Friday, October 31, 2014

Baby food pouches: Are they truly harmless?

Baby food pouches: Are they truly harmless?

Baby food pouches are the new rant and rave with moms of babies and toddlers. Pouches make it simple for babies to eat on the go since they are quick and really convenient.  Should they be the new fad that all parents have, or do they eventually add to tooth and feeding problems?

Super convenient
Baby food pouches are made by many companies and are often filled with organic baby food recipes, which babies can suck out through the opening, much like they could a drink through a straw. They are handier than a jar of food that needs to be spoon-fed, and they can help teach a baby to feed herself.

Besides pre-filled pouches, there are also companies selling reusable baby food pouches.  Parents purchase the reusable food pouches and then fill them with their own wholesome baby food.  Purchasing and reusing the pouches helps parents save a ton of money compared to purchasing disposable pouches.  You can pack up a few pouches filled with homemade baby food for your babies or applesauce for your toddler and go out for the day without worrying about how to pack spoons.

What’s the worry?

However, some worry that baby food pouches will be overused, much like juice can be. We spoke with Deborah Michael, mom of five and pediatric occupational therapist, who is the founder of North Shore Pediatric Therapy, and Meghan Grant, mother of two, who is a pediatric speech therapist. They said that like many of the decisions we as parents make for our kids, moderation is key. “A recent statement from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry warns parents of the possible side effects to prolonged usage of baby food pouches,” Grant explained. “They compare the squeeze pouches to that of giving babies juice in sippy cups and bottles, and indicate that tooth decay may develop if babies are given frequent access to the pouches.”

Although there’s no proven connection, people worry about baby food pouches because they are said to possibly lead to a breakdown of tooth enamel if the child’s teeth are not brushed twice a day. Whether you decide to offer your child baby food pouches or not, brush her teeth at least two times daily, and aim to restrict fruit juice consumption.

Developmental and social issues

The method of the baby eating baby food from a pouch is comparable to drinking from a straw. Does a baby benefit from spoon-feeding as opposed to sucking pureed food from a baby food pouch? “Feeding your child from a spoon not only contributes to functional oral motor development, but increases the social aspects of mealtimes,” said Michael. “Parents are able to connect with their children during meals, and if children are allowed access to constant drinking from the pouches, they are missing out on opportunities to practice developmental feeding skills when fed via spoon.”

The bottom line

Parents should not steer clear of baby food pouches, but limiting their use is still a good idea. Make sure to brush your child’s teeth at least two times daily and sustain parent-child contact such as eye contact and talking during meals as often as you can. Keep in mind that independent feeding is the main target and baby food pouches can work in your baby’s favor. Baby food pouches don’t always have to be fed straight from the pouch; you can actually squeeze the food out into a bowl for spoon-feeding. Being fed from a spoon helps your baby develop correct swallowing techniques, Modern parents have tons of options for feeding their babies, and baby food pouches seem to be the most convenient

Friday, October 24, 2014

How to save money on wholesome baby food by using reusable food pouches

How to Save Money on wholesome baby food by Using Reusable Food Pouches
Saving money is one of the hardest jobs most mothers face.  Every mother has her own method of saving money when it comes to clothing, toiletries, and even groceries. Although this isn’t a long article, it does have a very simple solution to saving money on groceries and getting your children to eat healthy at the same time! Seriously the hardest part of this is just making sure you have a set of reusable food pouches pre-filled and ready to go for snack time!

1. Stop buying the throw away pouches – Throw away pouches are so expensive yet so convenient when you are in a grocery store with a hungry, whiney child.  They can range from anywhere between $.99 per pouch to almost $3 a pouch. And they are just incredibly too small.
2. Buy yourself a set of reusable food pouches - They’ll pay for themselves after a few weeks. The Little Hands Reusable FoodPouches cost only $14.99 for a 4 pack on Amazon, and they hold up to 7oz of pureed food which is even enough puree for my 3 year old.
3. Buy a big jar of applesauce – Since you’re saving so much money by not buying a ton of throw away pouches, you can probably afford to purchase the high end organic apple sauce.  If you want to save as much money as possible, just purchase the huge store brand jar of apple sauce.
4. Pre-fill your reusable food pouches with your jarred applesauce – You can add some cinnamon for good flavor or add some mashed banana for a combo. There are a million different things you can do!
5. Store in the fridge and serve at snack time – Having a snack ready as soon as your children are hungry makes you a hero in your kids’ eyes!

6. REPEAT – except step 2. You’ll just wash and reuse!

Friday, October 17, 2014

3 tips on giving the best Christmas gifts this year without breaking the bank!

            Give the best Christmas gifts this year without breaking your budget!

Can you believe that it's the middle of October already?  We only have a little over 2 months left, and Christmas will be here!  

I have always loved Christmas!  I love the snow, the Christmas parties, the family time, and I have always especially loved giving presents to my family and seeing their face on Christmas morning.

As we all know, Christmas time is the busiest shopping season of the year because everyone wants to find the perfect gift for everyone!  It seems like society has drilled in our minds that the more expensive the gift, the better it is.  I do not believe this to be true at all.  

I have started my Christmas shopping already, and I plan on being completely done before black Friday.  If you get your shopping done early, you will save money alone just on shipping costs.  On top of that, I guarantee your thanksgiving, your Christmas, and your after Christmas months will be a lot less stressful.  Can you imagine it being a week after Christmas, and actually not being stressed about money because you spent it all on Christmas gifts?

These 3 tips will help you save a ton if you are willing to start on your Christmas shopping now.
  1. UTILIZE FREE OFFERS - Many people don't know about the different photo freebie gifts that you can get through Shutterfly and artscow at different times of the year.  People love photo gifts!  They are a great way to give a personalized, useful gift that people can cherish and look back on as a memory. is a great site to look at for freebie deals.  Real examples are listed below:
    1. Canvas People is currently offering up a FREE 11×14 Photo Canvas (a $69.99 value!) – just pay $18.95 for shipping! 
    2. Through October 20th, Shutterfly is offering up 10 FREE Personalized Greeting Cards for new and existing customers when you enter the promo code GREETINGS at checkout!  10 5×7 cards shipping cost was $5.99.
    3. If you’re a Kellogg’s Family Rewards Member (not yet a member?! Sign up here for FREE!), check your Inbox for a possible email containing a code valid for 101 FREE 4×6 Photo Prints from Shutterfly. Shipping for 99 photos was $5.99
  2. BUY GIFTS FROM FUNDRAISERS -  There are always children selling items through out the year for their schools.  My child's school has a fundraiser with Scholastic. Every time I buy a book from Scholastic using his teachers code,  the teacher gets a certain amount of points to use towards earning free books for the classroom.  Scholastic also has a lot of good deals on their books, and books are an awesome gift for children of any age! Save money, get an awesome gift, and help your school at the same time.  Many small businesses also offer fundraisers for schools.  Little Hands Reusable Food Pouches has a great fundraiser this year.  They are for sale at Desoto County Academy for $10 for a 10-pack.  $3 from every sale is donated to the teachers for school supplies.  The little hands reusable food pouches are a great gift for mothers, grandmothers, daycare providers, and even for the children themselves.  I love helping my child's school while also having another Christmas gift marked off the list.
  3. AFTER HALLOWEEN CLEARANCE - A week or two after Halloween, most targets have all of their Halloween items 90% off! This is the perfect time for getting children ages 3-10 some fun and inexpensive Christmas gifts.  Children absolutely love to dress up and use their imagination all year long.  My son is 3 and is crazy about every super hero and the ninja turtles this year. I plan on getting costumes for approximately $1-2 a piece and putting them in a reusable tote so that he can have a little treasure chest for Christmas.  I plan on getting my daughter princess costumes, ladybug costumes, etc.  Don't forget the accessories either! Kids love masks, gloves, and dress up shoes.
Try these 3 tips and see how much money you can save this Christmas!