Review: Gummy Cuties Echinacea + Vitamin C and Zinc

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I’m a strong believer in the abilities of Echinacea, vitamin C, and zinc to boost your immune system before and during a cold. For years now, I’ve reached for the three when I’ve felt a cold coming on. Except for the very occasional strong bug, I rarely get sick, and if I do, I usually recover very quickly.

There are other factors, of course, but I do believe taking vitamins helps. Some people may disagree with me, but there is plenty of research showing that zinc does shorten the duration of a cold and reduce symptoms (if taken immediately). If taken in safe dosages, it’s certainly not going to be harmful, so why not?

When given the chance to review a bottle of Natural Dynamix’ Gummy Cuties vitamins, I immediately chose the Echinacea + Vitamin C and Zinc blend. They also have a multi-vitamin, an Omega-3 DHA/EPA, and a Calcium + Vitamin D blend.

 photo GummyCuties_zps6bb9e3c2.jpgI was tempted by the DHA vitamins, but figured that this time of year, the vitamins with zinc would be most beneficial for Baby J. When the bottle arrived it said these vitamins are for ages 4 and up, so I was a little disappointed. Most of the kids vitamins I’ve seen (all, until now, actually) are for ages 2 and up. I thought about giving these vitamins to Baby J anyway, because I think he could chew them fine, but then I realized the dosage might be designed for older children. So I’ve been eating them!

Here’s the nutritional info and the ingredients:

% Daily Value
Calories 15
Total Carbohydrate 4 g 1%
Sugars 3 g **
Vitamin A 3334 IU 67%
Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid) 80 mg 133%
Vitamin E (as Vitamin E Acetate) 20 IU 17%
Zinc (as Zinc Sulfate Monohydrate) 2.5 mg **
Echinacea (Echinacea Purpea) serial parts 1-4 extract 12.5 mg **

*Percent Daily Values are based upon a 2,000 calorie diet
**Daily Value Not Established 
Ingredients: Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Gelatin, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Colors Added (Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Tumeric, Annatto), Natural Flavors, Fractioned Coconut Oil, beeswax

I was curious about the use of glucose syrup, so I did some research. In order to have the “gummy” texture, only certain types of sweeteners or sugars can be used. Natural Dynamix maintains they only use “real” sugar and no artificial sweeteners in their products. They do not use high fructose corn syrup. You can read more about their decision to use glucose syrup HERE. I know people fuss over sugar used in vitamins, but my toddler isn’t going to eat vitamins that aren’t sweetened. Vitamins don’t exactly taste good on their own. I’ve never been a fan of swallowing pills (terrible gag reflex), so I’d rather eat gummies. Also, our diets are already very low in sugar and processed foods, so I don’t have any problems with 3 grams of sugar in a daily serving.

By the way, these vitamins are Made in the USA and (according to the manufacturer) free of yeast, wheat, milk or dairy, egg, tree nuts, peanuts, shell-fish, gluten, artificial colors and flavors, salicylates, and preservatives.

I was happy to see that Natural Dynamix uses naturally derived things like carrot juice, tumeric, and annatto instead of artificial food coloring. A bottle retails for $14.99 and contains 30 servings (60 gummies).

So how do they taste? They definitely still have a “vitamin” taste to them, but the sugar makes them not too bad…I’d say more than bearable. I wouldn’t snack on them like candy, but they’re quite tasty for vitamins with a sweet and sour flavor.

Visit the Natural Dynamix website to see their Gummy Cuties, as well as adult vitamins and sports nutrition.

Note: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Review: The Sili Squeeze with Eeeze (reusable food pouch) #holidaygiftguide

You may have seen the viral video clip of a throw-away food squeeze pouch gone wrong (were those larvae??). Reusable squeeze pouches are not only a greener choice, but you’ll know exactly what is inside the pouch if you fill it yourself!

The Sili Company sent me their 6 ounce Sili Squeeze with Eeeze in apple to review.

Sili Squeeze reusable food pouch- Read about it on My Life: A Work in Progress

Founded by mother and wife, Kristin Ahmer, The Sili Company develops products that allow children to “enjoy wholesome, nutrient-rich foods on the go.” This environmentally-conscious company sells both the Sili Squeeze (for younger children) and the Sili Squeeze with Eeeze (for older kids). To see the difference in the spouts, check out this visual.

Basically, with the original Sili Squeeze babies and kids must bite down and suck in order to use the squeeze. This means if the squeeze gets dropped, etc., it won’t leak. The newer model the Sili Squeeze with Eeeze has a free-flowing valve, similar to the throwaway squeeze pouches you can find in stores.

Both Squeezes are available in multiple sizes, from 2 to 6 ounces. Colors are apple, citrus, reef, and leaf. Right now, The Sili Company also sells a limited edition Hope Sili Squeeze in pink (through November 30). Five percent of all pink Sili Squeezes and Eeezes sold during this time will be donated to Operation Smile. Every year, The Sili Company donates hundreds of squeezes to those with eating challenges, like cleft palate and cerebral palsy.

All Sili Squeeze products are made of certified food and medical grade safe materials. They are BPA, phthalate, PVC, latex, and lead-free. The body of the Sili Squeeze and Eeeze is one hundred percent silicone. The cap is DN011 Co polyester. The two rings are Polypropylene (PP), and the nipple is a clear TPE (thermo-plastic elastomer).

You can also purchase replacement nipple spouts and reusable tote bags right from The Sili Company website.

Sili Squeeze reusable food pouch- Read about it on My Life: A Work in Progress

The Sili Company has a bunch of awesome baby and toddler recipes, and even though Baby J is actually Toddler J and old enough to eat non-pureed solids, I still find myself pureeing a lot of his food, especially veggies, because he doesn’t like the texture. Their recipes include ways to incorporate veggies into applesauce, yogurt blends, smoothies, and baby cereals.

Baby J has been using his Sili Squeeze with Eeze nearly every day (sometimes twice a day). It stands alone, so that makes it easier to fill. A long-handled baby spoon does the filling job without too much of a mess, but I actually prefer to use a small funnel. Although hand washing is recommended for the squeeze to last longer, top-rack on the dishwasher is fine. To get it cleaned the easiest, I recommend rinsing your Sili Squeeze or Eeeze as soon as your little one is finished, but if you have to wait until later or even the next day, it should still come clean easily. If anything is crusted inside, pour a little water in, and then let it soak.

Sili Squeeze reusable food pouch- Read about it on My Life: A Work in Progress

Like all squeeze pouches, I have to supervise Baby J to make sure he doesn’t tip his Sili Squeeze with Eeeze upside down, etc., to squeeze his snack all over the floor. That’s fun for toddlers, right? I’m thinking about buying a pack of the replacement nipple spouts for the original style and putting them on his Squeeze with Eeeze. The nipple spouts are interchangeable, and since the original style is spill-proof, once he gets the hang of the bite/suck technique from it, there’s less risk of mess.

The Sili Squeezes are a little more money than other squeezes on the market ($13.99 to $15.99), but I think they’re worth it. They are easy to fill, clean, and they are constructed well. I’ve had issues with the glue not holding on other types of pouches (what’s the point of buying something cheap if it breaks?), but since the Sili Squeezes don’t have glue…that will never be an issue!

Sili Squeeze reusable food pouch- Read about it on My Life: A Work in Progress
The Sili Squeezes are available in stores across the US; you can check out the store locator on their website to see if there’s a location near you. The Sili Company also ships to the US, Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Check out The Sili Company at the links below:

The Sili Company|Sili on Facebook|Sili on Twitter|Sili on Pinterest

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I’m taking the challenge: October #unprocessed 2013

October Unprocessed 2013

Woohoo! It’s October 1, 2013. I’ve been waiting a few weeks now, excited about the unprocessed food challenge. You can read more about that HERE and take the pledge yourself. Basically, I and thousands of other people have pledged to go an entire month without eating processed foods.

What are processed foods exactly? Well, that’s debatable. Unless it’s going from your garden to the plate, it’s probably processed; so processed in and of itself isn’t necessarily bad. For the challenge, if you pick up a can or container of food, read the label. If it contains ingredients you couldn’t make in your own kitchen…it’s processed, and you can’t eat it. You are allowed to have one “cheat meal” a week, so you don’t go crazy. I’m going to avoid it though, and really try my best to go the entire month without caving.

I’m probably being cocky here, but I don’t think it’s going to be that difficult for me. I already avoid a lot of processed foods. I’m also juicing for the first five days (for myself, not for Baby J). We’ll see what happens! I may eat my words later, hahah.

The website is full of resources to help challenge takers meet their goals. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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