Squeeze Em’s: Reusable Food Pouches

squeeze em's pouch

All  babies and toddlers seem to love the baby food pouches you can now buy on just about any supermarket shelf, but let’s face it, the little suckers can get expensive, not to mention that I’m not always thrilled with what some brands contain. However, the ease and mess-free feeding that comes along with them, can now also be had with Squeeze Em’s.

I was always a make-my-own baby food kind of mom, and with Squeeze Em’s any homemade mixtures can easily be made into a fun food pouch (or you can also easily get more economical and fill your own pouches with apple sauce, etc, versus paying much more for the pre-packaged). Aria loves the fun of the pouch and I love that more food ends up in her mouth (versus all over her and everything else)!

At first I was skeptical that the Squeeze Em’s would last, but with multiple washes they are still in great shape.  Also, the wide mouth allows you to easily pour your food in, and the locking tops make them super easy to travel with. They are BPA free and environmentally friendly, and you can even throw them in the dishwasher or freezer. I only wish I had discovered them sooner (when I was pureeing like crazy).  Definitely worth checking out.

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Halloween: Cats don’t eat candy…

So, yesterday was Aria’s first celebration of Halloween. She was the cat’s meow in her sweet little leopard print sweat suit, and of course I had to get in on the fun. We hit up the kid’s party in Washington Square Park first (joined by a few more cool cats), and then did the rounds collecting candy through the West Village.

halloween healthy catswashington square park halloween paradepopcorn halloween!

Fortunately, this halloween I was able to get a little tricky and keep her toddler hands off the candy. She still has not idea what it really is, and this morning when she started asking for her “treats,” I was able hand off a banana a women in the building randomly gave her when we were walking up the stairs just back from trick or treating (thank you).  I told her dad I will have to pick up some fun colorful kid’s packs of raisins, etc to hand off to her when she started asking again.

I know as a kid we all turned our noses up at those who gave out raisins and pretzels, but as a parent of a toddler I was wishing for it.  I was super grateful to discover these in the goody bag from the park (Aria couldn’t get enough of the lemon broccoli ones– yes, lemon broccoli).  I was also indebted to out neighbors on the next block over who handed out fresh popcorn with the candy (yes, I broke all the rules and let her eat a non-packaged item from a “stranger.”) Aria was quite happy with her cup of corn and parked herself on their stoop for a good 20 minutes.  After that she scored in Marc Jacob’s makeup store on Bleeker when she walked out with samples instead of candy. They couldn’t resist her cute little face, and (full disclosure) I kinda knew that would be the case when I sent her in despite knowing they weren’t giving out candy. Trick & treat!

Best costume catch of the night: Brooke Shields walking down Bleeker as a City Bike.  Wish I would have snapped a shot.

Weekend Delight: Whole Wheat Pancakes (that actually taste good!)

It’s was rainy Sunday morning at the lake house, so breakfast got more attention than usual. I discovered this amazing whole wheat pancake recipe a while back, and ever since I made the first batch Aria’s been asking for more. She now also wants to “help”, which usually includes a spill and added cleanup, but is still super cute . I spruce up the recipe by throwing sliced bananas in the mix  (as well as on top of the finished product along with fresh strawberries).

Oh, don’t get scared off by the fact that the recipe has you adding apple cider vinegar to milk to essentially curdle it (ew). These are so light, fluffy and really delicious.  A great way to sweeten up a rainy day.

AMAZING WHOLE WHEAT PANCAKES 
Serves 2-3

picstitch

What you’ll need:

1 cup of milk
1 tsp of vinegar (white or apple cider)
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp of sugar (I even skipped this and they were still great)
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tsp of melted butter (and a bit for melting on griddle)
1 egg
1 banana (optional)
3-4 fresh strawberries (optional)

Directions:
Combine the milk and vinegar and let the mixture curdle and then mix together the other ingredients while it does.

In a big bowl, whisk to combine the whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, melted butter, and the curdled milk, until it looks fairly homogenous and smooth.

Then, whisk the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir the two together until just barely mixed. Make sure any visible loose flour to be stirred in, but leave the lumps. If you stir out the lumps, the pancakes will likely be tough.

Gently stir in 1/2 a banana sliced (optional)

Preheat a nonstick griddle to 375 degrees F and grease the surface with butter.  On my stovetop I just put the flame a little above mid-way.

Add small scoops of pancake batter w large spoon.  Cook for a few minutes, until you start to see bubbling on the surface. Flip the pancakes and cook for a few minutes on the other side, Both sides should be golden.

Garnish with rest of banana sliced and some sliced strawberries.

Enjoy!

Additional HealthyStyle Note:
You can skip the syrup to kick up the nutrition factor. I use a little Agave on mine, and Aria is still happy enough with them as is (I’m all about keeping the sweet stuff away from the littles until it’s impossible to hide it from them!) Real Maple Syrup is also a much better option than a lot of the store bought stuff.