If you’re expecting your first baby, welcome to the world of mom labels.

Did you know the term ‘crunchy mom’ was a thing? I didn’t. Then I read a post from a mom in a Facebook group I belong to who was looking to meet other new moms, particularly those who practice the ‘crunchy’ style of mom-hood. I had to google it. Let me fill you in: a crunchy mom is someone who believes in all things natural, namely:

  • Natural birth
  • Cloth diapers
  • Breastfeeding
  • Baby wearing
  • Organic foods
  • Co-sleeping
  • Attachment parenting

I understand that friendships are often created based on finding common ground but I really don’t like labels for parents. If I do everything on the list above except for one or two things, what am I, a slightly-less-crunchy mom? A chewy mom?

Moms shouldn’t feel inadequate if they don’t check every box in the natural category. There is not a gold standard list for parenting, and natural is not necessarily synonymous with good or right.

If a mom has trouble breast-feeding or chooses to formula-feed for any number of reasons, then I support her in her natural right of being a mother. If a mom doesn’t co-sleep with her child because she works night shifts at the hospital or feels the baby does better in his or her own bed or her mental health suffers because she can’t sleep this way, I support the choice that’s best for her family. If a mom doesn’t practice baby wearing because she can’t afford a carrier, doesn’t like it or prefers her stroller, she is not less than.

Likewise, a mom that does practice all things ‘crunchy’ doesn’t deserve to be stereotyped or live under the assumption that her choices are based on what’s trendy or what’s on a list of crunchy parenting must-dos. What’s right for each mom and family is different, and I believe in weighing the pros and cons of our choices as parents based on scientific evidence, trial and error, and what feels right for us.

Crunchy mom (or mom-to-be) or not, if you want to eat simple, healthy foods during your pregnancy and beyond then one of the best things you can do is pick a couple of everyday staples that you can start making yourself. It will save you money, build your cooking confidence, and up the nutritional value of what you’re eating.

Start with this granola. Not just because another word for crunchy moms is granola, either. It is super quick, you can’t mess it up, and you can easily customize it depending on your tastes and what you have in the cupboards. Lots of popular packaged granolas are the opposite of health supporting foods, believe it or not. Most are high sugar, high fat (the bad kind), and low fiber.

My version is a refined sugar-free, toasty, cinnamon-y, comforting mix of oats, almonds, pepitas, coconut oil, chia and hemp seeds. Plus a little maple syrup and vanilla for a satisfying sweetness.

Crunchy granola for crunchy moms

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 2-3 cups


  • 2.5 cups thick rolled oats (gluten-free options are available. Bobs red mill is a good one.)
  • ½ a cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ½ a cup real maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, liquid
  • 1 tbsp real vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats, almonds, pepitas, chia seeds, hemp hearts, cinnamon and sea salt)
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir to coat all of the granola
  5. Spread evenly onto baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring at 15 and 30 minutes
  6. Allow granola to cool completely before transferring to air tight container

My suggestion is to make a double batch, freeze half, and leave the other half on your counter in a mason jar for about 3 weeks for optimum freshness. Not that it will last that long.

This granola also makes a lovely gift for a mom friend who just gave birth.

Give it a try! I’d love to know what you think of it and what substitutions make it perfect for you (adding dried fruit? Coconut? Cashews?). Share it     with me by using #gingerrooteats.

BTW You can read a very hilarious satire guide to becoming a crunchy mom on Scary Mommy from the Life as a rambling redhead blog. Based on the article and the name of her blog, I like her already (Fellow redheads have a thing. Just like jeep drivers have a thing where they wave to each other when driving by. But ours is a secret).