Grocery Shopping with a Baby

Now that Elliott is mobile, grocery shopping has become a lot more difficult. She doesn't like to sit still and the grocery store is full of colorful distractions. Lately I've had to become a lot more creative when it comes to grocery shopping. Here are my top 3 tips of how to grocery shop with a toddler:

1. Let them help | Whenever it is appropriate, I try to let Elliott pick out what I need from the shelf. She loves to help pick up an apple or a box of macaroni. Just make sure it is something small and not too heavy. If it is too heavy, it will likely end up dropped on your foot instead of in the cart. I don't know from experience or anything.

2. Snacks | Eating is always a good distraction for Elliott and, lucky for me, she loves food! Make sure you bring something that is easy and is relatively mess free. There's nothing like needing to clean a sticky, gooey mess of smushed and slobbery chocolate bunny graham cracker off a cart when you are done. Ask me how I know this. One of our favorite snacks is Gerber lil' Beanies. I love that it is made from navy beans, has protein and fiber, it is mess free, and Elliott can feed herself with little help from me. Elliott loves them because they taste good! Again, ask me how I know :) We got ours at our local Publix.

3. Turn your groceries into toys | Beyond just helping me pick things off the shelf, a lot of times I'll let Elliott hold onto it as she is sitting in the cart. She'll usually play with it for a while and then when she is done, I have another item right there for her to move onto. A box of macaroni makes a great musical instrument. So does the can of Gerber lil' Beanies. A package of string cheese makes a great crinkly noise and, because it's refrigerated, has a different feel to it. A small bottle of club soda can be fun to shake and watch the bubbles (just make sure you set that one aside for a day or two before opening)

Make sure you check out Gerber lil' Beanies next time you are at your local Publix!  Do you have any other tips for grocery shopping with a toddler?

A Moment Frozen in Time

Some photos are so magical that they can almost actually freeze a moment in time.  They are so magical that every time you look at those photos, you are transported back to that moment and get to re-live it all over again.  I am so thankful that this very special time for our family was captured in such photos.  Thank you Amber for these!  I will truly cherish them forever!  If you find yourself in Hilton Head, do yourself a favor and have Amber take some pictures for you!

Every summer, Chris' family rents a big house on Hilton Head Island for a week long vacation.  This year the trip was extra special for many reasons. This was our first trip with our little Ellie bellie, this year the trip happened to fall on my birthday, and this year Chris asked me to be his wife.  There are so many memories captured in these few photos and I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to have these taken.  Amber, I will never be able to say thank you enough!


Using Purees in Baby Led Weaning

As soon as Elliott reached six months old, we started introducing solid foods to her.  After extensive research on my part we decided that baby led weaning was the best approach for our family.  While we don't feed Elliott purees with a spoon, that doesn't mean that purees can't be used if you decide to try baby led weaning.

One of my favorite purees to get are the Gerber Lil' Bits.  I really like these purees because they have little bits of fruit or veggies to help baby learn how to master chewing.  Gerber also carefully selects their ingredients to meet high quality standards and does not include any added starch, artificial colors or flavors.

I use Gerber Lil' Bits to make yogurt parfaits for Elliott.  The baby yogurt on the market has so many additional ingredients and sugar added which I am just not comfortable feeding my child.  Therefore I buy organic plain whole milk yogurt and mix the Gerber Lil' Bits into the yogurt.  It is also much more economical to make a huge batch of it this way rather than buying the pre-made sugary stuff.

I put it directly on her highchair and let Elliott go to town.  As you can tell, she loves it!  She also works on her fine motor skills by picking up the lil' bits!

Some other ways we use Gerber Lil' Bits in baby led weaning:

Added to pasta sauce for additional nutrients and protein.  Our favorite flavor to use is the Herbed vegetable, pasta and chicken

As a topping for pancakes or waffles instead of syrup.  Our favorite flavor to use is the Apple Blueberry

Mixed with water and yogurt to make popsicles.  These are great for teething and the lil' bits add a fun surprise as they melt!  Our favorite flavor to use is the Banana Apple Mango

What are some ways your baby enjoys purees?