Hi!

Welcome to the Fortified Family! I’m Katie Ferraro, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and mom of 5 (including quadruplets :) I’m passionate about feeding strong families and making food fun.

12 Days of Feeding Gift Guide

12 Days of Feeding Gift Guide

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I can’t get enough of all of the great feeding gear out these days you guys! This has been a great year with so many innovative new products, baby feeding gear and great foods to help promote self-feeding for our babies.

So, in preparation for this year’s holiday season I teamed up with my baby-feeding lady partner in crime Dawn Winkelmann, MS, CCC-SLP of Spectrum Speech and Feeding to bring you our favorite baby food and feeding related gift guide.

We originally did this lineup as a gift guide on instagram - you can check out all of the details on my main page @fourtifiedfam or on Dawn’s page @specctrumspeech….and for more baby-led weaning insta inspo, check out my other BLW page @babyledweanteam.

Alright…so here are our top 12 that we hope bring you and your baby a ton of baby-feeding joy and success in the New Year!

Oh, and this is not a sponsored post BTW…we actually love and use each and every one of these items in our own homes or feeding practices. The links and codes in the recommendations below are affiliate codes however, the modest revenue from which helps me offset the cost of running this site!

Happy feeding!

xoxo,

Katie

 

1. Bapron Bibs

Ground zero for baby-led weaning is having a good bib. And the Bapron Baby Bibs are designed EXACTLY for self-feeding babies. They’re a bib…and an apron…for babies - hence the name: Baprons.

Bapron Baby bibs come in beautiful (not obnoxious :) patterns and I love that they tie around the back of the shoulders for comfort and security…and, let’s be real: so baby can’t take his bib off before you’re ready to remove the bib!

Bapron Baby bibs comes in all sorts of sizes and designs. Right now Hannah and Gus are using the Toddler Baprons for age 6m-3T, but my toddlers age 3 and 4 also use this size too, so it’s kind of a one-size-fits all solution that offers full coverage to help minimize that BLW mess.

Use code KATIE10 for 10% off at checkout at bapronbaby.com.

 

2. Meals with Milton

This is a genius product that my feeding therapist friends have turned me onto and it’s called Milton, the Mealtime Companion. It’s a fun way to teach your children about healthy and courageous eating and there’s no shortage of ways you can use it in your home.

Your child can feed Milton new foods and it’s ideal for encouraging picky eaters to try foods, to learn about healthy eating, teach table manners and it’s dishwasher safe and easy to clean.

Milton helps encourage adventurous eating, munching and chewing skills, oral food acceptance, tooth brushing and even spoon feeding. Use code DAWN10 at mealswithmilton.com for 10% off.

 


3. Puffworks Baby

New research shows that earlier introduction to peanut protein is crucial in helping to prevent peanut allergy. (Check out some of my previous peanut allergen related articles about Puffworks Baby here and updated peanut allergen guidelines here.)

So if you’re supposed to introduce baby to peanut protein around 6 months, but peanuts and peanut butter aren’t the safest options for babies at this age…what’s a mom to do?

Well…get a peanut puff.

Which is exactly what Puffworks Baby is. But this isn’t any peanut puff people. Whereas the other type of peanut puffs on the market are packed full of foreign ingredients you can’t pronounce, Puffworks Baby are organic and made with non-GMO ingredients.

They’re the perfect way to take the stress AND the mess out of introducing peanut protein to baby, and you can get 15% off your Puffworks Amazon order with code 15BABYLED. Click here to purchase.

 

4. ezpz Mini Mat

Back when I first started baby-led weaning with my quadruplets (see our origin story post about why we skipped spoon-feeding here) - I used to just put the food on the tray and call it a day.

But the more I started working in the baby-led weaning field and specializing in infant feeding, I came to appreciate how important…and even essential….having a good baby plate is.

We are HUGE fans of the ezpz Mini Mat, an all-in-one placemat and plate that suctions to the table. I love that there are appropriately sized portion dividers for baby, that it’s made out of dishwasher, microwave, oven-safe food grade silicone and not plastic, and best of all that they come in beautiful colors that makes feeding FUN!

In fact, I love these product so much I wrote a whole article about 5 Benefits of Using a Baby Plate or Bowl…and you can check that post out here.

Gus and Hannah use their ezpz Mini Mats every day, but I also use them for my toddlers too. I think they’re a great investment if you plan on feeding kids for any length of time. And my go-to baby shower gift right now is a feeding pack comprised of the ezpz Mini Mat, Mini Bowl, Tiny Bowl, Tiny Cup and Tiny Spoons.

You can get 10% off all ezpz products at ezpzfun.com with code KATIE10.

 

5. Sweet Tot Sauces

As a small business owner and dietitian specializing in infant feeding, I LOVE to support other healthcare professionals ALSO running their own show!

Thats why I was so psyched when Dawn introduced me to her colleague Jill Tate, a fellow SLP and founder of Sweet Tot dipping sauces.

I don’t know about you but my kids will eat almost ANYTHING if they can dip it and that’s why Jill (also a mom of 3) created Sweet Tot dipping sauces. She gets that introducing new foods can be scary and challenging for some kids. Dipping sauces help provide a measure of control and consistency that is empowering at mealtime.

I love that these sauces are made with real fruits and vegetables and they taste great on all sorts of foods, we even used the ketchup dipper at breakfast the other day! You can get 10% off at sweettot.com …and get busy combatting boring breakfast and new food battles at your own house!

 

6. Quick-Start Guide to Baby-Led Weaning

I have 7 real babies at home, but my work baby is this Quick-Start Guide to Baby-Led Weaning. It’s a 16 page ebook I put together after answering literally the same 20 questions over and over and over on the hundreds of BLW workshops I’ve taught to thousands of parents, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

If you’re looking to get a SAFE start to solid foods, you’re going to want to check out this baby-led weaning ebook. It has a nutrient deep dive, so you can learn about which foods to feed to plug those pesky nutrient gaps. There’s tons of info about seasoning baby’s food without salt and I include a few of my favorite combination food recipes in there as well.

Click here to get your Quick-Start Guide to Baby-Led Weaning delivered directly to your email inbox NOW!

 

7. Inspired Start

Introducing the “Big 8” food allergens that are responsible for more than 90% of food allergy to your baby can be a big pain in the you-know-what.

That’s why I was so excited to start working with Inspired Start…the only baby food designed to introduce 8 common allergens.

Now you might think, “Wait…a puree pouch recommendation from a baby-led weaning expert?!” But this no ordinary pouch my peeps

(…and jic you’re interested, I advocate a “purees for days” approach to starting BLW, whereby mom or dad preloads a spoon with puree and assists baby with self-feeding to establish swallow safety on different puree textures before soon moving onto more solid textures :) …click here to read my post about how spoons can be compatible with baby-led weaning.

What I love about Inspired Start is that each flavor combination pouch was thoughtfully curated to introduce 1 gram of potential food allergen safely and easily to baby. They have really unique food combos like Mango & Cod and my personal favorite Banana & Shrimp (…and yes, I taste everything I serve my babies and these are outstanding!)

You can get $5 off your Inspired Start order plus free shipping with code WEANTEAM5 - click here to order.

 

8. Bapron Splash Mats

Dealing with the mess of self-feeding babies can be a major barrier for parents who want to do baby-led weaning. But having a splash mat under baby’s eating area can quite literally make that problem disappear.

My secret weapon for managing BLW-related mess and minimizing waste is the Bapron Baby Splash Mat. These splash mats are essential for placing on the floor under Gus & Hannah’s high chairs when it’s mealtime. I use a clean one every meal and quickly recycle food they drop back up onto their plate, which helps cut down on waste too.

You can get 10% off at bapronbaby.com with code KATIE10 - click here to see the splash mats in all their color options.

 

9. Munchie Mug

We’re not a big snack family…mainly because I prefer for my children to actually eat at mealtime :) but there are those days when we’re out and about and off our schedule…and when that happens, with 5 toddlers getting hangry - snacks become a must.

But what sort of snack cup to use? Most are crappy plastic that break and spill easily. But not the Munchie Mug.

The Munchie Mug is a revolutionary snack cup that has a spandex cover so kids can easily and comfortably slip their hands into. It’s basically spill proof and mess proof and I love that the Munchie Mug founder and inventor Phil is a real life grand-dad who was annoyed by the sub-par snack cup products already on the market…so he created a smarter snack cup, the Munchie Mug.

My feeding therapist friends like to use the Munchie Mug in different sorts of sensory feeding settings, but it’s great for any and all kids - and for you parents too, even if you’re not a huge fan of kids’ snacks!

You can get 20% off at munchiemug.com plus free shipping every day with code SPECTRUMSPEECH

 

10. ezpz Tiny Spoon

This one’s going to blow your mind, but a feeding milestone for 6 month olds is they should be able to bring their hands to mouth holding an object or a spoon.

Problem is, up until now, there hasn’t really been a spoon that’s appropriate for babies as young as 6 months old. Sure there are baby spoons on the market, but they’re either all made out of plastic, or very floppy silicone, or the handle is too long, or the bowl of the spoon is too deep…and the list goes on and on.

But the brand new ezpz Tiny Spoon solves all of those problems - and I’m not just saying that because my friend Ms. Dawn SLP designed it for ezpz. The Tiny Spoon is 100% food grade soft silicone but sturdy enough to facilitate all the dipping and scooping and spooning your baby is bringing at or beyond the 6 month age mark.

You can get 10% off the ezpz Tiny Spoon (they come in 2-packs) at ezpzfun.com with my code KATIE10.

 

11. ezpz Tiny Cup

Next up on the feeding gift guide is another ezpz product, their new ezpz Tiny Cup. And that’s because ANOTHER developmental and feeding milestone for baby is to begin drinking from an open cup (assisted by an adult) beginning around 6 months of age.

Dawn from ezpz also designed this Tiny Cup and it has so many design features that are PERFECT for babies that I can’t even begin to tell you (but Dawn tells you all about it on her Tiny Cup blog post for ezpz here.)

I offer Gus & Hannah water between foods with baby-led weaning, and the Tiny Cup is the only cup we are using right now! Get 10% off all ezpzfun.com orders with my code KATIE10.

 

12. Baby-Led Wean Team Membership

Last but not least, for those of you looking for a little more baby-led weaning support, check out my membership group The Baby-Led Wean Team.

This is a private online community for sharing knowledge, recipes, best practices - and tons of baby-led weaning training, coaching and guidance.

The Baby-Led Wean Team features a vast knowledge base of my BLW trainings, tutorials, downloads and basically all the BLW info you and your baby are craving.

Each week I offer live trainings and Q&A sessions and it’s a super supportive environment to help you and your baby succeed with baby-led weaning. Click here to learn more and sign up.

 
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