Category Archives: Homemade Snacks

Friends, Meet Milton!

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.

Favourite Features:
•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.

Cons:
•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.

Get 10% off:
For the month of August, use discount code “kidfoodideas10” to get 10% off your purchase! Free shipping to addresses in the USA!

Milton Online:
Website: https://www.mealswithmilton.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mealswithmilton
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mealswithmilton/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mealswithmilton

***I received Milton for review purposes. I have not been compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.

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Filed under 6+ Months, 7+ Months, 8+ Months, Blog, Fast Food, Finger Food, Full Plate Ideas, Homemade Snacks, On the go, Product Reviews, Raw, Toddler Friendly, Vegan Friendly, Vegetarian Friendly

7 Food & Snack Prep Ideas

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.

Purées
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.

Infused Water
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
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.

Homemade Broths
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.

Breast milk
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.

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Filed under 6+ Months, 7+ Months, 8+ Months, Blog, Finger Food, Homemade Snacks, On the go, Product Reviews, Purees, Toddler Friendly

Grapes, Kiwi and Cabbage/Applejuice

Details:
Our two year old enjoyed some grapes, while our six (almost seven) month old chewed on these two kiwi slices, and than drank a full ounce of homemade juiced cabbage/apple. Juicing can take seconds to do, and it’s such a great alternative to store bought. No added sugar and weird ingredients.

Credit:
Stainless steel cup by SipSnaps.
Stainless steel leak proof snack box by Innobabyllc.

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Filed under 8+ Months, Adult Friendly, Dairy Free, Fast Food, Homemade Snacks, Juice, lunch box, On the go, Raw, Toddler Friendly, Vegan Friendly, Vegetarian Friendly

Grapefruit & Banana

Ingredients:
Grapefruit
Chia Seeds
Banana
Kiwi
Granola

Instructions:
Blend and serve

Notes:
It’s fit for babies age 6+ months (or when baby can sit up on their own), BUT you might want to omit the granola for first stage weaners, as it sometimes stays in clusters. Or you can grind it, but I haven’t tried that yet. This is being served up in our Simple Baby Foods reusable pouches. The back is transparent, allowing kiddos to see their meal as they consume it!

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Filed under 6+ Months, 7+ Months, 8+ Months, Adult Friendly, Dairy Free, Homemade Snacks

(No Egg/No Flour) Granola Breakfast Bites

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
1 dash of cinnamon
2 dashes of nutmeg
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup granola clusters
7 pitted dates

Instructions:
1.Preheat oven at 300°F
2.Peel your bananas and hand mash them until the texture is smooth
3.Add your nutmeg and cinnamon, and let it sit for five minutes
4.Chop your dates into small pieces (really small to avoid choking hazard for smaller babies. Larger for toddlers/adults)
5.To the mashed banana, stir in your chopped dates, granola and oats
6.grease your Kiddo Feedo tray with a little oil of your choice (I used EVOO)
7.Fill up each compartment with the mixture (fill each one to equal size with one Kiddo Feedo tray)
8.Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes. I turned off the oven and let it sit for another 5 minutes because I wanted it a bit more cooked

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Filed under 8+ Months, Adult Friendly, Dairy Free, Finger Food, Homemade Snacks, Toddler Friendly, Vegan Friendly, Vegetarian Friendly