Thursday, September 24, 2009

Review: Toddler Bistro Box

My two-year-old son, Ethan is not a good eater.  At all.  He had some problems with being overly sensitive to food textures and excessive gagging when he was a baby, and this has left him pretty much totally disinterested in food.  Unfortunately, this dislike of food has resulted in him being in the 1st percentile for height and weight. Which means that the totally normal toddler stages that he's entering now, the ones where eating is a power struggle and food preferences start to manifest themselves, well, it's especially stressful for me.

The other thing that complicates this whole feeding thing is that I have been overweight for my entire life and have been trying to diet since my late adolescence. So I am pretty much clueless as to ideas for what to feed my underweight, picky-eater child.

So I was so excited to find out about the Baby Bistro Brands  Toddler Bistro Box and REALLY excited when they sent me one to review here.  The Toddler Bistro Box and the Baby Bistro Box are the invention of 4-generations of a family- invented to help a new mom with her questions about feeding her baby. The information in the box is primarily from Christina, a nutritionist and educator.

I love that everything comes in a cute little recipe box- it's very handy and will be easy to store close at hand in my cupboard. The box has sections in it, like any recipe box, with cards that are easy to remove for reading, taking notes or bringing with you to the store.  The Toddler Bistro Box isn't just a collection of recipes, it's a full education on how to feed your child in a healthy way.


As you can see from the menu above, the Toddler Box covers a huge variety of topics, with lots of information in each section.  Things I especially liked:
  •  Starters: Tips on palate preferencess, picky eaters, toddler tasting tricks and appropriate serving sizes.
  • First course: allergy information, tips on drinks, keeping kids safe from food-borne disease, choking checks and meats to avoid.
  • Second course: information on lead, pesticides and plastic wraps.
  • Entrees: I love the recipes and that they are divided up by meal and by age, with recipes for 1-2 and 2-3 year olds.  I also REALLY like the information on nutrient needs by weight, since my son is far below the typical weight for a 2-year-old and needs different nutrition than another kid his same age. And I love the shopping tips in this section. 
  • A la carte: Great information about nutrients (carbs, fiber, etc.) This section also has great information on vegan sources of nutrients.
  • Extras: Tips for eating out, TV time, and what to do if your kid is over or underweight.
  • Entertainment: This section has some really fun ideas for activities around the home, again divided up by age.
  • Desserts: Fun family time ideas and suggestions for further reading.
There's a lot of information in this box and I think it might take me a while before I can remember exactly where all the information I most need can be found, but I look forward to spending time going through and learning and coming up with some ideas for my family. I already have been passing on lots of tidbits of information to my husband- like thinking weekly in terms of making sure Ethan gets the right nutrition (especially vegetables and such), rather than daily, since toddlers are so very unpredictable. Mealtime is without a doubt the most frustrating time of our day, but this box is going to go a long way toward fixing that problem!

Enter my giveaway to win a Baby or Toddler Bistro Box for yourself!

Disclaimer: I was sent a Toddler Bistro Box so that I could write this review from personal experience.  I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions presented here are mine and mine alone.