Finger foods for little ones

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Categories Feeding, Foodie Fridays, Infants, Solid Foods13 Comments

Foodie Friday

So, for the first Foodie Friday post, I thought I’d talk about finger foods—a topic that is near and dear to my heart now that my kids are ten months old. (Seriously, when did that happen???). If you have a topic you’d like to see covered, just post it in the comments. 

We started solid foods at six months, waiting until then because the pediatrician said that breastmilk was all they needed until that point. And, honestly, I had no desire to add one more task into my day if I didn’t need to. We did the usual purees…..rice cereal, pears, applesauce, sweet potatoes. The usual favorites. We introduced more first foods in the next few months, and then…..I realized they were old enough to start finger foods. Yikes! Choking hazards, chewing issues (Can they chew without any teeth? Well, yes, those gums are hard, but still….more things to worry about), another new thing to start. So, I asked around. I talked to people. I talked some more. And then I got the best advice…..try rice krispies. A handful on their tray for them to play with. They are small (no choking!), dissolve quickly (again, no choking), have no wheat (our pedi recommended no wheat until a year, due to a family history of Celiac’s disease), cheap and easy. Huh. So, one night, when they were about eight months old, we tried them. A handful on each tray….the kids were entranced. This was different! They actually spent 20 minutes trying to pick them up. Wow…not only did I get to try something they were ready for, I got 20 minutes to empty the dishwasher, prepare their meals for the next day and get ready for bathtime. Abigail was able to get a few krispies up, Danny, not so much. But, this became our nightly routine. Krispies for kiddos, chores for Mommy. We were all happy. And, within a week or so, Danny could pick up those krispies too. We moved on to chunks of avocado (yummy, but slippery), shredded cheese at nine months (such a hit!), smooshed beans (really, really a hit….any kind will do), pieces of ripe pear (also slippery), shreds of ripe apple, and little pieces of peaches. Now, at ten months, they would prefer to eat with their own fingers than with the spoon. And, while this streak of independence is great (so people tell me) it comes down to this….what do I feed them every night? Really, they have only two half-teeth between them. Both Danny’s. They aren’t allowed to have wheat, honey, egg whites, strawberries, nuts, peanuts……so what do I feed them???!!! I’ll list my ideas down below, and those of you with other great brainstorms, share them with us!

Pieces of fruit (pears, apples, peaches).

Avocado

Strips of egg yolk

Rice krispies/ Bunny Love (funny named gluten-free cereal)

Beans (black/red/kidney/baked)

Cooked pasta

Cooked sweet potato

Shredded cheese/cubed cheese/slices of cheese (my kiddos love cheese in any form—wonder who they got that from?)

Frozen waffles (yep, you can get gluten-free anything at Whole Foods!)

 Next week…..you’ve fed the kids, now what do you eat?

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The First Months: Actually Leaving the House

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Categories Breastfeeding, Feeding, Formula, Infants, Pregnancy, Travel5 Comments

After a particularly successful outing with my nine month olds, I was reviewing the trip, analyzing it to figure out exactly why it went so well. And although I doubt I could duplicate the success of the day, I have noticed a few themes that occur more often than not on our good days. As such, I would like to pass along a few tidbits I have learned over the last few months…most of which I learned the the hard way!

When I brought home my two little screaming bundles of joy from the hospital, I was so relieved to be freed from the confines of my pregnant belly, that I couldn’t wait to get out and about without the careful chaperoning of my husband. However, as a new MoM, I wasn’t going anywhere with out said shrieking bundles. The first few weeks I had lots of family help, and was chauffeured as I wasn’t able to drive post c-section. But bright and early on a Monday morning, 3 weeks after Faith and Jonathan were born, I was on my own. So what did I do on my first day flying solo? Well, I went to the mall.

I desperately needed to be around people, and simply could not tolerate being in the house another day without going a little stir crazy. I can’t remember much about that trip, but I do remember the drive home, because both babies were WAILING the whole time. My hormonal nerves were frayed, and I begged each red light to change. Obviously, I had pushed the envelope, and was now paying for it. I arrived home with two babies who were certain they were starving, and were going to pass out if they were not fed right now! After feeding them, they quieted, and my stress level lessened. I realized that I should have fed the babies prior to loading them into the car and heading home…and that is tip #1. Always plan your outings around your feedings.

Babies with full tummies travel and tolerate changes much better than hungry babies. Expect your newborns to need to be fed while you are out and about, and prepare for it. If your babies are drinking their milk in bottles, they can be fed two at a time while in their carseats. If you will need a private place to breastfeed, consider nursing in your vehicle, or in a handicapped changing room. The handicapped rooms have enough room for maneuvering a double or triple stroller, and are great for quick diaper changes, far removed from the prying eyes of all those interested in your “double trouble” duo.

My second tip would be to #2. Quit while you are ahead. And by this I mean, reconsider your time-line. Before I was a mom, I could easily go from one store/activity to the next, with barely a bathroom break in between. But my little ones do not have the ability to go from location to location without a break. Lets face it, no matter how scheduled we try to be, there is nothing like two or more infants to throw a wrench in your perfectly choreographed day. If you overbook your day, or your expectations are too high, you might find yourself frustrated, and itching to check just one more thing off of your to-do list. I vividly recall feeling so annoyed that my babies would barely tolerate one (1.7 mile) trip around the park….didn’t they know that Mama does two laps? I definitely had to change my thinking.

Today, we left our outing with enough time to get home for naps, and before the kids melted down. In this way, I ended the trip feeling quite pleased with our day, rather than put out that I couldn’t window shop/walk/sip my coffee longer.

Lastly, I want to talk about # 3. Technique. The idea of loading and unloading my kiddos from the house to the car and getting them into different restaurants/stores/doctor’sappointments was overwhelming for me. Before I gave birth, I couldn’t imagine how to do it. My babies were in infant car seats from 0-6 months. To get us out the door, I would:

  1. Load babies into car seats, and place by front door.
  2. Run purse, water bottle and diaperbag out to car, and start it with A/C or heat on, depending on the weather.
  3. Carry the babies to the car and snap them in. When they got older and heavier, I would leave one on the front porch, and snap the sibling into the carseat base.
  4. Repeat.

From six months on, we have been using convertible car seats. The trick that I employ is placing a pac-n-play by the front door as a “staging area.” I will take one child out to the car and come back for their sibling, who was contained in a safe place. This has become especially useful as the babies have recently started to crawl. Using the pac-n-play provides me with peace of mind as I shovel the walkway, or scrape ice from our windshield.

I also like to keep a bjorn or similar carrying device tucked into the basket of my stroller. This has come in very handy during meltdowns, and I can comfort one by carrying them while having my hands free to push the other baby in the stroller. It is hard on the back, but then again, nearly everything about motherhood hurts my back!

Also, whenever possible, I park near handicap entrances, and utilize the ramp, automatic doors and lower curbs. And a good trick for grocery shopping or doing your Target run…place one infant carrier in the front of the cart, and carry the other in a bjorn or sling. This leaves your cart free for your purchases.

Leaving the house with two babies is absolutely possible, and totally necessary for the mental health of MoM. Remember, you are strong and capable! The way I figure it, the very worst thing that could happen is both babies could cry/scream/poop/pee/vomit and you could turn into a hormonal pile of mush. Face it, that could just as easily happen at home! But at least this way, you can make good use of the Starbucks drive-thru!

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Full moon philosophies

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Categories Breastfeeding, FeedingTags , , , 6 Comments

If you look up in the sky tonight around nine, you’ll be lucky to witness a total lunar eclipse. Tonight also happens to be a full moon, which you’ll get to see in all its glory about an hour later. I’m a pretty grounded girl, but I never underestimate the power of our solar/lunar cycles. It never ceases to amaze me that on days where everything is out of whack, where our boys seem to be utterly possessed, I come to realize that it’s a full moon. It gives me a strange comfort to believe that they’ll snap out of it by tomorrow, and in most cases – whether it’s the moon’s doing or not – they do.

I have a good friend who gave me a pearl of wisdom before I gave birth to the boys. In a nutshell, she said that there will be days, weeks, maybe months that will seem impossible and never-ending. But each phase is just that – a phase – that will end and initiate something new and different. So when you are in the midst of an utter craptastic place with your babies and you think you just can’t take another day…take heart. It will end. Maybe not tomorrow, but one day soon. Of course like all good advice, I forgot it immediately upon hearing it.

We had some trouble when it came to my grand plan of nursing the boys. I remember the boys being three months old and I thought our woes would last a lifetime. Pile reflux/spitting/misery on top of screaming on top of mastitis on top of having to nurse them while bouncing on a stability ball. Every new mom I knew was relishing the relief that the three month milestone brought them, while I was in the midst of my very own personal hell. And then somehow I remembered that little nugget of advice and I chose to just give it a few more days – okay a few more weeks – before throwing in the towel. Low and behold, four months was our magic number. It was also the time we decided to sleep train the boys. Whatever caused it, we were suddenly in a much different and better place.

Since then I have held this wisdom a little closer and it has never let me down. I call it, “it changes as fast as it changes.” A catch-phrase that is much easier for my suboptimal postpartum brain to remember. And remember.

So tonight I’m going to make a special point of going out onto our patio to witness this dual lunar event. I may even bring a glass of wine and sit on our weathered patio chairs for a while. You know, really take it in. I want it to remind me that moments are fleeting, that things really do change as fast as they change. And how beautiful it is to just soak in the moment, even when you feel you can’t take another second of it.

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