A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

*We’ve partnered with Little Spoon to make mealtimes with baby more awesome.

It seems that parents have two choices when it comes to baby food — grab something quick and prepackaged off the shelf, or whip up a time-consuming, customized puree that would make Bobby Flay swoon.

I fully intended to make all of my daughter’s baby food riiiiiiight up until the time that she actually started eating baby food. And, well…that determination went out the window. I quickly got overwhelmed with the logistics of teaching a person to eat and gave up, feeling just a little bit guilty and skeptical as I fed her out of the jar. I mean, I'm sure it was fine, but what string bean lasts on a shelf for three years?

But I finally got my hands on Little Spoon, and it’s basically the best of both worlds: fresh, nutritious, safe, non-GMO, organic Babyblends that were delivered right to my door. It’s made with HPP (water pressure -- the same thing my favorite cold-pressed juice bar uses!) to maintain the fresh properties of our ingredients which means way more vitamins and nutrients for babies. To top it all off, it’s filled with interesting flavors, amazing superfoods and different textures, all of which have been critical to my daughter’s palate development.

Of course, making my baby love food took more than a few adventurous baby food flavors. Whether you choose to make your baby’s food all by yourself or use Little Spoon to save time, it never hurts to have a few tips and tricks in your back pocket when it comes to mealtime.

Here’s 10 tips to that have helped me create a happy, healthy little foodie.

1. Look for the best ingredients. We are what we eat, right? Whenever possible, try to find fresh, local and organic ingredients, or look for them in your baby food. Organic produce tends to be more nutrient dense and contain less potentially harmful chemicals.

2. Let them feed themselves. Eating isn't just about eating—let's be real, they're going to wear more of it than they ingest at first. Steer clear of squeeze pouches, and choose baby food like Little Spoon that he or she can eat with a spoon. By giving baby a chance to feed themselves, you help them develop fine and gross motor skills. Plus, they develop a healthy mind-body connection to know when they are hungry and when they are full - no over-eating here!

3. Shake it up. Try a bunch of new things. Of course it makes sense to introduce one new ingredient at a time so you can watch for allergies, but don’t be afraid to get adventurous and try new things. Take note of the color of a food as it represents a particular nutrient in the food. So if your baby doesn’t like carrots, they may like sweet potato instead and can get that valuable beta carotene! If at first you don't succeed, try something else!

4. Pay attention to processing. There’s a reason more moms are opting for baby food that’s made with HPP. Shelf stabilized baby foods are generally heat pasteurized, cooked at around 500° F. This kills the bad bacteria, but also kills just about everything else including those all-important vitamins and nutrients you want your baby to eat.. Except...

5. Sugar. Sugar is one of the few things that survives heat pasteurizing, and that means that shelf stable foods are usually chock full of it. I found I had an easier time keeping my baby interested in foods if I avoided giving her sweets first. Once they taste all that yummy yummy sugar, it's game over.

6. Keep it cold. Just like the fresh produce it's made from, baby food should have an expiration date that's sometime before college. Little Spoon’s baby food is good for two weeks from the delivery date!

7. Spice things up a little. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend starting with sriracha, you can help develop baby’s palate by introducing them to new herbs and spices. We love how Little Spoon uses unconventional ingredients like ginger and mint, which are delicious, soothing to the tummy, and have loads of health benefits.

8. Ask the experts. As a parent, you have enough to worry about without figuring out age-appropriate, nutrient-rich, mouth-watering foods for your little one. Whether you choose to whip up your own or buy a pre-made Babyblend, you can take some tips from the baby food experts, taking the guesswork out of concerns like “when should I introduce chia seeds” or “what kinds of healthy fats should I add to baby’s food?”

9. Make it easy. This one is from personal experience. I'm much happier and feel healthier on a particular diet. But when the fridge is empty, it's too late for delivery, or I'm just too tired? Cheeseburger, please! Having healthy options at the ready make it more likely you and your little one will stick to the plan and not end up with cereal for dinner. Again.

10. Make it fun. Being a little bit of a neat freak, I had a hard time letting go at first and enjoying my daughter's attempts at feeding herself. The more I learned to relax around it, the more she wanted to try—and I even let her paint my face with mashed up avocados. Now she feeds herself about as neatly as a two-year-old could be expected, but she loves the process. And you should too!

Get half off your first week! Request an invite at littlespoon.com. When you are granted access, you will receive your first week at 50% off.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

Subscribe to get inspiration and super helpful ideas to rock your #momlife. Motherhood looks amazing on you.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

With two babies in tow, getting out the door often becomes doubly challenging. From the extra things to carry to the extra space needed in your backseat, it can be easy to feel daunted at the prospect of a day out. But before you resign yourself to life indoors, try incorporating these five genius products from Nuna to get you and the littles out the door. (Because Vitamin D is important, mama!)

1. A brilliant double stroller

You've got more to carry—and this stroller gets it. The DEMI™ grow stroller from Nuna easily converts from a single ride to a double stroller thanks to a few easy-to-install accessories. And with 23 potential configurations, you're ready to hit the road no matter what life throws at you.

DEMI™ grow stroller
$799.95, Nuna

BUY

2. A light car seat

Lugging a heavy car seat is the last thing a mama of two needs to have on her hands. Instead, pick up the PIPA™ lite, a safe, svelte design that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (not counting the canopy or insert)—that's less than the average newborn! When you need to transition from car to stroller, this little beauty works seamlessly with Nuna's DEMI™ grow.

PIPA™ lite car seat
$349.95, Nuna

BUY

3. A super safe car seat base

The thing new moms of multiples really need to get out the door? A little peace of mind. The PIPA™ base features a steel stability leg for maximum security that helps to minimize forward rotation during impact by up to 90% (compared to non-stability leg systems) and 5-second installation for busy mamas.

PIPA™ base
(included with purchase of PIPA™ series car seat or) Nuna, $159.95

BUY

4. A diaper bag you want to carry

It's hard to find an accessory that's as stylish as it is functional. But the Nuna diaper bag pulls out all the stops with a sleek design that perfectly conceals a deceptively roomy interior (that safely stores everything from extra diapers to your laptop!). And with three ways to wear it, even Dad will want to take this one to the park.

Diaper bag
$179.95, Nuna

BUY

5. A crib that travels

Getting a new baby on a nap schedule—while still getting out of the house—is hard. But with the SENA™ aire mini, you can have a crib ready no matter where your day takes you. It folds down and pops up easily for sleepovers at grandma's or unexpected naps at your friend's house, and the 360-degree ventilation ensures a comfortable sleep.

SENA aire mini
$199.95, Nuna

BUY


With 5 essentials that are as flexible as you need to be, the only thing we're left asking is, where are you going to go, mama?

This article was sponsored by Nuna. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


You might also like:

Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

You might also like:

Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

You might also like:

When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

You might also like:


The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

You might also like:

Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.