Eat Right: Back to School Meals and Lunchbox Finds!

Back-to-school for New Jammies kids means new teachers, new school clothes, new friends and new experiences. It also means brainstorming new healthy lunch ideas for culinary variety to make sure the kids are eating right.    

This year year we discovered some mamas on a mission to test and find the best in eco-friendly lunch box options!  Yes, I still miss my metal Strawberry Shortcake lunch box from yesteryear, but now there’s a whole world of options to choose from that making packing and storage a cinch, while living up to our eco-expectations!

Still one of my favorites, the Bento Boxes, which are BPA- and phthalate-free and 100% recyclable, are extremely popular, especially this colorful divided lunch box, as they can help with portioning and organizing. We love Bentgo Kids, an innovative bento-style lunch box designed exclusively for active kids on the go, because you can put liquid dips in it and they won’t leak into other compartments with special sealed lid.

“What makes Bentgo Kids so much fun is the endless combinations of nutritious foods you can pack in the five convenient compartments,” says the company. “The largest compartment is the perfect size for a half sandwich or salad. Three mid-size compartments are great for fruit, veggies and other snack favorites. The smallest compartment is sized just right for dipping sauces. Bentgo Kids’ removable compartment tray allows you to mix and match the three fun colors to suit your child’s unique preference.”

Bentgo is also a purchase with a purpose, as the company is a proud supporter of Feed the Children. Try this Bentgo Kids All-in-One Lunch Box.

“Your purchase makes a difference in the lives of hungry children in America and around the world,” says Bentgo Kids.

Retro Mama Goes Green also has some fun non-toxic suggestions this year ranging from lunch bags to boxes!   Lisa says “Many lunch boxes can contain harmful things like PVC, lead, BPA, and phthalates. And disposable paper bags cost a lot of money over time and are wasteful. Thankfully there are some great waste-free, safe options out there.”

Keep it cool with our favorite eco-friendly and sweat free ice packs from

U- Konserve

Not only do we love their ice-packs, but this company is on a mission to save the planets from plastic straws and cups.   I must confess, recently my children swayed me to purchase some fun bendy plastic straws, but now seeing U-Konserve’s options and being reminded of the large impact of small choices, I’m loving this find.

For sustainable lunch packaging, we also love Two + Two re-usable and washable sandwich wraps and snack bags. Don’t waste ziplock bags and throw away plastic! These are made nearby in New Jammies home state of Colorado, and are food-safe and eco-friendly.    The sandwich wraps are easy to clean, come in fun prints, and create a great placemat for eating.   The snack bags come in multiple sizes to suit any hunger!

“This young company is run by two creative moms with a passion for style, sewing, Mother Earth, and doing what’s best (and cutest) for their little ones,” says Two+Two. “Products keep food fresh and uncontaminated with a proprietary lining that is free of lead, BPA, PVC and phthalates. The various sizes of eco-friendly reusable bags accommodate any and all packing organizing and traveling needs.”

Fill the snack bags and lunch boxes mentioned above with fresh-cut veggies, including carrot and celery sticks, cauliflower and broccoli pieces, and cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices from the garden, trail mix and granola, as healthy options.   I personally use them anytime I am on the go with kids as those little tummies have a big appetite all the time!

Now we’ve got all our amazing gear options, how do we making packing lunch fun, healthy, and easy on parents.     We’re digging this healthy food prep web-site Gimme Delicious  Showcasing colorful images of healthy, easy cooking, make ahead dishes that look amazing to eat at home or on the go.   Kids will be loving the rainbow of flavors here.   In addition to lunch, some of the pre-prep freezer ideas will make healthy, weeknight dinners on busy school nights ready to go!

This balanced dish is great for dinner or lunch….

Pesto Chicken Veggie Sheet Pan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another mama that likes to keep lunch simple, veggie style is the author of  Veggies Don’t Bite! blog.    These quick packing lunches will keep kids coming back for more and you can put these together with ease even if you haven’t had your morning latte yet.   She also has other lunch box suggestions as well as veggie loving recipes for the whole family.

 

We hope your school year is off to a healthy start!   Eat right, play right, sleep tight!

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Eat Right: Healthy Holiday Recipes for the Whole Family

Holiday meals are full of New Jammies’ traditional favorites, from turkey and stuffing to pumpkin pie topped with fresh whipped cream. With many of these holiday appetizers, entrees and desserts loaded with fat and calories, we like to discover some of the more healthier options for families, especially those with kiddos to please.

One way to start thinking healthy for the holidays is to consider switching out traditional ingredients for less sugar- and calorie-heavy items. Everyday Health healthy living newsletter offers these options, featured in its “11 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps” article. These include skipping:

• Full-fat dips, and eat yogurt dips (hummus with yogurt and lemon recipe)

• Some alcohol calories, drink wine spritzer instead (8 ‘skinny’ holiday cocktails)

• Candied yams, eat roasted sweet potatoes (low-calorie candied yams recipe)

• Store-bought, eat homemade stuffing (low-calorie stuffing)

• Traditional gravy, eat low-fat gravy (click here for recipe from the Mayo Clinic)

These recipes will be a hit with the family this holiday, and help with staying healthy:

Spinach Parmesan White Bean Dip

Found on Pinterest, one of our favorite resources for ideas for healthy recipes and fun holiday do-it-yourself projects, this simple, vegetarian, five-ingredient, gluten-free dip is “packed with protein and veggies, and tons of cheesy flavor.” Sounds great to us!

Ingredients
1 cup baby spinach, packed
1 15 oz. can white beans, small
2 tbsp freshly squeeze lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

1. Blend in food processor; salt and pepper to taste.

2. Serve with carrots, celery, cauliflower, pita chips or any healthy chip or veggie stick that goes great with dips.

 

Wild Rice with Cranberries & Almonds

This low-calorie (120 per 1/2 cup), low-cholesterol (0 mg) side dish, courtesy of the American Diabetes Association’s Recipes for Living, is a healthful holiday option that can be made for a big dinner, or a small get-together with lots of leftovers, as it serves 11. According to the ADA, wild rice takes longer to cook than other rice, but it has a lower glycemic index of 45 compared to white rice with a glycemic index of 70. This is important for those holiday guests with diabetes or other special diet considerations. The toasted almond slices and dried cranberries are a nice touch for any holiday spread.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
2 (4-ounce) boxes wild rice
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes.

2. Add the water and chicken broth to the pan and bring to a boil.

3. Add the rice; cover and cook according to package directions; usually about 50-60 minutes.

4. Remove the lid and add in the toasted almonds and cranberries; use a fork to mix together.

MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Confirm all ingredients are gluten-free, including the chicken broth, and this can be made gluten-free.

 

Orange Glazed Turkey with Potatoes & Carrots

The American Heart Association offers many healthy options for traditional recipes on its website at recipes.heart.org. This citrus-roasted recipe for a turkey breast, to make holiday prep easier, caught our eye for a healthy take on festive meals.

”Try this new Simple Cooking with Heart take on traditional turkey. Its seasoning gives the dish a base of flavor, and orange marmalade adds tangy sweetness. Serve with potatoes and carrots. Enjoy the taste of Thanksgiving year-round!”

Ingredients
6 Servings
Nonstick cooking spray
1.5-1.75 lb. boneless, skinless turkey breast (all visible fat discarded)
2 tsp. dried mixed herbs (mix a combination of any/all – rosemary, basil, parsley, tarragon, chives, thyme, sage)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 Tbsp. orange marmalade
1 lb. washed potatoes (can use any type of potatoes), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 medium carrots (peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Place turkey in the dish.

3. In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients (herbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder). Rub half of mixture over the turkey.

4. Spread marmalade over turkey.

5. Stir potatoes, carrots and oil in to remaining herb mixture. Place vegetables in dish around the turkey. Bake for 1 hour.

6. Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.

 

Spiced Caramel Apples

Better Homes and Gardens knows a little something about entertaining, and has spent decades being one of the foremost experts on food. So it’s no surprise they’ve put together a list of Healthy Apple Desserts that includes this easy recipe that slow cooks while everyone is visiting.

“Instead of serving caramel apples on a stick, we cut apples in half, topped them with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cloves, and cooked them in a slow cooker. We added a drizzle of caramel topping later, along with a few chopped pecans, to create a healthy apple dessert that wows.”

Ingredients

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
5 medium red-skinned cooking apples (such as Rome or Jonathan), cored, and halved
1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar-free caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans

Instructions
1. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and cloves. Core and halve the apples.

2. Place 1/2 of the apple halves in a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle evenly with some of the cinnamon mixture. Add remaining apples and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.

3. Pour apple juice and lemon juice over apples. Stir to coat apples evenly.

4. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring gently halfway through cooking time.

5. Spoon apples and cooking liquid to individual serving dishes. Drizzle with caramel topping and sprinkle with pecans.

 

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Eat Right: Honor Mother Earth with Green Earth Day Recipes

New Jammies Butterfly Magic Sleep SackOn April 22, New Jammies and the world celebrates 45 years of Earth Day, an international event that advocates for the environment through education, public policy, and consumer campaigns. More than a billion people participate in Earth Day campaigns every year. This spring, you and your kids can take part in many ways, including what you eat.

Reducing our carbon footprint and buying, or growing your own, organic in-season fruits and vegetables are one way Earth Day can be a lesson for kids. Following these Earth Day-inspired recipes can be perfect for spring and made with organic ingredients. And best of all — healthy.

Parsley, Kale, and Berry Smoothie
Courtesy bonappetit.com with recipe by Seamus Mullen

Ingredients
Servings: 2
1/2 cup (packed) flat-leaf parsley (leaves and stems)
4 kale leaves (center ribs removed)
1 cup frozen organic berries (such as strawberries or raspberries)
1 banana (cut into pieces)
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed

Preparation
Purée ingredients with 1 cup water in a blender until smooth (add water if too thick).

Editor’s note: The comment section of this recipe suggested using coconut water for the water, so that could provided added flavor to this vitamin-packed snack.

Healthy Green (and Blue) Fruit Kabobs
Courtesy SparkRecipes.com

Ingredients
Serving size: 12 skewers; 1 per serving
1 large Granny Smith or other green apple, cored and chopped
1 T lemon juice
2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
2 cups honeydew melon, chopped
1 cup seedless green grapes
12 wooden skewers
New Jammies Earth Day idea: 1 cup blueberries for added color

Tips
If you skip the green apples, you can make these up to 24 hours ahead of time. Even after they are coated in lemon juice, the apples will start to oxidize within hours.

Directions
Toss the apples in the lemon juice.
Thread all the fruit onto the skewers. You want 5-6 pieces (8-10 when adding blueberries) per skewer. Refrigerate for up to 6 hours.

Bright Spring Day Asparagus Pasta
Courtesy motherearthnews.com

Ingredients
Serves 4 to 6
2 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered
12 ounces bowtie pasta
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed, chopped into 1-inch pieces with tips left whole
1 cup peas
1 cup fresh cooking greens (e.g., spinach, chard, dandelion), stems removed
2 tbsp olive oil
10 ounces smoked ham, such as Black Forest, diced (optional)
1 large leek (white and pale green parts) or sweet onion, chopped
2 to 4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup lemon crema (see recipe at end of recipe)
2 tbsp coarse brown mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Garnish: 1/4 cup chives, chopped

Instructions
Bring stock and mushrooms to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep. Add pasta to boiling water, and cook for 7 minutes. Add asparagus, peas and greens, and cook 3 minutes more, or until pasta is al dente. Drain the liquid and return the pasta and veggies to the pot with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking.

Heat remaining oil in a deep skillet, then sauté ham (if using), leek and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in the crema, mustard, stock and mushrooms, and cook over medium heat for a couple minutes. Toss with pasta mixture, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with chives, and serve immediately.

Lemon Crema
Crema is a zingier cousin of American sour cream.
Ingredients:
2 cups cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Dash sea salt
Twist freshly ground white pepper

Instructions:
Heat cream to about 90 degrees, then remove from heat and stir in buttermilk. Cover and allow it to sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, until thickened. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest, season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate.

Blueberry Kiwi Fool
Courtesy recipe.com

Ingredients
Servings: 6
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
3 – 4 kiwifruit, peeled and cut up (1 cup)

Directions
In a shallow dish mash 1 cup of the blueberries with a potato masher. (Or puree with a mini food chopper, food processor, or blender.) Stir cinnamon into mashed blueberries.

In a medium bowl beat whipping cream and sugar until cream is very thick. Fold in mashed blueberries.

In individual 6- to 7-ounce glasses or dishes, layer whipped cream mixture with remaining blueberries and kiwifruit. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 2 hours before serving.

Editor’s note: This recipe is only 122 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving and is a great source of fiber, calcium and Vitamins A and C.

Eat Right: Whole Foods for the Holidays

46462_471058762932291_1055129273_nIt’s no secret that when it comes to the holidays, food takes center stage for New Jammies families. So there’s no better time than now to establish healthy habits for kids with whole food recipes. Whole food is defined as “food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances.”

These food types include fresh fruits and vegetables, local, grass-fed meats, fish, eggs, dairy and cheese, whole-wheat and whole-grains, local- and home-baked goods, seeds and nuts. A whole food diet avoids refined grains and sugars, high-fructose syrups, food loaded with fillers and preservatives, and junk and fast food, especially.

During the holidays, hearty meals can be made fresh with all-natural ingredients grown in the garden and frozen after harvest or, in warmer climates, local farmer’s markets. Traditional dishes such as roasted turkey and squash, sweet potatoes and yams, Brussels sprouts, cooked carrots, creamed spinach, quinoa with mushrooms, corn casserole, green beans with almonds, cranberry salad, whole-grain rolls, baked apples, and gluten-free pumpkin pie.

These recipes from Whole Foods, located online at wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes, can help families plan for a healthy whole food turkey dinner this holiday:

Roast Turkey with Apples and Onions
Serves 12 with leftovers

Ingredients:

· 1 (14-pound) turkey, neck and giblets removed
· 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
· 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
· 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
· 1 tablespoon kosher salt
· 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
· 5 crisp apples, such as Pink Lady or Fuji, peeled, cored and quartered
· 5 red onions, quartered

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Pat turkey dry inside and out with paper towels; brush skin with butter. In a small bowl, combine sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Loosen skin over the turkey breast meat with your fingers and work a little of the sage mixture under the skin and over the meat. Sprinkle remaining mixture over skin and in the cavity of the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under the body; place in a large roasting pan fitted with a rack and roast 20 minutes.

Lower oven temperature to 350°F, tent breast loosely with a piece of foil and roast 1 hour longer. Remove turkey from oven, remove foil and baste with pan juices. Arrange apples and onions around turkey and continue to roast (without foil covering) until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F or juices run clear (not pink) when you poke thigh with a paring knife, about 2 hours more.

Transfer turkey to a platter and let rest 30 minutes before carving. Cover pan with foil to keep apples and onions warm and serve alongside turkey.

Quinoa with Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms
Serves 6

Ingredients:

· 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
· 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
· 1 pear, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
· 1 garlic clove, halved
· 2 pounds Portobello mushrooms, stemmed and gills scraped out
· 1 cup red or white quinoa
· 3 cups tightly packed fresh spinach, chopped
· 4 green onions, thinly sliced
· 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
· 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
· 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 475°F.

Put vinegar, mustard, pear and garlic in a blender with 1/3 cup water and blend until smooth, about 1 minute, to make the dressing.

Cut mushrooms into chunks and combine in a large mixing bowl with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Spread mushrooms in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, stirring occasionally, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

While mushrooms roast, prepare quinoa. In a medium pot, bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil. Stir in quinoa, cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside, covered, 10 minutes more. Uncover and fluff quinoa with a fork.

Combine mushrooms, quinoa, spinach, green onions, almonds, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup more dressing in a large, wide serving bowl. Stir to mix well. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.

Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Chestnuts
Serves 6

Ingredients:

· 10 chestnuts
· 1 large or 2 small red bell peppers, diced
· 1 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts
· 1 tablespoon olive oil or safflower oil
· 1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Slash an “X” through chestnuts; on the flat side of nut. Place them, cut side up on a cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove husk. Cut chestnuts into small pieces and set aside.

Clean and trim sprouts. If sprouts are large, cut in half vertically. Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté red pepper for 3 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and sauté 3 more minutes.

Add water, cover, and steam about 5 minutes. Remove lid, stir in chestnuts, and cook, uncovered, until chestnuts are warmed through and sprouts are tender, being careful not to overcook sprouts. Serve immediately.

This rec12060_481840848520749_1695193353_nipe for Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Greek Yogurt, contributed to Food and Wine at foodandwine.com, by Todd Porter and Diane Cu, is a great option for a whole food side that babies eating solids and toddlers can enjoy, as well as the whole family:

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Greek Yogurt
Serves 4

Ingredients:

· 2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
· 1 tablespoon unrefined brown sugar
· 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
· 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot and fill with cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

Drain the sweet potatoes in a colander, shaking the colander to help remove excess water. Pour the potatoes into a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and Greek yogurt to the sweet potatoes. Mash to your desired texture and serve warm.

Healthy and homemade recipes from food blogger the Wellness Mama, online at wellnessmama.com, offer whole food-friendly options for traditional holiday fare that will have the family asking for seconds:

Healthy Grain-free Paleo Green Bean Casserole
Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

Onion Topping

· 2-3 medium onions, very thinly sliced
· 2 eggs
· 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or coconut milk
· 2-3 tablespoons of coconut flour
· ½ cup coconut oil or tallow for frying (I use tallow)

Healthy Cream of Mushroom Sauce

· ½ cup butter
· ½ cup cream or coconut milk
· ⅓ of onion mix above
· 8-10 mushrooms, finely diced
· ½ tsp garlic powder
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 4-5 egg yolks
· Coconut milk or water to thin

Other

· 5 cans of cut or french style green beans (Can also use fresh or 2-3 bags of frozen, or 2-3 pounds of fresh just heat first to remove extra liquid.)

Thinly slice all the onions, separate, and put in medium bowl.

Add the two eggs and the heavy cream and mix well until evenly incorporated.
Add coconut flour and mix by hand until evenly coated (note:may use slightly more or less depending on your brand of coconut flour.)

Put tallow in large skillet and turn on medium high heat. When hot, add the coated onions and evenly brown, turning occasionally. When browned, remove from heat and set aside.

In medium sauce pan, melt butter and saute mushrooms until starting to brown, then add cream or coconut milk.
Whisk in egg yolks and spices and about ⅓ of the onion topping mixture and continue stirring until the yolks begin to cook and the mixture thickens.

Add extra milk or water if needed to thin (only a few tablespoons might be needed). Drain green beans and pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Pour the cream mixture over and mix well until incorporated.

Top with onion mixture and heat at 325 in oven until topping starts to crisp (but not burn) and green beans are heated.

Sugarless Cranberry Sauce
Serves 8

Ingredients:

· 2 bags of fresh cranberries (usually 12 ounce bags)
· ¾ cup pineapple juice or orange juice (I recommend pineapple)
· ½ cup of applesauce (no sugar added)
· ½ cup of water
· Juice and zest of one orange
· 3-4 tablespoons of honey or to taste (optional)

Put cranberries, pineapple juice, applesauce and water in a sauce pan and and bring to a boil.

Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly until the cranberries start to explode (about 10-15 minutes).
Reduce to a simmer and pour the juice and zest over the cranberry mixture.

Simmer 10-15 minutes and remove from heat.

Cool completely and store in fridge at least 4 hours but preferably overnight before serving.

NOTE: This is not as sweet as store versions. Taste at the end of cooking. It is naturally sweet from the fruit juice and applesauce but you can add more honey or stevia to taste if needed.
Bon appetite, and happy holidays!

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10534652_782507411787423_3054468415575607769_nVote for New Jammies!

New Jammies is being nominated for the Cribsie Awards here at cribsieawards.com/nominate.

Founded in 2010 and hosted by StrollerTraffic.com, the Cribsie Awards recognize the best products, services, and websites for babies and tots. The Cribsies offer a secure voting platform that limits users to one unique vote per email address, meaning the Cribsies are a true, untainted measure of the public’s opinion on the top parenting brands. With hundreds of thousands of votes cast and a reach in the millions, the Cribsies have quickly become the definitive awards for parents.

You nominate. They select. Parents vote. Support New Jammies today!

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!