Mealtime with Twins: From Purees to Finger Foods

mealtime

Nat hosted a Facebook Live chat on the topic of Mealtime with Twins: From Purees to Finger Foods, where she shared all her best tips for starting solids and getting your twinnies on a great mealtime routine. Check out the video below, thanks to our friends at Sage Spoonfuls.

Mealtime with Twins: From Purees to Finger Foods

Mealtime with Twins: From Purees to Finger Foods

Hey guys! It’s me! Welcome to our live feed. Today, we’re going to talk about introducing solids, we’re going to talk about purees, rice cereal, we’re going to talk about a ton of different things today. I’m very excited because we’ve partnered with our friends over at Sage Spoonfuls, and we have a bunch of their products to talk about. We’re going to do a lot today. We’re going to actually make some baby food too, which sounds kind of fun. I love the products from Sage Spoonfuls, so it’s requiring me to play with everything because I just love it so much. I love a good immersion blender.

Thanks for joining us today! Not only do I know a thing or two about introducing solids to twinnies, but I was able to go through Liza’s book. Liza Huber is the founder of Sage Spoonfuls, and she is really just a very dynamic and extraordinary person. Her story of her experience with her family is just fantastic. As a reminder, we do have information in What To Do When You’re Having Two on starting solids, so don’t get nervous. You can always reference the book. We also have a great amount of resources on Twiniversity.com. I also want to say that I found a really fantastic article about introducing solids to your kids on Lucie’s List. So if you haven’t, visit Meg over on Lucie’s List. She’s a fantastic writer, and she has such a great team. Her website is kind of like Twiniversity for singletons. She has a great article over there, so I stole some funny jokes from her, which I’m going to use here. Then, of course, we have Liza and everything that’s in her book.

So, let’s get started. Let’s talk about how do we know when our baby is ready to start solids. How do you really know? What are the cues that I can look for? Now, you guys heard you really shouldn’t start introducing solids until six months, unless, of course, your pediatrician says something sooner. If you feel like maybe they’re ready a little bit before six months, don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor and say “Hey, do you think now is a good time?” If he or she gives you the thumbs up, maybe you can start a little bit sooner. In general, I would not plan on starting solids until six months old.

Before you start, you have to look for a few clues and warning signs. Number one: Can they sit up on their own? Once the twinnies can sit up on their own, we start talking about introducing solids. The next really big clue is do they watch you when you eat? If you’re sitting at the dining room table, and the kids are maybe in their bouncy seats in the floor next to you, when you put food in your mouth, do their eyes go with the food into your mouth? Do they look at you like, “Mama, I would like some of that”? If they start kind of watching you eat, then I would really think that they’re going to be pretty ready.

Once they are sitting up on their own, and clearly showing interest in food, even before you start introducing the solids, get them used to where they are going to be eating. If you have high chairs, bust out the high chairs if you haven’t been using them already. Put them in the high chair, and get them used to sitting in it. You can do it a little bit at a time, a lotta bit at a time, whatever you choose, and whatever your babies are comfortable with. But, get them used to sitting in the high chair. If you haven’t been using bibs, get them used to wearing their bibs. They just have to get used to sitting in a more inclined position. If they’re in a bouncy seat or whatnot, it’s kind of like a recline, or more like a La-Z-Boy. You want to get them used to sitting at the table.

There are a lot of high chair choices out there. The space-saver high chair from Fisher-Price is really good choice, Summer Infant has a really good one, and if you’re really limited on space, check out the BabyBjorn high chair. Those are all solid options. If you’re really limited on space though, look at the space-savings ones. If you have quite a bit of real estate, there are a ton. Peg Perego has a great high chair. It’s kind of funny because I’m trying to think of who has a bad high chair. Every high chair kind of has its perks. To me, I always like the space-saver ones because I have dining room seats anyway, and I always enjoyed when the twinnies would sit at the table with me. I would put them in their little space-saver high chairs, and they would be part of the family.

So once you’ve gotten them used to it, once you’ve spoken to your doctor, you can start discussing introducing solids. So what do we need? How do we prepare? What do we do to get our kitchen ready? What are the first foods? The easy ones to start off with are bananas. All you have to have is some super ripe bananas, peel them, mash them, and call it a day. Avocado is another super easy great one. Just wait for it to be super ripe, peel it, smash it, good to go. Those are the two easiest that are always available, always ready to go. If you’re starting solids, those are the things you should have in your house.

Did you guys know the trick with avocado? If you don’t use the whole avocado, you know when you put it in the fridge and it starts to turn crazy colors? Leave the pit inside the avocado, and then cover it with some Saran wrap, and then put it in the fridge. If the pit is in there, it doesn’t turn colors quite as much. Even if it does, it’s just a tiny bit on the top. Also, did you know you can freeze avocado? So let’s say it’s avocado season. If you want to buy a ton of avocados, just quarter them, put them in some tiny little containers, throw it in the freezer, put a nice little label on it like from Sage Spoonfuls. If you know you’re always going to be using that container for avocado, just write avocado on the side.

There’s an old-school theory that says you introduce solids gradually (well, see it’s old-school, but I believe in it). Old-school people would say you introduce super slowly, and you let your baby have a taste of something, and then you stick with that solid for days. If there are no allergies, you introduce the next solid. But new studies show that you have a smaller window, and that your baby has kind of the flexibility to accept more different flavors sooner. So instead of waiting the 3-5 days like our moms probably did, you wait a shorter period of time, but you still want to look out for any types of allergies. So if you see any kind of redness around their mouths, any hives, or anything at all, call their doctor immediately and let them know. If you have a food allergy, speak to your doctor about whether your baby has a higher chance of having that food allergy. It’s funny because my mother-in-law is allergic to shrimp, but she didn’t develop the allergy until she was older in life. In the beginning, it seemed like my son was having a tiny bit of an allergy when it came to shrimp, and I spoke to my doctor, and she said unless it’s a big red flag, just keep going. So now my kids are 12, and my son has absolutely no issues when it comes to shrimp. We eat a lot of shrimp. It’s like my go-to quick dinner because I can buy them in the frozen bags from Costco, so I can just take them out and soak them in water if I forgot to defrost them. Sometimes, even if you think they’re having an allergy, if you speak to your doctor, go with the guidance of your pediatrician, and go from there. If you’re really worried about your babies having super potential for anaphylactic issues, you might want to consider seeing an allergist and doing some allergy testing to give yourself some peace of mind knowing that they don’t have allergies to those particular foods.

As I said, we talked about the bananas, we talked about the avocados, now the next thing I want to talk about is rice cereal. Have you guys heard that you introduce rice cereal the earlier the better? But, I want to tell you something that I learned from Lucie’s List, which is true, is that rice cereal isn’t rice, and it isn’t cereal. It’s rice flour. So it’s a flour base instead of what I’m thinking which is that it’s rice and they boil it down and shred it or whatnot. But when you read the ingredients of these items, then you see clearly that it’s not rice, it’s rice flour. Our doctor actually advised us, and I know your pediatrician might have given you the same advice, but our doctor advised us to start out with oatmeal cereal instead of starting out with rice cereal. A great oatmeal to start out with is Earth’s Best who makes a fantastic baby oatmeal cereal that you could really start out with. This can sometimes start out before the six month mark, but again, you have to speak to your pediatrician, but you can always mix a little of the oatmeal cereal with a little bit of breast milk or a little bit of formula, whatever you’re using at the time, and have that be the real first introduction. Then, you get to introduce those delicious bits and pieces on down the road.

So, what do you say we make some baby food? Should we do it? Guys, you know what else? Today is our last live feed from our New York City studio. We will be going away for the summer with the twinnies! Yes! Out of the concrete jungle, into the grasslands! I’m so excited to get out of this. I think we hit 147 degrees in NYC today and we are sweating so much that even the dog didn’t want to stay outside. I’m dragging my 97 pound mutt down the street because she is walking so slow, and she’s panting, and she can’t take it.

So we’re going to make some carrots. I’ve gone ahead and gotten some carrots and poached them. I bought a bag of carrot chips because I use them as crackers. For me and the kids, since the kids were little, instead of giving them Saltines, we always use carrot chips with hummus or whatever kind of dip, like if you make onion dip, we use carrot chips. So I boiled these in some water. I basically made the water the level of the carrots in the pot. Now, I did NOT toss the water out when I drained the carrots because if this puree is too thick, then we can add some of the poaching water that we used to thin it out because there are vitamins and stuff in that water.

So, we have our poached carrots, and we have the Sage Spoonfuls immersion blender and food processor. So it is a regular immersion blender, and this is something you are going to use for years! You are not just going to use it if you’re making your own baby food, but you’re going to use them when making soups for 10 years. So if you’re thinking “oh my gosh, it’s a little on the pricey side,” I’m telling you now this is one of the items that’s going to stay in your kitchen for a very long time. I make cauliflower soup on a regular basis. I don’t know how I get my kids to eat so much cauliflower. They ate a lot as infants, they eat a lot as tweens. Sometimes I make a tomato soup, sometimes I make a cauliflower soup, every Thanksgiving I use it for my sweet potatoes to mush them up a little bit. So this is their immersion blender, and it attaches onto a little food processor. The funny thing is, I know we’re talking about baby food today, but I use these things to make tzatziki and hummus and a lot of my own food. It’s not because I’m super crunchy and want to have everything organic, I just do it because I find that mine is better. Mine probably isn’t better, it’s just that’s what my family prefers. We eat a lot of garlic, and the babies would have garlic since the dawn of time. So when we have things at home, I like to add a lot of garlic, and this is the way I get it in there.

Ok, so this little food processor is this tiny little container that holds 16 ounces as the max. It has a blender piece at the bottom. I’m going to put our carrots in here with the water from the carrots, then we put the top on. It’s really easy to tell how to put the top on (Liza, I love you for doing that). It’s so super simple, and it has a little locking mechanism so I know it’s right. So when you say you can’t make your own baby food, it’s too much, I just made it live! I would make it a little more pureed. It’s still a little crunchy, and not as pureed as I would like, so I can throw in some of the poaching liquid (but you could also add in some formula or breast milk so the vegetables taste like what they’re already used to eating). I’m so excited by this!

Did you guys know, weird Nat fact of the day, did you know that I actually went to culinary school? And that I was bred to work in restaurants here in New York City? My family has restaurants in the city, so growing up, my whole life, I grew up in a restaurant. I would go into the kitchen and help myself to stuff in the fridge. I would go behind the bar and steal all the oranges and cherries and eat so many maraschino cherries I would make myself sick. So as I was getting older, I said “I’m just going to go to culinary school.” So for college, that’s what I did. So if you’re like “How did she become the twin expert? What school did she go to?” Well, I went to City Tech in Brooklyn, I went to a city university, put myself through college, happily, and worked full-time through most of my college life. I decided once I got out that I hated culinary school. I hated it because I didn’t get to see people eat my food. Now, I’m a frustrated chef. So when my babies were little, I would simply make their food, and I never got a bad Yelp review from my twinnies. Boom. It is officially done. I made some delicious carrot puree, and it tastes like carrots. It doesn’t taste like anything fancy, but when you’re starting off introducing solids to babies, you don’t want to start off super fancy. You want to start slow, and gradually work your way up into more flavors.

Now, going back to the good book of Sage Spoonfuls. What I really liked is that she has a whole section in here of different herbs and stuff that you can add in, and which ones are better. I was reading it earlier today, and I was like, “that’s genius.” She was talking about the benefits of basil, and she preferred to use fresh herbs and spices, but you can still use dried. Once you’re done pureeing, you take them from the attached cup that comes with your immersion blender, and transfer them to the Sage Spoonfuls jars for storage. Sage Spoonfuls makes glass and BPA-free plastic containers, so you can choose whatever you want. I would buy some of the small ones and some of the large ones. But here’s what’s crazy… maybe for the twinnies, only buy the large ones because you’re going to make double the batches anyway. So I put my purees into the jars and put them into the refrigerator or freezer. These jars are so easy to use.

When you get the Sage Spoonfuls book, I’m going to tell you the best pages to read. Number one: page 17, which gives you the “dirty dozen” and “clean fifteen.” The immersion blender comes in the same box with the food processor because you can use them together, or just use the immersion blender. The pieces are really easy to clean because they are all machine washable too (except the motor piece that has to be plugged in). Who’s in the finger food stage? If you’re in the 7-9 month range, or maybe 10-12 months, that’s when you start using more and more finger foods. If you want some recipe ideas, there some I really like in the Sage Spoonfuls book. The pureed tomatoes I love. In this book, it will tell you exactly how to make pureed tomatoes, and then it says “but wait, there’s more.” On one side, it tells you yummy combinations (i.e. tomatoes and cauliflower, tomatoes and zucchini, tomatoes and butternut squash), so it will give you every yummy combination you could possibly desire. I really honestly recommend buying this book. This is the most well thought out book I have read when it comes to introducing solids. They were very usable recipes. I have read some other cookbooks that have been a little bit more complicated. This is really for the beginners.

Now let’s say we were introducing the tomatoes. We would introduce the tomatoes independently, and then the cauliflower independently. Once I know that those two things are good, then you’re good to go. It does have toddler recipes too. Toward the back of the book, they have all their family favorite recipes. The chicken soup pasta is delectable. It’s one of my favorites in the book. We also loved the tomato sauce (hi, I am Italian), and this Italian girl does agree with this tomato sauce recipe. Depending on what I was doing, if I was using meat, I would include Bay leaf, or maybe with tomato sauce and meatballs. My grandmother said you don’t put Bay leaf unless there is meat in the sauce. So that one was really good. They even have a mango pork tenderloin which sounds so fancy, but if you look at the ingredient list, it’s really not that fancy. If you’re tired of cooking the same things over and over in your home, this is a great way to find new ideas. I love cookbooks. I like to get the kids involved. I buy the cookbook and give it to the kids and tell them to pick out what they would like to eat. In many cookbooks, like this one, for example, there are also pictures of the food. So even if your kids can’t read, they can flip through and say “I want to try that pork tenderloin,” or “I want to try this stir-fry.” Then you can try it. If you’re online, it’s not as easy to scroll through and have the kids pick it out. If the kids pick it out, you can get them involved in cooking and they’re more likely to eat it, or least try it. If you haven’t figured out how to introduce broccoli, or Brussels sprouts, get them involved in the process of cooking once they get bigger. Obviously we’re not going to do this with 7 month olds, but what happens is there’s a time at around 18 months when they get really really picky.

I still have all my grandmother’s cookbooks. I pull them out every holiday and we go through them. There are so many memories attached to food, and you’ll see that with Liza’s book. She gives you stories and anecdotes, and tells you about her preemie to give you an insight into her life and how she came to create this baby food making empire. I’m partial to them because I think she has great ideas and great recipes, but once I got to meet her and see her, she is the type of person that when you are with her, she radiates such positivity and energy that it’s infectious, and it makes you happy. It makes me happy to be around her. What’s really crazy is that her recipes have that same infusion of joy that her personality has. You guys know I talk about a lot of people, we talk about a lot of things, but I get goosebumps because she is such a magical person. As a female entrepreneur, I have the utmost respect for her and her team. She comes out with these great products. It’s not only the immersion blender and making baby food, but to me, she’s not saying “you have to do it,” but that “if you want to do it, I’m going to give you the right tools.”

Not everybody wants to make their own baby food, but Liza says, “it’s not for everybody, but if you want to give it a go, I’m going to get you off to the best start by giving you the appropriate tools.” She even gives you a list of what you should have in your kitchen, not just food-wise, but prep-wise, like a food peeler. Some people don’t have a food peeler in their house. Nowadays, you can buy the frozen carrots or string beans. But even if you buy the frozen string beans, she tells you what to do to make your own food. It’s really not that difficult. It is time-consuming, but it’s really not that difficult. I want to tell people not to be afraid of meat. A lot of people wonder if you should give your baby chicken, or pork, or lamb. Don’t be afraid of meat. You can puree meat the same way you puree vegetables and fruits.

I want to tell you about some other products Sage Spoonfuls has that Julie and I are moderately obsessed with. You know our friends at Happy Family have their delicious clearly crafted food pouches. Everybody says the convenience of those pouches makes me want to buy that food. I’m not saying not to. The apple / blueberry / oatmeal from Happy Family is my jam. I had a pack of it last night after a Twiniversity class here in the city. Sage Spoonfuls created their own reusable pouch — the Sage Squeezies. So if I am going to make my own carrots, or mash up some bananas, instead of worrying about the convenience of having your babies not use the pouches, you can make your own pouches. These will rock your world. They are BPA free, phthalate free, dishwasher safe, and freezer safe. So you could put applesauce in here for your toddler and stick it in the freezer overnight if you’re going to the park the next day, and you can use it as an ice pack to keep your sandwiches and things cold. It has a top just like the regular pouches do, and you just pull the pouch apart on the side, and it’s like a little Ziploc bag.

Applesauce is something our family always makes because we can get apples all different times of year. You get different apples different times of year. I love making applesauce. I’ve been using these to freeze our applesauce, and my kids, who are 12, by the way, still use these pouches. Now it’s not for convenience, it’s out of laziness. You think “I don’t want a spoon.” The pouches are around 4oz. If you want to know how much is in there, there’s a little window in the back. So now I have my to go pouch of applesauce. I love my applesauce. My recipe is that I just boil apples in a tiny bit of water, I add some cinnamon, and depending on the apples, sometimes I add some brown sugar or some white sugar. Sometimes I don’t need to throw in any sugar. It depends on the apples I’m using. I just boil them down, and I don’t even peel them. What’s cool is when you don’t peel them, your applesauce turns pink. When you use the immersion blender, or even an old-school ricer, with the apple peels still on, you get this beautiful pink applesauce. My kids would always eat it more.

Another thing I love to bit and pieces is their little reusable sandwich and snack bags. They have these cute little snack packs that I would put on the arm of your stroller, or a hook, so that way you can always keep food around. Why they’re great for snacks is because they have a lining that’s washable. So you can use this instead of using Ziploc bags. You can use these, especially the sandwich-sized bags, I’m telling you, minimum of a year, which is what we did in the Diaz house. I would make the kids sandwiches, and sometimes use cookie cutters to make the kids sandwiches in fancy shapes. They actually even have cookie cutters that have shapes like dinosaurs and stars that cut all the crusts off, and then you have two little dinosaurs to put in your sandwich bag. My kids loved it! I did have a supremely picky eater, but if it was a fun color, or fun shape, she would eat it. So these bags are a great way to store little foods. Happy Family makes these great puffs that you can put in here, you can put Goldfish in here, you can put whatever you want.

Do you guys have the InstaPot? Am I the only sucker that bought into the InstaPot? Please tell me that I’m not alone. While I do like my InstaPot, everything seems to come out the same consistency. As an adult, I get a little bored of it. I haven’t figured out how to bake a cake in it, and how to make a roast in it. But I like that I can put in raw pasta and raw chicken, or frozen chicken, or raw pasta and some sauces, and cook it for, like, 12 minutes, and it basically comes out a little mushy, but it’s definitely cooked. So in a jam, in 12 minutes, I can have a dinner for everybody. I also really love my CrockPot. I know the InstaPot could be used as a CrockPot too. Actually, I’m using my CrockPot today. I’m making a giant pork roast, I think it’s actually the shoulder. So today we’re going to eat the pork shoulder. If you have toddlers, I would puree the pork with a little bit of the fluid from the carrots we made. Today we eat the pork with rice, tomorrow we eat it as carnitas and make tacos, then we’ll have a pork day off, then the next day I’m making Cuban sandwiches. So my one pork roast is going to get me 3 different meals for 5 people. The Diaz Family is 4 people, but usually my sister comes over, or my mom or aunt comes in, or somebody is always coming in. So just know that you can stretch out meals. You don’t have to be like “I’m going to make these carrots because we’re going to eat these at lunch time.” When you make carrots, you buy 5 pounds of carrots, you make them all at once, you put them into the fantastic Sage Spoonfuls jars, and you put them in the freezer and take them out as you go.

When you do you introduce eggs and peanuts? Remember how I said in the beginning that you need to speak to your doctor? If you have a peanut allergy, you may want to wait a little bit to introduce eggs or peanuts. For us, we knew there was no history of it, so we introduced eggs pretty quickly. So by the first year, we had personally introduced eggs to our little monkeys, but you’ve got to speak to your pediatrician about that. Those are kind of the tricky foods (not that I don’t want to talk about the tricky foods, because I love talking about the tricky foods). So eggs are a staple. We never buy less than 18 eggs at a time because the kids eat a ton of eggs, I eat a ton of eggs. Eggs are the building block of life, right? It’s like this little perfect food that’s all wrapped up. If you are breastfeeding, you should be eating quite a few eggs yourself. There’s also this thing called Hello Peanut, which is this new system about introducing peanuts to your kids. It gives you these little packs of peanut powder, and once you know that other foods are safe, let’s say you give them carrots, you put a little bit of this peanut powder in, like a minimal amount, and you mix it with the carrots and give it to the babies. Then you can say “ok, no reaction.” Then the next day, you do a larger packet. If you really are concerned about it, it’s a gradual way to introduce peanuts to your babies instead of being like “ok, peanut butter sandwiches for everybody!” But peanut butter and eggs are a staple in our house.

The next question I want to address is, “When do I start finger foods? Where do I start?” For their very first finger foods, they have to develop that pincer grasp, and this is where you can start; with Cheerios or little bits of cereal. The Happy Baby puffs and yogurt melts are good too. I like puffs because they remind me of Cheerios. You could always just do Cheerios too, but even without chewing, these melt right in your mouth.

For the record on that Hello Peanut thing… make sure you talk to your pediatrician before starting anything like this. Don’t just start things on your own. You should always give your doctor a head’s up. If they say it’s not a good time, let them be the judge of that. Here at Twiniversity, I can say “this is when I would do things,” but I never did things without speaking to my pediatrician, so I don’t want you to either.

So, when do we start with finger foods? Remember how I said in the beginning we’re going to start sitting them in their high chairs? When they’re in the high chairs, give them little bits of whatever it is. So you start out with the purees, and as the babies grow, you make them chunkier and chunkier until there are little squares of the carrots. Then when they can pick it up, you don’t have to puree anymore. You only have to puree for a few months, and then they’re going to picking up these little bits of carrots. But make sure that they’re cooked properly, there are no choking hazards, and that everything is safe. I would start to give finger foods between 10-12 months. It really depends; you could do little bits of toast, if you wanted to take a little piece of seedless rye bread, I wouldn’t necessarily start off with white toast, but maybe give them some wheat toast. Whatever they’re going to eat, they’re not going to get a lot, so make sure whatever they do get is really nutritionally sound. So don’t do the white bread, do the whole wheat bread. If you’re not too into the whole wheat because you don’t like whole wheat and you don’t want to eat it, check pumpernickel, check rye bread. There are a lot of different breads out there other than white bread. Also check the breads that you’re buying. But bread is a great way to introduce finger food because you can toast it nicely, and then you can cut it into strips. Once they get the hang of the strips, we can start putting stuff on it. We could put the carrot puree on it. We could make avocado toast (I love avocado toast). You can even make little egg sandwiches once they get the hang of it. So start off slow. We always had a staple of ours, which was grilled cheese. My kids loved grilled cheese. But we did good grilled cheese with whole wheat bread and cheddar cheese; I didn’t buy American. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, and I’m not trying to say “you only buy the best, and that’s what you do.” But since they’re having so little of it, if it’s breaking the bank to buy the piece of cheddar, you don’t have to buy the 30-year-old aged piece of cheddar. You cold buy the Cracker Barrel cheddar from Kraft that is $4.99 for a pound of it, and a pound of that cheese is going to last your forever.

Have you guys heard of Boxed? I love chickpeas, and we get them from Boxed. We ate a lot of beans, and when Anna was little, well she’s still kind of little, but when she was little, she was super, super picky. Around 7 months, she didn’t really like the peas and carrots, but she loved black beans. So I would buy the cans of the black beans, and I would put the vegetables into the black beans, and I would make little black bean soups. She still, to this day, would eat black beans everyday. She would eat them right out of the can. I have to admit, I have never made homemade beans. I am a disgrace to my husband and his Puerto Rican family. Please don’t tell them. But I’ve never made beans, I’ve always just bought beans.

I love how time flies so much that I haven’t gotten to any of the pieces I wanted to get to in the Sage Spoonfuls book. For example, did you know that one pound of fresh spinach equals 8 ounces of puree? I did not know the conversion for that. That’s one thing I wanted to tell you, but now I’ll tell you everything that I wanted to tell you. The next thing is on page 39, instead of telling you “feed your children these foods,” she gives you a list of foods to avoid. So no honey until 12 months, no cow’s milk until 12 months, no soy cheese until 12 months, no chocolate until 12 months, no added sugar or salt until at least 12 months, no processed or fried food, no peanuts, tree nuts, or seeds (walnuts, pecans, etc.) until you have been given the ok by your child’s pediatrician. No artificial sweeteners, ever. Avoid giving your child juice until 12 months. I love this whole list of foods to avoid. I think it’s extraordinary. The other thing I loved is the benefits of going organic. If you are considering becoming an organic family, or even if you just want to feed the babies organic foods to kind of get them off on the right start, you can do that.

I do want to say something about milk, when you introduce cow’s milk. If you see that your babies are changing, or maybe that their bodies are changing, we’ve had a few people actually at our Twiniversity family that their kids have had aversions to non-organic cow’s milk. With some cow’s milk, not every cow’s milk, but if you buy conventional cow’s milk, there could be hormones in the cow’s milk that actually could affect your kids. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. If I didn’t see it, I would never believe it, but that’s something that could happen. So when you do introduce cow’s milk, whether it’s conventional or organic, just keep an eye out for anything that pops up. If you do see anything that makes you concerned, make sure you tell your pediatrician.

Well I have about 872 more tips to give you, but you can always visit the Sage Spoonfuls website (www.sagespoonfuls.com) which has a ton more information, and of course gives you details on how to buy their little goodies. If I’m going to tell you the things you need to get today, the sandwich bags are fantastic because you can use them for really anything. You could use them as a first aid kit, I think Julie uses it as a wallet for her business cards. It’s not even that I’m worried about my carbon footprint, because I’m kind of worried about it, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m not like, anti-Ziploc. I have no storage in my apartment. My kitchen is super small, so I don’t have a ton of room. Having things that are re-useable is fantastic. When their stuff is in here, and they come home from school, I open the bag, I turn it inside out, I wash it off with the some water, and I put it on top of a spoon. If you have a utensil holder in your kitchen, I use my utensil holder to hold utensils, but I also use it to put my little re-usable sandwich bags to dry.

Thank you so much for joining us today. It was an honor, as always, to join you on your phone, or tablet, or computer. Today, we have big news. Are you guys ready for big news? We launched a Twiniversity mentor program. If your babies are here, and you would like to become a mentor, or if you are expecting, or have new babies, and would like to become a mentee, so you want somebody to connect with, go onto our page. It is something I have been dreaming about since I launched Twiniversity in 2009, and I can’t believe it is coming to fruition. A big thank you to Julie and the Mom Squad for getting this off the ground and helping our families connect with other families. If you don’t know, Twiniversity has a tagline which is “Community. Knowledge. Humor.” I want you guys to connect with one another, not just to me and the Mom Squad, but I want you to connect with fellow parents of multiples around the country. I want to educate you with things like this, and give you good tips on how you can make your world a little bit easier, and I always want to make you laugh. Laughter is the best medicine in the universe. I love to laugh as much as possible. I like to make my team laugh, I like to make my friends laugh, I like to make my kids laugh, everybody, and of course, you guys. So that is what I want you to do. You can absolutely be both. You can be a mentor to someone who is expecting if you have toddlers, and you can ask to be a mentee if you want to talk to someone who has school-aged children. I am humbled that someone is even asking that question because if you are, you believe in Twiniversity as much as I do, and the rest of our team does because we don’t do it for us. My kids are big! My kids are 12, and they are unloading dishwashers and folding laundry. I got it down. I do this because I don’t want any of you to have the experience I had when they were growing up. I don’t want any of you to feel alone. I don’t want anybody to feel disconnected or isolated. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We do not take days off. As long as I can get away from my kids (and I don’t try to get away), but God forbid it’s something critical like you have micro-preemies, or postpartum depression, the Twiniversity squad is here to help you every step of the way. That’s what we do, and we’re very very lucky to be able to support ourselves by having great partners like our folks at Sage Spoonfuls, and Happy Family, and Pampers, and Earth’s Best, and everybody else. They help me make sure our Mom Squad is happy because if you’re going to take time away from your family, I want you to have it be worth it. Not only emotionally, but I want you to be compensated too. These guys are the ones that help me keep the lights on. Have a wonderful day, and thanks for joining us. See you later alligators, and have the best day ever. Bye guys!

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