Category: Food and Drink
I’ve had a few people ask about the cookies I made for Harper’s 5th Birthday Party. (see more pics on Instagram: @spearmintbaby. My sugar cookie recipe is super EASY & SO YUMMY. & the best part is that it takes no baking skill at all! Following the cookie recipe are a few tips on frosting your cookies. Frosting is the hardest part. It takes time, but follow my frosting recipe and purchase the handy tool I mention & your cookies will look amazing!
Sugar Cookie Recipe:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. You do NOT need a fancy beater to make the dough. It is easier, but if you are willing to stir and knead a LOT you can get your dough to look like this with no problem:
Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (I usually chill overnight). If you do chill overnight, take the dough out of the fridge about 1 hour before you are ready to start rolling it out. That way it will soften up a bit before rolling it out.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. I keep LOTS of flour on hand and I like to flour up my rolling pin so the dough does not stick.
Cut shapes with desired cookie cutters. My #5 cookie cutters are from this set (it was only $7.65 on amazon): R & M Number 9 Piece Cookie Cutter Set
Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased non stick cookie sheets. If your cookie sheets are older you can use a bit of cooking spray. I like Pam’s Baking Spray
Bake each batch of cookies 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely before decorating. EASY!
on FROSTING them…
If you don’t already own one, get yourself a Wilton Dessert Decorator Plus
For $10.99 this little machine will make your cookie decorating soooo much easier! You will love it!
COOKIE FROSTING RECIPE
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tsp corn syrup
2 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract and corn syrup to a medium bowl. Mix. Slowly add more milk until you get the desired consistency. If you want a runnier frosting add more milk, for a thicker frosting don’t add much at all!
For these cookies I used about 3.5 teaspoons of milk. Once you have the desired consistency of frosting, add your food coloring. No real rules for this, just keep adding and stirring until you have your desired color! You can mix colors too. I mixed pink and yellow to get the peachy-orange color frosting.
Pour (or scoop if it is too thick) your frosting into your Wilton Decorator Plus. I used the decorator attachment with the long nozzle and the smallest round hole. My #5 cookies were small and the shape was tricky so obviously I needed more precision & the small hole allowed me to really control the flow of frosting. I like to outline the cookies first and then fill in. Keep your Wilton Decorator Plus tilted/at an angle while decorating so that the frosting does not come out too fast!
After I frosted, I added Wilton Candy Eyeballs.
I had read that the eyeballs turned green if you place them on cookies too early. I didn’t have this problem, although I made my cookies only 2 days before the party. As soon as I frosted each cookie, I placed the eyeballs on. The frosting holds the eyeballs in place. If you do want to add eyeballs later (after the frosting is dry) just use a little corn syrup as “glue” for your eyeballs!
Leave cookies out for about 1 hour to dry. You can store in tupperware, then refrigerate or if you are short on space (i was) you can place cookies in freezer bags and stack flat in your freezer. I served the cookies from the freezer 2 days later and they were absolutely delicious. They were the only food item of the party that was completely eaten up!
P.S. I use this exact same recipe for all of my holiday cookies… Christmas, Hannukah, Valentine’s Day, etc
I’ve been wanting to try out this new Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting Recipe & thought Halloween was the perfect excuse! I only had about an hour this morning so the cupcakes are made with the help of Betty Crocker. The new frosting recipe is super delicious (fluffy, light, buttery, all those good adjectives!) Baking/cooking is unfortunately not my natural talent, and I’ll need to practice a lot to perfect the recipe…the frosting turned out kinda lumpy. Fortunately, my kids didn’t seem to mind!
Want to try it?
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer
Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes.
Add the vanilla and soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.
* all party supplies from Hobby Lobby
* wallpaper backdrop = Enchant Black Wallpaper
Any Sprinkles Cupcake fans out there? Now that we live in AZ we have a Sprinkles store that is about 5 minutes away!
Last week Sprinkles invited us over to check out their commemorative Prince of Cambridge gender reveal cupcakes. Harper & Rex helped me taste test them & then we got to bring a box home. They LOVED that the cupcakes are filled with blue frosting! They also thought it was cool that you could eat the sugary name disk on top!
P.S. check out Sprinkles Gender Reveal Cupcakes. They would be so much fun to surprise family with your baby’s gender!
A few weeks ago I noticed that I’d been throwing out a lot of overripe bananas. So I got on this big smoothie kick and at this point am addicted! This purple smoothie is what my kids have been eating for dessert, breakfast, snack… so easy and sooo healthy.
I’ve been purchasing bulk greek yogurt and almond butter at COSTCO. I love that Costco is selling a lot of healthier products lately. We are so obsessed with almond butter. It has much less sugar than the peanut butter I used to buy– I really don’t think I will ever buy peanut butter again!
So, the recipe goes something like this:
* dump a cup or 2 of greek yogurt into your blender
* add a few tbsp of almond butter
* add your overripe banana (I usually throw about 3 of them in!)
* throw in a couple cups of frozen blueberries
I honestly never measure. It takes too long and it really doesn’t matter how much of everything you put in. If you like it sweet just add a few packages of sweet and low or honey.
BTW, I’d love to hear about what you put in your smoothies!
I’m not Irish, but I do love this holiday. SO-MUCH-FUN! In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I thought I’d share 4 GREEN treats that may be fun to try with your children this weekend. Or perhaps bookmark for the next rainy day?
I’m making the emerald mint milkshakes for our Sunday afternoon dessert. The recipe is super simple:
1 pint (2 cups) vanilla ice cream
1 cup of milk
McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
1/4 teaspoon green food coloring
green glitter sprinkles or green candy topping
Place ice cream, milk, peppermint extract and green food color in blender container; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into glasses. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles, if desired. Serve immediately.
For more fun food ideas for children check out my Pinterest Board: FOOD 4 CHILDREN
Do you try to keep track of what your kids are eating? Sometimes I feel like we eat wayyy tooo many snacks around here. I get tired and lazy and my lunches are often PB & J on whole grain bread. Today we did doggy house sandwiches!
What is your best “go to” easy, lazy day children’s lunch? I need some new ideas!
Leave it to Color Me Katie to come up with this clever idea! I’m hoping to make some cute Marshmallow Faces for our hot cocoa this weekend. The weather has been BRUTAL this week!
Katie used a paint brush + icing + food coloring. If you involve your kids in this activity it may be easier to use Edible Color Markers
Good morning! Today I am going to start a series of posts from my BLUE baby shower. Most of these posts will be simple “how tos” on recreating some of the elements for that day. I kept things pretty simple since I tend to get impatient with complex DIY ideas.
BLUE BABY SHOWER PUNCH:
about 3 2 L bottles of Sprite Zero (or any clear soda)
1-2 pkgs Kool-Aid Twists Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade (substitute pink lemonade Kool-Aid for pink punch!)
1 bag of ice
* 12 Ball® Regular Mouth Pint Jars with Lids $15.99 for 12
* Glass beverage dispenser from Target (I didn’t see it online & purchased in the store for $24.99) I like the way the shape of it matched the mason jars.
* I also offered water in a Threshold™ Glass Water Bottle – Elephant Gray (1 Liter), $9.99
* Aqua Party Drink Kit, I purchased a set of 12 for $9.99 (including shipping) My party was only 6 so it was affordable and easy to have the set premade. For larger parties it would be probably be cheaper to buy twine, cardstock, & straws in bulk.
* mini chalkboards from Joann Fabrics. I purchased 12 for $3.49, and used one of them to label the punch.
Get baking with these spooky Halloween recipes for kids. These recipes are sure to have your kids laughing and there are some less scary ones thrown in for the littlest ones in your family. My personal favourite is the Halloween ghost cupcakes, they are so adorable that they make you are the scary one eating them up!
Don’t forget that tomorrow (01/11/11) is the last day of our Win a SUPPORi baby sling competition – get your entry in before it’s too late!
Click more to see more scary Halloween recipes and read the full post (more…)
Even though it’s not actually that long ago that I finished nursing Little A (just eightish months ago), I was wondering if it would be a similar experience nursing this time around, or if it would be different – maybe even harder? So I was happy to find that it really is just like riding a bike.
Baby L was just as quick to latch on and get into as Little A was and I was happy to find it was less painful for those first couple of weeks than it was last time. Luckily, both of my babies have been great nursers, since they both had a lot of weight to gain in their first days, weeks and months. Alec because he lost a ton of weight in his first days, and Louis because he was born teeny tiny.
Producing enough milk is something that I think all mothers think about, especially in the beginning. And I was determined to be more conscious of my production this time around, knowing that it would be harder to think of myself with two little ones around. I would also like to be able to build up a better freezer stash of pumped milk to last through weaning this time. For me, this simply means making sure I am getting enough nutritious food to eat and that I am staying really really hydrated. Also, I am eating lactation cookies like it’s my job.
Lactation cookies are built on the concept of “galactogogues” – substances that promote lactation by increasing milk supply. I think they work. Here is my recipe for lactation cookies. Have a couple with a glass of milk and enjoy!
- 6 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons flaxseed meal (Also known as Linseed meal) – found it at Whole Foods
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons of brewers yeast – Whole Foods
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix flax seed and water and let stand for 5ish minutes
- Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and flax/water mixture.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, brewers yeast and cinnamon and add it to the rest.
- Stir in chocolate and oats
- Spoon onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 mins, just until golden brown. They’ll firm up once they are cool. (Makes 4-6 dozen depending on how big you make them)
Sensory play is so important for little children and baking is a great way to get started.
Little A spends quite a bit of time with me in the kitchen. Usually he plays on the floor while I prepare our meals, but if he is having trouble entertaining himself, I often pull up a high chair to the counter where I am working, and let him get involved (the antilop chair is better for this than the Tripp Trapp since it’s not as wide at the base and therefore gets Alec closer to the counter). We talk about what we are making and I narrate as I chop and stir. When I can, I let Alec smell and taste small pieces of food as I am cooking. I also try to do things down low in front of him so he can see what I am stirring etc.
The other day while baking oat cakes, I actually just brought all the dry ingredients down with me onto the floor so that Alec could really be involved. First I counted as I measured out the oats and put them in the bowl. He “helped” and we ended up with some oats on the floor, but so what? Then we measured out cinnamon and cardamom and added them to the bowl, stirred and stopped to smell the spices.
Then I put Alec in his high chair at the table and got him set up with his own bowl and spoon to stir with. I used the Unbelievabowl so he could get into stirring without the whole thing flying off the table. I didn’t bother with a smock or anything as we weren’t going to be using anything that wouldn’t wash off easily. While I continued with my baking at the table, I measured up some oats for Alec to work with in his bowl. He stirred and “chopped” and scooped and was completely fascinated. He pressed and felt the oats between his fingers and of course tasted some as well.
After awhile I added first just a few drops of water and let him stir to see what happened to the oats and how they changed consistency. Then I added more water so that Alec had a real “batter” to work with. He did a lot more stirring and scooping and mushing around with his fingers. And tasting.
Alec actually kept himself so busy with this activity that I had time to finish baking and get a head start on that evening’s dinner before he ever got tired of it.
There is so much sensory exploration you can do in the kitchen using just the simplest ingredients and utensils. It is a great way to start thinking and talking about our senses with our little ones!
You can find the oat cakes recipe here.
I’ve thought about my diet more during this pregnancy than ever before. Although I’ve never been a soda or packaged food junkie, I have always had my weaknesses (namely cheesy pasta, cheesy potatoes, and any kind of breakfast or dessert pastry ; ) – and even when I’ve generally tried to eat healthier, I’ve certainly never followed a master planned diet.
But since getting pregnant and starting to prepare for a natural birth, I’ve learned about how important extra protein is for preventing certain complications, and about the way pregnancy can make it hard for your body to process insulin like it normally does. I’ve been trying (maybe struggling is a more apt word) to cram in those 80-100 grams of protein per day, and eat a balance of protein, healthy carbohydrates (meaning whole grains or fruits / veggies) and healthy fats (mainly from nuts, olive oil or avocado) at every sitting.
Eating for optimal health, energy and breast milk production will of course be equally important after the baby is born, but it’s hard enough for me to make the effort now – I can’t imagine keeping up with it on top of tending to a baby around the clock. I know myself, I’d resort to eating nothing but cereal after the first sleepless night! So I’ve been thinking a lot about how Mr. Floret Cadet and I can both eat healthy food in those immediate post baby weeks when we’re hunkered down at home, without having to spend a ton of time, energy, or money to do it.
Here are the options I’m considering:
Make Sunday breakfast a little more artistic!
*White toast sliced bread
Pour a small amount of milk into a container and add food colouring for your desired shades. You can use natural colourings if you wish, although be aware that it may impart the flavour to the toast.
**Don’t paint too much milk on your bread or it will get wet/soggy!
recipe and photos by Sunday Hotpants
Lets talk birthday cake for a second…
Have you noticed the fancy, themed cakes at children’s birthday parties lately? A lot of them have more tiers than my wedding cake!
Whatever happened to home made cakes? Growing up my mom always whipped up something pretty delicious. It was usually from a box & I’m pretty sure never cost more than $5-$10! Betty Crocker makes it sooo easy… I guess nowadays we have so little time. It is a lot easier to leave it up to the bakery, right?
When Harper turned 3 last December she asked me for a PURPLE & PINK cake. I knew that I wanted to make her something in my own oven. After buying all of the ingredients she offered to be my assistant. So, we decided that she would get to decorate her OWN cake. It was her birthday after all!
I covered the cake with purple frosting, then she helped squeeze out the yellow piping. She also wanted an Elmo face. ((do i dare take credit?)) After that she went at it with glitter & sprinkles.
She did a fabulous job & enjoyed cake decorating so much that we’ve decided to make this a birthday tradition!
So, what about you? Are you Team “Bakery” or Team “Homemakery“?
Baby #2 is due to arrive in a few weeks so so many things are going to be changing around here. Next week we pick up our double stroller and soon it will be time to reorganize my diaper bag to suit two little ones. But for now I’m only carrying what I need for Little A, who is now just past 18 months old.
Here is what is in my diaper bag right now:
- Diaper Bag. Kate by MZ Wallace. I’ve raved about it here.
- JJ Cole Stroller Clips. These sit on the handle bars of our stroller and I just clip my diaper bag on and off.
- Changing Pad. I use the one that came with my bag.
- Diaper Cream. I like Desitin‘s creams and tend to carry one of their maximum strength ones in my diaper bag.
- Diapers. I usually just carry three Pampers Cruisers/Active Fit Diapers. It’s overkill since we rarely even need to change diapers when we’re out and about lately, and almost never need to change more than once.
- Wet Ones Antibacterial Wipes. Especially convenient for changes on the go. I like to use one before and one after each diaper change.
- Baby Wipes. We use Natusan. I like that they are mild enough to use on Little A’s hands and face as well.
- Boogie Wipes. I’ve raved about them earlier here. I hope we are at the end of this year’s cold season, but until now they have been very good to carry along.
- Pacifier. We haven’t succeeded in transitioning Alec from his Wubbanub pacifiers to a more age-appropriate/tooth-friendly pacifier, so I usually have one of his little monkeys in my bag.
- Take & Toss spoons. Spoons are good to have and I like that it doesn’t matter if these don’t make it home with us.
- Snack Trap and Snacks. Usually Alec has cheerios and oat cereal in his Munchkin Snack Catcher.
- Snacks for Mum. I try to keep a little bag of nuts/dried fruit (the snack pouches you can get at Trader Joe’s are perfect) or a bar in case of emergency munchies. I love the Two Degrees bars since every bar bought also means a meal goes to someone who needs it badly.
- Fruit. Alec and I usually share an apple on the way home from the park and a banana is such a great go-to snack if we miss a proper meal at home.
- Squeezies. We mostly use Ella’s Kitchen right now. I like the squeezies that are mixed veggies and fruit and sometimes give Alec one of those with something else as a snack on the go.
- Water in a Sippy Cup.
- A Pashmina Sjal. I keep one rolled up in one of the side pockets as a stroller cover or extra cover-up/blanket for Little A or me.
- Sunglasses. For Mum and Baby.
- Mobile Phone. I have a Sony Xperia Arc S with a huge touch screen and all the fixings that I LOVE.
- Wallet and Spare Change for Coffee. At our wonderful playground you can actually buy coffee, fruit, yogurt and other snacks for kids and parents.
I also keep a nylon bag in the bottom “basket” of our stroller, full of “back-up” stuff that is often good to have when we’re out and about but that I don’t need to drag up and down to our apartment with me every time (our stroller lives in the stroller room in the foyer of our building). Here is what is in that bag right now:
- Bag. Longchamp. I have a million of these and always bring one along when we travel since you can fold them up so they take no space at all and then bring them out if you over-shop. Which happens.
- Blankets. A sun cover by ROSK, muslin swaddling blankets by Aden & Anais, and a thicker cotton blanket from Polarn O. Pyret.
- Sun screen. I am kind of a maniac about sun protection. We are using Neutrogena Pure & Free right now. I keep a tube of it by the changing table so that we can slather it on before we go out and then I keep a stick in our parent console on the stroller for touch-ups.
- An assortment of hats. Usually from Polarn O. Pyret. Again, I am pretty obsessed with sun protection so Alec is pretty much always wearing a hat when we are outside. Either to keep him warm if there is a chill, or to protect him from the sun.
- Shopping Cart/High Chair Cover. We have one from Balboa Baby. We don’t use it a ton, but every time we do, I am so glad that we have it.
- Rain Pants & Rubber Boots. As I mentioned here, Swedish weather isn’t always the best, but children play outside daily regardless. We keep these fabulous rain pants and a pair of rubber boots in our stroller in case of wet mucky weather. If the sandbox is more of a mud bath, we just pull these over Alec’s pants and jacket and everything and then pull them off again when we’ve finished playing. Fab!
- Snack Pack. I keep a Smitten Baby Wet Tote packed with back-up snacks, pre-mixed “välling“, a bottle, some take and toss spoons and a sippy, a few squeezies, cereal and a snack trap, and a bottle of water. Just in case.
- Bucket and spade. Our playground at the park is actually staffed (two full time positions, 9-5, seven days a week!) so there are buckets and spades and a ton of other toys available all day long. But sometimes we end up staying past 5 when everything is removed and Alec usually throws a fit when “his” bucket is taken away. So we keep a back-up set in the stroller.
- Change of clothes. It’s a given with babies that the one time you are not carrying a back-up change of clothes, that is the time your baby will puke all over himself or your toddler will beat you to the mud puddle. I don’t think we’ve almost ever had to use our emergency change, but I always carry it anyway.
What’s in your diaper bag?
Choosing a Double Stroller was an adventure – click here to read all about it!
What do you do when you have 2 quarts of cherry tomatoes that NEED to be eaten? I just came across these adorable little tomato toadstools. (made out of cherry tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, and feta cheese on top). FUN food for the kids for lunch today.
& for dessert…how about toadstool cupcakes? HA!
If you’re having the fam over for a holiday meal this year, don’t forget about the little guys. Here are a six inspiring ideas for the kids’ table:
1. Craft paper + crayons
2. Chalkboard paint + chalk (minus the vino)
4. Clearly a fun activity
5. Paper cutouts
It served us well, but Violet is quickly becoming too old for her high chair and tray. She loves to sit on the ‘big girl chairs’ at the table and eat from a plate with utensils. (Utensils, people – where did my little baby go?!) I’ve been on the hunt for some proper dinnerware and seating for our little lady (okay, she still likes to prop her feet up on the table while she’s eating, but ya know). Here are a few fun products that have made my short list:
Admittedly, she may have to be a little older to use the food face dinner plate, seeing as how it’s ceramic and all and sometimes Violet still likes to, oops! hurl her plate full force drop things on the floor, but I couldn’t resist adding it.
What are your favorite products for little eaters? I’d love some suggestions!
The most stressful part of my day? Mealtime. Whether it’s coaxing my 4-year-old to eat something or teaching my 18-month-old to stop throwing food on the floor, dinner often feels like a circus. Remind me why we have to do this 3 – sometimes 4 – times a day?
But I’ve found that having the right tools can make things much easier. I’m sharing my mealtime essentials for home or on the go at Houzz. Check it out here!
I’m currently off working on artwork for the opening of my Etsy shop and have some fabulous guest bloggers filling in for me over on my blog, with two cats, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite past children’s posts with you this week:
Children’s Party Ideas:
Everything is more fun when it is rainbow colored, don’t you think? I know my kids would love these cute pancakes. YES, artificial coloring is NOT good for you but I do believe in “everything in moderation!”
Do you have a favorite “fun food” to make for your kids?
P.S.S. more Strawberries…I love them!
We’ve had a lot of issues with our daughter Violet when it comes to eating solids due a rare condition called FPIES, or Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome. Sounds complicated, but basically it means that she is allergic to the proteins in certain foods. (If you’d like a little more detail, see the longer version of this post over on my blog, with two cats.)
Although I doubt that many of you have the same issues that we’ve experienced with Violet, a lot of this can pertain to any kid who is picky with food, dislikes certain tastes, or has issues in general with eating solids, so I hope some of you find it helpful! Here’s what has worked for us:
Tips for Little Eaters:
1. Start with something bland. Violet’s prescription formula is very VERY bland, and we made the mistake of trying to start solids with apples. Let’s just say it was a LOT more flavor that she was used to and it didn’t go well. We went back to the drawing board and tried potatoes instead. Although she still wasn’t thrilled, it went much more smoothly than apples. We then slowly built up to carrots, apples, and so on up the taste ladder.
(Violet is currently eating plums, broccoli*, carrots, blueberries**, potatoes, avocado, prunes, and freeze-dried apples. Why no meat, grains, or dairy? No, we’re not vegans. FPIES kids react least often to fruits and veggies, although we may be trying a meat next.)
*Okay so she just bites it and then spits it out, but it’s progress! **She eats the insides and spits out the skin. I’ll take it.
2. Stick with what works. Once you’ve found a food that gets good reviews (Violet eventually decided she really loved freeze-dried apples and pureed carrots) stick with that for a little while in order to build basic eating skills (chewing, swallowing, and the like) That way they’re not focusing on the taste or texture as much and are really able to just get the basics down.
3. Patience is key. For a long time Violet would put freeze-dried apples in her mouth, but didn’t seem to realize that she was supposed to swallow them. We’d always find little apple bits all over the place, which was frustrating, but we knew we were making progress based on the fact that she wanted to put them in her mouth at all. After a LOT of patience, one day it eventually clicked and she realized that those apples were FOOD and that she was supposed to eat it. That was such a huge milestone – it was the first truly solid thing that she swallowed and that opened up whole new doors for us.
4. Discover your inner model No matter how much you DON’T want to eat prunes or broccoli or freeze-dried apples (which are actually surprisingly good), this one is really important. If you won’t eat it, most likely neither will they. Over exaggerate chewing and swallowing so that your child can observe eating skills and hopefully imitate them.
5. Use peer pressure to your advantage One of our huge breakthroughs came on a day when we went to visit Violet’s babysitter and her kids They were gobbling down Violet’s freeze-dried apples like they were candy, and Violet realized that not only were those things a hot commodity, but also that the other kids WEREN’T SPITTING THEM OUT. It was after that day that we really noticed that she started to chew and swallow. I also will play YouTube videos of other babies and toddlers eating. She really watches and imitates what she sees in the video. This is how we got her to start taking bites of larger bits of food and she also tries to use utensils now as well. Seriously, what did parents do before the internet?! Here are her current favorite videos:
Cute Baby Eating Peas (Good for eating finger foods)
Baby Eating (Good for biting pieces from larger bits of food)
Toddler Eating Strawberries with a Spoon, Very Silly! (Good for using utensils)
We also recently started to take Violet to feeding therapy. We would have started sooner, but it took THREE MONTHS to get in! Here are a few tips that the therapists shared with us:
- Provide your child with at least two preferred and one non-preferred food at each meal
- Limit distractions
- Eat as a family at the table and serve family style at all meals
- Allow your child to help with food preparation and setting of the table (Violet seems to eat more when she sees me chopping up her food for whatever reason)
- Set mealtime routine with breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner
- Allow child to ‘play’ with food and get messy. (This one surprised me as parents are notorious for telling children NOT to play with their food, but apparently studies have shown that children who are allowed to play with their food become better eaters in the long run. Playing with foods has allowed Violet to get used to new textures and to learn that eating is fun and not just a chore. It’s definitely a LOT more work, but it’s working and that’s what matters.)
- Do not hide foods in other foods, ‘trick’ you child into eating a food, or force feed your child. (The idea is to gain your child’s trust. Mostly I place the foods in front of Violet and allow her to decide what she wants to eat and doesn’t want to eat. I model and encourage certain things, but don’t force the issue. Usually she will eventually try everything on her tray.)
- Don’t strap your child into the high chair. (Obviously if you have a very squirmy child and feel that it’s a safety issue, by all means use the straps, but this kind of goes along with the trust thing and making eating fun and not a chore.)
And although this post has gotten (quite) long already, I have one more thing I really want to add. The next time you see a mom feeding her child formula, please don’t judge. I nursed Violet for nine months and would probably have gone longer if it hadn’t been for her GI issues. After months of her reacting to my breast milk and an elimination diet that caused me to lose too much weight, we finally ended up with a prescription formula that has done wonders for my baby girl. She’s like a totally different, much happier and healthier girl now that she is on something that doesn’t irritate her little body. She sleeps better, feels better, and I can’t thank formula companies enough for making these products for kids who need them. You never know for what reasons a mom is scooping powder and shaking up bottles, but know that they are most likely good reasons and that she is doing what is best for her and her family.
Thanks for letting me get up on my soapbox for a minute there. I really, truly hope that this post is helpful to some of you – whether your child is just a picky eater or something more serious.
And if you have any tips for getting your kids to eat solids, I’d love to hear them!
I love fun birthday treats. These Birthday Cake Cookies look especially yummy, and much more fun than a slice of birthday cake! I think they would be just perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
Do you make a traditional birthday food/recipe?
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
1/4 cup rainbow candy sprinkles
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon milk
1 can Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
1/4 cup confetti candy sprinkles
1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cake mix, rainbow candy sprinkles, butter, milk and egg until soft batter forms. Scoop 20 tablespoonfuls of batter onto ungreased large cookie sheet.
2. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until cookies are set. Remove from cookie sheet; cool completely.
3. Spread frosting on bottom of 1 cookie; top with second cookie, bottom side down.
4. Roll edges of frosting in confetti candy sprinkles. If desired, top each with a birthday candle.
What do you think of this idea? Can you fool your kids into thinking they are eating something much more fun than plain fruit? I know Harper will totally go for it, although she loves fruit to begin with!
P.S. all the mamas at the birthday party will love you for this!
Danielle from blossombunkhouse.com thought of this amazing way to make summer popsicles shaped for any occasion. I am so excited about this, I’ve already pulled out all of my cookie cutters.
Be sure to check out her popsicle tutorial, because the project is not as simple as melt and refreeze!
I thought I’d share a few photos from Violet’s first birthday party with all of you today. We ended up having a great day despite the threat of rain! If you’d like to see more photos or know sources, head over to my blog with two cats – I’ll be posting photos throughout the week!
Hope you had a festive weekend!
Clockwise from top left: Marimekko Bottna Napkins, Wandering Vines Tablecloth, ‘Bean’ Bags, Vine Garland, Gold Plastic Eggs, Fee Fi Fo Fum Poster, Sweet Sprout Cupcakes, Jelly Beans, Muslin Favor Bags
- Fill muslin favor bags with ‘magic’ beans
- Play pin the nose on the giant
- Have a ‘bean’ bag toss
- Fill golden eggs with treats for the partiers
- Create a magic beans mosaic
Violet will be turning one in a little over a month, and my mind is in full-on party mode. I haven’t made all of the final decisions for her little shindig yet, but I have found a ton of cute party ideas on the web. Here are some fun things I’ve come across during my search that would be perfect for a rainbow party (because what kid doesn’t love rainbows?!)
Are your children on Spring Break this week? Harper is, so I am trying to do lots of activities to keep her busy. Yesterday we started preparing for Easter with some Easter egg dyeing. It was our first year to do this and I have to admit– it is NOT a great activity to do with a 28 month old! It was pretty chaotic and we made a huge mess! here are a some pics of our Eggs:
i know there are lots of ways to dye eggs, but I like to keep them simple and colorful. I use food coloring, hard boiled eggs, and distilled vinegar. I used my snow cone holders to hold the eggs before dyeing so they would not roll onto the ground. This was really helpful and kept Harper from handling/breaking them!
while waiting for our eggs to absorb color, we decided to try out Lauren’s cute Chickie Egg idea for lunch:
they are so cute, and Harper got a kick out of her lunch eggs– until the eyes fell off, and then she got quite upset and screamed, “OJOS!” for the next 10 minutes!
a few pics of our colorful Easter Eggs! Have you dyed eggs yet for Easter? If so, how did you decorate yours?
When I was pregnant with Harper I knew that I wanted to breastfeed, but had no idea how it would go or how long it would last. I wanted to have a stash of bottles just in case, but found it very confusing with all of the bottles on the market.
If only I had known about the mimijumi Very Hungry bottle. It is a breastlike baby bottle that closely mimics the breastfeeding experience. –Ideal for transitioning from breast to bottle feeding.
The innovative design of the nipple to replicate a mother’s breast creates a natural feeding and latching experience for a happier and healthier bottle fed baby. Bold color and soft textures are combined to give the mimijumi Very Hungry bottle a distinctive, eye-catching appearance.
The bottle is made from high quality plastic that is clear as glass but safer for baby. The material was engineered in Switzerland to be used in medical applications and has all certificates required to be in direct contact with food. The bottle is also made from BPA free plastic.
Visit mimijumi.com to learn where to buy these breastlike nursing bottles.
Getting your kids to eat breakfast on Easter can be a challenge when all they want to put in their mouths are peeps and chocolate bunny ears. Here’s a fun and easy breakfast that no kid will say no to:
Decorate your table with some grass and hand-painted eggs, and you have the makings of a festive Easter table fit for the Easter bunny himself! (Not into food dyes? I bet that bunny would look just as cute if he was brown.) Here are the how-to’s:
Violet will be turning one in a little over a month, and my mind is in full-on party mode. I haven’t made all of the final decisions for her little shindig yet, but I have found a ton of cute party ideas on the web. Here are some fun things I’ve come across during my search that would be perfect for a superhero party (because what kid doesn’t want to be a superhero?!)
And here are some super cute superhero invitations to send out to all of your guests:
And of course, every good superhero gets hungry from all of that saving the world and stuff, so feed them some yummy oreos in fun comic colored dots:
Just make sure your party isn’t near any kryptonite and I guarantee that your kids will have a blast! (Want more party ideas? Check out my Back to School party plan over on with two cats).
Do you need an idea board for your party or event? Click here and I’ll have one to you lickity split!
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