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5 Dollar-Saving Tips For Green Baby Mamas

5 Dollar-Saving Tips For Green Baby Mamas
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You worry about climate change and the world that you’re leaving to your little one. Treading gently on the earth and leaving a better world to your little one is important to you. Also, having more than 70 cents in your bank account would be really, really nice.

Raising kids is expensive, and with living costs rising faster than wages do, it can be very hard to make ends meet, leaving many mamas stressed to the max. The good news is, there’s plenty of ways that you can cut down on the expenses that come with parenting, and they’re better for the planet, and better for baby!

Buy a baby bike trailer.

If you’re living somewhere with a good system of bike lanes, this is a must. Having one less car on the road saves on petrol costs, and is also a great way to get more exercise! It’s important to be aware of the safety guidelines[1]. For example, your baby will have to be at least 12 months old in order to have the neck strength to be able to ride in a bike trailer, but once they’re ready, they’ll enjoy it so much more than the car. They’ll be closer to nature, and all the wonderful new sights and sounds of the world, so they’ll be able to take it all in much better.

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Don’t buy new toys/clothes where you can avoid it.

The old adage is true: babies tend to enjoy the box the toy came in more than the actual toy! Even a favorite toy tends to get discarded relatively quickly. The upside is that your friends with babies or toddlers of their own probably have a ton of toys that their kids don’t play with anymore, so you can easily get plenty of “new” toys for your little one to play with by doing a toy swap, or joining a toy library.

The same swap rules apply to clothes. You’d be amazed how quickly your baby grows, and how quickly they outgrow stuff. Why spend $70 on a dress when you can spend $2, or get it for free from the fashionista at your mother’s group? There are plenty of gorgeous options available secondhand, and hopefully you’ll instill your child with a love of vintage finds. According to Babycenter[2], parents can expect to spend $20-$50 on clothes per month, so visiting your local Goodwill can mean some serious savings.

Of course, the impact of the fashion[3] and toy[4] industries on the planet is huge as well. Avoiding buying new means that you’re taking a very significant step to help the planet.

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You don’t need half the gadgets that you see at the baby store.

Parents survived for most of human history without electricity, let alone gadgetry. Some products are definitely important for comfort and safety, but some are just silly. Also, baby walkers have been proven time and again to be potentially very dangerous to babies, and can actually delay their physical development; they’ve even been banned in Canada, with hefty fines. So, if you see a baby walker at your local baby store, walk on by, maybe even to the manager, to ask them to consider not selling a product that can harm their target market.

Breastfeed (if you can), or borrow a breast pump.

Breastmilk is better for the baby, and better for the planet too: no equipment involved, no carbon footprint, and a major dollar-saver! Of course, not everyone is able to breastfeed successfully, but before you reach for the formula, you could consider using a breast pump. The great news is, everything except for the plastic attachments can be shared, so ask around to see if anyone you know has a pump they’re not using.

Practice the 5 Rs.

You’ve probably already heard of the 3 Rs: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, but what about Reject and Rot? When you’re making decisions about what to buy, what to get rid of, and how to do it, try to keep the 5 Rs in mind. If you’d like some tips on how to make the 5 Rs part of your parenting life, check out this comprehensive guide[5]. There are so many ways that mamas can keep things green; the little tweaks here and there really make a difference, and the planet will thank you!

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References

[1]^  American Academy of Pediatrics: Baby on Board: Keeping Safe on a Bike

[2]^  Babycenter: Top baby costs, and how to save

[3]^  EcoWatch: Fast Fashion Is the Second Dirtiest Industry in the World, Next to Big Oil

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[4]^  Bright Hub: Environmental Pollution: How Toys Contribute to the Problem

[5]^  Happy Eco Mama: The 5 Rs for green baby-mamas: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Rot, Reject

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Reference

[1] https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Baby-On-Board-Keeping-Safe-On-A-Bike.aspx
[2] http://www.babycenter.com/top-baby-costs#articlesection5
[3] http://www.ecowatch.com/fast-fashion-is-the-second-dirtiest-industry-in-the-world-next-to-big–1882083445.html
[4] http://www.brighthub.com/environment/green-living/articles/62042.aspx
[5] https://happyecomama.com/2016/10/25/the-5-rs-for-green-baby-mamas-reduce-recycle-reuse-rot-reject/

More by this author

Lara Silbert

Freelance content writer & University of Western Australia postgraduate student

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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
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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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