half time review/giveaway

I’m honored to be a Stonyfield Organic ambassador, bringing you fun posts like this one.

Half Time Review:Giveaway | crackersandcarrots.com

I’ve heard it’s normal for toddlers to be picky with their food, but in the back of my mind, I had always hoped that my toddler would be one of those weird ones that loved healthy foods. Well, I guess you could say I got fairly lucky in that he loves fruit and despises ice cream. I’ve heard of horror stories when trying to feed toddlers and all they want to eat is peanut butter and white bread.

Thankfully, Liam is a big fan of fruit and if he even gets a glimpse of the yogurt or applesauce pouches, we’re done for! All I’ll hear is ‘Ogurt’ and ‘App-pa-pa’ until he gets a pouch. I mean, I’m not complaining because they really are great snacks on the go and as far as nutrition goes, they have great benefits. At least it’s not candy or fried food, right?

Half Time Review:Giveaway | crackersandcarrots.com

Well, now we just go through lunch time snacking. It’s not how I imagined it would play out and I try really hard to offer a well-balanced meal at the table for lunch everyday, but all I get is kicking and screaming and ‘Ogurt’ or ‘App-pa-pa’. Finally, I just give in and he usually eats some fruit, a yogurt or applesauce pouch, a protein bar (which he calls ‘cookie’) and sometimes plan wheel shaped noodles. Don’t even get me started on why he’ll only eat the wheel shapes. I digress.

In my attempt to expand his lunch snacking horizons. I jumped on the opportunity to review the new product called Half Time, which is a partnership made with Stonyfield, Annie’s and Applegate to bring a quick on-the-go lunch to kids that parents can feel good about. While it’s not raw veggies and fruit that I wish my toddler was eating, it’s a beautiful option for those days when you need something quick.

Each Half Time kit comes with:

  • Stonyfield YoKids Squeezer pouch
  • Annie’s fruit snacks or graham crackers
  • Applegate whole grain crackers, cheese and either turkey, ham or bologna

I did end up adding to the lunch because with just those three options on the lunch plate, it looks pretty bare. Just add your toddler’s favorite fruit and/or veggie to the plate and you’ll be on your way to a great lunch!

I just remember being in school growing up and all the ‘cool’ kids having Lunchables for lunch. Now these Half Time kits are a great no-artificial ingredients or preservatives, antibiotic- and hormone-free option for that ‘cool’ lunch. I’m sure in a few years when Liam starts bringing lunch to school, he’ll get a Half Time for lunch every now and then, because I’m a ‘cool’ mom like that. ;-)

Half Time Review:Giveaway | crackersandcarrots.com

So, now to the fun part! It’s your turn to enter for a chance to win a Half Time kit prize pack of your own. If you win, you’ll receive the following:

  • All three varieties of HALF TIME: Turkey & Cheese, Ham & Cheese, and Bologna & Cheese
  • A draw-your-own lunch bag
  • A set of permanent markers
  • Coupons
  • Activity book

Enter now!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post was sponsored by Stonyfield. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.

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21 weeks with baby #2

21 weeks with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com-1

How far along? 21 weeks
Total weight gain:
 8 pounds still
Maternity clothes? Yes and a lot of loose clothing, like this awesome shirt from Catherine.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: Having just gotten a pregnancy pillow, it’s taking me some sleepless nights to get used to it. Other than that, I’m sleeping well.
Best moment this week: 
I was picking up Liam from preschool in carpool this morning and while holding his teachers hand, he stopped at the top of the stairs. Then, he arched his back and let out the longest squeal I’ve ever heard. All the teachers and parents in the car pool line were laughing so hard! I was laughing so hard that I was crying! It was too funny. His excitement to see me was just the best.
Miss Anything? Time to myself during this pregnancy. I miss the ability to hop over to a prenatal yoga class the most.
Movement: Indeed. Little movements throughout the day and some even Logan can feel.
Food cravings: Greek salad, grapes, asian noodles.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Gah, coffee and desserts still.
Gender: It’s a surprise!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: I’m feeling pretty good!
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On and fitting normally.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Definitely happy and sometimes irrationally flustered at my stress level, but besides that I’m good.
Looking forward to: Getting this house straight. It’s taking forever.

21 weeks with baby #2 | crackersandcarrots.com-2

 

The comparison between the this pregnancy and when I was 21 weeks with baby #1:

21 weeks pregnancy comparison | crackersandcarrots.com

Posted in week by week | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

20 weeks with baby #2

20 weeks pregnant | crackersandcarrots.com

How far along? 20 weeks (and 2 days)
Total weight gain:
 8 pounds
Maternity clothes? That’s the only thing I’m wearing anymore.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: I’m sleeping surprisingly well!
Best moment this week: 
Having little moments with Liam. They’re especially sweet when we unpack his old baby gear and talk about the new baby. 
Miss Anything? My love of all things dessert. It’s rare that I’ll have a craving for anything besides fruit.
Movement: Little bitty movements every day. 
Food cravings: Salad, vegetables and fruit. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Coffee, chocolate, desserts…weird.
Gender: It’s a surprise!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: The occasional leg cramps, but I’m pretty sure that’s from unpacking boxes all day.
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On and fitting normally.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Definitely happy. This is the least emotional I’ve ever been, so I’ll take it!
Looking forward to: Getting settled into our new house and feeling at home.

Notes about the first 20 weeks:
We found out we were pregnant when I was 6 weeks pregnant. At 7 weeks I was feeling the full-on nausea. I had morning sickness until I was 19 weeks pregnant. It slowly went to just being nauseous at the end of the day towards the end. I’m so thankful to have no nausea now and just moving into our new house. I can’t wait to nest my heart out to prepare for baby #2!

20 weeks pregnant | crackersandcarrots.com

Please excuse the bad hair and lighting, but this is the comparison between the two pregnancies:

20 weeks comparison | crackersandcarrots.com

20 weeks with Baby #1

Posted in week by week | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

questions from a new mom

These are questions and the answers I had as a new mom about my baby’s feeding and nutrition. I’m honored to be a Similac Strong Moms Ambassador, a sponsored blog partner, this year.

Baby's First Bite | crackersandcarrots.com

If I scroll back in my computer’s history, I practically searched the internet on a daily basis trying to find answers to all of my questions as a new mom. Is this normal? What do I do in this situation? The questions were endless. While I had my mom to reach out to for the general motherly questions, there were some that she didn’t even have the answer to.

No mother in my family had had a baby that weighed so little, projectile vomited all day long and had such a difficult time going to sleep. Of course, we regularly visited Liam’s pediatrician to ensure he didn’t have a more serious complication, but the other moments in early motherhood, I turned to the internet for answers.

Feeding and nutrition normalities were a the top of the list of questions:

  • Was it normal that Liam was spiting-up upwards of 7 times between feedings?
  • It’s no wonder that he weighed so little, am I not providing enough breastmilk?
  • How do I increase breastmilk production?
  • Should I supplement with formula? If so, what kind?
  • If I try bottle feeding, what bottle should I buy?
  • What if he starts bottle feeding and he doesn’t want to breastfeed any more? Will it cause nipple confusion?
  • When should we begin solid foods? What solid foods should we start with?
  • When do you begin weaning off of breastmilk? Do you wean to formula or milk?

Baby Liam | crackersandcarrots.com

Here’s what I found from my pediatrician, the internet, my mother and my own experience:

  • Was it normal that Liam was spiting-up upwards of 7 times between feedings?
    This isn’t normal. I ended up taking him to the pediatrician and they did a series of tests to rule out that he didn’t have any intestinal blockages, that he didn’t have acid reflux and to make sure he was getting enough breastmilk. Thankfully, he was fine and he was indeed getting enough breastmilk…just spitting most of it up.Spit Up | crackersandcarrots.com
  • Am I not providing enough breastmilk? How do I increase breastmilk production?
    I tried everything from daily doses of fenugreek supplements, eating oatmeal, pumping between feedings and at night and cutting back on exercising. Nothing seemed to be increasing my milk supply. The pediatrician ended up setting up an appointment with a specialist where she weighed Liam before a feeding, watched him breastfeed and weighed him after the meal. This ensured that he was indeed getting enough milk. Of course, he spit up a few minutes after the meal and the specialist understood my concern right then and there.
  • Should I supplement with formula? If so, what kind?
    Every afternoon around 4-5pm, Liam would always get upset. I finally determined it was because he was hungry. At that point I was beginning to ‘dry up’ and not have enough breastmilk to feed him another meal before his final meal at bedtime. That’s when I broke down and had a giant heart-to-heart with myself and decided to supplement this meal with formula. “There is no right or wrong way to supplement, it’s really what works best for the mom and baby.” says Dr. Sue Hubbard. I can’t tell you how much this helped our family’s happiness. Liam was happy because he wasn’t hungry, I was happy because I now had enough breastmilk to feed him a nice meal before bed and my husband was happy because he got to experience feeding Liam a bottle. Here are some tips for choosing the right formula.
  • If I try bottle feeding, what bottle should I buy?
    I asked my fellow mom friends what bottles they used to make my decision on bottles. We ended up settling on a 3 pack of Dr. Brown’s bottles that worked like a charm all the way until we weaned Liam completely off of the bottle.
  • What if he starts bottle feeding and he doesn’t want to breastfeed any more? Will it cause nipple confusion?
    I was quite nervous about this and never really did find an answer. I just had it in the back of my mind and accepted that I would be okay if he decided to not breastfeed any more. We started slowly and only offered him one bottle a day. Liam never had any issues with switching back and forth. “Also, you may have to help your baby adjust to the taste of formula. One tip is to mix some of your pumped breast milk with the already-prepared formula. Just make sure that you don’t use breast milk in place of water and always follow the package directions when preparing formula.” - Dr. Sue Hubbard
  • When should we begin solid foods? What solid foods should we start with?
    Since Liam was underweight and only at the recommendation of my pediatrician did we start solid foods at 4 months old. Typically the rule of thumb is to begin at 6 months old. “Be sure to wait 3-5 days between introducing new foods so that you can observe any potential reactions to foods.” says Dr. Sue Hubbard. Despite beginning two months early, we started slowly and it helped tremendously with his weight gain and also helped the number of spit ups. “I typically start with infant cereal, which is iron fortified. Spoon feeding is initially about teaching your baby to put the spoon into their mouth and to begin experiencing new textures. Once your baby is enjoying spoon feeding it is easy to start adding pureed veggies, fruits and meats. The most important point about spoon feeding is that babies will typically eat almost any pureed or “mushy” food that they are offered, so now is the time to start healthy eating habits with a diversity of foods. Don’t be afraid to try new foods (kale, avocado, apricots, prunes), even things that you may not typically eat.” - Dr. Sue Hubbard We begin Liam on the rice cereal, but soon transitioned to trying different fruits and vegetables every week.
  • When do you begin weaning off of breastmilk? Do you wean to formula or milk?
    My goal was to always begin weaning Liam off of breastmilk around the one year mark. It just so happened that we were down to just a couple feedings a day and I had to go on a blogging trip for three days. I just knew I was going to be completely engorged and Liam would be upset, but it turned out that our bodies had weaned enough by that point that my milk completely dried up during those 3 days and Liam was perfectly fine having transitioned to a solid food and formula diet. “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of your baby’s life; breastfeeding in combination with solid foods through at least 12 months; and continued breastfeeding thereafter for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.” - Dr. Sue Hubbard

I’m thankful that I could share my questions and answers with you. Thank you to Similac who encouraged me to share and to also include the wisdom from the nationally syndicated pediatrician, Dr. Sue Hubbard within this post.

This post was sponsored by Similac and has partnered with bloggers like myself for its Strong Moms Ambassador program. As a part of this program, I have received compensation for my time, but all opinions are my own. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
Posted in baby, baby food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat review

This post is sponsored campaign with the One2One Network on behalf of Evenflo. Thanks for supporting companies I believe in and allowing me to create more unique content for you.

Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat review | crackersandcarrots.com

When we moved Liam from infant car seat to a convertible car seat, we spent hours at the store comparing before finally making a purchase. It’s a huge decision, with the everyday safety and comfort of your child at the heart of it. And when I was asked to review this Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat, I gave it my strictest evaluation.

Are you ready to see what I thought of the car seat and if I recommend it or not?

Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat review | crackersandcarrots.com

I prioritize safety first and foremost. With the side impact tested and protected cushions, I know my child will be as safe as possible in the unfortunate event of an accident. It’s like the car seat is hugging him in every direction, minimizing the effects of an accident on his little body. This makes me so happy!

In addition to the added protections, the car seat has a five point harness system, keeping the child snug and in place at all times. It also hooks into the car using the LATCH system, which all newer cars have. We have the LATCH system on our other car seats and it makes safe car seat installation fast and super secure. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat review | crackersandcarrots.com

And as you can see, Liam loves his new car seat! It’s such a comfortable ride, I’m often jealous that I don’t get to sit in a seat as comfortable as the Evenflo.

It’s made with Evenflo’s new Gel Matrix™ Technology that is super comfortable and reduces pressure point build up. I’m not distracted by an upset and uncomfortable toddler and we have happy rides every time.

Gel Matrix Technology

Photo provided by Evenflo

I’m not going to lie. It’s not just the comfortable cushions that make my toddler happy during our car rides. It’s also the benefit of having cup holders.

I never thought I’d appreciate a cup holder so much. The cup holders are great for holding drinks, snacks or even toy cars for safe keeping.

Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat review | crackersandcarrots.com

After testing the car seat for a couple of weeks now, I’ve discovered just a couple of annoyances with the car seat. The first is the flap that covers the easy release button that loosens the straps of the car seat. I understand it needs to be hidden from the child to avoid accidental loosings, but because the slits in the flap only allow a quarter of the material to be pushed back to then stick your finger on the button, your finger gets scratched and I have a hard time even reaching it. Our other car seat has the same type system with the flap, but the stitching goes three quarters the way up in that square to allow your entire finger to reach the button.

Also, with our other car seat (which is actually another Evenflo brand), the red button that releases the harness pops the buckles out with ease and allows for quick exit from the car seat. However, the Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX’s red button requires you to push the button and assist the buckles to release, requiring two hands. This slows down the exit of the car seat in case of an emergency, and is also frustrating when you only have one hand available to remove your child from the car seat.

These two things are very small issues and wouldn’t deter me from continuing use of the car seat or even purchasing another one for our growing family. The safety, comfort and convenience of the car seat outweighs the couple negatives.

Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat review | crackersandcarrots.com

Another feature of the Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat is the buckle pockets located on either side of the car seat. It’s a rubber hole that holds the metal portions of the buckles, for easy retrieval when entering the car seat. It’s always such a pain to put your child in the car seat and then have to go digging for the buckles, causing the child to move position. With the easy buckle pockets, there’s no more digging!

Now, if I can only get in the habit of putting the buckles in the pockets when we exit the car seat. I’d be a lot happier when I put him back in on our next ride!

Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat review | crackersandcarrots.com

This car seat is almost identical in footprint to our current one and they both fit comfortably in the 2nd row of our Volvo XC60. It’s almost the exact same technology and I love them both.

Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat review | crackersandcarrots.com

With everything said, we’re now using the Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat as Liam’s primary car seat. It can accomodate children from 5 pounds to 110 pounds, too! I can’t recommend it enough for busy toddlers like ours.

We’re saving our other one for the new baby in February! Now, I have no doubt that both of my children will be riding in the safest car seats possible.

You can purchase the Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat at Target!

This post was sponsored by One2One Network. I received compensation for this post and a car seat to review. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.

Posted in baby, preparing for baby, toddler | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

making life easier with a toddler #giveaway

This post is sponsored by Dr. Smith’s. Thanks for supporting companies I believe in and allowing me to create more unique content for you.

Living life with a toddler can be challenging. From battling testy and tantrum-prone toddlers, to sharing in their high energy exploration; life can be exhausting. Somehow, we seem to get through the hard times and get to discover the amazing world through the eyes of our toddlers. When they laugh at you being silly or even give you a hug out of the blue, the little moments of happiness make everything better.

Since life with a toddler is full of surprises and challenges, I have some tips that will hopefully make the everyday hustle and bustle a little easier.

Walking the Dog | crackersandcarrots.com

Tips for Making Life with a Toddler Easier

  • Toys – Keep most of your toddler’s toys put away and every week rotate through toys. This makes it seem like they are brand new toys and your toddler won’t get bored or overstimulated with too many toys out. I learned my lesson when the house got too cluttered with an abundance of toys. Also, Liam was just playing with one or two toys and the rest were just making a mess. Now that I rotate through toys and just keep a few out at a time, his attention span when playing with the ‘new’ toys is a lot longer than if he sees them every day. It also makes it manageable for him to learn out to put away his toys.
  • Snacks – I know snacking is looked down upon by some parenting experts, but I’m a fan of it, especially when we’re running errands. Liam is a lot less cranky when he’s got some food in his belly. And with our toddlers running around like psycho crazy kids, they a lot burn calories. They need extra fuel now and then! Our favorite go-to snack is applesauce packages and organic crackers.
  • Diaper Station – If your toddler is like mine, he isn’t a fan of getting his diaper changed. To make this process easier and to avoid hands reaching down where they don’t belong, I keep books and toys in the top drawer of the changing table for easy entertaining. Also, if your little one gets diaper rash like mine does (thanks to all of the fruit he consumes!), he cries every time I rub cream on his bum. However, thanks to Dr. Smith’s new Diaper Rash Spray, applying is a breeze. It’s gentle, fast acting and effective. Just a quick cool spray and we’re done with diapering!
  • Movies – I’ll be honest here, before I became a parent, I looked down upon parents who let their kids watch movies or play with their phones as entertainment. Now I know, you do what you have to do. Sometimes your ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’ and need some quick entertainment for your kids. For us, it’s my iPad Mini that is loaded with some of our favorite children’s movies. The iPad allows us to go on 13 hour car rides, hour long dinners out and lets me get a few last minute recipes photographed. You do watcha gotta do!
  • Exercise – Toddlers are full of energy and getting outside to play everyday is a wonderful thing. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of life to spend 1-2 hours getting exercise by taking the dog for a walk, playing in the backyard, going to the park or going to an educational museum. This allows toddlers to explore, positively let their energy out and behave better for you the rest of the day. I’ve noticed a significant difference in my toddler when I allow him time to exercise every day. He’s an angel the rest of the day and takes a nice nap mid-day, allowing me some quality work time.

Toddlers are full of energy, discovery and are like little sponges, soaking up everything. Being there for your toddler and teaching them everyday will mold them into wonderful human beings. After some trial and error with my toddler, these five tips have helped make my day flow smoother and allows for happiness all around. I hope these tips will help make the everyday life with your toddler easier.

Now it’s time for you to enter to win a $200 Visa gift card & Dr. Smith’s Prize pack (includes full size ointment/spray and promotional item) for 1st place and Dr. Smith’s Prize Pack for 3 runners up!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post was sponsored by Dr. Smith’s. I received compensation for this post and a sample of the new spray to try. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
Posted in toddler | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

tips for choosing the right formula

Pediatrician recommended tips for choosing the right formula for your child. I’m honored to be a Similac Strong Moms Ambassador, a sponsored blog partner, this year.

Tips for Choosing the Right Formula | crackersandcarrots.com

Liam was about 4 months old when I knew I had to do something. He was dubbed the ‘spit up king’ and wasn’t getting enough food because of it. I nursed him as much as I could, but I just couldn’t keep up. His pediatrician even recommended supplementing the nursing with formula.

Then, the questions and guilt began to stir. How could I possibly know how to pick the right formula? What kind does he need? How do I afford it? How much formula do I supplement with? How do we travel with formula? Etc.

After a bit of research, we were on our way to supplementing with formula like pros. It became a blessing knowing that Liam was getting a full belly and that I could even go on a date with my husband and know he wouldn’t go hungry!

Thankfully, Similac has gathered some excellent tips to choosing the right formula from the nationally syndicated pediatrician, Dr. Sue Hubbard.

Tips to Choosing the Right Formula

  • Lifestyle – There are many different options when it comes to formula. Typically, you can find it in ready-to-feed, concentrated liquid and powder versions. They all range in convenience and price and your lifestyle will determine which one is better for you and your family. Since I am a stay-at-home mom, the powder version worked best for us and our budget. However, if you’re on-the-go a lot and have the budget, ready-to-feed may work best for you.
  • Ingredients – While the FDA oversees all formula regulations, not all formula is created equal. Generally, “formula contains carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to support your baby’s health. But some infant formulas, like Similac, have added lutein, which is a nutrient to support your baby’s eye development.” says Dr. Hubbard. Be sure to do research ahead of time to compare your brands of choice before making your purchase.
  • Water – Most US cities have wonderful tap water that doctor’s approve of for use in formula. However, this is all determined by your location. Of course, if you have concerns about your water source, talk to your doctor first and if necessary, you may need to boil the water first, use bottled water or use the ready-to-feed formula. Thankfully, in my city, we had no issues with the tap water and it worked just fine with the powdered formula we fed to Liam.
  • Watch – Most baby’s have an adjustment period with formula from as little as two days or up to two weeks. You’ll need to watch your baby and see how he/she is reacting to the formula to know if that formula is right for your baby. In some cases, your baby may need a special formula (like soy, low-lactose, or hypoallergenic formula). In our case, Liam still had the bad case of spit-ups and still spit up with the formula. However, we did notice that some formula brands upset his tummy more than others. Just be observant and you’ll know what’s best for your baby.
  • Age – Depending on when you begin supplementing with formula can determine what type of formula is best. They make specific formulas for infants, 6-12 months old and even toddlers, all with a specific purpose to complement the introduction of solid foods and more active lifestyles. Choose the one that’s best for your baby’s age and development.

And I just have to thrown in a tip of my own. Once we found a few formulas that worked for Liam, I would be on the constant look-out for coupons and sales for those formulas. Then, I’d stock up when I had both coupons and a sale, to get the formula at it’s lowest price. Every little bit helps!

I wish you all the formula success in the world! I still can’t believe I’ll have a new baby in February! Eeee!

This post was sponsored by Similac and has partnered with bloggers like myself for its Strong Moms Ambassador program. As a part of this program, I have received compensation for my time, but all opinions are my own. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
Posted in baby | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

broccoli & cheese soup #babyfood #firstbites #giveaway

I’m honored to share this baby food recipe in celebration of baby’s #firstbites with OXO.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup #babyfood | crackersandcarrots.com

When my son was little, I was all about making homemade baby food, most of which I posted here on crackers & carrots! It’s such a good feeling knowing the quality of ingredients that you’re feeding your child.

It’s great when they become more accustomed to baby food and enjoy exploring new flavors. This recipe is one that you can make right alongside the great big batch of the standard broccoli and cheese soup that you’re making the rest of your family and your baby can enjoy the flavors with you!

It’s full of vegetables and even introduces a slight cheese flavor, which is okay for children older than 9 months.

OXO helped set me up for a baby food making day with a whole bunch of tools, of which my favorite is the feeding spoon set with soft silicone. So perfect for feeding baby! Also, the Baby Blocks freezer storage containers are very handy…and for a toddler, too! Just stick your favorite snacks in the containers for quick eating on-the-go.

Are you ready for a giveaway?

Broccoli and Cheese Soup #babyfood | crackersandcarrots.com

Broccoli & Cheese Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

How-To

  1. In a steamer pot over boiling water, steam the potatoes and carrots for 7 minutes.
  2. Add in the broccoli and steam for another 7 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Place all of the steamed vegetables and cheese into your food mill, food processor or blender and purée until it reaches the desired consistency.

Note: Good for babies 9 months and above, only after the baby has tried all of the foods individually to avoid allergies.

Note: If you’re making this for your older toddler, I would add double the cheese and also add in some pepper or other seasonings to increase flavor.

This post was sponsored by OXO. I received samples for this post. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
Posted in baby food, toddler | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pancakes

I’m excited to help celebrate the classic book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, with these pancakes.
Hungry Caterpillar Pancakes | crackersandcarrots.com

One of my son’s favorite books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is coming up on its 45th anniversary! Such a simple, fun and educational book for the early learners. Liam actually received the finger puppet version of the book when he was a little baby and it provided hours of entertainment. Now that he’s older, we read the original book almost every day.

Through the book, we’re learning colors, foods, days of the week and about metamorphosis! Genius.

To celebrate, I’ve made these fun caterpillar pancakes! Liam loved them and thought it was hilarious that he was eating such a fun meal. The pancakes are made with different vegetables to create the colors, so they’re dye free and the little ones are getting added nutrition.

Since the pancakes do take a while to make, I’d suggest making them ahead of time and either refrigerating or freezing for a quick meal later.

Hungry Caterpillar Pancakes | crackersandcarrots.com

In continued celebration of the anniversary, the Very Hungry Snack Contest begins today! Simply create a snack inspired by an Eric Carle book and tag it with #VHC45 to enter. You can enter on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram from July 13, 2014- July 31, 2014. The winner will be shared on August 1, 2014 on Facebook and will win a Eric Carle prize pack, as seen below.

Good Luck!

vhc snack contest

Hungry Caterpillar Pancakes | crackersandcarrots.com

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pancakes

 adapted from Chocolate & Carrots

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup beets, peeled, steamed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • chocolate chips, for decoration

How-To

  1. Preheat a griddle to low-medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs and 1 cup milk.
  4. Add the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Divide the batter into 5 bowls, one of which reserve just 1/4 cup (this will remain plain batter for the caterpillar’s eyes) and divide the rest of the batter evenly among the remaining 4 bowls (this will be for one red and three shades of green).
  5. Meanwhile, in a blender (like a Blendtec) or food processor, purée the beets and one of the bowls of batter. This red batter will be for the caterpillar’s head.
  6. Also in a blender (or food processor), purée the remaining batter from the three bowls and 1/3 cup spinach. Blend until the spinach is combined. Pour 1/3 of the green batter back into one of the green bowls. With the remaining 2/3 green batter still in the blender, blend in another 1/3 cup spinach. Pour 1/2 of the remaining green batter in another green bowl. Finally, blend the last bit of batter with the remaining 1/3 cup spinach and pour into the last green bowl. Now you should have three different shades of green batter.
  7. Measure out 1/8 cup sized scoops of batter onto the greased griddle for all of the green batter and red batter (shaping the green batter as oval as possible and the red as round as possible), cooking until light brown on each side and cooked through.
  8. Finally, use the last few drops of green batter for the eyes. Likewise, use the reserved plain white batter to make the eyes.
  9. Put the pancakes together and use chocolate chips as the nose, antennae and feet.

Servings: 3-4

This post was sponsored by Eric Carle. I received compensation for this post and all opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
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reusable pouches #giveaway

Resqueeze - reusable pouch #review | crackersandcarrots.com

I can’t tell you how many applesauce pouches we have gone through with our toddler. He loves them and I love how independent it makes him, especially when we’re out and about. However, those disposable pouches can get expensive. That’s where ReSqueeze solves the problem! Let’s talk pros and cons about ReSqueeze:

Pros

  • You can fill with whatever you’d like, saving money and insuring the best nutrition for your child.
  • Dishwasher friendly.
  • There’s a no-leak zipper bottom. It works great, but takes a lot of muscle to get it shut all the way.
  • Made with BPA free plastic.

Cons

  • Sometimes it’s challenging to get food out of the inside right next to where the top nozzle is located. But a little elbow grease and possibly even soaking can do the trick.
  • You have to use a cooler when traveling outside of the house.
  • You have to help squeeze the rest of the food out of the pouch for the little ones who don’t understand that concept.
  • I had one in the dishwasher and it burned it up (I blame the dishwasher). I’ll be hand washing from now on.
  • When I put one flavor in the pouch that my son didn’t like, he doesn’t want to try it any more. As soon as he sees the pouch he turns away. I’m hoping this will change after a short time. It may be helpful to have multiple colors of pouches, possibly?

These are actually the second reusable pouches I’ve had experience using. The first was The Little Green Pouch. The only real difference I saw was that the Little Green Pouch’s spout was on the side, whereas ReSqueeze is on the top.

Overall, I think they’re a great way to save money and make customizable on-the-go food for your child. If anything, it’s worth the $15 investment for 4 pouches. However, if you scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll have a chance to win one of two 4-packs of ReSqueeze. Good luck!

Resqueeze - reusable pouch #review | crackersandcarrots.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is sponsored by ReSqueeze. I received a complimentary product to reviewAll opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
Posted in baby, baby food, toddler | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments