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Food Ideas for Babies and Toddlers

Food Ideas for Babies and Toddlers
With my children being almost five years apart in age, it is very surprising to me how much information I actually forgot from one child to the other. Mom brain is a real thing!!!! When Knox first started eating solid foods, I would introduce a new food every so often and he always got excited to try new things. But when he got to the age where he didn't have a ton of limitations on what he could eat, I worried that he was getting bored with the same old stuff every day. And I struggled with remembering what I fed his sister when she was this age.

I decided to ask all of my lovely followers for advice, because you all have always been there for me!!! And I got some terrific suggestions on different foods to feed your baby/young toddler. Now that he is 13 months old, I do try to feed him what we eat for dinner. However, if we are having steak or shrimp, I'll always make him something different since he doesn't have the teeth to chew everything up. So if you are stuck on what to feed your kids for lunch or need new ideas, check out this pretty extensive list. Hopefully it will give you lots of ideas for meals too.


While they are so little, their food does need to be cut up into tiny pieces. Everything on this list can be fed to your baby whenever, I just categorized everything by meal in hopes of making it easy for you.

Breakfast:

pancakes
toast
oatmeal
bananas
blueberries
grapes
strawberries
mandarin oranges
yogurt
scrambled eggs
hard boiled eggs
bacon
muffins
Cheerios
biscuits

Lunch:

cheese
grilled cheese
peanut butter and jelly
pita bread
soft tortillas
strawberries
blueberries
bananas
grapes
mandarin oranges
avocado
hard boiled eggs
crackers
puffs
canned or frozen veggies
lunch meat
mac and cheese

Dinner:

rice
mashed potatoes
cheese quesadillas
meatballs
spaghetti
broccoli
french fries
avocado
sweet potatoes
butternut squash
canned or frozen veggies
black beans
rotisserie chicken
baked potato
fish
ravioli
tortellini
mac and cheese

Baby Food Ideas


FASTer Way To Fat Loss

I received my first round of FASTer Way To Fat Loss complimentary in exchange for a review. All opinions, results and thoughts expressed below are completely my own.
FASTer Way To Fat Loss

Like most Americans, at the start of 2019 I found myself looking in the mirror and vowing to make a change with my body. My baby was quickly approaching his first birthday and I could no longer use the excuse that I "just had a baby." I've tried to make many changes to my appearance in the past, sometimes I've succeeded and a lot of times I've failed. I was hopeful that this time I would succeed again. So I signed up for FASTer Way to Fat Loss to help me along the way.

What is FASTer Way to Fat Loss (FWTFL)?

FWTFL is a 6 week program (plus 1 week of prep) with three core principles:
intermittent fasting
carb cycling
macro tracking (carbs, fats, protein)

I'll break down each of those principles for you below and explain how they worked for me. BUT before I do that, I know you want to know the good stuff first.


The outcome

Before I began FASTer Way to Fat Loss, I told my coach that my main goal was to feel better in my clothes. (YEP! When you sign up for the program, you get your own personal coach who is there to support you every step of the way. I have a terrific coach named Jocelyn; you can click this link to sign up and have her as your coach too!)

I had several pieces of clothing that didn't fit like they used to and I frequently would wear black. In fact, I have a good friend who even asked me why my blog was called Pursuit of Pink if all I wore was black. Well the reason I wore all black was because I didn't feel comfortable in my clothes and wanted to do what I could to hide my body. But that is about to change!!!!

After finishing my first round of FASTer Way to Fat Loss, I've lost 5 inches overall and 9 pounds! And I have started to achieve my main goal as so many of my shirts are now fitting me different (read: better) and are not as tight.
This program does not focus on the scale...in fact they want you to weigh yourself at the beginning and then say goodbye to your scale. So I stayed off my scale. But I was so curious to see if I had lost weight since I noticed so many of my clothes were fitting better. So I stepped on the scale and was pleasantly surprised to see that 9 pounds were gone!


Now back to the core principles of the program.

Intermittent fasting

I've had experiences with fasting from a spiritual standpoint, so I wasn't completely nervous about this portion. Basically, you fast for 16 hours during the day (a good portion of the time you are sleeping) and allow yourself an eating window of 8 hours. I break my fast at noon each day and stop eating at 8 p.m. each night.
One of my biggest habits to break prior to FWTFL was snacking after the kids went to bed. I would often grab a box of crackers or something sweet and sit down to relax for the night. By training my mind that it was time to stop eating at 8 p.m., I was able to completely kick my nighttime snacking habit.

One of the biggest things I was worried about with the fasting, was having to give up my morning coffee...but I didn't have to! You can still have coffee AND creamer, you just have to keep your creamer around 50 calories. Prior to FWTFL, I was a creamer fanatic and I knew that 50 calories wouldn't cut it for me. So I started to look for other options. I tried skim milk and almond milk and finally found my coffee joy with Nutpods. Nutpods are dairy free, unsweetened creamers made from almonds and coconuts. Unlike almond milk, they are really creamy and super delicious! I would also add in a bit of stevia for some sweetness and I was good to go!
However, one thing I found through FWTFL is that I don't NEED my coffee each morning. In fact, more often than not, I skipped my coffee and just had water. This program definitely gave me more energy and didn't have me relying on my coffee to perk me up each morning.

Carb Cycling
I have never counted carbs or even tried a low carb diet, I knew that was too restrictive and wasn't for me (give me all the carbs!). But the awesome thing about this program is that it is not restrictive at all. I'll let the FASTer Way To Fat Loss experts explain exactly what Carb Cycling is:

Carb Cycling is an alteration of carbohydrate intake to prevent fat loss plateaus and keep your metabolism working effectively. Basically, you cycle between low carb days and regular carb days to ensure that your body burns fat effectively without causing significant hormonal damage or dips in energy.  

There are only two low carb days a week and they are back to back, so you get them out of the way. What I really love about low carb days is that FWTFL has you increase your fat intake to make up for the carb calories that you aren't eating. So even though my carb intake was low, I still got to enjoy really yummy food (hello guacamole!!!).

Macro Tracking

I follow a few people on instagram who talk about tracking macros, but I never knew what it was and figured it was only for really fit people. Well let me tell you, macro tracking is my favorite part of this program and I feel like it really changed my mindset!


With macro tracking, you focus on eating the right amount of fats, proteins and carbs. My eyes were completely opened to the fact that I was NOT eating enough food. I used to fill my days with tons of processed foods and sugars. I would count calories and make myself go crazy trying to track it all yet stay within my restrictions.

But I found by tracking my macros, that I focused on making sure I was getting enough to eat. And more often than not, I wasn't eating enough carbs (all the praise hands - I get to eat more carbs!!!!). Tracking macros doesn't make you take in more calories, it just helps you take in the right kinds of foods to fill your calories. As I focused on adding in enough protein and carbs, I found myself making so many better choices. In fact, during this program I've really cut down on the amount of processed foods I've eaten.

One great thing about this program is that they encourage you to have treats, each week. That has always been my downfall with other programs: they are too restrictive and I start to focus on what I can't have and fall off the wagon. But with FWTFL, they want you to enjoy your treats if they fit into your macros. And let me tell you, I made sure to fit in my treats with my macros!

This program is not restrictive at all, in fact there were many times where I thought I was eating too much because I was focusing on filling my macros. But my results tell you that I definitely wasn't eating too much!


What I love about FWTFL

I've already told you that tracking macros was my favorite part because it didn't feel restrictive. I will say it again, this program is NOT restrictive at all.

Another thing I love is that you don't have to workout for hours at a time to see results. In fact, to be perfectly honest I barely worked out during this first round. You read that right! Just by focusing on my nutrition, I was able to lose inches and pounds!!!!

This program gives you workouts that match your nutrition for each day so you can get maximum results. But another great thing is how flexible it is! You don't have to use their workouts. They are there as a guide, but if you like other workouts you can do those too.

Because of my great results, I'm going to do another round of FWTFL and I plan to workout more in the second round. My coach said she did the same thing and her results from round one to round two were incredible. But I do love that this program is very nutrition focused...that saying about Abs being built in the kitchen is so right!!!

Another aspect of this program that I like is PREP WEEK. Because there is a lot to learn with FWTFL, they give you an entire week to learn everything and to slowly start to implement everything. I love this because they are setting you up for success. During prep week you watch videos and learn all about marco counting, carb cycling and intermittent fasting. You chat with your coach about your goals, you receive tips and tricks to make you successful on the program and you slowly start marco counting and fasting.


Have I piqued your interest?

If you want to join me, click this link to sign up! I'm going to go straight from my round one right into my round two. Prep Week begins on Monday, March 4...so why don't you join me???
Click here to sign up under my coach, we can be in the same group!

If you have any questions about what I have shared above, please feel free to reach out. I'd love to talk to you! 

And because everyone likes to see photographic evidence of the results...I'll share my before and after photos below.
Please know that this is extremely personal and I feel so vulnerable putting myself out here like this. But I'm hopeful that maybe one of you reading this is just like me and wants to FINALLY make a change.
So I'm including these pictures for you.
I'm here to say that I'm no where near a size 0 model. I'm a busy mom of two who has made excuse after excuse as to why I can't lose weight. But I'm finally tired of not feeling confident. I'm on my journey to better health and WAY MORE self love.

So here you go.....




Balloon Garland Tutorial

Balloon Garland Tutorial

One thing I've come to love over the years is creating the pièce de résistance (important focal point) for my children's birthday parties. I'm normally a fan of having birthday parties outside of the house because it is A LOT less work, but I also love to host and appreciate an opportunity to get creative. I have to say, I've really impressed myself with my recent ability to make a vision in my head come to life (Peep this blog post I wrote a couple years ago from my daughter's Mermaid Birthday party - those jellyfish turned out so cool!).

I'm thrilled to share this super EASY tutorial with you on how to make a balloon garland. I made this balloon garland for Knox's first birthday and it turned out exactly as I envisioned it.
(If you want to see a video tutorial of the balloon garland, head over to my instagram stories to see more.)

Materials needed:

-Balloons (I made three streamers, two are pictured above, using about 150 balloons total)
-Pump to blow up the balloons (optional)
-Packing tape
-Hole punch
-Low temp glue gun
-Command  strip hooks
-String or twine


The EASY process:

Start by blowing up all of your balloons. I recommend that you use three or four different colors of balloons to help add a bit of variety to your garland. I also recommend enlisting the help of your spouse or mom or a friend to help you blow up the balloons. OR you can use a pump to blow everything up. Tolar and I decided to blow all 150 balloons up ourselves; we watched a sitcom on tv while we got to work. Blow the balloons up to different sizes. (Note: the next time I make a balloon garland, I will have many more small sized balloons)

Grab your packing tape and measure it to however long you need it to be. (We measured the length and width of our doors to determine how long we wanted the garland and cut the packing tape accordingly.) Next cut another strip of packing tape the same length and tape the pieces to each other to make the streamer (you WILL need a partner to help you with this). I taped four pieces of packing tape together to make sure it was sturdy. When I made my practice garland, I only used two pieces of tape and it would sometimes rip. Four pieces did not rip and worked perfectly.

Take your hole punch and zig zag holes into the packing tape streamer. It doesn't need to be perfect, just punch holes wherever you like.

Balloon Garland tape

Now it is time to assemble!
Take a balloon and thread the tied end through one of the holes. Then grab another balloon and thread the tied end through but from the other side of the tape, so you have balloons both on top and on bottom of the tape. Keep adding balloons to your streamer. I didn't create a pattern per se, I just grabbed different colors and sizes and tried to make sure I didn't have too many of the same color together in one spot. When you first start assembling, it will feel like the garland is going to be flimsy and not so full, KEEP GOING. Trust me, by the time you fill the packing tape streamer up half way, you will already see the garland taking shape and it will be nice and full.
Balloon Garland Assembly
Balloon Garland Balloons

Once you get the garland assembled, it is time to hang the garland. I punched one extra hole on the end of the tape streamers when we went to hang the garlands. Then I tied twine (you can also use string - or really whatever you have) through the hole, making a loop. Next we placed Command strip hooks on the wall where we wanted to hang the garland and just hung the garland up by the string that was looped through. I do recommend that you hide the Command strip hook behind the garland to conceal it.

After everything is hung, you need to fill in any holes. The holes are best filled in with small balloons, this will certainly add dimension to your garland. Using your low temp hot glue gun (because a high temp one will pop the balloons!), glue small balloons onto the garland to cover up any bare spots. This is also a great time to cover up any areas where you can see the packing tape peeking through. You can also use faux greenery or flowers to cover up the packing tape.
And that's it! Easy peasy.

We assembled the balloon garlands the night before the party. I found it easiest to assemble ahead of time so I wasn't stressed the next day. If you do assemble your garland the night before, save some extra balloons just in case any deflate over night. Then you can easily blow up your extra balloons and replace the ones that deflated when you are ready to hang them up.

For a very small cost and just a couple hours time, you can create a stunning decoration for any occasion

Balloon_Garland_Helper
Balloon Garland party decor
Balloon Garland decoration





Low Carb Dinner: Zucchini Noodles, Tomatoes and Chicken

Low Carb Dinner Zucchini Tomatoes and Chicken
A little over a month ago I started a new program called FASTer Way to Fat Loss. I'm loving the program, I've already started noticing results (my husband too!) and I'm feeling great. With this program, I have two days a week where my food intake is low carb (under 50g net carbs). I've been experimenting each week with different low carb recipes and this one is too good not to share. I found this recipe from a Tasty video and I modified it to fit my family's needs.

When I cook dinner, I usually look for recipes that don't have a zillion ingredients and that take about 30 minutes to prepare. This recipe certainly meets the criteria!!!!

(The FASTer Way to Fat Loss program is six weeks and I'll be writing a full blog post about my experience when I'm finished with this round.)

Ingredients:

-4 zucchinis
-4 chicken breasts
-1 1/2 tsp salt, plus another 1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 pint grape tomatoes
-2 tsp dried basil
-1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.) Using a potato peeler, peel each zucchini longways creating zucchini noodles. Stop peeling when you reach the seeds. Discard the seeded portion.
2.) Place zucchini noodles on a towel and put inside a large bowl.
3.) Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp salt over the zucchini noodles and mix with your hands until the zucchini is coated with the salt.
4.) Let stand for 20 minutes.
5.) While you are waiting on the zucchini, dice up your chicken breasts and cook them in a large pan until white with a little bit of olive oil.
6.) Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and 1 tsp garlic powder to chicken. Stir to coat the chicken.
7.) Slice grape tomatoes in half.
8.) Once the 20 minutes are finished, squeeze out as much juice as you can from the zucchini and discard.
9.) Add the zucchini and the tomatoes to your chicken.
10.) Add 2 tsp dried basil and stir to coat.
11.) Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the mixture and warm until the cheese melts.
12.) Enjoy!


Macro Information: 4 servings
10g carbs
15.2g fat
42.9g protein
Zucchini Noodles
Zucchini Tomatoes and Chicken

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Low Carb Dinner - Zucchini Tomatoes and Chicken






One Year Old!

12 month old baby


We made it to one year!!! 12 whole months with our precious boy and what an incredible year it has been!!!!!

Stats: 22 pounds. 28 1/2 inches long. Knox had a bad cold last week which landed us at the doctor (after he had RSV when he was 1 month old, I get nervous when he has a cough!) so we found out he weighs 22 pounds. Tolar and I were both shocked and expected him to weigh a bit more, but I guess all of his fast crawling has kept him in the low twenties.
I did a quick measurement of him at home for his length.

Development: Knox started taking a few steps right after he turned 11 months old. He would only take about 2 or 3 at a time and then sink to the floor to crawl. At the beginning of his 11th month, he would really only "walk" if we stood him up and tried to get him to walk between Tolar and I. But as he got closer to 12 months, he started taking steps on his own. And then on his birthday, he walked about 8 steps! He loves to cruise around furniture and walks pretty fast that way as long as he is holding on.
He has been clapping for awhile, but would really only do it if we were holding him. Now he claps all the time, especially when we ask him to. He also gives us high fives and he knows his first sound...a zombie. HA! Tolar was proud that a zombie was Kendall's third sound (after a dog and cow), but I taught Knox the zombie sound once I realized he could do it. He is so proud of himself when we ask him to clap, give us high fives or make the zombie sound.
He still only says Da Da Da Da Da, but he is able to make the mmmmm sound, so I'm working on Mama.

Loves: Knox loves bath time, the trashcan, the nightlight in an outlet, his Daddy's drum set, climbing up the stairs, his sister's toys and he REALLY loves his sister. Knox has so many toys, but rarely plays with them. He much prefers all things that a baby really shouldn't play with...so you can imagine how fun each day is at our house. I have absolutely adored seeing the bond between Knox and his big sister. He wants to be around her all the time and always has a big smile on his face when they play together. Parent pick up at school is the best example of how much he loves his sister: he gets fussy a lot just sitting in the car while we wait our turn to pick up Kendall. But as soon as she gets in the car, he starts smiling and will look over to where she is sitting the entire way home. If she is around, he is very happy. When I cook dinner, I've started having Kendall play with Knox because I know she will keep him entertained and out of the kitchen. 

Dislikes: The boy does not like it when you take something away from him that he was holding. Knox likes to crawl with items in his mouth and it makes me nervous when he puts drumsticks in his mouth because they could get pushed down his throat, so I always take them away from him and he loses his mind!!! He is already showing me that I got off lucky with his rule follower sister and that he is going to be a completely different toddler. I'm dreading going to the store with him one day and saying no to something he wants.  

Sleeping: Knox's bedtime is between 7 and 7:30 p.m. and we've followed that for awhile. He does sleep through the night, which we are very thankful for. He's been sleeping through the night pretty consistently since he was five months old. But he sometimes like to wake up at 5 or 5:45 a.m. However, since his birthday this past Saturday, he's been sleeping until 7 a.m.! I am saying that is his birthday present to us!!!
His naps are extremely consistent and much longer now, which I'm very thankful for. Although, we are late to church a lot on Sundays because he will sometimes stretch his nap to past 10 a.m. Thank goodness for live streams and podcasts!

Diapers: He continues to wear size 3 Pampers Swaddlers and size 4 Pampers Baby Dry (for bedtime).

Eating: We switched Knox to cow's milk about 2 weeks ago and he loves it. Tolar gave it to him one day and he didn't act like anything was different; he drank it all!
He very much prefers real food and we have pretty much gotten him on our eating schedule instead of eating every 4 hours like he did when he was a baby. He LOVES pancakes for breakfast and eats as much as his sister does...if not more. He also loves cheese and black beans. We gave him a tiny taste of peanut butter and he loved that too! We are certain that in the very near future he will be finishing whatever his sister doesn't eat.

Clothing: He is completely into 12 month clothing. I just packed up all of his 9 month clothes because they are too short. And we put him in shoes for the first time yesterday!

Miscellaneous: Bath time is a game changer in our house. If Knox is having a bad day and crying a lot, I will give him a bath and his mood totally changes. He loves the bath! 

One Year Old Baby