Month: April 2014

Easy/Low Prep Snacks & Meals For Toddlers

These are some of the foods I try to have on hand for Emma that are pretty easy or quick to prepare and usually require no cooking or a minimal amount of cooking:

Chobani Greek Yogurt Tubes – Supposedly greek yogurt is healthier than regular yogurt and Emma seems to enjoy this brand

Grapes – Just wash and eat! Some people are paranoid about choking so you might want to cut these in half if your little one hasn’t mastered chewing and swallowing yet

Watermelon – I like to buy the mini ones from Trader Joe’s and just cut it up to have ready when Emma wants a few pieces. Buying the smaller ones makes it easier to cut!

Bananas – One of Emma’s favorites! I also use it to make “healthy” ice cream and pancakes which I will write about in another post.

Raisins/Cranberries – Emma loves eating those little red boxes of raisins. We will also add cranberries to her oatmeal sometimes. I also recently discovered you can buy reduced sugar craisins so I might try those next time

Frozen Peas/Carrots – Sometimes when I make Emma’s meals I make her a bunch of little sides bento-style. This is an easy way to fill up one of the compartments.

Sweet Potatoes – These are great because they keep for awhile and you can either microwave them for a fast and tasty treat or cut them up into fries and bake them. Emma loves them either way

Dr Praeger’s Spinach Pancakes – One of those frozen foods that I have on hand since it incorporates veggies and Emma loves any type of pancakes

Trader Joe’s Microwavable Mac N Cheese – Surprisingly, Emma doesn’t really like mac n cheese except for this TJ’s version! Hey, at least it’s made of organic wheat macaroni hehe.

Trader Joe’s Veggie Sausage Patties – These are the best tasting veggie patties I’ve had and Emma loves them too

Green Chopsticks Frozen Dumplings – I love Green Chopsticks! They offer “all-natural” Asian food that are quick and easy to prepare. You can buy these at Costco!

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Roasted Seaweed – Emma loves these but they can get a little messy!

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Friday Links

Great tip:
How To Get Your Kids To Talk At Dinner – Great ideas that I will be using in the future
and
A quick tip for burping – must remember when the new baby arrives!

Great activity:
Shape Sorting For Toddlers – Easy and cheap learning activity for toddlers

To make:
5 Minute, 5 step, $5 Leggings – I’m a beginner sewer and this project was pretty easy!
and
No-sew Elsa Cape – It seems like every little girl is OBSESSED with Elsa! I love the idea of having a frozen party and letting girls decorate their own cape too.

To think about:
The Overprotective Kid – I completely agree!

For a laugh:
What’s the creepiest thing your child has ever said to you? – Emma’s barely starting to form sentences so she hasn’t said anything creepy yet…but I can’t wait til she does! Hilarious

Also, 23 Reasons Why Kids Are The Meanest People In The World

This little girl is the funniest! She really loved being 3 and does not want to turn 4. She’s totally right….it’s only downhill from here!

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Hidden Spinach Cake Muffins (Perfect For Toddlers!)

Emma’s pretty good about eating her veggies but she definitely loves her carbs more than anything. She LOVES breads, crackers, cakes, and muffins. So when I saw this recipe for spinach muffins I knew I wanted to make some for Emma. They were super easy to make and didn’t taste that bad! I had my husband (the veggie hater) eat them and he said they tasted “healthy” but were “not bad”…which means these were a winner!

I like to make Emma’s food in batches and freeze what she can’t eat within a few days. So happy to know these freeze well. Just reheat in the microwave for 15 seconds! I love having quick and healthy snacks like these for Emma on hand.

Spinach Cake Muffins from Weelicious
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup fresh spinach, packed
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Place the first 6 ingredients in a food processor and puree.
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3. Place the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and combine.
4. Pour the spinach puree in a large mixing bowl.
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5. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet until combined.
6. Scoop batter into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup 2/3 of the way.

7. Bake for 12 minutes.
8. Serve.
9. If freezing, let cool all the way.

These were a lot more green in real life!

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Easy Easter Bucket & Other Easter Activities

I’ve been looking for a small Easter basket for Emma but it seems like a lot of the ones sold in stores are big (Emma is really small for her age). I recently saw this easy diy one using a store bought pail from the $1 bin at Target.

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All you do is print onto sticker paper and cut out these cute easter stickers

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And stick them on the bucket!

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I should have taken a picture of Emma holding the bucket so you could see how small it really is. It’s the perfect size for her!

The same website, And We Play, provides the same pictures as coloring sheets!

Some other easy/fun Easter activities and links:
Easter egg coupons – Fill your plastic easter eggs with these coupons instead of candy!
Baby’s first easter basket – cute items to include in your little one’s first basket
Ice Eggs – this looks so fun! Hopefully where you live is warm enough for this activity
Natural Egg Dye Tutorial – I’m really interested in trying these out
How to host a glow in the dark easter egg hunt – um YES PLEASE! I can’t wait til my kids are old enough for this!

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Easter Events Around North Orange County

Last year Emma was a little too young to enjoy Easter so I’m excited to look for some fun Easter events for her this year. Here are the ones I’ve been eyeing:

CERRITOS:
Annual Easter Bunny Garden Party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m on April 2nd at the Los Cerritos Center. There will be an Easter Bunny, flower crafts, bunny snacks (provided by Red Robin) and it’s all free!

COSTA MESA:
8Th Annual Costa Mesa Easter Festival & Treasure Hunt will be at the Orange County Market Place Saturday, April 19th 9:30am – 2:30pm. There will be free photos with the Easter Bunny, Easter Brunch with gourmet food trucks (9:30am – 2:30pm), a Treasure Hunt (10am-2pm), face painting, a puppet show (11am & 1pm) and more. Click here for a free admission coupon:

FOUNTAIN VALLEY :
Fountain Valley Recreation and Community Services Department hosts the Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19th at the Fountain Valley Recreation Center and Sports Park, 16400 Brookhurst Street from 8:30am-11:30am. Event includes free carnival games, crafts, balloon artists, inflatable rides, and more! Enjoy a pancake breakfast for $5, elephant rides for $5, and take pictures with the Easter Bunny for $2 each.

GARDEN GROVE:
Eggscavation will be at Atlantis Play Center on Saturday, April 12th 11:00am-2:00pm. This event offers kid-friendly activities including arts and crafts, face painting, carnival games, a moon bounce and petting zoo. Egg hunts will take place in age groups and the event is limited to the first 300 children. Tickets are on sale at the Recreation Counter located on the first floor of City Hall: 11222 Acacia parkway. $7 for children ages 3-10, $2 for spectators 11 and up. Tickets will go on sale at G.G. City Hall March 24th.

HUNTINGTON BEACH:
The City of Huntington Beach Community Services Department will host their 24th Annual Easter Hunt 9:00am-2:00pm Saturday, April 19th at Central Park Sports Complex. The event will feature an egg hunt, game booths, entertainment, exhibits, pictures with the Easter Bunny and refreshments.

IRVINE:
The Rabbit Run 5K takes place on Sunday, April 13th 9:00am at Concordia University. Grab a few eggs and goodies along the way or linger your way through. Either run, hunt, jog, stroll, roll or trike it. Families can bring strollers, bikes, tricycles but kids must wear helmets. Kids can ride scooters, bikes or be pulled in wagons.

The Irvine Park Railroad is also hosting their annual Easter Eggstravaganza which includes easter egg hunts, photos with the Easter bunny, moon bounce, hay ride, easter cookie decorating, carnival games, face painting, and of course their train ride. Click here to see prices, the schedule, and coupons.

IrvineParkEaster

For more events around OC, check out this list at Plan A Day Out

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