Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

Icon

Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

A Hurried, Sneaky Chef Mom’s Dream

First, I want to make a quick apology that I haven’t been posting much lately. Recently I lost my job (thank you economy!) and am working on some freelance projects to bring in a little income. My goal is to continue posting for chefs of both toddlers and babies. That said, onward!

While perusing Walmart a few weeks ago (yes I peruse Walmart occasionally since I don’t typically YoBaby Meals, Apple and Sweet Potatoshop there), I saw they are carrying the new Stonyfield Farm’s YoBaby 3-in-1 Meals. Yes, sneaky chef has arrived to the dairy case. The packaging boasts, “yogurt + fruit + veggies” and is certified organic. It comes in a 6 ounce container, which is the perfect size for my 2 year old. Basically the meals are plain yogurt with the fruit and veggie puree at the bottom. Stir it up and you’ve got a fruity and creamy delicious yogurt meal. As I’ve mentioned before, she has turned into an incredibly picky eater, and refuses to eat anything green, let alone green AND leafy.

Currently, the YoBaby Meals are available in Apple and Sweet Potato, Pear and Green Beans, and Peach and Squash. (Any of these combos sound familiar, baby food makers?) Little K likes any of them, but loves the Apple and Sweet Potato.

Not to be fooled by clever marketing, one question remains, how much fruit and vegetable puree is actually in this little cup of wonder? I emailed Stonyfield Farms and got a friendly and very timely response:

Thanks for reaching out to us regarding YoBaby Meals! Great to hear that your family is a fan of our latest baby yogurt 🙂

In regards to your question, our current 6oz cup contains 2 tablespoons of fruits & vegetables, which is considered to be one serving for children 0-5 years old. (combined, not each).

Considering Little K will eat the entire cup with no hesitation or fight, I’ll take 2 tablespoons for fruits and veggies ANY DAY. Plus it’s pretty nice that YoBaby Meals cost about $1.

Let me just throw this out there: Dear Meijer, I usually shop at your stores but you’re not currently carrying YoBaby Meals. I’d love it if you did so I didn’t have to go to Walmart for a single item on my list. If you could fix that, it would be great, thanks! Love ya!

In all seriousness, do you shop at Meijer? Tell them you’d like to see YoBaby in their stores by sending them a message.

Disclosure: I have not been compensated, received payment, or accepted any product or service for this review. Please see this blog’s disclosure policy in full here.


Filed under: Apples, Around the Play Yard, baby, Best Of, Butternut Squash, Dairy, Fruit, Green Beans, No-Cook, Peaches, Pear, Reviews, Sweet Potato, Vegetables, Yogurt, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Baby Gear Giveaway and Prose: WooBee Bib

Let me paint a picture of dinner time with my almost 11 month old:

Twas the time before dinner, when all through the house,

There was a creature stirring, a little bigger than a mouse

The pureed food cubes were stored in Ziplocks with care

Pumpkin, bananas, carrots and pear

As Baby K chose lasagna, my heart skipped a beat

Visions of tomato sauce, covering her clothes, face and feet

As dinner was heating we prepped the scene

We needed a bib that would keep Baby K clean

Not this one or that one, everyone would agree

The only bib for the job is the posh Woobee

Beautiful and stylish, plush in a ranch print

For bib after bib I’d no longer sprint

When up from the high chair there rose such a clatter

I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter

Baby K’s newest trick is to spit out her food

Soy milk and lasagna, quite a colorful brew

Armed only with faith and laundry soap

A clean Woobee bib was really my hope

Away Cheerios, lasagna, sweet potato bites and soy milk

Out came the Woobee just as clean as new and softer than silk

Amazing! I cried, happy to see, this snap-closure bib

One of the coolest things since the convertible crib!

I know Christmas has passed, but we could all use a little Christmas spirit every now and then right? Seriously, these bibs are the best. They’re made locally in Seattle by Rain or Shine Kids and feature the WooBee plush fabric that’s both beautiful, soft and water resistant. Rain or Shine Kids also makes WooBee blankets, perfect for outdoors, and WooBee burp cloths in the same fantastic fabric.

Wanna WooBee bib of your own? Check out RainorShineKids.com and comment below about your favorite feature of the WooBee bibs. Rain or Shine Kids has a fantastic sale going on right now until January 31st. Great time to try any of their products out, or stock up for baby shower gifts.

Comments must be entered by January 31st at 5 pm, EST.

When entering our giveaway, please leave a valid email address or make sure your email is available where you can be contacted in the event that you win. Winner must respond within 5 days of email. I can not be held responsible if you do not provide the correct e-mail address or if the e-mail was delivered to your spam folder. US residents only, please.

(Not sure what’s going on with my photo of Baby K in her WooBee bib, she really doesn’t glow, I promise!)

Vanilla Pumpkin is participating in Bloggy Giveaways blog carnival, please visit Bloggy Giveaways for more giveaways.

This contest is now closed! The winner, chosen by random.org, is MRSMOMMYY:

seriously the machine wash had me hooked

Thank you all for entering!

Dear friends, I try hard to exceed your expectations with my posts. If you enjoyed this one, please share it via Delicious, Technorati, StumbleUpon, Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!

Submit to delicioustechnoratistumbletwitterfacebook

Disclosure: I did receive a bib to try, but I believe in transparent and honesty in blogging. Receipt of this product did not influence my review. You can read my disclosure policy in full here.

Filed under: baby, Best Of, Family, Gear, Giveaways, Reading, Reviews, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kitchen Gear: Beaba Babycook

Calling all gadget lovers, time savers, multi-taskers, and lovers of the all-in-one. Let me introduce you to my newest love, the Beaba Babycook.

babycookThe BPA-free Babycook is made to gently steam baby’s meals in 15 minutes or less, and then blend them into perfect purees, all in the same little appliance. And when I say little, the Babycook is so compact that it fit perfectly into a smaller wall cabinet. No sacrifice of counter space or rearranging existing cabinet contents to accommodate the Babycook. Already have have some of baby’s food frozen? Babycook also defrosts and warms precooked foods in the same unit.

For those of you that have read my posts, I’m sure you’ve noticed my preference to steaming most of baby’s foods. The gentle steam helps preserve the nutrients in food because, unlike boiling, the nutrients aren’t removed in the cooking water.

The Babycook was originally a French phenom, but is now making big splashes in the US. Babycook even won the 2008 JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association) Innovation Award.

The Babycook even came with a little cookbook of starter recipes to try out. Baby K loved the Whiting, Rice and Spinach recipe, and I loved how simple and fast it was. Baby K is a little young for a few of the recipes, which are all conveniently categorized by age, but I can’t wait to try the Tomato coulis recipe in the 12-36 months age range.

The first night we had the Babycook, I planned to have salmon, asparagus and potatoes for my husband and I, so I thought I’d put the Babycook to the test right off the bat and make Baby K an adapted version of our family’s meal.

  • small salmon fillet, about 1 oz.
  • 1 small yellow potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 asparagus spears
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of dried parsley

After steaming on the highest water level for about 15 minutes, the salmon, potato and asparagus spears were all perfectly cooked. I used the Babycook spatula to lift the steaming basket out of the unit, and placed the cooked food, olive oil and parsley into the blending container, which contained the cooking liquid. I then switched on the processor and a few seconds later, Baby K was eating her  little dinner.

Other Vanilla Pumpkin recipes well-suited to the Babycook:beaba-babycook

I will say though, that the Babycook isn’t really designed to prepare bulk batches of purees. It’s small steaming basket at 2 1/2 cups is perfect for preparing a few meals.

Beaba Babycook is available at Giggle.com.

Disclosure: I did receive a Babycook to try, but I believe in transparent and honesty in blogging. Receipt of this product did not influence my review. You can read my disclosure policy in full here.

Filed under: baby, Gear, Reviews, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 3 Organic Jarred Baby Foods

Together, with the discriminating palate of my 9 month old, Baby K, we put over 25 mass produced, organic, jarred baby foods to the test. All of these were available at our local Target or Meijer, range from stage 1 to stage 3 foods, and include fruits, vegetables, grain blends, meats and dinners.

Aside from the few that made the top three, there were several that were tasteless and bland, and then several that were downright cringe-inducing. Watch for my post on the Worst 3 Jarred Baby Foods in the next week or so. Hey, we’re on baby time here. Without further ado, here they are, no in particular order, the top 3 mass produced, widely available organic baby foods.

Earth’s Best Peach Oatmeal Banana Fruit and Whole Grain Combinations

We loved Earth’s Best Peach Oatmeal Banana Fruit and Whole Grain, fromEB Peach, Banana, Oatmeal Earth’s Best “2nd Fruit and Whole Grain Combinations” line. Its home-style fruit and oatmeal blend was a familiar taste, but offered a fruity unique combination of peaches and banana, one that I would not have thought to try (but will soon – I’ll keep you posted!).

Gerber Organic Apple and Strawberry

Gerber OrganicFrom Gerber’s Organic 2nd Foods Fruits line, the Apple and Strawberry recipe is just the right blend of apple and strawberry flavors. Neither flavor dominates the taste, and it doesn’t taste overly sweet, unlike some of the other fruit blends we tried. More on Gerber Organic Apple Strawberry.

Gerber Organic Butternut Squash and Corn

2nd_organic_butternut_squash_and_cornAgain, from Gerber’s Organic 2nd Foods, the Butternut Squash and Corn is such a sweet blend of vegetables. Baby K didn’t like corn alone, but paired with the butternut squash in Gerber’s organic baby food, she couldn’t kick her little feet fast enough. (See, that’s one of her ways of showing approval) More on Gerber Organic Butternut Squash and Corn.

Look for my Top 3 Baby Food knockoff recipes in the next few weeks as well as the three commercially jarred baby foods that we won’t try again. Until then, Merry Christmas!

Does your baby have any favorites? Please comment below!

Filed under: Best Of, food, Reviews, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

For Moms – Holiday Giveaways

This week, while on my weekly quest for recipes and menu planning ideas, I came across this great site, Menu Planning Central. Menu Planning Central is a project of The Menu Mom, and provides weekly menus in a variety of options, including Family Friendly, Healthy and Vegetarian menus. Each of the menus comes with the recipes and categorized grocery lists. Speaking from experience, menu planning is hands-down the best way to save money at the grocery, eat healthier, and avoid the weeknight what-are-we-going-to-eat panics that inevitably lead to eating out or fast food. If you’re looking for a quick way to get started with menu planning, or just want something different, Menu Planning Central is worth the visit.

Right now, Menu Planning Central even has a Christmas care package, free for moms (or dads). Everyone knows that planning is key to smooth sailing at any holiday. The free, downloadable Care Package includes:

  • Printable Christmas carol songbook

    Guilty Party

    Guilty Party

  • Gingerbread house instructions
  • Online gingerbread house decorating activity
  • Snowman face-painting instructions
  • Free menu planning kit

Follow to Menu Planning Central Care Package.

Photo from Gudlyf’s Flickr Photostream – thanks!

Filed under: Family, food, Giveaways, Holiday Menu, , , , , , , , , ,

Eco-Friendly Shoes for First Steps

 

When Baby K started pulling up and cruising around our furniture last month, my heart skipped a few beats when I realized it was time for her first pair of shoes. A trip to our local children’s shoe store brought back memories of my childhod trips to the Stride Rite store. Brinkman’s in Muncie carefully measured Baby K and brought out a whole variety of first walker shoes. It was no surpise that a pair of Stride Rite’s Early Walkers fit her as if they were customized just for her.

Stride Rite Natural Motion System in Puffling

Stride Rite Natural Motion System in Puffling

Stride Rite’s Natural Motion System early-walker shoes are much more than just adorably chunky. Designed using Stride Rite’s signature Natural Motion System, the flexible soles allow baby to confidently walk following their natural stride path, yet provide the protection that their developing feet need. The soft, leather lining is breathable and the insole offers baby well-cushioned stability. Baby K has both the Kit (brown and pink) and Puffling (sugar pink) styles, and both are equipped with oversized, easy to manage velcro straps that combine sturdiness and baby friendly delicacy. The big opening and handy back tab makes Stride Rite’s Natural Motion System Early Walker shoes quick and easy to put on – but not as easy for little hands to pull off.
Stride Rite is even joining the ranks of big companies using more earth friendly materials. The NMS early walkers have outsoles made of recycled rubber, natural stitching, and use water-based inks for the details and logo. They even come in a cute little recycled box that is now home to an assortment of rattles, blocks, and the occasional Baked Cheesey Cracker.
With Baby K sporting her new Stride Rites, I’m able to watch her toddle around with the same confidence that my mom had when she took me to buy my first pair of Stride Rite shoes over 25 years ago.

Filed under: baby, Reviews, Shoes, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Explore

All A-Twitter