“So, when are you starting him/her on solids?” is a question posed (over and over…) to most new parents. For many, it’s a question that can conjure some unexpectedly anxious feelings. After all, where do you begin? We know how overwhelming these early decisions are during the first introduction to solid foods and that’s why we’re here to help.
Below you’ll find the top three foods to get you and your little one started. Renowned pediatrician Dr. Sears (so renowned that he doesn’t even need a first name!), explains that a child’s taste buds fully develop over the first three years of their lives. Seize the opportunity to instill in your child a lifetime of adventurous and healthy eating habits. Let‘s get started!
Best First Foods:
Banana – Being soft and easy to digest make bananas a perfect first food for baby. Not to mention, they require little to no prep. Just peel and mash. You can add creaminess to a mashed ‘nana by adding a little breast milk and spoon feeding it. This tasty fruit contains essentials for your baby’s developing body including potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
Avocado – Like banana, avocado is a great first food. With a smooth and creamy texture it’s soft for baby to chew and swallow. Avocados are packed with fiber and vitamin E and are an excellent source of “good fats.” This sodium- and cholesterol-free fruit has the full recommended daily value for folate along with 3.5 grams of unsaturated fats vital for baby’s nervous system and brain.
Soft boiled egg yolk – Around eight months, you can give your baby a soft boiled egg. Make sure to only give the yolk, however, since egg whites are known as a top allergen in children. We suggest using organic, pastured eggs from a local farm whenever possible, as eggs harvested from grass-fed chicks contain higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Egg yolks provide essentials for brain development including choline, good cholesterol and iron.
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Propolis is nature’s best kept secret from the beehive and has been used in other parts of the world for its healing antiseptic and restorative capabilities. In facial skin care, the results are amazing. Propolis has the ability of regulating problematic skin as well as accelerating the rate of cell growth to keep your skin strong and toned. It can also help to decongest pores while soothing and healing. Hey Honey skincare and body products combine all-day hydration with skin-strengthening ingredients to help skin look younger, longer, all with minimal steps to use and fast-acting results.
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I started living a green lifestyle a little over a decade ago after both my parents were diagnosed with cancer. I started making healthy changes here and there — some seemed more than a little daunting at first — but after a while, I couldn’t help but notice that I hadn’t felt this energetic and focused in years. Once challenging tasks became a normal part of my day-to-day. As time went on I realized that there could be no turning back on my wellness journey. When I realized that even my hand soap HAD TO be organic, I knew that I was in this for life. But not just MY life…
How do you make living green and healthy part of a baby’s life, too? If you are like me and my nine-month old son Sammy, you start by adding little things to your pre-existing routine and making small, incremental changes as you begin to figure out what works and doesn’t work in your new familial arrangement. Along the way you’ll discover that you’re helping to raise a child who understands and appreciates the importance of green living and good nutrition.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite products to get you and your little one started.
Bedding – Cotton muslin is amazing for babies. The open weave and lightweight fabric of muslin allows for enhanced airflow, reducing the risk of overheating. It’s gentle on a baby’s delicate skin yet durable enough to survive multiple washings. For the mattress pad, try this favorite made with organic cotton.
Feeding – Once solid foods are added to the mix you’re playing on a whole other, higher level. If you’re committing to using only fresh, organic fruits and vegetables I’ll be straight with you – you’re going to be putting in a lot of meal prep time so it’s important to find any product that will help extend the life of the food. These snack cups are perfect for holding the little portions and keeping baby’s meals fresh. As a natural mama, I love the fact they are made from plant-based materials. You can stack the cubes for easy storage and make perfect portions for use on-the-go.
Teething – Oh man, this is not a fun topic, but luckily there are some natural remedies to get you and your little one sleeping through the night. I don’t know what I would do without this homeopathic remedy. The soft tablets dissolve instantly to provide relief and comfort when you babe is cutting teeth.
Toys – In our household overstimulation is the enemy. We limit Sammy to just a few “passive” toys that encourage active engagement and experimentation, rather than toys that merely entertain through sound or light. This brand makes beautiful wooden toys using sustainable American hardwoods. Handcrafted in the USA, their line of products are earth-friendly, safe, and most importantly, fun!
Bath time – Sammy has very sensitive skin, so we must use products that are unscented. Plus, since I only use natural and organic personal care products for myself, it only makes sense to use the same for him. He uses the baby scent version of the castile soap that I use. This shampoo is my favorite because it’s free of fragrance, scent-masking agents, clear formula chemicals, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and DEA.
Sunburn happens. Safe the say most people have experience, at least once in their lifetime, the uncomfortable sensation of sunburn. Every now and then even the most careful people forget to apply sunblock or miss a certain spot, resulting is the painful, redness of sunburn.
One of the best ways to reduce blistering and redness is to treat sunburn immediately. Apply a cold, damp towel on your skin for 15 minutes to help take some of the heat out of your skin. Another great way to start treatment is to take a cold shower and try not to dry yourself, leaving water on the skin to minimize dryness.
Then, look for Aloe Vera, a natural moisturizing product known to stop burning sensations and prevent swelling. This incredible plant-product can help treat sunburn and is also an excellent choice to prevent more serious long-term skin problems such as scarring, wrinkles, dark spots, and melanoma.
Aloe Vera contains 150 vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, including zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium, manganese, potassium, amino acids, and selenium. The glycoproteins and the lidocaine in Aloe Vera relieve pain and inflammation as the polysaccharides help repair damaged skin cells and trigger the formation of new ones.
Aloe Vera juice forms a protective layer over burned and peeling skin, hydrating it and holding moisture in. It penetrates deep into the damaged skin layers and reduces the pain and swelling associated with it. The best of Aloe Vera is that it has no side effects as it contains no harmful ingredients and is safe to use for children as well.
Congratulations, you’re a new parent! From their first smile to their first time sleeping through the night, nothing is more gratifying than watching your child begin to check off those all-important first milestones. Another huge step in your baby’s development is the introduction of solid foods. But how do you know when they are ready to make that crucial next step? Fortunately, there are some specific developmental signs that indicate when your little one is ready raise his culinary game.
Signs That Your Baby Is Ready:
Ability to Sit Up – This is a no-brainer because if a baby cannot sit up unassisted, eating food becomes a serious choking hazard. To be safe, make sure that they can hold their head up steady and sit up on their own.
Interest in food – When you sit at the table to eat a meal does your baby stare at you intently, watch your mouth, or maybe even mimic your chewing action? This could be their way of showing interest in what you are eating. Some experts consider reaching for food a sign, too. However, keep in mind that four- to six-month olds are teething and usually putting everything in their mouth, including nonfood items.
Loss of tongue thrust reflex – This reflex allows babies to drink and swallow liquids without choking. Not sure what to look for? Simply place a piece of banana in your child’s mouth and if they push it back out with their tongue, you have just witnessed the thrust reflex in action. It’s usually gone by six months, but in some cases breastfed babies can hang onto this reflex a little longer, meaning their forays into the world of solid foods might take a little longer than formula babies.
Always remember that all babies are different and progress at varying rates. Even though they may have some of the signs mentioned above, they might not be interested in food. Some babies may start as early as four months while others may not start until as late as nine months. Watch for your child’s hunger cues and don’t try to force it. They’ll eat when they are ready.
Probiotics are the living bacteria in our bodies (the good kind!) that help keep the bad bacteria in check. In this episode, Dr. Wolf explains how probiotics contribute to digestive health, and the other ways they function in the body.
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Chia seeds are known for its high antioxidant content which helps protect the body by inhibiting the oxidation of molecules. This oxidation can produce free radicals and lead reactions that may damage cells.
2. Omega -3 Fatty Acids
A great source of polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, Chia seeds lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids, particularly ALA alpha-linolenic acid. Chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance, and reduce high cholesterol.
With 11 grams of fiber per one ounce (28 grams), Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber. This amount is about one-third of daily recommended intake of fiber per day and can help several health issues such as reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol, and regulating bowel function.
Chia seeds contain a decent amount of quality protein that helps reduce appetite and cravings. By weight, they are about 14% protein, which is very high compared to most plants. They also contain a good balance of essential amino acids which help to maximize the use of protein. Chia seeds are an excellent protein source, especially for people who eat little or no animal products.
Chia seeds can be considered a multi-mineral product as these powerful seeds contain 18% of the daily recommended intake for calcium, 30% for magnesium, 35% for phosphorus, and 50% for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and DNA synthesis. Plus, Chia contains a decent amount of zinc, potassium, and vitamin B3 (Niacin).
Even if you keep to a healthy diet, there factors that influence your body’s ability to absorb key nutrients. In this episode, Dr. Wolf delves into the different types of multivitamins, and how they interact with the body.
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Go from dull to radiant skin with this DIY Turmeric face mask! The three main components that work wonders on your skin are bee pollen, honey and turmeric. Bee pollen is loaded is free-radical fighting antioxidants that can help fight against aging and stimulate the growth of new skin tissue. Honey has been used to heal skin irritations, sun burns and acne with its anti-bacterial properties. And lastly turmeric, an anti-inflammatory, reduces the secretion of oil from the sebaceous glands giving you a glow that will have people take notice.
Lucky Vitamin is introducing a sustainable brand that brings new eco-friendly products to our customers: NooTrees.
NooTrees offers world class bamboo-based, 100% sustainable, 100% biodegradable products that are also supremely hypoallergenic. Made with 100% virgin bamboo pulp, this revolutionary tissue paper is soft, strong, highly absorbent, and BPA-free. It’s the perfect combination: the highest quality of feel and performance with little to none impact on the environment.
Did you know that more than 27,000 trees are cut down just to make toilet paper each day? NooTrees believes this needs to stop. Not only because of the environmental impact it has caused but for the long term sustainability of the earth for the future. The company aims to have every single customer join this battle to save the planet.
NooTrees offers not only bathroom tissue products but also top-quality baby wipes, anti-age wipes, spa skin cleanser wipes and much more. All products are made with 100% bamboo, a naturally hypoallergenic that is better than other materials for use in contact with your skin.
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Superfoods have been a hot topic for many years but yet some people still have a difficult time with the overall definition. What are superfoods? Which ones can be considered superfoods and which ones are not part of the group?
The most common superfoods are: blueberries, spinach, kale, fruits, nuts, whole grains, beans, sweet potatoes, salmon, mackerel, sardines, and acai. According to the American Heart Association, superfoods are good for you and your overall health when incorporated into a healthy diet that’s balanced in lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat milk and dairy products. However, there are no standard criteria or approved list of super foods.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, many people in the U.S. don’t get enough of potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk and milk products. In addition to essential vitamins and nutrients, superfoods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds provide phytochemicals, chemical compounds found in plants responsible for deep colors, that may have numerous health benefits including reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits in artery walls.
In conclusion, superfoods are great but they are not magical foods. It’s important to remember that eating just superfoods or too much of one type of food may prevent you from getting all the nutrients you need.
Adding superfoods into your baby’s diet is a great way to set the stage to health living. This superfood is a favorite that you can start giving baby around six months. Try it in this super easy recipe your baby will love.
Spirulina is considered to have the most concentrated sources of functional nutrients. In case you didn’t know this green powder is actually a type of algae sourced in pure, fresh water. What makes this super food so unique is that is contains all eight essential amino acids that readily and easily digested which is perfect for a baby’s delicate digestive tract.
Another great addition to this recipe is DHA. Your child’s brain grows the most in the first three years of life. You can optimize your little ones developing brain and eyes by adding DHA to their regimen.
Stevia wonders! This famous and efficient sweetener continues to be one of the best sugar replacements available. If you are still unsure about this natural product, let’s point out a few reasons more and more people keep on switching from sugar to stevia.
First, stevia is more potent, meaning much sweeter, than sugar. Research suggests that this South American plant extract can taste around 300 times sweeter than table sugar. As a result, you need much less for your coffee or beverage and it’s also more economical, as recipes require much less of it.
Additionally, stevia is calorie-free and unlike refine sugar, does not make you fat. It is important to remember that stevia is not a weight-loss product but the benefits from reducing regular sugar intake can be very significant in any weight-loss diet. Plant-based, zero calorie stevia can be part of a well-balanced diet to help reduce energy intake without sacrificing taste.
Stevia contains important minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc as well as vitamins and fiber. A great product for diabetics, stevia has a glycemic index (GI) value of zero comparing to table sugar which has a GI of 80. Research has shown that stevia sweeteners do not contribute calories or carbohydrates to the diet and do not affect blood glucose or insulin response, which allows people with diabetes to consume a wider variety of foods.