Mama Knows Nutrition: Feeding toddlers made easy

By Kacie Barnes, MCN, RDN

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I dunno about you, but no one gave me the parenting manual I DESPERATELY need. This podcast is for all the parents who want real answers to questions like, “why the F won’t my three-year-old eat dinner,” and “can they survive on goldfish crackers alone?” I also bring on guests to learn from and connect with on all the things we go through as parents, so none of us has to feel alone. I’m Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian, mom of two, and creator of the popular kids nutrition Instagram account, @mamaknowsnutrition. You can always count on me to keep it real, non-judgmental, and to never take myself too seriously!

Episode Date
61: Staying Positive When Parenting Alone

How do you do it all alone? I chat with Lauren “Lola” Garcia from @whatlolalikes about trying to do it all when you are the primary or only parent at home, and why she found it crucial to ask for help. We talk about what that help can actually look like, and what it feels like to be the parent who shoulders the mental load of all the day to day parenting. 


Melissa Wood Health 

Didn’t I Just Feed You Podcast 

Eat Clean Meal Delivery in Arizona 

Flex Pro Meals 

Days With Grey - Breakfast Invitations 

What Lola Likes Instagram 

What Lola Likes TikTok

Sep 19, 2022
60: A diabetes diagnosis…what it really means.

There are so many misconceptions about Diabetes, like you just get it if you eat a lot of sugar, or you can’t eat any carbs if you have Diabetes. I talked to Mary Ellen Phipps, who is a Registered Dietitian, mom, and has been living with Type 1 Diabetes since she was 5 years old. She shares what it’s REALLY like to live with diabetes (the ups and the downs), what it’s like for parents when they receive this diagnosis for their child, and she shares the truth about the common misconceptions.

Milk and Honey Nutrition
The Easy Diabetes Cookbook
The Easy Diabetes Desserts Cookbook

Sep 05, 2022
59: New food on their plate and they freak?

If you feel like you can’t even attempt to put a new food on your picky eater’s plate because you know they’re going to be upset, you have to listen to this episode. This topic was a listener request and it’s something I hear often from picky eater parents. But I don’t want you to be scared to introduce new foods. Use these tips and you’re going to feel immediately better about dinner time with your picky eater.

Free Picky Eater Starter Guide
Simple Steps to Picky Wins 

Aug 22, 2022
58: Grandparents won’t feed your kids how you want?

It can be so frustrating when what feels like a simple request is completely ignored! If you’re feeling stuck with grandma or grandpa going overboard on treats when they’re watching your kids, listen to this episode for what you can do to handle the situation (and hopefully get them to listen to you!).


Aug 15, 2022
57: When you and your partner disagree on parenting choices [feat. Dr. Cassidy Freitas]

It can feel like you get stuck when you and your partner or co-parent have different approaches or beliefs, especially when it comes to feeding your kids. Dr. Cassidy is a therapist who specializes in marriage and family therapy, and in this episode she provides a framework to use when you need help working through this in your own home. I personally am taking her tips for the next time I need to approach a tricky topic where my husband and I are not seeing eye to eye!

Aug 08, 2022
56: What to do when your toddler stops eating meat (and you want them to!)

It’s so frustrating when your little one drops foods they used to love! And for some of you, like me and my oldest kiddo, they drop A LOT of foods in the toddler stage. This episode gives you practical tips on how you can get them eating meat again, and how to introduce it in a way that’s more enticing to picky toddlers!

Check in this recipe for pineapple chicken for an easy way to introduce meat using flavors your toddler is already familiar with.

This is the sous vide mentioned in this episode.

Aug 01, 2022
55: [Special episode!] Must-Know Tips for Moving to a New House

Personal update…we moved to a new house! Since it has absolutely consumed my life for several weeks, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share the tips that saved my sanity and the things I’d absolutely repeat if we had to move again. This is my 3rd move as a mom, and it was by far the smoothest one yet!

Jul 25, 2022
54: Must-Know Tips for Toddler Choking Prevention

Learn what to avoid to reduce the risk of choking for your toddler from Brandon Doersken, co-founder and CPR instructor of Thrive Training Institute. Brandon is also a dad of 3 so he understands how hard it is to keep your eyes on them at all times! He helps empower you to have the knowledge and tools to help your little one, and you’ll love how he does NOT make it sound scary or overwhelming!

Thrive Training -

$10 off code Kacie10 

Jul 18, 2022
53: Should You Use a Kids Snack Drawer?

Should you have a snack drawer for your young kids and should they be able to access snacks freely on their own? 

Pantry and cabinet organization is awesome, and the idea of your kids not bothering you every time they want a snack is definitely appealing. But the kids' snack drawer can lead to even bigger problems that you don’t want to deal with (ugh, no more problems please!). Listen in to hear why I don’t love this solution, and what I’d recommend you do instead.

This episode was sponsored by Veggies Made Great. Try their new
Stuffed Cauliflower Bites as a healthy option for your kids. Click here to find them in a store near you. 


Breakfast Cards

Snack Guide

48 Healthy Snack Ideas

Jul 11, 2022
52: Debunking Food Myths That Have Gone Viral on Social Media [feat. the Food Science Babe]

Have you ever wondered the truth about additives in your food (what are they? Are they safe?), whether certain cooking oils are inflammatory and possibly toxic, or if your kids will be harmed by eating non-organic produce? 

These topics are ones that keep making the rounds on social media, and as a parent who wants to do the best for your kids, it can be really hard to know what’s right! It can make you want to give up altogether.

Erin, the Food Science Babe (
@foodsciencebabe) is an actual food scientist who uses high quality research-backed information to cut through the BS and share the truth. She explains the real answers to these questions, and tells you what red flags to look out for when you see people making bold health/nutrition claims online.

Jul 04, 2022
51: Simplify & Streamline Your Time in the Kitchen [feat. Kate Strickler @naptimekitchen]

This week I picked the brain of Kate Strickler from Nap Time Kitchen, mom of 4 and cooking lover. She and I have bonded over working smarter not harder, and finding joy in your home no matter its size or decor (or lack thereof). 

In this episode, you’ll be inspired to let go of unrealistic expectations for yourself and lean into the season of life you are in. Kate’s insight and passion for reducing the burden on moms will leave you feeling more supported in your home life. And, you’ll get actionable tips on how to make your kitchen work better for you (without having to buy a thing). Check out her Home Reset, the first episode is free!

Jun 26, 2022
50: “No one dreads mealtimes anymore!” [feat. picky eater parents Sarah & Ryan]

If you have a picky eater and ever wondered, “is there any future in which I don’t feel like I’m failing at mealtimes? Will I ever be free from stressing over everything they refuse to eat?”

Sarah and Ryan, parents of 2 kiddos, one being a very picky eater, talk about all the improvements they’ve experienced in their home after taking the Simple Steps to Picky Wins course. Listen in to hear what has changed for them!

Jun 20, 2022
49: As a mom, is therapy right for me? [feat. Ashurina Ream of Psyched Mommy]

Becoming a parent changes you. Your day to day life looks COMPLETELY different than before, and the demands on your time are unparalleled. If you’ve ever found yourself thinking that you don’t feel like yourself, things feel too hard, or you’re experiencing feelings you never had before (like rage, anxiety, and depression), you might wonder if therapy is right for you.

Mental health is one of my #1 priorities because I’ve gone through my own journey that has freed me to live life the way I want to. Today’s special guest is the founder of an extremely popular social media account, Dr. Ashurina Ream of Psyched Mommy. 

Regardless of whether you became a mom yesterday or 10 years ago, today’s episode is for all moms who are curious to hear about:

  1. How do you know if you need therapy?
  2. What are common reasons that moms seek out therapy
  3. Is there a certain type of therapy to look for? Or a certain level of credentials in a therapist?
  4. How do you find a therapist?
  5. What if you don’t like your therapist? How do you tell them?
  6. How do you know if therapy is going to work?
  7. What resources are out there for people who can’t afford therapy or their insurance doesn’t cover it?

Follow Dr. Ream @psychedmommy on Instagram!

Jun 13, 2022
48: Toddler weight: what does it all mean? [feat. Dr. Mona Amin]

Growth charts from the pediatrician may leave you with some questions or concerns, so I talked with pediatrician Dr. Mona Amin from @pedsdoctalk all about toddler weight and what you actually need to know about their percentile.

Disclaimer: this is for educational purposes only, please consult your child’s healthcare provider for any concerns related to their health.

Here is what we will cover:

  • What is a growth chart and why does it matter?
  • All the things you might hear at your doctors office 
  • What it means if they are high or low on the chart
  • Problems with labeling kids based on their percentiles
  • Higher percentile versus being overweight
  • Lower percentile versus being underweight
  • Should you be weighing your child at home?
  • Should I be worried if my child is above 100% or a very low percentile?

Dr. Mona Amin is a practicing Board Certified Pediatrician and mom who you can find at @pedsdoctalk on instagram or at She’s a first-generation Indian American with an undergrad degree in Psychobiology from UCLA, and attended medical school at ATSU-SOMA in Arizona.

Jun 06, 2022
47: How to know if your baby has food allergies (& what to do!) [feat. Meghan McMillin, RDN, IBCLC @the.lactation.dietitian]

Food allergies scared the poop out of me when I was a first time mom with a baby, and it’s one of those things that the more you know about it, the less afraid you will be, and honestly it’ll be less likely your baby develops severe food allergies when you know more about it because early introduction is hugely important. Today we’re talking to Meghan McMillin, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), she’s also a mom to kids with food allergies so I could not think of a better person to talk to about all of this.

In this episode we cover…

  • What are the signs and symptoms of food allergies in babies?
  • Could the symptoms be caused by something else besides food, too?
  • If they are breastfeed, what foods in your diet could cause symptoms?
  • How do you successfully do an elimination diet when breastfeeding a baby with potential food allergies?

This episode was sponsored by Skout Organic. Create your own box of delicious snack bars for your kids here and use code KACIE for 20% off.

May 30, 2022
46: What You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Beef

Since beef is something people often think they need to restrict or avoid, I asked special guest & nutrition expert Keli Hawthorne, MS, RD to share what the research says about beef, specifically for young kids!

Keli Hawthorne is a Registered Dietitian and the Director for Clinical Research for the Department of Pediatrics at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. 

In this episode, I asked Keli about:

  • the health benefits of beef and which cuts she recommends 
  • the differences between organic and grass-fed beef
  • how much beef is appropriate for babies and young children, and 
  • how to serve beef to your littles

View the research that supported Keli’s answers here.

This episode was sponsored by Beef Loving Texans, but all opinions expressed are our own! I love for family-friendly recipes, like this Baby Friendly MeatloafSlow Cooker Beef Ragu and this Beefy Taco Casserole

May 23, 2022
45: Are Vitamins Necessary for Your Kid?

Does your child actually need a multivitamin? Today I’ll walk you through why your little one may or may not need to take a daily multivitamin, and what common nutritional gaps I see in kids’ diets (and how to address them). Plus, I talk about why you need to be careful with the supplement industry, and have your guard up when you hear influencers promoting vitamins & supplements!

To read more about vitamin recommendations for kids, go to: The Best Multivitamins For Toddlers (And Does Your Kid Really Need One?) blog post or here for more about vitamin D  Best Vitamin D Drops for Baby – Dietitian’s Top Picks

If you’re new here, welcome! I’m Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & mom of 2 with a Master of Clinical Nutrition. On my podcast you’ll get realistic tips to make feeding your little ones easier, from a down to earth mom who gets that feeding kids well is easier said than done! But it’s not all food here, we also chat with guests on parenting & mom life, too. I hope you’ll stick around!

May 16, 2022
44: 5 Reasons They’re Not Eating Dinner

Dinnertime with toddlers is like herding cats – except worse, because you also probably had to field a tantrum 5 minutes ago and you have zero chill left in you. And then they don’t even EAT anything you made and you want to say, as my son does, “WHAT THE FLIP?!”  

Believe it or not, there are 5 very common reasons why I see littles not eating at dinner. Listen to today’s episode to see which of these might be the culprit in your house! 

May 09, 2022
43: Is there such a thing as “too much carbs?”

Carbs! They just might be your toddler or preschoolers love language and today I’m talking about what too much carbs actually looks like, when carbs are a problem, and how to feel about your little one’s obsession with all things carbohydrates.

In this episode, I’ll answer: 

  • How much of their diet should be carbohydrates?
  • Should you limit grains or starchy carbs?
  • Should you limit sweets?
  • Protein and fiber boosting alternatives to traditional carbs
  • Why are kids obsessed with carbs
  • When is their carb intake a problem

Resources from the Blog:

Foods to Help With Constipation in Toddlers

High Fiber Foods for Toddlers

How Much Sugar is Okay for Toddlers?

Picky Eater Starter Guide

Episode 11: If your child is obsessed with sugar: How to fix it

May 02, 2022
42: Anxiety Coping Skills for Kids with Jessica Bradshaw

Jessica has 12 years of experience in education and 22 years of experience working with children. She was recently named school counselor of the year in 2021-2022 for the Richardson School Division, a large school district in Dallas/Fort Worth. Currently, she works with children from Pre-K to sixth grade or four to twelve-year-olds. Her passion is teaching students coping tools for anxiety and helping them better understand how their brains work. In addition to counseling, Jessica also shares lifestyle and wellness tips through her Instagram and blog at Love You More Too.

In This Episode, We Discuss…

  1. Defining Anxiety For Kids (02:40)
  2. Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety In Children (04:10)
  3. When To Seek Help For Your Child’s Anxiety (06:20)
  4. How to Help Your Anxious Child (08:45)
  5. Should You Talk About Your Child’s Anxiety In Front Of Them? (09:06)
  6. Techniques To Help Your Kids Manage Their Anxiety (10:15)
  7. The F-E-E-L Technique (14:45)
  8. The Laddering Technique (16:25)
  9. The Mindfulness Technique (17:39)
  10. Anxiety Tools For Kids (19:30)
  11. Activities For Children With Anxiety (23:25)
Apr 25, 2022
41: When To Stop Feeding Your Baby Formula

Once your little one hits the 12-month mark, they become a full-on toddler. And when they become toddlers, we want to start weaning them off formula. (Side note: Isn’t that wild? We get one baby year. Like who gave them permission to stop being the baby I brought home?!)


Anyway…stopping formula sounds nice and simple, right? But it brings up SO many questions. Can you move them off formula early? Do you jump straight into milk? Cow’s milk? Soy milk? Bottles? Sippy cups? Straw cups?! It’s a lot to figure out.


If you’re here, don’t worry, mama. Because, in this episode, we go through it ALL!

In This Episode, We Discuss…

  1. When Should Your Baby Stop Drinking Formula (01:22)
  2. Making the Switch From Formula to Milk (02:05)
  3. Why You Shouldn’t Take Them Off Formula Early (05:00)
  4. How To Wean A Baby Off Of Formula (08:30)
  5. Baby Formula: The Cliffs Notes (10:09)
Apr 18, 2022
40: Are Goldfish Crackers Actually Healthy? Ask a Dietitian!

Mama, but I’ve had so many moms asking me about popular ‘kid snacks’ wondering if they are actually healthy. Sometimes it’s nice to give your kids a quick and easy snack you know they’ll love and will actually eat (Oof!) But then we can start to spiral “Should I be letting them eat that? Is this bad for them? Am I a bad mama?” to make things even harder (as if being a mom isn’t hard enough) the internet is full of people claiming things like vegetable oil is the WORST thing you can put in your body. Or other moms saying, “I would never let my kid eat that!” Cue the unavoidable parent guilt. The worst part is that trying to figure out if something is healthy isn’t always easy. 


Today, we are talking about the popular snack, Goldfish. We’ll look to answer the question–are Goldfish healthy–by diving into what they’re actually made of. We’ll also discuss how I would recommend serving them and why some of the other similar options aren’t all that different. So grab a bowl of goldfish or your favorite snack, and let’s dive in!

In This Episode, We Discuss…

  1. Are Goldfish A Healthy Snack? (01:15)
  2. What’s Actually In Goldfish?  (03:51)
  3. What Ingredients Should We Avoid In Our Diets? (06:00)
  4. Are Whole Grain Goldfish Any Better For Us? (10:07)
  5. Are Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies Healthier Than Goldfish? (11:27)
  6. Processing The Idea Of Allowing Processed Foods (11:45)
Apr 11, 2022
39: Keeping Toddlers Busy at Home [feat. Myriam Sandler from Mothercould]

Today, I invited Myriam Sandler to this podcast to dive into easy sensory play ideas you can do today that are TOTALLY mess-free. She’ll talk about how sensory play got her toddler eating solid foods (For real!). And finally, we’ll get into why creating a setup routine and boundaries with your little one is so important for keeping the mess off the floors and in the bins. So if you’re a momma who’s done with finding slim or paint all over your house, grab a coffee and let’s dive in! 

Meet Myriam Sandler, Creator Of Mothercould!

Myriam Sandler is a Miami-based mother who shares unique short video tutorials of sensory play-at-home activities, food recipes, and parenting hacks on her Instagram page, Mothercould (@mothercould). Mothercould's visual content is quick and easy to follow, offering a global community of parents and educators, accessible play solutions. Before creating Mothercould, Myriam worked for The Salvation Army homeless shelter of Miami in the women and children's division where she assisted families navigating out of homelessness. 


In This Episode, We Discuss…

  1. How Sensory Play Can Help Your Little One (03:08)
  2. Sensory Play And Picky Eaters  (04:25)
  3. How To Keep A One-Year-Old Busy  (11:35)
  4. Mess-Free Ideas To Keep Toddlers Busy Indoors (16:15)
  5. How To Keep Sensory Play Affordable–Hello Dollar Tree  (19:09)
  6. More Activities To Keep Toddlers Busy (Card-Board, More Like Card-Fun!)  (20:41)
  7. Put A Little Prep In Your Step  (25:10)
  8. Creating A Toddler Play Area At Home And Setting Boundaries  (29:20)
Apr 04, 2022
38: How Much Protein Does A Toddler Need?

Is your toddler obsessed with carbs?! Like, to the point where their idea of a balanced meal is crackers with white bread, a few cheddar puffs for color, and a side of fruit that may or may not get eaten? And, is that making you panic or second-guess yourself just a little? If so, this episode is for you!


This week on Feeding Toddlers Made Easy, I’m spilling the soybeans on protein for toddlers and answering super-common parent FAQs like, “How much protein does a toddler need?” My goal(s): Reduce your mom-guilt intake, let you know when you should worry (so you can stop worrying when you shouldn’t), and give you some gentle ideas for ways to work more protein into their diets—because even though we’re not gonna panic over protein, nutrition and protein intake for toddlers is important.

In This Episode, We Discuss…

  1. How important protein really is for toddlers (02:23)
  2. Why iron might actually matter more than protein (03:30)
  3. Daily toddler protein and iron requirements (04:50)
  4. Ideas for how to meet those requirements 06:25)
  5. Whether or not breastmilk has enough protein and iron (09:15)
  6. If a vegan diet has enough protein for toddlers (10:10)
Mar 28, 2022
37: Tips for Cooking with Toddlers [feat. Heather Staller from Happy Kids Kitchen]

Heather Staller is a mom, cooking instructor, and recipe developer dedicated to getting kids into the kitchen. After culinary school, she worked for many years at a recreational cooking school teaching kids camps and workshops for ages 3 to 16. Currently, Heather runs her own business and online platform where she shares recipes, lunch box ideas, and cooking knowledge on her website and her Instagram page @heather.happykidskitchen. In 2019, she published a cookbook, Little Helpers Toddler Kitchen, with over 40 healthy recipes written with specific instructions for toddlers to help make, but for everyone to enjoy. Currently Heather lives north of Boston by the beach with her two elementary school-aged boys and her husband.

In This Episode, We Discuss…

  1. How to cook with toddlers without adding to your to-do list (02:00)
  2. How using language keeps kids interested in food. (Ooh la la!) (05:45)
  3. Fun ways to easily get kids involved in the kitchen (07:00)
  4. Cooking activities for toddlers (13:30)
  5. When to start teaching your kids about food (15:45)
Mar 21, 2022
36: Weaning Off Breastfeeding [feat. Lactation Consultant Erica Campbell]

This week’s podcast episode, I called up Erica Campbell: mom, wife, nurse, and breastfeeding consultant. We talk through the most common problems that come up around weaning. Things like what to do when you want to wean when they don’t (ugh), what to do when they want to wean but you don’t (gaaaah), the hormones, pain, and side effects of weaning (yayyy more mom fun!), and allllllll the feels that come with weaning. If weaning is a topic that's been on your mind, then mama, you are in the right place today!

Erica Campbell is a mother, wife, a registered nurse, an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC), and the face behind The Milk Manual. She was born, raised, and currently lives in the Houston area. Erica became a lactation consultant after going through her own personal feeding experience, and she strives to inspire families along their feeding journeys.

In This Episode, We Discuss…

  1. How To Wean Off Breastfeeding At (Or Before) 12 Months (06:00)
  2. Breastfeeding & Weaning: The Symptoms and allll the Feelings  (12:00)
  3. Side Effects of Weaning from Breastfeeding: Hormones & Physical Pain (16:00)
  4. How Long It Takes To Wean Off Breastfeeding (18:00)
  5. How To Wean A Toddler From Breastfeeding  (19:15)
  6. Signs Your Baby Is Ready For Weaning  (22:49)
  7. Is It A Nursing Strike? How To Know If Baby Is Really Ready  (24:55)
Mar 14, 2022
35: How to Teach Your Toddler To Talk At Mealtimes With Wee Talkers

Katie and Carly are licensed pediatric speech-language pathologists specializing in early intervention and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of speech and language disorders in children ages birth to five. Together, they run Wee Talkers, where they teach parents of babies and toddlers how to support their child’s language and communication development. 


Through online education, courses, and memberships, they offer connection-driven language resources that help families and children of all abilities learn to communicate to their fullest potential. Katie and Carly are also parents of 6 kids between them, so they get what life with littles is like! The tips they share are simple, doable, and fit easily into busy family life.

In This Episode, We Discuss…

  1. Why you should stop asking so many questions (And what to do instead) (02:12)
  2. Why mealtimes are great for encouraging communication (06:02)
  3. How being face-to-face helps toddlers talk more (07:46)
  4. How using your 5 senses can keep the conversation rollin’ (08:47)
  5. Why you don’t need to talk alllll day long (10:35)
  6. Using visuals, toys & books during mealtimes (12:32)
  7. How Wee Talkers can help you help your little one talk and communicate more (16:55)
Mar 07, 2022
34: Getting a Picky Toddler to Eat Without Short Order Cooking

Short-Order Cooks: Parents who: ask their child what they want for each meal, then make it; give LOTS of meal alternatives; get their child something else when they deny a meal; sometimes feel like failures for giving in when they WANT their child to eat what they made.

Short-Order Kitchens: Frustrating places where alternative meals are always on-deck, pantry favorites are forever available in place of meals, and exhausted parents automatically make kid-approved meals alongside their own.

Feeling seen? Triggered? Attacked? 😅  I promise it’s OKAY if you’re in this position right now. I was once, too. Now cut yourself some slack for surviving life as a parent (it’s allowed), and let’s get you out of it, yeah?!

In This Episode, We’ll Walk You Through…

  • How to stop short-order cooking (03:25)
  • Tips on better ways to cook for your picky eater (05:45)
  • How to get your child to actually eat what you cook (08:45)
  • Easy ways to make healthier meals for picky eaters (12:15)
Feb 28, 2022
33:  Healthy, High-Calorie Foods for Kids

I recently had a mom tell me she wanted to help her child gain weight, and when she spoke with her pediatrician, they told her to “just feed ice cream and cookies and not worry about it.” And while technically this advice might work, she didn’t feel great about it. It puts her in the position of choosing between her child’s nutrition OR their weight, which made her second guess. And I’m glad she did!

In this week’s podcast episode, I want to set the record straight, because you do not have to choose between healthy foods and helping your child gain weight! There’s a third option, which is to add healthy, high-calorie foods into your child’s days. (While still serving treats, sweets, and desserts when it’s appropriate!)

If you’d love to help your child put on weight by eating more calorie-dense foods—or if it’s not about weight, but you’re worried they’re not getting enough calories in the day—this episode will give you ideas, recipes, and tips for adding calories and nutrition to their days.

In This Episode, We Discuss…

  • Why certain foods are better than others for weight gain (03:50)
  • Healthy, high-calorie foods that can help kids gain weight (08:15)
  • Reasons other than weight gain to prioritize high-calorie foods (19:50)
  • When the doctor’s recommendation of “let them eat ice cream and cookies” makes sense (21:00)
Feb 21, 2022
32: How To Say No To Kids’ Food & Snack Requests

If your toddler wants snacks all the time, you might be at a total loss—or feeling like you’re about to lose it. 😅  Especially if your no’s have historically resulted in tantrums of major proportions. You’re probably thinking, “This can’t be the best way to handle incessant food and snacks, can it?!” And honestly, the answer is no, it isn’t! 

You’re right to be a little frustrated at the fact that you can’t say no to your child without some kind of push back. For so many reasons, as parents, we need to be able to gently say no sometimes. After all, we have the experience and insight to know that it’s not always best for them to eat whenever—or whatever—they want. We understand that there are schedules, routines, plans, circumstances, and even emotions that are best handled without a snack or meal time interruption. And, it’s okay for us to help our kids to see this, too!

It might seem like kids want to be in control all the time, or sound like I don’t want our kids to become independent and autonomous around food, but it’s not that at all. Kids actually thrive when they know that you’re in control. It’s that feeling of knowing there’s an adult in the room who’s got their back—it reassures them and lets them relax. So yes, you can use schedules and boundaries around food and teach them to listen to their bodies. This episode teaches you how to balance their independence with your ability to confidently say “no” when it’s necessary.

In This Episode, We Talk About…

  1. Why it’s okay to say no to your child. (02:19)
  2. 5 reasons why you really SHOULD say no to your child sometimes. (03:55)
  3. The role of school, daycare, and preschool snack times. (07:44)
  4. HOW to actually say no to your toddler’s snack requests. (08:49)
  5. How to practice saying no with sample scripts to build your confidence! (11:32)
Feb 14, 2022
31: How To Get Your Kids & Toddlers To Eat Vegetables

Easy strategies for getting kids to eat veggies, what happens if they DON'T eat veggies & 5 toddler-friendly veggie recipes. From a mom & pediatric RD! 

Welcome back to Feeding Toddlers Made Easy with Registered Dietitian Nutritionist host, Kacie Barnes of Mama Knows Nutrition! For notes from this episode and links to the recipes I mention, go to the link for this episode’s post at

Feb 07, 2022
30: Solving Toddler Sleep Struggles with Guest Expert Becca Campbell from Little Z Sleep

I thought that once we passed the baby stage, sleep would be a given. Nope, nope, nope. If you have a toddler or preschooler who is waking in the night or waking at the crack of dawn, listen to this episode with my favorite sleep expert, Becca Campbell of Little Z’s Sleep, who has helped thousands of families resolve exhausting sleep habits.

Jan 31, 2022
29: First Tool You Need for Your Picky Eater

Today’s episode is all about the first tool you need for your picky eater to get them moving in the right direction. If there aren’t many foods that they willingly eat, and you don’t know how to branch them out from where they are now, this episode is a must listen! 

The tool we talk about in today’s episode is available free here in my Picky Eater Starter Guide. Grab it now here!

I’m Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master of Clinical Nutrition and picky eating expert. I’ve worked with hundreds of families to improve picky eating in their house, and I can help you, too.

Jan 24, 2022
28: Parenting as a People Pleaser with Jessica VanderWier from Our Mama Village

Get helpful strategies to manage when your toddler has tantrums, doesn’t like your “no” answer, or gets upset because you set a boundary. I chatted with special guest Jessica VanderWier, Registered Psychotherapist and founder of Our Mama Village, to learn about parenting your toddler – especially when you identify as a people pleaser or just really have a hard time when your decisions make your little one unhappy.

I’m Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist of Mama Knows Nutrition. Most of our episodes focus on toddler nutrition and mealtime struggles, but as we all know, tantrums and unhappiness frequently occur at mealtime! So today you’ll get some of Jess’s best tips about appropriately setting boundaries with your toddler, and how to handle it when your toddler gets upset or throws a tantrum because of those boundaries. 

Jan 17, 2022
27: Growing fine, but SO picky (Tips to overcome picky eating)

Maybe your child seems to be growing fine, and the pediatrician says they’re fine, but you still worry about their picky eating and don’t know what to do to overcome it. Or you wonder if you’re stressing about nothing! 

This episode with Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and picky eater expert talks you through what to do if they’re not eating foods they used to eat, what is in your control (and what’s not) with your picky eater, and what you should do to help overcome picky eating.

Jan 10, 2022
26: Moving Past Purees for Babies with Solid Starts Founder, Jenny Best

 In-depth interview with Solid Starts founder Jenny Best on starting solids and moving past purees. If you’ve ever worried about your baby choking, gagging, or just generally moving past purees, you are going to feel so much more knowledgeable after this episode. 

I’m Kacie Barnes, and this is Feeding Toddlers Made Easy. I’m your host, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and mama of two, and creator of Feeding Toddlers Made Easy is all about solving nutrition and picky eating struggles, but today we’re talking babies with my special guest, Jenny Best. Jenny is the founder of Solid Starts, a team of pediatric food + feeding experts, doctors, nutritionists, and dietitians and the world’s first comprehensive platform for starting babies on solid food. Solid Starts features the First Foods® database a free food database and app complete with instructions and how-to videos for introducing real food to babies. Solid Starts serves more than one million people from 175 countries worldwide, offering complimentary resources to those facing economic hardship and parenting solo.

Jan 03, 2022
25: A Dietitian’s View On Dessert for Kids

Serving dessert probably doesn’t seem that complicated until you have kids. Then you start to wonder, how often should they be having this? When do I offer it? Do they need to finish their dinner in order to get it? Do I want to handle dessert the same way my parents did, or does something feel off about that approach? 

Note: this episode is geared towards kids over 2, as I recommend avoiding/limiting treats for babies and 1 year olds.

Welcome back to Feeding Toddlers Made Easy, I’m Kacie Barnes from Mama Knows Nutrition, a RD with MCN and 2 kids and this is your place to ask your unfiltered questions about feeding your toddlers.

Hit the “follow” button on the podcast so that you will always have the mom support you need cuz feeding kids can bring up so many questions and challenges. My website is a fantastic resource to search through for any questions you have, too. Or you want recipes? There’s recipes. We’ve got it all.

No Sugar Still Sweet

Dec 20, 2021
24: Eating Off Parent’s Plate and Not Staying Seated

Here’s how to solve two common mealtime problems! 1. Toddlers who only want to eat off their parent’s plate (and not their own, even if the food is the same), and 2. Toddlers who will NOT stay seated at a meal.

I’m Kacie Barnes, MCN, RDN, this is Feeding Toddlers Made Easy, where we demystify your toddler’s wacky and frustrating mealtime behaviors, and talk about how to get them good nutrition, too.

 Please follow the podcast if you find it helpful and you like hanging out while you’re driving, or walking, or cleaning up dinner, whatever you are doing I am glad you’re here. 

Get your free PDF printable cheat sheet to get them to stay seated at mealtimes here:

Sign up here to receive the seated at the table guide

Dec 06, 2021
23: Grazing Feeds Picky Eating: Here’s How to Stop It

If you’re wondering what’s causing your toddler’s picky eating, grazing may be one of the problems. Luckily, it has a quick fix! This episode gives you the tools to easily cut out your toddler’s grazing habits so they can have a better appetite at meals.

I’m Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and mom of 2. You can submit a question to be answered on a future episode at or leave a voice message at 469-552-5527!

Connect with me!

Resources mentioned in today’s episode: 

Visual Schedule

Foods to Help with Constipation

Self-laminating sheets 

12 Month Old Feeding Schedule podcast

1 Year Old Feeding Schedule blog post

Toddler Refuses to Eat podcast

Nov 22, 2021
22: Easier Meal Prep with Cassy Joy Garcia of Fed + Fit

I don’t know about you but some nights or honestly some weeks or even months it’s nearly impossible for me to get a healthy homemade dinner on the table, and I’m always looking for more shortcuts to make it easier.

Today I’m chatting with guest Cassy Joy Garcia, bestselling author of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit, as well as the creator behind the food blog Fed + Fit. Cook Once Dinner Fix JUST came out so I’m excited to hear more about that as well as her tips on simplifying weeknight cooking for your family. Cassy Joy is a mom, too, so she totally gets the utter chaos that can be happening below your feet while you’re trying to make things happen in the kitchen.


This is Feeding Toddlers Made Easy and I’m your host, Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master of Clinical Nutrition and a mom of two. This is where we solve all your struggles with feeding your little ones, and make healthy eating easy.

Resources: Find Cook Once Dinner Fix at

Nov 08, 2021
21: Easy Steps to Stop Your Toddler Throwing Food

Get your toddler to stop throwing food with this quick step by step guide, based on my expertise and experience with feeding toddlers as a pediatric Registered Dietitian!

I’m Kacie Barnes, MCN, RDN, host of Feeding Toddlers Made Easy, creator of In the podcast I answer your top questions on feeding toddlers.

Resources from today’s episode:

Free Seated at the Table Guide

Recap of episode (full notes are at the show notes link)

Step to get them to stop food throwing:

  1. Tell them what you expect: where the food belongs
    • No thank you bowl 
  2. Don’t give too much - use starter portions
  3. Very small amounts for new or unliked foods- size of a grain of rice or a pea
    • Tasting plate option
  4. Catch them being good- compliment their good behaviors as soon as they sit down and throughout the meal
  5. Ignore the throwing and remind them where the food goes
  6. You can gently take their hand and stop them from throwing and just say “I can’t let you throw”

Follow me on Instagram @mamaknowsnutrition!

Oct 25, 2021
20: Hunger & tantrums: How to prevent the hangry meltdown

You know what happens when your child gets too hungry...hunger tantrums are REAL. Here’s how to prevent (and recover) from one.

This is Feeding Toddlers Made Easy, the Mama Knows Nutrition podcast. I’m your host Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Master of Clinical Nutrition, mom of a new first grader and a preschooler. Feeding Toddlers Made Easy solves your nutrition and food questions that you send in to me, go to to submit your question and that’s where you’ll find show notes from all of the episodes, too. Please take a second to hit subscribe so I’m always here when you need me!


Toddler Meal and Snack Schedule

How to get your Toddler to Try New Foods - “safe foods”

Non-dairy yogurt picks

Recipe: 5-ingredient no bake nut butter bars

Healthy Toddler Snack Guide

Recipe: Pineapple Chicken Recipe 

All Day Toddler Snacking

For links to some of the food products and snacks mentioned, go to the show notes on my website

Oct 11, 2021
19: How to stop dieting and gain food freedom with guest expert Colleen Christensen, RD

The diet roller coaster, at some point, stops being fun. And likely, it never really was fun. But we do it because it’s what we’ve been told to do for a very, very long time. Today’s special guest, Colleen Christensen, RD of on Instagram with over 200k followers, talks about how food freedom can *actually* be a thing, without you feeling out of control or like you’re destined to keep gaining weight. You CAN leave dieting behind, for good, with intuitive eating.

We talk about what intuitive eating actually is (it’s likely NOT what you’ve seen on social media), what holds moms back from achieving food freedom, and what kind of changes you can expect when you start the journey away from dieting.

I’m your host, Kacie Barnes, MCN, RD, of Mama Knows Nutrition and this is Feeding Toddlers Made Easy. I answer your top questions about feeding toddlers, and sometimes I bring on guests (like today!) that are going to make mom life even better.

To connect with Colleen, find her on Instagram, at, or check out her podcast, 

Are you enjoying Feeding Toddlers Made Easy? Leave me a 5-star rating and review, it means SO much to me to hear your feedback!

Sep 27, 2021
18: What to Feed a Sick Toddler

You’ve been told the BRAT diet but that’s not actually the most helpful. Get a dietitian’s tips on what to feed a sick toddler. It’s normal for their appetite to be off, but I know that as a parent, you still want to make sure your toddler gets everything their body needs. Listen in for what you need to make sure to do with their nutrition when they aren’t feeling well.

I’m your host, Kacie Barnes, pediatric Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and mom of 2 from Mama Knows Nutrition. Call into the podcast voicemail at 469-552-5527 to get a chance for me to answer your question!

If this episode was helpful, please leave a 5-star rating and review :)


Use affiliate code MAMAKNOWSNUTRITION15 for 15% off at

Elderberry drops (use affiliate code kacie15 for 15% off at MaryRuth’s Organics)  

White Bread Done Right by Dave’s Killer Bread

Simple Mills Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers

6 Healthy Smoothies for Kids

Sep 13, 2021
17: How much milk should a toddler drink? And non-dairy recommendations

This is an unbiased review from a pediatric dietitian on milk and non-dairy milk for toddlers. (And breastmilk!) Find out exactly how much of each type of milk is recommended, whether they actually need it, and what type of drinking cups have been cancelled by feeding experts (and what to use instead).

I’m your host, Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master of Clinical Nutrition and Master of Public Administration, plus mom of two. We live in Dallas, TX. I’m in love with the toddler stage and all the unique changes that come along with it, so in Feeding Toddlers Made Easy, I’m here to support you through all the changes and challenges of this stage with your little one.

Do me a favor, will you? Leave a rating and review, then subscribe! Your feedback means the world to me. 

When you subscribe, you’ll always have a way to find me when you have a question about feeding your toddler!

Aug 30, 2021
16: How to Talk to Toddlers with Mr. Chazz (Guest Expert)

Welcome back to Feeding Toddlers Made Easy! This is a very special episode. I chat with Mr. Chazz about how to talk to toddlers, especially around mealtimes. It can be a challenge to know how to communicate well with them when we’re not even sure how much they understand. This is Mr. Chazz’s specialty and he shares some amazing tips in this episode!

I’m Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & toddler food expert, your host of Feeding Toddlers Made Easy. Check out my other episodes to get answers to your top questions on feeding your little one!

If you’d like to ask a question on the podcast, leave a voicemail at 469-552-5527.

Loving the podcast? I would absolutely love to hear your feedback. I mean it! Be sure to subscribe, and leave me a rating and review.

Aug 23, 2021
15: 12 Month Old Feeding Schedule

Right around 11 months, 12 months, 13 months old -- it’s a big transition time! So if you’re wondering what changes with nutrition and feeding will happen when they finish up their first year, you are in the right place. 

If you don’t already know me, I’m Kacie Barnes, MCN, RDN, and I’m the dietitian for ALL things toddler. This is my specialty! I’ve worked with hundreds of families with toddlers. And I’m a mom of 2, so I fully understand the struggles firsthand. (Like my 3 year old yelling & demanding I serve her chocolate chips at 6:30am this morning.) 

Make sure to check out the show notes of this episode to get sample feeding schedules for your one year old.


Loving the helpful nutrition advice here? Let me know! Seriously. Let me know. Take a sec to leave me a 5-star rating and review!

Aug 16, 2021
14: Toddler refuses to eat?

What do you do when your child refuses to eat? How do you know when they are really full? How do you know the opposite - if they’re eating too much?

In this episode, I share my expertise as a pediatric Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to help you notice signs of fullness, how to better understand their appetite, and what to do when they refuse to eat.

You’re going to gain a better understanding of how their body works and how you can help them get the right amount of nutrition for their body.

Enjoying the tips on the podcast? Let me know! (Yes, you!) Be sure to subscribe, and leave me a 5-star rating and review.

Aug 09, 2021
13: Why Kids Need to Play with Food

Don’t get why food play is important for your baby or toddler? Need help getting a picky eater to start trying new foods? Food play is a gateway to both brain development AND acceptance of a wider variety of foods. 

I’m Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and in this episode you’ll get tips on how to get hesitant toddlers to play with food, and tips on teaching table manners, too.

Have a question you’d like me to answer? I love hearing from you. Leave a message at 469-552-5527 for a chance to get your question answered in a future episode!

 Loving the helpful advice here? Subscribe to the podcast! Then leave me a 5-star rating and review :)

Aug 02, 2021
12: Constipation: Foods to Help Kids Poop

Never want your little one to deal with constipation again? This episode covers all the top tips to prevent constipation, plus some dietitian tricks for the best foods to help your kids poop (we’re going way beyond prune juice, friends).

In this episode: 

  • Signs of constipation and how that affects your little one’s appetite
  • What foods can be constipating
  • Non-food causes of constipation
  • How to improve constipation: the top foods help kids poop
  • Non-food remedies for constipation

I’m Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, have a question you’d like me to answer? I love hearing from you. Leave a message at 469-552-5527 for a chance to get your question answered in a future episode!

Loving the helpful advice here? Subscribe to the podcast! Then leave me a 5-star rating and review :)

Jul 26, 2021
11: If your child is obsessed with sugar: How to fix it

Is your child obsessed with sugar and all they ever seem to want is junk food? Part of the answer is genetics, since some kids naturally prefer sweets more than others. But there are several things you can do to stop them from asking for sweets all the time.  

Listen in for the top 10 ways to reduce their desire for sweets, and ensure they eat a well rounded diet. Plus, a few bonus tips to get them more interested in veggies!

Call into the podcast voicemail anytime to ask me a question for a chance to be featured on an upcoming episode! The number is 469-552-5527.

Don’t know me? I’m Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who helps make feeding toddlers and getting them good nutrition less stressful and more attainable. 

I’m on instagram at @mamaknows_nutrition - follow me for quick toddler nutrition tips, meal ideas, and picky eating help.


Enjoying the podcast’s quick tips?? Let me know! Leave me a 5-star rating and a review. Kind words make me happy - I can’t wait to hear what you have to say! :)

Jul 19, 2021
10: Should You Ever Lock The Fridge?

If you have fears of excess snacking, and maybe the idea of locking the fridge has come to mind, in this episode I cover:

  • When you might need a lock on the fridge
  • Potential downsides to locking the fridge
  • Ways to prevent excess snacking

Call into the podcast voicemail anytime to ask me a question for a chance to be featured on an upcoming episode! The number is 469-552-5527.

Don’t know me? I’m Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who helps make feeding toddlers and getting them good nutrition less stressful and more attainable. 

I’m on instagram at @mamaknows_nutrition - follow me for quick toddler nutrition tips, meal ideas, and picky eating help.


Enjoying the podcast’s quick tips?? Let me know! Leave me a 5-star rating and a review. Kind words make me happy - I can’t wait to hear what you have to say! :)

Jul 12, 2021
9: What Age Does Picky Eating Get Better?

If you’re in the thick of picky eating, you’re probably wondering when you can expect it to get better.

You might even be dreaming of the day where you can make whatever you want for dinner, or you could take your little one to any restaurant, or even to a friend’s house for a meal when you don’t know what they’ll be serving. 

If this feels far off, listen to this episode to hear what age picky eating tends to improve, and take a simple quiz to determine whether your little one is likely to just grow out of it, or if they will need some extra help.

Take it from me, a pediatric Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who has worked with hundreds of toddler families struggling with picky eating!


Feel like this is a useful podcast? Let me know! (Yes, you!) Currently accepting free compliments. :D Please leave me a rating and review to share what you like about the podcast!

Jul 05, 2021
8: Toddler Eats Too Slowly

Slow eating toddlers and stalling toddlers -- if they’re taking forever to eat or using mealtime as an excuse to avoid doing something else, in this episode you’ll hear my top tips from what has worked for my clients in the past when they’re up against these issues! 

Listen in to the episode to learn:

  • How long is reasonable for a meal?
  • How can I cut them off without a meltdown??
  • What if they didn’t eat very much?

Loving the podcast? Subscribe now, and leave me a 5-star rating and review! Even if you’ve never reviewed a podcast before, or you’re not sure what to write, I’m so grateful to you for taking a minute to simply say, “this podcast is so helpful!” Thank you :)

Jun 28, 2021
7: Is Deli Meat Safe? And Healthy Lunch Ideas!

In this episode, I share the research and latest recommendations on  lunch meat / deli meat and other processed meats like sausage, bacon, pepperoni, and jerky. 

We explore: 

  • Is processed meat bad? 
  • How much is safe for kids?
  • What about organic, or nitrate free?
  • What are other alternatives to serve?

Remember, you always get research-backed, real-life advice from me, Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. 

If you’re loving these helpful tips, leave me a 5-star rating and review! 

I know people ask this kind of thing all the time, but your act of kindness will not go unnoticed :) when you leave a review, it helps other parents find the Feeding Toddlers Made Easy podcast. Pay it forward to another mama or dad and write a quick review! Thank you! :)

Jun 21, 2021
6: Toddler Only Eats Four Foods on Repeat

Given up hope on them EVER eating something new? Feel so stuck with their picky eating habits? I’m Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and in this episode you’ll get tips on how to branch out to new foods AND how to improve their nutrition when they only eat a handful of things. 

Have a question you’d like me to answer? I love hearing from you. Leave a message at 469-552-5527 for a chance to get your question answered in a future episode!

 Loving the helpful advice here? Puh-leasee leave me a 5-star rating and review! 

Jun 14, 2021
5: Milk - What kind and how much?

How much milk is too much? What kind of milk is the best for your little one? Why is milk okay when they turn 1, and do they *really* need to drink it?

This episode, I give you the quick rundown on milk for toddlers with my insight as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

Have a question you’d like me to answer? Leave a message at 469-552-5527 for a chance to get YOUR question answered in a future episode.

***Loving the helpful advice here? Please leave me a 5-star rating and review! 

Jun 07, 2021
4: iPad and Distracted Eating

Does your dinner table consist of toddlers glued to their iPads? In Episode Four of Feeding Toddlers Made Easy, you’ll learn how to pry an iPad out of your little one’s sticky fingers and teach them to be present at mealtimes, without all the fuss. And no, this doesn’t mean banishing Peppa or Bubble Guppies completely! 

Plus, get some tips about what to do if you feel like you have to try all sorts of things to “get” your toddler to sit and eat.

Have a question you’d like me to answer? Leave a message at 469-552-5527 for a chance to get your question answered in a future episode!

 Loving the helpful advice here? Please leave a 5-star rating and review! 

I record these episodes sitting alone in my closet, and your reviews help motivate me to continue sitting on the floor next to a pile of dirty laundry every week :D

May 31, 2021
3: Toddler Refuses All New Food

Struggling to feed a picky toddler who refuses to try new foods? Allow your host Kacie Barnes to take the reins. In Episode Three, Toddler Refuses New Foods, you’ll learn all about how to approach introducing new foods at mealtime. Whether it’s introducing the food outside of mealtime or trying new foods little by little, Kacie has all the answers you’re looking for!

Have a question for Kacie? Leave a message here at 469-552-5527! 

May 24, 2021
2: One Year Old Is Always Hungry

Is your 1 year old always asking for more food? As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and mom of two, I’m bringing you tips and tricks to tackle your little one’s hunger spikes. In episode two, 1 Year Old is Always Hungry, I walk through an easy meal and snack schedule to follow, equipped with nutrition advice and snack suggestions. Say goodbye to ‘hangry’ 1-year-olds!

Enjoying the podcast? Leave me a rating and review, and subscribe! :) I read every single review, they bring me so much joy!

May 17, 2021
1: How to Prevent Picky Eating

This is the very first ever episode of Feeding Toddlers Made Easy: The Mama Knows Nutrition Podcast. Your host, Kacie Barnes, is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a Master of Clinical Nutrition and mom of two littles. 

If you already know me from Instagram or my blog, then you know that I always keep it real with you. This is not about pretending we live in a dream world filled with perfectly behaved children who mostly eat vegetables and never eat sugar. 

This podcast is where you share your real-life struggles with your toddlers, and I help with real-life solutions. You can call in at any time to leave a voicemail and ask a question to be featured on the podcast. The number will never be answered by a human, so don’t get worried that you’re going to bother anyone! It’s just a voicemail number. 

The number to call into the show is 469-552-5527.

TODAY'S QUESTION: Hilary asked, “My 5-year-old is a picky eater. I also have an 18-month-old who is not a picky eater. How do I make sure the little one doesn’t pick up the older one’s picky habits?

Listen in to hear Kacie's answer! Including how you can address both your older one's picky eating AND make sure that the younger one doesn't pick up on all those same habits.

Please rate, review, and subscribe!

May 06, 2021