Showing posts with label Baby Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baby Food. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

10 Best Trader Joe's Toddler Foods

I have a confession....I'm a Trader Joe's fanatic. I love shopping at Trader Joe's because they manage to make it feel more like a shopping trip (who doesn't need a little retail therapy every once in a while?!) and less like another day at the grocery store.

I love trying new things and Trader Joe's has an excellent seasonal selection. If I'm honest, my favorite things to buy there are pre-cut veggies. I like to eat healthy, but ain't nobody got time to prepare everything from scratch with work and a little human on the loose. 

My little human is all about finger foods. Purees are a thing of the past so I'm always on a mission to find healthy finger foods that are baby and mommy approved. Today I'm sharing some of our absolute must-have Trader Joe's foods for (you guessed it) toddlers!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate any and all support.

In case you missed it, also check out my 25 favorite (adult) Trader Joe's foods.



1. Cauliflower and Broccoli Vegetable Patties

These patties are best prepared in the oven or even the toaster oven. My son can be finicky about steamed cauliflower and broccoli, but when it's made into a pattie, he gobbles it right up. These patties are easy to cook and store well in the refrigerator. I like to make the whole box (pack of 4) and pack them in his lunch the next few days.


2. Sweet Potato Wedges

Sweet Potato Wedges can be found in the refrigerated section near the other pre-cut veggies. This item is perfect for little hands and easy to pack for lunches or serve for dinner. Even better, no cooking required! These wedges can be served hot or cold, but we usually opt for cold. I've even stolen a few of these for myself before (I love these with quinoa, grilled chicken, and a bit of guacamole!). 


3. Butternut Squash

This one is a family favorite. Again, with the pre-cut veggie, this veggie comes in a bag in the refrigerated section. Simply toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake for about 30 minutes. My husband and I are huge fans of this food as well. It makes a great side dish with pretty much anything.


4. Turkey Burgers

Head over to the freezer section and load up on these pre-made burgers. They can be grilled or cooked in a skillet. My son can usually eat 1/2 of a turkey burger in a sitting, so I cut it in half and save the rest for the next day. 



5. Turkey Meatballs

Turkey meatballs are another good source of protein for your little human. These are best prepared by baking. If you microwave them, be very careful because the plate may be hot. My favorite way to bake meatballs is using a muffin pan. I spray the inside of each tin and put them in the oven (then you never have to worry about a run away meatball).
  

6. Black Bean Taquitos

Taquitos are easy to cook (microwave or toaster oven) and are the perfect size for my son's hands. They're another option to the ever popular chicken nugget. 


7. Joe's O's

These are just like Cheerios, but they do come in some different flavors. I like to buy the Whole Grain Oats or Fruity O's Multi-grain Cereal. My son LOVES using the Munchkin Snack Catcher and these are the perfect filler.


8. Peach Halves in White Grape Juice

My son will gobble these right up, but who doesn't love a tasty peach?! This is a great fruit option to store in the pantry and pull out when you've already eaten all of the fresh fruit for the week. 


9. Bananas

I'm convinced Trader Joe's has the best deal on bananas. At 0.19 cents a piece their price just can't be beat. My son is a huge banana fan and I love them in my smoothies. On a normal week we buy about 10 bananas for our family of 3 (maybe we're part monkey?). 



10. String Cheese

Who could forget the kid favorite, string cheese? My husband is a cheese enthusiast and my son didn't miss the gene. I buy the Low-Fat Mozzarella for my tiny human. They're perfect for his lunch box or as an afternoon snack.

What are your favorite Trader Joe's products for kiddos? I love suggestions!

XO,



Check out these other posts before you go:

















Thursday, June 22, 2017

How to Make Homemade Peach Baby Food


It's the perfect time of year for a juicy, ripe peach and baby shouldn't miss out on this sweet treat.

Since I've started making baby food my goal is to make it as easily as possible without any extra kitchen appliances. You can make my baby food recipes in a blender, food processor, or any other similar appliance. They make special machines for making baby food, but I really don't think they are necessary to create a great product.

Making your own baby food is a personal decision and just like with breastfeeding you have to do what's right for you. I've always enjoyed cooking, and making something for my little one is no exception. Plus, I love knowing where all the ingredients came from. As an added bonus, I always use breast milk to make my baby food. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate any and all support.



Enter to Win the Little Golden Books Sweepstakes at Gymboree! 

Before starting Baby B on baby food, I purchased some soft bite infant spoons and kiddie bowls. Each day I pull out one of my homemade baby food bites and thaw it in the refrigerator in one of the bowls so it's ready to serve at dinner time. You can also expedite the process by microwaving the frozen cubes. To be careful to check for hot spots if you choose to microwave.

Peaches can easily be mixed with any other number of foods. Try serving this sweet treat with oatmeal, rice cereal, avocados, or applesauce. 



As always, consult your doctor before preparing this recipe for your child.


Start by gathering the following materials:

  • Blender
  • Pot
  • Peaches (I used 4, but you can use less or more)
  • Breast milk or formula (I used 3 oz.)
  • Freezer safe container or bag
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Ice cube trays




Step 1: First, wash your peaches well. Cut them and half, and remove the pit.


Step 2: Use a fork to pierce holes in your peaches. Place your peaches into a pot of boiling water and boil for 5-10 minutes or until soft.


Step 3: Allow the peaches to cool and then remove the skin. You can do this with your fingers and pull off the loosened top layer.



Step 4: Place the peaches and desired quantity of breast milk or formula into the blender and puree. I used 3 ounces to achieve a thin puree with my 4 peaches. Add approximately 1/2 ounce of liquid per peach, but add it slowly to check the consistency. Generally the older your child, the thicker the substance.

Step 5: Pour your puree into ice cube trays, mini muffin tins, or any other small container. Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours. 

Step 6: Once your puree has frozen, remove from the ice cube tray and store in a freezer safe bag or container.



Peaches were definitely Baby B's favorite food so far. Since we have already introduced avocados to Baby B, I love whipping up "baby smoothies". All you need to do is mix one cube of avocados and one cube of peaches and serve!

I love avocados in my smoothie because they add a great creamy texture. All that's missing from Baby B's green smoothie is a little kale, but I think we'll save the hiding the veggie trick until he gets a little older.



The World Just Got a Little Sweeter with Gymboree Newborn Styles!

print recipe
Homemade Peaches Baby Food
Use juicy, ripe peaches to make a sweet treat for baby.
Ingredients
  • 4 peaches
  • 2-3 oz. breast milk or formula
Instructions
Wash your peaches well. Cut them and half, and remove the seed.Use a fork to pierce holes in your peaches. Place your peaches into a pot of boiling water and boil for 5-10 minutes or until soft.Allow the peaches to cool and then remove the skin. You can do this with your fingers and pull off the loosened top layer.Place the peaches and desired quantity of breast milk or formula into the blender and puree.Pour your puree into ice cube trays, mini muffin tins, or another container. Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours. Once you puree has frozen, remove from the ice cube tray and store in a freezer safe bag or container.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 24 servings





Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How to Trick Your Child Into Eating Carrots



Getting your child to eat vegetables can be no easy feat. Let's face it, kids can be picky, but we still want them to eat healthy. 

I've found a few vegetables that my son will consistently eat:
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Microwavable Broccoli Florrets
  • Butternut Squash
    • Toss with some olive oil and bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes.
And sometimes if I'm really lucky green beans, but the number one veggie that my son loves (and doesn't know he's eating) is carrots.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate any and all support.

On occasion my son will eat a cooked carrot, but when pureed with applesauce and placed in a reusable pouch (we own the Squooshi brand) he will eat carrots EVERY TIME, for the win!




So how do you make this combo? It's really easy. I make one batch and use it over the course of a week. Depending on how much you want to make you can double or triple the recipe, but be consistent with the ratio.

Grab the blender and toss in:
  • 1 cup of carrots 
    • I use baby carrots that are already washed and ready to serve, no cooking necessary.
  • 3 cups of unsweetened applesauce 
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
Puree until smooth! I usually put it directly into my Squooshi pouches and store in the refrigerator. These little containers of goodness are then ready to grab for life on the go. I pack my son one of these nearly every day for lunch.


This dish makes him happy because it tastes good and he can feed himself, and it makes momma happy because he's eating carrots. I call that a win-win situation. 

I'm not gonna lie, Carrot Applesauce is yummy. I find myself licking the spoon as a divvy up his portions!

If you like this recipe, check out Applesauce Fruit Fusions for more delicious combinations.



XO,

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

How to Make Sweet Potatoes a Finger Food for Your Baby or Toddler


Since my son start eating solid foods I've been a baby food making machine. It just makes sense to me that my little should be eating fruits and vegetables in their natural form, so I've pureed my way through the last few months. 

If your little one still enjoys pureed foods head over to: 10 Homemade Dinner Entrees to Feed Your Baby for a plethora of recipes.

Now that my son is older he loves feeding himself. For more ideas on finger foods for your little check out: 40 Finger Foods for Busy MomsSweet potatoes are one of his favorite foods so I set out to turn these golden nuggets into a finger food.

The trick with this recipe is to get the sweet potatoes soft enough that they taste good, but not so soft that they fall apart once cut into a wedge. 

I purchased medium sized sweet potatoes, but if you purchase larger or smaller you may want to adjust the cook time.

As always, please consult your pediatrician before introducing sweet potatoes into your child's diet.













Step-by-Step

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash sweet potatoes and place on a baking sheet. I like to put down aluminum foil for easier clean up.
3. Cook sweet potatoes for 1 hour.
4. Allow to cool.
5. Remove skin and slice into wedges.
6. Store in the refrigerator. 

These wedges will stay good in the fridge up to 7 days. My son can usually eat between 3 and 4 wedges in a sitting. He likes them cold, however, you can re-heat these wedges in the microwave before serving if desired.

Thanks for stopping by, check out these other great posts before you go:

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

40 Baby Finger Food Ideas for Busy Moms


Since my little made the transition from strictly milk to solid foods, I have been making my own baby food. Not only is it easy, but it is a huge cost saver! If you've walked down the baby food aisle recently, you know that you could buy baby food or your can save for your child's college fund. So skip the pre-made baby food and round up your own easy food for baby.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate any and all support.

If you're little is just starting purees, check out some of these recipes:



40 Finger Food Ideas

Once your baby has mastered purees and you've been given the green light by your pediatrician (always check with your pediatrician before trying a new food), try serving baby these finger foods. Also, keep in mind these items may need to be cut into smaller pieces before given to baby.
  1. Bananas: My little absolutely LOVES bananas. We joke that he is a little monkey. I give him a hunk of banana at a time and he is completely content while he devours this fruit.
  2. Apples: So far I've stuck with red apples, but feel free to give green a-go when your little is ready for a more sour flavor. Peal and slice before serving. 
  3. Grapes: Slice these up before serving.
  4. Pears: Again, like an apple, peal and slice before serving.
  5. Peaches: Peaches are currently not in season, but you can even buy canned fruit to serve your little. They sell these in organic as well and you can choose if you want them in concentrate or real fruit juice. 
  6. Yogurt Melts: Check out this link to get the how-to on these tasty little bites. The basic idea is to freeze small bites of yogurt. My little loves these because they're easy to pick up when frozen, but quickly melt in his mouth. You can make these in all sorts of flavors. So far I've made Vanilla, Strawberry Banana, Blueberry, and Peach.
  7. Edamame: Edamame is a good source of protein and fiber with low levels of fat or sugar. Be careful at what age you serve this size item, because it can still be a choking hazard. 
  8. Black Beans: Same is true with black beans as edamame. These little guys are a great source of fiber and protein, so when you're little one is ready, toss these into the mix. Buy them by the can, rinse, and serve!
  9. Gerber Graduates Lil' Crunchies: I call these baby cheetos. They dissolve quickly and are a good choice when first introducing finger foods.
  10. Gerber Graduates Puffs: These too are great when first introducing finger foods. The biggest issue is that baby needs to have enough dexterity to actually pick up these little guys on his or her own. Puffs come in a wide variety of flavors and again dissolve quickly in baby's mouth.
  11. Shredded Turkey: My little first tried turkey on Thanksgiving. Be careful of the size of each piece, but turkey is another healthy protein option.
  12. Shredded Chicken: I have been using chicken in my baby purees for a while now. It's very versatile and can be mixed with a lot of things, however, you can also give baby shredded chicken as a finger food. The easiest route is probably to boil the chicken, shred, and add some Italian seasonings. If you haven't already tried this trick, the best way to shred chicken is to take it hot and put it into your KitchenAid Mixer and mix for about a minute. The chicken easily shreds just like magic!
  13. Deli Meat: This one may be a little more personal, based on your feelings towards deli meat (with nitrates and all). I'm OK with it as long as it's not in large quantities. Smoked Turkey is my go-to if I am giving my little a bit.
  14. Scrambled Eggs: I prefer to give these to my little when I'm already making some for my husband and I. My son was not a fan when I first gave him a taste, but now he seems to really enjoy eggs.
  15. Sweet Potato Wedges: I cheat and buy these in the produce section already cooked and cut from Trader Joe's. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, check out the post 25 Trader Joe's Products We Love. If you don't have one near you, bake or boil your sweet potato, allow for it to cool, remove the skin, and slice into wedges for baby!
  16. Toast: Toast a piece of bread and serve to baby, it doesn't get much easier than that.
  17. Crackers: We joke that our son LOVES carbs. Crackers are no exception!
  18. Goldfish: I forgot how much even I love Goldfish. This cheddar cracker is salty and absolutely delicious.
  19. Cheerios: Once your little has mastered the art of Puffs, give Cheerios a-go. These are a staple in our house. I now have Cheerios stashed in the car, in my purse, and the diaper bag. You never know when hunger might strike, and your little might want some Cheerios!
  20. Graham Crackers: These are a sweeter alternative to crackers, but I have been known to give these to my little as a treat. Yum, yum!
  21. Cauliflower: I would never have thought my little guy would enjoy cauliflower as much as he does, but he loves to eat this veggie. I once gave him some pizza and some cauliflower at the same time and he held one in each hand and alternated between the two. Clearly he hasn't been around long enough to realize just how much better pizza is than cauliflower!...Until he figures it out, cauliflower it is!
  22. Green Beans: The secret to easy veggie prep for babies is to buy the steam-able bags in the frozen section. I steam the veggie in the bag and then separate it into small baggies to take for lunch or have for dinner the next few days. These veggies are soft and perfect for baby. Store the leftovers in the fridge and serve cold or re-heat when serving to baby (just be sure they aren't too hot).
  23. Carrots: Same goes for carrots as it did for green beans. I like to buy the crinkle circular cut carrots in the freezer section. My little one really likes these and will eat them hot or cold.
  24. Mandarin Oranges: These are a sweeter alternative, but you can buy these in a can. I cut them in half for my little before serving. Again, I store the leftovers in baggies to have over the next few days.
  25. Zucchini: You can purchase a whole zucchini, slice is up in to small wedges and steam until soft. 
  26. Yellow Squash: Just like the zucchini, cut up into smaller pieces and steam until soft.
  27. Biscuits: Holy cow batman! My son LOVES biscuits. When I fix biscuits for my husband and I, I'll make one and give him half. My son is a huge fan of carbs. Warning: biscuits can be a little messy because they crumble!
  28. Waffles: Lego my Eggo?! I've been known to toast a freezer waffle for my son and give it to him. Again, carbs! 
  29. Pancakes: This was a new one we tried out yesterday, and it was a big hit with my son. We had breakfast for dinner so I let him have a pancake and SUCCESS!
  30. Applesauce: If you're into DIY for your baby food, try out making your own Applesauce Fruit Fusions! Essentially, it is applesauce blended with another fruit. {Click the link for the tutorial.} I then purchased some Squooshi Reusable Pouches and filled them with Mango Applesauce, Blueberry Applesauce, and Pineapple Applesauce.
  31. Rice Crackers: These come in a variety of flavors. I purchased the White Cheddar and my son will gnaw on these for ages. It takes him a while to actually get it soft enough to have a bite, but he seems to enjoy the process.
  32. Pizza: As I mentioned before, my little of course loves pizza! When we have pizza for dinner I give him a little. I usually pick off the toppings for him before serving.
  33. Baby Mum Mum Rice Rusks: These are in the baby section and while they are not super cheap, they are great for life on-the-go. I like to buy the Vegetable Rice Rusks that are made with Kale, Carrot, Spinach, and Cabbage. My son really likes these because they are the perfect size for his hands!
  34. Black Eyed Peas: You can purchase these in a can, the dry food section, or in the freezer section. They are a great source of protein, iron, and folate. Just make sure to cook them until soft before serving to baby.
  35. Broccoli: Another great green for baby! Purchase fresh in the produce section or frozen and steam until soft.
  36. Avocado: Avocado was actually the first baby food I made for my son. Find the recipe {here}. Avocado is great as a finger food because all you have to do is slice and serve! 
  37. Butternut Squash: Bake until soft and dice into smaller pieces for baby. Butternut squash was by far one of my favorite purees. It is great for mixing with chicken and it made so much food for such a cheap price. We still love this food as a finger food, as well!
  38. Rice: When you make this for yourself, give a little to baby for him or her to try!
  39. Ground Beef: I'm a little bit picky about the quality of my ground beef for baby. I prefer to buy the leaner chuck. Brown the beef in a skillet and it's ready to serve!
  40. String Cheese: My son loves this stuff! I buy the low fat Mozzarella and give him thin strings at a time.  

Feeding baby doesn't have to be hard! Try out these 40 ideas or give your little things off your plate. What other finger foods do you love serving baby?


Thanks for stopping by the blog, before you go check out:


A Mama's Guide to Toys: 6-9 Months



7 Tips to Rock Pumping at Work


11 Romantic Chick-Lit Books for Mommytime


XO,