I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Natural Pod is one of my favorite natural toy vendors! Natural Pod gets it, they really get it. Only the highest quality, sustainable products are featured, and you can shop freely without having to scrutinize each product for greenwashing. Recently, my children and I had the pleasure of playing with two Natural Pod products: Tree Branch Blocks and Felting Kit. [Read more...]
Breakfast time is usually a big deal at our house. I try to make sure the little guy gets a healthy nutritious meal to start the day. I also try to stay away from cereals due to their high sugar content but occassionally a bowl of cereal makes it’s way onto the table.
Since having a child I’ve made breakfast important. I mostly make meals from scratch and make the best attempt to stay away from anything packaged. The chickens have been such a blessing. We’re able to cook eggs most days any which way you can think of and have them for breakfast or “breakie” (what we call it here).
Pancakes are the biggest hit for breakie…just ask my son, he’ll tell you he wants *pancakes*! Before I knew about this recipe I’m going to share; I’d always thought I was making pancakes from scratch.
I have long been a fan of EO (Essential Oil) products. I discovered EO when I was searching Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic database Skin Deep for products that would not irritate my son’s sensitive skin. EO was the answer, as they never use irritating sodium lauryl or laureth sulfates, and I quickly adopted the products into my preschool classroom, as well. [Read more...]
My daughter is blessed with very thick hair. She used to wear her locks very long, but now it is shoulder length. Even with shorter hair, it likes to tangle, and we often use a detangler. We’ve tried California Baby’s hair detangler, which we love, and Kiss My Face’s detangler, which doesn’t work so well. Now, we can add a new line of natural beauty care designed just for girls to our repertoire of hair detanglers: Sparklehearts!
One thing I love about Sparklehearts is they give full disclosure of their ingredients (they have not been evaluated by the Environmental Working Group yet), as well as actual percentages of organic and natural ingredients. The hair detangler, which really works by the way, is 99.6% organic and is paraben, phthalate, and sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate free!
Like many of the companies we feature on Eco Child’s Play, Sparklehearts was started by moms searching for safer products for their children:
Most girls would wince in disgust if you told them their favorite body wash contained a chemical that is produced by boiling bugs (called carmine.) And, most parents would wince in disgust if you told them their daughter’s body lotion contained sulfates, phthalates and dozens of toxins and chemicals. Enter Sparklehearts, a line of natural, safe and fun beauty products that are girl- and parent-approved.
When I was a child, sunburns were common. We used suntan lotion to get tans not to protect us from the sun. Fortunately for today’s children, we know better. Sun damage in childhood can cause health problems as adults. Although it is important to expose your children to natural sunlight for vitamin absorption, these periods should be limited and occur during off peak hours.
When it comes to sunscreen ingredients, I trust the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to tell me what is safe. EWG recommends:
Which sunscreens are best for children?
Since kids are more vulnerable to damage caused by the sun and to harmful effects of chemical exposure, you want to make sure you choose a sunscreen that is rated highly in terms of both effectiveness (against both UVA and UVB radiation) and safety. Use EWG’s guide to help you find one. If your child is going to be swimming or playing in the water look for a sunscreen that says it is water resistant. Avoid sprays, powders and products with bug repellant. Make sure to apply sunscreen generously before going out and reapply often. (Don’t believe claims that a product will remain effective for a certain period of time, as these are not always reliable.) Infants under 6 months need special protection Ñ at this age, a fair-skinned baby does not have melanin proteins for sun protection and needs to be kept out of the sun. The AAP recommends that you avoid using sunscreen on children younger than 6 months unless protective shade and clothing are not available. In this case you can apply a minimal amount to exposed skin (AAP 2008). Remember that sunscreen is just one part of a sun-healthy lifestyle. Limiting sun exposure and wearing protective clothing are even more important than wearing sunscreen.
I can remember as a kid blowing the fuzz off of a dandelion weed and making a wish. Little did I know that dandelions were nutritious. Dandelion greens are considered a leafy vegetable that contain more nutrition than broccoli. Having a higher content of vitamins A, and C, and iron. Dandelions also contain lots of magnesium and potassium.
The best time to eat dandelion greens is in the spring and early summer when the leaves are still young. Dandelion greens should be harvested in early spring, before the flowers appear. They’re a bit bitter but taste fantastic in a salad. You can also saute the flowers, roots and leaves with onion and garlic, serve them on a sandwich or salad, boil the leaves and serve like spinach or add them to your green smoothies like I do!
I know, I know, it’s not very eco-friendly to get your children’s toys from across the Pacific Ocean; however, Soopsori wooden toys are beautiful and top quality. Made from 100% natural wood without paint or bolts, these toys are safe, adorable, and ethically produced. Made from 20 different kinds of wood, natural color and texture create variability in these toys.
‘Soopsori’ is much more of a public corporation chasing a common good than a commercial company. We here at ‘Soopsori’ provide you with lifelong memories in addition to wooden toys. As a result, we aim to dedicate ourselves to practicing an honest and reasonable management style. In order to realize this philosophy, we share our profits with environmental NGOs, as a company we feel socially responsible for contributing to a more eco-friendly society. From lumbers that are not taken artificially to making products without any chemical paints, we are aiming to build for an environmentally-secure future. This is our primary objective.
Kids love play dough, and of course you can make your own, but who has the time? Even when I have made my own natural play dough, we usually end up ruining it by using unnatural food coloring. Not Happy Fun Dough: it’s colored with all natural plant extracts.
Happy Fun Dough has a slightly gooey texture compared to commercial Play-Doh, but it is still moldable and shapeable. The big difference between Play-Doh and Happy Fun Dough is the latter’s complete natural ingredients and recyclable metal packaging. Made from water, flour, salt, cream of tartar, canola oil, and citric acid, Happy Fun Dough is safe and handmade. It comes in green, natural, brown, orange, pink, and yellow. Alternately, a gluten-free version made from rice flour is available for parents and children with celiac’s disease, although it is made in the same facility that uses wheat. [Read more...]
About 15 years ago, my step-mother gave me an organic cotton blanket that was woven from many different colors of natural cotton. I adore this blanket and had no idea that cotton came in any other color than unbleached and bleached (which was a wee bit embarrassing since I am a fiber artist). Now, babies are the lucky ones to get adorned in beautiful, super soft organic cotton clothing made from naturally colored cotton fibers thanks to B Nature.
Babies today are so lucky in that there are many great organic clothing products on the market, but most of these items are dyed. Even using low impact dyes is not the safest choice for our children and the planet, but who wants to only dress in off-white? I am so impressed by B Nature, that I wish they came in my size! Hmm, 18-24 months is just a little too small… [Read more...]
Natural dolls are almost impossible to find in conventional stores. Most dolls you can get at big box stores are made of plastic with phthalates and PVC. Cloth dolls can be found at specialty stores but they can be very expensive. Getting quality, natural, safe dolls for your little ones can be a tall order if you are on a budget.
Recently my little girl fell in love with small wooden fairy dolls from an etsy seller, The Fairy Ring. These dolls are simple, adorable, and very stimulating as far as creative play is concerned. Upon getting her first fairy doll, which she decided to name “Jewel”, she insisted on having more right away and they have been with her constantly ever since. When she takes a shower they hang on the shower door. When she goes to sleep at night they are held lovingly in her hand. Her dreams are now filled with fairies.