Eat Right: All-natural homemade baby food

Take a trip down any baby food aisle at the grocery store, and the scene can be daunting. There are shelves and shelves of baby food in a range of brands, flavors, textures, and nutritional values.

This is definitely not our parents’ baby food.

Strawberry Footie Pajama OrganicAt New Jammies our motto is, “Eat right, play right and sleep tight” so starting our kids down a road to healthy ways of eating and living is always on our minds. Baby food is a great start, and making your own at home can be as easy as stopping by the produce and dairy aisles for healthy, all-natural alternatives to prepackaged baby food.

Our friends at Weelicious, which host a website that offers up simple and nutritious recipes for kids of all ages, provide easy recipes for making homemade first foods – and beyond.
“The recipes appeal to a range of ages – from infants starting on solid foods to school-age kids and even adults – and are meant for parents to use as an inspirational feeding guide for their own families,” says founder Catherine McCord, on the website.

According to Catherine, Weelicious focuses on educating kids and involving them in the cooking process. The idea is to make eating and cooking fruits and vegetables fun and nutritious.
“We encourage parents to be honest – no sneaking veggies! – and to include kids in the cooking process by exposing them to food from the moment it comes out of the ground to giving them age-appropriate tasks in the kitchen,” she says.

A quick visit to the site’s First Foods page reveals homemade recipes, videos and tips for helping babies make that pivotal transition to solid foods in a healthy way parents can control. There are recipes for Banana Molasses Oatmeal Mash, Red Lentil Puree, and Tropical Coconut Smoothie, and more — all which can be stored, refrigerated and frozen in 4-ounce Wean Green Cubes. These durable glass containers are BPA, PVC, phthalate and plasticizer-free.

Since our pajamas, footies and short sets are made from 100% certified, non-toxic organic cotton, that’s something we love at New Jammies.

If you’re not sure where to start on the homemade baby food route, Weelicious has a great page with 10 Naturally Sweet Baby Food Recipes that incorporate healthy ingredients, kid-tested and approved. Fruits, veggie and grains used in these easy recipes include bananas, pears, blueberries, mango, apples, peaches, coconut, cantaloupe, butternut squash, dates, avocado, quinoa, and more.

One product on the market that makes homemade baby food prep easy is the BPA-free Baby Bullet Baby Food Maker, available online on Amazon and in many accessible stores including Kohl’s, Target, and Bed, Bath and Beyond. The easy-to-use, four-cup food processor comes packaged with a batch bowl, spatula, batch tray, storage cups and tray, a pocket nutritionist, and a user manual/cookbook. The Baby Bullet retails at around $59.99, and can pay for itself in baby food savings.

That’s considering parents, on average, spend close to $50 per week ($2,448 per year) on diapers, formula and baby food alone, according to the “Cost of Raising a Baby” article on parenting.com.

What’s great about making your own healthy baby food is you can utilize what’s already in the home, too. There are simple items parents can use without shopping, including blenders, food mills, mini food processors, potato mashers, and ice cube trays for freezing. Parentdish.com has tips and ideas for making the most with your money at this story on homemade baby food.
The best part of making homemade baby food is the meals are easy, healthy and preservative-free, and moms and dads know exactly what’s going into their children’s meals, made with love.
It’s a win-win for baby and parents.

Here’s to our kids eating right in their 100% pure, natural organic cotton New Jammies pajamas. Bon appetite!

Sleep Tight: Back-to-school sleep tips

New_Jammies_schoolNever underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.

Especially on a school night.

That’s the message New Jammies parents are sharing with their kids as summer wraps up and going back to school moves front and center. According to a 2014 poll by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), many children receive less sleep on school nights than they should.

“For children, a good night’s sleep is essential to health, development and performance in school,” said Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, University of Chicago. “We found that when parents take action to protect their children’s sleep, their children sleep better.”

The poll reported that parents’ estimates of sleep time are only 8.9 hours for children ages 6 to 10; 8.2 hours for 11 and 12 year olds; 7.7 hours for 13 and 14 year olds; and 7.1 hours for teens ages 15 to 17. Those numbers fall short, by NSF’s standards. The nonprofit sleep organization recommends kids ages 6 to 10 receive 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night, and that children in the other three age groups secure 8.5 to 9.5 hours per night.

“It can be tough to make time for sleep when we’re too busy; making sleep a priority can give all family members the energy to function at their best every day,” said Hawley Montgomery-Downs, PhD, West Virginia University. “Sometimes performing better in fewer activities can be a healthy trade for too many activities while fatigued.”

In today’s digital age, many kids have a hard time achieving optimal sleep because of the prevalence of electronics in youth bedrooms. The NSF reports that families who turn off electronics off while sleeping can improve this growing trend.

“To ensure a better night’s sleep for their children, parents may want to limit their children using technology in their bedroom near or during bedtime,” said Orfeu Buxton, PhD, Harvard Medical School.

To help parents approach the better-sleep subject, the NSF has created an educational SleepforKids.org website. The site reminds children and their parents that with more sleep, kidspay better attention in school, are more creative, generate more ideas, fight sickness better, have improved moods and relationships with friends and family, and are quicker problem solvers.

SleepforKids.org offers these sleep practices for preschoolers:

  1. Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule
  2. Follow-through with a bedtime routine every night
  3. The child should have the same sleeping environment every night.  It should be cool, quiet and dark and without a TV
  4. Watch for difficulty breathing, unusual nighttime awakenings, chronic sleep problems, and behavioral problems during the day.

And these tips for school-age kids:

  1. Introduce healthy sleep habits, disease prevention and health promotion
  2. Continue to emphasize the need for a regular and consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine
  3. The child’s bedroom should be conducive to sleep: dark, cool and quiet. TV’s and computers should be off and out of the bedroom
  4. Set limits
  5. Avoid caffeine
  6. Watch for signs of chronic difficulty sleeping, loud snoring, difficulty breathing, unusual nighttime awakenings and frequent daytime sleepiness.
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Teetering Turtles New Jammies

New Jammies encourages kids to eat right, play right and sleep tight. Our 100% pure, natural organic cotton New Jammies pajamas make heading off to bed a fun and comfortable experience for parents and their children. Make bedtime, and a good night’s sleep, a priority by including a pair of New Jammies in all your back-to-school shopping lists.