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Baby Must-Haves: List Of Items For The First Year

Baby Must-Haves: List Of Items For The First Year

Having a newborn can be exciting and scary at the same time. When I had my first child many years ago, it was pretty much trial by fire. My husband and I had to figure everything out along the way as we were, by and large, unprepared. Being prepared beforehand is very important and this checklist will help you with that. Here, we present a detailed baby items list of must-haves for the first year:

Feeding Essential Items

If you are breastfeeding:

Nursing bras – you probably need a bra that is one cup size larger
Breast pads (disposable) – helps with potentially embarrassing spills as well
Breast pump
Lotion for sore nipples
Milk storage containers
Nursing pillow – helps you support the baby’s weight while feeding
Bottle warmer – human milk proteins are delicate, so you want to be careful not to microwave, which may lead to overheating

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If you are formula feeding:

Bibs and burp cloths
Four-ounce and eight-ounce bottles with nipples (with brushes) – babies will typically go through ten four-ounce bottles per day
Baby formula – check the expiration date and lot number (in case of any recalls)
Thermal bottle carrier – for keeping milk warm when going out

Bedtime

Pajamas – when dressing your baby, get pajamas that are the easiest to put on or remove, without any snaps or decorative materials. Ribbons and ties may look nice, but they are choking hazards and should be avoided
Socks and booties – keep your baby warm, especially in the winter
Crib and crib mattress
Fitted cribsheets
Light blankets that fit in the crib – be careful about layering too many blankets on your baby. Your baby will not be able to kick off blankets if they get too warm!
Sleep sack
Air Purifier – it is important to keep the air in your baby’s living environment clean. Get the best air purifiers with high CADR (clean air delivery rate) ratings for common air contaminants such as dust, smoke and pollen
Light comforter – remember to keep this away from the baby’s head
Waterproof mattress covers

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Toiletries

Plastic infant tub – your baby will learn to love getting in here for the shower
Talcum powder – great in helping to absorb moisture
Baby shampoo
Baby lotion – keeps your baby’s skin supple
Aqueous cream – often aqueous cream is enough to get your baby clean; you don’t have to bathe them everyday
Barrier cream – protects your baby from rashes
Baby oil
Baby bath towels

Blankets

Large cotton blankets
Receiving blankets – can also be used as burp cloths

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Diapering

Diaper bag
Diaper pail
Changing pad
Barrier cream / Baby ointment – help prevent rashes
Disposable wipes – for cleaning your baby’s bottom
Water-proofs
Reusable diapers – these can be great spit clothes even if you do not use them for diapers

Other Nice-to-Have Items

Baby Seat for the Car – very important if you are taking your baby out anywhere
Baby Shoes – some find even the best baby shoes unnecessary, but this is more a matter of personal taste. For the most part your baby should not be walking outdoors anyway.
Baby monitor – these work wonders and allow you to monitor your baby even when you are doing other things. The best baby monitors save you time and energy while helping you keep an eye on your baby
Baby stroller – ideally one that can recline so your baby can sleep easily. Also look for one that can fold easily so storage is not an issue.
Nail clippers – some parents simply bite, but I wouldn’t advise that
Baby thermometer
Medicine spoon
Rocking chair – for feeding and swaddling
Baby carrier
Playpen
Pacifiers – at least two in case one gets lost or dirty
Petroleum jelly and sterile gauze – for care post-circumcision
Baby Sense – great book by an author from South Africa, another baby essential for understanding your baby better

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Raising your first baby does not have to be daunting. There are many resources available online to help, such as this baby items list.

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Published on July 22, 2021

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

    These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

    Get the recipe here.

    2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

      This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

      To try this recipe, go here.

      3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

        Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

        Check out the recipe here.

        4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

          Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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          Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

          5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

            This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

            Find the recipe here.

            6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

              The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

              Get the recipe for this dish here.

              7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                You can find the recipe here.

                8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                  Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                  Find the recipe here.

                  9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                    This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                    Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                    10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                      Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                      The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                      11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                        Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                        Find the recipe here.

                        12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                          This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                          Find the recipe here.

                          13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                            Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                            This easy recipe can be found here.

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                            14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                              Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                              Find out how to make it here.

                              15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                The recipe can be found here.

                                16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                  This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                  Find the recipe here.

                                  17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                    Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                    Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                    18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                      Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                      Find the recipe here.

                                      19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                        Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                        Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                        20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                          Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                          Get the recipe here.

                                          Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                          Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                          Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                          1. Lose the Sugar

                                          Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                          2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                          Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                          3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                          Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                          When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                          Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                          Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                          More Healthy Eating Tips

                                          Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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