Archive for December, 2016

Homemade Baby Food Purees

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

homemade baby food purees

When my older daughter started to eat solids, I decided I would make my own baby food purees. Making my own purees was less expensive than buying jarred baby food. She had a milk intolerance, and I read that cross contamination in baby foods was a common problem. In addition to saving money, I was happy that making my own purees allowed me to control what went into her food (and what stayed out).

Her first food was avocado.  I simply used a food processor to mash the avocado. Once the avocado was smooth, I mixed in pumped breast milk to thin it out to a very loose consistency.

After Lily ate avocado for a few days, I tried sweet potato, then butternut squash. To prepare the sweet potato, I boiled the sweet potato, then used the food processor to puree it. I used some of the cooking liquid to thin it to my desired consistency. With the butternut squash, I halved it, removed the seeds, then roasted it in a shallow pan with a little water until it was super soft. I then pureed it in the food processor, and thinned it with pumped breast milk.

I used my slow cooker to make apple sauce and pear sauce once I started Lily on fruits. I would peel, core, and chop 4 -6 of pears or apples, place them in the slow cooker, added a little water, and cooked on high for 2-3 hours. Once the apple or pears were super soft and basically falling apart, I would puree them in my food processor, again adding the cooking liquid or a little pumped breast milk to thin the puree out.

When making the purees, I made much more than Lily would eat at any one time. I used ice cube trays to freeze small portions of the purees. When I decided what I was going to try to feed Lily, I would pull out one ice cube tray portion, and carefully heat it in the microwave, adding more pumped breast milk as needed.

Although slightly more work than picking up a jar of baby food at the store, making my own purees did not require any special kitchen gadgets and did not require much cooking time or food prep. The peace of mind of making my own purees as well as the money saved more than made up for the convenience of the jarred food.

Becky Nagel is a stay at home mom to two girls, a three year old and a one year old, in Denver, CO who enjoys cooking for her family, running, and hiking.

Baby-led Feeding

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Baby-led feedingPerhaps your baby shows signs of being ready for table food. Maybe he or she hit that magic age where solids are to be introduced. Perhaps you find yourself strolling down the baby aisle at the store and considering all those pouches of puree that seem to be all the craze these days.

Baby-led feeding is generally referred to as baby-led weaning because the introduction of table food is the beginning of a longer process of transitioning baby to table foods full-time. Of course this process takes many months (or even years). Weaning, then, is not a loss so much as a transition in the relationship that occurs overtime.

Numerous resources already exist if you’re looking for more information about the process, if you and your child are ready to begin baby-led weaning, and ideas for recipes and general tips to make the messy transition as simple as possible.

KellyMom is a well-known resource on breastfeeding but they don’t leave you cold when it comes time to shift. offers numerous articles written by those knowledgeable in the field about weaning. Specific situations for mothers who primarily pump are also included. The website continues beyond recognizing if your child is ready to also include information about timing the weaning process, ensuring you do not move too quickly or cut out other needs your child might not have as often with decreased breastfeeding (like cuddle time or other one-on-one attention).

If you are working through your own feelings on the subject know you aren’t alone! Le Leche offers insight into a variety of feelings and thoughts that moms might need to process as the consider or are in the midst of baby-led feeding. They also offer specialty articles such as weaning twins or anxiety associated with this transition.

When it comes to the food Wholesome Baby Food at Momtastic offers a number of recipes and weekly menu ideas to help get you started or out of the “bananas and avocado again” slump. The site also includes age-specific information for weaning. Of course if you prefer holding a book to read up on the subject, several primers exist on the subject.

Simple Bites is a mommy-driven website that incorporates baby-led weaning to the table with their general interest in including the whole family around unprocessed meals. Mama Natural also speaks with similar interest and authority found mostly in personal experience and research. Both sites offer numerous ideas and recipes to help introduce anyone to the concept of BLW.

Lynette is a mom of three children from 8 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Ringworm! What is it, and How Do I Get Rid of it?

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

ringwormThe first time one of my kids had ringworm, his pediatrician is the one that diagnosed it. Frankly, I wasn’t entirely sure what it was at the time. Worms? Like what we wormed our dog for as a puppy?

Well, no. The name ringworm is a bit of a misnomer, as there are no worms involved. It’s actually a fungal infection of the skin, and a common one, especially in small children and pets.

Yes, pets. This is one thing that can actually be spread from your dog or cat to your child. Cats especially seem prone to ringworm.

So, how do you know if your baby has ringworm? Ringworm presents itself as a red, raised, scaly patch (or patches), and often develops its telltale ring (where the center of the patch is not red) as well. Your doctor can diagnose it for sure if you aren’t certain. Often it’s diagnosed by visual inspection alone, but a skin scraping can be done as well.

How do you treat ringworm? Often, over-the-counter remedies (the same ones used to treat athlete’s foot, actually) work fine. These creams contain clotrimazole or miconazole. Your doctor may also elect to prescribe ketoconazole cream. For any of these creams, they’re generally applied topically to the spots twice a day. You will need to keep using the creams until the spots are completely gone, so they don’t come back. This can take two to four weeks. In my experience, living in a hot and humid climate extends the healing time, compared to a cold and dry one.

In the meantime, ringworm is massively contagious. Wash bedding and clothing daily while treating it, and wash your hands after applying the topical creams. If you have pets, inspect them closely for ringworm as well.

To prevent ringworm, keep your pets and their living spaces clean. Wear shoes in public showers, and keeping skin clean, including frequent hand washing. Still, it’s very possible your child will get ringworm at some point; luckily it’s pretty easy to treat.

Meaghan Howard is a stay-at-home mom to three little boys. She’s seen ringworm once or twice, and has managed to live to tell about it. 

Parenting My First Versus Parenting My Third

Monday, December 26th, 2016

img_0277I swore I would never be that stereotypical mom that drastically changed my priorities with each subsequent child. But, alas, here I am, three kids in, and I have managed to nail that stereotype to a tee.

Here are some differences I have experienced in parenting my first versus parenting my third.

  1. Sugar-free zone. Y’all, my first baby ate ONLY vegetables until he was one. In lieu of a birthday cake on his birthday, I gave him a BANANA–his first fruit. Third baby? I’ll be lucky to keep her older brothers from feeding her brownies.
  2. Germs. Every person that came over was essentially doused in hand sanitizer with my first child. But now? I might have handed my crying third baby to a complete stranger on the airplane that offered to hold her for me.
  3. Scheduling. The beloved first child’s schedule trumped all other activities. We rushed home from lunches with friends to make the sacred naptime. Dinner dates were cut short to start our nightly routine. Third baby? In a pinch, car seat naps and sleeping in the Ergo seem to suit her JUST FINE.
  4. Bathing. My first child was squeaky clean. He was bathed AT LEAST every other day. My daughter? I aim to bathe her weekly and would admittedly bathe her less often if she didn’t have such long hair that displays my lack of due diligence in the bathing area.
  5. Psychosis. I am legitimately a lot less stressed with this third baby. If she only sleeps 20 minutes, I am not lamenting to everyone I see. It will be okay. Each phase will pass. If she needs to cuddle, cuddle we shall. The dishes will eventually be cleaned again to be dirtied again and laundry will be folded. I am a lot less stressed with this third baby and a lot more engaged. Not all parental changes with subsequent children are entirely detrimental. The perspective of time and how quickly it passes has served me well with baby number three.

Kara Garis is a cloth diapering, baby wearing, semi-crunchy mama to two active boys and a baby girl. She lives with her husband in Oklahoma and loves running, cooking, traveling, reading and teaching herself how to braid. She blogs very infrequently at 

Ten Businesses That Couldn’t Make it Without Moms

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

businesses that wouldn't make it without moms

We’re an entrepreneurial country and I think that is yet another thing that would not be possible without moms and dads. So parents of America, this one is for you. Or rather, these businesses, conveniences, and products are, largely, for you.

The Drive-thru. Because who wants to pull three children out of the car to get a sit-down meal when we don’t have time between Susie and Jessie’s soccer practice and dance lessons?

Amazon, or any other food delivery service. Granted these are only successful in the most urban of areas, but a large portion of their customers surely are mothers who just balance the cost of a few extra bucks for the convenience of not going into that snow with all these babes. Similar to this might be the order online, pick-up in store offerings of many box and department stores.

Caffeine anything. Really, need I explain? Combine caffeine to drive thru or delivery services mentioned above and you really got yourself a business model.

Dollar aisles. Anything sold in any “deal” area or near the checkout line of any store ever in the history of commerce is made for people on a budget looking for a cheap thrill. The dollar spot at Target is so alluring with its cheap gadgets that conveniently break just in time for our next visit.

Icee machines. Again, I’m letting my Target show here but the Icee machine in our local store accounts for 73 percent of our successful shopping outings. Length of to-buy list and awesome parenting skills account for the other 27percent.

Car vacuums. Once upon a time I said I’d not let my children eat in my car. Then I had children. Eating in the car happens rarely, but evidence of said eating is abundant.

Most all of the gum industry. Bubbalicious gets us hooked when we’re young, with all that sugar and bubble-ing delight. And before-mentioned caffeine via coffee always leaves the mouth looking for freshness. Combine that with checkout line convenience and you’re in business.

Yoga pants and other comfort wear. Sure, just like all these other things parents are not the only ones responsible for each industry’s success. But between mamas talking about baby weight and the struggle to find time to get ready in the morning, mothers make up a large portion of financial support in this market trend.

The home workout market. Consider who is up in the wee morning hours of the morning to see those Beachbody infomercials and what population is known for the pressure to “bounce back” after baby. And these are results by “normal” people, people who could be in line in front of you at said Target, not celebrities. Of course this leads me to…

Multi-level marketing. Look, mamas gotta make a buck. Mamas also need some sense of community and a sense of living and giving outside of their children. MLM offers all of these things, usually with an alluring fragrance or stylish bag included. #momboss

Lynette is a mom of three children from 8 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.