Delicious 5-Minute Dips Your Littles Will LOVE

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We recently discovered President's Choice's fully cooked chicken strips and have been hooked ever since. They're the perfect quick weeknight dinner and a great option for our baby sitter when she needs to cook for Zane! All you do is Heat and Eat! And what better way to sneak in some fruits and veggies than with some quick and easy homemade dips? We paired our strips with a Mango Curry Sauce, a Pico de Gallo and an easy peasy Guacamole. You can make all 3 in under 10 mins!

Mango Curry Sauce

Add the following ingredients into a blender and blend: 
2 mangos peeled, pitted and sliced
2 tbs of orange juice
1 pinch of curry powder
1 tbs of vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

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Pico de Gallo

Dice the following ingredients and mix well:
Juice from 1 lime
1 tomato diced
Coriander to taste
1/4 onion
1/4 red pepper
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

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Guacamole

I used a blender for this guacamole to make it easier for Zane to dip but you can mix it by hand for a more chunky sauce. TIP: Keep the avocado pit and leave it in the centre of your guacamole until you're ready to eat it - it will stop it from turning brown :)

2 ripe avocados
Juice from 1 lime
1/2 tomato
1 small onion
Pinch of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

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5 Awesome Loot Bag Ideas for Babies and Toddlers!

Get 15% off of everything below as well as all regular priced items at at Elfe.com using the code ZANE15. It's only valid until March 23, 2018 (certain restrictions apply) so don't wait!

Are you looking for creative, amazing and practical loot bag ideas for your child’s next birthday party? Look no further! I’ve rounded up my top 5 loot bag ideas for babies and toddlers (and chose 3 of them for Zane’s birthday party last month! You can click here to read all about his Jungle Themed Birthday). I went on the hunt for loot bag ideas that kids would be able to enjoy long after the party ended and I hope you love these ideas as much as I do! You can also get 15% off of everything below as well as all regular priced items at at Elfe.com using the code ZANE15. It's only valid until March 23, 2018 (certain restrictions apply).

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1.     Sip N' Snack Cup: This is a cup that’s perfect for self-feeders and kids who can sip from a straw. It’s an adorable and practical loot bag idea that that the kids will want to start using the second they leave the party! It’s a sippy cup and snack container all in one! It has a genius snack container on the top and a sippy cup on the bottom. I decided to sweeten up the bag a bit and add some candy to the loot bags too! We gave these away at Zane’s Birthday Party to the children that were 2 – 5 years old. Click here to find out more!

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2.     3-Step Teether Set: We had a few babies at Zane’s party that where under 9 months and so what better gift than colourful, texture filled teethers that will help soothe their sore teething gums? This 3 pack of tethers is awesome because it covers your mini from start to finish during teething! Click here to find out more!

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3.     Bath Time Toss: What’s more fun than bath time? Nothing once you have this colourful floating octopus! This Bath Time Toss is great for kids 18 months+ and they’ll have a blast playing with it in the bath. Zane is only 1 year so he doesn't quite understand that he's supposed to toss the rings on the tentacles but LOVES it none the less :) Click here to find out more!

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4.     Plush Teething Blanket: This is one of Zane's fave toys at the moment. It’s a teether, a little lovey and has crinkle paper inside so it’s a toy that keeps him entertained as well! I love how colorful it is, the price point is great for loot bags and parents will thank you for sending their kids home with such a memorable and useful toy! Click here to find out more!

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5.     Snack Keeper: This cup is PERFECT for children who are at the finger food and snack age. Zane loves to feed himself but also loves tipping over his bowls (and this mama does not love constantly cleaning my floor). It has a special flexible opening at the top that keeps the snacks in, but lets your minis stick their hands in to grab out the snacks! I decided to add some Puffies into the loot bags so that they could start enjoying their bowls asap! I also added in a plastic spoon as a little bonus so that the parents could use the bowl for other things as well. Click here to find out more!

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Make sure if you pick these up, you get an extra one for your mini because they won’t want to let them go once they see it (the struggle is real when you pick out great loot bags lol!)

Don't forget you can get 15% off of site wide at at Elfe.com using the code ZANE15. It's only valid until March 23, 2018 (certain restrictions apply)!

 

My 3 Tips for Finding the Right Baby Bottle

The search for the right bottle for a new baby can be a long one. Every baby is so different and even as they grow, their preferences can change overnight. There are so many bottles on the market all promising to do different things, so I'm going to share with you what I looked for and why I'm recommending the Baby Brezza Bottle (they are sold at Buy Buy Baby and at Walmart)

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1. Find a bottle that is EASY to clean with as few parts as possible - Many of the bottles out there, specifically the one's designed for anti-colic, have 3, 4 even 5 different parts. No one wants to be taking apart a 5 piece bottle to clean multiple times a day. The Baby Brezza Bottle, for example, is an anti-colic bottle with only 2 parts and a TruFlo Vent System to minimize colic and discomfort from gas so there is no need to give up function for simplicity. You can have it all in a bottle with Baby Brezza!

2. Find a bottle that mimics the shape of the breast and nipple for an easy transition in feeding - Whether you are breast feeding, formula feeding or both, any bottle that closely resembles the natural breast will make your feeding journey easier. It means your mini will inhale less air while drinking and will have an easier time switching back and forth from bottle to breast. The Baby Brezza Bottle has an ultra wide mouth and a breast-like nipple which will help avoid nipple confusion!

3. Make sure the bottle you ultimately choose is easy to hold, both for you and your mini - the shape and weight of a bottle is so important. You will be using bottles for the first year, if not longer of your baby's life, and the ultimate goal will be to teach your baby to feed themselves. A bottle that is too heavy, too thin, too wide or an awkward shape will not only be a nuisance for you, but will make it difficult for your baby to learn to be self-dependent! The Baby Brezza Bottle has an ergonomic design that is easy to hold and it is super light weight making it great for every stage of feeding!

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We loved that the Baby Brezza Bottle was easy clean with only 2 parts, was light weight and easy to hold, and that the shape mimicked the natural breast so Zane hasn't had to deal with extra gas from air intake. The cute sayings on the bottom were just a bonus!! 

These bottles are sold at Buy Buy Baby and at Walmart!

Squoosh, Quinoa and Chia Seed Muffins

My son is now eating solids and becoming more and more curious about textures and food tastes, so this mama has been trying to come up with creative ways to please his ever developing palate! It should come as no surprise to me (because I know who I married) that my son is a picky eater already like his father... forget vegetables and anything healthy... my son has a sweet tooth and a desire for anything savoury! I've been forced to become a bit creative in the kitchen to make sure he's getting enough vitamins and minerals from his food, so I was SO thankful when I discovered Baby Gourmet's Squoosh packs. They are snack sized organic fruit and veggie purées that taste DELICIOUS and each has a full serving of fruits and veggies! In case you're wondering, I have ABSOLUTELY tasted one before - if the food is good enough for my mini, it should be good enough for me! And in this case it definitely is! Zane's fave is the Squabbleberry Squoosh which has apple, blueberries, bananas and butternut squash, so I decided to try to make a more textured snack with his fave purée pouch and the result was a terrific muffin!

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Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 16 Muffins


Ingredients: 

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  • 2 cups quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup milled chia seeds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 - 90g pouches of Baby Gourmet Squabbleberry Squoosh (1 box)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs

Directions: 

  1. Preheat over to 375F and grease a muffin tin
  2. Combine all dry ingredients
  3. Combine all wet ingredients
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well (2-3 minutes) - ensuring there are no lumps 
  5. Fill the muffin tin halfway with batter
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
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The Original Squeeze - Saving Zane's Clothes One Squeeze at a Time

Ever since Zane started eating solids, he's been finding more and more creative ways to feed himself. He manages to get food EVERYWHERE except his mouth... and his newest fave is to throw his spoon across the room at Rambo (my fur baby). I'm usually the first one to bust out my camera and take pictures of the cute messes he makes... but when he's in the car, or when we're on our way out the door... the last thing I want is food all over him. Since discovering it, the Original Squeeze has been coming to my rescue!

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The Original Squeeze, available for purchase at Walmart.ca & Canada’s Baby Store, has a spill-proof spout (yes, you read that correctly!) made of durable silicone and 100% toxin-free materials! It can be used with purées, soups, yogurt, apple sauce and smoothies. It's also reusable and can be washed in the dishwasher (yay!). How many of you thought you could ever feed your children soup or yogurt in the car without a mess afterwards? Well now you can! The Original squeeze has been a lifesaver for those times when we are stuck in traffic during meal time, or when Zane needs a snack on the go. I don't have to worry anymore about covering him from head to toe to keep his outfit clean - the Original Squeeze has my back :) 

I'm hosting a giveaway on my Instagram where one lucky winner will win an Original Squeeze! Head on over to enter.

To learn more about the Original Squeeze Click Here

You can also visit Elfe on Facebook or Instagram

Introducing Finger Foods with Mushies!

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Zane is almost 9 months now and is naturally getting curious about food. I catch him eyeing my plate while I'm eating (he's the only man I'll eventually share my food with lol) but before he starts on my food, I decided to start him on something a little easier for him to chew, swallow and digest! Mushies, from Baby Gourmet are snacks that are ideal for babies discovering new textures and flavours. They are freeze dried, melt-in-your-mouth organic snacks that come in 3 delicious flavours: Fruity Greens, Banana Beetberry and Banana Berry Greek Yogurt! They actually taste really good (yes I tried them... I figure if I feed them to my son they should be good enough for me to eat too!) which is a contrast to the other melt-in-your-mouth snacks on the market that I've purchased, which tend to be bland and unappetizing. I love that they are organic, with nothing artificial, and no sugar added! Have you tried them yet? Which ones does your mini love the most? 

Stay tuned for more Baby Gourmet reviews coming up :)