Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Leak Proof?

There is about a million different choices of sippy cups out there, but here are the pros and cons of a few that I have tried.  My son has been using a sippy cup since he was about 8 months old.  At first we would just let him play with it, because he really didn't know what to do with it, but it wasn't long before he was tossing back water (and the occasional water/apple juice combo).  Once he turned one, we started giving him whole milk in the sippy with meals and throughout the day. 

We have tried a variety of different cups.  We started out with Avent brand because I used Avent bottles and the cup pieces are easily interchangeable.  For example, when Dylan first started holding and using his own cup, would use the sippy cup and handles with the bottle nipple.  It made it easier for him to know what to do with it.  As he became more familiar with holding his own cup, I replaced the nipple for the spout.  We never had any trouble with the Avent cups leaking until recently when Dylan developed this habit of launching his cup across the room.  The only thing I didn't really like about Avent was that the spout has a rubber round stopper to control the milk flow.  I have lost several of these because and I like to detach them and wash them in the dishwasher.  It's kind of like the disappearing sock in the washing machine...no one knows where those little rubber disks go in the dishwasher! 

We tried the Nuby cups and after the first few uses they all started to leak.  I looked online to see how to rectify this problem and most sites said to try to realign the cup and the lid.  I tried many times, but still a leaky mess.  I have found that these cups are very hard to screw and unscrew.  The nice thing about these cups is that the spout is very soft and spout portion detaches from the lid for easy cleaning. 

After complete frustration with the leaky Nuby sippy cups we tried Playtex.  We have not had any leak problems with these yet, but we haven't been using them long enough to tell for sure.  The plastic material of the cup seems a little more durable than the Nuby ones so it seems promising that they may hold up a little better.  I'll keep you posted. 

In addition to the Playtex we also bought on OXO brand convertible cup.  This cup is pretty cool because it come with a sippy spout and an additional slow pour lid, that makes transition to a regular cup easy.  The insert and handles are removable to convert to a childproof cup.  Pretty cool!  Also no problems with leaks...yet.  We will see how it holds up to the Dylan test of bouncing off the kitchen floor a couple of times.  Hope this helps you sort through the leaky cups.

Want more info on selecting a sippy cup?  Check out the following sites.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Big O

O is for organic of course!  In an attempt to find fresh organic produce to make homemade baby food for my son, I have been shopping at the Momma’s Organic Market in Peoria, AZ.  The idea of a “winter” farmer’s market is still quite novel to me, but this market runs the third Saturday of every month from September to April.  They have some of the most beautiful fruits and veggies I have ever seen.  If you have ever cooked with local produce you know the difference, and the same goes when making baby food.   This organic market has a little something for everyone, and is a supporter of local small businesses.   In addition to their outstanding organic selection, they feature live music, food vendors, homemade goods, a book exchange, and story time for the kids.  It’s a really great way to spend your Saturday morning.   The Momma’s Organic Market is open from 9 am-2 pm.  For more information check out their website at http://www.mommasorganicmarket.com.

Momma’s Organic Market at Park West
9744 West Northern Avenue
Peoria, Arizona 85345

If you are interested in finding a farmer's market in your area, check out the Local Harvest website.  Use this website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Time To Give Thanks

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is time to start thinking about what your little one is going to eat on the big day.  Dylan will be indulging in turkey and all the fix'ns, but he has been eating solids for quite some time now.  If you have a 6-10 month old who is eating Stage 1 and 2 foods, here are some tasty baby food recipes that will allow your baby to enjoy all the tastes of the holidaysRemember to use the 4 day wait rule when you are introducing any new foods, and never add salt or sugar to baby's food.  Also be conscious of this when feeding baby pureed holiday dishes prepared by someone else.  Most people add extra salt, butter, and sugar to their holiday dishes.  If you are going to be eating at a close friend or relative's home, ask them to set aside some unseasoned veggies, potatoes, sweet potatoes, or squash so you can give them to baby with no worries.

Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Puree (6-8 months)

2- 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
1 cup cubed butternut squash

1.Peel and wash sweet potatoes and squash
2.Cut into cubes
3.Steam or boil until tender
4.Place sweet potato and squash into your choice of appliance for pureeing and puree until you reach desired consistency.  Add breast milk, formula, water or other liquid as necessary.
*Try adding cinnamon or nutmeg to sweet potatoes to make them even tastier!

Veggie Combo (6-8 months)

Fresh or frozen green beans, peas, summer and/or zucchini squash, and small pieces of chopped carrots.

1. Combine fresh or frozen veggies
2. Add enough water to just cover the vegetables.
3. Cook or steam until tender.
4. Puree vegetables in blender or food processor,
Add breast milk, formula, water or other liquid as necessary until mixture is of the desired consistency.

Apples & Turkey (8-10 months)

1/3 cup chopped & cooked boneless turkey
1/4 cup cooked apple (no skin or seeds), very soft.

1.Puree turkey with cooked apples in a food processor or blender until desired consistency for baby is achieved.

Pumpkin Pie for Baby (8-10 months)

Pumpkin puree
Plain yogurt
Baby rice cereal or baby oatmeal
Powdered Cheerios or gram crackers

1.Combine pumpkin puree together with rice cereal or oatmeal and
2.Add yogurt and add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.
3.Top with powdered Cheerios or powdered gram crackers

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Baby Picasso

Dylan's newly found interest in smearing his food all over his highchair tray, inspired me to nurture his creative side.  As I watched him squish his raspberries through his fingers and smash his avocado with his cup, I started thinking that maybe he could use these skills to create a work of art.  I remembered that a friend of mine recently had a playgroup at her house where she made homemade edible paint and put the kids in a blowup plastic pool.  They gave the babies paint brushes and let the creative juices flow.  The bath tub is also a great place for finger painting.  When it is time to clean up, you can just wash baby and wash out the tub at the same time.  I found the following recipes for edible "paint" online and the pudding paint worked the best of the three.  I am planning on letting Dylan "paint" some masterpieces for the grandparents for the holidays.  

Pudding Paint
• Instant Vanilla Pudding
• Food Coloring
What to do:
Mix pudding according to directions.
Add food coloring for desired color.
Finger paint on paper plates.
Completely Edible!

Kool-Aid Finger Paint
What you need:
• 2 cups flour
• 2 packs unsweetened Kool-Aid
• 1/2 cup salt
3 cups boiling water
• 3T. oil
What to do:
Mix wet into dry.

Jello Finger Paint
What you need:
• Any kind of flavored jello
• Boiling water
What to do:
Mix jello into boiling water until it is a good consistency for finger paint.

Read More http://www.ivillage.com/home-made-finger-paint/6-a-144533#ixzz14TNXxY9u

Monday, November 1, 2010

Table Manners

Dylan recently turned one year old, and a I swear the day after his birthday a switch turned and my sweet little boy started testing the waters of mischief.  This has become the most apparent during meal time.  We have been playing the "drop the cup game" for several months now, but he has taken it to a whole new level by flinging his cup several feet from his highchair, splashing milk or water all over the floor.  We have tried to give positive reinforcement with clapping and cheering when he puts his cup in the cup holder of the highchair, but now he will put it in the cup holder for 3-4 seconds to get the praise and then launch it when no one is looking.  Ahhhh!  And the cup is not the only thing flying these days, he is more interested in throwing food than eating it.  Beside the fact that he is making a huge mess, I am beginning to worry that he isn't eating enough because most of his meal ends up on the floor.  

We have been trying to introduce the spoon these days which has just added to the new excitement of meal time.  I bought some of those suction cup bowls to attach to the high chair and I will put 2-3 spoonfuls food that is thick in consistency and stick well to the spoon.  We have tried oatmeal, cottage cheese, and yogurt.  He actually has been doing pretty well with the spoon for the first few attempts, and then throws the spoon on the floor and goes at the food in the bowl with his fingers.  I guess it is a learning process...and other moms I have talked to are going through the same thing. 

Here are some tips for introducing baby to a spoon:
Taken from: How to Teach a Baby to Use a Spoon | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2104273_teach-baby-use-spoon.html#ixzz144URP

1) Wait until after your baby is ready to teach him. Babies can use a spoon around his first birthday. Although it takes a while to develop the skill, and it may seem like all he's doing is playing, the skill will develop.

2) Give your baby foods that stick to the spoon. Foods such as yogurt, applesauce or pureed vegetables are good at staying put.

3) Be patient. It takes a long time for your baby to use a spoon. In fact, she won't be great at it until well into toddler-hood in some cases.

4) Expect a mess. Food will be flung, dripped, dropped and splattered. Be prepared to clean up afterwards. Just remember that in order to learn, your baby has to try repeatedly.

5) Use a spoon to help teach your baby. This is especially good advice if there is concern for baby getting enough food. Try to sneak a spoonful of food in between baby's attempts so he can see how to do it and copy. If baby protests to your help, let him be. Offering finger foods is another option.

6) Encourage and praise baby for her attempts. She may get more on the floor and her clothes than in her mouth, but the important thing is she tried. Starting to use a spoon is something to be proud of, so let her know what a great thing it is.