Healthy Toddler Meal Ideas

7/8/14

I get a TON of emails about what to feed your child when they get to the age when they have mastered solid foods but haven't exactly mastered the spoon but refuse to let you feed them. Does that sound like your child? It's definitely mine! If he can't pick it up with his hands, he doesn't want it!

Here is a non-comprehensive list of healthy meal ideas (and maybe snacks) for Toddlers:


Main Entree
Paleo Pancake Bites
Well-cooked Scrambled Eggs
Fresh Fruit-flavored Oatmeal Squeeze Pouches*
Baked Chicken Tenders
Shredded Chicken Breast
Shredded Baked Turkey Breast
Seasoned Ground Turkey
Turkey Burger with Melted Organic Cheese (No Bun)
Seasoned Ground Beef
Hamburger with Melted Organic Cheese (No Bun)
Uncured, Organic, Grass-fed Beef Hot Dog Bites
No Sugar Added, Organic Uncured Bacon
Avocado Chicken Quesadilla

Accompanying Side Dishes
Strawberries
Blueberries
Blackberries
Raspberries
Grapes, Green or Red
Bite-sized Fresh Peaches
Peeled Mandarin Oranges
Apple Cubes
Cinnamon Applesauce Squeeze Pouches*
Cucumbers
Steamed Bite-sized Carrots
Sauteed Zucchini
Sauteed Squash
Baked Sweet Potato Cubes
Organic Cheese Bites
Whole milk-fat Organic Yogurt Squeeze Pouches*
Organic Kefir Squeeze Pouches*

*Squeeze pouches with minimal ingredients can be purchased at your local grocer OR you can make your own squeeze pouches. Look for a review of the Infantino Fresh Squeezed system soon.*


What else is on your list? Is one of these your child's favorite?
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Disney with an Infant: General Tips

7/2/14


The thought of going to any of the Disney theme parks with an infant might make you want to squirm right out of your seat, but it doesn't have to! Now you will definitely have to adjust these tips to suit your needs (ie. family size, time of the year, etc.) but in general, here are some tips we wanted to pass along from our trip with our then, 11-month son.
 

1. Invest in a comfortable wearable baby carrier. We LOVE our baby carrier, the Boba 3G Baby Carrier (I searched for a long time before I bought anything and I made sure the carrier would fit myself - 5'2'' and my husband 6'2''.) The Disney parks DO allow you to ride on a ride with your baby strapped to you - this is essential if they are sleeping or at that age when they don't want to sit still. I wore Bryce the ENTIRE time we were there and it was a great experience. (Just be cognizant of the temperature in Orlando at the time of your trip - you don't want your baby to overheat or for you to get too hot.)
 

2. Bring your own stroller. Although we didn't bring our own stroller since I wore Bryce the entire time, it would have been VERY helpful to have our stroller had we intended upon staying the entire day. The strollers that are available for rent are hard plastic and not easy for a smaller child to sleep in. If you bring your own, you can recline the stroller and allow the child to take a snooze while you wander around the park, eat some lunch, etc. Stroller parking is available outside of lines for rides. Just be sure that any money or other valuable items are kept with you at all times. Another tip: Label your stroller.

3.  Get Your Timing Right. While it's important to time your visit with the weather patterns in Orlando, I'm actually talking about timing with respect to when you actually visit the park. If your child typically takes two naps, going early in the morning, allowing the child to nap in the stroller for nap #1, enjoying the park after they wake up and heading back to your hotel for nap #2 in a crib or pack and play in the afternoon may be your best bet. You can always go back after nap #2 if you are close enough to the park, but this way your child gets one REALLY good nap in out of the sun and away from the noise and lights of the park. (I don't know about your child, but this is the only method that worked to ensure he would sleep at night.)


4. Take advantage of the Disney Baby Care Centers. There is a baby care center in each park - did you know that? It's pretty awesome! They have several large cushioned changing pads with diapers, wipes, etc available for purchase if you forget yours (see below about packing). The air conditioned area also has high chairs and little tables for the little ones to eat and a FULL KITCHEN where you can prep food if needed (NOTE: this is only available if you have a child). The area is staffed and well maintained! Be sure to locate the Baby Care Center in each park that you visit before you go so that you can plan your time at the park and be sure you always have an easy place to take a rest, feed or change a diaper.

5. Pack Appropriately. Don't forget what all you will need for the day! Since you are allowed to bring food into the Disney parks, squeeze pouches with food (and a reusable frozen pouch if the items need refrigeration) are a very easy option for food at the park for your little one. We also sliced fresh fruit and had it cooled in our mini cooler. Diapers, wipes, and sunscreen are also important items that should be on your list. Lockers are available - I would recommend taking advantage of these. Who wants to lug all that stuff around all day?


6. Have Fun! Try not to be so rigid with your normal nap and feeding schedules and making sure you hit every attraction you want to visit. Remember this is a leisure trip - have fun and try (yes, try) to roll with the punches!

Do you have a Disney tip you want to share?

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Disney with an Infant: The First Haircut

6/30/14


Everyone thought we were crazy for taking our then 11-month child to Disney, but more so because we were doing it for his first haircut. While I will admit, it's definitely a luxury and an experience that is more for the parent than the child, we don't regret (for even a second) that we took Bryce to Disney! Having his hair cut on Main Street USA at the Barber Shop in the Magic Kingdom was beyond adorable and the pictures and sheer joy that we witnessed on his face was priceless!

This may be a more cost-effective trip if you already have a planned vacation with older children and their younger sibling is coming along, but having a child's haircut is one of the most reasonably priced activities at the Disney parks that I have found yet (Other than the fact that you have to purchase admission to the park and parking - children under 3 are free). The costs of the "first haircut package" is $19, which includes a haircut, stickers, memento locks of hair, a certificate and "My First Haircut" Mickey Ears. Children not desiring the package are $15 for a haircut and $19 for an adult haircut (hey, you are there, why not?!?). Be sure you make an appointment at least a week or two out, especially if you are going on a weekend! 


So how was the haircut? The experience was great! In fact, we haven't been able to match it at all back home - not even at the kids hair cutting places! He was immediately given stickers to play with while the stylist talked to us about how much we actually wanted to cut off. The stylist went to town on cutting his hair. As he moved, so did she - the squirmy-ness of an almost one month old had nothing on her skill! When he got tired of the stickers (or as you will see, he decided they didn't taste good), he was given toys to occupy him until the cut was complete. 




Such a fun experience! Have you considered or actually doing a haircut at a Disney park? If so, how was your experience?

Looking for general tips about taking an infant to a Disney park? Check this post out!

Want to know where I got Bryce's shirt? I made it! Email me at tiffany@tiffanystaples.com and I can make one for you too!
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Refocusing the Blog... What You Can Expect

6/28/14

Let's make this quick and painless... I wanted to clue you in on a change of heart I had two nights ago. While sitting at the table with my husband, I said a few things to him that not only downed myself and my mood, but made him a little wary as to if my position within the blogging world was really mentally healthy.

You see... I struggle with self-doubt. I often don't write posts because I don't think you want to know what my life is really like - chasing a now running 13-month old around the house all day long, making dinners and lunches, spending every moment of Bryce's nap times working instead of doing anything for myself - including taking a shower. But that's going to change.

I am NOT one of these pretty little fitness model types anymore. Don't get me wrong - I go to the gym almost every day. It gives me about an hour of uninterrupted time and it gives Bryce a chance to play with other kids and take direction from someone other than myself, Jim or his grandparents. I'm definitely still into fitness and I truly believe that I know what I'm talking about and can help a lot of people, but it's just not all of my life anymore. Quick fact about me: You won't see many selfies on my Instagram feed, I despise taking selfies - especially pictures of my abs! (Although they look pretty fab nowadays!)

Going forward, I'm going to write about what's on my heart. Like my post about saving money for college yesterday - that's been on my heart and on my mind. Consider me a mommy blogger here at tiffanystaples.com, a health and fitness blogger at heandsheeatclean.com and a creative blogger at creativematrimony.com. Sometimes my lives will blend together, but here on this blog, it's all about one thing - my life. Whatever that may be at the moment.

Love,
Tiffany