When it comes to starting solids, it seems like there are several schools of thought. There’s the traditional route of rice cereal and purées, and within that category are those who make all their purées from scratch and then there are those who use store-bought purée. There’s baby-led weaning, which is considered progressive in some cultures, but if you talk to any mom with more than two kids you’ll probably hear something about how their third started on table food much more quickly than their other children did. There are those who say, “Food before one is just for fun,” and those who feel like their babies need more than breastmilk or formula to stay satisfied.
And I’m going to tell you that however you decide to start feeding your babies solids is for you and your child’s pediatrician to decide. I like to do a large combination of all of these things because I am all about balance, reality, and the ease with which I can adapt my kids to everyday life.
But I’m also going to tell you that amidst writing this post and introducing solids to Chloe, I also had to change my entire approach. So take it all with a grain of salt, and modify when needed. There's a saying in Spanish, "Cada hijo es un mundo," and it translates to "Each child is a world." Basically, no two children are the same, and what works for one of your children may not work for another. So like with anything else related to children, adapt adapt ADAPT.
First things first. Talk to your child's pediatrician. Make sure your pediatrician thinks your child is ready to start solids. With both of my kids, since I was exclusively breastfeeding, my pediatrician's recommendation was to wait until 6 months to introduce solids. I also feel more comfortable waiting until my kids are sitting up a little better, even if it's with support, just so that they aren't flopping over.
Decide on how you will start and gather what you need. If you're buying foods, figure out which ones you need to buy. If you're making it yourself, you'll need a few additional supplies! You don't need a special baby food maker - but you will need something in which to steam your veggies, a good blender, and containers to store and freeze the foods. You can check out my Amazon Idea List to see some of the things I use.
Just start! Don't overthink it too much. If your baby is showing interest in foods, it's probably a good time to try it.
A couple of key points I follow, regardless of what methods I'm trying:
Baby-Led Weaning vs. Traditional Purees
When I was ready to introduce solids to Caleb, I did a lot of reading up and came across baby-led weaning (BLW). I thought it had some really great merits, but I was still a little hesitant. I had a conversation with a great friend about it and she told me she had done a combination of BLW and traditional purees with her twins. After talking about how she did it, I knew it was something I could really get behind.
Some of the things I liked about BLW:
So how did I integrate the two?
Whenever I tried a new food, I introduced the "solid" first. These are finger-sized pieces of food that baby can grab and bite. Vegetables are steamed or boiled so they are soft enough for baby to chew. I prepared half of the food this way and then pureed the other half. After they had a chance to explore the new food, I would give them some in puree form so that I could make sure they ingested it. So I basically combined the best of the two methods and found what worked for us.
Again, this may or may not work for you, and for Chloe, it's been an adventure. I finally figured out that she likes fruits, but she isn't crazy about veggies, so if I mix the two, she will eat it. Of course she wants nothing to do with homemade food!
If you are in the process of starting solids with your little one, I hope this helps. But again, please please please check with your child's pediatrician before you introduce solids. This is simply me experience with my children and I am not a medical professional.
Good luck, mommas (and daddies, too!)! You've got this!
Disclosure: I've partnered with PerfectFit Meals for this post.
As a mom to young kids, I don't often have a ton of time to prepare meals for myself on a daily basis. Most days I'm okay with leftovers or some eggs for lunch, but sometimes I want something different. When PerfectFit Meals reached out to me, I thought this was something that I could really fit into my day-to-day.
Unlike a meal delivery service, I can find these at my local Publix grocery store, and I can keep as many or as few on hand as I want. They give me the option to have a nutritionally balanced lunch, designed by a dietician, and filled with the same ingredients I might use at home.
They are sealed for freshness, so they don't have to be frozen, and they take less than three minutes to heat up and be ready to eat. They use a process called high pressure processing to kill off bacteria and make the food safe to eat and keep in your refrigerator longer than most meals. All of the meals I tried were delicious, and I was actually able to eat them all one-handed because of the way they were prepared.
My husband actually tried some of the meals as well and he was really impressed with the taste. While some of them have a higher sodium content than I would like to consume on a really regular basis, they did have some options that had a lower sodium content. If you're worried about sodium, the Roasted Pork Loin meal has the lowest sodium content of all the meals and was so tasty (it was actually my favorite!). I also don't eat a diet high in sodium, so that's not really a concern for me if I'm eating a couple of these a week. They have a couple of Paleo options if you're on a Paleo diet. A couple of the meals (like the Turkey Skillet Scramble I'm pictured eating) had a little more of a kick than I'm used to, but they were still good and didn't have enough of a kick that it affected Chloe when I nursed her.
I thought the meals were filling, and hearty enough that I wasn't hungry afterwards. The meals didn't taste like they had been sitting around forever, either. I can honestly see myself keeping a few of these in my fridge for the days when I realize it's 2 pm, I have to pick Caleb up from school, and I haven't had lunch yet. Because they are ready so quickly, they're just a really good option so I'm not eating fried eggs or peanut butter and jelly five days a week (clearly I have a very grown up diet lol).
So if you're struggling to eat a balanced meal a couple times a week, grab a couple of these and keep 'em in your fridge. I don't think you'll be disappointed! You can find out if your local grocery store carries them here.
*Links are affiliate links.
July has been a busy month! It's obviously my favorite because I celebrate my birthday, but I love the laid back vibes that July always brings because it's summertime. I'm not crazy about this heat, but I can't change that, so we embrace it with trips to the beach and lots of indoor activities. Anyway, here's what I've been loving this month!
The product was gifted to me in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This past Sunday, while Eddie was off at a course, I decided I was going to brave our local Publix store by myself with both kids. I had a little anxiety about it, but there were a few things we were out of and I didn't want to place another delivery order. I had promised Caleb that we would make Hulk Muffins this week, and I needed some of the ingredients for that. Plus, I really wanted to use my Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock.
As shown in the image above, putting your child's infant seat in the seat that is meant for older children is a really unsafe way to go about doing your groceries. It throws off the cart's balance and can easily lead to the cart tipping over and the infant seat falling (super scary, right?). When Caleb was a baby, I remember getting so frustrated when I went grocery shopping, because his infant seat took up the entire basket area of the cart, so I was really limited in the amount of groceries I could buy.
But with the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock, I was able to save tons of space in the cart. I was even able to put things under Chloe while she was in there. Caleb loved being able to see his little sister, and it really did make the shopping trip that much more pleasant since I knew she was safe and I didn't have to limit my groceries too much. The hammock fits most standard grocery carts, holds up to 50 pounds, and if you don't feel comfortable having your baby in the hammock on it's own, you can actually fit a standard infant carrier in the hammock, which frees up all that space for you under the infant seat. You can safely use it until baby is sitting up on their own.
The hammock clips onto the sides of the grocery cart with two plastic clips, and you secure it with a velcro strap on both sides. I felt like Chloe was really secure in there! There is also a safety harness to keep the baby in place.
So even though Chloe did decide to melt down at the very end of the shopping trip and let the entire store know how hangry she really was, the shopping trip leading up to that point was as smooth as I could have expected it to be thanks to this nifty little invention.
Want a Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock of your own? Shop this affiliate link and get 10% off your order! This also makes a pretty awesome gift for a new or expecting momma.
The biggest reason we went to the grocery store was to make Hulk Muffins for Caleb. I made these once before and documented the process so I could publish on the blog, and I'm glad I documented it then and not this time, because this time was an epic failure. I decided to sub out whole wheat flour for coconut flour, and let's just say it was a dry crumbly mess. Apparently coconut flour is super absorbent and you need to use way less of it and more eggs, and I had no idea, so we had a failure this time around. But the first time around, they were a yummy hit. They are green because they are loaded with spinach, and they are sweetened with applesauce, so they're not loaded with sugar.
They were so much of a hit that one evening, Caleb ate FOUR of them (and then refused dinner, which was fine by me). So if you have a picky eater, you may want to give these a try! We call them Hulk Muffins because he's obsessed with anything related to super heroes, and he got to watch them grow in the oven like the Hulk does. But they would work well with a ton of other names. I actually had him help me with the process and he really enjoyed it!
Recipe originally from Pretty Providence
Servings: 18 muffins
So there are a lot of things I haven't been really great about this pregnancy, and eating super well has not been one of them. With both of my pregnancies, my first trimester has been all about the carbs. Second trimesters I've been pretty balanced. But this third trimester I have been feeling pretty exhausted (read: lazy). I would definitely say that I have been lacking in the department of a well-balanced diet - thank goodness for vitamins!
But a couple of months ago, local Miami chef and author Lauren Arboleda of Food from the Heart sent me a copy of her book Pregnancy from the Heart. Her book is really great because it talks about how to keep yourself healthy during pregnancy, along with tips for staying active, and preparing for baby's arrival.
Last week, I was feeling a little yucky with some of the food choices I had been making, and I was really craving an açaí bowl. So I opened up the book to a page I had bookmarked, with the recipe for homemade granola and an açaí bowl. While I didn't have all the ingredients for the granola, I mixed together a few of the ingredients I DID have, and then made the açaí bowl. It was exactly what I needed - it was filling, and it made me feel like I was at least getting some veggies and lots of vitamins and antioxidants in! Read below for the recipe, along with what else I've been loving from this book!
recipe can be found on page 121
1 frozen package of açaí (no sugar added) [Trader Joes has, I also found at Publix]
1/2 cup pineapple
4 cups kale (I actually subbed for spinach because I didn't have kale)
I also added a tablespoon of peanut butter since this was my lunch and I wanted to add a little more protein.
1. Add everything to the blender and blend until smooth.
2. Pour in a bowl and sprinkle granola on top.
3. Add anything else you would like - I added fresh strawberries and drizzled with a little local Orange Blossom Honey that we picked up at the farmers market a few weeks ago.
Something else that is different from my pregnancy with Caleb - with Caleb, I made the time to go to prenatal yoga at least once a week during all of my second and most of my third trimester. This time, I never got around to it. But, Lauren has included a section in her book that has all the yoga poses you will need to help with all the typical pregnancy ailments. So I have actually been doing some of these yoga poses to help alleviate heartburn and back pain!
I've also jumped around the book checking my list with hers for how to prep for baby's arrival and what to pack for the hospital.
It's a beautifully illustrated book, and a great resource for a healthy, holistic pregnancy. I think it would make a beautiful gift for anyone you know who has recently announced their pregnancy, or even as a gift for yourself! You can buy it by following this link, or on Amazon, or at Books & Books in Coral Gables (my favorite bookstore ever and actually where I held Caleb's baby shower!).
Keep it cool, mamas!
A special thank you to Mixto Food & Drink for hosting us! And thank you to Jessica Marinello for most of these photos since I was a scatterbrain and didn't take any photos with my camera!
A few weeks ago I hosted my first brunch for local mom bloggers at Mixto Food & Drink in Miami Springs. It was an intimate affair where we got to chat about motherhood, family life, and balancing real life with being a blogger. It was a nice change of pace to be able to chat with other moms who are going through the same things as I am in multiple ways.
The brunch was an idea Gina, who owns the restaurant along with her husband Ernie, brought to me a few months ago, and after a postponement due to Hurricane Irma, we finally made it happen. I was excited to host brunch in a new spot with great meals, and Mixto did not disappoint!
First, can we talk about their decor? I love the black and gold decor and the amazing chandelier that you see when you walk in. The second floor is set up like a mini library with a few tables as well. I also love the communal table in the center of the restaurant. One of my favorite things however? The tables, which are decoupaged with pages from some of Gina's favorite books! She and her daughters did those all themselves. Such a cool idea!
But I know what you really want to know about is the food, right? They kicked off their brunch just a few weeks before we went, and the brunch menu made me want to try one of everything. I was between the Croquette Benedict and the Tater Tot Waffle, but I settled on the Croquette Benedict because, well, Eggs Benedict. Honestly, it was so good that I would have licked my plate had it not been for the fact that I was in the company of really wonderful ladies whom I did not want to gross out!
I followed up my breakfast with a cup of decaf hibiscus tea, which was delicious. And we decided to split a slice of guava cheesecake, which was spectacular.
And the amazing ladies who joined me, you should definitely go check them out! They are all amazing mommas and have some incredible talents and focuses that they show off on their blogs!
Angie at The Real Food Mama
Jessica at A Mother Adventure
Saray at Saray & Co.
Yarlenis at Her Inspired Guide
Nicole at Nico the Adventurista
We got to chat about blogging goals, motherhood goals, and shared tips and tricks for everything under the sun.
So go check out these mommas, and if you're in the area, go check out MiXto - I promise they won't disappoint!
P.S. If you're in the area on October 28th, MiXto is participating in a community trick-or-treat party, which is free to the community. It will take place from 5:30 - 8:30, so go check them out!
This first trimester was a rough one for me. It's been totally different from my pregnancy with Caleb in basically every way possible - from finding out we were expecting to telling family to some of my symptoms. I had pregnancy nausea ALL DAY LONG for basically the entirety of the first trimester. I also had this exhaustion that was unimaginable. Some days I couldn't seem to get myself out of bed. These two symptoms are finally just starting to subside, but the first trimester is no joke.
For me, there were a few items that really helped to make the first trimester just a little easier, and I'll share them here because they might help you out a little, too!
Food/Grocery Delivery Services
Because I was feeling so crappy, I was having a hard time getting myself to do anything in the kitchen. Eddie took over a lot of the stuff that really gave me a hard time, like laundry (the bending over would cause me to feel more nausea), and he took over some of the cooking for me, too. But some nights neither of us felt like cooking, so we utilized UberEats (if you want $5 off your first order use the code eats-jenises35ue) and Postmates a lot. I was also too exhausted to brave the grocery store alone with Caleb, so I used my Shipt subscription often to have my groceries brought to me! I also took advantage of Babe Appetite's services and ordered food for Caleb so he had some nice home cooked meals for lunch and dinner. Basically, I did whatever it took to feed us except get in the kitchen myself!
I know it sounds crazy, but my belly was fuller and more bloated at 6 or 7 weeks than it was at nearly 13. My pants were tight right away so I pulled out my maternity pants and started using them. But I also put to good use a lot of swing dresses and maxi dresses. Loose, flowy tops that hid the waistband of any pants I was wearing were also great. But dresses are the best, because anything on my actual belly bothered me. This top is from Knox Rose for Target.
I find that the more water I drink, the better I feel. I'm not usually very good about drinking water, but having an insulated tumbler that keeps my water cold for a long time has definitely been helpful in getting all the water I need for the day. My adorable personalized one is from Creative Sparkles.
Root Touch-Up Spray
I have a lot of gray hair. I'm not exaggerating, I have more than the average 32 year old. It's hereditary, and I have come to terms with it, but I try to keep up with dying my roots because I feel like it makes me look disheveled when I don't have them done. Since it's not advised to dye your hair so close to the scalp in your first trimester, I was suffering with loads of uncovered gray hair. I found this root spray - L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Spray. I use the Dark Brown color. For days when I'm not wearing my hair down and want to cover those gray hairs up, this does the trick in a pinch, and it washes right out when you shampoo!
Especially in the first trimester, to keep nausea at bay, I always have snacks in my bag. Even throughout the rest of pregnancy, I try to always have something in my bag, because you never know when hunger will strike when you're pregnant! Some of my favorite snacks to keep on hand are peanut butter crackers, a banana, goldfish, or a cheese stick. When I was home, these popsicles were a great way to help keep cool and hydrated.
Let's face it - your body starts preparing you for having children from the day you get pregnant. Between increasing my water intake and having to use the bathroom 3 times a night and feeling restless and uncomfortable, the need for a good concealer is REAL. I love Laura Mercier Secret Concealer for Undereye. It's light and does a great job at covering up the unsightly dark circles. I usually dust a little Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder over it so it sets and stays put all day.
Again, pregnancy nausea did a number on me. I actually ended up on Diclegis and then later on Unisom (ask your OB before taking anything), but even with the medication I still felt gross half the time. Anything with ginger truly helped. I would steep some ginger in boiling water and squeeze some lemon into it and drink that. I would drink Ginger Ale. I had some Lemon Ginger candies. I also kept Ginger Essential Oil in my purse at all times and would take a big whiff whenever I felt really queasy. I even made my Carrot Ginger Soup in the middle of summer because I figured it would help (and it did!). But all of those things truly helped to keep the nausea more manageable.
I tried Wine Country Soda for the first time when we were in Napa, and I was so impressed with it that I went home and ordered a couple of bottles to have at home. It's not alcoholic, but it tastes better than grape juice. It's sparkling, and it's made of the same grapes as wine, it's just not fermented, so it makes me feel like I'm drinking some bubbly. Definitely a great stand in if you don't want to feel left out on girls night or any night!
Pregnancy Safe Face Wash
I've written before about my routine for my acne-prone skin, but being pregnant, I can't use my BP wash as it's a high concentration of Benzoyl Peroxide. I tried a few drugstore face washes and they weren't doing the trick - I was breaking out like crazy. I met a rep from Sunday Riley at Sephora, and she totally sold me on their Ceramic Slip face wash. I have been using it for a few weeks and I've seen an improvement in my skin - not as drastic as my medicated face wash, but I'll take it!
And there you have it - all the things that got me through my first trimester!
I don't know about where you live, but it has been brutally hot here. Some days you walk out the door, and feel the vapor attack you. It takes a good five minutes for my camera's parts to get de-fogged, and I'm sweating within 30 seconds of stepping outside.
Needless to say, we are consuming large quantities of anything cold around here - I'm drinking iced coffee, eating cold salads, and trying to be in the air conditioning every possible moment.
Obviously, cold treats are a must, but after consuming way more ice cream than we should while on vacation, I'm trying to opt for some healthier alternatives. So I ordered these popsicle molds* off of Amazon. (*affiliate link)
On Monday, I had some berries that I needed to use up, so I decided to go ahead and make some popsicles. I wasn't in the mood to use the blender, so I just tossed the ingredients into the mold. It could not be any easier! I'm not including measurements because I honestly didn't measure them. This isn't a true recipe, just a guideline!
These popsicles, aside from being crazy refreshing, also have no sugar added, are really hydrating, and contain a serving of fruits (as well as some protein because of the Greek yogurt). Plus, those last bits of fruit that hadn't been used up didn't have to go to waste!
strawberries, hulled and sliced
plain Greek yogurt
I mean, look at that face and tell me he didn't enjoy those! lol
Keep cool, lovers!
We are home from our two week stay at the beach! We enjoyed ourselves so much, but if you have ever spent a day at the beach, you know how hungry you can get - and let's just say that we ate heartily! I got groceries yesterday and decided to whip up some acas bowls for breakfast this morning, in an effort to get some good nutrients in and to fill our bellies with yumminess.
This is a breakfast that is easier to make than it looks. Just pick your ingredients and toss them in the blender! The fancy toppings are just an extra, and you absolutely don't have to spend a lot of time on that! I don't really measure the ingredients, I just do it based on what we want that morning, so I'll give you an estimate, but feel free to change it up and add what you like! Frozen fruits are always best to use in these, they make the bowl less "soup-y" and more custard-like.
Peanut Butter Acai Bowl
1 packet frozen acai puree (I get this at Trader Joe's)
1 cup kale
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 cup frozen cherries
1. Blend together first 6 ingredients until smooth.
2. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Top with blueberries, 1/2 sliced banana, chia seeds, and granola.
Earlier this week, my friend Kathy from Freshly Squeezed Fashionista and I went exploring in Little Havana, a classic Miami neighborhood that pays homage to all things Cuban. We took some outfit shots for her, and then I handed my camera to her and had her snap a few shots for me as well.
We started off at Ball and Chain, where we hung out for a little bit, I snapped a few shots of her, and we had this incredible drink called the Pastelito Daiquiri. It had rum, guava puree, and a few other ingredients that I'm not sure of, but it had a pastelito de guayaba floating in the top of the drink. It was like my favorite childhood breakfast was turned into the drink of my dreams! Haha Ball and Chain has live music all the time, and the night scene is pretty awesome. If you're looking for a cool spot to hit up in Miami, this is definitely a great one!
We had been promising our boys ice cream all morning, so we decided to stop into Azucar. We both got the Abuela Maria, which is vanilla ice cream, with chunks of guava, cream cheese, and Maria crackers. This is a snack my grandmother used to make for me after school, so it's always a little bit of nostalgia when I have this. The boys loved their ice cream!
The bright streets and lively colors of the Little Havana area made for the perfect backdrop for these photos. My friends over at Truth & Glory sent me this adorable Blessed Mama tee, and I think it's perfect for any mama in your life. And from now until Saturday, use the code TOPKNOT to get 15% off of your purchase from their shop! They are a local Miami shop, so if you want to shop local - contact them for sure!
I paired the tee with these super comfy shorts from Gap, and these colorful pom pom sandals from Target.
We wrapped up our afternoon by having a delicious medianoche sandwich at El Exquisito. Overall, it was a hot but really fun day in Little Havana, and I can't wait to go back!
About this Mom
A Miami wife and mom documenting her days with her toddler and all that comes along with it.