My husband and I love camping, and have been looking forward to sharing our favorite hobby with our son ever since we found out we were expecting. This past weekend we went on our first family camping trip, and I thought I would share what worked and what we would do differently next time. So here are our tips for successful camping with a toddler. Note: our son is 13 months old and just started walking.
When choosing a camping location (especially if camping with kids for the first time), don't venture too far from home. We are lucky that we have lots of beautiful campgrounds close to home, and chose one that was just 45 minutes away.
If the weather changes unexpectedly, there is an emergency, or just to avoid a car meltdown before you even arrive, try to stay closer to home.
While our son spent most of the time walking and crawling around the campsite playing with rocks and sticks, we brought a few pieces of gear that were lifesavers.
Pop n Play: I cannot recommend the Summer Infant Pop n Play enough. We have only had this portable play yard for 6 weeks, but have already gotten our money's worth. We use it at the house, in the backyard, at the lake, and it was very useful camping. It's larger than a pack n play which give kids more room to play, and SO easy to pack and move. At a few points during our trip, a 1, 3, and 4-year-old were all playing together in the Pop n Play.
It was nice to have a place the baby could safely play while we were setting up and breaking down camp, cooking, or in case any of the kids were getting to interested in the campfire.
Pack n Play: Still the best sleeping option when traveling. Note: the play yard mentioned above is not good for sleeping in. The bottom is thin, and not supportive. Plus, it would take up a lot more room in a tent than a pack n play.
Hiking Pack or Carrier: Our hiking backpack came in handy for hikes, but an Ergo or similar carrier would work well, too. Even if your toddler is walking, there may be certain trails that aren't safe for them, or they may decide they don't feel like walking halfway through a hike.
Clip-on Highchair: It was so convenient to have a clip-on highchair so the baby could eat with us safely. They also make folding camp highchairs, but I prefer the sturdiness of the clip-on highchair. When we arrived, Baby O enjoyed lunch lakeside while mom and dad set up camp.
A good (big) tent. We use an "8-person" tent for the three of us. It's tall enough that even my 6'3" husband can stand up, which is so helpful.
A tall air mattress: When I was pregnant, we upgraded to a double high air mattress. OMG, the difference is huge! Especially if you need to feed, rock, change, or dress a baby, it's so nice to be a couple feet off the ground rather than a few inches. And ours really doesn't take up much more room than a standard air mattress when rolled up.
All the fresh air and playing made O hungry! I prepped and brought lots of easy to grab, no-cook foods for him so he could eat any time of day, whether we were cooking or not. I roasted sweet potatoes, steamed green beans, made applesauce, and brought lots of string cheese, fruit, and plenty of pre-filled reusable pouches.
I filled some Really Little Green Pouches with a Zucchini, Peach and Cherry puree, and made a big batch of smoothies with banana, coconut milk, berries, chia seeds and yogurt and filled several 7 ounce pouches. That way he could snack throughout the day.
I wanted to bring food that I knew O would eat. Camping isn't the time to find out if your baby likes a new food. You may end up with wasted food and a hungry baby. Plus, you don't want to risk an allergic reaction when away from home. Bring familiar, nutritious, filling foods.
While climbing on rocks and playing with sticks were O's favorite camping activities, it was nice to have a few of his favorite toys and books from home. Just be sure to bring easy-to-wash toys.
Unless we're traveling, all of O's naps and nighttime sleeping happens in his crib. I knew going into camping that sleeping might be rough. And I was right. The cold nights, and unfamiliar sleeping arrangements meant we wound up with a toddler in bed with us both nights. On the bright side, it meant we got a few extra snuggles.
Dressing the baby in layers, both during the day and at night, was very helpful. It was warm in the sun, but cool in the shade and when there was a breeze. At night, we layered under and over his PJs, and added extra blankets throughout the night. You don't want to overdress a baby at night. If they start out too hot, they will sweat and then be wet and cold later.
Seeing our son so at home in the great outdoors, and loving camping as much as mom dad, was amazing. We're already looking forward to our next camping trip.
I had read some tips about practicing sleeping in a tent before you go. This felt like too much work to me, but may be a good idea if you have the time.
If you are formula feeding or need to heat bottles, I definitely recommend some sort of jet boil to quickly heat water. We didn't need to worry about that this trip as I am still breastfeeding, but would also mean your coffee would be ready quicker, as well.
Don't forget the coffee! :) You'll need it after those sleepless nights and getting up with the sunrise.
This post comes to us from Katie Jasper. Katie is a functional nutritionist, and co-founder of Prescribe Nutrition.Healthy eating. On-the-go.
…. Aaaaah hahaha.
Amiright? Those two statements, while ideal, sometimes feel like the farthest from the truth. Sure we give it our all some weeks, but as life picks up, we juggle a gazillion tasks, errands and then some - healthy eating on the go because a ginormous j.o.k.e.
Here is the deal, Prescribe Nutrition is built on eating whole foods, particularly with a combination of the magic trio: fat, fiber and protein. Making sure each meal and snack has a combination of fat, fiber and protein is going to help you feel satiated and keep your blood sugar levels stable. One of our favorite and easiest ways to achieve this? A smoothie. Not to mention that we're always be delighted by the chance to start the day with greens. Always.
But smoothies have their challenges on the go - spilling, smoothie ‘staches, your mason jar NOT fitting in your cup holder or feeling safe in your purse, being tough to clean out, etc. We know you're feeling us on this one! Enter the Not So Little Green Pouch which has 14 oz. of space for your enjoying. And being dishwasher safe and free of toxic materials was a must (thank you!). Plus, this new pouch is cupholder-friendly, making it truly perfect for on-the-go.
Our favorite smoothie combinations usually incorporate:- Water or nondairy milk
As we head towards warmer weather this citrus-y, uber refreshing smoothie is a favorite:
KEY LIME PIE SMOOTHIE [1 LARGE OR 2 SMALL SERVINGS]
Voila! Now funnel this bad boy into your Not So Little Green Pouch, and you’ve got yourself a bangin’ breakfast (or snack!) in the most easy to use and clean container that exists.For more great recipes, tips and tricks from this fantastic nutrition team of experts, join them (and us!) for Prescribe 20 starting this Sunday, April 3rd. Use the code: ‘LGP’ for an additional 20% off!
We say it all the time—Little Green Pouch isn't just for babies. But what does that really mean? How can people of all ages and stages of eating benefit from reusable food pouches? We developed a full line of pouches in a variety of sizes to be utilized at people of all ages and eating abilities. Let's dig a little deeper into the lifecycle of Little Green Pouches:
0-6 months: Use the 7 oz. pouches for breast milk storage. No more tossing countless disposable bags. The pouches are freezer-safe, too.
4-12 months: Use the 3.4oz Really Little Green Pouches for storing and serving your homemade baby food.
6 months-8 years: The 7 oz. original Little Green Pouch is perfect for yogurt, smoothies, and applesauce. Pack in school lunches for the perfect eco-friendly lunchbox companion.
Teen and Adult: Bigger appetite? The newest addition to the Little Green Pouch family is the 14oz. "Not So" Little Green Pouch. This cupholder-friendly version is ideal for commuters and athletes looking to bring homemade fuel on-the-go. No time for breakfast? A smoothie-filled pouch is your solution.
Elderly: Solid foods can be troublesome both early and late in life. Skip the canned nutritional drinks, and make your own nutrient-dense food that can be enjoyed right from the pouch. Our pouches are also perfect for preparing for, or recovering from surgery if solids are not permitted.
Have a question about how you can use Little Green Pouches in your family? Just ask.
You may also like: 9 Other Uses for Little Green Pouches
This refreshing, hydrating and tasty smoothie recipe comes from our friends at Simple Green Smoothies. Join them for their next free 30-day challenge on April 1st. I have participated in their challenges before, and will be joining again in April. It's a great way to boost energy, and get out of your smoothie rut.
Jen and Jadah send you weekly emails with shopping lists, recipes and tips to make amazing smoothies. What we love best about this 30-day smoothie challenge is that it is not a cleanse or a diet. You are just adding super-healthy smoothies to your normal diet. There is nothing worse than skipping meals and getting hangry. You don't have to worry about that with this challenge.
Try this smoothie to get excited about the challenge, and then sign up.
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