share. The Brookshire's Blog

Family Matters: Utensils


During these years, your toddler will stop picking up his food with his fingers and learn to use utensils.

You’re going to want to encourage this new-found skill by providing him with easy-to-use, toddler-friendly starter forks and spoons.

Whether you choose plastic or a coated metal, find kid-friendly products in the baby aisle at Brookshire’s.

Toddler utensils are shorter, making it easier for your little one to navigate his food into his mouth.

They’re plastic or coated metal, so in case he misses, he can’t hurt himself (or you.)

Often, they’re curved to help him negotiate the space between his arm and the angle to get the food into his mouth.

Having contoured handles or grips also helps your toddler hold on to his fork and spoon more easily.

Generally speaking, your toddler might start out “dipping” his utensil into his food before he starts scooping or spearing his food, but that’s developmentally appropriate. He’ll work up to the finer points of eating with utensils. Just keep providing them for him, modeling the correct way to use them, and he’ll be a pro before you know it.



Family Matters: Teethers


Around this time, your baby is probably getting teeth.

For some little ones, this is a painless process. For others, they will spend the next several months drooling, fussing and chewing on everything in sight.

This is where the selection of teethers at Brookshire’s comes in handy. Pick up a variety to see which ones your baby prefers to gnaw on to relieve some of their discomfort.

Teethers are made from materials such as silicone for softer versions and plastic for harder varieties. They can come in different textures, too, with ridges, bumps or swirls that baby might like against his tender gums. Some types can be chilled to add some gentle relief to swollen or sore gums. Other varieties vibrate gently when baby applies pressure, which also feels good as baby is cutting teeth.

When choosing a teether, make sure it is phthalate-free and BPA-free, as well as made of only non-toxic materials. Only buy teethers new in packaging, and sterilize before use.



Family Matters: Bottles with Disposable Liners


One of the very best inventions for your infant, in my opinion, are bottles with disposable liners.

Sold in bulk packages, these pre-sterilized liners drop into plastic baby bottles to hold formula or expressed breast milk. They are disposable, making cleanup instantaneous.

As your baby eats, the liner gently collapses, just like mom’s breast would. This air-free feeding helps to reduce gas in your baby, which in turn helps reduce colic. Because baby takes in less air as he feeds, he has less gas, colic and discomfort.

The collapsible liners also mimic natural breast-feeding more closely by simulating the same suck, swallow and breathe patterns as breast-feeding, so your baby breathes more naturally during feeding.

Again, because these are pre-sterilized and disposable, you can rest assured that they are safe and clean. You spend less time washing, assembling and preparing your infant’s meals.

Liners are BPA-free and fit most standard-sized bottles.



Family Matters: Making School Lunches with Your Kids


Dinner is finished.

The kitchen is cleaned up.

Homework is completed.

Now comes the time of the evening we like to prepare school lunches for the next day.

I used to do it in the morning when the kids were small. Now that my boys can help, we prefer to have it done the night before and save the extra minutes in the morning. It also helps that my older son has to be at school when it’s still dark for cross country practice, so getting lunch packed the night before gives us both peace of mind that he’ll be ready to roll out the door in the morning with a nutritious lunch.

Your kids can help you pack their own lunches from an early age. It’s a nice time to talk and be together, and when they help, it guarantees they’re getting things in their lunches they’re eating, not trading.

If you haven’t gotten a lunch kit yet or are using brown paper bags, Brookshire’s has some great ones still on the shelves, like the cute Fit & Fresh thermal lunch kits with adorable designs, the super practical and stylish Bento Lunch Kit with insulated bag and removable ice packs (I’ll just go ahead and confess: I got one of those for myself to bring to work), the Fit Fresh bag in sweet patterns like Riley Ladybug, or the durable Lifoam Lunch Plus Soft-Sided Lunch Kit that comes in styles and colors great for boys.

I try to make sure we’re packing a large bottle of water, a sandwich or good protein, a fruit, a veggie and some kind of snack. Because let’s face it, lunch is more fun with a snack. I’m an “everything in moderation” kind of mom. My sister-in-law doesn’t send any “junk food” to school with her kids, and I admire that tremendously. If you do, no judgment here.

My boys like things like ham sandwiches on King’s Hawaiian® rolls, turkey and cheese roll-ups on whole wheat tortillas, Flatout® wraps stuffed with baby spinach and Roma tomatoes, or good old peanut butter and jelly on Sara Lee® Delightful™ slices of whole-wheat bread.

They love almost any fruit, so that’s easy. They favor bananas, peaches, apples or anything that’s “easy” to eat at school. Veggies are easy, too: baby carrots or celery with hummus, cucumber slices or spears, small bowls of salad in take-home containers, strips of bell peppers. Again, anything easy to eat!

Little bags of almonds are great protein and brain food for the day, as are slices of apple with peanut butter. The options are endless!

One thing we like to do is pack up plastic, zip-top bags of veggies and snacks for the week, so the process in the evening is more streamlined.

These no-bake granola bars are also a great snack option (I categorize them somewhere between a snack food and something healthy). Kids love them. They can help you make them, and you can feel good about packing them!



Family Matters: Snacks


Toddlers LOVE snacks.

In fact, snacks are pretty much their love language.

While you don’t want your child to snack all day and not eat his meals, it’s perfectly fine for him to enjoy some healthy, targeted snacks to help him get through the day.

Brookshire’s is full of great snacks for your toddler to enjoy that will nourish their body and mind.

Some snack ideas your toddler might enjoy include:

  • Whole-grain cereal or oatmeal with milk
  • “Stir-fry:” Bite-sized pieces of leftover cooked beef or chicken and cooked vegetables
  • Milk or yogurt-based fruit smoothies
  • Yogurt with pieces of fresh fruit
  • Applesauce with whole-grain crackers or graham crackers
  • Rice pudding made with milk
  • Dessert tofu with fresh fruit
  • Small cubes of cheese with whole-grain crackers
  • A small whole-grain muffin with fresh fruit and grated cheese or a natural nut butter
  • Whole-grain crackers, toast or rice cakes thinly spread with a nut/seed butter or mashed avocado
  • Milk or yogurt popsicles blended with fruit
  • Banana bread thinly spread with nut or seed butter
  • Whole-grain pita bread triangles and bean dip
  • Mini cheese quesadilla
  • Parfait layered with yogurt and fresh fruit
  • Cottage cheese
  • String cheese

Whole-grain waffle wedges with nut butter



Family Matters: Finger Foods


When your little one is about 9 months old, he’s about ready for finger foods.

Before you start your baby on finger foods, make sure he is working on fine motor skills already, can get objects successfully from his tray to his mouth, and can chew or gum food well enough to handle bigger textures.

Be sure to introduce new finger foods one at a time, to be able to determine if your baby is allergic. If he has an unusual reaction to a food, discontinue it immediately and consult your physician.

Some good first finger foods include small pieces of lightly toasted bagel, chunks of ripe banana, well-cooked and cooled spiral pasta, teething crackers, low-sugar O-shaped cereal, eggs (scrambled or hard boiled are great to pick up), very small pieces of softly cooked (poached) chicken, boneless fish, tofu or beans with soft skins (such as pinto, black or Great Northern). Other soft fruits such as peaches without their skin and medium-soft cheeses, such as Monterey Jack, are also good.



Family Matters: Tippy Toes Babysoft Diapers


When I was about to have a baby, I was so overwhelmed with everything I needed to get.

I’d walk into the store and want to walk right back out again. It was so mind-boggling.

The one thing I knew I needed, though, was diapers.

Every baby needs those!

Luckily, Brookshire’s makes it easy to feel confident about diapering your baby’s bum with a high-quality, super-soft diaper that has superior leak protection that is gentle on your baby’s skin.

Available in sizes 1-6, Babysoft Diapers by Tippy Toes offer comfort and protection with an extra soft touch. As an added bonus, they come in packages of 112 because I quickly learned how fast you’ll go through diapers, especially in those little sizes.



Family Matters: Healthy and Smelling Good Dog


I will admit that I hadn’t thought too much about nutrition for my healthy dog until I adopted a sickly cat.

Now that the cat is happy and healthy (largely thanks to a great diet), I turned my attention to the dog. Now, he’s also happy and healthy, but there are some things that could stand improvement, like the way he smells. Sorry, Astro, it’s true (I hope he’s not reading this).

A good diet can improve the quality of your dog’s skin and coat. It can also help with shedding, itchiness and odor. In comes Freshpet® foods, available in the refrigerated case on the pet food aisle at Brookshire’s.

I used their website to find out what foods to feed Astro based on our needs. Then, I went to Brookshire’s and picked them up! It was so simple, and it took all the guesswork out of trying to figure out what to feed my loyal companion and four-legged friend.

Wouldn’t you know it, his coat improved within a week. He started smelling like a puppy again, that fresh scent that comes from good nutrition and a clean gut. His coat became more glossy. He also sheds less, and he smells so good.

Freshpet®, available at Brookshire’s, is a great supplement to the high-quality dry foods that I already feed Astro. He loves the Freshpet® Select Stews Grain Free Beef and Pumpkin Recipe for Dogs, and he devours it in a matter of seconds after it hits his bowl.



Family Matters: Give Your Cat the Very Best!


As I’m writing this blog, Carl, my recent rescue cat, is curled up nearby nibbling on my mouse. My computer mouse, that is.

Carl was in pretty rough shape when he came to live with us in late June. That’s why it’s important to me to make sure he’s getting the proper nutrition.

That’s why I shop at Brookshire’s.

At Brookshire’s, I can get Carl food that I feel will go a long way to healing him from the inside out, including his IAMS® dry food supplemented with Freshpet® naturals.

Freshpet® foods, found in the refrigerated case in the pet food aisle, is like feeding your pet chef-prepared foods right from your kitchen.

The Freshpet® website will help you create a menu plan for your pet based on their age, weight, gender, activity level, dietary restrictions, likes and dislikes, and your own shopping needs. It recommends products for you. Then, you go to Brookshire’s with your list and pick them right up. It’s so easy!

Carl likes Vital® Grain Free Chicken & Ocean Whitefish with Garden Vegetables in Gravy Cat Food Recipe, which comes in a single-serving container (we actually get almost three servings out of one container). He also loves Freshpet® Select Chicken & Beef Cat Food Recipe, which comes in a roll. It is a gourmet paté made with 7.5 ounces of chicken and chicken liver, 3 ounces of beef and eggs, and 4.5 ounces of chicken broth, plus essential vitamins and minerals. When I mix these meals with his high-quality kibble, I rest assured that Carl is eating well, and it’s showing.

His coat is glossy and soft. His “level 4” skin condition has disappeared entirely. His little pink nose is wet and soft, and he is playful instead of lethargic. He also purrs nonstop.

You don’t have to be a crazy cat lady like me to give your cat the very best, which you can find right on the pet aisle at Brookshire’s.



Family Matters: Treasure Hunt


We’re about to go on vacation, and every year, we go to the beach with my entire family.

The highlight of the trip, for the kids, is the night the “Pirates” come and visit.

The Pirates leave a clue somewhere in the beach house that one of the kids will find the next morning. The clue leads to another clue, which leads to another clue, which leads to another (you get the idea), which ultimately leads to digging for buried treasure on the beach.

You might not have a beach nearby, but you can still put together an awesome treasure hunt with a few simple supplies from Brookshire’s.

Start in the school supply aisle. Pick up a package of white paper (it could be notebook paper, copy paper or construction paper). Any white paper will work. Grab a felt marker or two as well. Then, head over to the aisle with the teas and coffee, and pick up a box of black tea. It doesn’t matter which variety. Then, stop over to the housewares and get a roll of twine.

When you get home, brew a cup of really strong black tea using four or five tea bags. After the tea cools, pour it into a baking sheet with a narrow lip. Dip several sheets of the white paper into the tea solution to make the paper look aged. Remove quickly and lay flat on top of newspapers or a dry towel to let dry. Dry the paper completely. You can burn or tear the edges of the paper slightly to make it look aged or rugged if you wish.

Write clues on the paper with the felt markers. Roll the clues (number them faintly in pencil on the outside so only you can see it to keep them organized), and bind them lightly with some twine (you can also dip the twine in the tea to age it as well). The clues can be something like, “Count off twelve paces north, then turn to the right and dig under the weeping willow.”

Now, you need something for the treasure! What do your kids love? You can find all kinds of treasures at Brookshire’s! Whether it’s gift cards to their favorite restaurant, movie theater, clothing store or phone app; a favorite magazine; hair care product; makeup brand or maybe a favorite snack, you can find it at Brookshire’s. (I wouldn’t hide or bury a YUMS cupcake though.) Get some fun gift wrap for the “treasure” and hide the bounty in a clever spot with clues leading your kids to it.

The treasure hunt will be a fun thing for you and your kids to experience!



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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