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Why You Shouldn’t Buy Your Baby Food in the Baby Food Aisle

Move a few rows down to the refrigerator, mama.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Your Baby Food in the Baby Food Aisle
*We've partnered with Pure Spoon to help navigate your baby food shopping experience. You’ve made it through your first few months as a mama, and yay!, it’s finally time to start baby on solid food. So you head on over to the baby food aisle, excitedly envisioning your first Instagram post of cute baby cheeks smeared in puree. But, whoa, there’s a lot of choices in this baby food aisle! And whoa, there’s a lot of weird ingredients you’ve never heard of! Back away from the baby food aisle, mama, and head on down to the cooler temps. Because the future of baby food is happening in the refrigerated section of your supermarket. We’re talking about high pressure pasteurization (HPP), the newest craze in baby food production. Brands like Pure Spoon are using this chemical-free, heat-free technology to pasteurize purees in a way that keeps them true to the color, texture and taste of the ingredients. HPP also allows purees to maintain all of the nutrients they had when their ingredients were harvested, so your baby’s food is as fresh, nutritious and tasty as it would be if you had made it yourself… if you only had the time. Sure, the baby food aisle has come a long way -- there’s new, organic options that weren’t there when you were a baby. Still, big box baby food brands need to create a shelf stable product so their jars or packets last longer in the supermarket. And shelf stability comes at a cost. In order to create a longer shelf life, companies use preservatives like citric acid, which, even in small amounts, can exacerbate symptoms in babies with acid reflux. Other strategies to extend shelf life include heat pasteurization, or bringing baby food to a high temperature for a long period of time. Unfortunately, long exposure to high temperatures can destroy the cells of the ingredients, depleting their nutrients and changing their color and texture into something less than desirable. The high pressure pasteurization method keeps your baby’s food safe while maintaining the integrity of the ingredients. Here’s how it works: Pure Spoon purees their product by hand, in a certified organic, vegan and gluten-free kitchen. It then places the puree in a flexible container, submerges it in water, and pressurizes the water. The pressurization kills any type of bacteria that can cause foodborne illness or cause the food to spoil too quickly. And that’s where the refrigerator comes in: foods that are pasteurized using HPP need to stay cold. Which is pretty much what you’d be doing with your own baby food if you had the time and luxury to make it yourself, right? We know, we know: sometimes it’s easier to buy in bulk when you’re a mama….so how long can this HPP-stuff hang in your fridge? Pure Spoon recommends you use their certified organic purees within 90 days of pasteurization, and trust us, with the fast-changing palettes of your little one, that’s plenty of time. You can also freeze them, and thaw as needed. What, your grocery store hasn’t caught up with the future of baby food yet? Pure Spoon also sells on Amazon.com or directly through purespoon.com, a la carte or via subscription services. Talk about the future of baby food. Give Pure Spoon a try and get 15% off with code WELL15.

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*This post was sponsored by Pure Spoon.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Whether you're planning a quick trip to the lake or flying the fam to a resort, the results are the same: A happier, more connected family.

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