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Cooking for Three

3 steps to ease into cooking for your new family.

Cooking for Three

So you’re pregnant. You are about to be a mom for the first time, or maybe it’s the third time. Either way, you are thinking of all the added responsibilities you have now and will have once you give birth. Feeding yourself and your new child is something you might find yourself thinking about.

For many, this puts them into a cold sweat and panic. Let’s get it together people. You can do this. You don’t need much skill or much time. All you need is cooking spray and salt. That’s it. With these two ingredients you can do anything. Don’t get me wrong, adding black pepper, Herbs De Provence, or even Dijon mustard can elevate a dish but I’m here to teach you that simple works. By cooking simply you really highlight the item you are cooking and all you need is a little salt to bring out the natural flavors.

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Cooking your own food can be a complete game changer. As a new mom of two, I feel that it is my obligation to cook healthy for the whole family. Eating food in its simplest form is a gateway to good health. You are able to cut out so many processed foods by taking on this small task. Also, for those of you who are pregnant and having aversions to some foods or cravings for other foods, this is one way to eat exactly what you want in the healthiest way possible. Forget about the culinary degree or even your Pintrest account, just turn on your faucet and preheat your oven.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Buying your ingredients. Whether you find yourself at a large grocery, or a small farmers market the first thing to do is evaluate your inventory. Today we will start small by just looking at the fresh produce. Identify some things that you like to eat. Any vegetables will do, but if you are still not sure, try picking up any of the following: asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots or even a box of pre-washed baby spinach. Also, I try to buy organic when I can, but financially it doesn’t always make sense. Some foods are more important to buy organic than others. My general rule is if you can’t peal it, then go organic. But just do what you can.

  1. Prepping and cooking your food. Take your vegetable and decide how it needs to be prepped. Peeled? Washed? Cut? Then get ready to roast. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a baking sheet or dish (even a disposable aluminum tray will work) and spray the bottom with your oil spray. Lay down your clean and cut vegetables. Spray the vegetables with more oil spray and sprinkle generously with salt. Then bake uncovered. Determining baking time depends on your vegetable. A thin asparagus can cook as fast as 10 minutes in the oven, while butternut squash can take more like 45 minutes. If you are not sure, then just check on your food every 10 minutes until you get the hang of it. A great way to decide if your food is cooked enough is to taste it. Usually if a food is fork tender than it is done.

  1. Spice it up. Once you get the hang of roasting your veggies, at some point in the future you may want to add some more spice to make your food a little more interesting. A must in anyone’s kitchen is definitely garlic. Whether its garlic powder or peeled ready-bought cloves in your fridge, garlic can complete the flavor profile of a dish. Also, garlic is a natural antibiotic that is packed with vitamins and minerals. It also improves cardiovascular health and reduces inflammation (perfect for pregnancy puffiness). Another great flavor to keep on hand is cinnamon. A small sprinkle of cinnamon on butternut squash, sweet potatoes or even cauliflower can make a dish really interesting and delicious.

One easy dish: Yukon and Sweet Potato Herbed Fries

One of my favorite things to eat is french fries. Here I mix sweet potatoes and Yukon potatoes to make a delicious guilt free dish. These potatoes are baked not fried! They are delicious slices with just a little spray, salt and some spices. You can even buy precut sweet potatoes at your grocery if you are short on time.

Ingredients:

6 sweet potatoes, cleaned

7 large Yukon potatoes, cleaned

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Oil spray

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped small

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped small

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Garlic powder

½ teaspoon black pepper

Yield: 2 full sheet trays of fries

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (375 degrees for a convection oven).
  • Take two large baking sheet trays and spray them with oil spray. Slice your potatoes in long slices (skin on) about 1 inch wide, and place the two types of potatoes on the two separate sheet trays. Drizzle each sheet of potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Then sprinkle each with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon of rosemary and 1 teaspoon of thyme. With a gloved hand mix the oil and seasoning around so that each piece of potato has a coating.
  • Bake your fries uncovered for about 45 minutes. The tops should begin to turn golden and crispy.
  • Plan ahead: The potatoes are best when made the day of serving, but your herbs can be chopped beforehand. If you are desperate, you can make the sweet potatoes the day before and re-warm uncovered for 20 minutes on 350 degrees.

Check out MyLifeMyMenu.com for other beautiful recipes that are easy to make:

Charred Brussle Sprouts with Lemon

Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic and Thyme

Asparagus with Parm and Bread Crumbs

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

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If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

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When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

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Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

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Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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