Snacks for Toddlers and Other Essentials for Long Car Trips

Snacks for Toddlers and Other Essentials for Long Car Trips

We hit the road this weekend and I needed good, non GMO, healthy snacks for toddlers for our road trip. It is one way we survive being trapped in the same car for hours on end. First I hit the protein bar aisle at Kroger, grabbing some Clif bars and non GMO Nature’s Bakery Fig bars (delish!!) for me and my husband. I also cleared snacks out of our pantry- you never know what you’re gonna find in there!Snacks for Toddlers and Other Essentials for Long Car Trips

Then I hit the baby aisle, to get snacks for toddlers. Normally, this isn’t an aisle I visit often (I don’t hit the protein bar aisle much either), but, like I said. Survival. Gerber has these new bean-based, puff-like snacks. They’re made from navy beans, with 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber, and 10% daily value of Vitamin E per serving. And they’re NOT made with genetically engineered ingredients.

Gerber's Lil Beanies- Snacks for toddlers on the go

When we left the house this weekend, we had three meltdowns before we ever even left the driveway. THREE.  Between running back into the house for things we forgot, to locating and entering the address in our GPS, our kids had already lost their…crap by the time we were backing out of the drive. Mommy may have lost it as well…

(I should have just broke out the Lil’ Beanies right away, but was hoping to hold out a little bit at least!)

 

Here are some of my family’s tips for surviving long car trips:

  • Pack lots of snacks!! The least messy, the better! My kids love things like low-sugar, organic cereal or Annie’s organic bunnies poured out into their little snack cups, organic suckers, and now, Gerber’s new Lil’ Beanies!
  • For longer trips, pack a small cooler with cheese sticks and juice boxes or shelf stable milk boxes (just in case- I take no risks with milk! Bleh!). We bring a lunch bag small enough to fit in the front seat with me, so I can control the snack-age going on. 😉 PBJ’s are a good idea, too. It is my kids favorite meal, and they would eat it three times a day if I let them.
  • Try audio books. My girls only have one, but they absolutely love it. It is called, “The Napping House” and has really soothing music in addition to the rendition of the story. It just might put your kids to sleep! (Not mine, unfortunately.)
  • Play kids music. I always said I would never be that mom blaring Veggie Tales for hours on end, but things change. Now I do whatever the heck will keep them happy! I have a playlist on my iPod just for the kids. I occasionally borrow kids library cds to download to my iPod, or get new songs from Freegal. It is a national program offered by libraries, so go to your library’s website and see the program is available in your area. You get 5 free downloads per library card per week!
  • Pack a backpack full of toys. We bring our little Skip Hop owl toddler backpack and it’s the perfect size. I usually let my kids pick a favorite toy or two, then I pack the rest with things I think will actually occupy them (You just never know, though! That’s why I let them pick a thing or two as well!). Stickers and paper worked well on our last trip- it takes up literally no room and gets thrown away when they’re done. My kids like looking out the window with their Melissa and Doug binoculars, or playing with a flashlight when it gets dark- as long as they don’t shine it out the window, Daddy says.
  • Bring a blanket and cuddly animal or doll. Cuddling makes my kids happy. And even if it’s 90 degrees out, you can always crank up the air conditioning! We like the Aden and Anais swaddle blankets, because they’re made out of such light material. Plus, they make great capes, and you can play peek-a-boo with them!
  • Play games like ‘I Spy’ or ‘who can find the first’…whatever you think of.
  • Tell stories. Every kid likes to hear stories about when they were little.

The most important tip, however, is never let your kids get hungry! Snacks for toddlers are a must (and snacks for mom, too, if we’re being honest. Because mom has meltdowns too.)!

Berger little beanies, snacks for toddlers
My four year old munching on some Lil Beanies as we drive…blessed silence! (Except for the crunching.)

Our recent trip to the Cincinnati Zoo on Spring Break fell apart around lunchtime because I’d neglected to pack snacks (thinking we would treat the kids to lunch). But the restaurant and snack lines were miles long, and there no available tables or even benches left to sit at. We tried to put off lunch (since this now meant leaving the zoo to forage for food), and push through the rest of the exhibits. But my four year old languished in her stroller like a limp rag. My husband excitedly pointed out to her, “Look! Look, there’s a white tiger!”. She replied in a dull voice, “We’ve already seen that.”. I told her, “No, this is a different kind of tiger! This one is white, with stripes!!”. Laying back in her stroller, barely blinking an eye, she insisted, “I said we already saw that! I don’t wanna see any more!”. At this point I begged my husband to let us leave the zoo so we could eat lunch.

So whether you’re in the car, at the zoo or a state park, remember snacks are imperative!!

Driving to Alabama this past weekend took us 5 1/2 hours. Obviously, our kids couldn’t eat snacks the entire time, but when I brought out the Lil Beanies, those were some happy, quiet, munching girls! The snacks come in OriginalWhite cheddar & broccoli. And they look great at this scenic overlook in Monte Sano State Park in Alabama. 😉

 

Snacks for Toddlers on the go

Thanks to Gerber for sponsoring this post! #GerberWinWin

Family Joy Link-Up #23

Family Joy Link-up

Hi there, and welcome to this week’s link-up! I’ve been super busy around the house and the blog this week, with some exciting things happening! First off, I was accepted to do a sponsored Huggies campaign, and if you click here, you can save $3 on your next box of diapers! And right now, every box has BONUS diapers- the size four’s I bought had 20 extra diapers! Also, when you buy your diapers online from Sam’s Club, you get free shipping or free store pickup!

The other exciting thing is, hubby has the week off, so we are looking forward to some fun family time! -Almost as fun and exciting as checking out all these great posts my favorite bloggers are linking up! 😉 Please take a few minutes to relax, and read some articles. Show some blogger love and follow us on social media, too!

Don’t forget to check out my most recent post if you missed it, “6 Life Changing, Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets“!

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Let’s get this party started. Please remember that this is a link up to share your family, kid, recipe and DIY related posts. We welcome you all to party #23!
Now let’s enjoy a great party this week. Remember that sharing is caring at this link up party!

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Party hosts

Charlene @ Thinking Outside The Pot: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +
Samantha @ Sammy Approves: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +
Rachel @ Don’t Call Me Supermom: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +
Marisa @ Called To Mothering: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +
Cristina @ Ava’s Alphabet: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +
Mistie @ Homespun Engineer: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +

hosts recent joys #23

Thinking Outside The Pot: Pulled Beef Wraps
Sammy Approves: How to Keep Toddler Busy While Mommy’s Busy
Don’t Call Me Supermom: 6 Life Changing Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets
Called to Mothering:The Breakthrough in Needing a Break from Your Kids
Ava’s Alphabet: Snow Tunnel Cake with Chocolate Filling
Homespun Engineer: Honey Sandalwood Soap Pucks

features #23

Curly Craft Mom: End of School Ice Cream Taco Bar
Jenny Evolution: Patriotic Foam Sensory Activity
A Pretty Fix: DIY (faux) Wildflower Wreath
Honey & Birch: Red White and Blue Frozen Yogurt Bark
Nap Time Creations: PreSchool Yearbook with Mixbook
Home Cooking Memories: 4th of July Marshmallow Pinwheels

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My Little Mover Is Determined To Keep Up With Big Sis

My Little Mover is determined to keep up with her big sis

My little mover; she is always on the go, twirling and dancing, hopping and skipping everywhere she goes. She follows her big sis everywhere, and tries to do everything she does! This includes imitating the ballet moves my oldest learned at dance class…I love to see my little mover gear up for a great big twirl. She really puts her heart into it! And then ker-splat, she’s on the floor!

My Little Mover is determined to keep up with her big sis

Our Little Mover is determined and quite insistent that she can do everything big sis does…sometimes this makes me nervous, as there’s definitely things my four year old does than the two year old shouldn’t attempt…I’ll weigh the pros and cons, determine what’s the worst that can happen, and…let her do it anyway! Ha! It is usually not worth fighting my little tyrant  little mover.

That’s normal though, right? The youngest child is always catered to a little more than the rest of the household, aren’t they? Although this wasn’t true when I was growing up as the youngest child in the family. Not in the least. (My big brothers never read my blog, so they won’t be able to refute my statement, ha!)

At any rate…

I attempted to get rid of the diapers and potty train my little mover when she turned two. But when I tried to make my toddler sit on the potty, I was met with the most earnest insistence only a two year old can muster…She pounded her little chest, proclaiming, “No, diaper! Baby! Me, baby!”. Having a child that emulates every single action of her older sister, I had hoped potty training would be one easy thing about this second child of mine. Alas, it is not to be. For now, we still have diapers, and I’m fine with that. I am guessing when she’s ready, she will be raring to go! Literally- ha!

So yesterday, low on diapers, I ran to Sam’s Club to pick up some Huggies.

Huggies Little Movers diapers

I was excited that Sam’s is currently offering an exclusive BONUS box of Little Movers diapers (an extra 20 diapers in the size fours I needed!). Plus, they’re on sale through July 22nd, only at Sam’s Club! Click here to get $3 off your box of Huggies Little Movers and free shipping to all Sam’s club members! I love getting deliveries- if I could, I would have ALL of life’s necessities delivered right to my door! You can even subscribe for automatic diaper shipments, so you don’t have to worry about running out of diapers!

Benefits of free shipping on diapers:

  • You don’t have to load the kids up in the car.
  • You don’t have to unload the kids.
  • You don’t have to chase them across the parking lot, yelling, “Hold my hand! There’s cars coming!”.
  • You don’t have to lift kids in and out of the cart while they fight about who gets to sit where.
  • You don’t have to mediate as they sit there and poke at each other (Arguably, you may have to do this even if you stay home and shop online.).
  • You don’t have to be embarrassed about losing your cool in public when your kids push you to your frazzled limit.
  • You don’t have to hear, “Mommy! I want that! Can I have that? I really like them; they’re my FAVORITE! Please, Mommy, please!”.

And so on and so forth. I’m sure you have your own grocery store horror stories. All I want to do after shopping with the kids is come home and collapse on the couch. With a mug of coffee and a handful of m&m’s (or an entire bag, depending how stressful the trip was). So you’re potentially saving calories too, unless you make a stop at every sample booth in Sam’s Club. Don’t Call Me Supermom raises hand. Guilty!

On this particular diaper run, however, I was really excited to be able to run out BY MYSELF on hubby’s lunch hour. Check out my happy, relaxed face!

Buying my Little Mover Huggie's diapers KID FREE on hubby's lunch hour! Bliss!

And check out that great price on diapers!

I find it really hard to splurge on that trendy brand of diapers with the cute prints. Actually, I did try those trendy diapers once, and they were awful. Every single diaper leaked.

And you know, when I brought home Huggies Little Movers, my daughter was more excited about their cute Minnie and Mickey Mouse print than she ever would have been about a Chevron print! And Huggies is more absorbent than ever now, with new and improved LEAK LOCK®—the protection and security you both need between changes.

(Do you ever cringe with dread when you dress your baby? Wondering how long they will wear this adorable outfit today before it gets peed on?)

No such worries with Huggies comfy Little Movers! (I assume they’re comfy, my daughter hasn’t complained. 😉 ) “Only Huggies® diapers have a stretchy SnugFit Waistband to help diapers stay in place. The unique contoured shape provides a comfortable fit and stays in place as babies move and play.

my little mover
The diaper box is great fun to sit on, as well! Though she didn’t sit still for long…

Benefits of Huggies Little Movers:

¥ Shaped for fit and flexibility
¥ Available in sizes 3, 4, 5 and 6
¥ DryTouch® liner absorbs on contact
¥ Double Grip Strips for a comfy fit that lasts
¥ Leak Lock Protection for up to 12 hours of protection
¥ SnugFit* waistband
¥ Features New Huggies® Brand Moving Baby System

My Little Mover Baby Model
Look at my cute little baby model!

 

You can see just how active my Little Mover is by the scrape on her knee. I really don’t remember the last time she WASN’T all scraped and bruised. I don’t know if she’s just super clumsy, or if it’s because she moves too fast, trying to keep up with big sis. I don’t remember my first daughter having so many ‘owies’!

Thanks to Huggies for sponsoring this post and encouraging me to try Huggies Little Movers diapers!

Don’t forget, Huggies Little Movers are on sale at Sam’s Club through July 2oth, with bonus diapers in every box!
And when you’re a Sam’s club member, you get free shipping on diapers and wipes!
One last thing- go here and you can be entered to win a $500 Sam’s Club gift card!

6 Life-Changing, Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets

6 Life-Changing, Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets

I love my kitchen gadgets. I am not a kitchen gadget obsessed person (though my mother would disagree). The items in my kitchen drawer are invaluable, and once you have them all, too, surely you’ll agree.

6 Life-Changing, Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets

Having now acquired the following items (My Top 6 favs), I realize I was previously lost without them.

I’m here to save you from a life of kitchen gadget deprivation, my friend.

  1. Garlic Press– Professional chefs may be able to safely chop garlic cloves a hundred miles per hour, but I cannot. My four year old frequently asks me, “Mommy, did you cut yourself again?” if she hears the slightest gasp or exclamation from me while I prep dinner. A garlic press saves your fingertips, as well as time and energy!Garlic Press - One of the must-have Kitchen gadgets for any cook!
  2. Lemon Squeezer– Fresh citrus tastes better and is more versatile than bottled concentrate. It also has zero preservatives. Rachael Ray is adept at squeezing a lemon with her bare hands and catching those slippery seeds in her hand. I, however, am not. It never fails, the seeds slide right into the bowl along with the juice. Get a lemon squeezer, and you’ll never have that problem! Plus, doesn’t that seem gross? No matter how much you wash your hands…there’s bound to be germs. Or soap residue…bleh.Lemon Squeezer- Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets
  3. Mesh Strainer– I debated about this one myself, but it totally comes in handy for rinsing anything smaller than the holes in your typical colander. Gone are the days of rinsing quinoa while it all runs away down the drain. This is also perfect for making gravy, or any kind of sauce, that maybe apt to lump up. Or, if like me, you suck at tempering eggs…(Ever make homemade chocolate pudding? I excel at chocolate scrambled egg pudding. 😉 If only I had more patience…) Also, if you make your own homemade broth, a mesh strainer is perfect for straining out even the tiniest chicken bones and skin, garlic cloves, vegetable scraps- anything and everything you throw in that crockpot.Mesh Strainer- One of the Frugal Cook's Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets
  4. Immersion Blender– Great for frothing milk (as seen here), blending soup right in the pan (thus saving a dish, time, and effort), pureeing baby food, homemade salad dressing….Immersion Blender, One of My Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets
  5. Jar Opener– I remember struggling to open a jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce as a teenager, and my mom asking me what I would do when I moved out and she wasn’t there to open my jars anymore. Fast forward 10 or 15 years, and I still can’t open jars. I literally have no strength in my hands. Without the amazing Oxo jar opener, we might have starved (slight exaggeration). Pampered Chef sells a jar opener too. That’s what I have now, after my faithful Oxo opener finally bit the dust and flew apart in pieces. Jar openers- not JUST for arthritic old folks.Jar Opener- Not just one of the old folk's kitchen gadgets!
  6. This Oxo can opener which leaves NO sharp edges! I aspired to someday own this kitchen gadget as a teen. My neighbor down the road (whom I often cooked with- she taught me to make homemade noodles!) owned this useful gadget. I was amazed and astounded the first time I used it. It’s not expensive, and it will save you on band-aids!Smooth Edge Can Opener, definitely one of every cook's must-have kitchen gadgets

Andddd….

Bonus Kitchen Gadget that is sure to enrich your culinary life:

~Rotary Cheese Grater~

One of my favorite kitchen gadgets, the Rotary Cheese Grater

You know the kind – they use it at Olive Garden to add extra cheese to your dishes.

This is one of those kitchen gadgets that instantly fancifies any meal. Grate your own fresh parmesan or asiago for soups, scrambled eggs, pasta, casseroles…the possibilities are endless.

Freshy grated parmesan cheese tastes a million times better than the pre-shredded crap (with additives) you buy in plastic bags. It’s good in a  pinch, but there’s a better option.

Buy fresh. Grate your own cheese.

Sounds like a great motto to me!

Last night, I made an amazing alfredo sauce. I topped it with freshly grated cheese, thanks to my Zyliss Rotary Cheese Grater from my mom one Christmas. Mom is good at fulfilling my kitchen gadget culinary dreams.

I cook most of our meals from scratch (leftovers and weekends excluded, haha!), so these kitchen gadgets are all used at least once weekly, sometimes more. Ok, and I admit it, sometimes less… I mean, I’m not straining homemade chicken broth every day of the week. But when I do, my mesh strainer is indispensable! Who wants feathers and bones floating in their broth?

My husband just needs to learn how to deal with all these gadgets crowding up my kitchen drawer.

If I’ve convinced you of the necessity of any of these items, please click the links provided below. Just click the item you’re interested in, and it will take you to the item on Amazon. If you buy, I will get a small percentage of your purchase. It doesn’t cost you any more, but would help me justify the time I took to write this post, take photos and create the images for it. 🙂

Garlic Press

Lemon Squeezer

Mesh Strainer

Immersion Blender

Jar Opener – See your Pampered Chef Rep, or ask me for mine!

Oxo Smooth Edge Can Opener

Rotary Cheese Grater

I recommend just about any Cuisinart and Oxo brand products. Cuisinart is highly rated, and very reliable. And Oxo has awesome customer service!!

Next on my Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets Wish List is a torch, so I can make homemade creme brûlée and caramelize sugar. ‘Cause as a stay at home mom, with two little ones, I have so much time on my hands for stuff like that.

Follow me on Pinterest for lots of great recipes, Don’t Call Me Supermom blog posts, kids activities, and more!