Quick, Easy & Healthy Bites to Make your Life Easier
In addition to three meals a day, most toddlers have two snacks and its important that you offer them a broad variety of food that will help them get the vitamins and minerals they need. Plus, the transition from purees to finger foods - and ones that are easy to eat - can be a ton of work so we've listed some quick, easy and healthy snacks to make your life easier.
There is nothing better than fresh fruit. Its packed with vitamins, minerals and full of fiber. Most young toddlers, like my son Richie, can't use a fork or spoon just yet but want to hold food themselves so that they have control. Richie loves when I hand him a banana to chow down on. A thin slice of watermelon on the rind is another one of his favorites. It's even great for his gums when he is teething so I always serve it cold.
These vegetable rice rusks are seriously a genius invention. They dissolve quickly so you don't have to worry about choking and the biscuits are long so that they can hold them to eat. They also help with teething gums. Not only are they easy to unwrap and serve, they are made with all-natural ingredients and are non-GMO. They contain no wheat, dairy, milk, nuts or eggs. They are made with fantastic ingredients that are packed with nutrition. Richie's favorite mum-mum is made with kale, carrot, spinach and cabbage.
We love Dreaming Cow yogurt because it is made with highest quality grass-fed milk. Richie loves the vanilla agave flavor which is lightly sweetened with organic agave nectar and pure vanilla extract. It's also loaded with all the healthy gut bacteria and live active cultures such as S.Thermophilus, L.Bulgaricus, L.Acidophilus and Bifidus.
Outshine Yogurt Bars
Dairy is so important for young toddlers that why we love yogurt. Another amazing yogurt snack we love is Outshine's Frozen Yogurt Bars. Richie not only loves the way they taste but also how they feel on his sore/growing gums (because toddlers teeth, what seems like forever!). We've included all the benefits of these bars here
Plum Organic's Teeny's Fruits
These tiny soft bites contain a full serving of fruit, are non-GMO and organic. They are packed in tiny little bags that are BPA free and can easily be thrown in your diaper bag.
HappyBaby Superfood Puffs
These fruit, veggie and grain puffs are packed with vitamins C, E, B12 and are made with whole grains. They also have 20mg of Choline to support brain and eye health. They are USDA organic, non-GMO, and the packing is BPA free. They come in many healthy flavors. Richie's favorites are Purple Carrot & Blueberry as well as Sweet Potato & Carrot.
Full-fat dairy is important for all toddlers under the age of two and cheese is a fantastic way to get a serving of it. We love Land O' Lakes individually wrapped cheese sticks because they are super small and easy for Richie to hold and eat while we are on the go.
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I'm a fanatic about cleaning and organizing my home. Many think it is impossible to keep your house in order with a toddler but I'm here to tell you it is completely possible. One great way to do this, is to get your kids involved. For example, Richie loves to take things in and out of containers so I will play a game with him to put them back if he has taken them all out. Sometimes, I have to start the process myself by putting them back while he watches then coax him to join but shortly after, he does, then while he is busy putting them away, I can clean something else.
Like all toddlers, Richie is always under my feet wanting to do what I do so another example is that when I'm mopping, I have him join in. I've listed a few other ways to get your toddler involved in cleaning but first, let me tell you about this great mop we discovered.
The Wonder Mop has microfiber grip strips that lift up to 20% more dirt and work 'wonders' (pun intended) on my tile and wood floors. It also has a power wringer so that you are able to remove more water from the mop head allowing your floors to dry faster so you can be back on them sooner. This is especially helpful with a young toddler like Richie since he is just learning to walk. Another plus is that you can wash the mop head up to 50 times. I can't tell you how often I throw out mops because of built up bacteria. Same thing with sponges. I'm constantly switching them out, so the fact that I don't have to constantly buy a new mop is a huge bonus for me. I just throw it in the washing machine and boom, I can use it again without the worry of old grime.
We bought our Libman Wonder Mop at Walgreens but they are also available at Lowes, Walmart and Home Depot.
You can get a $3 coupon just by signing up for The Libman Company's newsletter.
The brand is also hosting a Back to School Pinterest Giveaway. To participate, just pin your must-have cleaning products and enter to win a Libman prize pack.
Tips for Cleaning with a Toddler
Start Them Young
Richie is just about 13 months old but I have already started to teach him to clean up after himself and to help me around the house. Toddlers catch on quickly so you can teach them that they are an important part of making the household run smoothly and neatly by setting these expectations early.
Set a Limit on Toys
Cleaning up is easier when there is less clutter. We keep the toys under control by only having a set amount out for Richie to play with. For his birthday, he got a ton of new toys but we only opened a few and the rest got stored away. In a month or so, we will take a new one out and continue to do this when we think he wants something new to play with. However, one toy will come out and an old one that he is bored with will go away.
Make it Fun
We put the music on when we clean so we can dance and sing while we do it. Or I tickle him along the way. Anything to make it less mundane. When he gets older, we will most likely need to incorporate a game or chore list that we can check off but the idea is to make it feel less like a chore and more fun.
Praise Them for a Job Well Done
Be encouraging and thank them for their effort in helping. We say good job over and over while Richie is putting away his toys so he knows he is doing a good thing. This will resonate with them and they will want to continue to help. Soon they will even feel pride in their accomplishments.
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When it comes to food, the transition from baby to toddler is a big one. Breastmilk or formula and purees turns into a full on schedule that includes bottles of milk, snacks, sippy cups and meals. Meals become finger foods, not purees, and ones that are easy for them to chew. Safety is really important which can make the process a little stressful. It is also a ton of work. I admit that it was rough in the beginning and my creative juices definitely weren't flowing. But now that I have put some time into the transition, I've got a nice schedule and database of recipes, snacks and on-the-go ideas.
I'm also very picky about what I give Richie to eat. 90 percent of what I feed him is organic, all-natural and always dense with nutrition. I read labels like its my job. If I don't recognize an ingredient and if it has too many, I don't purchase it. So, discovering a new snack that is healthy and easy is more exciting to me than finding an amazing fall jacket, ah #momlife!
Recently, we discovered Outshine's Simply Yogurt Bars. Here's why they are our new obsession:
Outshine Simply Yogurt Bars come in many flavors but our favorite is strawberry.
You can purchase these bars with 75 cent coupon at Stop & Shop, Martin's Food, and Giant Food Landover.
We purchased them at Stop and Shop. You can find a coupon for the bars here.
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natalie ferro aurigema
Sharing all the things that make me happy through this blog.
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