Gluten-Free Recipes for Kids: 21 Gluten-Free Food Experts Share Their Favorites

A Gluten-free lifestyle isn’t always easy to attain. Gluten can be found in unlikely foods such as meat, gravy or even soy sauce! Our little ones may not find gluten-free foods tasty and sometimes can suffer from allergic reactions.

No need to worry! We reached out to 21 gluten-free food experts and asked them this question:

“What’s your favorite gluten-free recipe for kids’ parties?”

We collected and compiled their advice into this delicious guide to the best gluten free recipes. Now you can enjoy the party worry-free with these 100% gluten-free recipes for the kids.

See what our experts said below:

Meet Our Panel of Gluten Free Food Experts:


staceyStacey Hawkins

Stacey Hawkins, President and Chief Foodie Officer at Time Savor Solutions is a “well-seasoned” expert of using simple techniques to educate & inspire busy families, frustrated dieters and everyday individuals how to make a balanced meal and live a balanced life. Her first hand (often zany) experiences as a CIA trained chef & everyday single mom trying to do it all have made her a nationally recognized expert in the field of deliciously good food, made fast and easy. You can find out more about Stacey via her website, TimeSavorSolutions, a website dedicated to providing help everyday people meet food challenges head-on with deliciously easy results.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Ranch, Veggie or Italian made with a combination of Greek Yogurt and Sour Cream (i.e.: 1/2 C yogurt, 1/4 C sour cream and 1-2 T of dry seasoning)


staceyCourtney Berlin

Courtney Berlin is a wife, mother, Certified Health Coach and founder of the healthy lifestyle consultancy, Fit Girls Eat Burgers. Courtney applies a real life approach to health coaching and strives to provide clients with knowledge on health and wellness, healthy eating and an active lifestyle that is rooted in salvation, not deprivation. Courtney helps clients find practical ways to make their lifestyle healthier, combining what they enjoy with realistic goals.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Clean Brownie Recipe:

2/3 cup cocoa powder (you can use raw cacao powder if you are paleo)
2 eggs
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup coconut flour
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Combine your dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add your wet ingredients to the mixing bowl, (2 eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla).
3. Mix well until batter is as smooth as you can get it.
4. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray and evenly pour batter in.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.
6. Enjoy!


yumAdrian Reif & Matt D’Amour

Adrian Reif & Matt D’Amour form the backbone of Yumbutter with health-oriented and fun-loving philosophies. Adrian’s homemade nut butter batches inspired the company’s recipes. Holistic health expert, Matt is proof nutrient dense foods lead to better health. They blend each batch of Yumbutter with quality ingredients and lots of love.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Chocolate Banana Protein Soft Serve: (recipe provided by Cory Amron Ruth)

Serves 1 (large portion) ~580 calories per serving

2 frozen bananas
1.5 T cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 scoops protein powder (I use a soy powder from Trader Joe’s that’s about 29g of powder and 26g protein per scoop)
2 T Yumbutter almond butter/peanut butter
3 T soymilk (or other nondairy milk)
sprinkles for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Start with the bananas, make sure they are frozen pretty solid (they should be in the freezer for at least a day prior to making this).
2. Add all the ingredients into a food processor and give it a whirl. The consistency should be creamy but semi-frozen. If it’s too liquidy, add more banana and if it’s too thick, add more soymilk.
3. If void of a food processor, you may be able to make this in a blender! Pulse it a bunch and scrape the sides down frequently.
4. You might wanna add more soymilk until it becomes more of a milkshake texture…and with a little TLC and pulse-button action, all of your ice cream fantasies can come true.
5. Top with rainbow sprinkles…because they make everything in life better. That is all. Going to hit the gym. BAI.


yumStephanie Merchant

Stephanie Merchant is the Founder of The Nutrition Mom, LLC. She is a Food & Lifestyle Expert helping busy families create healthy habits that last a lifetime with Simple – Healthy – Solutions.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Brownie Bites:

1 cup pecans
1 cup pitted dates soaked in filtered water to soften
5 Tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder
4 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:
Blend Pecans in Food Processor
Add Dates and Blend
Add remainder of ingredients and blend
Roll into small balls

Optional – Enjoy as is or roll in shredded coconut or chopped nuts


yumAida Adams

Aida Adams is a mom of four, trying for a fifth, entrepreneur and certified wellness coach from the Spencer Institute in CA. She lives in Winchester, VA with her husband Chase and their two girls and two boys. She owns a wellness center and a homeschooling resource network and co-owns a french bakery. Check out her site Winchester Wellness.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Gluten free pancakes: (pre-made box from the store)  Add blueberries or maple syrup for toppings


staceyMelanie Angelis

Melanie Angelis, MS CAM is the owner of The Grecian Garden, providing alternative medicine consults, healthy eating classes and workshops, and a website full of gluten free recipes and wellness information.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Hummus with Roasted Garlic, Lemon, and Fresh Herbs:

3 cups cooked fresh garbanzo beans or 2 (15 oz) cans cooked beans
1/4 c plus 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 T olive oil
1 head of raw garlic
1 ½ tsp sea salt (start off with 1 tsp and taste it after mixing)
pepper to taste
chili powder to taste
½ tsp cumin
½ onion finely chopped
3 T chopped fresh parsley
3 T chopped fresh dill

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Take raw garlic and chop the top off. Place the top and bottom on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap foil completely around garlic creating a packet. Place packet on baking sheet and roast for 35 min. Allow to cool slightly when finished roasting.
2. Pull or squeeze the cloves of roasted garlic out of the skins and toss in the food processor. Then add garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin in a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Taste to see if it needs more lemon or salt.
3. Scrape into a bowl and mix in the finely chopped onion and chopped fresh herbs. Garnish with extra fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
4. Serve with carrot, celery, and bell pepper sticks.


staceyOscar William

Oscar William Gourmet Cotton Candy is a family-owned business in honor of Oscar William, a father in law.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Gluten Free Cotton Candy: flavors include Wynter’s Rose, Chocolate, and Caramel, Truffle.


staceySuzie Miller and Lizann Anderson

Suzie Miller and Lizann Anderson co-founded Among Friends Baking Mixes, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. An energetic entrepreneur, Suzie previously served as a graphic artist for an advertising agency and a fine art consultant. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Bowling Green State University. Lizann is a persuasive writer whose love of storytelling helped name each of the baking mixes. She holds a BA in English from the University of Notre Dame and a MA in English Literature from the University of Chicago.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Suzie Q’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie

Gluten-free whole grain rolled oats
Gluten-free whole grain oat flour
Light brown sugar
Chocolate chips
Cane sugar
Sea salt
Baking soda
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup soft unsalted butter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper or non-stick spray
3. Empty mix into large bowl.
4. Add 1 egg, 2 tsp vanilla and 1/3 cup very soft butter. (Can also use a combination of oil and butter, coconut oil or non-dairy substitute.)
5. Beat 1-1 1/2 minutes until mix combines with butter. (For flatter cookies or if mix seems dry, add an extra 1-2 T of butter.)
6. Form 1-inch balls of dough and place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart
7. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Do not brown the tops of these cuties – the cookies will have a shiny center. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes then ENJOY!


staceySara Roth

Sara Roth is a 30 Clean Heath Advisor and Certified Health Coach with training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, as well as a fitness instructor. She believes that health is a lifestyle that involves striking a balance between nutrition, exercise, sleep/relaxation, love, and fun! Sara enjoys educating people about small changes they can make to improve their overall health and well-being. She’s also passionate about the importance of teaching kids to make healthy choices. Sara knows that eating clean makes people feel strong, energized, and happy, and she wants everyone to experience that for themselves!

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Brownie Bites:
makes 12 – one inch balls
2/3 cup raw walnut pieces
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 heaping cup medjool dates, pitted (about 17 – 20 dates)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons coconut milk OR a liquid sweetener such as honey or maple syrup if you want your brownie bites to be sweeter.
2/3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions:

1. Pulse coconut in food processor to form coconut crumbs. Remove and set aside.
2. Soften pitted dates in a bowl of warm water.
3. In food processor, blend cocoa powder and walnuts until walnuts become fine crumbs. 4. Drain dates and place in food processor with the cocoa/walnut crumbs. Add vanilla. Process until mixture starts to combine. Add coconut milk or liquid sweetener (if desired) half a tablespoon at a time. Pulse. You will know the consistency is right when the dough combines into a ball. If dough is too runny add a tablespoon of cocoa powder to bring it back to a dough like state.
5. Transfer dough to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or put it in the freezer to cool dough.
6. Once dough is cold, put coconut crumbs from earlier into a shallow bowl. Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough and roll them between hands to form balls. Roll balls in coconut crumbs. Continue until all dough is gone.

Keep chilled and ENJOY!


staceyChristine Ruch

Christine Ruch is the owner of Fresh Thymes Eatery, a restaurant in Boulder, CO that is 100 percent gluten-free.Christine has more than 20 years of experience in food, working in restaurants and teaching culinary arts and nutrition (as well as leading the culinary program at the Boulder campus) at Bauman College, the nation’s only culinary academy with an emphasis on nutrition and holistic health.Christine has celiac disease, and so has not eaten gluten in years.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies:
Makes about 3 dozen bite size cookies

3 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm (so it is liquid, not solid)
2 cups rolled gluten free oats
2/3 cups almond flour
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon orange zest

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl mash together the bananas, agave nectar,
vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside.
3. In another bowl stir together the oats, almond flour, shredded coconut,
salt, and baking powder.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the
chocolate chips, dried cranberries and orange zest. The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don’t worry about it.
5. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet.
6. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes. I baked these as long as possible without burning the
bottoms and they were perfect – just shy of 15 minutes seems to be about right.


staceyChris Cade

Chris Cade is a personal development teacher, second-degree black belt and martial arts Champion who has firewalked with Peggy Dylan, swum with wild dolphins in Bimini, and tested software to find the bugs. His journey – leaving a six-figure income and corporate life with Hitachi and Adobe for an entrepreneurial one – has rewarded this visionary with the opportunity to serve hundreds of thousands of people worldwide in over 150 countries. Chris is also a grateful full-time single father.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Gluten-Free (Sugar-free, Dairy-free) Cake Recipe:

3/4 cup of all-purpose flour*
1 1/2 cup sorghum flour
1 1/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup arrowroot flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

The actual final ingredients are:

*White Cake Recipe*
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 3/4 all-purpose flour (see above)
1 2/3 xylitol (NOW Brand non-GMO – substitute for sugar)
1 TBSP baking powder
3/4 tsp Himalayan ssalt
3/4 cup coconut oil (substitute for salted butter)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use sunflower)
8 egg whites (substitute more oil to make it vegan)
1 1/4 cup vanilla unsweetened hemp milk (I use Living Harvest)
2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Grease & flour two 8-inch cake pans (or a 9×13)
3. Mix flours, xylitol, baking powder, and salt on low for 1 minute
4. Add butter and oil. Mix for another minute until mixed.
5. Add egg whites one at a time, beating well after each one.
6. Add hemp milk and vanilla a little at a time.
7. To give it the right texture, throw it against the wall. (just
kidding – wanted to make sure you’re actually following directions!)
8. Beat on high for 2 minutes – the batter should become thick and fluffy
9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake for about 25 minutes.
10. Check every 5 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Once it
does, pull the cake out and remember to turn off the oven (I’ve forgotten
that last part before. Oops!)
11. Cool completely before frosting.


staceyDebbie Nash and Mary Vyn

Since 2001, chefs Debbie Nash & Mary Vyn have been entertaining together. Their cooking and kind manner create a rare level of comfort and enjoyment. Supporting each other as artists, women in business and executive chefs, they’ve received praise from such visionaries as Jean Georges Vongerichten, Madonna and Simon Cowell. Nash currently works with private clients for dedicated short-term projects and oversees event production. In 2012, Vyn founded seaside restaurant Mandarava. She specializes in diet design and the vegetarian menus for Gathered Table.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

2 layer Chocolate Cake- Gluten Free Version:

Dry ingredients:
2 cups cane sugar
1 ¾ cups flour
¾ cups raw cacao powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup sunflower oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee

Berry layer:
1 pint strawberries
½ cup raspberry jam

Frosting:
1 stick vegetable shortening
1 bar bittersweet chocolate
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup coconut milk
½ cup raw cacao powder

1. Butter and flour 2- 8” cake pans
2. Mix together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients and mix gently into dry.
3. Divide equally between two cake pans and bake at 350 until cake tester comes out clean. Aprox 20-25 minutes.
4. Smash half of the berries and jam together and set aside.Double boil bittersweet chocolate and vegetable shortening until melted.
5. Double boil bittersweet chocolate and vegetable shortening until melted.
6. Place the remaining frosting ingredients into a blender with the chocolate mixture. Blend until incorporated and set aside.
7. Assembly: Cool cakes on wire racks. Add jam to one cake and top with the other. Pour chocolate frosting beautifully over the top and edges. Frosting will set as it cools. Garnish with remaining berries.


staceyDana Kofsky

Dana Kofsky, the founder of Nutrition Styles, is a certified nutrition consultant. She works one on one with clients, corporate wellness programs, and restaurants to share her knowledge of healthy habits. With a focus on a client’s specific needs, she assists them in creating a healthy-minded, fun, and balanced relationship with food.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Gluten Free English Muffins:

11⁄4 cup + 2 teaspoons potato starch (not potato flour)
3⁄4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
1⁄2 teaspoon guar gum
2 teaspoons salt
3⁄4 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 egg whites
11⁄2 cups of warmed unsweetened non-dairy and non-soy milk of choice (rice, coconut, hemp, almond)
4 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted,
1⁄3 cup dark raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with oil.
2. Combine potato starch, brown rice flour, guar gum, salt, dry yeast and sugar in large mixing bowl.
3. In separate bowl, combine egg whites, non-dairy non-soymilk and coconut oil.
4. Blend wet mixture into dry ingredients and combine until smooth.
5. Thoroughly mix in raisins. Gently swirl in cinnamon.
6. Scoop dough into prepared muffin tins-divide evenly.
7. Allow dough to proof in a warm, draft-free place for 30 to 45 minutes.
8. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until done.


staceyBrian Rudolph

Brian Rudolph graduated Emory University in 2012 and joined the inaugural class of Venture for America. VFA’s mission is to create jobs in underserved cities, which is why he moved to Detroit. There Brian channeled his passion for healthy great tasting food into a company called Banza that’s bringing back a rich culture of entrepreneurship and manufacturing to the state of Michigan. Banza is an alternative to pasta made from chickpeas, full of protein and fiber.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Kale and Chickpea Minestrone Soup (provided by Nicole at Cooking for Keeps)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes
½ cup chopped tomatoes
1 parmesan cheese rind
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 14.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped kale
¾ cup elbow shaped banza pasta

Directions:

1. In a large stock pot, heat olive oil in a medium heat. Add celery, carrots, onion, garlic and salt.
2. Saute until vegetables become slightly soft, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock, canned tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, cheese rind and dried basil. 4. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Add chickpeas, kale and pasta. Cook until pasta is cooked, another 5-6 minutes.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


staceyKim Watkinson

Japanese was the Ninja Baker’s first language. From a home hobby and passion for baking, the Ninja Baker blog was born. My cupcakes have brought smiles to FOX TV crews, family and friends. This Ninja Baker (who has trained with Cordon Bleu professors) hopes to bring a little sunshine and culture to your day, too.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Gluten-free Pumpkin Cake Donuts:

½ cup coconut oil + extra for preparing the donut pans
1½ cups sugar
1½ cups canned pumpkin (15 ounce can)
1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 pinches of salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1½ cups rice flour blend
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions:

1. Grease donut pans with coconut oil.
2. Set the oven to 350 degrees.
3. With a handheld mixer, beat the oil, sugar, pumpkin, spice, salt, baking powder and soda. Combine well.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time. Gradually whisk in the flours. Once the batter is smooth, fill the wells of the donut pans. (3/4 full is perfect.)
5. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the donuts comes out clean.
6. Allow the donuts to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Gently run a frosting spatula around the edges and remove.
7. Enjoy the pumpkin donuts plain or dunked in cinnamon sugar. (½ cup sugar whisked together with cinnamon.)


staceyJill Motew

Jill Motew is a self-taught nutritional baker and mom of 5 with food sensitivities who keeps a gluten-free home. She’s also the creator of Zemas Madhouse Foods, a line of gluten-free baking mixes made entirely of nutrient-packed ancient grains (millet, quinoa, teff) and super seeds (chia, hemp and flax) so all her recipes are actually good for you and kid friendly.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Gluten-free Marble Brownie Bites:

Zemas Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownie mix
1/2 c. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
10 ounces water
3 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 c. chocolate chips (optional)

Cream Cheese Filling (below)
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened (regular or dairy-free)
1/3 c. sugar of choice
1 egg (egg replacer)
½ t. pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In a stand up mixer, or hand-held mixer, combine all the cream cheese ingredients and blend on medium speed until smooth.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a blender, puree black beans, water and vanilla.
4. In a mixing bowl combine Zemas mix with the liquid ingredients.
5. Add in chocolate chips if desired.
6. Fill mini-muffin cups 1/2 full then dollop a teaspoon of cream cheese filling into the muffin cups.
7. Add another teaspoon of brownie batter on top of the cream cheese filling; swirl around with a toothpick.
8. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, and enjoy!


staceyBeth Hillson

When Beth was diagnosed with celiac disease nearly forty years ago, there were no support groups, little information, and few foods. Unwilling to face a life of plain, uninteresting food, she attended culinary school in France and Germany to understand the principles of baking and cooking and to learn which dishes contained gluten. With recipes in hand, she was able to make over her favorites with gluten-free ingredients. This led to a lifelong quest to make delicious, safe food for herself and others.  In 1993, she combined her culinary training and passion for creating the Gluten-Free Pantry, one of the first gluten-free companies in the US. Her regular posts about the gluten-free diet, lifestyle and recipes appear on her blog and she’s a Food Editor at Living Without’s Gluten Free & More magazine.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup white or brown rice flour
½ cup sorghum flour
½ cup cornstarch or tapioca starch
¼ cup potato starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter or dairy-free buttery sticks, softened at room temperature*
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips*
Line 4 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Directions:

1. Combine rice flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch, potato starch, xanthan gum, and baking soda. Whisk well until well blended. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the salt and vanilla and beat. Add the two sugars. Beat well until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs and beat.
3. Add the blended flours, half at a time, beating after each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips.
4. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour. (If you are pressed for time, omit this step.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
5. Drop cookie dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.
6. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until the tops are slightly browned. Remove and cool completely before removing from the cookie sheets. While these are baking and cooling, scoop remaining dough onto the other pans. If your kitchen is very warm, keep these chilled until you are ready to bake. These freeze well. The dough can be scooped into balls and frozen to bake later, too.

*Tips:

Non-dairy buttery sticks will not spread as much as butter. Flatten the balls of dough slightly on the cookie sheets before baking.


staceyKathleen Reale

BeFreeForMe has over 55,000 subscribers and is the premier source of savings, recipes, product reviews, and education, along with an added dose of motivation, for those on a gluten-free & or allergen-free diet.

 

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cups:

1 cup peanut butter, smooth or creamy (or use sunflower butter, etc. depending on allergy concerns)
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
1/3 pound “graham-type” cracker crumbs, from gluten-free graham cookies (Check label for allergens)
½ pound butter or margarine, melted (plus, a bit more for buttering a cake pan)
¼ cup cream or milk
16-24 ounces chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet or dark – your choice)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl mix together the peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter or margarine.
2. Mix until well blended. Press mixture into buttered cake pan and set aside.
3. Melt chocolate chips. Add cream or milk and mix well. Spread over peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate until slightly hardened.
4. Cut into small pieces. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.
5. Makes about 24 pieces of candy.


staceyMaddy D’Amato and Alex Hasulak

Immediately after graduating college, Maddy D’Amato and Alex Hasulak decided to begin an all-natural and organic line of oat clusters and cereals made from garbanzo beans and lentils. Within 1 year, their brand Love Grown Foods became a hit and was placed in over 9,000 stores nationwide.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Almond Butter Cookies:

½ cup Love Grown Foods Super Oats
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of sale
2/3 cups almond butter (dry roasted, no sugar added)
1 egg
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup mint chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine Super Oats, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, beat together almond butter, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla until blended. Scrape down sides.
3. Slowly add Super Oats mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by the heaping spoonful onto un greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown on edges. Transfer from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Enjoy!


staceyKaren Stevenson

Aussie-based blogger Karen Stevenson is a foodie with food intolerances and a mum of kids with food intolerances. She passionate about eating healthy and YUMMY food! Through her blog filled with her scrumptious creations and her cookbook Friendly Food for Chocoholics, you will discover that intolerance-friendly food can be delicious and simple. All the recipes are free from wheat and most are free from gluten. They can all be made free from dairy, refined sugars and additives.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies

125 g (1/2 cup) organic butter or dairy-free margarine, softened
65 ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup (or agave syrup)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup gluten free plain flour
1/2 cup gluten free self-raising flour

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius (340F) and line a large baking tray with baking paper or a silicon baking mat.
2. With an electric mixer, beat the butter/ margarine, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until well combined and creamy looking.
3. Sift the flours into the mixture, and use a wooden spoon to combine well.
4. Use hands to form into a dough.
5. Shape tablespoon sized balls of the dough on the lined trays. Use a fork to flatten the balls to about 1cm thick.
6. Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Cool completely before icing or serving.


staceyStephanie Pedersen

Stephanie Pedersen, MS, CHHC, is a holistic nutritionist, cookbook author, and health educator. Her latest book is *Coconut: The Complete Guide to the World’s Most Versatile Superfood* (Sterling). Pedersen currently lives in New York City with her husband and three sons.

The #1 most delicious gluten free recipe for kids’ parties is …

FRUITY COCONUT POPS

1 14-ounce or 15-ounce can coconut milk (do not use lite)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut sugar or regular cane sugar (aka table sugar)
1 cup frozen or chopped fresh fruit of choice (peel if necessary)

Directions:

1. In a blender or food processor, process coconut milk, coconut oil and
sugar until smooth.
2. Add fruit and blend until fruit is liquified. Or, if you prefer, almost
liquified. (There are a few kids out there who actually like chunks in
their fruit pops!)
3. Pour liquid into ice pop molds and insert sticks. Set in the freezer overnight or until frozen solid.

 
 

The Best Smart Home Products for DIYers: 50 Smart Home Technology Systems and Devices to Automate Your Home the DIY Way

Thanks to advances in technology, software, and automation, smart home technology products make everyone’s life easier. Practically everything in your home nowadays can be automated or connected to your tablet or mobile device. This allows you to still feel connected and have complete control over your home, even when you’re miles away.

In no particular order, here are 50 of the best smart home systems, devices and technology gadgets for do-it-your-selfers.

1. Rachio IRO Smart Wifi Enabled Irrigation Controller

You’ll no longer have to worry about watering the lawn with this nifty gadget. It takes the guesswork out of keeping your grass at its greenest thanks to a number of intelligent design features.

Key features:

  • Personalizes your lawn water regimen using data specific to your location, season and weather
  • Control your sprinkler system with your iOS or Android device via WiFi
  • Reduce water bill and waste by only watering when your lawn needs it

Cost: *Est. $299

2. SkyBell Wi-Fi Doorbell with Motion Sensor

Take your ding-dong up a notch with this motion-activated smart doorbell. Now you can see who’s at your door even when you aren’t home.

Key features:

  • See, hear, and speak with who’s at your door no matter where you are
  • Silent mode lets you turn off the door bell – perfect for new parents and shift workers
  • WiFi connectivity easily integrates into your home network

Cost: *Est. $199

3. Eyedro EHWEM1 Wireless Home Electricity Monitor

Help save on your home’s energy bill by keeping tabs on usage with this electricity monitor. Keep tabs on which appliance is using the most power and adjust if necessary.

Key Features:

  • Get real-time stats on your home’s energy usage with free online monitoring
  • Compatible for both residential and commercial installation
  • Easily compare usage and billing stats to save the environment and money

Cost: *Est. $199

4. Philips 431643 Hue Personal Wireless Lighting, Starter Pack

This smart lighting pack is seriously cool – you can create and save custom light modes that replicate your favourite images or even a sunset.

Key features:

  • Control your home’s lighting right from your iOS or Android device
  • Change light levels and colors to suit your needs
  • Controls up to 50 bulbs with just one bridge device

Cost: *Est. $199

5. Bose SoundTouch 20 Wi-Fi Music System

This music system allows you to listen to great-sounding tunes from anywhere in your home and comes with a host of one-button presets you can configure to get your favorite music in no time at all.

Key features:

  • Stream music with just the touch of a button or via the SoundTouch app
  • Connects via WiFi to provide a home audio solution
  • Incredible sound experience Bose products are known for

Cost: *Est. $399

6. Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control

Now you can control your home heating with a simple voice command. Set schedules to maximize your home’s energy efficiency and get alerts if the temperature gets too high.

Key features:

  • Voice-activated commands allow you to control your home’s temperature
  • Customizable color touchscreen seamlessly blends in with your home’s décor
  • Compatible with Android and iOS devices

Cost: *Est. $299

7. Chamberlain Whisper Drive Garage Door Opener

Featuring a lifetime warranty on the motor, this garage door opener won’t let you down. Lights turn on automatically when motion is detected and it will close itself in case you forget.

Key features:

  • Opens and closes even during power outages
  • Timer feature will automatically close door if you forget
  • Anti-burglary feature changes access code after every remote control use

Cost: *Est. $259

8. Kohler Touchless Toilet Flush Kit

All it takes to flush your toilet is a swipe of your hand thanks to this easy-to-install kit. Retrofits to most toilets, and features a streamlined design.

Key features:

  • Fits most standard toilets to allow touchless flushing
  • Easily installs in about 20 minutes, batteries last up to 12 months of use
  • Helps protect your family from the spread of germs

Cost: *Est. $48.98

9. Belkin WeMo Light Switch

You don’t have to come home to a dark house anymore. Manage your home’s lights from anywhere in the world via your Internet-connected mobile device. Save energy by setting timers or turning on just before you get home.

Key features:

  • Turn lights on and off, and easily set timers from anywhere via WiFi connection and WeMo app
  • Modular system lets you quickly and easily add multiple units
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices

Cost: *Est. $44

10. OriGlam® LED Energy-efficient Person Motion Sensor Toilet Light

No more fumbling in the dark to go to the washroom at night with this motion-activated toilet light. You’ll also avoid any wet surprises thanks to its innovative color-coding that lets you know the position of the seat.

Key features:

  • Motion sensor turns light on and off automatically
  • Easily tell whether seat is up or down with color-coded lights
  • Energy-efficient LED lights lets you see where you are going without waking others

Cost: *Est. $12.75

11. Belkin WeMo Switch and Motion Detector

Automate and control your home’s electronics right from your mobile device with this switch and motion detector set. Set electronics on a schedule or program your lights to turn on and off when you enter or exit a room.

Key features:

  • Motion control sensor means you’ll never walk into a dark room
  • Android and iOS compatible
  • Add on as many switches as your home needs

Cost: *Est. $73.99

12. D-Link Wireless Compact Wi-Fi Range Extender

Never worry about losing connectivity in the farthest reaches of your home again with a WiFi range extender. Securely boost your home network’s range so you’re never without a reliable connection, no matter where you are in (or outside) your home.

Key features:

  • Quickly and easily extends the range of your home’s wireless network
  • Compact, portable design requires no additional cables
  • Backwards compatible with a range of modems

Cost: *Est. $59.99

13. D-Link AC1750 Wireless Gigabit Router

Connect at lightning fast speeds and with minimal interference with this state-of-the-art wireless router. Up to 3 times faster than a Wireless N router, a reliable connection is up for any of your home’s connectivity needs.

Key features:

  • Dual-band speeds of 450Mbps (2.4GHz) and 1300Mbps (5GHz)
  • Setup in minutes, manage your home network from anywhere
  • Stream HD videos, play games, and connect multiple devices

Cost: *Est. $139.99

14. Nest Learning Thermostat

Stop fiddling with your home’s thermostat and save on your energy bills by installing a smart thermostat. The longer you use it the smarter it gets, adjusting your home’s heating and air conditioning automatically.

Key features:

  • Works with both forced air and radiant heating systems
  • Senses who’s home and adjusts temperature accordingly
  • Easily control online or from your smart phone via a WiFi connection

Cost: *Est. $249

15. Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

Quickly and easily connect any appliance or electronic in your home to your wireless network. Multiple users can then control devices, program custom notifications, and change device status from anywhere.

Key features:

  • Monitors and reports on device usage, helping you cut your energy costs
  • Compatible with Android and iOS devices
  • Add on as many units as you like to control your whole home

Cost: *Est. $59.03

16. Insteon 6-Button Dimmer Keypad

Control and monitor the status of up to 8 devices at once with this budget-friendly dimmer keypad. Wirelessly control your home’s devices and electronics all without having to rewire.

Key features:

  • Installs easily in place of a standard wall switch
  • Use as in-wall controller, 20-amp on/off switch, and access point of other Insteon products
  • LED backlight for ‘on’ devices

Cost: *Est. $10.78

17. Parrot Flower Power Wireless Plant Monitor

Keep your home’s plants looking green and bright with this automated plant monitoring system. Four sensors gather data every 15 minutes to take the guesswork out of plant maintenance and give you real time stats on the health of your home’s plants.

Key features:

  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Ability to monitor over 6000 different types of plants
  • Alerts and ‘to-do’ lists help you hone your green thumb

Cost: *Est. $52.99

18. INSTEON Dimmer Switch


This switch gives you the ultimate control over your home’s lights, and installs in your current outlet hole. Customize brightness levels, timers, and fade speeds effortlessly.

Key features:

  • Control remotely via your computer or mobile device
  • 3-way switch compatible
  • Seamlessly integrate with other Insteon home automation products

Cost: *Est. $49.99

19. First Alert PIR725 Motion Sensing Light Socket

Never enter a dark room again. Lights turn on and off automatically when you enter and exit a room, in both day and nighttime settings.

Key features:

  • Compatible with both CFL and incandescent bulbs
  • Senses motion up to 12-foot range, 360-degrees
  • Installs in your current light socket in under a minute

Cost: *Est. $19.75

20. Epson 5030UB 2D/3D 1080p 3LCD Projector

Enjoy a movie-quality home viewing experience with this THX-certified LCD projector. Features like 2400 lumens of both color and white brightness, plus rich blacks, means images practically jump off the screen.

Key features:                                                                                           

  • HDMI connectivity
  • Rechargeable 3D glasses
  • Quick and east setup

Cost: *Est. $2447

21. LAYKOR Automatic Touch-Free Lavatory Bathroom Sink Sensor Faucet

This automatic touchless faucet turns on and off automatically, helping you save water and prevent the spread of germs.

Key features:

  • Easy to install (under 10 minutes in most cases)
  • Wired or battery-operated power
  • Sleek, modern design

Cost: *Est. $56.99

22. Netatmo Weather Station

Not sure whether or not you need that sweater when heading out in the morning? Forget about stepping outside; get all the weather data you need from your home’s weather station.

Key features:

  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Weatherproof design monitors temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and air quality levels
  • Easily connects multiple stations and wirelessly sends real time data to your device

Cost: *Est. $176.23

23. Egg Minder Wink App-Enabled Smart Egg Tray


You’ll never have to worry about forgetting to pick up eggs again thanks to automatic reminders and notifications that let you know when you’re running low. It even tells you which eggs are bad or about to spoil.

Key features:

  • Unit shows you which egg is oldest and should be eaten first
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Space for 14 eggs

Cost: *Est. $24

24. Ankuoo NEO Wi-Fi Smart Switch

Take control your home’s electronics no matter where you are as long as you have a wireless or cellular signal. You can control multiple switches from the same app, no subscription necessary.

Key features:

  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Available in three colors to match your personal style
  • Set up timers to save energy and keep your home secure

Cost: *Est. $44.99

25. Holî, The Smart Connected LED Mood Lamp

Infinite color combinations allow you to set whatever mood you desire with this smart connected LED lamp. A built-in dawn simulator slowly increases light intensity, allowing you to wake up gently and peacefully.

Key features:

  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Bluetooth connectivity allow you to control up to 3 lamps simultaneously
  • Long-life LED bulbs will last up to 27 years under normal use

Cost: *Est. $249.95

26. Wimoto CLI001 Climate Control Sensor

Keep up to date with your home’s temperature, humidity and light levels right from your mobile device, even without an Internet connection.

Key features:

  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Battery lasts up to 3 years
  • Range of up to 100 feet

Cost: *Est. $49

27. Beddit Sleep Tracker and Wellness Coach

This device helps you get the most from your sleep by monitoring your heart rate, snoring and movements while you sleep. Who doesn’t want information to help get a better night’s rest?

Key features:

  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • No annoying sensors to wear while you sleep
  • Daily tips help you get the best rest possible

Cost: *Est. $149

28. Nexia BR100NX Home Intelligence Bridge

Control your home’s automated systems with this smart hub module. Custom alerts let you know who’s coming and going from your home.

Key features:

  • Secure encryption
  • Range of 60-100 feet
  • Secure your home and monitor energy usage wherever you are

Cost: *Est. $59.99

29. GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control Outdoor Module

This module allows you to effortlessly control your home’s outdoor lights from your cell phone or computer, and blends seamlessly with your home’s exterior décor.

Key Features

  • Can withstand damp or wet weather
  • Compatible with multiple lights
  • Z-wave technology makes it compatible with many home automation systems

Cost: *Est. $40.08

30. SmartThings Hub

Quickly and easily connect multiple smart devices and sensors so you can control them all with one tool. Notifications let you know the status of your smart devices, and can even tell you if there’s an open door or window.

Key features:

  • Compatible with devices from multiple manufacturers
  • Compatible with Android and iOS devices
  • Works with Z-wave technology

Cost: *Est. $99

31. Wink Connected Home Hub

Control multiple devices from different manufacturers quickly and easily with this smart home control system. Shortcuts and schedules allow you to simplify your life at the touch of a button.

Key features:

  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Compatible with Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and Lutron ClearConnect technologies
  • Data is encrypted, so you can feel secure

Cost: *Est. $40

32. Belkin Conserve Power Switch

Stop worrying about the cost of ‘ghost power’ with this smart little switch. At the flick of a switch, it’s as if you unplugged your device – so power is no longer being drawn, which means you aren’t paying!

Key features:

  • Frustration-free packaging
  • Light lets you know when switch is on
  • Use side by side or alone – won’t block the second outlet

Cost: *Est. $9.75

33. Insteon 2457D2 LampLinc INSTEON Plug-In Lamp Dimmer Module

Set the mood in one room or your whole home with a smart dimmer switch. It allows you to control your home’s lights no matter where you are in the house.

Key features:

  • Control via remote, wall keypad, computer, or smart phone
  • Dual-band technology
  • Installs using your home’s existing electrical

Cost: *Est. $45.35

34. Revolv Smart Home Automation Solution

Control all your home’s smart devices with one single unit. Create custom rules like “shut down house” and “movie night” to effortlessly manage all of your devices.

Key features:

  • 60 second setup auto-discovers your home’s devices
  • No monthly costs
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices

Cost: *Est. $299

35. Belkin Conserve Energy Saving Outlet

You can cut down on your home’s energy costs by installing a timer on devices that draw the most energy, but that you don’t need to run if you aren’t home. It won’t draw power until turned on, and a green light lets you know it’s working.

Key features:

  • 30 minute, 3 hour or 6 hour function
  • 3 wire grounded
  • Use side by side or alone – won’t block the second outlet

Cost: *Est. $19.35

36. KOHLER K-9245-CP 2.5 GPM Moxie Showerhead and Wireless Speaker

Take your tunes with you into the shower with this wireless speaker and showerhead combo. It connects via Bluetooth to stream your music, news, or playlists right into the shower.

Key features:

  • 32 foot range
  • Water resistant, rechargeable speaker
  • Speaker can be used independently

Cost: *Est. $110.43

37.

Cut down on your home’s water bill while and take the guesswork out of watering your lawn, all while keeping your grass in tip top condition. If the Internet goes down, this unit will use your home’s statistics to ensure the plants are taken care of.

Key features:

  • Multiple programs can be run in parallel, sequentially or one-at-a-time
  • Create unlimited programs
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices

Cost: *Est. $249

38. Doorbot Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Doorbell

See and speak to whoever is at your door on your smart phone no matter where you are in the world – talk about peace of mind. Adjustable camera angles and a night-vision mode mean no one will escape your sight.

Key features:

  • Free replacement if stolen
  • Hard-wire or battery powered
  • Mount and sync in minutes

Cost: *Est. $199

39. iRobot Scooba 450 Floor Scrubbing Robot

Stop getting down on your hands and knees to scrub your floors and let the Scooba do the hard work for you. It cleans up to 99.3% of bacteria with almost no effort on your part.

Key features:

  • Sweeps, pre-soaks, scrubs and squeegees floors
  • Compatible with most hard floor surfaces
  • Two cycle options (20 and 40 minutes)

Cost: *Est. $599.95

40. Aeon Labs Z-Wave In-Wall Micro Controller

Link up your whole with by turning any switch in your home into a Z-wave switch with this device. Fits in most electrical boxes – worldwide!

Key features:

  • Remembers your programs in case of power failure
  • Compatible with 3-way switches
  • Turn lights on/off via Z-wave, switch or button

Cost: *Est. $32.95

41. Smarthome 1626-10 FilterLinc 10-Amp Plug-In Noise Filter

Even though we might not be able to hear it, with all the devices around your home talking to one another, technology can get loud. Tune out some of the noise with a filter.

Key features:

  • Eliminates interference and filters noise from powerline
  • Can still plug in another device
  • Works in seconds

Cost: *Est. $29.99

42.

A smart home needs a smart hub to control it all, and this system lets you do just that. Soon to be released intercom functionality means you can stay connected through multiple units.

Key features:

  • Fits most standard switch boxes
  • Touch screen with 4.3” display
  • Built-in proximity, humidity and temperature sensors

Cost: $299

43. Saicoo® Wireless digital doorbell

Say goodbye to the classic doorbell and hello to a smart new way to know who’s at your door. Stick with the classic ‘ding-dong’ or choose from one of 52 additional chimes available online.

Key features:

  • 1000-foot range
  • 52 door chime combinations
  • Plug-and-play installation

Cost: *Est. $18.99           

44. Acer H6510BD 3D Home Theater Projector

What smart home would be complete without the ultimate viewing experience? An HD projector can complete any home entertainment system. This unit lets you watch Blu-ray 3D, DLP 3D, and NVIDIA 3DTV Play 3-D technologies.

Key features:                                                         

  • Full 1080p widescreen resolution
  • Multiple connectivity options including PC, D-Sub and HDMI
  • eColor Boost technology means you can watch stunning pictures even on your wall

Cost: *Est. $649.99

45. Electric Remote Controlled Drapery System

Open and close your blinds with at the touch of a button with this system that can seamlessly integrate into any number of home automation systems.

Key features:

  • Supports up to 90lbs of curtain weight
  • Powered via standard outlet
  • Timer control available

Cost: *Est. $319

46. WINBOT W730, the Window Cleaning Robot

Forget about the hassle of gathering window cleaning supplies and climbing ladders when your windows need a wash – let your window cleaning robot do the hard work for you.

Key features:                                                  

  • Compatible with framed or frameless windows
  • Comes with 2 cleaning pads and a squeegee
  • Cleans even tall windows at the touch of a button

Cost: *Est. $359.99

47. Nest Protect Smoke Plus Carbon Monoxide Detector

Your family’s safety is top of mind, and a reliable smoke and carbon monoxide detector can give you the security you need. Alerts to your phone let you know when there’s a problem or if batteries are running low.

Key features:

  • Choose from wired or battery-powered models
  • Human voice warnings and traditional alarm signal
  • Installs in minutes

Cost: *Est. $99

48. Shower Tunes

Take your tunes, and your tablet, with you in the shower – all white keeping your device safe from water. Never miss an important call or email again.

Key features:

  • Made of thick gauge vinyl
  • Built-in waterproof speakers
  • Battery operated

Cost: *Est. $39.95

49. iTouchless Deodorizer Touch-Free Sensor 13-Gallon Automatic Stainless-Steel Trash Can

Make throwing and taking out the trash easier with a garbage can that opens and closes for you. It senses when you approach so you can toss things out, even when your hands are full.

Key features:

  • Carbon filter to tackle the toughest odors
  • Large opening
  • Battery or AC adaptor powered (not included)

Cost: *Est. $69.99

50. Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale

Gone are the days of old-school rotating scales, high tech models like this one are now incredibly accurate, measuring body fat percentage, BMI and weight. Data syncs to your FitBit account so you can track your progress all in one app.

Key features:

  • Stats upload automatically via WiFi
  • Can set up to 8 users
  • 350lb weight limit

Cost: *Est. $105

 

 
 

The Safest Convertible Car Seats: Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Car Seat for Your Baby with Reviews, Safety Ratings and Expert Tips

So here’s the thing. In the parenting world, car seat discussions can get heated. And by heated, we mean hot, hot, hot – to the point of boiling over.

But here’s the other thing: as parents, we all agree that car seats should be a hot topic because they’re one of the most important aspects to keeping our kids safe. The average family spends a lot of time in the car: grocery runs and after-school sports and weekend jaunts and, well, all those interminable minutes and hours you spend going to and fro, hither and thither.

Since you’re reading this guide, we already know you want to keep your kiddos safe in the car. We’ll skip the high-horse speeches – you probably hear enough of that in playgroup, anyway – and jump right to the cold, hard facts. Here are three that stand out:

  • Road-related injuries are the leading cause of preventable injury and death to children in the U.S.
  • The good news: Car seats, correctly installed, can reduce the risk of death by an incredible 71%.
  • The bad news: An estimated 73% of car seats are not installed correctly.

Those are the statistics. Here are a few steps you can take on the way to keeping your children safe:

  • All car seats sold in the U.S. are required to meet or exceed Federal and ASTM Safety Standards.
  • Car seats should also be NCAP crash tested, the industry benchmark for evaluating seat performance in the event of a severe accident.
  • Parent Central at SaferCar.gov provides excellent reviews on all U.S. car seats. The site also rates each car seat based on its ease of use – an important consideration, given the above statistic that 73% of car seats are used incorrectly.
  • For all-in-one seats and convertibles that transition to boosters, you can also check booster seat ratings at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
  • Third-party review sites, like Consumer Reports, also offer unbiased comfort and safety reviews.

All that said, we’ll add one more layer to the equation – four additional considerations before purchasing a car seat:

  1. Extended Rear-Facing: You may have heard a lot about rear-facing versus front-facing car seats. Let’s cut to the chase: without a doubt, rear-facing is the safest way for your children to ride. Consider purchasing a seat that rear-faces to 40+ pounds. Remember, just because your child hits the minimum required to front-face (1+ year and 20+ pounds), doesn’t mean she should. Rear-facing saves lives.
  2. Extended Front-Facing: As with the transition from rear- to front-facing, your child will likely hit the minimum height and weight required to transition to a booster before he’s actually ready, physically and developmentally. Choose a seat with a high front-facing weight limit (up to 70 pounds) and only transition to a booster when your child outgrows her car seat.
  3. Check the expiration date: Some car seats have a 5-year life, which means they’ll likely expire before your child has the chance to outgrow them. If you’re buying an extended-use or all-in-one car seat, choose one with an 8-, 10-, or 12-year lifespan.
  4. Never buy used: It’s tempting to spring for a deal on a used seat, but you should know that age, wear, and accidents (even just a teeny, tiny fender bender) can compromise a car seat’s safety features. Unless you are 110% sure of a seat’s history – never been in an accident, never left in a spot where the sun shines brightly, etc. – don’t risk your child’s safety for a discount.

Now that we have that out of the way, here are our recommendations for the most stylish, comfortable and, most importantly, safest all-in-one and convertible car seats for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary kids. Let us know which ones make your wish list!

1. Britax Advocate

Britax AdvocateBritax is one of the biggest names in car seats, thanks to incredible safety ratings and high weight limits. The Britax Advocate is one of the brand’s most popular seats, featuring side-impact cushion technology, as well as other Britax safety features: SafeCell technology, integrated steel bars, SafeCell crash technology, and an energy-absorbing Versa-Tether.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 1+ year; 20-65 pounds
  • Front-facing limit: 49 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 4 stars); Consumer Reports (71 points, Very Good rating)

2. Britax Boulevard

Britax BoulevardThe Britax Boulevard is an excellent car seat that will accommodate your newborn (5+ pounds) through her preschool and elementary years (up to 65 pounds). The Boulevard sports all the standard Britax safety characteristics, like the energy-absorbing Versa-Tether, true side-impact protection, SafeCell technology, and steel bars, and has additional comfort features, including a tangle-free five-point harness that never needs to be re-threaded.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 1+ year; 20-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 4 stars); Consumer Reports (71 points, Very Good rating)

3. Britax Marathon

Britax MarathonThis bestseller almost needs no introduction: it’s one of the most popular, talked-about car seats in the U.S. today. It offers full side-impact protection, a solid steel bar frame, SafeCell technology in case of collision, an impact-absorbing Versa-Tether and other seriously advanced safety features, and adds a dose of style with floral, animal print, and colorful covers. It also comes in in the mid-price range, usually under $250 – and that’s for a seat that’ll take you from newborn to 65 pounds. Bottom line: you can’t go wrong with the Britax Marathon!

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 1+ year; 20-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 4 stars); Consumer Reports (69 points, Very Good rating)

4. Britax Pavilion

Britax PavilionThe Britax Pavilion is one of the most popular, adjustable car seats on the market today – and for good reason. With a sky-high weight capacity of 70 pounds, this seat will take you from newborn through elementary school. Even better, the Pavilion upholds Britax’s incredible safety standards and features, scoring top ratings for its side-impact protection, integrated steel bar construction, and SafeCell technology, which keeps your child safe in the event of a crash.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 1+ year; 20-70 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 3 stars); Consumer Reports (71 points, Very Good rating)

5. Britax Roundabout

Britax RoundaboutBritax is known for its high safety ratings and stellar user reviews, but those accolades don’t always come cheap. Enter the Roundabout, which for under $150, delivers on the Britax promise – and represents one of the best deals in convertible car seats today. The Roundabout boasts the same SafeCell Technology, steel bars, and Versa-Tether as other Britax seats, sacrificing only capacity (55 pounds and 46 inches) for the lower price. Be sure to choose the Roundabout G4 model, which is slightly roomier than classic Roundabout 55.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 46 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 1+ year; 20-55 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 46 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 3 stars); Consumer Reports (67 points, Very Good rating; Best Buy award)

6. Chicco NextFit

Chicco NextFitThe Chicco NextFit is one of the best-rated car seats available today, thanks to its easy of use, high weight limit, and superior safety features. We love how simple it is to install and use, with its ReclineSure 9-position leveling system, SuperCinch LATCH tightening, RideRight bubble leveler, 2-position chest clip, and other user-friendly features. And for baby fashionistas, the NextFit comes with a unique, machine-washable zip-off cover that can be easily changed out depending on style and season.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 1+ year; 22-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 4 stars); Consumer Reports (74 points, Very Good rating; Best Buy award)

7. Combi Coccoro

Combi CoccoroThe Combi Coccoro is an ideal choice for parents who want safety and a compact seat: the Coccoro is made especially to fit well in small vehicles, even if you have to double (or triple!) up your seats. Beyond its space-saving features, the Coccoro is a lifesaver, as well: with Tru-Safe® Side Impact Protection, energy-absorbing foam, rear-facing tether, LATCH connectors, and five-point harness, this car seat is both easy to use and very safe. Bear in mind, with a forward-facing weight limit of just 40 pounds, you’ll eventually have to purchase another car seat before your child is ready to transition to a booster.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 3-33 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 19-40 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 20-40 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 19-40 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 3 stars); Consumer Reports (49 points, Good rating)

8. Cosco Scenera

Cosco SceneraIf you’re looking for safety and a great deal, look no further than the Cosco Scenera. Clocking in at under $60, this top-rated value workhorse is LATCH-equipped and features a 5-point harness system with Center Front Adjust and four harness positions. But like the Coccoro, remember that with a forward-facing weight limit of just 40 pounds, you’ll eventually have to purchase another car seat before your child is ready to transition to a booster.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-35 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 19-36 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 22-40 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 34-43 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 4 stars)

9. Diono Radian®RXT

Diono Radian®RXTOh, be still our hearts. The Diono Radian®RXT (and its sister seat, below at #10) is the granddaddy of incredible car seats. At $300+, you may not think of this as a budget seat – but consider what you get for your money: an infant seat, toddler and preschooler car seat, and elementary booster seat (up to 120 pounds), all in one. And if that weren’t enough, the Radian®RXT is so compact, you can fit three-across in a mid-size vehicle; it also folds flat for travel. Huge bonus: it has a 10-year life, so it won’t expire before your kid outgrows it.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-45 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 57″ pounds
  • Front-facing weight limit: 20-80 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 57″ pounds
  • Booster Convertible: Yes; 50-120 pounds and 40-57 inches
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 2 stars); Consumer Reports (44 points, Good rating)

10. Diono Rainier

Diono RainierIf the Radian®RXT almost brought you to tears (it’s okay, we understand!), then hold onto your seats: the Ranier is even better. Diono’s all-new Ranier adds to the Radian’s offerings with increased weight limits – at 50 pounds for rear facing, it’s the highest in the industry! – extra deep side walls, 12-position headrest, and additional side-impact protection. It even adds two years to the Radian®RXT’s 10-year life – 12 years before expiration, meaning your child really can use the seat from newborn bucket seat to toddler car seat to big-kid booster.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-50 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 57″
  • Front-facing weight limit: 20-90 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 57″
  • Booster Convertible: Yes; 50-120 pounds and 40-57 inches
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 2 stars)

11. Evenflo Symphony

Evenflo SymphonyThe Evenflo Symphony is an all-in-one car seat, capable of converting from infant bucket seat to rear- or forward-facing toddler seat and, finally, to a booster seat for older children. Not only that, but the Symphony features SureLATCH® Technology (60-second installation!), e3 Side Impact™ Protection, and safety-tests at and incredible double the Federal Crash Test Standard. And if that’s not enough to pique your interest, get this: the Symphony is a steal at under $200.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 19-37 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 22-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 28-50 inches
  • Booster Convertible: Yes; 40-110 pounds and 43.3-57 inches
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 3 stars); Consumer Reports (67 points, Very Good rating; Best Buy award); Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (Best Bet award)

12. Evenflo SureRide™

Evenflo SureRide™The Evenflo SureRide™ was developed to keep your child harnessed for longer, with a wide range of harness adjustments and high height/weight limits. This made-in-the-USA seat takes safety seriously, with side impact protection, thick adding, a 5-point harness, LATCH system, and a safety rating 2x the federal crash test standard. And at under $100, there’s no better value out there.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 19-40 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 22-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 28-54 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 2 stars); Consumer Reports (65 points, Very Good rating; Best Buy award)

13. Graco ComfortSport

Graco ComfortSportThe Graco ComfortSport is a good convertible car seat for families on a budget. At under $100, this workhorse accommodates kids from newborn (5+ pounds) to toddler years (40 pounds, max), and throws in comfort and safety features like LATCH compatibility, EPS energy absorbing foam, an adjustable five-point harness, and installation level indicator. As with similar seats, keep in mind that you’ll probably have to upgrade to another convertible or all-in-one seat once your child exceeds 40 pounds.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-30 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 40 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 20-40 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 40 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Consumer Reports (55 points; Good rating)

14. Graco Head Wise™ 70

Graco Head Wise™ 70Graco’s Head Wise™ 70 is a pretty exciting convertible car seat, given that its weight limits hit the industry floor at 4 pounds (premies and multiples!) and scrape the ceiling at 70 pounds. What’s more, the seat was built with safety in mind and promises to provide the best head protection at both the rear-facing and front-facing stages. Add on features likes LATCH positioning, Graco’s Simply Safe Adjust™ harness system, Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection, and a solid 5-point harness, and it’s easy to see why this sub-$200 seat is a winner.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 4-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: Until child’s head is no less than 1″ below the red handle
  • Front-facing weight limit: 20-70 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 52 inches pounds
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 4 stars)

15. Graco MyRide 65

Graco MyRide 65Graco’s MyRide 65 is one of our favorite convertible car seats, due to its enviable combination of great price (sub-$125) and extended use. With a weight range of 5-65 pounds, this seat will get you from the hospital through the elementary years – until your child is ready to transition to a backed booster. Graco’s excellent safety features clinch the deal: it exceed U.S. safety standards with EPS energy-absorbing foam, high ratings for side-impact protection, an adjustable 5-point harness, LATCH compatibility, and other keep-your-kiddo-safe features.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: Top of head must be at least 1” (2.5 cm) below the top of the child restraint
  • Front-facing weight limit: 20-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 4 stars); Consumer Reports (64 points, Very Good rating)

16. Graco Size4Me

Graco Size4MeGraco adds another to our list with the Size4Me, an adaptable and well-priced entry to the convertible car seat market. It is incredibly safe, thanks to demanding side-impact testing, energy-absorbing foam, and a five-point harness that earns the seat high safety ratings. We also love that the Size4Me has a low, low weight minimum (just 4 pounds), so even if you’re expecting a premie (or multiples!), this seat will still take you from hospital to elementary school.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 4-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: Top of head must be at least 1” (2.5 cm) below the top of the child restraint
  • Front-facing weight limit: 20-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 4 stars); Consumer Reports (67 points, Very Good rating)

17 . Graco Smart Seat

Graco Smart SeatIf you’re aiming for car seat longevity, you can’t miss the Graco Smart Seat. This all-in-one car seat rear-faces to 40 pounds, front-faces to 65 pounds, and performs as a booster up to 100 pounds. You’ll never need another seat! What’s more, it boasts rigorous safety standards, like SafeSeat engineering, a steel-reinforced frame, side-impact protection, and EPS energy-absorbing foam. And it’s incredibly comfortable, to boot.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: Top of head must be at least 1” (2.5 cm) below the top of the child restraint
  • Front-facing weight limit: 20-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Booster Convertible: Yes; 30-100 pounds and 38-57 inches
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 5 stars);

18. Maxi Cosi Pria™ 70

Maxi Cosi Pria™ 70Can I get an ooh-la-la? We’ll admit, we love that the Maxi Cosi Pria™ 70 comes in a rainbow array of colors, from Bohemian Blue to Sweet Cerise to Brown Leather (say what?!). But we also love that this chic convertible car seat values safety even more than fashion: the Pria™ 70 features the FlexTech™ system (multi-directional energy management) and superior side-impact protection, as well as high weight limits (RF to 40 pounds and FF to 70 pounds). Now that’s what we call style and function!

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 9-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: Until baby’s head reaches to 1″ of top of seat
  • Front-facing weight limit: 22-70 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 52 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 2 stars); Consumer Reports (62 points, Very Good rating)

19. Orbit Baby G3

Orbit Baby G3Hold. The. Phone! Fellow parents, the Orbit Baby G3 turns the convertible car seat world on its head. Walk with me through these awesome features: Not only does the G3 boast side-impact protection, side impact braces, and a 5-point harness, but it also features non-toxic, Brominated Flame Retardant/BFR-free fabrics and is the world’s first convertible car seat to dock onto a stroller and rocker. Hello, beautiful.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 15-35 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: When the child’s ears are not visible above the top of the headrest when seated
  • Front-facing weight limit: 25-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Booster Convertible: Yes/no
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 3 stars)

20. Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio ConvertibleYou probably know Peg Perego for its hip, Italian-made strollers, but did you know the brand also has car seats on offer? Excellent ones, in fact: the Primo Viaggio is a highly adjustable, extended rear-facing car seat with top safety ratings and glowing reviews. We love the Primo Viaggio’s safety features – side-impact protection, 10 adjustable positions for safest fit, energy-absorbing foam, shock-absorbing foam, and a quick-release 5-point harness – and love it even more for accommodating children up to 45 pounds for rear-facing and a whopping 70 pounds for front-facing.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-45 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: As long as head is at least one inch below headrest edge
  • Front-facing weight limit: 22-70 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Booster Convertible: Yes/no
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 4 stars)

21. RECARO PERFORMANCE RIDE

Recaro Performance RideAnother stylish convertible car seat from Recaro, the Performance Ride offers the latest in safety technology with the HERO harness system. With HERO, you can be absolutely sure that you’ve positioned the seat to fit your child’s head, neck and shoulders, without the harness twisting and while ensuring proper chest clip positioning. In other words, it’s the safest, most secure installation ever. Add on breathable mesh, memory foam, a comfort pad, and a bevy of safety features, and you see why the Performance Ride makes our list.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: Less than 22.5 inches, seated height
  • Front-facing weight limit: 20-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: Less than 49 inches, standing height
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Consumer Reports (59 points, Good rating)

22. RECARO PRORIDE

Recaro ProRIDERecaro’s reputation for style, form and function live on with the ProRIDE, a convertible car seat that employs serious safety features: a vehicle belt lock-off mechanism (for use when forward-facing), PUR foam in the head restraint, and racing-inspired side impact protection. And rest assured your little one won’t sacrifice comfort for safety, as the ProRIDE also comes equipped with an ergonomic shell, breathable fabric, and comfortable cushioning.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: Less than 22.5 inches, seated height
  • Front-facing weight limit: 20-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: Less than 49 inches, standing height
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Consumer Reports (60 points, Very Good rating)

23. Safety 1st Able 65

Safety 1st Able 65The Safety 1st Able offers an excellent value: at under $100, this seat rear-faces to 40 pounds and front-faces to 65 pounds. Even better, it meets or exceeds Federal and ASTM Safety Standards, and adds great features like a no-rethread, adjustable 5-point harness, 3-position recline base, five harness heights, and one-hand seat adjustment.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 19-40 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 22-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 29-49 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 3 stars); Consumer Reports (57 points, Good rating)

24. Safety 1st Advance 70 Air+

Safety 1st Advance 70 Air+If you like the Safety 1st brand and love a good deal, it doesn’t get much better than the Advance 70 Air+ convertible car seat. This versatile workhorse is for families who practice extended rear-racing (up to 40 pounds and 40 inches) and extended front-facing (70 pounds and 52 inches) – or for families with big kids who outgrow seat limits before they’re developmentally ready. And of course, the Advance 70 Air+ meets Safety 1st’s exacting safety standards and meets or exceeds Federal and ASTM Safety Standards.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 19-40 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 22-70 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 34-52 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 4 stars)

25. Safety 1st All-in-One

Safety 1st All-in-OneAnother addition to the all-in-one car seat category, the Safety 1st All-in-One takes you from newborn bucket seat to toddler (rear-racing to 40 pounds) to elementary school (front-facing to 50 pounds) and, finally, to a belt-positioning booster up to 100 pounds. It’s all the seat you’d ever need – or want, considering this baby has side-impact protection and meets or exceeds Federal and ASTM Safety Standards. Keep in mind its front-facing weight limit (50 pounds) is lower than its competitors (65-70 pounds) – but its price is, too.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 19-36 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 22-50 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 34-45 inches
  • Booster Convertible: Yes; 40-100 pounds and 43-52 inches
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 2 stars); Consumer Reports (46 points, Good rating)

26. Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite™

Safety 1st Alpha Omega EliteAnother entrant to the all-in-one car seat field, the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite™ is a solid contender. With mid-range weight limits – 35 pounds for rear-facing and 50 pounds for front-facing – and the ability to convert to a booster, not to mention rigorous safety testing and ratings, the Alpha Omega Elite™ is an excellent choice for families seeking value, safety, and extended use.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-35 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 19-36 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 22-50 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 34-45 inches
  • Booster Convertible: Yes; 40-100 pounds and 43-52 inches
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 3 stars)

27. Safety 1st Complete Air 65

Safety 1st Complete Air 65We seemingly can’t get enough of Safety 1st’s affordable offerings, so here’s another to consider. The Complete Air 65 is a long-lasting, convertible car seat that will take you from 5 to 65 pounds and 19 to 49 inches – that’s a small newborn to a large elementary-schooler! What’s more, the seat meets or exceeds Federal and ASTM Safety Standards, and features Safety 1st’s QuickFit™ harness and Air Protect® advanced side impact protection technology.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 19-40 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 22-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 29-49 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 3 stars); Consumer Reports (57 points, Good rating)

28. Safety 1st OnSide Air

Safety 1st OnSide AirIf you’re looking for a well-priced convertible car seat that’ll allow you to keep you child rear-facing for longer, check out the Safety 1st OnSide Air. At under $80, this car seat rear-faces to 40 pounds and piles on safety, with four harness heights and three buckle locations and safety ratings that meet or exceed Federal and ASTM Safety Standards. Keep in mind that this seat forward-faces to just 40 pounds, so when your child hits the upper limit you’ll need to purchase another car seat.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 19-40 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 22-40 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 34-43 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 3 stars); Consumer Reports (64 points, Very Good rating)

29. Snugli All-In-One Car Seat

Snugli All-In-One Car SeatSnugli’s superb All-in-One Car Seat offers great value and very extended use, converting from rear-facing seat (up to 40 pounds) to front-facing seat (up to 65 pounds) to booster mode (up to 110 pounds) – all for under $200. What’s more, Snugli packs in the safety features, with three layers of side-impact foam, a TruTether adjuster, and SureLATCH installation. All this, and your kiddo is still super comfy: the All-in-One also features temperature-regulating fabric, memory foam padding, and a plush pillow.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-40 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: 19-37 inches
  • Front-facing weight limit: 22-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 28-50 inches
  • Booster Convertible: Yes; 40-110 pounds and 43.3-57 inches
  • Reviews & Ratings: Consumer Reports (67 points, Very Good rating)

30. The First Years True Fit I-Alert

The First Years True Fit I-AlertLadies and gentlemen, car seats have gone mobile. The First Years True Fit I-Alert takes car seat safety into the 21st century with revolutionary, mobile-synced alerts that let you know (via smartphone) when unsafe conditions arise – things like an incorrect positioning angle or when your child unbuckles himself mid-ride. The seat also features an easily adjustable 5-point harness, EPP foam for impact protection, LATCH positioning, and a high forward-facing weight limit (65 pounds) for maximum use.

At A Glance:

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 5-35 pounds
  • Rear-facing height limit: Until head is 1 inch below the top of the seat
  • Front-facing weight limit: 23-65 pounds
  • Front-facing height limit: 50 inches
  • Booster Convertible: No
  • Reviews & Ratings: Parents Central on Safercar.gov (Ease-of-use rating: 5 stars)

Bonus Recommendations: Car Seat Accessories

We’re car seat geeks here at Safe Sound Family, so we can’t help but share some of our favorite car safety and comfort add-ons – all those little things that help us get from Point A to Point B, both safely and happily.

  1. Car Seat Protector
  2. Seat Base Protector
  3. Back Seat/Rear-view Mirror
  4. Backseat Organizer
  5. Backseat Organizer #2
  6. Summer Infant Snuzzler
  7. Kick Mat Car Seat Protector
  8. Car Seat Travel Bag
  9. Sun Shade
  10. Add-on Cup Holder
  11. Car Seat Dry Pad/Piddle Pad
  12. Car Seat Sun Shade
  13. Strap Cushions
  14. Travel Pal Organizer
  15. Lap Tray
  16. Car Seat Foot Rest
  17. Seat Belt Button Cover
  18. Seat Belt Locking Clip
  19. Infant Neck Cradler
 
   
 

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