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Your DIY Baby Food Making Guide + 12 Books To Help You Get Started

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 Cookbook makes 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!

We See You Target, Flossing With New Weekend Trends Under $40

I am always on the look out for new fashion trends. I was in my local Target store the other day when I noticed one of its new signature collection that is being featured is A New Day. It is a women’s brand that is meant to be mixed and matched, and Goodfellow & Co., a menswear brand that provides modern takes on clothing and accessories, are currently, according to InStyle magazine’s summation of the brand’s aesthetic.

I love it! And the bonus is that all the pieces — well the ones I like anyway– are under $40! Woot!

It has on trend new weekend pieces like this Embroidered Military Jacket which sells for $34.99 at my Target store. Similar pieces can be found online for less. 

Statement Sleeves are big this season and they include shirts with big billowy cuffs. Not part of the New Day line but I was digging on this top from ribbed choker neck pullover with flounce sleeve from JohnPaulRichard for Target that is on sale for $14.95. 

Yellow is one of my go-to colors. This mustard colored pleated skirt by A New Day is super cute. I love this one sold by ChicWish for $37.43 as well.

 

The pleated midi skirt in a bright yellow caught my eye. It’s going for $24.99.

I was also digging its over sized Herringbone Boyfriend blazer which added a touch of sophistication when worn atop the pleated skirt. It sells for $34.99.

So much style and sophistication! I love it! Make your way down to your local Target store today to check out the pieces or click any of the links on this page to order online if there isn’t one near you.

photo: TargetStyle

courtesy: Officiallychic1 on Instagram

This NYC Math Professor Gives His Sperm Away in Target To Women Wanting a Baby

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A CUNY math professor is giving away his sperm to women around the world willing to wait for him to ejaculate into a cup in a Target bathroom stall and then inject themselves with his specimen and get pregnant.

This Father’s Day Weekend, the New York Post followed up on a June story it did on Ari Nagel, nicknamed the “Sperminator“, who has fathered 32 kids and counting. The married father of three conceived some “the old-fashioned way” and others  via “sperm hand-offs at public spots such as the Atlantic Center Target in downtown Brooklyn,” the paper reports. 

Nagel got tons of press and new attention after the NYPost’s feature on him and since then, has been jet setting across the globe to meet up with women wanting his sperm, and fielding inquires from “from Turkey, Nigeria, South Africa and even China.”

According to the June 17th published article, these trips include one to Israel to meet a woman who will freeze his sperm to take to a clinic.

Of an upcoming trip to Vietnam to meet with a wheelchair bound client, Nagel tells the paper, “this crippled woman’s story really hit home, She said, ‘It’s all I ever wanted.’ You just have a vibe that she’d be an amazing mom,” adding that this baby will diversify his portfolio. “I don’t have an Asian baby yet.”

In mid-July, a hopeful from Taiwan is flying in to New York to meet with him.

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Spouses Tiffany and Yvonne’s daughter Zoe is fathered by Nagle. Screenshot from “The Drs”.

He only charges for the specimen so the women in New York whose babies he has fathered perhaps cannot afford to go through a traditional regulated clinic which follows health procedures and likely subjects donors and clients to mental and physical exams, genetic testing, infectious diseases screening and protect them from all the legal ramifications of sperm donor-ship.

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Nagel poses with two women pregnant with his chidren – Nagel on Twitter

As the Post notes, several of Nagel’s children have Black mothers, and one of those moms, Blandine Rodney, who said someone told her that he is trying to “whitewash the black community,” to which the says Rodney. “It’s not whitewashing! More white men should give sperm to women who need it.”

The 43-year-old Brooklyn nurse also said of Nagel: “He’s handsome, he’s a genius. I’d be proud to have my child say Ari is his father.” So, there’s that.

One of the consequences of the fact there is no record or tracking of Nagel’s offsprings is the large number of half-siblings growing up at the same time in the same part of New York city and not knowing they’re related.

One of Nagel’s  “baby mamas”, a Connecticut woman named Crystal who has two sons, ages 6 and 7, by him, says: “To know my kids have so many siblings out there, it’s not something I would have wanted for my children.”

Some of the women have filed for child support and he has had to pay them. He said that the women “went back on their word” to not sue him for support but he is paying them, and the “money is going to his child.” It was discussed on an episode of The Doctors.

This mom just gave birth to a set of twins fathered by Nagel

This mom just gave birth to a set of twins fathered by Nagel

Crystal, 45, took Nagel to court for child support, saying that she was expecting to co-parent with him and that she didn’t know of his plans to father an entire baseball team.

“My kids got left in the dust,” says the woman, who conceived both boys through intercourse. “You can’t co-parent with 20-something kids.”

(The other four who sued could not be reached or had no comment.)

Some may  look at this story and have an opinion on the other potential harm from such bootleg, back alley process but if acquiring a sperm donor via a legal and sanctioned bank is cost-prohibitive,  then these women are willing to take the risk to achieve motherhood.

Editor’s note: Nagel tries to come off as altruistic by mentioning that he is also a bone marrow donor, but the fact that his wife, who he says he is not romantically involved with, didn’t know for a year about his exploits is worrisome. He may just be a narcissist who is using all of this attention to feed his ego and desire to feel important and needed, but I’m not psychiatrist but this case is certainly one for the books

photos: Ari Nagel, Twitter

For Valentine’s Day, Steal Gwen Stefani’s Look for Under $100!

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Valentine’s Day is around the corner and if your significant other is planning to take you out for lunch, brunch or dinner, you’re going to want to start hunting down a look now.

There is no better style muse around than pop singer Gwen Stefani. The mom-to-three boys, Kingston, Apollo Bowie and Zuma Nesta, is known for her signature platinum blonde hair and ruby red crimson lip!

You can steal her look from when she was expecting her son Zuma a couple years back and you can do so for under $100!  Begin by scoping out a reasonably price red maternity coat dress like the one Motherhood Maternity sells for about $35. Head to a retailer that sells hip trends like Target for example which sells a pretty cute low heel suede boot for around $20. You can get a decen pair of chic shades at a mall shop like Forever 21 for about $6 and a really nice leather or faux leather medicine or structured bag from H&M for also $20.

To get long lasting lip, you’re going to want to splurge a bit and go for a higher end lip stain and get a candy apple red matte lipstick from a brand like Stila, for example, which sells really high quality long-lasting gloss and lipsticks.

If none of these stores around you, click the link below and order and get them delivered to you just in time for Valentine’s Day! Good luck!

 

Sheer Sleeve Maternity Dress • Motherhood • $34.99

Women’s Evie Suede Boots – Merona • $19.99

stila Stay All Day® MATTE’ificent Lipstick • Stila • $22

H&M – Handbag – Black – Ladies • H&M • $19.99

FOREVER 21+ Tortoiseshell Round Sunglasses • Forever 21 • $5.90

I Love Victoria Beckham and She Answers these 73 Questions Perfectly (VIDEO)

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I love the color black and I love clean lines and simple classic silhouettes and so naturally, my blog’s Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum and recipient of one of our fashion mom icon awards is Victoria Beckham.

I am uber excited to see her  launch a line of children’s clothing in partnership with Target.

The mega retail chain will sell the 200+ piece collection at a modest price point starting $6 to $70 beginning April 9, 2017. Along with her signature silhouettes, Beckham will introduce kids’ attire.And her daughter Harper may have influenced the timing. She turns 5 this year, as does Beckham’s line.

“I felt it was the perfect time to extend into a more accessible price point and to celebrate both milestones,” said the designer in a statement. While we wait for the big reveal, here we pinpoint a few of the designer’s style signatures that we hope will make their way into the collection.

I’m super excited!! She was named the celebrity designer who wears her own line most and BEST by me! (weeeee!!!)

The items will also be available on Beckham’s website, victoriabeckham.com

I thoroughly enjoyed and learned a bunch about the former Spice girl from this version of Vogue’s video series 73 Questions….like she really sincerely digs her husband, David Beckham! She brings him up much in her answers.

Victoria Beckham To Start Selling Kids’ Clothing

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Victoria Beckham will soon join the small legion of celebrity designers to launch a line of children’s clothing. Today, our Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum announced her effort to expand her brand to more global audiences via a partnership with Target.

The mega retail chain will sell the 200+ piece collection at a modest price point starting $6 to $70 beginning April 9, 2017. Along with her signature silhouettes, Beckham will introduce kids’ attire.And her daughter Harper may have influenced the timing. She turns 5 this year, as does Beckham’s line.

“I felt it was the perfect time to extend into a more accessible price point and to celebrate both milestones,” said the designer in a statement. While we wait for the big reveal, here we pinpoint a few of the designer’s style signatures that we hope will make their way into the collection.

I’m super excited!! She was named the celebrity designer who wears her own line most and BEST by me! (weeeee!!!)

The items will also be available on Beckham’s website, victoriabeckham.com

I thoroughly enjoyed and learned a bunch about the former Spice girl from this version of Vogue’s video series 73 Questions….like she really sincerely digs her husband, David Beckham! She brings him up much in her answers.

Nab These School Supplies that Also Give Back to US Schools In Need

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I was doing some last minute back-to-school shopping with my children at Target and I bumped into the Yoobi social good company’s display of products. Yoobi is a company that sells colorful, vibrant home, office and school supplies that give back.  For every Yoobi item purchased, Yoobi donates an item to a classroom in need right here in the U.S. Together with the Kids In Need Foundation, Yoobi has impacted more than 1.5 million kids nationwide.

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The Yoobi x iamOTHER folders I purchased from Target

This Summer, the company announced a partnership with producer, businessman and recording artist Pharell Williams and his umbrella media company called i am OTHER, a creative collective specializing in music, film, television, fashion and technology.

The resulting initiative is called Yoobi x i am OTHER  and according to a press release I received in July, it embodies a positive message about self-acceptance, individuality and motivation to meet one’s potential while giving back to those less fortunate.

Pharrell Williams described the purpose behind the collection, “Being OTHER is knowing that that which makes you different is what makes you special, and that when unique individuals come together, collectively there’s a lot of power in that.  The goal of this Yoobi x i am OTHER collection is to inspire kids and give them the confidence to celebrate their uniqueness.  We also want to inspire kids to take care of others and give back to their communities.  When I think back to my time in school, I realize how important having the right tools were in my life which is why I relate to Yoobi’s mission. It is hard enough for a child in a compromised school and educational system to do well. We need to be able to provide them with the tools they need to succeed because education is everything.”

The items are available exclusively at Target, Yoobi.com and Yoobi’s flagship store.  The collection features over 50 unique items including a wide range of i am OTHER designed notebooks and binders, backpacks, pens and pencils, folders, lunch bags, and more.

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“This is a complicated time in the world. We wake up every day with a responsibility to make our kids feel safe and to answer their challenging questions.  Now more than ever it is important for them to feel supported and empowered to embrace their differences and sameness, their faults and perfections. Knowledge isn’t just what is taught in books, but teaching tolerance, acceptance, love and most of all, compassion for others. Teachers today have a lot on their plate, and together with

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Yoobi’s CEO and Co-Founder Ido Leffler chimed in: “Pharrell and i am OTHER, we want to help make a part of their job a little easier – by providing the right tools to ensure everyone starts on the same playing field and has the same opportunities to succeed, while sharing a message that we believe will resonate and inspire.”

Yoobi x iaO Lookbook_LR.pdf

The items were created with the input of children who participated in a focus group. Learn more about the partnership, Yoobi and iamOTHER here:



And at a recent launch this August 10 that I missed getting my invitation to, I noticed that our blog subject alums Christina Milian and Mayte Garcia attended the Los Angeles, California event.
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Singer, actress & Reality TV star Christina Milian attends Yoobi x iamOTHER LA launch event

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Mayte Garcia and daughter at Yoobi x i AM OTHER launch event in LA.

Here are some of the items you can get:

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Target Launched its New Kids Clothing Line & A Bunch of Our Fave Celeb Moms were There

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Target launched its brand new kids brand at at Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park on July 21, 2016 in Brooklyn Borough of New York City on Thursday, July 21 and a bunch of our Bellyitch Bumpwatch alums, including currently preggers Blake Lively were there.

In addition to the second time mom-to-be, Camila Alves McConaughey, Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Rachel Bilson were in the house as well.

The brand is called “Cat & Jack” and is meant to be trendier and cool, based on feedback the Minneapolis-based retailer collected from hundreds of kids about what they want to wear.

The band includes uniform pants and leggings are all made with trademarked Tough Cotton that Target says actually gets stronger as it’s washed. And all Cat & Jack pocket bags, girls’ denim and swimwear are made out of a recycled polyester called Repreve. Nice!

SHOP THE COLLECTION



h/t CBS

photos: Getty for Target

Cat & Jack® Toddler Girls’ Woven Pleated Scooter – Cat & JackTM • $9.99

Cat & Jack® Toddler Girls’ Melissa Mary Jane Shoes Cat & JackTM • $14.99

Cat & Jack® Girls’ 3 Pack Braid Cat & JackTM • $5.99

Cat & Jack® Girls’ Neely Diva Fringe Ankle Fashion Boots Cat & JackTM • $27.99

Cat & Jack® Cat & Jack Girls’ Flower Headband – Navy • $6

Cat & Jack® Girls’ Cable Knit Cardigan Sweater – Cat & JackTM • $14.99

Cat & Jack® Baby ‘Smart and Strong’ Graphic Tee Cat & JackTM – Black • $4.50

Cat & Jack® Girls’ Backpack Handbags Cat and JackTM -Pink Dogs • $16.99

Cat & Jack® Girls’ Chevron Backpack Cat and JackTM – Pink • $16.99

Cat & Jack® Toddler Girls’ Jaye Metallic Fringe High Top Sneakers Cat & JackTM • $21.99

Cat & Jack® Toddler Girls’ Jen Floral Canvas High Top Sneakers Cat & JackTM • $19.99

Cat & Jack® Toddler Girls’ Short Sleeve Ponte Knit Jumper – Cat & JackTM • $11.99

Cat & Jack® Toddler Girls’ Maxine Zip Up Scrunch Boots Cat & JackTM • $26.99

Cat & Jack® Girls’ Woven Plaid Jumper – Cat & JackTM • $14.99

Cat & Jack® Girls’ Snap Closure Backpack Cat and JackTM – Multicolored • $16.99