Tag Archives: green mommy

Hungry Toddler Hop #2

I think we’re all pretty much in agreement that toddlers love:

  • food that comes in fun shapes
  • food that comes in fun colors
  • food they can DIP!

So, we should agree that they should probably love this Red Lentil Dal recipe with pita triangles and grape tomatoes, right? ;)

It’s a hit in my house! Try it in yours and let me know what you think! (Bonus: only one pan to clean up!)

I found this recipe at Vegetarian Times. Find it HERE.

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Food is fun, right? Help us spread the word!

I invite you to link up your favorite toddler-food-related post (old or new) – lots of toddler moms want to hear from you! (Tell your friends, too!)

There are no real “rules” to this hop, but I do have a few small requests:

  • If you are able, please grab the code below and post it so your readers can hop from one blog to the next.
  • Please try to keep a “healthy” focus:) If you don’t have a healthy recipe, tips and helpful hints on making mealtime easier, productive or more fun are welcome!
  • Please follow and comment freely as you hop. We all like new followers!
  • I can’t tweet or promote from work, so please hit the share buttons below so we can all get lots of fun new recipes!

Bon appetit, little ones!

Linky will remain open until midnight on Tuesday, August 9th.

 

 

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food

Greener Choices From Dandelion: Toddler Tableware Made From Corn!

If I had three wishes, one of them would be the eradication of plastic from my home.

(I have no idea what the other 2 would be. It kind of stresses me out to even think about it…)

But, of course, I do not have three wishes, and I have found over the past years that even though I make every effort to NOT buy or use plastic, it’s just plain HARD to get rid of it all!

I’ve gotten rid of plastic bottles, I’ve started using stainless steel straws, I’ve switched out all of our containers to glass. But so many things come wrapped in it, or clamshelled up in it, and some things aren’t available in any option other than plastic.

…and then there’s the kid stuff. Namely, toys.

I scour the web looking for the best deals on cute, educational, eco-friendly, non-toxic toys, and I find a lot. There’s a great selection out there, but it’s really, really hard to convince everyone else to do the same. People just want to go to Wal-Mart or Target and buy something. And 99% of the time, there’s nothing but plastic to buy.

My mom and dad have been doing a great job of finding toys at yard sales. My mom is pretty discerning, and has an eagle eye for great finds, so I trust her to pick things out. I’ve bent the rules on yard sale finds, because I like the thought of reusing toys and not buying new. I also like that these toys were made a long time ago, many of them NOT in China, and much of what might be toxic has already off-gassed (on some other kid, unfortunately. :( )

Here’s an example. Some non-PVC Little People made in Mexico in 1991. Perfect? No. But in my opinion, much better than China circa 2007 or 8.

So, yes. I’ve been flexible on the plastic. (Does that sound punny?) Some days, it’s just too hard to try to micromanage every little thing. But the one thing that is not up for debate is our collection of eating utensils and anything that touches our food (especially my son’s food, and especially when it’s warm or hot.) We work hard to eliminate toxic, unnatural substances from our diets, so it only makes sense to NOT put them back in by exposing our foods to plastic. (Confession: We do switch back and forth from a wooden high chair to a plastic one from a yard sale. Eco-friendly repurposing or hypocrisy? I’m not sure…)

The only problem with that is figuring out what to serve my son’s food in. Glass? Heavy and breakable. Ceramic? Ditto. Metal? Ok, but sometimes expensive, hard to find and not that cute. I will admit that I sometimes look longingly at the cute, colorful plasticware on the store shelves (and then I snap out of it real quick, but you get the idea…)

So, what’s the answer? Check this out: I found tableware made of CORN! :D

Dandelion ReUsables are made from cornstarch, which is renewable and sustainable, using far fewer greenhouse gasses in its production than conventional petroleum-based plastics. They are free of Bisphenol A, PVC and Phthalates, and the packaging is even made from 100% recycled paperboard.

So we decided to give Dandelion a try.

On top of being a bright, sunny yellow that is sure to catch a toddler’s attention, all the cornstarch-based Dandelion products we tried were very lightweight and easy to handle. The plates are deep enough to hold foods in nicely – even salsa, which my son is very into for dipping right now. The forks are not sharp at all, but he still had no trouble stabbing food and feeding himself.

We’ve also used these with pasta sauce, and nothing has stained yet…which is really nice. Because that’s gross.

Bonus: they’re really affordable at around $8 for two bowls, two plates OR 8 utensils.

Cons:

Well, it’s hard to find cons with a simple plate or spoon, but I guess I should point out that these are not microwave or dishwasher safe. But, I don’t have a dishwasher, so it’s not an issue here. And I am trying to limit microwave use anyway, so I kind of like how using these plates serves as a (sort of) reminder…

So, folks, I think we have a winner here. Can you tell?

Endocrine disruptor with your risotto? Not with Dandelion!

And another…just for fun… :lol:

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Interested in learning more about Dandelion ReUsables, or purchasing your own? Visit  the Toddler Feeding section of Dandelion’s website. The Dandelion Foundation will contribute a portion of the proceed from your purchase to support organizations providing food to Americans living with hunger.

While you’re there, make sure to check out their bamboo plush, supercute crocheted rattles, and more!

Disclosure: I received complimentary product samples of Dandelion ReUsables Toddler Tableware for review purposes. I was under no obligation to publish a review, nor was I compensated for my review. All opinions stated in this post are my own, honest thoughts based on my personal experience with the products mentioned.

2 Comments

Filed under Green Living, Product & Service Reviews

It’s a Pleasure to Meet You…

Wow! The Blogtastic Extravaganza event has been a HUGE hit, and I’ve picked up several hundred new subscribers in the past 4 days! :D Don’t forget – you can still enter until midnight tonight, 1/22. The winner will be announced on Monday, 1/24.

To all of my readers who have been with me for the past year, I just want to say thanks so much for hanging with me! (You know I love ya, right?)

And to all my new subscribers, I’d like to introduce myself!

I’m Wendy, and this is my little man.

I know you probably get a million emails a day, and I am SO grateful that you’ve allowed me to occupy some of that precious space in your inbox!

But I have to admit, I’m a little intimidated. I mean, now I guess I have to come up with something interesting to say, huh? 8O

Haha. I’ll do my best to keep things interesting…discussion is welcome here, so please chime in with your thoughts and suggestions often!

Here’s a quick idea of what you can expect from ABCGP:

I’ve always been a little bit crunchy, a little bit foodie. It’s a combination that makes life a constant learning process, especially with a baby in the mix! Once I found out I was expecting back in 2009, my desire to surround my baby with all things clean, pure and natural kicked into high  gear. I quickly realized that you really can’t “green” your baby’s environment without doing the same for yourself, so we’ve challenged ourselves to examine all aspects of our life as a family, learn as much as we can, and make the changes it takes to make ourselves healthier, day by day…and that’s what this blog is about. (With a healthy dose of toddler mayhem thrown in, of course.)

You won’t get an email from me every day, but I try to update a few times a week. Things you can expect to see include:

  • Journal-type entries about our day-to-day life
  • Attachment Parenting topics
  • Garden updates
  • Eco-friendly lifestyle tips
  • My favorite recipes (mostly healthy, whole foods)
  • Product reviews and giveaways – several coming up SOON! Always easy entries.

I just made some new buttons, so please feel free to grab one from my sidebar!

Again, thanks for stopping by…I look forward to getting to know you all.

(…and feel free to leave me a link if you’d like me to visit your blog!)

8 Comments

Filed under The Everyday

Bumbledoo Review: Converted Prefolds!

When I first started exploring the world of cloth diapers, I really wanted to use prefolds. Not only were they inexpensive and one of the most natural choices, but there was something about the look, feel, and very idea of a prefold that made me feel a little bit more connected with so many generations of moms before me, ones that didn’t have the luxury of snaps, aplix or PLU.

Call me old fashioned, but hanging prefolds out on the line just gives me the sense that I am part of a tribe bigger than I can imagine! <<happy sigh>>

But when it came time to use my prefolds, my plan fell apart a little. I either bought diapers that were too big or I was just really bad at folding them, and my poor Little Man was left nearly unable to walk with the wads of fabric under his diaper cover. Poor kid. :(

So, I tried a few pocket diapers and the rest is history. I was hooked, and Dada and Grammie loved them too (which is SO important!) But, as all cloth mommies know, pocket diapers can get expensive…and I had a bunch of nice, soft, practically new prefolds just sitting around…

That’s when I found the talented Malia at Bumbledoo!

Malia does prefold conversions, so I sent her 3 of my prefolds to have them converted into fitted diapers. I thought it might make them easier to use, and WOW! It really did!

As soon as the holiday spending is done, I’m having 5 more converted!

But what IS a converted prefold? I’ll show you…

Here is one of my standard unbleached Indian cotton diaper service quality (DSQ) prefolds, before conversion:

And here’s what it looked like after conversion:

SO much easier to use! No folding, no need for pins or a snappi…just put it on, snap a cover over it, and go!

There’s even an extra soaker layer sewn in, and some snug elastic around the legs to keep messes in (we’ve had no leaks with these.)

Here, you can see how trim the diaper fits now (under a Thirsties cover.)

No lumps, no wadded up fabric. Little Man is totally comfy!

If you have any prefolds laying around that just didn’t seem to work for you, I urge you to have them converted to fitteds! Malia’s prices are very reasonable (some as low as $3.50!) so it’s a great way to increase your stash of fluff for only a few bucks! Or, if you’re just starting out, you could buy a few new prefolds and have them converted right off the bat. You’ll still save a lot over traditional fitteds (some run close to $20 each!)

If you’re into something a little fancier, Malia offers lots of customization. You can have colored fabric or even PUL added! Needs snaps? No problem. She’ll do that, too. For a full list of prices and offerings, along with Bumbledoo’s full range of products, visit Bumbledoo.com

Look for:

  • Diapers
  • Diaper Accessories
  • Bumble Pockets
  • Bumble Booties
  • Toddler Aprons
  • Mama Pads
  • Nursing Covers
  • Nursing Pads
  • Wee Pouches

Every time I reach for one of my converted prefolds, I get a little twinge of satisfaction knowing I made use of something I already had instead of buying something new. Love that.

Tell Bumbledoo that ABCs and Garden Peas sent you! ;)

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Do you use prefolds? Do you find them easy to use? Difficult? Would you consider having them converted?

Malia had an auction on her Facebook page and I bid on my 3 prefold conversions at a reduced price. I received no compensation for this review and the opinions mine, based solely on personal experience with the products/services mentioned.

1 Comment

Filed under Cloth Diapering, Product & Service Reviews

Sweet Potato Casserole, with a Sunny Twist!

Shhhh...don’t tell the Santa. I’ve been a very naughty blogger.

I’ve been just terrible about taking photos lately, and it’s been an eternity since I’ve passed along a good recipe.

But I’d like to make it up to you with my favorite sweet potato casserole recipe!

As a kid, I love the toasted marshmallow casserole that came loaded with brown sugar. But now, I’m kind of over it. I’ve replaced the candy-fest with a casserole that’s just different enough to pique everyone’s interest at the holiday dinner table, and just traditional enough that everyone will welcome it as a familiar favorite. It has the warmth of autumn’s sweet potato harvest and the bright, sunny taste of orange, nestled under a sweet, tangy topping with just a little crunch.

Yom. :D

I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but it actually comes from Eating Well Magazine. (Brilliant folks, they are. Eating Well never lets me down!) To find the original recipe, click here.

Those familiar with my blog will know that I couldn’t just leave the recipe as is, untinkered with, so I made a few small changes to suit my tastes. (I cut the salt in half, substituted agave nectar for the honey, left out the eggs and butter, and used coconut oil rather than canola. I also added some dried cranberries for texture and a tangy kick of flavor.)

But I did leave ALL of the freshly grated orange zest. In fact, I may have gone a bit heavy on it. It’s my favorite part of this recipe, and one of my favorite ingredients in general because it adds SO much fresh flavor, eliminating (or cutting down) the need for less healthy ingredients like fat, sugar and salt.

And although I don’t have a recipe photo for you, I do have a photo of the very beginning of the taters we used to make this casserole for Thanksgiving. (A small reminder that colder weather will NOT last forever…the green will come back someday!)

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe, with a Sunny Twist!

adapted from Eating Well Magazine

Sweet Potato Casserole:

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2″ chunks
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk (may substitute coconut milk for a vegan recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Topping

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate (frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preparation:

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, 10–15 minutes. Drain well and return to the pan. Mash with a potato masher. Measure out 3 cups. (Reserve any extra for another use.)
  2. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Coat an 8″ square (or similar 2-qt) baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk oil and agave nectar in a medium bowl. Add mashed sweet potato and mix well. Stir in milk, orange zest, vanilla and salt. Add cranberries and stir to distribute evenly throughout mixture. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish.*
  4. To prepare topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate and oil in a small bowl. Blend with a fork or your fingertips until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over the casserole.
  5. Bake casserole until heated through and the top is lightly browned, 35–45 minutes.

*A note to those with toddlers: I think this is a great toddler recipe, but there are many differing opinions on when to introduce nuts and/or tree nuts to your child. If you are concerned about reactions with the pecans in this recipe, reserve a small amount of sweet potato mixture for baby before adding the cranberries and pecan topping.

10 Comments

Filed under Green Living, Recipes & Food, The Everyday