. He LOVES Elmo and calls him “La La La” so there were lots of lalalalalalalalalalala’s! It was the cutest thing. He loved everything.

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Almost as much as Elmo, Mazen really loved the tool set Matt’s dad and Cheryl gave us!

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xmas