BurritoBuzz Mom Approved: Ella’s Kitchen

We want the best for our babies. When it comes to food, I try to make sure my 6 month old is getting the best possible nutrition. Some say the best way to know what your baby is eating, is to makek_logo_good_bluestrap_rgb_painte their baby food yourself. Well, I don’t have the time or patience to make her food. I know it’s not that hard, I just don’t want to. So how do I know that my little one is being fed the best possible food for her little sensitive belly? Ella’s Kitchen!

Ella’s Kitchen is 100% USDA certified organic baby and toddler food and drinks that is handy for mom and dad. Ella’s Kitchen makes food that appeals to all of the senses of little ones, from the texture, colors, taste, the packaging, and even their names. Made with natural ingredients, Ella’s Kitchen shows that food can be both healthy and yummy, even for the pickiest of eaters! You can even do a product search on their website for special diets; gluten free, lactose free, and vegetarian products can be searched for here. Ella’s Kitchen also takes care of our planet. You can send back your used pouches and capsella, and they’re then made into unique products and of course the cardboard boxes can be recycled. 

Ella’s Kitchen offers foods for babies from 4 months (Ella’s 1) and from 6 months (Ella’s 2) to toddlers 1+ year and Big Kids. There are no baby food jars, just easy and convenient pouches. Baby foods are made with all kinds of savory fruits and vegetables. There are so many combinations available for baby food, toddler snacks, and drinks, there are too many to list! Check out what Ella’s Kitchen has to offer here!

My almost 7 month old loves everything she has tried from Ella’s Kitchen and my toddler loves their delicious nutritious drinks and shakes and dev41f41c19c7dbee85307d6fcf40f8d043ours their toddlers snacks. I love knowing that both my girls are eating healthy and that they love what they’re eating.

I am so glad I found Ella’s Kitchen and that my family loves it. And while it costs more than Gerber or Beechnut baby food, you know that your little one is getting certified organic food and getting the best for his/her little belly. Check out your local grocery store or find out where to buy here. Your little one will love Ella’s Kitchen, and so will you!

Don’t forget to follow Ella’s Kitchen on Facebook and Twitter!

– Casey

**BurritoBuzz received these products at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

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NurturMe Baby Food {Review}

I was recently asked to sample and review NurturMe blended dry cereal meals with my 8 month old and I was thrilled for the opportunity. Have you strolled down the baby food aisle lately?! As a new mom walking down the baby food aisle, it can be overwhelming with all the options for your little one. I was unfamiliar with the choices for dry baby food, but fortunately my son has been a wonderful eater, so I was anxious to try out NurturMe organic dry meal pouches and explore new flavors and foods.

The dried baby food comes in a simple easy-to-tear open pouch. Pour the food into a bowl and you add either water, breast milk, or formula to create your desired consistency (one pouch calls for 7 to 8 tablespoons of liquid and will make a typical amount of food). I prepared NurturMe carrots, raisins, and sweet potato baby food with water and was immediately impressed. As any mom would, I tried the new food NME-00238-4before offering it to my little guy and was surprised at the amount of flavor – it was delicious! My little one ate nearly the entire amount prepared. I was thrilled because I knew he was getting a ton of nutrients.

Like most baby foods, the remaining prepared food can be stored for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. I would definitely recommend NurturMe organic gluten free dried baby food, not only because of the ingredients used, but the convenience as well. I think their lightweight pouches would be great for on-the-go families. These pouches can easily be stored and stashed in your pantry, car, diaper bag, etc. and you have the satisfaction of knowing your growing little one is getting powerful nutrients. Check out their website to learn about all of their product offerings and to find their food in a retailer near you!

– Allyson

**BurritoBuzz received these products at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

My Picky Toddler

Just when I thought breastfeeding was one of the most challenging things I would do as a parent, I was wrong again. Ever since our little girl was around 18 months old, she has become one of those picky toddlers I never in a million years thought she would be. As an infant, I nursed and bottle fed her breast milk until she was around 15 months old. I started solid foods with her around 5 months and she was always so great at everything! I never had trouble with transitioning her from breast to bottle. She loved oatmeal cereal, veggies, fruits, combinations – you name it, she ate it. I used to love making baby food for her because she would try everything. She made it fun. I didn’t care if she made a mess because she seemed to enjoy it! I remember telling other parents how awesome of an eater she was and being so proud. I thought I was doing everything right.

And then it was as if a switch had been flipped. It’s hard to even pinpoint exactly when it happened because we just kept saying, “It’s a phase.” Or, “maybe she will eat better the next time.” That “phase” lasted a few days, then a few weeks and months, and now here we are, a year later. She is still that picky toddler and I have no idea why. Now, we’re left feeling like one of the worst sets of parents in the world. It’s so frustrating.

Are we really doing it all wrong?

She has never been a child that tells us when she is hungry. She doesn’t snack or eat junk food and only drinks milk and water. That’s okay, right? We try to make sure she eats a variety of foods, covers all of her food groups, but some days after an hour in the high chair for a meal, it just has to be enough. I feel like she has just two types of food most days – fruits and noodles. The only vegetables she eats consistently are pickles and olives. Does that count? She doesn’t fight with us when it comes time to eat. She sits in her high chair as content as can be and just doesn’t eat much. Instead, she will do just about anything else except eat.

After we finally settled with the fact that the “phase” we were in with our picky toddler wasn’t going to end anytime soon, it was time to just deal and accept it. We had to embrace it. We are always offering her different foods, but also trying not to overwhelm her with options.  We try to compromise with her sometimes. We’ll say, “If you eat three greens beans, Mommy will give you some popcorn.” Some days she buys it. We have just learned to go with it and not to stress about it. I have full faith that she will eat if she is hungry. I also believe that if we make a big ordeal of her not eating, she will probably eat even less.

We had to accept that it’s not our fault and we aren’t doing anything wrong. We had to stop beating ourselves up about it. Kids are kids. Some kids are great eaters and some kids aren’t. Just because she eats like a bird now, doesn’t mean she won’t grow up to be a lover of all types of food later in life. She’s a kid. They are unpredictable little beings. She might start to enjoy food tomorrow, maybe not, but we will know that we did the best we could and she will still be a happy, healthy little girl either way!

Below is an awesome picture from NewBornBabyZone.com that has some helpful food ideas for our kiddos at each age group.

 Healthy Foods That Babies Like Most (Infographic)

-Megan

Making Your Own Baby Food- Way Easier, Way Faster Than You Think!

happybaby-organic-frozen-baby-food

Seriously, it is I promise! When I was about 5 months pregnant I decided that I needed to create enough baby food to last my child her entire life. I really went a little nuts with how much I made, but when the time came for solids, I was so glad I had everything prepped and ready to go! One less thing for my new mom brain to worry about.

I am really not a crazy organic/all natural person. Will I choose something that is GMO-free and all natural ingredients 9 times out of 10? Sure. But I’m not shopping at Whole Foods on the regular. I’m a sahm and military spouse, ain’t nobody got funds for that. I buy what is reasonably priced and what works for my family. When it came to my LO, I looked at all the prepackaged options out there and was just disgusted. It looked nasty, it sounded nasty and the price was outrageous. I started doing some research (thank you Pinterest) and realized that it is super easy to make your own baby food that can sustain freshness for months in the freezer. So I decided to get to work…

STEP ONE: Buy Food

Fruits, veggies, grains, you can even get a little wild and try meats. Fresh, frozen, canned…it doesn’t matter. Here are some recommended starter foods that most babies generally like (until they become toddlers of course) and are safe for baby tummies:

  • STAGE 1 (4-6 months old): Carrots, Avocados, Sweet Potatoes, Bananas, Peas, Apples, Pears
  • STAGE 2 (6+ months or when you and your pediatrician think your LO is ready for thicker purees and textures): Squash, Brown Rice, Blueberries, Chicken, Spinach, Lentils, Yogurt, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Rice, Mango

STEP TWO: Prep and Blend

Pick an afternoon (really you could do it in an hour) and gather a couple things together:

  • All your fruits, veggies and grains
  • Ice cube trays
  • Freezer Bags
  • Sharpie
  • Blender

Steam any fresh or frozen fruits or veggies so they are good and soft. Obviously canned goods are ready as is. Make sure everything has cooled before you start blending.

baby-bulletWhen I did my foods, I used a Baby Bullet. I registered and received one as a gift at my baby shower. Loved it. All of the accessories and storage containers are super helpful. I especially love the grinder attachment that allows you to grind grains, nuts, etc. to add to your baby foods (read: make your own rice cereal!). Is a Baby Bullet completely necessary? Not at all. Any good quality blender will do.baby food trays

Now you’re ready to blend all of your ingredients. I started simple. Carrots and sweet potatoes together, bananas, and peas and avocados together. You can also blend in rice cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, whatever other additives you want to your mixtures. I was too scared to try meat but I know you can easily blend meat and freeze as well. After everything is blended to a very smooth texture, pour the mixture into ice cube trays.

STEP THREE: Freeze, Label and Store

Pretty self explanatory. Once everything is frozen, pop them out, place into freezer bags and clearly label and date. If you have a deep freezer, this is optimal to ensure your baby food stays the freshest for the longest amount of time. Different foods vary in how long they keep while frozen. A simple google search will tell you how long each food you chose will keep.

STEP FOUR: Serve

To defrost, I simply place one frozen piece into a microwave safe bowl and put it in for about 15 seconds at a time until it was completely thawed but not too hot.

That’s it! I told you, simple! Not only is making your own baby food wayyyy cheaper, but you also have the peace of mind in knowing exactly what is going into your LO’s belly. This is also a very effective way to track any allergies or sensitivities your child might have. Starting with one food at a time for a few meals before introducing a new one will help you pinpoint the cause of any reaction very easily.

Now I’m no doctor, but I swear making my own baby food helped my LO be a more tolerant eater as she grew into toddlerdom. Her favorite food is still peas. She is much more likely to try new things as finger foods because she is used to eating all sorts of colors and textures as baby foods. We were also very lucky that she has had minimal food sensitivities throughout her transition into solid foods. Every child is different. In my opinion, what do you have to lose? Do yourself a favor, save the future new-baby-no-sleep-going-crazy you a little sanity and plan ahead.Especially if you are planning to return to work, this will be a lifesaver. It’s not rocket science and trust me, you’ll be so thankful you did!

-Chelsea

Don’t Bullshit a Bullshitter.

Jane-in-Role-Models-jane-lynch-11352323-853-480One of my favorite movies of all time is Role Models. Which, I know, makes me quite the embodiment of what a good parent should be (sarcasm.) If you’ve ever seen this movie, you know it’s full of all kinds of nonsense. One of my favorite scenes is when Jane Lynch is telling the two main characters that they aren’t going to get away with anything, and not to try to “bullshit a bullshitter.” It’s hysterical, and Jane Lynch is amazing.

I had an experience recently with a customer service rep at Gerber that made me think of this phrase over and over. I try SO hard to feed my baby organic foods, and up to this point I’ve been pretty successful. More expensive? You bet. But if getting him the best food means I have to get one less Chipotle bowl a month, I’ll make it happen. My frustration comes from food labeling, and the ambiguity in all of the wording. Anything labeled “organic” is certified organic. BUT, you will come across food labeled “all natural”. HUH?! Honestly, I didn’t think there could be much of a difference. Wrong. So wrong. I contacted Gerber to ask what the difference was. The rep beat around the bush and gave me the most vague answer; that essentially their “all natural” products met strict standards. Well great, but why wouldn’t all of your food just meet the absolute best standards? These are babies we’re talking about here.

After quite a bit of research, it’s evident that “all natural” doesn’t mean what it says at all. All natural means GMOs, unconventional farming methods, and the difficult part of this is that the “all natural” products aren’t regulated as well as the organic ones are. Organic products must meet strict criteria, whereas adding the word “natural” onto a product just means minimal processing and additives, to an unknown degree.363f8569da3f967b514bdb9f1d987339

It’s frustrating. Frustrating that there is an option at all for us not to feed our kids the best, and that baby food labels are misleading. In my perfect utopia I’d just like to see 100% organic baby food on the shelves, with a larger demand so that it’s more affordable for everyone.

So to the companies intentionally misleading customers, shame on you for not just laying it out. Don’t give me the run-around and try to convince me that your products are much the same. And to the companies that only offer organic solutions? Bravo. I’m only buying your products, and thank you for being concerned about the well-being of these babies.

So, parents, here’s a breakdown:

organic

Some brands that I love:

  1. Plum Organics
  2. Earth’s Best
  3. Ella’s Kitchen

All of these can be somewhat difficult to find, depending on what you have close by as far as shopping goes. I have the most luck at Babies R Us and Target. Most big chain grocery stores have a pretty poor selection of organic baby food.

Good luck, parents!

-Katie