Raise your hand if you are all about quick, easy, mess free snacks? I’m hoping that’s you since you clicked this post if not this is awkward… but anywho if it is you then look no further than my super easy, somewhat healthy toddler trail mix.
I’m always looking for healthy quick snacks to grab for my toddler. And those snacks need to be mess free. Because if you have a toddler you know they can ruin an outfit with basically any food you give them, am I right? So, I set out to find a trail mix for my toddler. The problem I ran into was that a lot of the recipes I found had sugary cereals, fruit snacks, marshmallows, all kinds of things that my son eats on occasion but I don’t want him eating all week for snack time.
This is where the toddler trail mix tiny human newbie addition came to be. I took my sons favorite snacks and tried to come up with the driest, cleanest ingredients I could and this is what I came up with.
Super simple recipe:
This is a simple little mix but my toddler really likes it. You could customize any of the ingredients to your little one.
Mini chocolate chips → butterscotch chips, yogurt bites
Peanuts → any other type of nut or seeds if your little on can’t have nuts
Dried banana chips → dried cranberries, dried blueberries or raisin
Cheerios → pretzels, popcorn, crackers
This has become a staple snack for on the go or a quick grab when we are short on time. Hopefully, your little one enjoys it as much as mine.
Let me know in the comments what you think.
Frozen Yogurt Bites
As Killian gets older I am always trying to find new, healthy, easy snacks.
I’ve always liked the idea of those yogurt bites in the baby isle but I am not willing to spend $2-$3 on something he will eat in two sittings. So I set out to make my own.
This is what I came up with. There is no exact science. It’s a really flexible recipe. You can add more or less based on what you like and customize it to whatever fruits your little one is eating.
1/4 cup strawberries
1/4 cup blueberries
8-10 oz of vanilla or plain whole milk yogurt
- Simply blend the 1/4 cup strawberries and 1/4 blueberries in your blender or food processor.
- Fold in blended fruit into 8-10 oz of whole milk yogurt.
- Place mixture into a pipping bag or baggie
- Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and pipe bite size blobs onto a covered cookie sheet.
- Freeze for 3+ hours (I did mine over night)
- Place in a freezer safe container. Store in the freezer until ready to eat.
You can use any yogurt or fruit that your little one likes. This is our favorite right now. Let me know in the comments how yours turn out ♥
Hope you enjoy!
After I weaned my son from nursing at 6 months old I was feeling a bit guilty. I knew he would be starting solids now and I wanted to give him the best food I could find. I was talking to my cousin about the guilt I was feeling about weaning him and how I was nervous about starting solids. While we were talking me explained she had felt the same way and to make her feel a little better she made her daughter’s food herself. What?! I had never heard of people making their own baby food. Every mom I had known or baby sat for before just bought food.
She then explained. She bought simple produce, pureed the food and then stored it. How simple is that?! So I started looking into what my son could have and when. There. was. so. much information! As a new mom everything seemed to be so confusing to me.
This is what I learned.
What You’ll Need
One of the best things about making your own baby food is if you have blender you’re set. When I started out I just used a blender and Ziploc baggies. This got the job done but I wanted to be able to store the food in a more organized fashion so I borrowed a Baby Bullet Blender set from my cousin. If I would’ve known how much I loved making baby food I would’ve registered for one of these amazing sets for my baby shower.
This set comes with everything you would need but you can make your own food without this set all you need is
- something to puree food with (baby bullet, food processor, blender)
- some containers to freeze food in ( ice trays, silicone freezing trays, Ziploc baggies)
- fresh foods of your choice
How to Get Started
Here comes the over whelming part..getting started. You have all your gear ready to go but now what?
Well, you have to decide what you are going to feed your baby. I started my son on soils after I weaned him around 6 months but *I am not your doctor so make sure you check with them and see what is the best time for you to start your child on solids. Depending on how old your baby is will determine what you can make them. I use this awesome chart from One Nerdy Momma
Charts like this one will give you a basic outline of when most babies are ready for each food. Once you have found what your baby should be trying for their age.. it’s easy peasy.
Making the Menu
There are a ton of ways that I have seen this done but I am going to share how I make my menu. If you have read my previous post, 5 Benefits of Making Your Own Baby Food then you know that I make my son’s food in bulk. I take one day a month and make all the food he will need. It’s quick, easy and I don’t have to think about what he will eat for the rest of the month. But to get to that point I have to have a plan.
As a stay at home mom and a one pay check household we live on a budget so I try to buy foods that I can use in multiple recipes. To pick what foods I am going to use I look at the list of foods my son has tried. I then pick a few foods he’s enjoyed, one he hasn’t and I also pick a few new foods to try. We follow the 4 day rule. So, when we introduce a new food we wait at least 4 days until we introduce another new food.
Once we have picked our food I sit down and make a list of those foods and new combinations I can try. This month I am using the list below to make his menu:
- Pineapple (new food)
- Spinach (new food)
- Sweet potatoes (food he LOVES)
- Peas (food he doesn’t care for)
- Ground Turkey
Then I mix and match. I do a few fruity flavors like pineapple-peach, some veggies options spinach and sweet potato and then I try to cross flavors such as sweet potato-peach. Next, I add in proteins. Any of these flavors can be mixed with turkey or chicken:
- spinach, sweet potato, turkey
- pineapple, peach, chicken
and so on… after you have made your menu you cook!
What’s Cookin’ ?
Making baby food is something I enjoy doing and it’s actually a lot of fun. Once you have picked all your foods it’s time to cook some yummy, nutritious and natural food for your tiny human.
Cooking for your little one is pretty simple, you basically cook down the veggies and some of the fruits until they are in a form where you can easily blend them. For this particular menu I will boil down the peaches, apples, spinach, and sweet potatoes. You can boil them separately or you can steam them all together if you’d like. I will normally boil like flavors together e.g. sweet potatoes and carrots or apples and peaches.
Cooking the meat can be tricky at first if you’re not a great cook like me… For chicken I will boil it in water and then make sure I temp it out until it’s at 165° and for turkey I will bake it until the same temperature is achieved.
Once all the foods have been boiled, steamed and baked it’s blending time!
This is where you need to keep your little ones age and preference in mind. Your child’s age will determine the texture you will want to blend each food at. My son is 9 months so his food is thicker and has chunks of food in it for him to “chew.” If your little one is just starting out then a smooth thin texture is what you will want to have. You can get that by adding the water you cooked your fruits and veggies in, to the food when you are blending.
Now that you have a bunch of pureed food it’s time to store it so you can easily grab food and go for the next month. Doesn’t that sounds AWESOME!?
Storing Homemade Baby Food
Things to know: baby food has a shelf life of 3-4 days in the refrigerator. In the freezer about 3 months or so (unless your little one eats like mine, in which case it won’t make it that long).
This is how I do it. I take a little bit of everything and store three days worth of food in the fridge. Then I take the rest and freeze it. This is where you can use those awesome freezer trays, whether it is ice trays or silicone trays. I personally like the silicone
They are easy to use. I also really like them because the food freezes in the shape of the baby food containers I have, making grabbing food to go even easier. I just freeze one batch at a time. Once they are frozen I pop them out into baggies, label and date them. I continue this until all the food I made it frozen.
But when I first started I didn’t have any of that and you might not either so I used Ziploc baggies. I would store one meal in each bag and freeze them laying flat. Whatever you have will work.
And There You Have It
Easy Peasy right?! Just buy fresh produce and meat, boil down, blend, freeze, store and enjoy! That’s it! I never would have thought about this if my cousin hadn’t told me about it. I am so glad I did this for my son and myself there are so many benefits but the best one is knowing what my son is eating.
Lots of Love,
*I am not a doctor please consult with your pediatrician before making any decisions on what foods to feed your child and when.
* Big shout out to Jodi for introducing me to making my own baby food 💛💛💛
5 Benefits of Making Your Own Baby Food
When your baby is first born there are so many decisions to make and normally mommies have those in stone when their baby is born. And I don’t know about you but I didn’t consider the decisions that would come later… when baby is a little older. One of those decisions to make is will you make your baby’s food or buy it. So, here it is, the top 5 benefits of making your own baby food ( in my personal opinion.)
1. It’s EASY Make Your Own Baby Food!
Now, I know what you’re are thinking.. “This lady is crazy! How is cooking food easier than buying it at the store?!” I am not going to lie grabbing food off the shelf at the grocery has it’s appeal BUT here me out, making your own baby food can be EASY.
Each month I take one Sunday afternoon and I food prep for my little guy. My husband and I food prep our own meals once a week but tiny human food makes more so I opt to prep once a month. I sit down and think about foods I would like my baby to try this month, foods he liked last month and come up with a easy, yummy menu. (Want to know more about that process ?)) Thinking of what I want to cook brings us to our second benefit of making your own baby food…
2. Knowledge is POWER
As a new mommy there is so much to learn and read about and if you are like me then you. read. everything! So, why add the back of a baby food jars to the list? When you make your baby’s food you KNOW what is in their food. You know that all the fruits, veggies, meats and spices are fresh and good for your little one. I think about it like this, do you eat out containers or out of a bag everyday? Then why should you’re little one?
3. Make it Your own
Your little one is the most important thing to you now, so why not make food that it made just for them. When I went to the grocery and looked at the baby food selection it was impressive but there are still only so many combinations on the shelves.
You know your baby best. Why not make food customized for them? Maybe your little guy or gal LOVES sweet potatoes (like mine) think of all the combinations you could do with their favorite food?!
- sweet potatoes and apple
- sweet potato and white bean
- red pepper and sweet potato
The list goes on and on…
If you go to the store you might be limited to maybe two opinions. But at home the options are endless!
4. Make it in Bulk
When you make your baby’s food at home you can make it in large amounts. This is why I take one whole day a month and prep. I can take my ingredients and make many combinations and store them for when I need them in bulk.
I use the fabulous Baby Blender set but there are all kinds of options!
The Baby Brezza that the wonderful moms over at ThinkBaby.org use is another great option. Both options make things SUPER simple you can make a whole pound of chicken and make 3-4 different baby foods e.g. chicken and carrots, chicken and green beans, or chicken, peas and sweet potatoes. By using an ingredients that crosses recipes you can save money and it makes prepping even easier!
5. It’s CHEAPER to Make Your Own Baby Food
Mamas! Raise your hand if you like to save money. I do! When I decided to stay home we had to look at our spending and make some changes. Eating out less often was the first change we made. It was healthier to make our food at home and cheaper.
It was no different when our son started solids. I went to the grocery and stood in the isle in disbelief for how much a single jar of baby food cost. On a week where they run a sale, the store brand, non organic is roughly $1 a jar ( or 10/$10). Not too bad right? Well… my son at 8 months eats a minimum of three servings a day.
Math time! $3 a day multiplied by 7 days.. $21 a week multiplied by 4 weeks in a month… $84 a MONTH in baby food! MINIMUM! Sometimes he eats more than that! That’s on top of diapers, formula, wipes, toys, clothes, ETC.! I just couldn’t accept that I would spend almost $100 a month on solids. How much does it cost me to make my own food you ask…? Once a month I can spend around $40 a month! $40! That’s a savings of 50%!!!!! So for one Sunday afternoon of your time you are saving over $40 a month. That’s a whole tank of gas.
There are so many other wonderful reasons to make your own baby food and these are just a few. Myself and other mamas like the moms at ThinkBaby.org love making our own food, including our husbands in the process and having fun with making our own baby food combinations!
So, hopefully if you were thinking about making your own food this list of benefits helped. And if you weren’t thinking about it and just stumbled upon this post hopefully you are considering it now.
Have you considered making your own baby food before? If you have leave me a comment below, I would love to hear your favorite recipe or food combination.