Mama Naturelle’s Top Picks for the Family (October 2017)

As I prepare for baby boy number two’s arrival, I am also discovering new brands and products along the way. As you already know if you follow Mama Naturelle, my focus is always on health, eco-friendliness, and comfort & practicality. Every month I will share a few of my family’s favorites, and hopefully you will love and adopt them in your home too!

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One Pot Pumpkin Pasta
Creamy, healthy pumpkin sauce simmered with tender pasta, topped with roasted brussel sprouts.

There are tons of meal kit companies out there, but, for vegan families, Chip and Kale takes first place. They are a non-subscription meal kit company that differentiates itself from its competitors by doing not only all the shopping, but also the chopping and portioning so you don’t have to. The meal kits come frozen with all the ingredients inside, as well as basic cooking instructions. No prep involved! You literally just have to heat up the ingredients, which saves so much time and precious energy at night (Moms, you know what I mean – gotta save the last bit of energy for bath/bedtime!)

Gluten free & family packs are available, and meals start at $5.50 per serving. Check out their menu options here!

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When Liam expressed interest in drinking out of a “big boy” cup, I immediately looked up reusable, safe options on Amazon. I was glad to find both Better For Your & Greens Steel and their stainless steel tumblers. Stainless steel is a great alternative to plastic cups, and it’s dishwasher safe!

Better For Your’s double wall air insulated design solves the shortcomings of single wall stainless steel tumblers. Their laser etched cups means no ink, which also means no chemicals and no designs wearing off with time. They have a bunch of educational designs for kiddos to learn while they sip!

Greens Steel tumblers are eco-friendly, safe, toxin, BPA, phthalate, and lead free. The company goes above and beyond to polish both the inside and outside of the cup to prevent rust and the “metal flavor” that can sometimes happen with stainless steel cups. Their animal designs/colors are a hit in our house, and Liam loves picking his cup at meal time. It’s a win win! 

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 11.52.20 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-24 at 12.26.57 PM.pngHope and Henry is probably my favorite baby/toddler brand, but also the most underrated. They have an Amazon shop (yay Prime!) but also a beautiful website that you just have to check out.

Hope & Henry was born from the belief that beautiful, high quality clothing can be affordable to all without sacrificing the well-being of our people and our planet. Their hope is to leave the earth a little better than they found it, which is why they only use certified organic cotton.

They value each and every person behind the garments, and share their profits with the talented women and men who sew their clothes and bring their vision to life. I mean, what’s not to love? As for me, I am OBSESSED with Liam’s shawl collar cable cardigan (pictured above) and baby boy #2’s cable sweater one piece. So darn adorable!

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 11.52.17 AM As second time moms already know, pregnancy is very different the second time around (and I assume, every time after that): you pop way earlier, urgently need maternity clothes, and feel discomfort that you didn’t feel until, well, the last month of pregnancy with your first. Not super pleasant.

My underwear and pajama drawers needed a major update, and I decided on some maternity/postpartum items to make my life a whole lot easier and comfortable for the upcoming nine months and beyond. I found the brand Intimate Portal on Amazon, and was very impressed with their selection for new and expecting moms, ranging from lingerie and sleepwear, to lounge wear. These were some of my favorites:

Screen Shot 2017-10-28 at 11.40.19 AMThese tanks are made of 92% Cotton and 8% LYCRA, lab-tested against a variety of harmful compounds. The form-fitting crossover style is perfect for nursing, and the inner pockets are ideal for nursing pads or bra pads (if you have to venture out into the world!) I love how soft the tanks are to lounge around at home, and that they are comfortable throughout all stages of pregnancy. 

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I also love these maternity and postpartum underwear!

The under-the-bump maternity underwear (second photo) are so comfortable, you guys. Made of 95% Cotton and 5% Spandex, the under the bump, crossover style ensures no pressure and ultimate comfort. The low-rise style is also perfect for moms recovering from cesarean births.

The postpartum absorbent protective briefs (first photo) are such a great idea as well: they can absorb the equivalent of 2 light tampons or 2 liners! Personally, I would still use a liner, but it’s always nice to know that I have that extra protection! These can be used for menstrual periods, postpartum bleeding, stress or urge incontinence, bladder leakage, urinary incontinence, postnatal recovery… Basically anything!

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Bobo and Boo focuses on two things: versatility and eco-friendliness. Their safe and stylish dinnerware for kids is made of natural bamboo, and all of their products are non-toxic, FDA approved & BPA free. They’re also renewable and sustainable, as well as dishwasher safe!

Why bamboo, you may ask? Research confirms that plastics are not only bad for the environment, they are also bad for people. And before you ask, yes, even BPA-free plastics are bad for people – especially little people. Many plastics, including BPA-free plastics, contain other chemical plasticisers that are also endocrine disruptors. This means that they could cause many of the same health issues.

Bamboo is a highly versatile natural resource and an eco-friendly solution for many of our modern needs. It is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, only needs very little water and doesn’t require fertilisers to grow, and is a naturally resilient plant that doesn’t require pesticides.

I love that Bobo & Boo was inspired by a mother’s search for affordable non-plastic dinnerware, and her vision to create beautiful designs for children. We love the “coastal” bowl set in our home!

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The Org Store is a family-owned and operated company offering high quality products aimed to help organize homes and keep the focus on family.

These hampers are literally everywhere in our home, used as storage for stuffed animals, toys, pajamas, etc. The drawstring closure and carrying straps are a great touch, and I love that they’re lightweight and collapsible. Perfect for storage! The nautical prints even complement Liam’s new “big boy” room, but I’ll save that story for another post… Stay tuned! You can find these collapsible hampers on Amazon here.

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Did you know that most toothbrush/toothpaste companies (Colgate, Oral B, Crest, etc.) still test on animals? Additionally, billions of plastic brushes reach landfills globally each year, taking over a thousand years (at least!) to degrade.

GoWoo toothbrushes are made of 100% organic and biodegradable bamboo. Their extra soft bristles, perfect for sensitive gums, are made from a synthetic nylon resistant to microbial growth. I love the different colors, helping us make sure we don’t get our toothbrushes mixed up!

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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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