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Creating Balanced Meals for toddlers

Creating Balanced Meals for toddlers is a Snap with Miniware’s Healthy Meal Set with Smart Divider

The foods we choose for our babies have a big impact on their health and development. Their systems are evolving rapidly and they need healthy, nutritious food to convert into important building blocks for a strong foundation. As parents, one way to support our baby’s growth is through creating balanced meals.

Tips for Creating Balanced Meals for Kids

  •       Small regular meals are the best. Little tummies and growing bodies need small but steady fuel. It’s recommended toddlers eat 3 regular meals and 2-3 snacks per day as well as have 6-8 healthy drinks (water, unsweetened herbal tea)
  •       Load up on veggies! It’s recommended kids eat 1-2 cups of vegetables per day. Raw, steamed, baked, roasted, stir-fry; get creative!
  •       Include 5 toddler-size portions of starch per day. In addition to creating energy, your baby will get valuable vitamin B and calcium from bread, pasta, rice, cereal, and potatoes.
  •       Eat a rainbow. When it comes to fruit and veg, aim for a mix of colors to get the widest variety of vitamins and minerals. From ripe, red strawberries to purple carrots, beets and blueberries, try to feed your baby a rainbow each day! Aim for 5 kid-sized portions of fruit and vegetables daily.
  •       Aim for a moderate amount of full-fat dairy. Growing bodies use healthy fat from dairy, so skip the skim milk and low-fat yogurt. Doctors recommend 2-3 kid-size portions of dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt per day. Remember, no cow’s milk for babies under 1 year old!
  •       Two servings of protein are typically enough. The American diet is protein-heavy, but kids only need about 2 servings of protein per day through lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts, or beans (soy or otherwise). It’s also beneficial to include a serving of oily fish like salmon, trout, or fresh tuna once per week for a dose of ultra-healthy fish oil plus zinc, iron, and vitamins A and D. 

Removable Suction Foot Means Less Mess for Parents

We designed Miniware’s Healthy Meal Combo Set to support both balanced meals and baby’s self-feeding training. The sandwich plate comes with a removable suction foot which locks the plate in place during feeding time. Even the most energetic eater can’t get it to budge! This keeps the plate on the table or tray where it belongs and means less mess for parents. When your child is ready, just remove the foot for a “big kid” experience.

Say Good-Bye to “My Food is Touching”

You can use the plate on its own or combine with our Smart Divider to transform the plate into 4 compartments. Just snap in place! The Smart Divider is perfect for self-feeders as each section can be filled with different foods types or sauces. Many kids don’t like their foods touching so this keeps soft/liquid foods in place for a clean eating experience. Both the sandwich plate and divider have curved edges to help new eaters pick up and scoop foods.

Portion Control the Way You Like It

You can also use the compartments as a guide for creating balanced meals. Portion a main dish into the larger section and add sides/dessert to the others. Grains and vegetables are recommended in larger portions than protein and fruit, which can go in smaller sections. You can even remove the divider and use it as a separate dish. How you decide to portion the meal is entirely up to you! The Healthy Meal Set is portable and great for picnics and outdoor eating. Just toss in the dishwasher to clean!

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Celebrate Earth Day: Learn How to Recycle at Home

One of the most valuable lessons we can impart to our children is that each of us is responsible as a steward of the planet to do our part in taking good care of it. Learning how to recycle at home is a great family activity to take part in to celebrate Earth Day, April 22.

Recycling at home is more than simply tossing paper and plastic containers into a recycling bin. Many products sent for recycling are rejected for a variety of reasons, so however well-meaning the intent was, they still end up in our waterways and landfills. Proper recycling takes a little education and effort on everyone’s part but with these few steps, you will be well on your way to becoming a better friend to the planet!

Find out what products your local recycling center accepts and rejects. If you have home service, visit your recycling provider’s website and print out a list of what products they recycle. Post this in a prominent place, such as near your household recycling bin, where your family can refer to it. For items that aren’t accepted curbside, find out if there are alternative centers you can bring these products to and start a new recycling box or bin just for these. If you don’t have a home recycling service, find out where your closest recycling center or box is and who services it to find a list of recyclable products.

Prepare your recycling properly. All items in your recycling bin should be clean, dry and free of contaminants such as mixed-material films and food. Some recycling programs accept bottlecaps, some do not. Some programs ask that labels and plastic films are removed from bottles, some don’t. It’s important to know exactly what your recycling program requires!

Learn how to prepare plastic bottles for recycling here.

Use your green bin for food scraps. The green bins are for more than just yard waste. You can also recycle certain food products and food-soiled paper here too, such as paper towels and plates. For produce, remove any plastic ties, stickers or other non-edible materials. Never put plastic in your green bin! Collect your food scraps such as peels, peelings, coffee grounds, eggshells and other compostable items; you can store them in a plain paper or other compostable bag or a small kitchen pail. Deposit them in your green bin for weekly pick-up.

Take hazardous and e-waste to the appropriate facilities. Help keep the earth green by making sure chemicals and other hazardous materials don’t end up in our water and land! Common household items such as paint, fertilizer, motor oil, pesticides and pool chemicals as well as batteries, old electronics, and fluorescent lightbulbs can be dropped off at your local hazardous waste facilities. Some regions even offer special home pick-up for these items.

As you can see, there’s more to learn about how to recycle at home than just sorting paper and plastic! Soon you and your kids will be experts on your local recycling programs and making a greater impact on saving the planet. Happy Earth Day! Share your experience on our Instagram!