Monday, May 16, 2016

The Best of the New York Baby Show

The Thule RideAlong with windscreen

When I was in the weeds, cranking out kids and worrying about every developmental milestone and crumb of nutrition, I was easy prey for marketers. Just about every infant or toddle safety device seemed necessary to me, and every child conveyance was in my arsenal: umbrella stroller, jogging stroller, infant car seat, baby car seat, infant carrier, sling, backpack, Baby Bjorn.

Now that my kids are a little older, I can look at some of these items with a critical eye and consider what I really needed versus what I bought blindly. So I searched the New York Baby Show last weekend for the top contenders.

Bike with mom and dad
What jumped out at me was the Thule RideAlong, a front carrier bike seat that has an optional windscreen. I love to bike and when our children were younger, we tried out a variety of bike seats and trailers. The rear bike seats that we used had a few flaws; most importantly, that the biker (me) couldn't see the baby behind her. Cycling around New York City is fraught enough that craning your neck to check on the baby made it untenable.

Plus, all manner of schmutz would pelt my daughters and dirt would fly in their tender eyes. This bike seat, which mounts in front of the biker - genius! - so mom or dad can keep a watchful eye on the baby, also has machine washable padding. The seat can also be locked to the bike frame so no one can steal it.

But that windscreen - what a great idea. The clear screen lets the baby watch the action without dirt, or pollen, attacking her.

A better pouch: Once Upon a Farm's cold pressed fruit
Easy feeding for babies
After breastfeeding my kids, I fed them organic baby food, which back in the day came in jars. Now there are several brands that have organic baby food in pouches, which are easier (and cheaper) to transport, so they save on environmental costs, and don't shatter in your bag. Once Upon a Farm uses cold pressure, much like cold pressed juices. The advantage is that heat doesn't kill nutrients

Kiddylicious vegetable crisps - you might have to fight your kids for them
The pouches have to be refrigerated, but they stay fresh for up to four hours out of the fridge; if you need to bring food for later, you can freeze a much and let it thaw in your bag. I tried the mango, which had intense fruit flavor and was delicious.

Snack food for little kids - and adults
Pirate's Booty was all the rage when my children were little - it's made from kale and spinach! But, truth be told, it has a bit of a strange taste. Kiddlylicous makes vegetable crisps that crunch, but are so much better than potato chips. The sweet potato chips actually have small amounts of Vitamin C and Iron, and the carrot ones have some protein and calcium to boot. They have no gluten, high fructose corn syrup, lactose, or GMO ingredients and they are low in fat and salt.

Thanks to Momtrends for inviting me to the New York Baby Show. Opinions expressed are my own.

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