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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Solid Food Basics with PC Organics

For the next few months I'm excited to be working with PC® Organics to share some fun and informative content on the topic of feeding your baby. I've been a fan of this brand since Ari started solids and love that it offers organic options at comparable prices to many non- organic products. With Liam just starting solids I thought it would be a good time to share my first post in this series with some tips on starting solids with your little one.

It can be a little exciting and emotional- where did the time go??? Suddenly that little baby of yours is marking an important milestone and trying solids for the first time. But as with everything that comes with our little munchkins, there is a lot of conflicting information. To help sort through all of this info, this series of posts will offer up nutritional advice for your little one to help you figure out good foods to try and meet their nutritional needs. There will also be some fun surprises along the way (when aren't there surprises as a parent ;) ), so stay tuned!

It can be a little confusing when starting your baby on solids trying to figure out which foods to give them first, when and how to introduce new foods, etc. Below are a few helpful, dietitian-approved tips to start your little one off on the right foot. Bon appeitit little one!



Know the Signs
It is recommended to wait until 6 months to introduce solid food (I waited 6 months with Ari, but tried solids a little sooner with Liam, since he was showing signs- see below). There are several signs you can look out for that can help you determine if your little one is ready to try eating solid foods. Signs your child is ready for the transition to begin include:
  • holding their heads up and sitting upright in a high chair or seat
  • opening their mouth for food when it is offered and turning away when they don’t like it
  • closing their lips over a spoon when its offered, keeping food in their mouth and swallowing 
Take Baby Steps
It can be fun introducing your baby to 'grown up' food, but it’s best to take things slow and steady when introducing new foods. To help make this process a little easier:

  •  introduce new foods when your baby is happy and hungry to ensure a great first impression
  •  offer single foods first before offering blends of flavours (important if you're concerned about potential food allergies or sensitivities
  • if your little one doesn’t like something, try it again another day
Lead by Example
Your baby learns to eat by watching you. When your family is eating together, give your baby  the same foods in a form they can eat. Eating the same foods as you will help your baby learn healthy eating habits with the rest of the family (with Ari I liked giving her foods that still had a little bit of texture, such as broccoli mashed with potatoes, so she didn't only have purees, but you still have to watch out for lumps/ big pieces). There are some great baby food options available (click here for some ideas) and your baby can easily enjoy the same nutritious food your family does. It's also good to think about your own behaviour when it comes to food: your baby may notice and mimic your behaviour with foods you don't enjoy.

Unplug During Meal Times
With busy days,  it can be tough to unplug and focus on your meal and disconnect from electronic devices. But to set a good example, it's best to limit distractions. Try to put aside 15- 30 minutes for you and your family to focus on your meal. This will teach your baby that meal time is important; and as your kids grow, this can become an important time to connect with them. And it's worth noting that families that eat together, eat healthier.

Introduce Iron-Rich Foods First
At around six months of age, the iron stores that babies are born with begin to decline and they need iron-rich foods to meet the nutrient needs of their fast growing bodies. Try boiled or well cooked meats and fish, iron-fortified infant cereals (I like rice and grain cereals; try PC® Organics Rice Cereal with Banana), tofu, beans and legumes, and cooked egg yolks. Tip: Serve iron-rich foods with fruits and vegetables that contain Vitamin C to help your baby absorb the iron.

Spice Things Up
Plain veggies can get a little boring, so you can add flavour using herbs and spices that are mild enough for a baby’s palette. While additions like salt add unhealthy sodium, fresh or dried herbs and spices will introduce them to flavours in new and interesting ways. For an interesting twist, try adding cinnamon to PC® Organics Strained Sweet Potato & Chicken

Stay Hydrated
At around six months, babies can learn to drink small amounts of water, which has several benefits, including:
  • eases digestion
  • reduces tooth decay 
  • prevents dehydration 
During meal time, let your baby try sipping water from a lidless cup. With a little patience and practice, they’ll be drinking from a cup alone in no time.

Take It To Go
Once your baby starts solids, it can become one more thing to have to think about. If you're planning a play date or outing, get their food bag ready ahead of time and stock it with everything you need: spoon, cup or bottle, bib, and the food you want to give them. One thing I am so grateful for is the food pouches that are now available. I stock up on a variety at once and you can either squeeze them onto a spoon or let your little one hold them. They make feeding on the go much easier and less messy. Plus they're a great option when your kids are a little older and can feed themselves. 

Having fun trying out solids with my little guy!





Visit the PC® Organics website to learn more about their products. 
You can also find them on social media:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 




Photos: K Petrunia
Brands shown: PC Organics, Munchkin, & Paper Airplane

Stay tuned for more content with PC® Organics in the coming months. 


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Monday, September 28, 2015

Yummy Mummy Monday: Pumpkin Muffins {Gluten & Dairy Free}

It's that time of the year... when these orange squash invade. Bring on #pumpkineverything! To help ring in Fall I wanted to share this delicious recipe that my friend and I whipped up recently and loved. These are delicious and lovely and perfect for the cozy cooler days ahead. I've included a link to the original recipe that my friend used and have provided my gluten/ dairy free version below. Usually there is a significant- and sometimes disappointing- difference when you compare an allergy- friendly take on a recipe with a regular one, but these turned out great and were gobbled up in no time (they lasted less than 24 hours!). If you can, enjoy trying the regular version (or simply swap in regular flour etc in my version below), you won't be disappointed. :)


Yummy Mummy Recipe: Pumpkin Muffins 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Gluten free flour mix (I am now using a half/ half mix of Bob's Red Mill GF mix and Cloud 9 mix)
11/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp oil (coconut, vegetable... use your favourite)
1 can (15oz) cooked pumpkin
1/2 cup applesauce
nuts and/ or seeds to garnish (I like pumpkin seeds or pecans for this recipe)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or line a muffin baking pan.

2. In one bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

3. In a separate bowl mix the brown sugar and eggs until smooth, followed by the oil and pumpkin. Stir until well combined*.

4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

5. Fill the muffin cups just over half full and sprinkle with seeds or nuts.

6. Bake for approx 35 minutes or until golden brown and you can poke a knife into the centre and have it come out clean (the original recipe suggests 25 minutes, but I found that mine required longer).

Tip: I'm learning that using an electric mixer really pays off with gluten- free recipes, as it helps aerate the ingredients and helpS make them light and fluffy, since gluten- free options can often turn out heavy and dense. Either a stand mixer or hand mixer should do the trick.


You can view the recipe that inspired these here.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Fall Get Cozy Essentials

It's the time of year to layer up and get cozy! In our house we've got loads of blankets and pillows perfect for piling up on the couch and snuggling into with a good book or movie. I'm kind of a sucker for all the greys and neutrals out there, and they're a perfect backdrop for adding pops of colour, pattern, and texture for visual interest. Even something as simple as a few throw pillows can change the look of a room for the season. See below for some fun & cozy Fall ideas- don't forget the hot chocolate! 


Deer Bedding: Arrow House
Cashmere Throw: Parachute Home
Blanket: Hudson's Bay
Candle Holders: From The Seeds

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tips for Formula Feeding Your Baby

Breastfeeding vs formula can be a hot topic, and this post is meant to be informative rather than take a stance in the debate. I remember as a Mom- to- be, I knew that I wanted to nurse if I could. But I know that's not everyone's choice, and some Moms are unable to breastfeed despite their best efforts. Whether by choice or necessity, it's good to know what is involved and what you'll need to formula feed your baby. The post below was provided to me to help readers on the topic of formula feeding and does not reflect my opinion pro or against formula feeding. If you are unable to breastfeed, are choosing not to, or are using a combination, I hope the information below will be useful.


Using Formula To Feed Your Baby

If you are planning to feed your baby with formula there are a few things that you need to consider before feeding them for the first time. Whether you are planning to use formula all the time or to top up breast milk, you will have to make sure that you have all the right equipment and a suitable formula selected.

Choose Which Formula To Use

The first thing you will need to decide is what type of formula you wish to use, there are a variety of different brands available, and you may want to talk to your health care provider, friends, or check out reviews online before making your final decision. Most brands will make a variety of specialist formulas created to help with specific dietary needs, such as hungry baby, anti colic and lactose free. If you think your baby may need a specialist formula discuss this with a health care professional before making a change. Once you have decided what brand of formula you wish to use it is advisable that you stick to that brand, even if you swap to a specialist type later, to reduce the chance of your baby having difficulty digesting it.

Make Sure You Have The Correct Equipment

Getting the correct sterilizing equipment is important, as it is very easy for a young baby to pick up infections from everyday bacteria. You can choose from different types of sterilizers including steam and chemical.

You will also need to purchase bottles and nipples (make sure that you've got the correct flow for your babys age, generally the younger they are, the lower the flow needs to be). You'll also want to make sure that the bottles you get will fit into your sterilizer properly.

Preparing Your Baby's Formula

Before taking a bottle from your sterilizer, make sure to wash your hands and check that the formula milk powder you are preparing is in date.

After washing your hands remove the bottle, etc from the sterilizer and pour the correct amount of pre-boiled water in to your babys bottle, make sure that the water has only been boiled once and that it has cooled to a lukewarm temperature.

Check the directions on your formula tin so you know the correct amount of powder for your babys age, then add the correct number of scoops to the water.

Put the nipple on the bottle and shake well. Test a small amount on the inside of your wrist before feeding the baby to make sure that the temperature and consistency is right.
Make each bottle as your baby needs feeding, (storing pre-prepared milk can raise your babies chances of getting gastroenteritis).

Feeding Your Baby

Sit with your baby in a comfortable position, with their head held up slightly. Place the bottle in your babys mouth making sure that you tilt it enough and that the nipple is completely full of milk to prevent the baby from swallowing air.

During the feed make sure that you stop two to three times so you can bring up any wind. Put your baby upright, rub and tap their back until they burp and repeat again when the bottle is finished.

Taking Formula On The Go

You can buy pre-prepared formula for convenience if you wish, but alternatively you can take a small amount of powder out with you. Simply put the required amount of pre-boiled water in a bottle and put the correct number of scoops in a separate, sterile container and take both in your bag. When your baby needs to be fed, add the powder to the water and shake in the usual way. Make sure you never freeze formula milk or allow the powder to become wet or damp as this could cause your baby to become ill.

Using formula to feed your baby is a simple process, that with a little practise quickly becomes second nature. As long as each stage of the preparation process is properly completed, using formula is an ideal way to replace or top up breast milk and ensure that all your baby's nutritional needs are met. Whether with formula or breast milk, one advantage of using a bottle is that it is far easier to gauge how much your baby has had to eat.

Once your baby has established a regular feeding routine you will be surprised how quicky they begin to thrive and grow.

Article courtesy of the experts at SellFormula.com







Friday, September 18, 2015

Local Brand Back to School Giveaway

Here's a fun way to celebrate the start of the school year: a GIVEAWAY! Is your little one returning to school or going for the first time? Either way, deck them out in cute style for the school year with some help from these local Mama owned shops! Enter on the blog's Contests page to win an outfit worth $100 made up of these items:

T- shirt from King and Sage 

Pair of leggings or harem pants from The Little Moore Shop

Infinity scarf from Lille Mus

Geo necklace from Glitter and Spice

Best of all, the winner gets to pick the colour/ print of their choice from each brand for a custom outfit! 

About Why You'll Love these Brands:

King and Sage
- created & designed in Vancouver by 2 local Moms
- designs inspired by their active kids
- hand- printed on ethically- made, sweat- shop free t- shirts
- unisex styles perfect for little dudes & ladies to pair easily to create cute outfits
Find them on Facebook | Instagram

The Little Moore Shop
- handmade items by local Mom, Jamie
- started her business so she could stay home with her kids
- offers a variety of items, including harem pants & leggings, moccs, bibdanas, & more
Find them on Facebook | Instagram

Lille Mus
- designed & handmade by Mom, Merete
- specializes in eco- friendly accessories for kids
- items made from organic cotton & designed to be comfortable & durable
Find them on Facebook | Instagram

Glitter & Spice
- handcrafted in Vancouver by Mom, Lorene
- jewellery made for teething, but stylish for older kids too
- stylish & chic designs for Moms to wear
- made from 100% food grade silicone & organic untreated wood; BPA, phthalates, lead, and PVC free
Find them on Facebook | Instagram

For more fun style ideas for your kids from some great local & Canadian brands, check out this post from a few weeks back. 







Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Running Tips with Baby

Last month I got to check out some of the strollers in Bugaboo's new line up (they've teamed up with Diesel Denim for a second time) and whether you're on the hunt for your baby registry or wanting to upgrade from your current stroller, this brand offers a variety of strollers & accessories so they can be customized and upgraded to suit what you're looking for. I've been sharing a little bit about fitness options I've been trying out (see my Yoga Tips for Moms post here) and if you're looking for a jogging stroller, the new Bugaboo Runner is a great option to try out. I really like that you can position the seat to face you or outward, since I haven't seen another jogging stroller that offers this option; I love that you can watch your little one while you run instead of having to stop & check on them, plus it makes for really cute exercise entertainment. If running with your little one is something you like to do or want to try, see below for some tips from Bugaboo for safely running with baby. Happy jogging!



TOP 10 TIPS FOR RUNNING WITH BABY 


1."You must be this tall to ride"  
Jogging with your baby that is nine months or younger can be unsafe. With only a handful of month’s experience, motoring around the park before motor skills are developed will leave your baby overwhelmed and could cause physical injury.

2. Plan your route  
Before taking your child on his or her first adventure, make sure the route you take is safe with no dangers or possible road blocks. This way, it’ll make your first jog together fun and stress free!

3. Slow and steady wins the race 
Or at least, wins the experience. Always remember that your jog is not a race, and you should pace yourself a little slower than usual. This will avoid turbulence and the wind ruining your baby’s hair! 

4. Smart packing 
With using the Bugaboo Bag to store things like diapers, snacks, water and toys to entertain your baby, packing necessities will help you out in the long run- or short run if this is your first time.

 5. Have a destination 
It’s good to have a place where you and your baby can hang out after. Having your jog lead to a park or field for your baby to stretch will be a refreshing change for him or her, and also a relaxing moment for yourself.

6. “Two is a crowd and three is a party” 
Having a friend go with your or another active mom or dad will help encourage you to stick with your schedule. Running with others raises endurance and also gives the opportunity to discuss your favorite Bugaboo stroller.

7. Look good, feel good 
Throwing a pair of sunglasses on you and your baby will help block the sunlight and glare from the hot pavement and protect your eyes. Also, it will make you both look very cool.

8. Lock the front wheel 
Most strollers have an adjustment where the front wheel can be locked. Before beginning your jog, make sure the front wheel is locked so it doesn’t turn on a dime and create an accident.

9. Like at a party, make sure all eyes are on you 
Although now that you have your sunglasses on and you’re running with a top of the line Bugaboo stroller, people still might not notice you. Make sure that everyone around you sees that you’re there. Sometimes it’s assumed that people see you when they actually don’t, which could result in a collision.

10. Have fun! 
Some people view jogging as a chore or think that exercise is a lot of effort. As long as you maintain a positive mindset and stay active because YOU want to, you and your baby will get the most out of exploring the world around you. 



About Bugaboo
Bugaboo is known for its innovative and breakthrough design of strollers. All Bugaboo strollers are designed for day-to-day use (they fold in half for easy storage & transport), made from durable materials and ensure excellent shock absorption, one-hand steering, and seamless 360º turns. Keep on the move and convert your stroller for different ages or journeys with the extensive range of complementary accessories available. Built to last (more than 1,400 tests are conducted on the strollers compared to 600 by other brands) and to be enjoyed generation after generation, Bugaboo strollers can be endlessly upgraded to suit your mood, style or journey. 


About the Bugaboo by Diesel Denim Collection
This is the second Bugaboo by Diesel collection. Bugaboo and Diesel have bundled their creative and rebellious spirit to design a collection that takes the iconic lifestyle brand’s DNA as a starting point: Denim. Two new strollers are taking centre stage with a complete makeover for the all-terrain stroller, the Bugaboo Buffalo, and a Tailored Fabric Set for the convertible stroller, the Bugaboo Donkey. The military-inspired Bugaboo by Diesel Cameleon from the first collection will also remain available in store. 
    
Accessories make the difference, so a matching denim bag with leather details is part of the collection, featuring functional inside pockets for parents on the go. To complete your stroller needs there is even a special-edition Bugaboo by Diesel Seat Liner, Footmuff, Parasol and Mosquito Net in camouflage print from their release.

Visit the Bugaboo website to view their complete product line & for more info. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.

Image & logo courtesy of Bugaboo

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