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Umoja! Explaining Kwanzaa

Today is the first day of the pan African and African American holiday developed in 1966 by California State University professor and Chair of Africana Studies Dr. Maulana Karenga.

Kwanzaa means “First Fruits of Harvest” in Swahili, a language spoken in many East African nations. It is a seven-day holiday that celebrates seven values, collectively called the Nguzo Saba, a Swahili word for Seven Principles.

These seven communitarian African values are: Umoja (Unity), Kuji-chagulia (Self-determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).

Kwanzaa table setting traditionally includes seven candles, ears of corn, fruit, a cup and a cultural woven mat all symbolizing principles of the new holiday. Celebrants put a green tablecloth over a table they place in a central place in their home, and place a woven straw mat called a Mkeka on top of that table which symbolizes the historical foundation of African ancestry.

On top the mat is a Kinara (a candle holder) with seven candles. It holds three red candles on the left, three green candles on the right, and a black candle in the center. A candle is lit every day, as during Hanukkah. The black candle is lit first, the lighting then going back and forth between red and green, starting with the outermost candles and moving in to the center.

The table also should include Mazao, crops from the community including a bowl of fruit; Muhindi, an ear of corn for each child in the household;  Zawadi, gifts for the children; and Kikombe cha Umoja, a cup to represent family and community.

Celebrants also decorate their home in the pan African colors of red, green and black. They wear traditional clothes worn by Africans in various countries on that continent, including garments made of Kinte cloth, a material made of interwoven cloth strips worn by the Akan peoples of Ghana.

Starting on December 26, celebrants greet each other by saying “Habari Gani” which is a standard Swahili greeting that means “what is the news?”

The response is whatever day it is – Ujima, Nia, etc.

Kwanzaa table setting traditionally includes 7 candles, ears of corn, fruit, a cup and a cultural woven mat all symbolizing principles of the new holiday.

On the sixth day, or New Year’s Eve, those who celebrate this tradition have a reading or discussion, there is held a program that includes welcoming, remembering, reassessment, recommitment and rejoicing, concluding with a farewell statement and a call for greater unity.

Families exchange gifts on the seventh day.

The values are supposed to be building blocks for the African American community and to teach them of the pan-African connection between people of African descent now living all over the world.

Africans of all faiths can and do celebrate Kwanzaa, i.e., Muslims, Christians, Black Hebrews, Jews, Buddhists, Bahai and Hindus as well as those who follow the ancient traditions of Maat, Yoruba, Ashanti, Dogon, etc. Kwanzaa is not supposed to be an alternative to their religion or faith, but a common ground of African culture.

However, some people who reject the Christmas holiday season’s materialism elect to practice Kwanzaa as an alternative to interject meaning into their holiday season.

Those not from African descent can celebrate Kwanzaa, just as others celebrate Cinco de MayoChinese New Year and Native American pow wows.

The political part of the holiday is that it has been credited with helping African Americans stay bonded and for assisting young people to avoid the trappings and failings of vices and other negative issues that sometimes plague African American communities. Learning and practicing this tradition can help young people realize their potential and value beyond the here and now and connect them to their ancestral roots and to others today who share their collective African heritage worldwide

So, for example, rather than “what would Jesus do?” a Kwanzaa-based query might be, “what would your great ancestors who were once kings and queens of the greatest civilizations and cultures do if they saw you acting a fool and disrespecting their legacy and honor?”

Not bad a message at all.

If you are celebrating Kwanzaa with your children this year, enjoy and Happy Kwanza to you! Umoja!

Merry Christmas: Enjoy These Christmas Movie Scenes

There are fun Christmas movies for kids like Rudolph and Santa Claus is coming to town and then there are those with kids in them that adults enjoy more and are bonafide cult classics. The jokes and wise cracks in them can be appreciated by big kids of the adult variety! ha!

My favorite is A Christmas Story, the Great Depression era themed movie about a kid who just wanted a BB gun for Christmas and his adventures with his friends and trying to convince his parents, the mall Santa, teachers and other adults in his life that a BB gun is NOT a dangerous gift for a kid. The antics are hilarious. I actually remember nagging my parents to take me to see this movie when it was released in 1983.

Here are three other hilarious and funny Christmas scenes that you should watch online or rent this Holiday season:

 

 

Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa Overlap This Year; Also Mixed Religious Households Are Hard

kwanzaa cookies

kwanzaa cookies

Happy Hanukkah!

The first day of the Jewish Festival of Lights started yesterday, December 22. It’s one of the few times that Christmas and Hanukkah will be celebrated the time time. Now if you consider the fact that Christmas technically is 12 days, and Kwanzaa starts on December 26, this year three of the most commonly celebrated holidays during this season will overlap.

Now if you are parents to a mixed religious household or came from one, you know how amazing this could be.

The scholarship and surveys of inter-religious households are scarce however, in  2008, the Pew Research Center found that over one-quarter of people lived in religiously-mixed households.

For certain, over the next 11 years, that number has grown exponentially, probably.

Also, PBS pointed out that most interfaith families usually decide to pick one religion and stick with it; but it also has quotes from families who embrace both.

What happens when a Jew marries a Muslim because in the Jewish faith, the children are supposed to take the religion of the mother and in Islam, the children are to practice dad’s religion?

As a person who grew up with a Catholic mother and a Muslim father, I have experienced this type of inter-religioug home upbringing and have the opinion that interfaith marriages are even harder than interracial ones. [You can fight me on that]

In my dad’s religion, the children are supposed to practice Islam but up until I was about 5 years old, he didn’t actively practice but when my sister was born and after our Islamic “Naming Ceremony”, my mom decided that she didn’t want to raise religion-less kids so she took us kids to church. For 12+ years, I was a Christian until I turned 17 and my dad found Allah once again and started taking us to Arabic school, and a cultural program in the Washington, DC area.

What a shock!

At that age of advanced adolescence, my Faith set as a Christian had already set in and I would question the scribes and the teacher’s interpretation of the Qua-ran, which I found conflicted from the Holy Book.  That turned me off and confused me so much so that I looked forward to going off to college the next year so I could practice NO RELIGION and be Agnostic!

It was liberating at first but then it got depressing as I started questioning life, the afterlife, if it existed.

My First Christmas shirts are plentiful for baby but you rarely see My First Chanukah onesies or clothing and that’s why I was digging this Israeli-made Baby’s First Chanukah Organic Body Suit as part of Wild Dill’s Hebrew Baby Collection.

It was very lonely and scary.

I started to study afterlife experiences, and studied Faiths of the world, and eventually met and married my current husband who is a Catholic and I fell back into my original religion.

I do not believe my experience is rare. I think children in mixed religion homes suffer. If you want to do it, go at it but know it’s going to be a challenge.

Writer Hannah Werthern wrote about her concern in a Parents.com piece:

It is tempting to me to invite Santa and Hanukkah Harry to our house every December, but I worry that my kids will get confused. Will they think everyone celebrates a mishmash of holidays? I will say it was truly surprising for me to see the number of books on celebrating both holidays — someone even made a “Hanukkah and Christmas: Picture Books Featuring Interfaith Celebrations” Pinterest board! (Wait, is everyone already celebrating a mishmash of holidays without me?) I also worry that the meaning behind each holiday will get lost along the way. Hanukkah is actually not that big of a deal to my family, so I’m OK with Santa stealing the show a little bit. but I’m not going to be happy when the Easter Bunny comes knocking at the door during Passover Seder. For every family, the holidays work a bit differently. I guess we’re just going to have some growing pains.

I can appreciate her concern.

Let’s continue this conversation @Bellyitch on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Or @JayJayGhatt on Twitter and Insta

Parenting Experts Debate If Parenting Is Simply Overated {Video}

The age old nature v. nurture debate took a different turn a couple of months ago during a live debate held at New York City’s Kaye Playhouse and live streamed before becoming part of a syndicated public radio show and podcast called “Intelligence Squared US“.

The side arguing against the motion “Parenting Is Overrated” won.

Arguing in favor of the motion are behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin and psychology professor and twin researcher Nancy Segal. Arguing against the motion are psychology professor Paige Harden – also a twin researcher, who had reached very different conclusions – and parenting counselor and journalist Ann Pleshette Murphy.

“Research over 40 years has convinced most scientists that inherited DNA differences account for about 50 percent of the differences between children on all psychological traits: their personalities, their mental health and illness, and their cognitive abilities and disabilities,” moderator John Donvan says. “What amazes me is that if you look at all the parenting books that are out there, and there are very popular books, not one mentions genetics, and that discrepancy is enough to say parenting is overrated because it discounts the importance of genetics.”

It’s about an hour and a half long but so worth the watch:

 

Small Business Saturday: Support My Partners and Brands

It is Small Business Saturday!

Last year, I encouraged my readers to support the brands for which I am an affiliate for but this year, I’ve opened up three online shops and am offering discounts and deals in hopes that you will continue to support this platform and purchase from me.

This year, I also opened up a consulting company, JayJayGhatt, where I counsel, consult,  guide and train those who want to earn a living in social media or blogging to do it. Sign up for a consultation here!

Shop by Bellyitch – The Mom Charm Shop

My Mom Charm Store is an online store of  this Parenting blog and it sells novelty tees, and lifestyle items like mugs, pillows, a fun quirky clock and more.

My Etsy shop Digital Publishing Academy sells legal, marketing and productivity templates for online digital business owners like Podcasters, YouTubers, Bloggers, Vloggers and eCommerce shop owners!

Get 20% off any item when you purchase today, Small Business Saturday thru Cyber MONDAY! ENTER Promo CODE: ETSYCYBER2018 at checkout for discount!

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Also, I’m offering a steep discount of $20 OFF for my Blogger’s Legal and Marketing tool kit, regularly priced $29! This Brings the price down to $9!!!! Available to the First 25 buyers!

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Get my Ebook on “How to Valuate Your Blog for Venture Capital Sale” for just $2.99, which is 60% off the Original Price. GET IT HERE! 

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THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Photo: Gift Habeshaw

5 Healthier Holiday Snacking Options for the Family

 





Welcome to the holiday season.

 A time of year known for larger meals, shorter days, colder weather, and, unfortunately, a little more stress on the buttons of your pants.

Even the kids fall victim to the dreaded winter-time munchies, snacking on everything in sight.  

We all go through it. However, there are some ways to beat back the holiday bulge by choosing healthier snacks in between those cookie swaps, holiday parties, and grandma’s apple tarts.

We’d love to propose a piece focused on healthy “snack hacks” that will help folks keep the pounds off during the holiday season without getting in the way of their merriment. Here are a few examples:



1. HUMMUS: THE ULTIMATE VEGGIE DIPPER

It seems like nearly everything has hummus on it these days and for good reason. The perfect blend of mashed chick peas, spices, and heart-healthy olive oil can turn some bland carrots and celery into a Mediterranean flavor-vacation.



2. EDAMAME: SUSHI’S FAVORITE SIDE 

While we’re using our tastebuds to travel the world, why not try some edamame. These teeny soybean(y) pods offer a delicious and nutritious alternative to handfuls of potato chips. PRO TIP: Steam ’em in the microwave and toss them in some sea salt. Trust us.

3.  WHO YOU CALLIN’ JERKY, TURKEY?

It’s shriveled, it’s salty, it’s delicious. Turkey jerky is probably the most underrated snack on this list. Much maligned and overshadowed by its beefier cousin, turkey is a lean meat full of protein to keep you full without a ton of calories to slow you down. Plus, it lasts forever.

4. PROTEIN BOOSTER: MICROWAVABLE EGGS 

I know what you’re saying, microwaved eggs? Eggs are full of protein, eminently diverse, and available in Egg Bite form that just large enough to be a hearty snack or replace a small meal. Three Bridges Egg Bites will change your mind about microwaved eggs.



5. BAKED SWEET POTATO OR KALE CHIPS

Kale is having a moment and sweet potatoes are a staple. So of course they make great chips. The key here is that they are baked and not fried, making them infinitely healthier than regular chips while retaining the salty crunchiness you need to get through that 4 p.m. budget meeting. 

Teach Your Child These 8 Money Lessons Your Parents Might Not Have Taught You

All parents want nothing but the best for their kids, and that includes growing up to be successful in life. But when it comes to money, many parents struggle terribly to teach their kids about it.

The good news: even parents who haven’t been financially successful themselves can teach their kids everything they need to know about money including how misunderstood it is by the masses.

Self-made millionaire Steve Siebold, author of the new book “How Money Works: Stop Being a Sucker,”offers these 8 tips to help parents teach their kids how money works:

  1. Teach your kids to dream big: The self-made rich are the biggest dreamers in the world, and parents encourage their kids to dream beyond what they think is possible. The truth is that not all their ideas are winners, but that doesn’t discourage them from thinking about it. Encourage you kids to dream about whatever it is that motivates, excites and drives them.

2. Teach your kids to build a healthy relationship with money: Unfortunately, most people see money through the eyes of fear and scarcity. The wealthy teach their kids to look at money as a positive force in their lives, and see it through the eyes of freedom, possibility, abundance and opportunity.

3. Teach your kids that wealth is nonlinear: School and most of what you learn is going to teach you to think in linear terms or in a straight line. 123. ABC. Unfortunately, the serious problems in society are rarely solved at this basic level of thought. Encourage your kids to look at things in as many different ways as possible, and in ways that other people never even consider. Teach them that linear thinking is the obvious. Nonlinear thinking is the nonobvious. Linear thinking will make your kids a living. Nonlinear thinking will make them rich.

4. Teach your kids to maintain a sense of urgency: Teach your kids that with each passing year, time seems to accelerate, so they must operate with a sense of urgency. The masses procrastinate, stall and put-off fulfilling their commitments to the very last minute, which is often too late. Teach your kids it starts now by completing their class assignments, homework, chores, sports or music practice, and anything else they commit to in advance or at least on time.

5. Teach your kids to embrace conflict: Most people avoid conflict at all costs. They hate it. Teach your kids that constructive conflict can be a valuable learning mechanism. When smart people disagree on ideas, philosophies and strategies, new levels of understanding can be reached. Teach your kids to keep their emotions out of conflict and look at it through the eyes of logic and learning. If they do this, they’ll be able to use conflict to learn, grow, be more successful and make more money. Remember, conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.

6. Teach your kids to fail forward: Teach your kids that success is usually built on a series of attempts and failures. Most of the world views failure as a death sentence. Instead of learning from the failure and moving forward, most people shrink back into their comfort zones and play it safe for the rest of their lives. Teach your kids that failure isn’t fun, but it is the required foundation of making it big. Making mistakes and the education they will give you is to be expected and embraced.

7. Teach your kids to take responsibility: Teach your kids they are responsible for their success, fulfillment and happiness. Most people like to blame everyone and everything but themselves for their struggles. It’s never their faults because they refuse to grow up and accept the fact that they are makers of their own destinies. Teach your kids not to wait for the hero on the white horse to come riding in to save them. They are the heroes and they are 100% responsible for saving themselves.

8. Teach your kids to cocoon themselves: Teach your kids to be selective over who gains access to their inner circle. The masses see this as an elitist action successful people take to isolate themselves from others because they think they’re better. That’s simply not true. Cocooning is about protecting your consciousness from the fear and scarcity mindsets that plagues the masses. Dr. Albert Einstein said, “Consciousness is contagious,” and he couldn’t be righter. Your kids will be the average of the five people they spend the most time with.

Good luck, parents!

7 Simple and Fun Tips For Getting Your Child to Help with Cleaning

Saturday mornings in many homes across the globe are reserved for cleaning the home. Parents, you do not have to go at it alone.

If you teach your children how to do chores and expect them to do them, you’ll not only get help cleaning but will be instilling lifelong positive habits they can benefit from forever.

Take a moment to check the 7 tips for having your kids clean their own room. These are quite simple and fun, so pick a few to test as soon as possible.

  1. Show them how to do it

Set expectations for toddlers and show them how to do the task you want them to do.

Don’t just explain it,  show them the toy box and how to put the toys away. Show them where the coloring books should be and how to put all the crayons back.

The same goes for older kids. If you don’t like how they vacuumed the floor, consider stepping in and showing them the proper way of doing it.

  1. Lead by example

Kids are copycats, and they tend to absorb things like sponges. They repeat our words and actions, whether the good or the bad ones. For this reason, it’s important to be a good example in every way, included when it comes to cleaning.

Trying to explain to your child the importance of making the bed won’t go that well if you don’t make your bed when you wake up. You may think it doesn’t matter, but it does. And, it’s a matter of time before your child figures this out and calls you out on it.

Be a good example.

  1. Let them have their space

If your child already has a room, you might want to cut them some slack on how the room should look. Surely, it shouldn’t be messy, but let them have some say in it.

Kids that have their room are more likely to want to keep it tidy. Let them have this space and arrange it in any way they want.

You can decide how to do this. Will you let your child pick the color of the walls or not is up to you, but let him/her have some say in how the room looks.

They can maybe pick the furniture or the way how things will be organized. Once it feels like that space is theirs, they will most likely care for it better.

  1. Set some rules

This is the time when you should be a bit strict. Set some rules and stick to them. These rules can be about anything you see fit from making the bed to putting away the toys.

For example, tell your child that he/she cannot watch the TV until all the toys are back in place. It might take some time and effort to accomplish the result, but if you’re strict, your child will see that there’s no other way about this.

Keep in mind that your kid might want to test how serious you are about the new rules. It might seem easier to just make the bed by yourself instead of trying to get your kid to do it. Stick to your guns and avoid the temptation.

  1. Make it fun

Let’s face it! Few people enjoy cleaning up. Make it a fun endeavor. Just like how you might play music to get through a pile of laundry, you should also consider turning this into a game for your child.

There are several ways in which you can do this. Some parents like to set up an alarm, so the kids race to finish before it rings. Some kids love competing against each other on who can pick up more toys.

Also, consider playing some music for them, so that they can dance or sing while doing this. It’s going to make a tedious job appear less daunting.

  1. Praise or reward them

This seems like the simplest way of getting kids to clean. If you tell a child that they can play a video game after they vacuum, he/she will likely vacuum the whole place without objection.

However, you want to take it easy on rewarding. You’re trying to teach good habits, so it might not be the best idea to offer a reward each time they do something. It’s because they won’t get awards for making the bed in the future.

Nonetheless, you should at least praise them for the good job they did. It’s so easy to yell when a child disobeys, but we so often forget to tell them how proud we are when they do something good.

A lot of times, children want approval so if you tell your child you are proud of the job they’ve done, they may be more likely to do it on their own.

7. Be realistic

Kids should start helping as soon as possible because it’s important to implement those good habits at an early age. However, you don’t want to be too harsh and demanding either, so make sure that your expectations are realistic.

If you want your kid to make the bed, be prepared that he/she maybe won’t do such a great job. Nonetheless, it’s important that they try.

Also, you can’t expect a child to drag your heavy-duty vacuum all the way to their room to vacuum the floor.

If you want them to clean the floors, you should maybe invest in a vacuum that they can use. Luckily, CleanThatFloor reviewed several lightweight vacuums that your kid could use.

But still, is your child big enough to vacuum? Again, set your expectations according to your kid’s age and abilities. And, don’t forget to praise them for the good job they did.

 

Good luck parents!

Before Baby Comes Home Safety Adjustments To Make

Bringing home your newborn baby can be scary. They’re so small and delicate it seems like anything could happen. Take the time to safety proof your home room by room so you can be more focused on lullabies and joys of parenthood.

Bedroom

While you already know to cover your electrical outlets and keep small items off the floor, there are other hazards you may not be aware of in your baby’s room. Start with the crib. Parents recommends getting a fixed-side crib (instead of a drop-side crib) so your baby isn’t at risk of hurting themselves if the drop side breaks or to protect them once they’re big enough to start getting themselves out of the crib. You also should keep the crib empty of stuffed animals and other big, cushy items because they can pose a suffocation hazard to small babies, and they can be used as a step stool to climb out of the crib when they’re older.

Furniture stays are also a big help since little kids like to walk, climb, push, and test their boundaries. You need to make sure that any large furniture (dressers, bookshelves, carts) is attached to a wall or fixed in place so it can’t tip over.

Kitchen

Kitchens don’t have to be a dangerous place for your baby. Your new favorite item will be cabinet locks. By putting them on, your child won’t be able to get into a drawer full of knives or glass items (and then you won’t have to worry about picking up all the Tupperware they threw on the floor). You also should invest in an oven lock. While the oven door may seem too heavy for them to open, you don’t want to risk any accidental burns.

You also need to make sure everything is out of your child’s reach. Though this might not be a big deal when they’re just a few months old, it’s a good habit to get into as they become more mobile. Cook on the back burners of your stove and turn the handles inward to make sure your baby can’t pull off any hot pans. You also should put hazardous items, such as cleaning supplies and knives, in high cabinets with a safety lock. Avoid hanging choking hazards on your fridge, such as magnets, and keep any glass items out of reach.

Living Room

You’ll spend most of your time in the living room with your family. Make sure that all electrical outlets are covered with baby-proof sockets and that all wires and cords are tucked away where they can’t be reached by small, curious hands. You may want to put baby guards around the corners of your tables and secure any decorations that could be pulled off your coffee table or entertainment center.

Set up a home automation system to help you feel more secure. With this tool you can set your alarm system, lock your doors and control the lighting and temperature of the room. These home automation features are perfect when you can’t move the sleeping baby in your lap. A video surveillance camera also can work as a nanny cam, so you can check in on your baby when they’re with a babysitter. It can also work as a baby monitor, so you can watch your baby while they’re sleeping.

As your baby grows and becomes more mobile, you’ll need to update your safety proofing. Make sure to periodically go through your rooms and check for any potential hazards. Enjoy this special time without having to worry about your child’s safety.

How to Make Your Own Baby Food {A Primer}

Bellyitch Rewind 
There have been a few baby food recalls in recent weeks that have prompted some new moms to consider making their own baby food from scratch for their little ones. The idea of blending, pureeing, storing, thawing and making batches of baby food or toddler pouches can seem daunting, and time-consuming, but fortunately, in recent years, technology in the form of baby food blenders and scores of new books have cropped up to demystify and simplify the process.

Blender

To start, you may want to go out and get a blender with a puree function on it. I like the Magic Bullet for making smoothies and milkshakes for my little ones because it is easiest to clean. The company that makes it also sells a special version just for baby food making called Magic Bullet Baby Bullet Baby Care System which retails for $59.99 on Amazon but is sold in retail stores like Target, Walmart and the like.

Storage

Next, you’ll have to invest in tiny containers to store the foods you make. The Baby Bullet comes with its own containers and lids but you can also order storage containers. Sage Spoonfuls Big Batch Storage Set includes twelve 4 Ounce containers for about $20, enough for vegetable, desserts and other purees. They are freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe and durable portable jars with leak proof and easy to use screw on lids.

Recipes

Then comes the hard part: whipping up yummy recipes. Here are some books with tips, recipes and other suggestions.

ONE

The Amazing Make-Ahead Baby Food Book: Make 3 Months of Homemade Purees in 3 Hours ($17.88) This popular hardback book will give you to tools and tips for making up to three months’ worth of healthy, homemade baby food in just three one-hour blocks of time. It has unique combos like Peachy Strawberry Salad, Coconutty Mango Lassi, Plum-Gingered Brocco-Quinoa, and Purple Papaya Flax Yogurt, blending in a rainbow of nutritious options while expanding your baby’s palate.

TWO

Real Baby Food: Easy, All-Natural Recipes for Your Baby and Toddler ($10.79) The toughest part really is making the time but this book helps new moms create a routine that is easy, fast and flexible. The author starts with the building blocks of solid foods, and shares how to recognize food allergies, and easy ways to cook in bulk. Recipes progress from single-ingredient purées to multi-flavor blends like Salmon, Kale, and Sweet Potato Smash; then move on to finger foods—Turkey Meatloaf Bites, Maple Graham Animals—and finally toddler meals and snacks. Most can be made ahead and frozen, many are easily adapted for grown-up tastes, and all include full nutritional information. Nice!

THREE

101 DIY Baby Food Pouches ($10.99) specializes in baby food pouches for older babies and toddlers. This book includes instructions for filling your own pouches for cheaper, healthier, and eco-friendly options for your little one.

FOUR

Fast & Fresh Baby Food Cookbook: 120 Ridiculously Simple and Naturally Wholesome Baby Food Recipes ($11.87) This book targets the early stage new mom who “can’t keep up with the laundry” or “can’t fit into anything but yoga pants” and “can’t make your baby sleep through the night.” The book promised to help this mom “make the best food for your baby in 30 minutes or less.”

FIVE

Little Foodie: Baby Food Recipes for Babies and Toddlers with Taste ($13.59) This book comes from a certified baby chef and blogger over at Baby FoodE, Michele Olivier.  She offers over 100 food recipes, helpful FAQs and a comprehensive overview. Baby food recipes include: Apple + Mint + Ricotta Purée / Fennel + Pea + Peach Purée / Pumpkin + Thyme Purée / Sesame Tofu Sticks + Peanut Sauce / Curried Egg Finger Sandwiches + Mango Chutney / Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine + Couscous / Sausage + Kale Over Creamy Polenta / DIY Toddler Sushi Bar, and more.

SIX

Super Easy Baby Food Cookbook: Healthy Homemade Recipes for Every Age and Stage  ($11.74) This book focuses on super simple recipes  with just 5- ingredients each and includes over 150+ nutritious recipes that grow with your developing child. It has time saving sample menus for kids 4 to 18 months.

SEVEN

The Baby and Toddler Cookbook: Fresh, Homemade Foods for a Healthy Start ($15.68) Packed with over 90 recipes and loads of nutritional information, The Baby & Toddler Cookbookmakes cooking healthy meals easy, even for busy parents. By setting aside only a few hours a week, you can make and store an array of nutritious foods to keep baby happy and fed. All along the way, this book will give you helpful hints, guidance, and plenty of recipes to ease your path to nutrition.

EIGHT

Top 100 Baby Purees ($10.52) Like the other books, you’d learn to wean your baby who is transitioning to solid foods, discover food allergies and how to make  100 Baby Purees  with information tricks on finding the hidden nutrition in everyday foods. Dr. Michel Cohen, New York pediatrician and author of The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent opens the book with a forward.

NINE

Cooking for Baby: Wholesome, Homemade, Delicious Foods for 6 to 18 Months ($12.30) This book is organized by age and has smart tips on prep and storage with added suggestions on transitioning as baby grows. From celebrated children’s-food author Lisa BarnesCooking for Baby is a fully illustrated, gorgeous, four-color book that takes parents through the basics of preparing nutritious, delicious (and easy!) meals for your child, from six to eighteen months.

TEN

The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers: Practical Answers To Your Questions on Nutrition, Starting Solids, Allergies, Picky Eating, and More (For Parents, By Parents) ($12.30) A team of doctors came up with this comprehensive manual for feeding your babies and toddlers during their first crucial yeas of life. With The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers, you have the expertise of a team of pediatric medical and nutritional experts—who also happen to be parents—in a comprehensive manual that takes the guesswork out of feeding. This first-of-its-kind guide provides practical, easy-to-follow advice to help you navigate the nutrition issues, medical conditions, and parenting concerns that accompany feeding. With recipes, parenting stories, and recommendations based on the latest pediatric guidelines, this book will allow you to approach mealtime with confidence so you can spend more time enjoying your new family.

ELEVEN

201 Organic Baby Purees: The Freshest, Most Wholesome Food Your Baby Can Eat! ($10.25) When you can have 100 recipes, why not 201?! This book has even more healthy recipes that are organic and blends classic combinations such as turkey, sweet potato, and corn; Superfoods like avocado, blueberries, and spinach; and Puree-based transition recipes including soups, biscuits, frozen desserts.

TWELVE

The Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook For Baby & Toddler Hardcover ($14.54) This book comes from the organic family-focused food company Happy Family Organics and Cricket Azima, founder and CEO of The Creative Kitchen. Inside, find more than 70 easy-to-prepare recipes made with all-natural ingredients. It includes recipes with ingredient vegetable and fruit purees, including Happy Family’s best-selling spinach, mango & pear recipe, to recipes with quinoa, chia, and kale —Shazi’s and Cricket’s superfood recipes will nourish and please every kind of baby. Recipes for toddlers (1–3 years) include avocado & chicken whole wheat pizza; 3 bean farro risotto; and baked salmon with peas & rice balls; toddlers will love tasty snacks like strawberry-beet pudding with coconut milk and chia; avocado, melon & mint smoothies; banana, chocolate chip & quinoa muffins; and grilled nut-butter sandwiches with smashed berries. Good luck!