Wednesday, April 25, 2012

There's A Party In My Tummy!!

I did a post earlier about things that weren't around with my first kid.  Obviously nothing is necessary because these things weren't around when we were babies either and we made it! The beauty behind these items are the simplicity of them. Some have evolved from different cultures in other parts of the world. Some are crafty moms that just had an "A-ha!" moment. There are things that seem great, but I haven't tried them as of yet. I am adding to my previous list with items exclusive to foods and feeding.

1. ORGANIC foods - Hello! 21st century! This should always be a no brainer. One of the biggest mistakes we make as adults nowadays is freaking out about the appearance of foods. Give your kids spotty bananas, bruised apples, dented peaches. Cut off the parts that look gross to you if it bothers you that much.

2. Pouch baby foods - These things are great! They have them in single foods, simple combos and complex combos. Some have yogurt or cereal. You can squeeze the stuff out into bowls, onto a spoon, or into a mouth. Nikola-Ann has already learned to suck the contents out thanks to the tube-like opening. I discovered applesauce in pouches a few years ago and thought they were the best idea because the twins would not need a spoon in their lunches with these and squeeze yogurt. Imagine how exciting the baby food aisle became when I spied these more portable, tasty (yes I try everything my baby eats), and organic morsels proudly standing there. Beckoning me.

3. Cereals with more nutrients - I started using your basic rice. We all do. Then as I was looking for something a little less constipating (poor baby!) I noticed new glorious cereals! Some have DHA, some pro-biotics, some pre-biotics, some have all three. There are organic versions. Brown rice, whole oats, amaranth, and quinoa, all Non-GMO and all pretty tasty. Some have better containers with lids. We all know how frustrating those old-school boxes can be!

4. Baby "treats" - Some look like cat food but taste really good. They dissolve quicker than cheerios and don't leave too much of a mess. There are many different brands, flavors, sizes, and shapes to choose from available for children 6 months and up. A few are labeled as "melts". Many have a rice flour base with potato starch, some have added yogurt. They help baby learn textures and use their finger dexterity. WARNING: OLDER CHILDREN WILL EAT ALL OF THESE!!! Keep them hidden!

5. Snack keepers - When they are old enough, these "traps" allow tiny fingers easy access without too much treat spillage. They are way better than the old school plastic-baggie-pour-into-your-child's-hand-so-they-don't-suffocate method!

6. Take-N-Toss products - These aren't that new, I used them with the twins, but they are so incredibly awesome! They are:  affordable, reusable, come in larger quantities, okay to leave at grandparents or daycare, cute colors and the perfect sizes for whatever you need. There are cups, bowls, plates, sippy cups, spoons, forks, even placemats. Plus, when you are completely done with them they can be recycled!

7. The formulas - If you stopped the breastfeeding / pumping promise to yourself, don't be ashamed. There are some really great formulas out there that apparently create super babies. I quit breastfeeding Nikola-Ann at 3 months and she seems to be too advanced for my liking! I don't want to chase an energetic 7 month old around while she climbs into everything and pulls herself up onto furniture! Do they make formula to help MY brain and body?

8. Baby food - First of all, I WAS going to make all of my baby food at home. Then I went to the store. There are so many more tastes and textures available for babies out there! I have seen and tasted a lot of great flavor combos: broccoli/pea/pear, spinach/mango/pear, banana/beet/blueberry, blueberry/pear/purple carrot,  sweet potato/corn/carrot are just a few. A lot of them are available in my beloved pouches. It is nice to be able to introduce so many tastes to your little one and introduce them to healthier eating earlier in life.

9. Pediatricians - This is my favorite! Feeding your baby used to have a strict regimen. What you could feed your baby. When you should start feeding your baby. How much you must give your baby. Things have changed. Probably reverted back to how things were before doctors were involved. If your doctor is super restrictive about baby foods, (when, how much, what kinds) you may want to try a different pediatrician. More and more studies are being done showing a link between allergies and restricted diets in early life. Sort of makes sense, right?

So, I will continue to feed Nikola-Ann anything she wants. Even peanut butter! She will continue to thrive and enjoy many foods because she won't be afraid to at least taste new things. That is and always will be my policy for my kids. They have to at least try it before saying they don't like it. Every time it is served to them.

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