Full Plate Details:
Salad (chopped raw zucchini, chopped tomato & chopped onion)
Veggie puree (egg plant, okra, zucchini, spice to taste)
By the time I write this, many of us parents have gotten over the hard part of the back-to-school season. The school supplies have been purchased, sleeping schedules have been established, and we are forced to adjust lunch ideas to what our kids’ favourite foods are this year. With all that going on, it helps to have some shortcuts, some ways to make the whole experience pleasurable for the kids, and a tad easier for us. This is where the Innobaby Stainless Storage Containers come in.
Before we began using these, I had the lovely task of rummaging through a mountain of old containers to use for school lunches. Finding tops to match the bottoms was tedious enough, and then there was the issue with using plastic containers to put hot food in them. That never settled well with me. So when I saw these stainless steel leak proof containers, you could say my mood changed with it. I went from lazily preparing lunch the morning of school, to prepping the night before, and enjoying it too. It wasn’t just the fact that I had gone comfortably from plastic to stainless steel, but also the look of the containers. They were durable, insulated, and overall more pleasing to the eye than plastic containers. Let’s not forget that they are better for the environment as well.
Keepin’ SMART™ Stainless Lunchbox
This container is the ideal solution for storing food in an airtight space. I can’t stress how many times I have packed lunch for our oldest in standard tupperware, only to find out his food had leaked into his lunch bag. I don’t mind cleaning up a mess, but a toddler’s lunch experience in school comes with enough interruptions as it is, so any other ways to reduce it helps. Stainless steel means I can wash in the dishwasher. The container comes apart and can be washed quickly by hand, but putting them on the top rack of our dishwasher is usually my backup plan for nights when I am just too tired. I like that I have that option. Another feature that I favour is the fact that there’s a BPA free protective sleeve over the stainless steel. Sometimes I put hot or cold food in plastic containers, and either myself or the children feel the temperature all the way through. With the protective sleeve, you can transport the food without worry.
Keepin’ SMART™ Stainless Divided Snackbox
Both containers together are the perfect pair. One is large enough for a main course, and the other comes with a divider, which makes it ideal for snacks. This works great with our toddler (age five as I type this), because his meal times at school are divided into two sessions. What I love about this particular design is that you get the features of the stainless steal lunch box mentioned above, and also a stainless steel divider. Some children do not like when their food touches other food, and some are visual, and enjoy having ingredients or colours separated to make the presentation more aesthetically pleasing. Whatever the reason, you have room for creativity and versatility with this container.
***I received snack & lunch boxes for review purposes. I have not been compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.
In our home, Milton has become a household name within a matter of hours. It was that easy. The box arrived, I called out “Milton is here!” and the kids’ attention had been caught. We opened our box to find our new friend, Milton, along with a Meet Milton book. Before using Milton, I ran him through the dishwasher that night, and sat with the kids before bed to read the story about him and his adventures. The book is pretty fun to read, as it features images and text that describe Milton’s story and how he got to this point. It’s a cute story, and after reading it, I felt that the kids were set up to use him the following day.
Our Uses for Milton:
The creation of Milton is one of those situations where a simple concept does far more than the obvious. Of course the boys were excited to offer Milton some food, but that is not the limit to his capabilities. Here are a few other ways we use Milton
•Milton keeps his mouth open nice and wide to help me show the boys how to care for their teeth. I am able to show them that with brushing after meals and flossing each day, he is able to avoid cavities!
•Milton is a great bath time companion. He loves feeling the water from the shower head on his bald little head, and has a blast in the bathtub as well. No tears over here!
•He’s a great chew toy. Milton is a sweetheart. He doesn’t complain when our seven month old girl eases her sore gums by nibbling on him throughout the day.
•He is our snack sitter. When the boys have not finished a snack, they have Milton guard their plates or bowls while they run off to play until they are ready to finish eating.
•Milton is easy to clean. Simply squeeze the sides to pop his mouth open, and use a baby bottle cleaner or sponge to clean him. This is a great way to get toddlers to practice helping in the kitchen as well. What greater way to teach responsibility than to have them clean their own mealtime companion after meal time? He’s also dishwasher safe in case you’re not in the mood for hand washing.
•He’s safe for children to play with. Most of our tableware and utensils for the kids are made of silicone, so you can imagine my joy when I discovered that Milton is made of 100% food grade silicone, making it BPA free, phthalate free, and PVC free. He’s a squishy little guy, making him a great companion for our youngest, who will chew on anything in sight.
•This isn’t really a con, because it’s not about the product itself, but I will leave this header to attract attention. On their FAQ page, the website mentions that the Meet Milton book is not just to introduce children to their new mealtime companion, but also serves as a user manual for parents. This is true in my experience. What I would like is to see their website place a bit more emphasis on the book, because its role is a bit underplayed. I found it informative, the kids had a blast reading it at night, and it motivated them to try new things even before they had Milton join them at the table. It’s too awesome to not brag about! I would love to see more focus on the book within their website, so that visitors can get as excited as I did after reading it.
Milton Gives Back:
Here’s a great fact about Milton that I learned from the website. For every Milton made, $1 is donated to Feed My Starving Children to support their “mission of feeding children hungry in body and spirit”. It’s one thing when a brand comes out with a fun hip product that works well with the kids, but the fact that the makers have made it a point to give back (on a quarterly basis) shows that they also have heart, and it doesn’t get better than that! Click here for details on how the folks over at Sixty LLC give back.
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For the month of August, use discount code “kidfoodideas10” to get 10% off your purchase! Free shipping to addresses in the USA!
***I received Milton for review purposes. I have not been compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.
As a mother of three, I have tried my share of bibs. Cleaning up drool and spit up over the last four years has become quite a chore, especially during teething and weaning time. I did have bibs, but most of the standard ones offered partial coverage, so I found myself offering the messiest food right before bath time to save my sanity. I had not heard of baprons until recently, and I am glad I did. The ones featured in this post are two different styles by BapronBaby. The closure in the back are available as ties for parents to make a quick knot, or as stay flat hooks (See photos below). Both stay safely out of baby’s way, making it impossible for babies to yank them off or wiggle their way out.
BapronBaby Front view
BapronBaby offers both back ties and stay flat hooks
What I Like Most About BapronBaby Bibs:
•I cannot stress how incredibly light weight these bibs are. Having 3 children means packing a pretty big bag for outings, and it makes life easier when you have a product that is useful, and does not take up too much space or weigh down the bag. I can easily grab two BapronBaby baprons, roll them up and toss them into a small pocket in my bag.
•They are stain resistant and waterproof. Before using bibs, I used to grab a shirt of my own or a sheet to protect the kids’ clothing from being stained while eating. I realized quickly that I would have to choose my own clothing carefully, as they themselves could also end up getting stained. Watch the video below to check out what happens with spaghetti sauce spilled on a white BapronBaby bapron. It all comes right off! Our baby had gotten green smoothie all over our zebra printed bapron, and my fingers were crossed that the colour would not stick, and it stood true. No permanent staining so far.
•They will last quite a while. Many bibs we have purchased in the past lasted us a month or two at the most. Not only do these ones not stain, but they are longer than standard bibs, and the adjustable straps combined with sleeves make them comfortable for children of a wider range of ages and sizes. They are advertised as fitting children around ages 6 months to 3 years old. The ones we have fit our children who range from 6 months to 4 years old. It is a little snug on our oldest, but for arts and crafts time at home, we can leave the back open and he can still experience the coverage benefits.
•No Velcro. I’m not a huge Velcro fan. It tears other clothing, and wears out after a while. I find it too easy to tell if a bib is old just from looking at the Velcro attachments in the back. BapronBaby bibs come with ties or flat snaps, so no worries about them damaging any material it gets into contact with.
Video courtesy of BapronBaby.com
Back view of the flat snaps
Notes/Tips on the Product:
•Yes, these baprons are to keep messes contained during the weaning stages of a child’s life, but baprons are not limited to that specific purpose. Use yours to shield your children from food, paint and other fun crafts, and even from the drool of those cute little teething babies. Recently our little girl began crawling, and she wonders right off her mat within a matter of seconds. I have been using my bapron to protect her clothes from dust and possible messes on the floor. She can happily explore her surroundings, and I do not have to worry about having to change her outfit once she is finished.
•You can wash them by machine or hand. Tumble dry or hang to dry.
BapronBaby bibs are machine washable
Being a mom of three definitely keeps me on my toes. I find myself constantly looking for new ways to get the most out of my time. Food and snack prep is a great way to do so. When you prepare snacks and food in advance, it can be a lot of work initially, but it ends up saving you time in the long run. I have created a list of some things we should be prepping in an effort to make our days easier, while encouraging a healthy lifestyle.
When I was growing up, the term ‘baby food’ referred to a factory made product that was sold in a jar, and marketed to parents for their weaning children. In this century, it seems as though many parents are going for healthier alternatives. The truth is that all baby food prepared at home can easily be a healthier version of what is sold in stores. We know exactly what the ingredients are, and they do not have a shelf life of a few months, which should already be raising flags for parents. For preparing baby food in advance, one can quickly steam (or keep raw depending), blend and store.
If you plan on freezing them, I suggest going for the Jumbo EZ Pop, as it holds 3oz. That amount is perfect for early weaning stage babies. To defrost, you can place the cubes in a pot on the stove and stir occasionally, or leave your desired amount in the fridge overnight to defrost gradually. If you are serving within the next day or so, pour the purée into your preferred Ez Pop storage container to refrigerate until needed.
Finger Food (Baby Led Weaning)
If your baby is munching on fruits and veggies on his/her own, the EZ Lock containers are ideal. Whether you are off to the park, on a grocery run, or expecting a long wait at the doctor’s office, you can easily toss some green peas, cucumber, slices or grapes in one of Innobaby’s EZ Lock containers to take with you. The small sizes are perfect, as our six month old only eats so much as a time. The Packin’ Smart Three Tier Twistable works great for this as well.
We stopped purchasing store bought juices completely in our home. At first I was diluting drinks with water, but diluting sugary, artificially flavoured beverages doesn’t necessarily make them any better. We love our smoothies and teas, but for most of our hydration needs, we drink water. Sometimes it gets a little boring for us, and we have fun switching things up with naturally flavoured water.
Simply fill freezer trays with your choice of cleaned and chopped fruits of veggies. Fill up with water, cover and freeze. When it’s time for a refreshing glass of water, select your cubes to add to your glass and let the flavour mix in gradually as it melts. If you want to get more flavour out, add the ingredients to a pot of boiling water, and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Strain it, and fill up your trays. My favourite combo for this usually includes ginger, cinnamon and sometimes lemon. It’s a great idea for cucumber as well, or assorted berries. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the combination of ingredients, and it is definitely healthier than anything you can purchase at the store, and cheaper as well! Our toddlers love selecting their own combination of assorted cubes for their water.
Herbs for cooking only stay fresh for a certain length of time in the home. If you chose to prepare them in advance, chop them up, and fill up your freezer trays, along with some water, oil or homemade broth. Once they are frozen, you can bag them and freeze for when you need to cook. This is good for soups, homemade gravies, baby food, stews and more.
Speaking of broths, these are great to prep as well! Add your vegetables and spices to a pot of boiling water, and let simmer for an hour. These are also great for soups, thinning baby purées and more.
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, there are many benefits to pumping your breast milk. I use mine for milk baths, ear infections, mosquito bites and more. Why purchase loads of storage bags when you can freeze them in freezer trays? Select a 3oz or 1/2oz cubes to fill up and store as needed.
Homemade Treat Prep
Homemade healthy treats can be prepared in advance in your containers for a later date. One of our favourite is chia pudding. I pour some coconut milk or almond milk, along with some chia seeds and chopped fruit to seal and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, I sometimes top it with granola or honey to change things up. Overnight oats is another prep that works well with the EZ Lock containers.