SoCal Guide – San Diego Zoo with Kids and Families

As a San Diego native, my family and I have been going to the San Diego Zoo since I was a baby! The park has changed immensely over the years but some things have remained constant throughout. The San Diego Zoo has always been a place for learning, fun and unique experiences. It’s always safe, clean and well-kept – the ideal place to spend a sunny afternoon in San Diego. These are my tips for visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids.

Please note that this post includes affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

This post was originally published Oct 17th, 2014

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo with Kids – SoCal Guide Overview

At a vast 100 acres, the San Diego Zoo is a sprawling paradise in the middle of the city. Plenty has evolved at the zoo over the years including a move away from isolated cages towards lush, natural exhibits that mimic that animal’s habitat. The Zoo is one of the must see things in San Diego.

The San Diego Zoo is a pleasurable outdoor experience that takes all day to properly explore. It is home to around 3500 rare and endangered animals of more than 650 species (the largest collection of species in the world). It also boasts a gorgeous botanical collection with 700,000+ plants.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo Guide

My San Diego Zoo with kids guide tips will help you properly plan your day. The park can be a challenge to navigate, with so much ground to cover. There are also varied elevations so unless you’re up for a long hike, you’ll want to know how to properly see everything. Start your planning by looking at the park map and plot out your day. It is quite possible to see all of the exhibits in one day. You’ll have to stay from morning to night and not linger too long in any one place. You’ll also probably walk 4 miles to cover the entire Zoo!

Zoo Location: The San Diego Zoo is located in the heart of Balboa Park. This 1200 acre park features museums, walking trails and gardens.

Tickets: San Diego Zoo tickets might be higher cost than you’re used to for local zoos. However this zoo is a non-profit and all proceeds go towards the animals. I recommend pre-purchasing discount tickets ahead of time. You can purchase discounted San Diego Zoo vacation packages or just Zoo tickets on the Get Away Today website. You can also purchase zoo tickets at the booths but you will pay full price.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

Buy tickets from Get Away Today for the best pricing!

What Should You Bring to the Zoo?

The Zoo is located in downtown San Diego and it can be chilly and windy during the winter and spring. The Skyfari ride can be especially cold. Bring a lightweight jacket or sweatshirt. A considerable amount of the park offers large tree shade protection but you should still pack your sunscreen. While it might be overcast early in the day, the sun often peeks out after noon and it may get very hot.

Parking: 

Parking at the San Diego Zoo is totally FREE! There is a very large lot in front of the park, however during busy seasons, it does fill up. You can also seek parking elsewhere in Balboa Park and then walk to the Zoo.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and what NOT to miss!

Is Outside Food Allowed at the San Diego Zoo?

The San Diego Zoo allows outside food so feel free to bring a picnic lunch, bottled water and whatever snacks you need for the day.

Security Checks:

While most San Diego area theme parks will check your packages, backpacks and purses before park entry, there are no such security inspections at the San Diego Zoo.

Rides at the San Diego Zoo

There are many ways to explore the San Diego Zoo. Guests can take a 35-minute Guided Bus Tour on double-decker buses that give a good overview of the Zoo. There is also the option of the “Kangaroo” Express Bus that stops at several locations for guests to access different areas. The Guided Bus Tour & Kangaroo Bus is included in your admission price.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

Also included in the Zoo admission is unlimited rides on the Skyfari Aeriel Tram. This ride will transport you quickly across the Zoo to the higher regions and you can work your way back downhill. I love this amazing view of the city and Balboa Park museums over the lush treetops of the zoo!

Tips for San Diego Zoo Rides & Tours:

  • Jump on the Guided Bus Tour first thing in the morning. From there, plan your own walking tour to deeply explore other areas.
  • You’ll be able to see the animals better from the first deck of the guided bus (rather than sitting on the top of the bus). I recommend sitting on the right side of the bus towards the middle for the best views.
  • The line for the Skyfari is always longer at the front of the park since most people take it to the top elevations and then walk back. Visit early in the day (try right after the Guided Bus).
Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

See the Skyfari in the distance?

Must-See Exhibits at the San Diego Zoo

There are many pathways that guests can walk, which reach aviaries and enclosures that you won’t see on the bus.  Please note that many of the trails are quite steep so be sure to take advantage of the Skyfari Aeriel Tram to take you to the top of the hill.

Bird Aviaries

Accessed only by the walking paths, making your way through the cool confines of one of the aviaries is one of the most fascinating parts of a San Diego Zoo visit. If you walk too fast you’ll miss a lot so make sure to find a bench to bird-watch. Many of these birds are camouflaged in the lush trees and bushes and you won’t see them until you pause to look. Keepers set up trays of fruit and the birds stop over to nibble.

Panda Canyon

Panda Canyon has two giant pandas on exhibit, one of the few zoos outside of China. These adorable pandas are so fun and playful to watch as they climb trees and strip bamboo. If you plan to visit the pandas, do so first thing in the morning.

Hippo Trail in the Lost Forest

The hippos have a cool upper and lower exhibit so you can watch them swim (so graceful under water!)

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

Koala Outback

The San Diego Zoo has the most koala as well as the most successful koala breeding program outside of Australia!

Elephant Odyssey

Take a stroll through Elephant Odyssey for a close look at both African and Asian elephants. Last time we were there the elephants were loping around to grab branches from each other!

Monkey Trails

Monkeys, gorillas & orangutans are housed in these open air enclosed under deep shade. This is a lovely walk in the heat of the day.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

Africa Rocks

The newest area at the San Diego Zoo, Africa Rocks is the new home for leopards and African penguins. Be sure to walk behind the big waterfall for an unforgettable photo experience.

Insect House

Located inside the Children’s Zoo area, the Insect House is one of the most fascinating places to get up close and personal with bugs! The creepy-crawlies are all behind glass (except when a trainer brings one out for a closer look). We loved watching the busy Leafcutter Ants and Diving Beetles.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

Animal Interactions at the San Diego Zoo

The zoo offers a few shows and animal presentations. The shows are a nice place to get off your feet for a bit though you will be in the sun. Check out the animal encounter section on your daily map to see what Keeper Talks are planned during your visit. We usually catch them on Front Street coming in and out of the park. On our last visit we “met” a giant walking stick inside the Insect House!

Other Fun Things to Do at the San Diego Zoo with Kids

  • There are several 4-D theaters located at the Zoo and you can watch a show inside for an additional fee.
  • Looking for a major splurge for adults? Try the San Diego Zoo Keeper for a Day! Shadow either a giraffe or koala keeper, which includes preparing food, stepping inside the enclosure and even cleaning the exhibit.
  • Before coming to the Zoo, show your kids the live internet cams on the San Diego Zoo website to build up excitement for the visit!
  • Even if you don’t have young kids with you, make it a point to stop in at the Children’s Zoo area. There are animals here that you won’t find in other areas including the amusing Naked Mole-Rats.
  • Just outside of the Zoo gates is a children’s mini train and carousel. It’s a fun way to end your Zoo day with a ride on these (extra cost).
Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

The mini train located outside the Zoo entrance

San Diego Zoo with Kids, Toddlers and Babies

Toddlers and babies will greatly enjoy the outdoors at the San Diego Zoo. Because the Zoo is so large, I highly recommend bringing your own stroller or renting a stroller inside. There are some exhibits with high bushes so you may have to lift your little one out of their seat for them to see the animals. In other exhibits, the windows reach the floor and your baby will have a great view from the stroller.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

Visit the Petting Paddock inside the Children’s Zoo where kids can pet the goats. Just inside the entrance to this area there is also a playground so we usually spend about 30 minutes letting our stroller-bound toddler run around. There are several other play areas around the park where kids can explore.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

Dining at the San Diego Zoo

Dining at the Zoo is mostly walk-up with outdoor patio dining. Offerings are wide and include sandwiches, grilled burgers & chicken, salads, wraps and Chinese. The only full-service dining restaurant, Albert’s, offers a more elegant selection and happy hour. There’s also soft serve ice cream at many locations in the park (which makes my kids very happy on a hot day!)

You can also bring in any of your own food from home (which we frequently do). Have a picnic lunch in the Treetops Cafe seating area. There’s plenty of covered seating and an amazing view of the city. Please note that straws are not permitted as they are a choking hazard to the animals.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

Chocolate soft serve in the Treetops area of the San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo Special Events

Nighttime Zoo

Throughout the entire summer, the San Diego Zoo stays open late for Nighttime Zoo. Included in your daily park admission, the Zoo is open as late at 9 pm for special evening shows, live music and animal encounters. There are also summertime food offerings including Berry Walnut Salad and a Loaded Hot Dog.

Extra Zoo Experiences

The San Diego Zoo offers special experiences at an additional fee, including an early-morning tour to visit the pandas, overnight sleepovers in the park or even children’s birthday parties. Educational classes and camps can also be booked.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

Meerkat lookout

Kids Play FREE at the San Diego Zoo in October!

Yes, in addition to free admission at the San Diego Zoo, kids also get in free at LEGOLAND California and SeaWorld. They’ll also dine free at participating restaurants. Read more about the kids free in San Diego for October promotion.

WATCH THE VIDEO for more San Diego Zoo with Kids tips!

Read this post for more tips if you only have one day to explore the San Diego Zoo.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo.

Peeking at the tortoise


Save Money on Your San Diego Zoo Vacation!

Purchase discount tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today. Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).

If you’re also planning to visit SeaWorld San Diego and the San Diego Zoo with kids consider purchasing a discounted ticket bundle that includes both locations.


READ MORE:

Visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids? Read this ultimate guide on what to do and see, what's new at the Zoo, how to navigate and where to purchase discounted tickets for the San Diego Zoo. #California #SanDiego #SanDiegoZoo #Zoo #Travel #TravelwithKids #FamilyTravel #SoCal #ThemeParks


Choosing Halloween Costumes for Babies and Toddlers

Each year when the fall season rolls around, I look forward to three things. Cooler temperatures, fall festivities and planning my kid’s Halloween costumes! Figuring out Halloween costumes for babies or toddlers is my favorite. As a parent, you’re in charge of coming up with the baby costume for Halloween, head to toe. But there are definitely considerations before you buy or make your toddler or baby their costume. I’m sharing dozens of ideas on choosing the best Halloween costumes for toddlers and babies!

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Halloween Costumes for Babies and Toddlers

These are all the baby costume tips, whether you choose to make your own Halloween costume, buy a costume online or at the store or simply put a costume together from the closet. First I’ll give you a ton of ideas on how to choose the best toddler or baby costume for your kiddo. Then keep reading for the practical tips on purchasing costumes, making your own and how to do Halloween on a budget with your baby!

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.


What Are the Best Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids?

While your preschooler and elementary aged kids are going to have strong opinions about their Halloween costumes, your baby and toddler have no choice in the matter. They’ll wear whatever you choose for them!

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

My cousin’s daughter as Tinkerbell and her son as Peter Pan (Photo Credit: Marianne Pendleton)

What Costume Are YOU Going to Wear for Halloween?

If you have already planned your own Halloween costume, consider choosing a coordinating costume for your little one. There are so many wonderful family Halloween costume ideas out there. Just look to your favorite Disney movies or story books and purchase or make costumes in a theme for each person in the group.

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget. #Halloween #Babies #Toddlers #Fall #Costumes #DressUp

Family Halloween Costume Ideas:

  • Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, Caterpillar, Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
  • Toy Story characters – Buzz, Woody, Jessie, Rex, Hamm, Barbie
  • Scooby Doo characters – Scooby Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, Velma
  • Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Daisy, Pluto
  • Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga & Roo, Owl, Christopher Robin
  • Monsters Inc – Sully, Mike & Boo
  • Super Hero family (everyone choose a different super hero character)
Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

Captain Hook and the rest of the crew! (Photo Credit: Becca Robins)

  • Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, Michael, John, Lost Boys
  • Inside Out characters – Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, Fear, Riley, Bing Bong
  • Star Wars characters – Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Stormtrooper, Yoda, Chewbacca, Ewok
  • Wizard of Oz characters – Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Wicked Witch, Good Witch
  • My friend Tania at LolaLambchops has the cutest family costume for 101 Dalmatians you just have to see!

If the entire family isn’t on board, another option is to create a baby costume that goes with an older sibling’s Halloween ensemble. I created this 10-minute scarecrow costume for my toddler the year that his older sister dressed like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. A pair of overalls, plaid shirt, a floppy hat and a few random strands of raffia completed the look.

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

Cute Halloween Costumes for Babies

Babies and toddlers are just so cute, so why not put your little sweetie in an adorable Halloween costume too? There are many gender neutral Halloween costumes for baby girls and boys. These choices in particular are perfect for hand-me-downs and may be easier to resell for next Halloween as well. Consider adding feminine details, like a bow for your daughter’s hair to distinguish her as a girl, if you wish.

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

My cousin’s son, the lion.

  • Wild Animal (like a bear, skunk, tiger, leopard, elephant, etc)
  • Farm Animal (like a bunny, pig, lamb)
  • Family Pet (like a dog and cat)
  • Skeleton Bones
  • Pirate
  • Incredibles character
  • Bugs or Insects (butterfly, ladybug, spider)
  • Pumpkin


  • Career (Doctor, Firefighter, Police Officer, etc)
  • Ghost
  • Chef
  • Fruits/Veggies/Foods
  • Cat in the Hat/Thing One & Thing Two
  • Sports Athlete (think baseball, football, soccer player)
  • Dinosaur
Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

My cousin’s son, the Ladybug

DIY Halloween Costumes for Babies

If you have a creative streak, definitely consider sewing or putting together your own baby costume. Make your own Halloween costume for baby and you can customize the look, fabrics, style and most importantly, the cost.

If you need more tips on sewing your own Halloween costumes, I have 100+ tips and ideas for making budget Halloween costumes.

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

Baby Halloween Costumes Straight from the Closet

Another great way to save money on your toddler’s Halloween costume is to choose items right from their closet. Put together and paired with some accessories, you can make your own adorable costume on a budget.

  • Clown – choose the most colorful and most bold patterns.
  • Little Rascals character – wear short pants, overalls, and newsboy cap.
  • Mickey Mouse – black tee and leggings with a pair of red shorts. Add on a mouse-ears hood, instructions here!
  • Cowboy/Cowgirl – pull out the denim, boots and a red banana.
  • Bath Baby – dress in baby bathrobe then add a shower cap & rubber ducky.
  • Puppy Dog – dressed in black, white or brown. Glue felt ears onto a beanie cap.
  • Princess – dress her up in her fanciest outfit and top with a tiny crown.
  • Scarecrow – just like my son in the photo here, I put him in overalls, plaid shirt and a floppy hat, then added strips of raffia.

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

Funny Halloween Costumes for Babies

I’m not a fan of snarky or costumes for kids that are based on adult themes. Maybe it’s just me, but I just don’t think it’s cute to have your baby dressed in a costume that’s pushing the boundaries of taste (no matter if it makes people laugh). However funny costume ideas for babies and toddlers that give everyone the giggles is what makes Halloween great for all. Here are a few funny costumes for babies and toddlers this Halloween.

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

  • Garden Gnome
  • Old Man or Old Lady
  • Oompa Loompa from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
  • Generational (like from the 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s)
  • Sumo wrestler
  • Alien (like Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc.)
  • Fitness instructor, complete with tiny legwarmers & water bottle
  • Muppets characters (like my cousin’s kids, dressed like Kermit the Frog and Fozzy Bear!)
Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

My cousin’s kids as Kermit and Fozzy from the Muppets! (Photo Credit: Marianne Pendleton)


Tips for Buying Halloween Costumes for a Baby

Before you run out and buy your baby Halloween costume, first check out these tips in regards to practicality, convenience and comfort.

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

Adorable Halloween costumes, but are they appropriate for babies or toddlers?

Practicality & Age-Appropriateness

There are some considerations to be made for practicality and age-appropriateness before buying your baby or toddler costume. The costume you purchase for your infant or newborn is going to be different than what you’d get for your older toddler. The stores don’t always keep these things in mind and often carry a variety of sizes. It’s up to you to inspect and make sure they’re appropriate for your child. Following the age recommendation on the packaging is also important when it comes to small pieces that may be a choking hazard.

  • Costumes with over-sized wings or plastic pieces may not be practical for babies & small toddlers. Consider how you’ll be able to safely hold your child in your arms with these costume attachments.
  • A costume with feet (like footie pajamas) is only practical for babies who aren’t walking. Toddlers will need to wear their own shoes so make sure they’ll be able to wear a costume with their shoes.
  • Costumes with long pant legs that slip over the shoes or longer skirts may be tripping hazards for your toddler. Have your child try the costume on and hem it up to a better length.

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

Fabric Choice

Breatheability is important when choosing a Halloween costume for baby or toddlers. Some fabrics, including polyesters and metallics trap in heat, causing excessive sweating. Cotton, stretch knit, lycra and fleece are generally safer choices and will be more comfortable for your little one.

Many Halloween costumes for children have been treated with fire resistant material. If you’re making your own Halloween costumes, the fabrics are probably NOT treated in such a way. Be sure that baby stays far away from the bonfire, candles or fireplace when wearing their homemade costume.

Babies and some toddlers are going to put the fabric in their mouth, particularly around the sleeves or neckline. Ensure that the fabric is safe for chewing on and won’t flake off in their mouth. Certain metallic fabrics are highly suspect for use on babies or toddlers who will put it in their mouth. Use care with tulle fabrics, like what is used on a tutu. This fabric tears easily so watch that your baby doesn’t rip off a piece with their teeth.

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

Diaper Changes

This is one thing that is so important and we tend to forget! Make sure the costume is easy to remove and replace for diaper changes. A bodysuit like this Snow White version from ShopDisney has inseam snaps for diaper access.

Car Seats & Strollers

A very small baby is probably going to spend most of trick or treating riding in the stroller! For babies who need to be buckled into their car seat or stroller, does the costume allow for this? Long bunting style costumes may hinder you from being able to properly buckle the safety belt.

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

Sweet baby elephant (Photo Credit: Marianne Pendleton)

Temperature

Yes, those adorable fuzzy animal costumes are sooo cute but if you live in a warm weather climate that’s still toasty in late October, these cozy costumes are probably best to skip. If you live in a cooler climate, consider layering to keep baby warm. Light layers like leggings or tights, or long sleeves tees under a thin costume can add a layer of warmth.

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget.

What is your favorite baby costume idea? Share in the comments!

Choosing the right Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers is one of the most fun parts of childhood! Here are the tips on picking the best costume that's appropriate, cute and comfortable for your little one! Dozens of ideas, including family costumes, Disney and how to make your own on a budget. #Halloween #Babies #Toddlers #Fall #Costumes #DressUp


High Protein Low Carb Smoothie Recipes for Breakfast

I received compensation from Bayer Consumer Health, makers of MiraLAX® to write this post. MiraLAX® is a laxative used to treat occasional constipation. All opinions are entirely my own. #ReliefMadeEasy #CollectiveBias

Hearty smoothie recipes for breakfast that you can make at home, filled with high-protein and low-carbs. Find out how to create your own unique and delicious smoothies that are good tasting and good for you! #AD #ReliefMadeEasy

Smoothie Recipes for Breakfast That Are Quick and Filling

One thing that I love about making smoothies is that you don’t have to follow an exact recipe to make something tasty! A little of this, a little of that, whatever fruits, veggies and fillings you have on hand. Blend it up and voila! A delicious, filling breakfast served up quick. I’m going to give you a few smoothie “recipe” ideas with healthier ingredients like avocado and nut butter that can be blended together with frozen fruit and greens for a high-protein but low-carb smoothie.

Hearty smoothie recipes for breakfast that you can make at home, filled with high-protein and low-carbs. Find out how to create your own unique and delicious smoothies that are good tasting and good for you! #AD #ReliefMadeEasy

Liquid Base for Smoothies

Start off with a liquid base to create your smoothie. You’re aiming for low in calories, sugar and fat. High in protein is a plus. I pour the liquid into the blender first so I can measure the amount (between 3/4 to 1 cup of liquid). I usually use 2% cow’s milk because we have it on hand for the kids. Almond, cashew, coconut and soy can be good alternatives if regular milk doesn’t agree with you. Between these, soy milk has the highest protein (8 grams in one cup) while the others have next to nothing.

  • Cow’s Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • Cashew Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Soy Milk

If you’re looking for zero calorie liquids, consider water or black coffee. You won’t gain any protein this way however. Juice can be very high in sugar but if you’re making it fresh squeezed you can mix it with water to equal the portion size.

  • Water
  • Cold, leftover Coffee
  • Fresh Squeezed Juice

Hearty smoothie recipes for breakfast that you can make at home, filled with high-protein and low-carbs. Find out how to create your own unique and delicious smoothies that are good tasting and good for you! #AD #ReliefMadeEasy

Protein Powder

Adding a scoop of protein powder is a great way to boost the protein in your smoothie recipes for breakfast. The protein can come from pea, brown rice, hemp, chia seeds and more. I use one that is Vegan, vanilla flavored, low in sugar and has a whopping 21 grams of protein. Read the labels to make sure you aren’t taking in added sugar or calories at the sacrifice of extra protein.

Kale and Spinach Greens

I was never really sold on the green smoothies before because they always tasted leafy and bitter. But after lots of trial and error, I’ve found what works best with these iron-rich greens. The secret? Adding fruit that counteracts the bitterness. I’ve found that frozen pineapple chunks are perfectly paired with kale and spinach. We even freeze the greens! Just add a handful of frozen greens straight from the freezer to the blender before they defrost.

Hearty smoothie recipes for breakfast that you can make at home, filled with high-protein and low-carbs. Find out how to create your own unique and delicious smoothies that are good tasting and good for you!

Frozen Fruit

Yes, even fruit has carbohydrates and plenty of natural sugars too. Good for adding a bit of sweetness to your smoothie but you need to take it easy when adding fruit to your smoothies. Berries are your best low-carb bet for smoothie making but there are other lower carb fruits you can choose as well. I always use frozen fruit as they make my smoothie creamier and ice cold, which I love! Bananas are higher in carbs but consider using half of a ripe, frozen banana to add creaminess and natural sweetness.

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Peaches
  • Blueberries
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Kiwis
  • Cherries

Hearty smoothie recipes for breakfast that you can make at home, filled with high-protein and low-carbs. Find out how to create your own unique and delicious smoothies that are good tasting and good for you! #AD #ReliefMadeEasy

Nut Butters or Nut Powders

Nut butters are another great way to add protein, creaminess and flavor to your smoothie recipes for breakfast. As before, check labels to make sure you aren’t taking in added sugar. Natural nut butters that only contain nuts, oil and salt will give you the “healthy” fat you need, when used in moderation (don’t go adding a cup of p.b. to your blender!) I personally prefer using a nut powder when making my smoothies. The powders are much lower in calories and fat, but still give the great nut flavor to your smoothie.

  • Peanut Butter
  • Almond Butter
  • Cashew Butter
  • Sunflower Butter
  • Nut Powder

My Must-Have Add-In to Smoothie Recipes for Breakfast

If you’ve been following a high-protein, low-carb diet  you may notice that it’s a good thing for weight loss. I know my tummy is flatter when I avoid simple carbs and get my carbs mostly from fruit and veggies. However if you’re like me, you may struggle a bit with occasional constipation from the extra protein intake.

Hearty smoothie recipes for breakfast that you can make at home, filled with high-protein and low-carbs. Find out how to create your own unique and delicious smoothies that are good tasting and good for you! #AD #ReliefMadeEasy

I started using MiraLAX®, which I picked up at my local Walgreens. When I suffer from occasional constipation I add MiraLAX® to my smoothies for breakfast. The MiraLAX® blends in perfectly without any added flavor.

Hearty smoothie recipes for breakfast that you can make at home, filled with high-protein and low-carbs. Find out how to create your own unique and delicious smoothies that are good tasting and good for you! #AD #ReliefMadeEasy

Unlike stimulant laxatives, MiraLAX® works with the water in your body to hydrate, soften, and unblock your system naturally. If you have occasional constipation, MiraLAX® works with your body’s natural process to provide effective relief. MiraLAX® is gentle and has no harsh side effects. Plus MiraLAX® is easy to take and equally easy on your body. Be sure to use as directed.

Save on any MiraLAX® product with this coupon!

Hearty smoothie recipes for breakfast that you can make at home, filled with high-protein and low-carbs. Find out how to create your own unique and delicious smoothies that are good tasting and good for you! #AD #ReliefMadeEasy

Additional Smoothie Add-Ins

One of the great ways to make a smoothie recipe for breakfast your own creation is to add a little bit here and there of what you like. But before you toss whatever-you-wish into the blender, be sure to check labels. You certainly don’t want to be adding in extra sugar or un-healthy fats. And you don’t want to be drinking a smoothie that’s 500 calories either! Stick to portion sizes or much less, adding a small amount at a time until you have the flavor and consistency you want.

  • Greek Yogurt will add a creamy texture and tangy taste to your smoothie.
  • Honey is a nice natural sweetener; a little drizzle should be enough.
  • Cooked Carrots can add a little sweetness and go nicely with ginger and/or cinnamon.
  • Avocado is the ultimate in “healthy fats” and can make for a rich and creamy smoothie.
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut pairs nicely with tropical fruits like mango or pineapple.
  • Coconut Oil (about 1/2 Tbsp melted) drizzled in while the blender is running, can add healthy fat. It is still however, fat, so use sparingly.
  • Dark chocolate. Melt a square of dark chocolate in the microwave then add to smoothies for a rich chocolate taste.
  • Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and turmeric can add a flavor punch to your smoothie!
  • Seeds & Grains like Chia seeds, Flax seeds and Oatmeal add bulk and fiber.

Hearty smoothie recipes for breakfast that you can make at home, filled with high-protein and low-carbs. Find out how to create your own unique and delicious smoothies that are good tasting and good for you! #AD #ReliefMadeEasy

Smoothie Recipes for Breakfast

Who has time for measuring cups and teaspoons on a busy morning?! Just add in a few of your favorites from this list to create healthier-for-you delicious smoothies. These are my tested “recipes” for making smoothies at home.

Tropical Citrus

Juice of one orange and milk of your choice to equal one cup measurement. Add in protein powder, frozen pineapple chunks, half of a frozen banana, unsweetened shredded coconut and about 1/2 cup of crushed ice.

Chocolate Nut Butter

Melt dark chocolate square and add milk of your choice to equal one cup measurement. Add in protein powder, half of a frozen banana and either one small spoonful of nut butter or powder and about 1/2 cup of crushed ice.

Almond Joy

Almond milk or your milk of choice, to equal one cup measurement. Add in vanilla-flavored protein powder, half of a frozen banana, 10 almonds, sprinkle of unsweetened shredded coconut and about 1/2 cup of crushed ice. Top with additional coconut (this one is my favorite!!)

Hearty smoothie recipes for breakfast that you can make at home, filled with high-protein and low-carbs. Find out how to create your own unique and delicious smoothies that are good tasting and good for you!

Blueberry & Oats

Milk of your choice to equal one cup measurement. Add in handful of frozen blueberries, protein powders, handful of dry oats and about 1/2 cup of crushed ice. Sprinkle with dry oats on the top.

Green Smoothie

Juice of one orange and water to equal one cup measurement. Add in handful of greens (either fresh or frozen), frozen pineapple chunks and about 1/2 cup of crushed ice.

Carrot Spice

Milk of your choice to equal one cup measurement. Add in protein powder, cooked carrots (about 1/2 cup), half of a frozen banana, about 10 walnut halves and a dash each of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. If you’re feeling sassy, grate the ginger fresh instead of using powdered spice!

Which of these smoothies would YOU like to try first?

Hearty smoothie recipes for breakfast that you can make at home, filled with high-protein and low-carbs. Find out how to create your own unique and delicious smoothies that are good tasting and good for you! #AD #ReliefMadeEasy