The Kids Table series hopes to inspire you with dishes that are both creative and fun for everyone in your family! From toddlers to parents, food can be made fun and healthy with food from your garden, local grocery store, or farmer’s market!
Colorful flowers and clear skies means more time for kids to soak up the sun and get their exercise on! After all the play-time, they may just want to come home and have dinner ready for them. However, after a little rest and relaxation, pick up their spirits with a fun spring-themed meal!
Did you know that you can edible flowers to not only decorate your meal but to actually eat? Not all edible flowers taste like vegetables. In fact, different types of flowers have different tastes. According to homecooking.about.com, bean blossoms have a sweet and bean-like flavor. Nasturtiums have a wonderfully peppery flavor similar to watercress and their pickled buds can be substituted for more expensive capers. Borage tastes like cucumber, and miniature pansies (Johnny-Jump-Ups) have a mild wintergreen taste. Violets, roses and lavender lend a sweet flavor to salads or desserts. Bright yellow calendulas are an economic alternative to expensive saffron, though not quite as pungent. Other flowers may have a spicy or peppermint flavor.
When in doubt: taste. First, be sure it’s not poisonous.
Flower Power Food
Fun and Creative Baby Shower Ideas
Your baby is soon to enter into an exciting world! Why not celebrate their impending arrival with a party? It doesn’t have to be a daunting task for the host—whether that is you or your close family and friends.
It’s time to throw convention and pastel colors aside and open the door to new and different ideas. Put your favorite thing or theme in front of the words “baby shower” and you’re set to go. If you love animal print, go for a jungle baby shower theme! If you love Christmas, celebrate a few months earlier and throw a Christmas themed baby shower!
Preparing for a party all starts with an outline. Just like reading through a good book, there needs to be a proper storyline (a fun start, cake, food, gifts, games, and an ending), a theme, and characters (guests) to move things along. The theme of your party can be as fun as you want; it is a baby shower after all!
The best time for the host to throw a party is at some point during the last trimester. You don’t want to have it too early, or too late. Once you have the date set for the party, send invites out at least six weeks ahead of time.
Say you love teddy bears and wanted to put together a “teddy bear baby shower.” Keeping it simple is always best as the little creative additions to your party make them all the more noticeable, and enjoyable. Creative-baby-shower-ideas.com offers so many different ideas for all kinds of baby showers. Placing paw prints on the sidewalk leading up to the party or even a little brown paper bag cave near the entrance for other kids to play in might be a nice touch!
Placing teddy bears around the room or even in gift bags will bump up your theme that much more. A little table of bare necessities of baby things for mom can even be the gift table!
Food and Cake
Have fun with the food by incorporating the theme! Make cookies in the shape of bears and if you know the gender of the baby, add on a frosted bow onto the cookie if it’s a baby girl, or give him a little blue bowtie if it’s a baby boy. To be less obvious, peanut butter and honey sandwiches or berry punch can be a fun way to slyly incorporate your theme into the party as well.
When it comes to cake, keep it simple and yummy. Making a cake to resemble a beehive might be nice with a yellow cake colored to be pink or blue to complement the gender of the baby will be a sweet touch.
Little additions like the ones mentioned above to any themed party can be a great way to get people to enjoy the moment and go with the flow.
Gifts usually accompany cakes and what better gifts for a new mom than something that will help her know that her baby is happy and comfortable. Aside from the essentials like diapers and formula, baby needs to be taken care of mentally and physically. Registering at places like Babies’R’Us makes it easy for guests to buy everything from absolute necessities to colorful toys and things mom could use to make life a little easier for her and her baby. Products that grow with the baby are great gifts to give a new mother. A gift like a nursery center will keep mom close to her baby during those young months of age.
All in all, have fun with hosting the party and make it a point to emphasize the mom and her new baby, it is a party for her after all!
Helping Your Baby Adjust to a Destination
Your first cross-country road trip with your baby is an adventure of its own. Even though the destination is exciting, it doesn’t match up to the journey—especially when it’s with your new baby. It’s a whole new challenge figuring out how to play with baby, feed baby, and put baby to sleep when you’re out of your comfort zone—your home!
Here are some tips and bits of knowledge from parents who’ve traveled with their baby. These tips are for babies who are under one year of age, but can be applied to older babies as well. As always, please consult your pediatrician for a better understanding of how to travel with your baby.
When it comes to traveling for hours on end, feeding your baby on the go can be quite the endeavor. If traveling with another adult, it is good practice to stop every 1.5 to two hours to stretch and give your bum a break. With baby on the other hand, it is especially good to stop every so often and maybe even sooner than every 1.5 to two hours.
A rest area can be a great place to stop, or anywhere you see an open area with space for a family to breathe. Take your baby out of their car seat, and find a comfortable place to feed and change their diaper, and of course, play!
Once you’re at a rest area or have stopped for a bit, it is more than likely that your baby will need to be fed. If your baby is hungry and you’ve chosen to breast feed, consider travelling with a nursing bra with detachable cups for easy access. A cover up can also help blanket you and your baby while your baby is nursing. Barb Dehn, a women’s health nurse practitioner, award winning author and nationally known health expert says about bottle-feeding, “For formula-fed babies, a good option is ready-to-feed formula, which need not be refrigerated until opened. Or parents can fill baby bottles with premeasured sterilized water that can be mixed later with single-serve packets of powdered formula.” She also offers the following guidelines to help parents properly manage infant feeding away from home as cited on infantformula.org:
- [This is more relevant to your destination] Be sure to boil new bottles and nipples for five minutes before using them the first time. Also, wash them for one minute in hot, soapy water for each use.
- Always wash your hands before preparing to feed the baby, so you won’t pass on germs.
- When opening a can of formula, clean the lid and the can opener of dust or soil.
- Securely seal ready-to-feed formula and put in a color within two hours of opening. Use the rest of the container within 48 hours of opening. (Be extra careful in a hot climate).
- Previously chilled bottles of formula should be discarded if left out of a cooler or refrigerator for more than an hour.
- Discard any type of excess liquid in baby bottles to help avoid the growth of bacteria found in baby saliva.
- Never feed your baby formula that has expired or formula from a dented container.
- Never heat infant formula or bottled breast milk in the microwave.
- Buy formula only from reputable retailers and not from on-line auctions or flea markets.
It will help if you start your travels at night to go along with your baby’s sleep schedule. This way, as soon as your baby gets in the car and start traveling, your baby will be fast asleep.
Ensure that your baby is settled and comfortable in a safe and secure car seat. For young babies, consider the Flex-Loc which is the #1 rated infant car seat that accommodates 5-30 lbs. and up to 30”.
The Trendz Fastback 3-in-1 car seat is both high in safety and easy for parents to install. This seat is for when baby is older at around 22-120 lbs.
If you are traveling with more than just yourself, it will help to have someone in the back seat so that your baby can wake up to a friendly face instead of a fast moving world. Having a parent or a sibling to play with baby as soon as they wake up is a friendly reminder that everything is OK. It also helps keep everyone else in the car sane, too!
To soothe your baby even more, it can help to pack a few new toys before you start your trip. When your baby becomes restless or cranky and there’s nowhere to stop for miles, introducing a new toy every couple of hours or so can help calm baby down.
Go Forth, and Travel!
With these few tips in hand, your travels with baby will be a tad bit easier. Enjoy your travels and have fun growing with your baby!
Buying organic food has become a big proponent of moving towards a healthier lifestyle. Although this may be a great decision for adults to make for themselves, it may have different consequences when it comes to your baby. With that in mind, if you chose to breastfeed your baby; it is advised that you wait until your little one is five to six months of age before feeding them solid food. In any case however, be sure to check with your baby’s pediatrician on correct feeding habits before switching to an organic diet.
Soft to Solid: The Benefits of Organic Food
Upon the introduction of organic food, there has long since been a debate about its supposed health benefits versus the health benefits of non-organic food. For the longest time, all organic food had going for it was its label but recent studies are starting to prove that organic food really is more nutrient rich and possibly, a healthier option for your baby. Here are just a few other benefits of organic food found on live-the-organic-life:
- Organic baby food, whether made at home or bought in-store, is produced without genetically modified ingredients
- Organic baby foods are produced without conventional pesticides, antibiotics, or growth hormones
- A baby’s digestive system is not as up to par as an adult’s when it comes to excreting harmful substances
- Babies’ bodies are much more vulnerable to pesticides because their brains immune and detoxification systems are immature and in a state of development
What makes food organic?
Foods that meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s standards can be labeled with the “USDA Organic” seal. Their definition of organic is as follows: Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.
When reviewing your organic baby food options however, there are some general things to take note of: read labels, examine how food is packaged, compare it to similar baby foods, and carefully check expiration date and food safety. Note that when looking at the nutritional information, the first ingredient in the list is the majority of what that food is comprised of.
Regardless of which of the following types of food you pick, feeding your baby and making food with your baby in toe is yet another bonding experience. Once you’ve picked a food, enjoy time with your baby while they sit in comfort in a High Chair!
When it comes to specific types of baby food, the following guidelines as provided by organic-baby-resource may help:
Jarred Organic Baby Food
Be sure to look for jarred food that does not contain chemical additives, added sugar, or salt, and look for the food-to-water ratio as well.
When buying produce to make your baby’s food, buying organic fruits and vegetables with the USDA organic sticker on it is a start. Be sure to buy organic ingredients, puree your food, and refrigerate up to three days or freeze them to last you several months.
All In All
Parents go organic or don’t go organic based on their own decisions. Every type of diet has it’s own benefits and cons but either way, be sure to check with your baby’s pediatrician on best feeding practices for your little one. It may even lead to some changes for yourself or your whole family!