My Favorite Feeding-On-The-Go Products

As a traveling family, feeding on the go is a given.  What we look for in these products is function, ease of use, and size.  All of these products have been thoroughly road-tested by us and proven to be effective and dependable!  Read on to learn more about our top picks!

DSC00584Innobaby Packin’ SMART Stackables.  I was given a 5-tier stackable at my baby shower and I love it!  The tower is customizable, so I can use as many or as few tiers as I want.  I actually have yet to use all 5 tiers at the same time.  Each tier has a removeable pour spout, so they are easy to fill and easy to clean.  The tower is fairly skinny too, so it fits really well in a diaper bag.  It seems to keep things pretty fresh, so we always have snacks on hand when we need them!  We haven’t used this in awhile (because she eats a lot more than this!), but it was fantastic from 6 months to a year!

DSC00227Neat Solutions Sili-Stick Table Topper.  This placemat is great!  My goal was to find something that packed small for the diaper bag and provided a nice clean surface for Boo to eat on.  This particular place mat isn’t sticky really…more like grippy.  That means it doesn’t slide on most table surfaces and is a little more difficult for the baby to flip over than your standard place mat.  They are also easy to clean and inexpensive!  Sounds like a win all around!

A spill proof snack cup.  I really hesitated buying one of these because it is just one more thing to add to that never ending list of baby stuff.  I bought this one at the Dollar Tree (and it has surprisingly lasted 9 months so far!) as a spur of the moment thing before our last trip as more of an entertainment thing than a snack thing.  Boo loves it!  She thinks it is so much fun to jam her hand in and take out snacks (or pom poms or whatever).  About that spill proof thing…it might be spill proof, but when chubby little baby hands try to grab a handful of snacks, nothing can stop the mess!  At 20 months, she can now fill it herself and put the lid back on!

Inglesina Fast Table Chair with optional tray.  When looking for a high chair for camping, we wanted one that packed nicely, worked with any unknown picnic table, was reliably safe, and cleaned up nicely.  This high chair meets most of these requirements.  My one slight complaint is the cleaning thing.  This is a fabric high chair, so it doesn’t just wipe down.  It can, however, be thrown in a washing machine, which is nice!  Basically we can only spot clean while camping, but it gets a nice deep clean when we get home.  That fabric part is necessary to make it packable, so we were willing to bend on the cleaning thing.  I really like that it is easy to install on every picnic table we’ve tried!  Furthermore, if we are eating in the same place for several meals, we will leave the arms attached to the table and stash the chair part in the car in between meals.

The Original Squeeze with Eeeze.  This is our current favorite product.  We use it at least once daily…sometimes 3 or 4 times!  I found this older style on clearance at Target several months ago and have since bought the newer style as well.  This refillable squeeze pouch is awesome because it stands on its own for filling, has a wide mouth for pouring, cleans easily, and is super easy for toddlers to figure out!  The 4 ounce size is perfect for yogurt!  The company is awesome to work with, too!  My one complaint would be the screw top.  Sometimes it is difficult to get the threads to line up nicely for a good fit.  This is better on the newer version, but we still have issues sometimes.  The Original Squeeze comes with two different spout types: 6+ months and 2+ years.  The 2+ years version (“With Eeeze”) was the one I found on clearance and our 16 month old had no trouble figuring it out!  Love, love, love this thing!

I’m sure this list will keep growing and evolving as Boo gets older (and more awesome products hit the market), but we have been quite pleased with our experiences thus far!

Advertisements

Fjord-du-Saguenay National Park

DSC00369Pardon my French – or more specifically my Frenglish (Get it?).  I don’t actually speak French.  Thanks to various mini-immersion experiences throughout my life, I am comfortable hearing and seeing the language.  Basically, I can find my way around and maybe even order food in a butchered attempt at the language (at least I try!), but I cannot really speak the language.  My husband is currently in school to be a French teacher – following in his Mama’s footsteps!  Until this past summer, he had never actually been to a french-speaking country or heard native speakers outside of a classroom.

Last summer was a big deal for my husband.  He was separating from the military for the third (and hopefully final!) time AND he finally finished his Associate’s Degree almost 20 years after starting it!  He actually had the opportunity to request vacation time without having to use it for National Guard duty and I was determined to make it a good one.  We blocked off a chunk of time back in February, got the extended family on board (all of mine with the exception of the busy Veterinarians), and started dreaming!

You know those people who book their vacations a year in advance and have everything planned down to the minute, including restaurant reservations?  This is not us.  Growing up, last-minute vacations were not uncommon.  I remember calling my grandmother from Florida to let her know we weren’t home.  Or spending a month touring the West when we really only intended to go backpacking in the Tetons.

Same deal with Summer Vacation 2015.  Over the next several months, we planned out many different vacations – Camping in the Adirondacks, Roadtripping through the Midwest, Houseboating in Minnesota, Exploring Bruce Peninsula…

About a week before we left, we finally chose a destination – National Parc du Fjord-du-Saguenay in (French-speaking!) Quebec.  Good thing we got our passports in order months earlier – you know, just in case!  By the way, trying to get an 8 month old baby to take an acceptable passport photo is definitely a challenge!

Here was the itinerary:

Day 1: Drive from Roanoke, VA to Littleton, NH (12 hour direct drive – took us 17 with the baby)

DSC00227

Day 2: Hike Mt. Washington – up the Ammonoosuc, down the Jewell Trail.  We almost made it to the treeline before turning back due to dangerous hiking conditions with babies (slippery rocks from the thunderstorm the night before and an impending storm).  For the record, hiking down the Ammonoosuc with a top-heavy baby backpack is terrifying.  I actually have no pictures from this day.  I was too busy trying not to die.  Trust me though, it was beautiful!

Day 3: Cross the border and drive to Quebec City.  We made a last minute decision to spend most of the day at Lost River Gorge – loved it!  Also no pictures of the Gorge, but it was really fun!  (4 hour direct drive – felt like it took forever)

DSC00232

Day 4: Explore Quebec City.  We happened upon a Plein Air Art Festival and a fantastic street band – Les Bleu Pelouse!

Day 5: Explore the surrounding area.  We picked raspberries on Ile d’Orleans and toured Canyon Sainte-Anne.

Day 6: Drive to National Parc du Fjord-du-Saguenay.  Celebrated Boo’s first birthday in our own style – on a grand adventure with $50 pick-your-own raspberries on a store-bought flan…no fancy themes, smash cakes, and expensive photo shoots here!  (Google says 3 hours.  I would say 10…easily.)

Day 7: Drive to Tadoussac for the whale watching (didn’t see any).  Hike through Baie-Sainte-Marguerite to see the belugas (didn’t see any).  Apparently this is the wrong season for whales here. (2 hour drive time – each way)

Day 8: Hike La Statue Trail at Baie-Eternitie (This is where we camped).  What a surprisingly challenging hike!  You make it all the way to the top and then there are about a thousand steps to actually reach the statue.  Well worth it because of the view.  Too bad it was pouring down rain by the time we got there!

Day 9: Start the trek home and make it as far as Watertown, New York. (8 hour direct drive – took us longer because we got lost in Quebec City.)

Day 10: Made it home.  Decided I should start a blog about roadtripping with babies – I am pretty familiar with the topic by now. (9 hour direct drive)

DSC00429

This place was amazing!  Everything I wanted from this vacation.  Something new (for everyone!), French language immersion (I had forgotten exactly how much French was spoken in Quebec), and we actually got to leave the country for the first time in 9 years (has it really been that long?!).  I would absolutely go back – but hopefully with more time to explore!

Here are some things I learned about this trip:

  1. Cell phones do not work in Canada without an international plan…unless you happen to be driving along 401, which parallels the border.
  2. GPS (Garmin) doesn’t work either.  My brother-in law hacked ours so we would have something, but it looked like we were off-roading the entire time!
  3. Canada is really big and driving distances are much longer than they seem.
  4. Rest stops are amazing!  Clean, educated and bilingual personnel, kitchen access, private rooms for nursing moms…I could go on.
  5. The weather really wasn’t what I was expecting.  Quebec City was ridiculously hot and it rained regularly in Saguenay (like 4:00 every day…and then some).

So why I am posting this now?  We just chose our dates for Summer Vacation 2016 and we have absolutely no idea where we are going!  I can’t wait to see where we end up!