Buy farm-fresh food for baby at Healthy Meats

As a health-conscious mom, what my baby ate was one my top priorities for the first year of his life. This was especially important when it came to buying meat. A quick Google search led me to visit Healthy Meats in downtown Whitby, a family-run store that sells locally-sourced chicken, beef, pork, turkey, bison and fish. Healthy Meats pride themselves on their selection of meat products produced without the use of steroids, hormones, dyes, water injection or systematic use of antibiotic treatments.

A view from the street of the Healthy Meats store

There are many reasons for new families to check out this store – You may be a supporter of local business or perhaps a mom that worries about what’s in your little one’s food. What every customer will take away from a visit here is personalized and friendly service that you can’t get from the meat section at big supermarkets. I had not intended to stop for a chat but the staff here are always so friendly that I do. The staff visit the farms that they source from, so if you have questions about the products available, they can find an answer for you.

Healthy Meats is located in Downtown Whitby at (121 Brock St N, Whitby).

Cost: Most products will cost $2-3 more per kilogram than than what you would expect to pay for the antibiotic-free range of meats at Superstore.

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Have a playdate at Joeys World Playground

One of the best locations for a moms in Bowmanville to meet for a playdate is Joey’s World Playground. While mostly catered to older kids, there is a basic play space setup for infants. The variety of foam play structures available are best suited for little ones that can crawl, stand and toddle.

A view of the infant play space at Joeys World Playground

You can easily spend a few hours here between naps – There’s a cafeteria-style sitting area with high chairs and seats for both you and baby to have something to eat while you’re there. Joey’s World also sell a variety of adult and kid-friendly snacks and make coffee on site. Now here’s the best part: This place is open until 8pm every day of the week except Monday. These opening hours are longer than most of the indoor play places I’ve visited locally, so it’s earned a special place in my top places to go in Durham.

Joey’s World Playground is located at 380 Lake Road, Bowmanville, and is open everyday from 10am-8pm except Mondays.

Cost: A single play pass is $6.45 for children that are crawling and $9.45 for children that can walk. Adults are free, provided there are only a max of two per group.

Celebrate New Years Eve with a photo shoot at home

If you’re not up for leaving the house this New Years Eve, I have the perfect activity for you to do at home. A New Years Eve Celebration photo shoot! You can start anytime of the day and – best of all – you will come away with a ton of cute photos of baby to remember the day.A baby boy is dressed up in New Years Eve celebration party props

There are lots of inexpensive props you can buy for less than $5 at Walmart, Dollarama and Party City at locations around Durham. No need to stay up late – sleep is precious for both mom and baby, even if it is New Years Eve! Some of the best stuff I’ve been able to find has been at Party City. This includes glittery mini top hats ($2.49), New Years Eve princess tiaras ($3.49) and plastic necklaces in various colours ($0.99).

Cost: Approximately $10. New Years Eve party props are cheap and you’d only need a few for a great photo.

 

pic via babble.com

Learn to play in the pool with swimming classes

Most moms will have different reasons for joining an infant swim class. Some do it so they get out of the house, to meet other mommies, to burn off some of that boundless baby energy or as I did in my case, to get my little one used to being in the water.

Swimming classes held at the local Whitby Recreation Complex are led by a trained swim instructor who will guide you and a group of other parents through water play activities. This includes, holding your baby on the side of the pool and having them “jump” into the water, helping your baby to float on their back with the help of pool toys, practice using life jackets (for baby and parent) and if you’re brave – dipping your little one under the water!

A view of the baby pool and the toys used in the Starfish swimming class

The view of the baby pool at the Whitby Recreation Complex and some of the toys used in the “Starfish” infant swimming class.

What I love about this activity is that there are a ton of scheduling options offered through the Whitby Recreation Complex. Starfish Infant swim classes are held on both weekdays and weekends, so if you decide to try an activity like this you can be flexible in who you bring along, whether it be a family member, mommy friend or your partner.

Registration is open now for these group swimming lessons for January-March, 2015. Starfish swimming classes are open to babies 4-18 months old.  You can register in person at the Whitby Recreation Complex, or online.

Cost: The Starfish Group Swimming Class program runs for 10 weeks and costs $89.51 (approximately $9 per class).


 

To register online, these are the steps that you’ll need to follow:

1. Check out the Fall/Winter Activity Guide and pick your preferred class times and days. Note the corresponding class codes as you’ll need these for later in the process.

2. Call the Recreation Program staff (905-666-1991) and ask for a PIN and barcode, which becomes your username and password for the online registration system. Keep these details saved somewhere that you can find them again. This is important because you will continue to use these login details when signing up for swimming classes in the future! This is a one-off type of step in the process but it’s worth it.

3. Once you have this information, sign into the online registration portal and search for the class code you noted earlier. Once you have searched for the class, a screen like this will appear showing you how many spots are still available. If there is space available, a green button will appear at the top of this box that says “Add” which allows you to add this class to your account.

Example of online registration for swimming classes on the Whitby Rec Centre online registration system

This is an example of what you will see when registering online for one of the Winter Starfish swimming programs

4. Make sure to select your child’s name for this program so you can continue with the registration

5. Find the Checkout button and finalize your payment for the program.

Get crafty at the Mad Hatters Tea Party

As every mom knows, the closer you get to the end of your mat leave, the more creative you have to be with entertaining your little one as they get more mobile and more interactive. Events like the Mad Hatter`s Tea Party are a great family event because there is lots of green space outdoors (to practice walking) and craft activities for kids of all ages. Even though my little guy is still not at the stage to make anything, he does enjoy the different textures and colours of paper so these are criteria enough for me to check out the event.

In addition to craft activities, this event will also include games, treats (hopefully a bake sale!) and photo opportunities.

Four paper flowers made from craft materials

The Mad Hatters Tea Party will be held Saturday, October 18th from 10am-3pm at the Dunbarton-Fairport United Church in Pickering.

Cost: Entry to the event is $5 per person. All proceeds go towards providing respite for families with children on the Autism Spectrum.

For more information, you can visit the Footprints 4 Autism website here.

 

pic via leahbb.com