Chickpea, Carrot & Cauliflower Mash

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This three ingredient dish makes a hearty meal for babies and toddlers.


  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 (15-ounce) drained and rinsed can chickpeas
  1. Cut the carrots into half moon shapes. Combine with the cauliflower and steam until very tender.
  2. Add the chickpeas and veggies to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. You can thin it with 1/4 cup vegetable broth if it still seems too chunky, but Veronika thought it was just right without.

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Homemade Playdough

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If you’re excited for your baby to play with playdough but don’t like the ingredients in the store-bought stuff, look no further. This easy no-cook dough comes together so quickly I could whip it up before the morning school bus!

In a big bowl, stir together 3 cups flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 cup salt, 1 cup cold water, 2 teaspoons food coloring, and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil.

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Stir to form a dough, then turn out onto a surface and knead until it comes together and feels like playdough. I found it helpful to divide the dough into four smaller portions during this step.

It was time for Veronika to play! We sat down on the floor and I showed her the dough. She seemed hesitant to touch it at first!

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I made a few shapes for her, showing her how to roll it into balls or snakes, or how to pay it into flat discs.

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She got into the action a little tentatively, but with smiles.

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Then of course she wanted to lick it. Uh oh, yucky!

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Luckily the high salt content means even the most curious kids won’t take more than a sample.

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Have fun making animals and name them for your baby. We had snakes and perhaps a green frog or two. The playdough will keep in an airtight container or bag for about 1 week. Next time we’ll try a different color.

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Want a more fall-themed version for your baby? My all-time favorite homemade playdough is pumpkin pie scented.

Geometric Refrigerator Magnets

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We now officially have tangrams all over the house, whether felt versions to make in the playroom or this handy set for the fridge!

Travis loved making the magnets. You can purchase sheets of magnetic paper at the craft store with a sticky backing on the other side. We printed out and colored tangram shapes, and simply stuck these onto the sticky side.

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Travis was fascinated with how it worked: where was the magnet? he wanted to know. How did the shapes stick?

Cut out your shapes (this was a lot of cutting for mama!) and transfer to the fridge.

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At first Travis just played with them and made up his own designs.

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For a challenge, print out a few tangram shapes and set your child loose. Bigger kids can work with just the outline; younger kids can rely on the answer code at the end of the pdf.

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Now when I hear those whines of, “Is dinner ready yet?” I set him loose to solve a tangram at the fridge. Built-in kitchen entertainment!

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