My Toddler Grocery List

I almost hesitate to write this post because toddler’s can be such picky little people. In fact, I once read that up to 50% of toddlers are picky eaters. That means, I have a 50/50 chance of helping out a fellow toddler mom with some ideas! I decided to take that chance because I know that, for me, it is really helpful to hear what other moms are feeding their little ones.

my-toddler-grocery-listSo, here’s my weekly shopping list. I have also included a few of our staple items that I don’t purchase on a weekly basis but always have on hand. Also, most of these items I help with… if you are wondering how a toddler can go through them weekly!  My son does not have any food allergies but we do mix in some gluten free foods. I have indicated which ones are Gluten Free and also the stores we purchase from.

Weekly 

Blueberries (Costco or Trader Joe’s)

Bananas (Local store)

Apples (Local store)

Veggie Sticks (Local store or Trader Joe’s)

Ezekiel Bread (Local store)

Multi Grain Gluten Free Tortillas (Trader Joe’s)

Crunchmaster Gluten Free Crackers (Target)

Gluten Free Waffles (Local market or Trader Joe’s)

Plain Greek Yogurt (Trader Joe’s)

Happy Tot Fiber & Protein Bars (Target)

Sliced Olives (Trader Joe’s)

Hummus (Trader Joe’s or Target)

Veggie Sausage Links (Target)

Every other week or monthly

String Cheese (Costco)

Peanut butter or Nut Butter (Trader Joe’s)

Veggie Burger Patties (Costco)

Gluten Free Broccoli & Cheese Nuggets (Target)

Cheddar Cheese (Costco)

Annie’s Mac & Cheese (Target or Costco)

Frozen Spinach (Target)

Unsweetened Apple Sauce (Target)

Coconut Flour (Trader Joe’s)

Do you want to see how I put these together on a weekly basis? Download my FREE Toddler Lunch Menu where I share 5 easy toddler lunches! 

Daily Checklist for Toddler’s Schedule

I  love schedules. In my former life, a boss of mine introduced me to a color coded, “Ideal Day” schedule. It. Changed. My. Life. I had everything scheduled out, short of bathroom breaks. But even then, the perfect time was “white space” time! That schedule made me so happy and it really kept me on track. Well, fast forward several years to being a stay at home mom, and I can’t seem to get on a schedule to save my life.

It feels like every time we get into a groove, little man changes it up! 

Maybe it’s because I don’t work outside of the home or because we don’t have other kids to keep us on a time table but sometimes it seems like our schedule can change pretty drastically from day to day or week to week. Even so, it’s really important to me that we have a schedule of daily activities that we include in our day.

So, I came up with a checklist! I have written down the main activities that I want each day to include. Then, I just check it off after we do it. This really helps me not to waste the day, even if little man decides he’d like to nap at 10am instead of noon (which has already happened twice this week!).

Daily Checklist for Toddler's Schedue

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure for more information.)

What are the main activities?

I’m glad you asked! 

Independent Play 

For the most part, this happens after meals while I clean up. Not only is it helpful to me but it’s great for him to learn to do things on his own. 

Bible Time

(Usually) In the morning we have Bible time. It’s not too “structured” but it has been a priority to teach my son this habit since day one. I just pull out his My Big Handy Bible  and let him flip through. I read the stories as he lands on them. I make it a point to have props on hand that might enhance the story, like our spray bottle for Noah’s Ark! We also sprinkle in songs that go with the stories. 

Music Time 

I like to make sure to do about 15 minutes of music time with my son each day. He loves to dance and will dance throughout the day but this is a time where we sing songs, play instruments and of course… dance! Check out this post for music time ideas. 

Outdoor Time 

This could be a splash in the pool, a walk around an outdoor shopping center, using our season pass at the little local amusement park or a “nature walk” down to the mailbox! Whatever it is, I like to make sure that every day we get out of the house. 

Sensory Play 

Each day we do about 15 minutes of sensory play. We use sensory bottles, water bags (Ziploc bags with colored water inside), wax paper and anything else I can come up with… the kitchen is a great place to find sensory items! 

Reading Time 

My son loves his books! His book bucket is within reach to play with at any time but in the afternoon we sit down and read together. Right now my son’s favorite book is his Touchy Feely Animals Book. At the back of the book is a grid with pictures from the pages of the book. He will open the book to that page immediately and wait for me to ask, “where’s the…”. So far he really only has the dog and “dut dut” (duck) down but we’re working on it the others. He also really likes First 100 Words which has a similar set up.

With my checklist, I can easily make sure we’re on track with our daily activities!

Download a FREE checklist for yourself!

 

Sippy Strap Review & Giveaway

I looked forward to the time when my son would start using a sippy cup. I don’t know why but I just think it’s adorable to see this little person drinking from a “cup”. But do you know what’s not adorable? The tiny person throwing the cup. Over and over. And over. At first, I didn’t mind too much because I had read that it’s all a part of development. So, I would just respond with something like “Wow. That’s a loud noise.” Or “Uh oh. Where did the cup go?” But after a million and one times, it got old. Plus, I think we are far beyond the “its good for his development” stage. Now, he just thinks it’s funny. And me? Not so much. Needless to say, when I received a message from Hny Baby asking if I’d like to review one of their products I was ecstatic to see one of those products was a Sippy Strap.

Yes, please! 

(I received the Sippy Strap in exchange for an honest review. However, all opinions are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links. Please see my ddisclosure for more information.) 

sippy

I was very pleased with how quickly my package arrived and also with the adorable packaging. But, of course, what I really wanted to know was if it worked. More specifically, if it really would work on our high chair and sippy cups. (Am I the only one that’s been disappointed by one size fits all claims that were more like one size fits some?)

We’ve been using our Sippy Strap for over a week now and I am really happy with it!

Sippy Strap Review - Diary of a New Mommy

It’s cute and, more importantly, it works. I have tried it out on multiple sippy cups of varying sizes and the strap is easily adjustable to fit all of them. It’s also the perfect length, as it’s long enough for my son to take a sip but not so long that it hits the ground.

Sippy Strap Review & Givewaway - Diary of a New Mommy

Hny Baby Sippy Strap Review - Diary of a New Mommy

I think my favorite part about the Sippy Strap is that it also works on strollers and car seats! We have the Summer Infant Go Lite stroller and the bars are extremely thin, so I wondered if the strap would adjust small enough. It did!

Sippy Strap Review. Baby Product Review. Toddler Product Review. Favorite Baby Products. Favorite Toddler Products. Sippy Cup.

Check out Hny Baby to get your own Sippy Strap (they also have some other great products, like super cute Bandana Bibs). Also, Hny Baby is giving away two Sippy Straps to one lucky reader! You can enter below. Contest closes on Sunday, July 17 at midnight (PST).

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3 Easy Activities for Toddlers

My son is 13 months and, though he’s just on the cusp of toddlerhood, he’s definitely not a baby anymore (sigh). He’s officially toddling and loves exploring the world around him and I am officially looking for more age-appropriate activities to do.

If you’ve followed me for very long, you know that I like to do things that are fun and easy. Also, inexpensive is always a bonus. I have three activities we have done recently that are fun, easy and cheap (or free, really)!

3 Easy Activities for Toddlers (1)

Water & Dyed Ice 

Materials Needed: Water, Food Coloring, Ice Tray, Saran Wrap, Water Bottle, Plastic Food Storage Containers or Baking Pans

Most families have food coloring on hand (if not, you can always use plain ice). As you know, food coloring can get messy – to make it less of a mess when you mix the water, you can add a few drops of your desired color to a water bottle, shake it up and pour into ice trays. I made two colors – blue and green. Put the trays in the freezer (like, you need me to tell you how to make ice…) and save them for a day that you’re looking for something to keep your little one busy (which is basically any day). Don’t forget to cover the tray with saran wrap to avoid a dyed freezer.

For the fun part… I put my son in one of his kiddie pools and placed a small baking pan with and a plastic food storage container, both filled with water, inside the pool. Then I dropped ice cubes in the water. I put a few in the pool, too. He had a blast playing with the ice and water. Not only is this activity fun but it is great sensory and learning play. Make sure you talk about the how the ice feels (cold!), the colors of the ice, the melting ice, etc. This is especially nice on a hot day!

Sensory Bottles  

Materials needed: Rice, Food Coloring, Paper Plates (much easier for clean up), Empty (and dry) Water Bottle(s), Gloves (Optional), Funnel or Funnel Like Object, Blanket, towel or sheet to work on (also much easier for clean up)

We have had sensory bottles since my son was 3 months old and they continue to be a favorite. In fact, his pasta filled water bottle is frequently the “toy” he chooses to take with him when we go out. Now that he’s a little older, though, I can (somewhat) include him in the process of making the bottles. I recently had a cell phone fiasco, which resulted in setting my phone in a bowl of rice.

I didn’t want all that rice to go to waste, so I decided to make more sensory bottles. It was just before 4th of July, so I decided to dye some of the rice red and blue. Before the dying began, I placed some rice on a plate and let my son play with it for a minute or two (strictly, supervised as he’s still likes to put everything in his mouth). 

To dye the rice, I separated the rice on three separate plates (red, blue and plain for white) and dropped 3-4 drops of each color. I mixed the rice with my hands but you could use gloves if you want. A mistake I made was that I didn’t give time for the rice to dry. Next time, I would wait a few minutes before placing it in the bottle.

You will definitely want to use something to funnel the rice. If you don’t have an actual funnel, paper rolled up would work. I used a breast shield. I just taped it to the bottle and it was perfect!

I layered the rice red, white then blue but they’re all going to get mixed up anyway so layering doesn’t really matter. Though, my son is still a little young to participate much, he really enjoyed watching me make the bottles and was even more delighted with the end result. Older tots, could definitely get involved with making the bottles.

If you keep everything on your sheet, towel or blanket clean up isn’t too bad.

Pet Store Trip 

This idea will require you to leave the house (which for me is an ordeal because I have to change out of my pajamas) but it is still a very easy and fun activity for toddlers. My son loved walking around the store and looking at the animals. He was especially enamored with the birds and fish. He wasn’t so taken by the cats, he preferred to watch the people looking at the cats.

Since I went through the trouble of putting on clothes and makeup, afterward we walked to Babies R Us and I treated him to a pouch (that’s like ice cream in our house). It was a nice mommy-son date, with very little cost or trouble.

What activities do you like to do with your toddler? (Please, I need more ideas!)

Pool Time: What’s in Our Bag?

Summer is in full swing and, let me tell you, it gets pretty hot here where we live in Northern California. Which means… a whole lot of pool time for us! Unfortunately, we don’t have a pool in our yard (unless you count our two kiddie pools) but our Homeowners Association has a really nice pool just down the street with a nice view of the lake. My little man loves the water and he loves watching the other kids. So, I try to make it a point to get down there at least once a week.

So, what’s in our bag? I’m glad you asked…

Pool Time: What's in Our Bag?

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure for more information.)

Mama Bear’s Organic Sunscreen – This is a brand new product in our bag. We’ve been using BabyGanics. For the most part, all of our non-homemade hygiene products are BabyGanics. It’s the most cost-effective natural brand I’ve found. However, though I thought the sunscreen was fine, I wanted to try something else. I felt like the BabyGanics was a little hard to rub in and a bit heavier than I would like. I had heard really good things about the sunscreen from The Crunchy Mama Bear. When I sent a message to the owner, Rebecca, inquiring about pick up since it’s a local company she delivered a bag of goodies (did I say for free?!?!) to my house in less than an hour! Oh, yeah,  is where I say… though, I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review all opinions are my own. Back to the sunscreen, we have now used it a few times and I really like it! It’s not white and it’s not heavy. I was a little concerned that it would feel oily but this is not the case at all. It has a nice solid consistency and it goes on smoothly.  It’s pretty easy to rub in and, more importantly, my son doesn’t look gray in his pictures! It does have a scent to it but I think it smells good. It definitely doesn’t have that sunscreen smell. Also, it comes in a round container rather than a tube. I love this packaging wise, however, I do feel like I have to be extra careful about washing my hands before I scoop. I would like to get a little spatula but, for now, I’ve been using the lid to scoop. Then I wipe it clean after.Pool Time: What's in Our Bag? Mama Bear's Sunscreen. The Crunchy Mama Bear. Natural Sunscreen.

Sippy Cup & Water Bottle – I always make sure to bring a sippy cup (we’re still having issues finding the perfect one, so if you have a suggestion, please let me know!) with water for my little guy and a water bottle for myself. Because hydration is important!

Snack Cup – I will usually make sure to have a snack prior to going to the pool but you never can be too safe so I make sure to grab my son’s Munchkin Snack Catcher which usually either has Annie’s Bunnies or Organics Happy Baby Superfood Puffs.

What's in Our Pool Bag. Munchkin Snack Catcher.

Coach Wristlet – Even though we walk to the pool, I keep my wallet with me in case we want to buy something and, also, I attach my keys to it so I don’t misplace them. I absolutely love this wristlet wallet. I consider it one of my best purchases.

What's in Our Pool Bag. Coach Signature Black Wristlet Wallet

Towels – I would like to say “duh” here but first, of all that’s so 90’s and second of all, I’ve forgotten them. More than once. But when I’m not absent minded, I grab one for me and one for my son.

Swim Diaper & Wipes – I always toss in an extra swim diaper. We have both Pampers and Huggies. I prefer the Huggies because I don’t feel like it has a scent like Pampers and, also, they currently have Dory on them (duh). Also, I make sure to have enough 7th Generation Wipes in my Uber Mom Whale Wipe Box.

What's in Our Pool Bag. Huggies Litle Swimmers. Finding Dory. Toddler. Swim Diaper.

What's in Our Pool Bag. Seventh Generation Wipes. Toddler. Swim Diapers.

What's in Our Pool Bag. Uber Mom Wipe Holder. Swim. Summer. Toddler. Baby.

 

Hat & Sunglasses – Hat for him. Sunglasses for me. Not that he will keep the hat on but, still, I try.

Swimways Float – Last but certainly not least, I pack our Swimways Baby Spring Float (ours is a different style than this link.) My son loves this float! It comes with a canopy (which he doesn’t love so much for some strange reason) and toys. It also comes with a handy bag to carry it in. So, when you’re done you can just deflate it, fold it, and put it in the bag.

Pool Time: What's in Our Bag. Swimways Pool Float. Toddler Swim Activity.
As you can see, little man loves his Swimways pool float. Also, you can see that he refuses to wear the hat and have the canopy up!

I like to keep it simple. What’s in your pool bag?

This post is part of the July Blog Hop with some awesome mamas from my Mom Blog Tribe on Facebook. Check out their post titles below and feel free to “hop” around! Also, if you’re a mom blogger, you are invited to join our hop next month. Just join the tribe and watch for details!

Diaper Bag Contents: Differences Between Infant and Toddler Needs // Fab Working Mom Life

Diaper Bag Contents of a New Mom // Mothersrule

Mama’s Beach Bag // My Mama Project

What’s in My Bag? The Kids’ Day Pack // Mama’s Sweet Home Team

What’s in My Bag: A First Time Mom’s Weekend Bag // So(lace) in a Small Town

What’s in the Bag? Southbank Sunday // Amazing Beautiful Individual

What’s in Your Diaper Bag? // Sophia Says Hello

What’s in Your Bag? – Packing for a Road Trip with Toddlers // The Crafty Christian

 

7 First Birthday Gift Ideas

My son recently celebrated his first birthday. (Make sure you read all about his UNO party.) I had considered providing people with some gift suggestions in the invite but, ultimately, decided against it. For not providing any suggestions, except to one person that asked, I was really impressed with how well everyone did picking gifts. There was a perfect mix of necessities and fun stuff!

First Birthday Gift Ideas. One Year Old Toys. Gifts for a One Year Old. First Birthday.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure for more information.)

If you are looking for some gift ideas for a one year old, here are a few that we received and loved… well, really we love them all but I’m not going to bore you with our whole list. I’ll just give you a few highlights.

7 First Birthday Gift Ideas: 

Vtech Fly and Learn Airplane – So, I have two or three brands for toys that I am in love with. Vtech is one of them. I was very happy that my son received this airplane for a couple of reasons, one being that it’s not a large toy. We are quickly running out of space for all his… stuff. This is a great toy that he really enjoys playing with and it’s fairly small.

Vtech Fly and Learn Airplane. Toys for One Year Old. First Birthday Gift Ideas.

Fisher Price See N’ Say The Farmer Says – In the vein of compact toys, this See N’ Say toy is the perfect size… not big! I also like that it has some animals that we don’t cover when we sing Old MacDonald (like a mouse or a goose!).

Fisher Price See N' Say Farmer. Toys for One Year Old. First Birthday Gift.

 

Little Tikes Gas N’ Go Mower – My son is obsessed with lawn mowers, so it’s no wonder that this was a big hit with him. I like this mower over others that I’ve seen because it looks most like an actual lawn mower. Technically, the age on this is 18 months but he still enjoys it. The only thing is I have to help him stand because it is not intended to be a push mower and is a little light. But he is able to walk around (not quite walking yet on his own) with it without my help. He loves pulling the string and hearing the motor. It also comes with a gas can and little balls make a popping sound when you push it. It’s a great toy!

Little Tikes Gas N' Go Mower. Birthday Gifts for One Year Old. First Birthday Toys.

Gazillion Bubble Hurricane Machine – This was actually my gift to my son, I bought it with the intention of using it at his birthday party. I gave it to him on his actual birthday, a few days earlier. I have to say, even after reading the reviews, I was not prepared for how amazing this machine is. Seriously. Ah-mazing. There’s literally a gazillion bubbles.  I recommend getting the 2 Liters Gazillion Bubble Solution, as well. The solution that comes with it will go pretty fast.

Gazillion Bubbles Hurricane Machine. One Year Old Birthday GIfts. Toys for Toddlers. Gift Idea for First Birthday.

Books – I’ve shared before that my son is crazy about his Illustrated Bible for Little Ones but I have to keep a close watch on him because it’s not a board book (and he likes to eat paper). So, I was really happy that he received My Big Handy Bible, which is a board book. It even has a little handle, which is… you guessed it… handy! He also got Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You, which is a really sweet book. I think that books in general are great gift ideas for children of any age.

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You Book. Gift for Toddlers. First Birthday Gift. Books for Babies. Books for Kids.

Season Pass to a Local Amusement Park – My sister got my son a season pass to the little (I do mean little) local amusement park. It has a few rides, a splash pad, playgrounds…  a perfect outing for little ones! I thought this was a very clever and useful gift. Though there may not be a park like this in your area, there may be something else like a zoo, children’s museum, etc.

Gift Cards & Money – We got two gift cards and even some cash (notice how I switched from “my son” to “we”?). Each of the givers of these gifts gave explanations or apologies for their gifts but there is no explanation or apology needed.  Gift cards and cash are always appreciated! Don’t feel bad if that’s all you have time to get or if you just can’t think of something else to give. Any mama would be grateful.

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What’s your favorite gift for a one year old?