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Parenting

Tackling meal time…with babies and toddlers

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Lets face it, when you’re a parent, planning meals for the family, feeding a baby or a fussy toddler and aiming to provide yourself with healthy nutritious options (other than your child’s leftovers) isn’t easy some days. Honestly, the thought of it all can be a little overwhelming at times!

So, here are some of my favourite options to make it all a little easier…

FOOD BABIES LOVE / Emily Dupache

This is my number one, hands down, all time favourite cook book for babies and toddlers. With a guide to introducing solids, an outline of serving sizes and yummy recipes, you simply can’t go wrong with this purchase. Dupache offers an insight into the first few weeks of exposing your bub to different food textures, tastes and colours by incorporating a wide range of ingredients within her recipes. Her book is full of extra tips & ‘at a glance’ advice that is easy and so quick to read – perfect for any busy Mum! I’m still using this book for my almost 3-year-old daughter!

My advice: Double or even triple the recipe, freeze into cubes and store in zip lock bags once frozen. This has been an absolute life saver – both when I was a working Mum and when our second baby arrived – Simply head to the freezer, defrost a couple of cubes and dinner is served. Easy.

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KMART / Pull Chopper

Yes… Kmart! When you think of cooking for your kids Kmart isn’t a likely option that will come to mind. BUT Kmart has the best gadgets at such a great price to help you make mealtime quick and easy. I picked up a pull chopper for only $6 a few weeks ago and I am obsessed!

My advice: If your toddler has all of a sudden decided that veggies are no longer cool, like mine has, this little contraption will help you to hide them with ease – so use it as often as possible! This bad boy will cut up veggies so super fine that your little Mr or Miss will NOT be able to spot them… Well mine can’t anyway!

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THE FAMILY WAY CATERING | MEALS FOR MUMS / Caron Wasserfall

If you are finding it difficult to cook a healthy meal because you don’t have the time or you’re just too damn tired & simply need a break for the night – avoid making unhealthy take away choices and place an order with the lovely Caron from ‘The Family Way Catering’. She delivers healthy (both in portion sizes & ingredients), meals to your door. Meals can be eaten ASAP or they can be frozen.

My advice: place an order and keep them in the freezer for those nights when you just can’t ‘Mum’ anymore. Let’s face it – we ALL have those nights. These meals are amazingly fresh and super tasty – a great alternative to any take away. And… they aren’t as expensive as you would think. Check out thefamilywaycatering.com for menu options and delivery locations (in South East Melbourne) …AND FYI – for the breastfeeding Mumma’s out there, you can even order yummy lactation cookies!

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ANNABEL KARMEL / Frozen meals

I personally like to cook my own meals, knowing that I am using fresh ingredients that allow little room for any ‘nasty’ additives and chemicals. However, parenthood doesn’t always allow time for this and sometimes we have to trust that there are healthy and super easy options out there. For me, Annabel Karmel frozen meals from Coles are one of these. You can purchase a range of full meals or frozen ‘bites’ for your little one.

My advice: keep a few in the freezer for emergencies – you know, for THOSE days. Last week I hadn’t been to the supermarket nor had I found time to re-stock my freezer. So, when my toddler had a meltdown over the dirty blue cup, even though she wanted the green one and my baby not only threw up all over me but also peed in my face – I was thankful that there were some frozen bites sitting in the freezer…

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B.BOX / Fresh food feeder

This little time waster is suitable for babies from 4 Months. Simply fill the mesh bag with your little ones favourite purees, hand to them and stand back. At $7.95 this little contraption will provide your bub not only with yummy, healthy food but it also helps to teach them the connections between food and mouth. They will quickly learn what to do, allowing the introduction of food and feeding time to be just a little smoother.

My advice: hold on to this for teething time. Fill the feeder with frozen cubes of puree or cold fruit to help soothe those sore little gums. It will keep them busy and happy.

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HEINZ BABY / Crumb catcher bib

Hands down the best invention for feeding time! All those crumbs, all that mess, all the dribbles… CAUGHT! Enough said really! I regularly use these for my toddler. What I love the most about these wonder bibs? They are so easy to wash! No pile of bibs in the washing machine for me – Simply rinse in hot soapy water.

My advice: When you’re not using them, store on the back of the highchair by adding a small 3M hook. Bibs can hang here and are easily accessible during the mayhem of feeding time.

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BUMBO / Baby seat

The Bumbo baby seat is designed for babies from as early as 3 months! (I personally would wait a little longer to use this one) BUT – even if bub isn’t sitting up on their own yet, this little seat will help to support them in an upright position. This is great for when bub is starting solids and can also be used to keep them busy with some toys. Place some rattles on the tray and watch them play!

My advice: If you have been blessed with a reflux baby like I have, this little seat is great for keeping bub upright after a feed. Only use for short periods of time though and make sure the seat belt it securely fastened – this is a must.

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Keep updated with Sarah @for_theloveofmum

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Sarah is currently a stay-at-home mum to Charlotte and Ashton. She is a qualified secondary teacher, specialising in boys education. Her newfound passion for fitness and healthy living came about because of her children. Even though they poop and cry a lot they, along with her husband, are her world. You can follow her Instagram at @for_theloveofmum