Tips for Making Sweet Potato Baby Food

Sweet potatoes are renowned for making excellent food for all kids, and for a number of reasons. One of the greatest reasons why they are popular is because babies love their taste and texture, making them easy to feed. Sweet potatoes are cheap, rich in beta carotene and are also available year round, but more so in the fall. Follow these steps for making sweet potato baby food at home and watch how much your little one enjoys them.

Sweet Potato PureePeeling And Dicing

Select sweet potatoes at your grocer that are smooth skinned and without cracks in the skin. Bear in mind the freshest fruits and vegetables are the best choice for a baby. Once you get your sweet potatoes home, rinse them well and use a vegetable peeler for removing the outer skin. Using a paring knife is acceptable, but peeling sweet potatoes is harder using a traditional paring knife. Once peeled, dice the potatoes into one inch squares and give them a final rinse.

Steaming To Soften

You might choose boiling your baby’s potatoes, but doing so does deplete vitamin content. Using a baby food maker that has a steaming option is the best way to retain the highest level of nutritional content in any fruit or vegetable. The Baby Brezza Steamer is a top ranked model that is highly recommended. Once you have your potatoes steamed and softened, put them into a blender for pureeing. You should know that most baby food makers also offer pureeing and chopping features as well. Once your sweet potatoes are pureed and have the desired consistency, empty them into a sealed container.

Recipes For Your Baby Using Pureed Sweet Potatoes

Avoid adding sugars to the foods you feed your baby. One great thing about sweet potatoes is they are naturally sweet, so adding sugar of any kind is not necessary. However, you might think about the many other fruits and vegetables you can add to sweet potatoes for adding variety to your baby’s palate while also providing an array of vitamins and minerals:

  • Applesauce with a dash of cinnamon goes great with sweet potatoes.
  • Peaches add additional vitamin C.
  • Green beans can be added to sweet potatoes for a different flavor.
  • Pureed beef or chicken is an excellent way to add protein.

Freezer Storage

One sweet potato when cooked and pureed makes up to around five ounces. Considering this amount, it would make sense to store as much as possible for saving a lot of money and always having a food choice on hand your baby loves. Store unseasoned sweet potato puree in small sealed containers and date them before putting them into the freezer.

Before you start feeding your baby new foods, talking to your pediatrician is important. This is especially true about babies that have allergies to foods. Making the right choices about your baby’s diet is vital for providing the best and healthiest start in life. Choosing to make your own baby food is certainly a step in the right direction. Avoiding the processed foods you get from the supermarket is wise and can help to limit the number of additives and preservatives your baby ingests in his or her early years.

Facts about What Foods Make the Best Compost

Most every household produces large quantities of food scraps over the course of just a few weeks. Making the most of food scraps means finding ways to use them without wasting them into the trash bin or garbage compacter. Using food scraps to make compost is a good idea and gives you an easy way to toss out the plates of scraps. If you really want to be efficient at composting, grab a composting pail for the kitchen and use it to cut down on the smell. Some foods are not suitable for composting, so learning more about what foods make the best compost is important.

Tumbling Composter food items

Important Reasons For Composting At Home

Providing exceptional nutrition for yours gardens is necessary for the best growth results. Making your own compost is more affordable than buying organic top soil and it also helps you leave a smaller footprint on the environment. Many foods you toss out every day can become highly nutritional fertilizer for both flowers and vegetable producing plants. Using your own compost helps you avoid using chemically enhanced fertilizers as well.

Right And Wrong Foods For Composting

Some foods are perfect composting materials while some others can cause your compost bin to be the local diner for vermin and insects.

Some of the foods best for including in your compost are:

  • Fruits and vegetables, including their rinds. You can put fruits and vegetables that have already started to mold and rot into your compost bin without worrying.
  • Boxed foods that have gone out of date (like potato flakes, pasta, etc.)
  • Breads are great to use in compost due to the yeast content. Any food made from flour is acceptable for adding to your compost.
  • All grains like rice and barley can be used.
  • Coffee grounds and tea bags, including the coffee filter. Some experts claim the material used to make tea bags are not acceptable, so emptying out the tea after using them is best.
  • Egg shells ( if you add egg shells, make sure to crush them into tiny pieces before adding for the fastest breakdown)

Foods To Never Use In Your Compost Mix

When your compost mix is finished ‘cooking’, you want the results to be a dark black, soil like crumbly mixture, not a soupy mess that has a terrible odor. Avoiding putting these foods in your mix is extremely important to not only avoid rotting and soupy results, but to also cause less attraction for wildlife:

  • Grease or oils are not acceptable for homemade compost mix.
  • Meats and fish (any parts of meat and fish like bones and skin should also be avoided).
  • Any type of dairy products like cheese, yogurt, sour cream, etc.
  • Adding these items can cause maggots in your compost, meats especially attracting scavenging animals like rats, mice, opossums and raccoons. If you are planning to use an indoor compost bin, adding unacceptable foods to it can cause vermin and attract roaches and silverfish pests as well.

Outdoor Bins And Avoiding Unwanted Animal Visitors

Choosing a durable, well-made compost bin is the best way to make compost without inviting wild animals into your yard. Several options are available for bins, some providing features like secure lids for preventing insect infestation and animals from getting in. If you are new to making your own compost, make a list to keep handy about what foods make the best compost so you can remember which ones never to add.

What are the Best Cooking Supplies for Camping?

Cooking can be a lot of fun and easy when you go camping, but if you are not prepared for cooking outdoors, it can also be a challenge that could leave you hungry and ready to get back to the civilized world in a hurry. This is especially true for primitive camping when a grill may not be available. Learning more about the best cooking supplies for camping is important for helping you get the most enjoyment out of your next trip into the wilderness.

The Romance Of Cooking Over An Open Fire

Cooking with Cast Iron Skillet while Camping

The spit over an open fire with a rabbit roasting on it you may have seen in the movies is not exactly what you will encounter while on a camping trip. The movies have helped to make cooking over an open fire in the middle of the forest more romantic and alluring.

However, cooking with the campfire is possible and easy when you have cookware suitable for it, especially if you are cooking fish you caught on it. Many camping supply retailers sell cast iron cookware that is perfect for the campfire. In most sets, you will get a small sauce pan, a Dutch oven, a skillet and in some sets, a frame for placing over the fire for setting your pots and pans on.

Always remember to purchase a lid holder and tongs specially designed for removing hot cast iron cookware from the fire.

Planning Ahead Makes A Difference

Taking the time to plan ahead for your camping trip is especially beneficial when it comes to cooking supplies. Consider the kinds of food easiest to keep fresh and how to keep foods like meat and dairy products cold. While taking along a cooler is a good idea, you might think about the camping areas that do not offer easy access to ice for your cooler. Packing along foods like canned meats, jerky and products like potato chips and nuts is a good idea, especially if you are planning to fish or hunt while camping. You may not get lucky and catch any dinner, so making sure you have food you can prepare is important.

Fresh Brewed Coffee In The Wilderness

Specially designed coffee pots you can use on a campfire are great to have first thing in the morning while camping in a primitive manner. Campfire coffee pots are easy to use and can be found anywhere you purchase other camping supplies. Remember to pack along cream and sugar packets for making the perfect cup of coffee while enjoying the morning in the great outdoors.

For The Kids

When camping with kids, making sure you have plenty of easy to snacks is a must. Choose healthy foods like trail mix and juice boxes that are easy to store with the need for ice. Pack paper plates, plastic cutlery, plastic cups and plenty of paper towels or napkins for making any outdoor meal more sanitary and easy to dispose of during cleanup. Keep in mind as well when choosing the best camping supplies for camping about the best and most germ free methods for clean up after dinner is finished. Taking along bottled water is a good idea for not only drinking, but also for cleaning faces and hands of little ones. Wet wipes are also a must for cleaning up after outdoor dining for everyone in the family.

How To Shape The Head Of A Newborn Baby

For many new parents, the shape of their newborn baby’s head is an important issue. It ranks right up there with which diaper bag to buy or which color the room should be painted. One reason many parents place a lot of emphasis on the shape of their baby’s head is they have heard many rumors about why the head could be misshapen. Sometimes when the vacuum or forceps has to be used, it can squeeze the babies head into a deformed shaped.

Even though your baby’s head is misshapen now, in virtually all cases it will eventually go back to normal! So worrying usually doesn’t help, and your focus could be on other things like picking out that crib, or finding a great bag! I’ll help out a little bit, and recommend the Soho diaper bag as it is a proven favorite among many moms!

How to Shape Newborn Baby Head

Learning more about how to shape the head of a newborn baby can help you feel less panic and fear when your baby is born with an odd shaped head.

Normal Odd Shapes

Babies born head first commonly have an oblong shaped head due to being squeezed through the birth canal. However, parents should keep in mind that the bones and plates in a newborn’s skull are soft and versatile, designed to allow the growth of the brain and for fitting through a narrow birth canal as well. In some cases, the skull bones have been known to overlap during birth. This is a temporary issue and generally goes away after a few days.

In The Days After Vaginal Delivery

Another common issue that occurs in newborns is called caput succedaneum, a condition that presents as fluid collects beneath the scalp.  This condition generally stems from a hard delivery. When a delivery takes a long time, the amniotic sac is usually compromised and is no longer available for providing cushioning to the baby’s head. In some deliveries, a vacuum instrument is used for helping the baby out, being the greatest cause of caput succedaneum. In other cases, this condition can present before birth due to membranes rupturing or if the presence of amniotic fluid is low. As frightening as this condition may seem, it usually goes away after a few days.

Medical Problems That Can Cause An Odd Shaped Head

Some medical problems can cause a baby’s head to be deformed upon birth, some conditions requiring surgical intervention. Craniosynostosis is a birth defect that causes the bone plates in a newborn’s skull to fuse together too soon, causing serious issues for healthy brain growth. However, in many cases, this condition can be closely monitored while a baby grows, allowing medical professionals to watch brain development to help avoid surgery. No one is sure what causes this birth defect, but many options are available to parents for treatment.

The Truth About Some Rumors

One of the biggest rumors associated with newborns and head shaping is about leaving a baby in the crib too long on his or her back. However, it can happen from a baby’s normal sleeping hours, not because parents are bad and leave their baby in a crib for too long. Two types of flat head conditions include:

  1. Brachycephaly – This causes the back of the head to flatten out and can also cause the forehead to protrude more so than normal. Encouraging your baby to lie on his or her tummy during the day can help the head resume normal shape. However, your baby sleeping on his or her back at night is best to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  2. Plagiocephaly – This is the most common flattening of the head, causing the misalignment of the ears in most cases. This flattening issue can be resolved easily by physiotherapy. In other words keep your baby moving during the day.

The best way to learn more about how to shape the head of a newborn is by visiting your baby’s primary health care provider. Learning more about all the aspects of providing the best care for your little one is extremely important for giving the best and healthiest start in life.

Fun Ideas for Outdoor Birthday Parties

There is nothing quite like a child’s birthday party. The fun, chaos, noisy chatter, and messy spills are usually best left outdoors. However, coming up a plan that is exciting and memorable can be difficult. Many people will rent a jumpy castle and let the kids wear themselves out on it! If you decide to buy your child a moonwalk, take a look at the best bounce house reviews for comparisons of some of the better ones on the market.

Let’s look at some more ideas for outdoor birthday parties that are guaranteed to leave your child and all of their guests delighted and worn out.

Inflatable Water Slide ReviewsCHOOSE A THEME

A good theme is crucial to planning a great party. While there are tons to choose from, there are certain ideas that just work better outdoors. Carnivals and circuses have become popular options due to the amazing variety of decorations and activities you can use. Plus, they, as well as beach and water parties, are perfect for boys and girls. Pirates, superheroes, and sports parties are good choices for boys. For girls, you may want to consider princesses, butterflies, or cowgirls.

DECORATIONS

Today, children’s parties are seen as an opportunity for the parents to show off their creative side. Thanks to websites like Etsy and Pinterest, there are plenty of opportunities to create one-of-a-kind decorations. If that’s not for you, don’t worry. There are ready-made decorating kits for girl beach parties, as well as pirates and carnival parties.

If you can’t find a ready made kit, simply look for balloons, banners, bunting banners, and centerpieces. Of course, if you want to go all out, add a carnival ticket booth, animal props, or a superhero city scape. There are plenty of decorating options; you just have to find them.

FOOD

Of course, you have you cake and ice cream, but what else should you serve? For outdoor parties, one of the easiest options is to opt for hotdogs, chips, and fresh fruit. To keep with your theme, top each hotdog with cupcake toppers. For drinks, you can opt for juice boxes, but another idea is to use unbreakable beverage dispensers. They are easy and will keep your yard from being littered with juice boxes.

Of course, you can also incorporate themed foods, such as peanuts, popcorn, cotton candy, and more.

BOUNCE HOUSES AND WATER SLIDES

You can’t have an outdoor party for children without inflatables. They are fun and keep the kids occupied for hours. There are plenty to choose from. You can opt for one that works with any theme or choose one that works right in with everything else, such as this amazing pirate ship or this adorable princess castle. Whichever one you choose, the kids are sure to love it.

GAMES

If you incorporate inflatables into your party, you may not need games. Of course, you may want to have them anyway. There are tons of ideas for circus and carnival parties, such as Ring Toss or Bean Bag Toss. If you are having a having a superhero party, you can set up a Superhero Cape Station to let guests decorate their own. For a butterfly themed party, let the girls create their own butterfly necklace. Get creative…there are tons of games that are perfect for kids parties.

​ Outdoor birthday parties are a great way to let your child have the party they have always wanted without having to pay for a rental location or watch in horror as your house becomes a mess. Regardless of what you choose, be creative and have fun!