Author: Stacie Billis

Boost your beginner eater’s diet with these 10 best superfoods for babies and toddlers.

We here on the CMP team have a lot of collective parenting experience under our belts — or, uh, stretchy waist bands — and one thing that we all agree on is that starting solids is one of the most exciting and overwhelming developmental stages. There’s just so much info (that always seems to be changing) and pressure (mostly self imposed). Not to mention the mess (or is that just my issue?). But how cool to help shape baby’s eating habits and get them off on the right foot? Very cool, as long as you have a little practical...

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A clever idea to get kids in the kitchen on their own, no nagging (or even talking!) required.

My boys have been cooking alongside me ever since they were little. But now that they’re older and I’d love for them make their own breakfast, prep their own snacks, and put together their own lunches from time to time, I’m finding it harder to get them into the kitchen on their own. One issue might be that I call the kitchen my kitchen. That can’t help. Another issue may be all my yapping (that’s code for nagging). I want them to be autonomous, but it’s impossible not to chime in on everything from their snack choices to the kitchen rules, which they...

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Your new favorite make-ahead brunch recipes: A foolproof Easter brunch menu.

While we love sharing lots of recipes on Cool Mom Eats — from sticky buns perfect for Easter brunch to easy Easter treats that you can make with kids — there is something to be said for having a go-to menu for whenever you’re entertaining over brunch. This one is my foolproof Easter brunch menu. Watch me prep everything in real time so that you can see just how easy these recipes are on our latest episode of Kitchen Help Live, our weekly Facebook Live broadcast (Thursdays at 1 pm ET!). This latest installment was all about make-ahead Easter brunch...

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An unexpected way to turn snack time into together time — even with older kids.

My kids are wiped when they get home from school. They always seem to need a snack to recharge and a bit of time to zone out before gearing up for the rest of their day, whether it be for basketball practice, homework, or just running around for some free play time. But because they are school-aged, that zone out time quickly turns into screen time. And you know what screen time for them means for me, right? (Hint: It involves screen time.) Suddenly, I found that in those first moments after school, we were all snacking and staring...

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Yummy and totally easy Valentine’s Day treats for the classroom that there’s still time to make. Because procrastinators give love too!

‘Tis the weekend to make those classroom valentines if you haven’t already (ahem, like me and my boys). But no worries: Sometimes being a procrastinator works in your favor. For example, edible gifts shouldn’t be made more than a couple of days ahead of time, and since homemade goodies are our favorite way to show the love, we’re actually right on schedule. Phew. If you’re with me — because you’re a procrastinator, prefer giving Valentine’s Day food gifts, or both — you’re in luck. Over on Cool Mom Eats we have tons of easy Valentine’s Day treats for the classroom that...

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Kitchen lifesavers! 21 favorite easy holiday recipes made easier with kitchen shortcuts

Those of you who are also fans of Cool Mom Eats (and hey, thank you!) know that I’m all about coming up with smart solutions to help busy parents with home cooked meals that still feed our families quickly and easily. Especially this time of year, when presumably most of us would rather spend our time hanging with the family, not stuck in the kitchen. Well, depending on the family of course. (Heh.) So we’re here to help with some smart kitchen shortcuts and easy holiday recipes that keep meals simple, speedy, healthy, and above all, totally delicious — thanks in part to our...

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10 essential kitchen safety rules to set, that keep little cooks safe in the kitchen.

We’re big fans of pulling kids into the kitchen early and often. But that also means setting kitchen safety rules for kids — and for you. Not just because it keeps them safe (though that’s obviously the most important thing), but because it’s the essential foundation of learning vital cooking skills that they can use for a lifetime. And hey, it also lets them help us out around the kitchen too. The way we see it, there’s no reason why kids as young as 5 years old can’t help make their own school lunch or even help cook breakfast on busy weekday mornings....

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An honest review of Kylie Lip Kits and Glosses from the rare person who did not get them for free.

So, yeah, I went there: I bought me some Kylie Lip Kits. As in Kylie Jenner. (Heard of her?) And even better, I bought them after being alerted about a restock of the sold-out Lip Kits via an email that I willingly signed up for. Because that’s how badly I wanted to know when I could get my hands on this most talked-about beauty product. And you know what? I’m glad I did, because turns out I’m loving my Kylie Matte Lip Kits. That’s right: Kits. Plural. As in, I now own three of them. Related: The best drugstore makeup for tweens...

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9 outrageous snack recipes kids will love with one very special secret ingredient.

I have a confession: I’m a recovering cereal addict. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—and have on occasion—and, would eat it at every snack time if I could. As would my kids. In fact, cereal is one my of our secret ingredients when making a few of my favorite go-to homemade snacks for the kids. So easy, since we tend to have some of them around the house anyway. (I mean, have you seen our original homemade baked bereal milk donut video tutorial? Win!) However like so many other parents, I’m not down with a steady diet of foods containing artificial...

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8 indulgent, edible gifts for Mother’s Day: The fastest way to your mama’s heart, besides a handmade card.

Mother’s Day is coming up and this hungry mama can’t think of a better way to mark the occasion than with fantastic edible Mother’s Day gift ideas. I’ve rounded up 8 amazingly tasty finds from some of our favorite gourmet and artisanal purveyors, which are especially perfect if you can’t be there in person with her on May 10 — or maybe you just want a little extra something sweet shipped to her door to remind her of just how sweet she is to you and the rest of the family. Who says it’s just a man’s heart that can...

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Skinny comfort food recipes that gently ease you into healthier eating

As soon as spring hits, I immediately try to switch food gears by ditching all that stick-to-your-ribs winter fare in favor of super light meals instead. It’s a good impulse, but sudden changes like these rarely last more than a week for me. Know what I mean? After that, I find myself feeling hungry for more. So I’ve looked for some great skinny comfort food recipes that will help me lighten up my menu for spring and summer, while satisfying my cravings for the hearty foods I’ve been feasting the last few months. They’re the perfect way to ease into new,...

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Glassful: The artisanal, indie version of a wine of the month club. About time!

Even though I love wine, I find the experience of selecting wine a little overwhelming. I never remember what I love most, can’t seem to buy the same bottle twice (unless, of course, it’s a wine I didn’t enjoy), and always feel like I’m relying on others to figure out what to buy. Glassful, a new monthly subscription box service (or call it a newfangled wine-of-the-month club) from the caring oenophiles at at Glassful HQ in New York City, is meant for people like me. They assess your taste in wine and delivers three bottles that have been curated just for you every month,...

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7 family-friendly asparagus recipes. For families who aren’t typically big on asparagus, but want to be.

There aren’t many vegetables that I don’t like, but asparagus is among my least favorite. When my kids bellyache about the green stalks (and, yes, how their pee will smell afterwards), I get it. I pretend like I enjoy asparagus more than I do but, really, I serve it on principle, and to save us from yet another night of string beans and broccoli. This spring, though, I’m on a mission to turn our attitudes about asparagus around. April is peak season and the perfect time to ditch the steamer for these super tasty, kid-friendly asparagus recipes. Or hey,...

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8 vegetarian recipes for family dinner that pack in the protein.

Reducing meat is one of the hardest shifts I’ve ever made in my family’s eating. Even though I’d been a vegetarian through college, I had no idea at the time how to go meatless healthfully. (My youthful diet of pizza, pasta, and more pizza wouldn’t quite cut it for my family.) After some practice, though, I figured out how to make meals like these eight high-protein, vegetarian recipes  that taste delicious and provide my kids with exactly what they need to stay healthy and energetic. You know, so that they can grow up and subsist on pizza, pasta, and more pizza when...

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5 amazing recipes that use hard boiled eggs so that you’re not eating egg salad for a week

As a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings, the egg plays an important role in both Easter and Passover celebrations. This means that no matter which spring holiday you’re celebrating this week, you’re likely to be eating lots of eggs. You might even have a bunch left over—or unloaded on you by your hosts—which will have you eating eggs well beyond your holiday meal. If that’s the case, fear not: we’ve got you covered, and I’m not talking egg salad sandwiches 15 ways. Instead, these five truly awesome recipes that use hard boiled eggs will help you finish your...

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7 impressive make-ahead Easter brunch recipes. As in, more time to sneak handfuls of the kids’ jellybeans.

I love hosting holiday brunches for family and friends, but cooking holiday brunches is not so high on my list. I’d much rather ease into my day sipping a latte or, now that it’s spring, one of these amazing iced coffee drinks, than slave over a stove first thing in the morning. So I’ve put together 7 really wonderful make-ahead Easter brunch recipes that make it possible to serve an impressive breakfast spread and get out of PJ’s before the first guest arrives. Hey, there’s a first for everything. Related: 6 fab Easter brunch recipes that you can prep in 30 minutes...

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5 knockout Passover dessert recipes that you’ll totally crave again before next year’s seder.

It used to be that Passover desserts were only good for, well, Passover. No leavening and no flour meant no fun. And it’s even trickier if you keep kosher. Times have changed, though, and while I’m not sure why seder sweets look so much better these days (maybe they always did at other seders?), I’m glad that they do. These 5 Passover dessert recipes are the perfect way to end your Passover meal and spectacular enough to serve any other time you’re celebrating with friends or just feel like a delicious treat. Related: 6 fantastic charoset recipes for your Passover seder   This...

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8 of the best brownie recipes ever. Just because.

We’re coming out of a long (long) winter and before we start talking about fresh spring recipes with asparagus and peas, leeks and carrots, I want to take a moment to talk about chocolate. So I’ve rounded up 8 of the most outrageously delicious and sinfully decadent brownie recipes, for no other reason than we deserve it for making it through another winter. So, yeah, we’re making brownies just because. Making brownies is dead easy. Requiring nothing more than two bowls and spoon, no treat gives you more bang for your baking buck, and they are the perfect treat to bring to winter’s farewell...

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Ridiculously delicious, all-natural Easter candy options that earns their place in the basket. Bring it on Easter bunny.

Let’s be honest: Easter candy is pretty much sugar and more sugar mixed with high fructose corn syrup with a dash of artificial food coloring. And we love every bite. I’m a believer in everything in moderation and am all for Easter being one of two days a year when we throw moderation for candy out the window. That said, if we can add a few all-natural options to the basket, I’m all for that, too. When all-natural Easter candy is as good as these 7 finds, why not. Related: Outrageously gourmet Easter treats that are not for sharing with the kids Little...

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Macaron Day: Yes it’s real, and we’ll take the excuse to try one of these outrageous macaron recipes. (Or just buy some.)

There are a lot of crazy food holidays (I’m looking at you, National Marzipan Day), but some seem totally reasonable to me. And by reasonable, I mean I’m happy to have an excuse to celebrate. Case in point: World Nutella Day. I will never complain complain about having an excuse to eat Nutella. And likewise, I will never complain about eating today’s official honoree, the French macaron. Yes, today is Macaron Day and we absolutely approve. To celebrate Macaron Day, I’ve gathered some tips on baking macarons, then tracked down some outrageously delicious macaron recipes for you to try out. And hey, if you’re not a...

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