Mum’s NumNums: Cheesy Rice

Being a (working!) mom of a toddler often means life in the fast lane. While fun, this often leaves me wondering if Chazz is getting the proper nutrition on those kind of days.

This is when freezable meals make things a little easier.

My Cheesy Rice recipe is freezable, so you can just pop out a cube or two to thaw in the diaper bag just in time for lunch. The ingredients hit most of the food groups, so all I have to do is pack along a banana or papaya to chop up, and we are good to go!

The kid is fat and happy, and this mama knows her baby is getting just what he needs. Even on the go! Enjoy.

1/4 C onion, chopped
1 C basmati rice
2 C boiling water
3/4 C butternut squash
1/2 C hard cheese such as cheddar or Monterey Jack
2 chopped tomatoes
EV Olive Oil

Fry the onion in a little oil until soft. Stir in the basmati rice and sauté one minute. Add the boiling water. Cover and simmer for 8 mins. Scoop in the squash, cover and cook for about 12 mins more on a low. Stir until all the water is absorbed. As this is cooking, fry the chopped tomatoes for 2 mins then stir in the cheese and add mix to the rice.

You can scoop the cheesy rice mixture into ice cube trays and freeze into handy serving sizes. Transfer cubes into a labeled freezer bag for easy storage.

This makes about 8-10 cubes.

*I switch up this recipe and keep Chazz interested by adding or substituting ingredients. Try adding some ground hamburger or turkey. Or sub peas and/or steamed diced carrots for the squash.

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Mum’s NumNums: Toddler Friendly Smoothie

After hitting the Mickey D’s drive-thru last week for a smoothie, I’ve discovered my toddler’s love for all things frozen. Especially of the mango and banana sorts.

What better way to get him to enjoy his fruit (and maybe even sneak in a veggie) than a smoothie?!

So after a few failed attempts and some funky tasting smoothies, here is the final recipe.

1 medium size ripe mango
1 ripe banana
2 scoops vanilla frozen yogurt
1/2 Cup Carrot Juice (I love Bolthouse brand!)

Slice the mango and banana and place in blender. Layer the frozen yogurt on top. Pour in the carrot juice. Purée until smooth, adding more carrot juice if needed. Serve chilled.

You can freeze any leftovers and reblend with a little more carrot juice as needed.

Easy squeezy! And it takes all of 5 minutes to wash, dice, and blend. Take that, McDonald’s!

What is your fave smoothie?
What combos would you make?


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Mum’s NumNums: A Quick (Freezable!) Toddler Breakfast

Breakfast at my house is usually in a rush. We’re always go-go-go in the mornings. To have something on hand for Chazz to eat makes the morning a tad less hectic. A tad.

Mini pancakes are easy to make, easy to freeze, and even easier to prepare.

Make all of the varieties below in bulk on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and be set for a while!

You will need:
Whole Foods Organic Pancake Mix or your favorite mix or recipe.

Mix and match from the following to add variety:
-Grated Carrots
-Grated Apples or Pears
-Grated Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes
-Squash Puée
-Banana Purée
-Applesauce and Cinnamon
-Mixed Berries
-Apricot or Peach purée
-Flax seeds

Make the pancakes according to package directions. Quarter to silver dollar size works best, to fit your toddler’s needs. Chazz seems to like them quarter size right now, so I spoon about a 1 Tablespoon of batter at a time.

Make and freeze (up to 3 months.) To prepare after freezing, pull one or two out to thaw in the fridge overnight. Or in a pinch, you can wrap two in a paper towel (to keep them moist) and microwave for 15- 20 seconds. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR CHILD’S FOOD TEMPERATURE AFTER MICROWAVING! No need for burns.

Top with vanilla or plain yogurt, jelly, fresh fruit, or even cheese.

I usually cook up a 1/2 pound of lean ground turkey sausage as well, and freeze 1 oz servings in baggies to pull out as a side.

Scramble up an egg or dice up an avocado to keep your toddler guessing. Chazz loves avocado!

With just a little preparation and time, you can have a simple toddler breakfast ready for “those” mornings. Enjoy!

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Mum’s NumNums- Finger Foods

Chazz now has a total of EIGHT teeth, and is SO ready for some finer fair. He has almost mastered feeding himself little bits of food, and loves trying to get a spoon to his mouth. I usually give him an extra spoon with a dab of food on it while I feed him as well. I can make sure he is getting enough in, and he gets to be somewhat independent.

With all of this eating and snacking, it’s easy to fall into the habit of making him the same foods. Where is the variety??!
I stick to alternating colors of food every time, but we seem to be running out of ideas. So here I am, turning to my trusted Twitter and blogging mamas for help. What are you serving up these days for your little one?

And for the mamas who are just as stumped as me, here is a list of *finger foods* I have brainstormed so far:

• Broken up plain Cheerios

• Toasted bread spread with veggie puree

• Small chunks of soft fruit- mostly banana, mango, pear, peach, papaya, cantaloupe, and seedless watermelon

• Small cubes of tofu

• Pasta spirals, cut into pieces, with veggie purée for sauce

• Cut-up raisins. They help get things a-movin’, ya know?

• Small pieces of cooked veggies- like carrots, peas, squash, potato, or sweet potato

• Small pieces of cooked chicken and turkey carefully hidden in applesauce.

• Rice cakes broken into small pieces.

• Fruit purees mixed with oatmeal and rice cereal for more texture. The same with veggie purees and rice.

• Frui or veggies rolled in ground Cheerios or “Puff’s dust.”

• Ground up whatever-we’re-having, pre-spices.

Wow, eating may have just gotten interesting!!
This should keep Chazz’s taste buds on their toes for a while, but I would love any other ideas for some fun transitional foods. Thanks! ❤

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Cleaning Day

Our house is a royal mess. I haven’t been keeping up with the cleaning since I’ve been back at work, and now, it is certainly time for a Cleaning Day.

Oh but wait, how do you juggle cleaning and mommin’? Since having Chazz, the way we clean (and how often) has changed. There are a few tricks I have picked up along the way that help make cleaning somewhat painless.

The Right Supplies On Hand
I keep all of my supplies in a cleaning caddy. Running from room to room for forgotten supplies is no longer an option. Running from room to room with a cleaning kit at least makes it practical! Having it all in one easy to carry basket or bin helps.

Safe Cleaning Products
The cleaning products we use are what have changed the most. Having a baby around has really made me think about what we clean with. I don’t like to worry about him coming in contact with harsh chemicals. “Is he too close for me to spray this?” “I just mopped that spot he is licking, is he going to ingest something funky?” And someday, (fingers crossed) he might even want to help clean. Eco-Friendly and plant-based cleaning products relieve a lot of those worries. I order our supplies from EcoStore USA and have been so pleased with how well they work.

With an adventurous baby on the loose, I need somewhere to contain him. On cleaning day, I switch off between carrying Chazz in an assortment of slings, and moving his Pack & Play from room to room (to room.) And sticking him in an empty laundry basket always buys some time. He just loves peeking through the slats at us. The slings work good for chores like sweeping and mopping, and he enjoys the view while being close to Mom.

Yep, this is the hard part. Keeping him entertained long enough to complete a chore or two can be challenging. It’s a delicate balance between switching up his toys and bouncing between the sling and the Pack & Play. And good tunes help too! I use “peek-a-boo” a lot, as he gets mad if I leave the room. So keeping it fun is important too. Also, Baby Genius movies work wonders. I have no shame in plopping my kid in front of the T.V. to get something done around here!

Cleaning In Shifts
Sometimes, Roman and I switch off throughought the day. He cleans the kitchen while Chazz and I play or do something simple like dust. And then I’ll bust out the bathroom while they play outside. It’s not as productive, but it works in a pinch.

Speed And Agility
I bet you never thought about it, but this is a major part of my cleaning day. If I plan on getting anything done, I better get it done quick. And chasing down Little Man is where the agility part comes in. Chasing him down after he escapes a laundry basket or spots the vaccume cord soon becomes a test of my endurance. On the bright side, this all counts as a workout, right?

Yes, cleaning can be quite the hoot around here. Somedays we don’t get a lot done. (OK, most days) but we do what we can, when we can, and we always have fun.

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Mum’sNumNums- Sweet Carrot Pea Puree

There are a lot of advantages to using frozen produce to make baby food. The produce is often just as fresh and nutritious, and you save yourself some time.

Much to my suprise, Chazz loves peas! I used frozen carrots and frozen organic peas to make this Carrot-Pea Pureé.

I split this batch in half before I blended it. Half was your standard purée, and the other half I left pretty thick for when he has more teeth (that time is soon, there are 4 coming in right now!)

What I Used:
1 12oz bag frozen organic peas
1 16oz bag frozen carrots
6 oz BM (or Formula)
2-3 Ice cube trays

What I Did:
-Add the carrots to boiling water, just until soft, about 6 minutes.
-Add the peas to carrots and simmer until soft, an additional 4 minutes. Drain.

-Purée peas and carrots together in a blender, adding BM to thin if needed. Remember that the purée will thin after freezing, so keep it a little thick.
-Allow to cool, and pour into ice cube trays to freeze. (the blue ice cube tray has the thicker blend in it… if you can tell by the photo)

-Transfer the frozen cubes to dated ziplock bags for easy storage.

Enjoy! I know Chazz will!

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Summer Safety

Chazz’s first summer is fast approaching, and I need to be prepared. Summer is going to be a fun time to play together, and I have been doing a lot of summer safety research during naptime! Here are a few things I’ve learned to keep little one safe:

-Babies under six months of age should be kept out of the direct sunlight.

-Move your baby to the shade or under a tree, umbrella, stroller canopy, or baby tent.

-Dress babies in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs, and use brimmed hats. That is the best protection. I love Baby Gap hats!

-Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside, and use sunscreen even on cloudy days. It should have an SPF 30 at the least. I like Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection.

-Sunblock and sunscreen are not the same! Sunscreens absorb ultraviolet light so that it doesn’t reach your skin, while sunblock blocks them. Sunblock is better and protects from UVA and UVB rays.

-Some sunscreens claim to be sunblock. Don’t be fooled! Look for the ingredients titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

Some with good reviews:
Blue Lizard Australian Suncream SPF 30 Baby
Blue Lizard Australian Suncream SPF 30 Sensitive
Neutrogena Sunblock Lotion Sensitive Skin SPF 30
California Baby Sunblock SPF 30
Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection

-Most products are for 6 months+, but the American Academy of Pediatrics says they are okay to use on younger babies if there is no way to avoid the sun. They recommend:

“For babies younger than six months, use sunblock on small areas of the body such as the face and the backs of the hands if protective clothing and shade are not available. For babies older than six months apply to all areas of the body but be careful around the eyes.”

-Babies dehydrate and overheat much easier than adults. If baby is overly sleepy or fussy, it may be time to cool off.

-Try absorbant bath toys soaked in cool water for play!

-Breastfeed or offer formula more often to ensure enough fluids. Some pedi’s also recommend water, ask yours. I keep a sippy cup full of cold water for Chazz to sip on.

-Inflatable summer toys can be fun, but don’t rely on floatation devices. They are never foolproof and your baby should be supervised at all time. Infants can drown even in shallow water.

I love this inflatable wading pool for babies. The cute little mushroom provides some shade!

Insect Repelent kind if scares me when it comes to putting it on my baby, but it’s important to protect them from things like Lime Disease.

-There are a ton of natural repellants that use lemon or citronella oils, or eucalyptus. I love California Baby Natural Bug Blend. It uses citronella, lemongrass, and cedar, and is safe for baby, pets, and the environment. Some don’t find them as effective, so using them with a bug net might work for you.

-When using a bug repellant with DEET or picaridin, make sure the concentration is less than 30%.

-Don’t use any repellant on babies under 2 months.

-Spray the product on your hands and rub on any exposed skin, that way baby doesn’t inhale it or get it in his eyes! If this happens, you should call the poison control center right away.

-I don’t like sunblock/repellant combos for the simple fact that sunblock needs reapplied often, and repellant doesn’t. That means too much chemicals for your little one!

Whew! There are so many little things involved in a simple walk in the park or trip to the lake. I can’t wait for his first summer to start! And I’ll be able to relax know he is protected from bugs and sun rays, and enjoy his summer fun. Do you have any summer tips?

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