baby

Mommy & Baby Smoothie

Blueberry-Banana & Greens Smoothie

I am so excited!! As much as I looove making smoothies (and drinking them of course!), it can now go to an even greater use! My son loves them as well! He is 10 months old and completely eating solid table foods now versus baby purees. He is still a wonderful eater and eats a great variety of fruits and veggies along with some meats. However, some of the veggies he ate well as purees he is now turning his nose up at now that they are a different texture. So I thought that smoothies would be great since you can add a variety of foods and nutrients without tasting the greens or having the odd texture. So you can imagine my excitement when it turned out that he GULPED and I do mean gulped his smoothie down. I thought for sure he was going to get brain freeze but he couldn’t get enough of the stuff. Now my only hope is that he continues loving smoothies as he gets older because it is such a great lunch or snack, especially when making them yourself and having all of the fresh ingredients! I also love that I can make something that we can both have for lunch, it saves time!

Blueberry-Banana & Greens Smoothie

What I used:

 

Blueberry-Banana & Greens Smoothie

-Handful of ice

-1/2 Cup Blueberries

-2 Bananas

-Large handful of kale

-1/4 Cup Coconut water (or as needed for the consistency you want)

Blend well in the blender.

At this point I poured some of the smoothie into a cup to be a baby friendly smoothie and left the rest in the blender for myself. For The baby friendly smoothie I stirred in his favorite YoBaby whole milk baby yogurt and poured it into a bowl since he hasn’t really gotten the hang of using a straw.

To the rest of my own smoothie I added:

-1/2 to 3/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt

-1 Tbsp Flaxseed

Blend well.

Blueberry-Banana & Greens Smoothie

And there you have it! I’m so excited my little guy liked smoothies! Another tip is to alternate kale and spinach. It gives you more of a nutritional advantage than just using the same thing all of the time. There are many other things you can alternate in as well!

Enjoy!

 

Blueberry-Banana & Greens Smoothie

Whippersnappers

 

 

Sandwich Ideas for Kids

Sandwich Options

Well, I think it is safe to say that Sawyer is officially done with purees. He refuses almost all of them now and wants his big boy food. He is only 10 months and it amazes me the foods that he is eating already! I feel kind of sad about it but it is also fun to whip up new and fun lunches each day and not always just doing purees. I do keep a few around though to mix in with his cereal in the mornings since he is still eating baby cereal pretty often. So I will mix in a pureed fruit or veggie into his cereal.

So…my son’s new thing lately is LOVING something one day, and throwing it on the floor the next with a look of complete disgust. That can be a bit frustrating and it has taken a bit of trial and error lately. LOTS of error 😛 But…lots of success too, and on things that I actually didn’t expect him to be to fond of like quinoa!

Just last night he figured out that he could take a piece of food, reach behind him and drop it down his shirt. So that’s been real interesting! Usually most kinds of sandwiches he will gobble right up so here are a few things that we have tried.

Avocado-Cheddar Sandwich

Avocado-Cheddar Cheese Sandwich

Simply mash however much avocado you would like to use and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. This one was really good and would be even better on toasted bread!

 

Banana-Almond Butter Sandwich

Almond Butter-Banana Sandwich

I used mashed banana and almond butter for this and my son absolutely loved it! It contains two of his absolute favorites: bananas & almond butter! I make this a lot with peanut butter too, I like to switch it up!

The mushy lump of stuff on the plate is what I like to call Banavocado 😛 Rest of the mashed up banana and some mashed avocado. Doesn’t look all too great but for some reason my son will not eat plain slices of avocado at this point.

 

Raisin Puree

Raisin Puree-Almond Butter Sandwich

I made a raisin puree by boiling a handful of raisins for about 5 minutes and blending them in the blender with some water. You wouldn’t even need to boil them if you don’t want but they blended a bit easier that way.

 

Tuna-Cream Cheese Sandwich

Tuna-Cream Cheese Sandwich

I just used a package of plain tuna and some cream cheese. Took Sawyer a bit to get used to the tuna but ended up eating quite a bit of it!

 

 

Some other options:

-Plain peanut butter

-Peanut butter & jelly

-Grilled cheese

-Chicken, cheese & tomato quesadillas

-Ham & cheese panini

 

Just to name a few!

My Little Guy

Whippersnappers

 

 

 

 

Nautical Baby Room

Nautical Nursery

I’ve been wanting to post photos of my son’s room for awhile now! Keep in mind, some of them may look a bit different since some are from our previous house. Since we moved when my son was only 2 months old, I set up his room pretty much the exact same way once we moved into our current home. I knew right from the start as soon as my husband and I found out that we were going to have a boy that I wanted to do a nautical nursery. I got all of the inspiration since my husband is in the Navy and works on a submarine. So naturally I wanted to incorporate submarines too!

I went with mostly deep red and navy blue for his room and really loved how it all turned out! I am so in love with anchors and all kinds of nautical stuff!

Nautical Nursery

Our son’s name is Sawyer and I definitely wanted his name above his crib somehow so I decided to make some letters myself. I love being crafty so not only did it give me a cheaper decoration to go above his crib but it also gave me something fun to do in the days leading up to my son being born. These letters were super simple. I bought some paper mache letters, which you can get really cheap at most craft stores. I kept having bad luck by going in to the store and every single time, all the letters that I needed were completely out! Grrr! Finally, I just ended up ordering them online.

I decided that I wanted to use maps for the face of the letters. You could use anything you wanted, photo printed on regular paper, magazine pages, or even just use paint. I wanted to use maps because I thought that it was nautical, plus I really just love the look of maps! To put a little more meaning into it, I used maps from places we have been. This was when we were still living in Hawaii so I picked up a Hawaii atlas and cut out the letters from pages where we have been on each of the islands. I really LOVE how these turned out!

After cutting out the letters (I just set the paper mache letter down on the map where I wanted it, traced it and then cut it out) I painted mod podge all over the face of the letter. Then I placed the paper down right where I wanted it and coated the top with another layer of mod podge. Make sure to let it dry well. Then I just painted the sides of the letters a dark gray to finish it off.

Nautical Nursery

I got a lot of stuff from Etsy when putting this room together. The crib skirt, teething guard, Navy uniform blanket and Boppy cover all came from different Etsy shops. I even had a cover for the changing pad that matched the Boppy cover, which I love and still use. I originally got the teething guard to look cute and tie everything together but now that my son is 10 months old and standing, it is really coming in handy since he puts his mouth and new teeth all over it!

Nautical Nursery

Getting crafty again!! I made this mobile using plush submarines from a local shop and making felt balls and hanging them with string from painted wooden rods. Not going to lie, this took me forever! But I love it, my son loves it…and it is still in his room over his changing pad! Click here for decorative felt ball tutorial photos that I used from UsefulDIY.com.

Nautical Nursery

Also painted two canvases and this is one of them. As you can tell I was really feeling crafty 🙂

Nautical Nursery

Nautical Nursery

I had so much fun decorating, crafting and putting all of this together. I also have two cubical shelves that have felt drawers and are also used for the tons and TONS of books that he has. At this point he mostly just has a blast ripping them all off the shelves right now 🙂

 

Nautical Nursery

Whippersnappers

Turkey-Orange Bell Pepper Baby Food Puree

Turkey-Orange Bell Pepper

Turkey is a very healthy meat option, especially for babies. I knew it wouldn’t have a very great taste on its own though so I decided to pair it with orange bell peppers. Green or yellow bell pepper would probably be just as good. My son was not a huge fan of pureed chicken. I have gotten him to eat only a total of a couple bites out of the multiple times I have given it to him. He is now having a more “I can do this myself mom” attitude apparently because he is starting to not really want a whole lot to do with purees all together. So I have now been starting to wean him off and give him more and more table foods and he is doing great! This turkey and bell pepper recipe he did like a bit better though and would be great if your baby is still a bit younger or isn’t eating actual table foods yet.

My son’s pediatrician recommended starting meats at around 9 months but you could talk to your own pediatrician to get their recommendation.

Turkey-Orange Bell Pepper

 

Turkey-Orange Bell Pepper

Turkey-Orange Bell Pepper

 

How I made it:

-1lb ground turkey

-1 orange bell pepper

-water or breastmilk

 

Start browning the meat in a large skillet. While browning the meat, wash the bell pepper off and cut into small pieces. Make sure to get the ends cut off and the middle cut out along with the seeds. Steam the bell pepper for about 10 minutes. Finish browning the meat and then drain. Let everything cool a bit and add to your blender. Since you’re using meat this one will take quite a bit of liquid. Add your water/breastmilk a small amount at a time while blending in between until you have reached desired consistency.

…and that’s it!

This puree actually smelled and tasted really good!! I would eat this myself if it wasn’t pureed of course 😛

This made 5 – 4oz jars for me.

 

 

Whippersnappers

Mango-Avocado-Kale Puree

mango-avocado-kale

Another fruit puree perfect for adding to baby cereal or giving to your baby for lunch. This one, like most purees I have made, was very simple to make. I chose to use a lot of mangoes for this one so that I could have plenty extra to freeze. I use fruit on most days to add to my son’s cereal for breakfast so I go through it pretty quickly.

mango-avocado-kale

 

mango-avocado-kale

Here’s how I made this one:

Keep in mind I wanted to make a lot so you could cut this down if you wanted to make less. If you wanted to make a single serving I would suggest using half of each fruit and then 1 or 2 kale leaves.

 

Use:

-5 mangoes

-1 avocado

-1 whole bunch of kale leaves

-water or breastmilk

 

The only thing that I cooked for this baby food is the kale leaves. Everything else can simply be cut up and tossed into the blender. Since the fruits are not cooked, I would suggest that this puree not be used for one of baby’s first solids. Make sure to rinse the mangoes, avocado and kale leaves. Peel and pit the mangoes, slice into small pieces and put into the blender. Peel and pit the avocado, slice into chunks and put it into the blender. Cut the stems off of the kale leaves and steam the leaves for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse leaves when you are done and let cool for a bit or run cold water over them. Add the kale to the blender and blend well. You won’t need much liquid for this one. Add small amounts of water or breastmilk as needed. This made 8 – 4oz jars and a whole ice cube tray for me.

mango-avocado-kale

As you can see, this is what I do when I run out of jars while making baby food…improvise by using an ice cube tray! Ice cube trays work great, you could also use them if you don’t have any jars or some other sort of baby food storage. I let the tray freeze and then pop all of the cubes out and put them into a ziplock bag and back into the freezer. This way you can just grab however many cubes you want as you need them.

My son loves this one by itself or mixed with cereal!

 

 

Whippersnappers

Chicken – Cheddar Broccoli Baby Food Puree

Chicken - Cheddar/Broccoli

It’s official…we are starting meats now!

My son had his 9 month appointment a couple of weeks ago and his pediatritian suggested to start him on meats now. I had been previously giving him little pieces here and there from my own plate at dinner but now he can have his own for a whole meal! This opens up a whole new world of possibilities with his homemade baby food so I was very excited! However, little road block…he doesn’t really like it pureed :/ I can tell it is definitely a texture thing. I will put it in his mouth and he immediately sticks out his tongue and lets it fall out. But it’s okay, we are working on it and hopefully he starts to like meats a bit more.

For his first meat meal I decided that chicken would be easiest and I wanted to add a veggie. Plus, it will be better flavors by adding a veggie or something else instead of trying to give them just the meat plain. I decided on Chicken – cheddar/broccoli. Since I usually like to make his food in bulk and then freeze it, I wasn’t sure how good the cheese would be so I decided to just make the cheddar broccoli and then add some of the cheese when heating up his meal after thawing it. But if you are going to make it and give it to your baby fresh then you could just add the cheese at the same time.

Chicken - Cheddar/Broccoli

Chicken - Cheddar/Broccoli

How I made it:

-1 lb chicken

-1 small bushel of broccoli

-1 Tbsp cheddar cheese

-Breastmilk or water

 

Cut chicken in bite-sized pieces. You could also leave them not cut up to cook them but I cut them into pieces to ensure that they would be fully cooked and also figured it would be much easier to puree that way. Steam the chicken for 20-30 minutes. The chicken could also be cooked on the stovetop or baked in the oven. Remove the chicken and add to your blender and set aside. Steam broccoli for about 15 minutes. Towards the end add the cheese to melt it in. Like I previously said, if you are going to be making a whole batch and freezing it, you could simply melt the cheese in later when heating up a single meal. Add the cheese and broccoli to the blender as well and let it all cool a bit. Add a small amount of breastmilk or water. You may need to add more once you start blending if it is to dry or needs to smooth out. Blend well, and that’s it!

I actually thought that this smelled really good! I would eat it myself if, well you know…it wasn’t pureed!

This made about 5 – 4oz jars for me but varies depending on how much meat and broccoli you use.

 

 

Whippersnappers

Christmas Sensory Play for Babies

Baby Sensory Play

My son is now 9 months old and constantly on the move! He is sometimes really good at entertaining himself for short periods of time but most of the time he needs constant attention and engagement or else he quickly gets bored. I am always trying to think of new ideas and activities for him to keep him busy. It is tricky with a 9 month old since he is pretty limited in what he can do yet but there are still so many possibilities and I am trying to switch things up on most days.

 

I use Pinterest a lot to get ideas from other great minds on activities for babies and fun things to do together. Sometimes I want an activity that will keep my baby busy on his own so that I can get something done and other times I like to think of new things that we can do to spend time together. Then there are times like this one where I do something with the intention of keeping him busy but ends up having so much fun and is being so cute that I just end up watching him and laughing at him the whole time! Lately I have really been into sensory play and giving him things with different textures, colors and shapes to let him explore and learn. There are many quick and easy sensory play recipe ideas that use common items that you have in your kitchen! Check out my Pinterest “Activities, Arts & Crafts” page to see a compilation of different activity ideas.

Baby Sensory Play

I decided it would be a good day for some sensory play and what better to do than a Christmas theme?! These are just three super simple ideas that I was able to throw together very quickly. I usually do things like this during nap time so that he doesn’t get impatient while I am trying to do it. This way fun times are awaiting him right when he wakes up!

 

I used 3 different ideas of completely different textures. The first bag I used was crumpled up tissue paper (red & green for Christmas! Come up with your own theme ideas or it doesn’t have to be a theme at all!). The second bag was…”goop,” for lack of a better term. It was just flour and water mixed up. No need to measure really, I just scooped some flour into a bowl and added water until it was a good consistency. The last bag is dyed spaghetti. I knew you could dye spaghetti with food coloring but I had never actually tried it. I was so excited with how it turned out so vibrant! It is actually a bit ridiculous at how excited I was about this spaghetti! I’m totally doing this again in the future…but for eating, not playing! 😛 All I did was cook the spaghetti (or any pasta) as usual and added food coloring while in the boiling water.

Baby Sensory Play

To my surprise, this actually kept him busy for a good while! I mean…he is 9 months, it’s not like it was hours or anything, but hey, he had a great time and that’s all that matters! The pictures really show that he was loving it! The tissue paper was his favorite of course because he just looooooves crinkly things! He also liked the spaghetti and was really trying to figure it out. The goop on the other hand, he didn’t play with it much. I kept showing it to him and he would feel it and act all disgusted with a wrinkled up nose face! By the way, check out all that drool! He is getting his top teeth in and the drool is sure flowing!

Baby Sensory Play

Making homemade play recipes doesn’t have to be hard…keep things simple, but switch it up! Enjoy the holidays!

 

 

Whippersnappers

Blueberry-Raspberry Baby Puree

Blueberry-Raspberry Baby Food

Here’s how to make this super simple fresh berry fruit puree for your baby!

 

What you’ll need:

-1 container of fresh blueberries

-1 container of fresh raspberries

 

Make sure to rinse both berries well first. Cook all berries together in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water and add them to the blender. The berries have enough of their own juice that you shouldn’t need to add any extra liquid. If it is too thick just add a bit of water. This made about 5 servings of fruit for me. Of course, that’s by using the itty bitty yet super duper expensive containers from the grocery store. If you got them in larger bulk while they are in season somewhere like the farmer’s market, then you could probably make a lot more for cheaper!

Blueberry-Raspberry Baby Food

That’s it! See what I mean? Very simple! My 9 month old absolutely loved this combination mixed in with his cereal in the mornings. Hope your baby enjoys this as well!

 

Whippersnappers

 

 

Tips to Making Homemade Baby Food

IMG_5233

I’ve been making all homemade baby food for a few months now. I started making homemade baby food since my son turned 6 months (He will be 9 months this Wednesday…wow where does the time go, right?!). I love it for many reasons. First of all, my son loves it! I think that is first and foremost the most important thing right there. Have you ever smelled or tasted baby food from a jar? Most of them are pretty disgusting! Nothing against anyone who uses jarred baby food…I just prefer this method myself. Secondly…it’s way cheaper, and I mean WAY! Okay, there may be a few exceptions here, such as the mega expensive and out-of-season blueberries I have been buying but that is besides the point 😛 Take for example, I just bought a huge butternut squash the other day for well under $2 (I can’t remember exactly). And it made 9 servings of baby food! Considering that most baby food jars or especially the food pouches cost over $1 as it is, this is saving a lot of money. Another reason to give you motivation for making your baby’s food homemade is that it is much more fresh! They are trying to find more ways to make jarred baby food more natural such as the Beech Nut brands that say there are no additives but I don’t think that it gets any healthier or more nutritious than making it yourself homemade. Only then can you know for sure what exactly is in your baby’s food. My last main reason for making my son’s food homemade is that I enjoy it! I would have a whole lot less motivation to do it if I dreaded it every time I had to make a new batch of food. I love making it and coming up with new recipes to try for him, so it is really easy to make it fun too!

Are you thinking of trying to make your own baby food? Here are some tips I can give you that I have learned over the last few months that can hopefully make things a little bit easier. Like I said, I have been doing this for a few months so I am by no means any sort of expert in this but I can at least share what I know and hope that it helps! Not to mention, you really don’t have to be an expert to make your own baby food…it is that easy!

 

First Starting Out – Around 6 months (You can follow what your pediatrician suggests, but my son’s suggested foods at 6 months and he had started cereal at 4 months)

  • Start out with fruits and veggies that will be easy on your baby’s tummy such as:
    • avocado
    • banana
    • green beans
    • peas
    • carrots
    • squash
    • sweet potato
    • apples
    • peaches
    • pears
  • At first only make single purees like these and wait until your baby has tried a variety before mixing them.
  • Only introduce one fruit or veggie at a time and give the same one to them for at least three days. This is to make sure they have no allergies to that particular food.
  • Bananas are the EASIEST food to give your baby and perfect for on the go. You can simply mash it with a fork and it doesn’t have to be cooked. This is one of my easy go-to foods for my son.
  • Avocados can also simply be mashed with a fork. My son was funny about texture at first so I had to blend them, but I am now to the point where I can just mash them up along with a banana.
  • Your baby may not like the new texture of eating solids right away. If they don’t like a particular fruit or veggie, try giving it to them with a little bit of baby cereal on the spoon as well.
  • Don’t give up right away if your baby doesn’t like it! Sometimes it just takes awhile to get used to the new texture, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t like the taste. For example, my son haaaated green beans at first. He would eat everything else pretty well, but the green beans…nope! I will say, they were a grittier texture. I didn’t give up though, I continued to offer the green beans for a few days in a row, then offered a new veggie and then came back to the green beans again. He eventually got used to them and now loves his green beans!
  • You can add breastmilk when making a puree instead of water for added nutrients.

IMG_4785

 

 

After trying a variety of fruit and veggie purees – 7 to 9 months

  • You could now start making combinations of foods
  • Try adding spinach or kale to a veggie for added nutrients
  • Add some new fruits and veggies into your baby’s diet such as:
    • cantaloupe
    • potatoes
    • blueberries
    • mango
    • eggplant
    • papaya
    • asparagus
  • Some combinations that I have found to work really well are:
    • banana-avocado (my son’s favorite and SO easy to simply mash together with a fork!)
    • blueberry-pear
    • Green bean-kale
    • Kale-potato-peas
    • Spinach-sweet potato

Find more great combinations on my Homemade Baby Food page!!

baby food

 

As baby gets older they will start learning to pick things up and feed themselves. I started giving my son puffs at 6 months. It was a bit early for him but by 7 months he was picking them up and putting them in his mouth like a pro! Now he is starting to do that with more things and liking that he can feed himself. I will give him cut up bits of noodles, green beans, cooked carrots, melons and recently started with cheese (which he is not yet a fan of!). I’ve also started giving him yogurt and cottage cheese (make sure it is full fat, NOT the fat-free kinds) for snacks. Just remember that every baby is different and this is what worked for us. You can always talk to your child’s pediatrician to check with suggested ages to start a certain food.

Check out my Homemade Baby Food page for all kinds of recipes and how to prepare them! Whether you are just getting started or simply looking for tips, good luck to you and I hope that this helps if even in a small way!

 

IMG_5232

Whippersnappers

Celery-Spinach Baby Food Purée

Celery-Spinach Recipe

Celery - Spinach Baby Food

I have been making homemade baby food since my son turned 6 months old. I love making his food homemade and love coming up with new recipes and combinations to try! He has been starting to eat a lot more lately since he is almost 9 months old so I have been trying to make a variety of new foods for him. I will soon be starting him on meats so that will bring all kinds of new recipes! For now, here is a new veggie idea! I wasn’t really sure if he would go for the taste of celery but he gobbled it right up!

I would suggest starting this one around 8 months and up.

Celery - Spinach Baby Food

Celery - Spinach Baby Food

Use:

-1 whole bunch of Celery

-2 Cups spinach

-2 Tbsp Coconut oil

-1 Cup water for cooking

-1/4 – 1/2 Cup water or breastmilk for blending

 

How to prepare:

Wash celery off well. Chop into smaller pieces making sure to cut off the ends. Cook in skillet or saucepan on med-high with about 2 Tbsp of coconut oil. Make sure to stir well to coat the celery with the coconut oil. Let cook for about 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, add 1 cup water and lower heat. Cook for an additional 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

Steam spinach for about 10 minutes. You could instead blanch it by boiling in water for about 10 minutes and then putting it into ice water but I prefer to steam the spinach to preserve the nutrients.

Add both spinach and celery into the blender with about 1/4 Cup water and blend well. If it’s still chunky, add more water. You could also use breastmilk or formula.

This made 5 – 4oz jars for me and I put them in the freezer. Double or triple the recipe if you like making in bulk and freezing. This one was very easy and my son loved it!!

Celery - Spinach Baby Food