by Ariel Bramble, Business Development Manager at Fairtrade America
Every mom wants the best for their child. When you’re a fair trade mom like me, you also want to make sure it's best for the planet and the people producing the things you use every day.
I've just returned from an awesome maternity leave spent with my mini-but-mighty baby girl – we'll call her Ale. I'm still a newbie at this parent life – and won't ever be an expert like my Abuela Julia who had 9 kids – but I'm proud to have helped my infant achieve some basic life skills, like learning that it's hilarious when mom sings, "Old MacDonald Had a Farm".
I care deeply about fair trade, and the values it represents, on a personal level. So it makes sense that my professional and stay-at-home mom life would intersect. Read along as I go through a day with Ale and see how easy and practical it is to make fair trade goodies part of it without even trying.
Ale is asleep in her bassinet in our room. Unlike during the day when she can sleep through the commuter trains rumbling behind our apartment, her hearing is bizarrely sensitive and she stirs as I kick off the duvet a bit too loudly.
I juggle eating while she breastfeeds, which is why I recommend Nature's Path Granola and yogurt — easy enough to open and maneuver single-handedly. I throw on some raspberries and a flaxseed/chia seed combo. Flax is supposed to be good for lactation and right now, lactation is my middle name.
My girl is not a night owl, the morning is her time to shine where she coos and bobs her head around taking in all of her cool noisy toys. She wiggles on her back grasping at her stuffed animals. I take a video of her giggling as I pretend her Pebbles Goat Rattle* is jumping up and down to go and tickle her. Anything that makes her giggle, I will happily do on repeat until I'm exhausted.
*A member of the World Fair Trade Organization.
I had my first elaborate avocado toast last week (think cheese, herbs, beans, etc.) and it was darn good. However, avocado tacos are what I grew up munching on as a kid after school. It's just an Equal Exchange Oke avocado cut up with a dash of salt in a couple warm corn tortillas. Ale is napping. I eat my tacos slowly and debate on also taking a nap. (Check out the other Fairtrade certified avocado companies here.)
I have friends visiting this afternoon and we're going to want to have munchies while we gawk and gab about how cute Ale is.
I put Ale in her baby carrier. It's so cozy and frees up my hands to bake. Baking isn't stressful for me, it's familiar enough that it's actually peaceful. So peaceful that I read the recipe wrong and add too many bananas and too few eggs, but it still comes out great.
Here’s a great recipe from the Kitchn and I used Coliman bananas, Whole Foods 365 sugar and Nielsen-Massey Vanilla (along with the other recipe essentials).
My mother-in-law is a master in the kitchen. The week before I gave birth, she stocked my freezer with ready-to-eat meals. Curried chicken and roti, macaroni and cheese, jerk chicken and spinach quiche. So good in fact, that it didn't last long and my freezer went back to being empty.
I have little in the fridge and haven't really cooked over the last two months. But I have a couple things I can pull together while my husband takes Ale out for a walk.
They come back to a colorful plate of salmon burgers (the frozen packaged variety), frozen asparagus, and a couscous salad with tomatoes and feta. I pat myself on the back and we reward ourselves with some Fairtrade chocolate for dessert (check out the full list here!)
Ale was born with a head full of luscious curls that everyone coos over. What the curls cover are several patches of cradle cap (flaky scales that are totally normal for newborns to have). I read that lathering coconut oil on for 15 minutes before bath time helps hydrate her scalp for when I need to take a little baby brush and gently scrub at the scales. So here I go with La Tourangelle Coconut Oil. While it doesn't help get the flakes all out in one run, it does leave her smelling tropical and cuddly.
Side comment: I love ingredients like coconut oil that can go from cooking, baking to your hair and face, all without worrying about if it's safe or not.
Oh, and another side comment: I'm not a medical professional so don't go quoting me.
Ale is asleep. That means I can drink hot beverages again without fear of spilling! I make a cup of Lichfield's Peppermint Tea (technically a British brand but you can get it on Amazon if you want to try it) and watch TV on the couch with my husband. We swap phones to see the cute pictures the other took of Ale.
After a long day of breastfeeding I take a break when Ale wakes and pump while my husband gives our little girl a bottle and changes her. I sit in the bathroom watching online comedy videos and munching on lactation bites while I pump.
What are lactation bites you might ask? They’re essentially non-bake cookies that are both tasty (think Lily's Sweets chocolate baking chips, coconut flakes) and help with lactation (oats, flaxseed, brewer’s yeast, chia seeds) and can be gooped together with dates or peanut butter.
I eat about 4 a day (probably more, if I’m honest). They’re cheaper, tastier and don't use up as much packaging as granola bars.
I head back to the bedroom and see Ale asleep in her bassinet and my husband passed out in bed. I go to sleep still chewing, hoping she'll sleep for a stretch before we start a whole new day all over again, feeling grateful but sleepy.
With hundreds of Fairtrade products on shelves throughout the US, it's easy to work products that do good into your daily routine. Check out the full list here!