Aria’s Favorite Muffin Recipes

Apple Banana Carrot Muffins- No sugar added
I found these to be perfect for baby led weaning!

prep 10 mins,/cook 15 mins/total 25 mins
yield 24 mini muffins/ can be frozen

Ingredients

  • 1medium Apple peeled, cored and diced,
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tbsp oil (vegetable or coconut) (optional)
  • 1 ¼ cup whole wheat Flour
  • 2 tbsp milled flax seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  • Peel and grate carrot, place apple and carrot in a pot with a little water, pop a lid on and simmer until apple soft. Usually takes about 5-6 mins.
  • While apple and carrot cooking, place banana in a large bowl, mash with a fork.
  • Add eggs, vanilla, and oil.
  • Puree the cooked apple and carrot( I use a magic bullet, but a blender will work fine)
  • Add apple and carrot to the other wet ingredients.
  • Beat these wet ingredients together with a hand-held beater, should become smooth, yellow and a little frothy.
  • Add the flour, flax seed and baking powder.
  • Beat for a further 30-60 seconds to make a well-mixed batter.
  • Portion into an oiled muffin tin Mix makes 12 standard sized muffins or 30 mini muffins.

Bake at 350 F for 15 mins, cook time is based on making mini muffins. If you are using a standard muffin tray and making approx 12 muffins the cook time will be longer, approx 25-30 mins.

Once the muffins were cooled I stored them in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer so I can take one out as needed.

 

Healthy Zucccini, Carrot, Banana Muffins
Prep 10 mins/ Cook 20 mins
Yield 30 mini muffins/ Can to frozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp milled flax seed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 mashed bananas (or 3 mashed bananas and ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce)

IMG_6808

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin.
  • Add the whole-wheat flour, rolled oats, flax seed, baking soda and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  • To a separate bowl add the eggs and whisk them with a fork to break up the yolks. Add the canola oil, the grated carrot, the grated zucchini and the mashed bananas and mix with a spoon until all the wet ingredients are combined.
    IMG_6809
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold everything together using a rubber spatula just until no streaks of flour remain.
  • Drop about a tablespoon of the muffin batter into each of the prepared muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes or until the muffins are a nice golden brown.
    IMG_6810
  • Remove them from the oven and from their tin and let them cool completely on a cooling rack before enjoying!

This recipe makes about 30 mini muffins, but I usually make 24 mini muffins for the babe and 3 regular sized muffins for my husband and I to enjoy.

I pop these in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for whenever I need a quick snack for Aria.

IMG_6812

Why I exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months

I get this question all the time!! People ask me when I am going to stop breastfeeding, they comment about how breastfeeding must be “annoying” compared to formula feeding. The number one reason I decided to exclusively breastfeed till Aria was 6 month old was because I had more than enough breast milk! This blog is not indented to shame any parent that chooses to formula feed. I would like the same respect back when I say this is just what is best for me and my child.

Most people do not realize all of the benefits of breastfeeding for not only baby but mother too. Breast milk contains the perfect mix of fat, protein and carbohydrate for the babies developing physiology.  It contains protective substances that give baby immunity to diseases and contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Research has shown that breastfed babies even have a better antibody response to vaccines than babies that are formula-fed; babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses and have 8.6 times lower risk of diarrheal illness.  Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies and help to protect children against a variety of acute and chronic disorders. Plus, They also have fewer hospitalizations and trips to the doctor!! Ladies, can you believe that we can make something so powerful ?!

Breastfeeding also confers intermediate- and long-term benefits on both the child and the mother: For the mother — Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster. Not everyone finds that it helps but the possiblity is also a nice hope! It releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth. Breastfeeding also lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It may lower your risk of osteoporosis.

Breastfeeding was and is very important to me. It has to be the choice of the mother and baby if they want to breastfeed. Please don’t think that breastfeeding came easy to us even through my supply was substantial. Breastfeeding is personal, and it can be very default. I believe that no one should be forced to breastfeed if its not right for them and no one should be forced to give up on breastfeeding if they feel they should continue.

I am still currently breastfeeding at almost 8 months but we have also introduced foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, eggs, non-dairy milks/yogurts and cheeses. I plan to breastfeed until Aria is 1 year old, as long as that still works for us.

breastmilk
I use the evenflo milk storage bags. They have both oz and mL on every bag plus they include an encouraging message!!

Don’t say the “S” word

Many people shudder at the thought of having to implement sleep training. Why?
Does the thought of their baby crying make them feel like bad parents?
Do they feel like they have failed as parents because their baby isn’t sleeping?
Would their family/friends criticize them if they knew they were considering sleep training?
Do they feel their baby wont trust them if they don’t comfort the baby right away?

Every time I bring up sleep training many people either think that I am trying to make my baby sleep through the night or nap on my time and not theirs. This isn’t true at all!! For me I think of sleep training as giving my baby the tools to fall asleep independency. This gives my baby the ability to fall asleep when she is tried without the use of “props” (I define props as things like nursing, swinging, rocking, stroller and car seat.)

There are various sleep-training methods available to parents, but what you need to know is that they all involve some degree of crying. Why? Because your baby will object to the new routine you are implementing and the only way they’ll be able to communicate his objection is through crying.

The Sleep schedule that worked for me and my baby was:

Baby goes back down for a nap after being up for 1.5 hrs. Ideal nap times where 9am, 12pm and 3pm. Before each nape had a schedule of things we did like diaper change, sleep sac, story and song.

We made a bedtime routine to signal to baby that we were getting ready for the long sleep. Our schedule was: Bath, Massage, Feed, Sleep Sac, Book, Song and Bed. Our bedtime routine is about 45-50mins. After a couple days of following our bed time schedule, I noticed that Aria ate more right before as if she realized that this was her long sleep time.

Bedtime routines don’t have to be as long as ours. Professionals do suggest that you have a “fun” element like a story after feeds so that when you take out the feeds when they are older they don’t notice the elimination as much. If you child likes bath time it is also suggested that you include a bath into the nighttime routine to help then realize that this is the long sleep.

We started sleep training Aria at 3 months old and within 10 days we didn’t have an fussing and she can fall asleep almost anywhere on her own.

IMG_4262

 

Delicious Lactation Cookies that WORK

Aria and I have been exclusively breastfeeding for almost 4 months! As a treat to both of us I wanted to make a lactation cookie that taste great and worked like a charm. This was a prefect way to boost my supple for my stock pile or when Aria felt extra peckish

Yield: makes about 20 to 22 cookies, depending on your scoop
Total time: 45 mintues

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brewers yeast
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar ( or white sugar)
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk (or 3 egg whites)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chucks (I used 80% cocoa and milk chocolate)

    I also added unsweetened flaked coconut and chopped almonds about 1/2 cup of each.

Directions:

Preheat the oven the 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and coconut oil on medium speed until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add in the egg and egg yolk, beating until combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined again. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined and mixed. Stir in the chocolate chucks ( coconut and almonds if adding)  with a spatula until they are evenly dispersed.

Scoop the dough into 1-inch rounds (I use an ice cream scoop so they are fairly uniform in size) and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden. Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.

IMG_4146

Baby Product Review

My favourite and not so favourite products

Swaddle Up by Love to Dream – Stage 1 (0-4 Months)
Product is said to replicate your baby’s behavior in the womb, allowing the natural arms up position and movement of their hands to the mouth to truly self-soothe.

Hope of Hype? …. Neither
I had so much hope for this product before I tried it. It didn’t work as well as it clamed, at least not for my baby. I think that it is worth a try for anyone that has problems with regular swaddles. I should suggest starting with it as soon as baby is born for best results. Retails at $36 and even if it didn’t work better for us, I do think its worth a try for the price.

Live Clean Baby Products

Product is said to be eco-friendly and delivers exceptional results using plant and natural based ingredients, efficacious and a pleasure to use.

Hope or Hype? I give this product HOPE!
I have used Live clean on my baby since the beginning and I really don’t like using anything else. It works as well as any other product but it is gentler on her baby skin. The scents are amazing and I can feel good about picking a product that is better for the environment. Best yet, it isn’t an expensive product and it is easy to find at most major retailers e.g. Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Safeway and London Drugs.


Swaddler by Miracle Blanket

Product claims to help baby sleep better than you ever imagined and makes it easy to get the perfect swaddle every time, even in the dark!

Hope of Hype? I give this product HYPE
While this product did achieve some of what is claims (Prevents Facial Scratches and makes baby feel warm and secure) it left me wanting more. Even in a tight swaddle my baby was able to escape and wasn’t user friendly for everyone (my husband). At $30+gst I suggest skipping this product.

 

City Select – Baby Jogger Stroller

Product claims it could be the only stroller you’ll ever need. The most versatile stroller on the market today, the City Select was designed to keep your family rolling as it grows from one child to two… or even three.

Hope or Hype? I give this product HOPE
I love my City Select stroller. It folds simply and compactly; it really is as easy as it sounds. The stroller is lightweight so it is easy to lift into the back of the car. The wheels are smooth and swivel with ease. This company makes stroller attachments for most popular cars seat brands, which makes for convent use of your stroller and infant car seat together. Only downside is the price at $750+gst plus $50+gst for the car seat adaptor.

 

Laundry Detergent and Oxy Boost – Honest Company
Product is said to have only naturally-derived ingredients as well as be hypoallergenic, effective in all temperatures, color-safe and septic safe.

Hope or Hype? I give this product HOPE
I really like the honest company brand laundry products. I have found the products to be effective on breaking down organic stains while still being gentle on the clothing. These products are mild and we have had no reactions on my baby’s skin.