Mom tips on how to make healthy and tasty choices for a first time foodie on the go!

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Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and PC Organics Baby and have received compensation for this post. All opinions in the post are my own.

As a mom to 3 little vegan babies, and a Certified Plant-Based Holistic Nutritionist (CHN), when it comes to food for my littles I place a lot of focus around finding quality ingredients, but I also always want to make sure that meals that are still fun to eat!

A common question I get as a mom raising plant-based babies, is how do you make the food fun and tasty?  No, my kids do not live off of hemp seeds, raw veggies and smashed avocado (although they do love all those things!)  They probably eat quite similar to your little ones as well.

No matter your families dietary requirements, when starting your LO on solids you want to focus on high-quality food choices, but again you do not have to sacrifice nutrition for flavour or convenience.  So here are my tips on how to make healthy choices for a first time foodie on the go!

1. Chose foods that have their own packaging

These foods travel well, are quick to grab, and I have even been known to pull into a grocery store and grab an avocado if I forgot to pack food for my LO.  These items are perfect because they have their own packaging, so they can live in your purse without going bad for a couple of days.  Along with this, these are soft foods that are easy to smash or be handheld if you are doing 'baby led weaning'!

Some of my favourite options are:

  • avocados
  • bananas
  • peaches
  • kiwi

2. Use Home Made Squeezies

Make your own smoothies, or purees and bring them on the go.  This way you can ensure you, that baby is getting the foods you want, and in a pinch, you can even toss something as simple as applesauce in your own squeezie pack!

3. Pre-bake muffins or healthy green pancakes

This is a great option if you can do this before you head out the door.  I usually make a few batches of mini quinoa muffins or monster pancakes (I used spinach puree for the wicked green colour) and freeze them.  I then can pop out a few into a cloth travel bag for easy on the go meals for babe.

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4. Finger foods like PC® Organics™ Baby Foods

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I love bringing foods that are not only healthy and yummy for baby, but all moms know that things like rice cakes and cheerios are time passers for babies practicing picking up finger foods with their newly developed pincer grasp! A favourite in our home is actually some of the delicious and organic options you can find from PC® Organics™.  These finger goods are also quick and convenient for mom to pack and bring along! The best part is that the New PC® Organics™ products are packed with balanced nutrition and flavour for your self-feeding little one. Also, PC® Organics™ Baby Food is 100 percent certified to Canadian organic standards. It’s healthy, it’s tasty and it’s easy for busy, but health nut moms like me!

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Making introducing solids fun for baby - with Plant-Based Options! | #PlaytexMoms 

Recently, I’ve heard moms asking how they can switch out dairy and meat for more plant-based options when they are introducing foods to babe.  So  #ForBetterBeginnings around starting solids. I thought I would give 5 tips for making starting mealtime with baby easy, fun and also include some plant-based options!

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1. Have Fun!  Choose mealtime plates, bowls, and spoons that are colourful and fun!  Your little one will be so excited that they finally get to join the big people at meal time, this is the icing on the cake.  Make sure when you are selecting cutlery for first-time feeders to choose a spoon with a Soft tip, which is gentle on baby’s delicate gums and teeth.  All of my littles have just loved the Playtex® Infant Spoons, which also features a flat soft edge- that make it easy to wipe food off little mouths.

2. Try different textures.  When you are ready to feed baby more than one item at meal time, focus on different textures, and move away from only feeding purees.  This is key to do before your little one loses interest in learning to chew and swallow solid foods.  We like to use the Playtex® Mealtime Use 3 Ways Plate.  It keeps the different textures separate and transfers easily to a fridge if not all the food is finished.

3. Let your baby feed themselves. YES this will be messy, yes it will take longer, but it is so much fun, and SO cute to watch! Your little one is full of curiosity now, so let them explore what it feels like to hold the spoons, squish the foods in their hands or even rub it all over their face!  

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4. Get creative.  Protein and fat do not have to come from meat and dairy sources.  You can toss chia seeds or hemp seeds into your baby's food.  You can also sprinkle ground flax seeds into a bowl of smashed avocado.  Beans, lentils, and peas are other amazing sources of easily digestible protein.

5. Drink Water! Make sure to have your baby sipping water once solids are introduced.  This will help prevent constipation!  Malachi has loved the Playtex® Sipsters® Stage 1 Soft Spout Cup because he can use the handles to hold his sippy cup all by himself!  

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So those are my tips for introducing solids with plant-based options, share yours in the comments below!

xo

Melissa

Certified Holistic Health Coach- Plant Based Nutritionist

THE POWER OF HUGS

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Did you know that today is Global Hug Your Kid Day? I think we can all agree that giving and receiving hugs feels good, or even great! But aside from the warm feelings we get from hugs, there is also true scientific evidence that supports the amazing benefits of skin-to-skin hugs, especially with babies. Huggies has always believed in the power of skin-to-skin, and regularly educates parents around it’s incredible benefits. 
 

Firstly, if you’re a new parent, or parent to be, and are wondering, ‘what is skin-to-skin?’ It’s when you hold your baby in only a diaper against your bare chest. You can do this within minutes of birth, and continue for days, weeks and months after birth. We still love skin-to-skin cuddles with our babies. There are many proven health benefits to practicing skin-to-skin with your baby. For example; improved sleep, more stable heart rate, improved oxygen levels, and healthier brain development. How incredible is that? By holding your baby skin-to-skin, your baby benefits so greatly, and the boding is so beautiful.

We recently had the opportunity to attend one of Huggies fabulous  events, where they brought in experts from around the country to speak about the power of touch, skin-to-skin, and hugs. 

Sometimes, when we think of cuddling and hugs, we may only think of bedtime, nap time, or play time, when in fact there are so many wonderful moments throughout the day to continually hug our babies. 

Did you know that the average child has up to 5,000 diaper changes in their lifetime?! We knew it was a lot, but, wow! Skin-to-skin hugs are a great way to end each diaper change, giving you an additional 5,000 opportunities to hug your beautiful babies. Win, win!

To make diapering a smooth and safe experience for parents and babies, Huggies shared some really handy tips with us. Because let’s be honest, how many parents had really changed diapers before having kids. Maybe a few, but these points are a great reminder. 

  1. Have Your Supplies Nearby: We love creating several easy and accessible baby changing stations throughout the home, which includes our Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers, a change pad, Huggies Natural Care Wipes, and some diapering cream if needed. **And NEVER leave your baby unattended while diapering, not even for a minute. 
  2. Take A Closer Look: Diapering is a great opportunity to look closely at our babies to skin for any rashes, or bumps. 
  3. Prep Baby Comfortably: Using one hand gently around your baby’s ankles, lift baby’s bottom and wipe with Huggies Natural Care wipes. Even if it’s just a pee, you always want to keep baby’s skin clean. Wipe front to back, especially for girls. Use diaper cream if needed. 
  4. Apply Diaper: Again, using one hand gently around your babies ankles, lift baby’s bottom and place the diaper underneath. Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers are easy to use and every diaper has “front” and “back” written on them, for less confusion.  (Back of the diaper is the side with no decorations). Fasten the tabs to the decorated strip on the front of the diaper. 
  5. Final Check: Make sure your baby’s bum is fully covered for full protection and to avoid leaks. Also ensure the diaper is snug, but not pinching anywhere. The pocketed waistband helps keep in the mess of those poopie explosions. And lastly, make sure the diaper flaps are up and the ruffle is out to prevent leaks. 
  6. HUG YOUR BABY: Take this moment for some skin-to-skin, and enjoy the love. 
     

Like you, we love our children and want to give them the absolute best start in life. Knowing that the beautiful act of hugging, and skin-to-skin is so beneficial just makes us want to hug them that much more. So go HUG your babies, and please spread the word, today is Global Hug Your Kid Day, but let’s make sure to do it everyday! 

XO Vanessa+Melissa

#GlobalHugYourKidDay

#NobabyUnhugged #Huggies

Our Blue Mountain Getaway

You know when you just need to get away, and have some quality family time? Well, we had been feeling just that way for the past few weeks. Life gets so busy, and then you stop and think, when was the last time I really had fun with my kids, like really laughed, and played with them, and spent time outdoors? 

We just love a good getaway with the family. A time to have fun, unwind, and re-connect. So last week, we packed up our kiddos, and took them on a fun road trip to Blue Mountain Resort, in Collingwood Ontario, and stayed at the Westin Trillium Hotel, located in Blue Mountain Village.

We all had the best time! It was literally exactly what we had been craving. Family fun time! 

Curious to see all the fun we had?! Click below to see the highlights of our fun Blue Mountain getaway. 

MELISSA'S FAMILY GETAWAY:

VANESSA'S FAMILY GETAWAY:

There were so many highlights on this trip including; the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster Ride, The stunning Westin Trillium Hotel with Pool and hot tubs, the Open air Gondola, The Climbing Walls, amazing restaurants, Croc-A-Doodle....but most of all, we loved our family time. 

Thank you BlueMountain Resort, the Blue Mountain Village and Westin Blue Moutain, for the perfect getaway. 

 

 

XO Vanessa+Melissa

5 Tips to Help Make Mornings a Little Smoother

Even if you’re the most organized parent #PlaytexMoms, the chaos around morning time with the littles can be a struggle, or if we’re being totally honest, a gong show, #ForBetterBeginnings. Firstly, the success of the morning routine depends on what happens the night before. Meaning, did we sleep? Was the baby crying? Who jumped in our bed mid-night? Did someone develop a fever? Or did someone pee the bed, maybe even in Mommy and Daddy’s bed for the win? Those are fun nights! Said no mom ever. 
 

As SAHWM’s with 6 kids, we know how hard it is to get everyone fed, dressed and ready for the day, PLUS dressing yourself and maybe trowing on some make-up. And let’s not forget the packed lunches, and moods we may encounter from our crew. 


So to make things easier, here are some of our tips to help make your mornings a little smoother: 

1. Have your kids outfits planned the night before. If your kids like choosing their own outfits, let them do it. 

2. Have the lunches in the fridge ready to go the night before, add sandwiches the morning of, so they still taste fresh. 

3. Try having quick, heathy breakfast foods ready in the fridge like; hard boiled eggs, overnight oats, saved pancakes to pop in the toaster, yogurt, cereal and fruit. 

4. Have your baby bottles ready to go in the fridge for morning time. Formula lasts up to 24 hours in the fridge. We always have our Playtex Nursers, or VentAire bottles ready to go for morning feed.

5. Have school bags ready to go by the front door, so they’re easily packed, and delegate this job to your kids. 

We just love this video from Playtex Baby, because it pretty much sums up our scrambled mornings, and probably yours! You can see more of these #Momtruth videos on the Playtex Baby Instagram page!

We hope these ideas help make your morning at least a little smoother, and remember when you’re in the midst of the morning craziness..we are right there with you! 
 

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XO Vanessa+Melissa #PlaytexMoms #ForBetterBegginings

 

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH MOMPRENEUR JANA WEBB FOUNDER OF JOGA & STAR OF OF REAL HOUSEWIVES OF TORONTO

How does Jana Web (owner of Joga Worl and star of #RealHousewivesofToronto on Slic make it all work? Just like all of us moms, she prioritizes, and her son comes first. 

"Every day I set my goals, and if I made it through the day.. it's like okay, phew..one day is over. Wake up, and let's do it again!” 

We love this mom on screen, and off! #TheRealDeal #RHOT

CANDID INTERVIEW WITH MARIPIER MORIN FROM HOCKEY WIVES

“No one's life is perfect, whether you're in the spotlight or not.  We all have our struggles ..and it's so important to talk to someone if you need to.. “ 

Maripier Morin (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC55eBFN1sYQdwln9c7bA1uQ) from the Hockey Wives shares how she deals with her struggles and her best tip for not letting the falsehood of social media destroy you~ 
Did you catch the first episode of Hockey Wives, season 3?!  You can watch more of MP -Wednesdays at 10 pm on the W Network

How To Deal With A Toddler Temper Tantrum #theMOMfiles

  Our #theMOMfiles is LIVE guys. We are talking #TemperTantrums
Click to watch full video---->> https://youtu.be/jvt6ABnA6CU
Definition of a temper tantrum: Ranging from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath holding. They're equally common in boys and girls and usually happen between the ages of 1 to 3.... 
The million dollar question though is, how do YOU deal?

It’s Never Too Early to Start Reading to Baby

One of our most favourite things to do, is get cozy in bed with our littles for our bedtime stories. Since very early on, stories have been part of our bedtime routines with each of our babes. 
Firstly, we both love storytelling and reading to our kids, but we also know the importance of early literacy, and the benefits of starting to read books, and exposing books to kids at a very young age. Thankfully, Playtex Baby also supports and encourages early literacy, and they also know that we mamas need lots of books! Which is why we're so excited about this awesome #PlaytexReads promotion. They're all about supporting #ForBetterBeginnings

As #PlaytexMoms, we have a special offer just for you, from March 29th to April 26th when you buy any children’s book on amazon.ca you will receive $5.00 off select (some exclusions) Playtex Baby product. 

When you start reading to your babies early on, and books are an everyday activity, you’re fostering the love of books and reading. Although, story time is engrained in the bedtime routine, (like sometimes 6 stories or more!) LOL..It’s also a fantastic quiet time activity for any time of day. 
 

Creating a fun, comfortable and cozy reading environment, plus supplying new books on the regular, is a great way to encourage the interest of reading, and independent reading as your kids get older. Not only is reading fabulous at supporting early literacy, but books are an incredible way to help your child understand life and the world around them. There’s literally a book about every milestone out there, trust us, we’ve read them. If you haven’t potty trained yet, make sure to invest in some good potty training stories, they go along way.
 

After 8 years of bedtime story time, and beyond, we have a plethora of books we LOVE to read our kids. 

Here are some of our top picks, and our kids top picks:  

Goodnight Moon
Anything by: Robert Munsch..just anything! 
The Book With No Pictures - This one never gets old (Just ask our kids)
Anything Dr. Seuss
Have you Filled a Bucket Today?
Judy Moody - Hilarious, even for parents

All of these awesome books can be found at www.amazon.ca and we want you to check them out. So make sure to take advantage of that special offer from Playtex Baby.

And remember, it’s never too early to start reading to your baby. In fact, reading to your baby from birth is encourage. 
 

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We hope you’ll enjoy some of the books we’ve shared with you, as much as we do. 

Happy Reading!

XO Vanessa+Melissa

#PlaytexReads, #ForBetterBeginnings

Countdown to Hockey Wives Season 3!

We're just one day away from the season premiere of Hockey Wives Season 3! Airing on W Network, on Wednesday, April 19th @ 10PM ET/PT. Who else is excited?!

If you've watched Season 1 & 2, then you know why we love this show. These ladies are facing the everyday struggles of balancing family life, careers, as well as their own personal aspirations while trying to cope with being married to the hockey life. This season, there are new wives, plus we get to see what hockey wife life is abroad in Europe, Austria, Germany and Russia. 

Introducing the cast of Hockey Wives Season 3:
Maripier Morin and Emilie Blum Return, Joined By Catherine LaFlamme, Martine
Auclair Vlasic, Erica Lundmark and Vanessa Vandal

We're so happy that one of our favourite Hockey Wives is back for Season 3, Montreal’s Maripier Morin, also known as MP. We hear it's a dramatic season ahead for MP and fiancé Brandon Prust. The two were engaged last season, and we are dying to know if there will be a wedding this season?! Also returning from season one is Emilie Blum, who is also pregnant. 

We had the opportunity to sit down with MP today, and chat everything Hockey wives, PLUS we talked about her fabulous career, and how through all the challenges she's faced in the past year she is still on top, and more driven than ever. Stay tuned for our interview, we can't wait to share. 

Hockey Wives Season 3, premieres Wednesday, April 19th @ 10PM ET/PT on W Network. 

XO Vanessa+Melissa

 

 

That time we go to be Hockey Wives! Melissa's weekly vLog

How often do you get to say, I LOVE MY JOB!  We both left the corporate world to be stay at home moms.. then along the way we met each other, feel in love (LOL) and started our TV show and this business.  This week was a HUGE reminder of why I love what we do!  We had SO much fun! We got to hang out in box seats at the last Maple Leafs game of the season like the @hockeywives.  I also got to see the reveal of our family photos with @yellowbrickroadphotography! SO ADORABLE! And we filmed an uber fun Easter vLog with the amazing mama @TheTaylorKay- that you guys have to watch! And the whole time we had my little babe with us.. who now has some new tricks!!! 

xo

MeliS'

Playtex PlayOn Canada Grant Program..GIVEAWAY!

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As Moms with 6 littles between us, we know just how expensive kids are, and we're only in the early years. As time gets on, and kids start becoming active in a multitude of sports, the costs can also start piling up. That's why when we heard about The Playtex PlayOn Canada Grant Program, we were onboard right away to help spread the word of this amazing opportunity for girl's sports. This year, The Playtex PlayOn Canada Grant Program, awarded 13 girl’s high school sports teams around Canada with funding. Amazing!

To find out about all 13 recipients, please visit: www.playtexplayon.ca

And the giving doesn't end there! From April 3rd - August 17th, Playtex PlayOn is hosting a fantastic GIVEAWAY. Does your daughter, or your daughter’s high school sports team need some new gear? If you answered yes, then this is a great opportunity. All they have to do is post a picture on Instagram of their OLD gear, TAG & FOLLOW @PlaytexPlayOn, PLUS use the HashTag #PlayOnWinGear for their chance to enter. It's that easy and fun!  Each week, winners will receive a $100 gift card to Sport Check for every team member in the photo, (up to $1,500).

Melissa's kids still play in her old sports gear! The memories last a lifetime.

Help us spread the word! Have a high school aged niece or granddaughter, who would love some NEW sparkly gear, or know of a girl’s high school sports teams who could use some much needed new equipment, then spread the word. Make sure to follow PlaytexPlayOn, and tell your mama friends. 

Please check out the Play On Facebook page, and Twitter feed to spread the word:

https://www.facebook.com/PlaytexPlayOn/
https://twitter.com/playtexplayon

XO Vanessa+Melissa

For more information on this year's recipients, click the link below: 

http://www.playtexplayon.ca/grant-program-recipients

Rules & Regulations: http://paradigmpr.ca/PlaytexSportContestMiniRulesGearGiveaways.pdf

HOW TO BE A HAPPY MOM! #TheMOMfiles

Okay I may have made a mistake and loaded this a day early, but maybe it was meant to be... hope this makes your Tuesday just a little bit better;)

-----

"If these tips don't work... just drink some wine 🍷 " 😂.

What's your number one TIP to being happy??

LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!


Tip:

STOP SAYING SORRY...listen, we might sing some Justin Bieber ...to reiterate our point 🙈🤣🤛🏻

Just having a little fun with this one ... but also dishing out how we try to get our Happy On!

I MICROBLADED MY BROWS: Melissa's weekly vLog

Guys, a lot of mamas have been asking about this morning routine saver.  We are talking NO more brow pencils, having the same shape of eyebrow every day (come on... you cannot draw that puppy on the same way each time.. lol). Going swimming with the kids and not being afraid to dunk your heads and misplacing your brows!  Watch what goes into having my eyebrows microbladed by Ashely from Highbrow Life!

Check out her other work at www.instagram.com/highbrowlife

xo

Melissa