Article written by Joe Palinsky
Sleep is a luxury that not everyone can afford. Try as they might, there are countless people across the planet who toss and turn in their beds until sunrise. Though this is a common problem in adults, it is also an issue many children experience on a regular basis. If your little ones are unable to sleep through the night, it’s a good idea to consider your options.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. It is responsible for helping regulate one’s cycle of sleep. Though the body produces this hormone naturally, melatonin supplements are a common solution for adults who are not sleeping well. While this may seem like a practical idea for an adult, you might be hesitant to offer your children the same answer when they have difficulty catching some shut-eye. To understand whether it is right for your kids, be sure to look over what the experts are saying.
Starting With Dosage
Many drugs and supplemental products are problematic for children to ingest. Though these pills are fine for adults with fully-developed systems, a number of chemicals found in specific pharmaceuticals can inhibit growth in a child. With melatonin, this is the main argument made. Though there are still no concrete findings on whether or not melatonin impacts children in a negative way, medical experts believe it is better to approach this task from the right perspective.
Adults tend to purchase melatonin over the counter from pharmacies or health supplement establishments. This is fine for grown individuals but it can prove trickier for kids. To get the best solution, you need to first visit with your child’s pediatrician. Speaking with a healthcare professional can open you up to all possible solutions to the problem. If the doctor believes melatonin is the answer, then he or she can prescribe a specific dosage that works appropriately. Prescription melatonin comes in smaller dosages, allowing it to work its magic without overloading your child with too much melatonin.
Serious and Simple
Though melatonin is one of a number of solutions available to parents who are trying to get their children to sleep, it is important to take a closer look at when you should avoid using it altogether. When the summer has come to a close and school is around the corner, you might notice that your children are having a difficult time hitting the hay. This could be due to the excitement of the coming school year or nerves about seeing friends for the first time in months.
Situational sleep problems like this tend to come and go. Once your child has gotten back into the swing of the school year, he or she should return to normalcy with sleeping. Short-term sleeping problems usually resolve themselves and are caused by environmental factors that are not always present. When you first notice your child is not sleeping right, do not take immediate action. Allow this to carry on for a few days to see if it persists. If so, you need to contact your child’s doctor to start finding an appropriate solution.
Melatonin is a wonderful option for adults who are struggling with insomnia or other sleep-related ailments. For children, it might be best to examine alternatives first. Take a look at your child’s habits and see what might be causing the sleepless nights. In many cases, diet and exercise can change the way a child falls asleep. According to most experts, children need to be up for around twelve hours each day and need to be physically engaged for at least one hour. Inactive children who do not get outside often might deal with insomnia from not getting out enough.
Sleep is incredibly important to the human mind, body, and spirit. When you’re dealing with children who don’t seem to fall asleep, you might need to take action. Examine your child’s habits and see how long insomnia persists. When you feel like all of your options have been exhausted, visit with your child’s primary care physician and learn more about what melatonin might be able to offer.
Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.
Nut allergies are not to be taken lightly and these days many schools are not taking any chances. It’s becoming more and more common to see schools banning peanut products in response to the growing number of children affected by life-threatening allergies. Some schools even prohibit any products containing nuts in any form from the cafeteria (almonds, cashews, tree nuts etc). We’re used to PB&J as a foundational food in the childhood experience; a lot of parents are understandably stressed searching for alternatives for finicky children to eat. If your child is less-than-thrilled to part with the PB&J, it might be a great opportunity to introduce them to new foods and get creative when packing lunch.
Whether your child is allergic to peanuts or loves peanut butter but isn’t allowed bring it to school, the guide below will help you explore alternatives to the classic PB&J!
Nut butter alternatives:
If your school only bans peanuts:
PB Free lunches ideas:
- Make a simple switch: Use sunbutter, almond butter or any other peanut butter substitute to make your PB&Js.
- Try mini BLTs & cheese on multigrain or coconut wraps
- Homemade soup in a thermos (or equally delicious, non-homemade soup)
- Banana and blueberry pancake and cream cheese sandwiches (using the pancakes as bread)
- Mini apple slice and sunflower butter sandwiches (using apple slices as bread)
- Wheat or gluten-free pasta salad with veggies
- Macaroni & Cheese (gluten-free versions available!)
- The seemingly obvious but often overlooked: cook a little extra for dinner at night and pack leftovers!
PB Free sides & treats
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Sliced, organic fruit and berries
- Chopped veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli etc) with healthy ranch dressing for dipping
- Homemade chicken or egg salad sandwiches (need organic mayo?)
- Organic cheese sticks/slices
- Brown-rice crackers
- Organic applesauce
- Caprese salad (mozzarella + basil + tomatoes + balsamic)
- Low-sugar dark chocolate
- “Frushi” fruit-sushi (recipe below!)
“Frushi” Fruit Sushi Recipe
Rinse rice until the water runs clean. Let the rice soak in a bowl of clean water for 30 minutes. Bring 1 and 1/4 cups water and rice to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until water is almost absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 15 minutes.
Place rice in a large bowl. Add natural sweetener, coconut milk, and salt, stirring gently until well combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes.
Lightly coat hands with cooking spray. Divide rice mixture into 12 equal portions, shaping each into a ball (about 2 tablespoons of rice). Lightly press each rice ball into an oval between palms; place ovals on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Top each rice oval with one kiwi slice, one mandarin orange and one raspberry slice. If the fruit doesn’t readily stick to the rice you can brush the tops of the rice ovals with honey first. Cover and chill frushi for at least one hour, up to 8 hours.
This recipe is great because you can use whatever fresh fruit you like to top the rice! What are some of your go-to, peanut-free packed lunches?
*Recipe from dinneratthezoo.com
Chia seed is a superfood because let’s face it, it’s pretty super which is also it’s a great food for your little one. Even plain yogurt and squeeze pouches in the grocery store contain over 5 grams of sugar which is something you don’t want your kids to have very often. Well, why not make your own yogurty, pudding that’s gluten and dairy free with zero preservatives. This is so easy to make ahead of time and it can keep in the fridge for up to three days.
FUN FACT – Did you know chia contains five times more calcium than milk, three times more iron than spinach and twice the potassium content of one banana.
½ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons chia seed
1 mashed banana
1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
Mash the banana in a small bowl with a fork
Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl
Combine both bowls together in a mason jar
Leave in the refrigerator overnight so the chia can gel
Feed to baby in the morning and top with his or her favorite fruit
After celebrating my son’s first year of life, I was torn about what to make for his infant class at school. One thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to whip up a batch of sugar-laden cookies or cupcakes for a classroom full of babies. Luckily, I was able to pull a few tricks out of my vegan baking bag which helped me swap out junk ingredients for healthier alternatives.
Did you know that applesauce and bananas make for great egg substitutes? It’s true, they do. And they also add a hint of sweetness, which is important if you’re reducing or cutting out sugar, entirely. After making a few other modifications I was able to create a cookie that passed my test…healthy, homemade and delicious. This recipe is a daycare must-have!
With childhood allergies on the rise, you can deliver a dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, sugar-free cookie that actually tastes good. Plus, any busy mom or dad can whip these up, end-to-end, in less than an hour.
Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
1 ½ cup of gluten free rolled oats
2 ripe bananas mashed
¼ cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
¼ cup of organic dried cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350
- Combine applesauce, cinnamon and vanilla in a small mixing bowl
- In a separate medium sized bowl mash bananas until smooth and creamy consistency
- Add oats, walnuts and cranberries to the mashed bananas
- Mix together the applesauce mixture with the banana mixture and let sit for 10 minutes
- Roll into balls and place on a greased baking sheet
- Flatten tops with a spoon and bake 25-30 minutes
For a parent, when that first tooth pops up it is like seeing the first flower of spring—a new milestone, a Facebook life event status update! However, the cutting of teeth is different from other childhood milestones in that it isn’t a one-time occurrence, but rather an ongoing process, sometimes lasting up to three years.
And while the first tooth is a photo opportunity and a special notation in your baby book, the rest can just be, well, uncomfortable for not only baby but also for mom. So it’s important to find a teething relief medicine for your child that is easy to administer, contains natural active ingredients and relieves the pain instead of just masking it. Many parents have found this solution in Camilia®, made by Boiron, world leader in homeopathic medicines.
Camilia is a homeopathic medicine that relieves teething pain* without risk of overdose or drug interactions. Camilia’s sterile, single-use liquid oral doses are pre-measured and worry-free. They do not cause numbness, drowsiness or an upset stomach. The single-use doses are also extremely convenient; keep them in your diaper bag, car, purse, etc., so they’re ready to use when needed. The drops contain the following three plant-based natural active ingredients that work together to relieve pain and restore the peace:
- Chamomilla 9C HPUS (German chamomile) – Relieves teething pain accompanied by irritability.*
- Phytolacca decandra 5C HPUS (Poke plant) – Relieves painful gums.*
- Rheum 5C HPUS (Chinese rhubarb) – Relieves minor digestive disorders associated with teething.*
Camilia can be used for children ages one month and older, and parents can administer the medicine as frequently as every 15 minutes, up to nine doses per day. With Camilia, there’s no risk of overmedicating, drug interactions, masking of other symptoms, or numbing your baby’s gag reflex. It is made without benzocaine, dyes, sugar or preservatives, and is tasteless. Visit camiliateething.com for more information or connect with Camilia on Facebook or Twitter.
Stock up and save now at LuckyVitamin.com. Save 15 percent through December 31 on Camilia in 10- and 30-dose size boxes.
*These “Uses” have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Baby Teething Signs & Treatment
Lucky Vitamin is introducing Shoosha, a pure and organic line of skin care products.
Shoosha offers a 100% certified organic skin care line created for your baby’s sensitive skin. None of the products contain ingredients like parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, fragrance/perfumes, DEA’s, preservatives or any other toxic or harmful ingredient. Additionally, all Shoosha baby products carry the USDA seal because the compnay believes that only pure truly organic products are best for you and your baby. All Shoosha products are also free of GMO’s, gluten, dairy, soy or corn ingredients and made with minimal ingredients.
Every Shoosha product is created with the gentlest, nourishing botanical ingredients like calendula, coconut, sunflower oil and lavender to help nourish, calm and protect your baby’s precious skin. Both the farmland growing Shoosha’s organic plants and the manufacturing are certified organic by the USDA. This certifies that each product can only use surfactants from organic sources and no petrochemicals. Ingredients processed via hydrogenation or sulfation, or synthetic preservatives are all entirely prohibited.
Shoosha believes babies need the very best care. Their skin is ten times thinner than an adult’s, and can accumulate up to 50% of their lifetime risk to cancer by their second birthday due to chemical and toxic exposure. Chemicals and toxins, the very things most companies are putting in your baby’s skin and hair products. That’s the reason Shoosha chooses to follow USDA, the gold international food standard for all personal care products. Shoosha truly organic believes nothing less is good enough for you or your children.
Save even more when you shop Shoosha products at LuckyVitamin.com. No code needed at checkout to save an extra 15% on all items of this new brand as savings are automatically applied.
These delicious sweet potato balls are packed with nutrition and easy for tiny hands to hold to practice hand/eye coordination. The nutty flavored hemp seeds
give baby Omega 3 & 6 plus protein. Flax meal has lignans which, contain both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. And finally the one tablespoon of wheat germ provides your babe with one gram of dietary fiber, five percent of recommended daily value of folic acid and four percent of recommended daily value of phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.
1 sweet potato
1 Tbsp wheat germ
1 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp hemp seeds for topping
1 tsp cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Wrap sweet potato in foil and bake for 45-60 minutes
- Once cooled, place in bowl and mash together with remaining ingredients
- Roll in balls and place in a greased baking sheet
- Bake for 15 minutes on 350 degrees
The leaves are changing, the temperatures are dropping, and the kids are back in school, this can only mean one thing. Fall has officially begun. One of the biggest highlights to fall besides enjoying the incredible temperatures is the fun that Halloween brings. Children and adults get to dress up in costumes, enjoy parties either at homes or in school and eat delicious treats. It’s common for people to focus on unhealthy snacks this time of year (Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy each year for Halloween), but it’s important to note that healthy snacks can be just as enjoyable.
We know avoiding traditional, unhealthy candy is the best option for our health. Besides the high sugar content, there are also other unwanted ingredients you might not want yourself or your children to consume. While it’s understandable that we may indulge a little this Halloween, maybe we should all think about fueling those splurges with healthier alternatives instead.
The SpOoKy Ingredients Inside Candy
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- High Fructose Corn Syrup is a sweetener made from corn and an alternative to sucrose (table sugar). Much of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified, making high fructose corn syrup highly likely to be a GMO product.
- Saturated and Trans Fats
- Saturated fats come mainly from animal sources and can raise total blood cholesterol levels and LDL levels which can increase the risk for heart disease. While some trans fats occur naturally, most are artificial and made through the process of hydrogenation. Partially hydrogenated trans fat can increase unhealthy LDL levels and may lower healthy HDL levels which may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Hydrogenated Oils
- Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen to liquid oils to turn them into a solid form. Partially hydrogenated oils are full of trans fat which may negatively impact your heart health.
- Artificial Flavoring
- While natural flavors must be derived from plant or animal material, artificial flavors are synthesized in a lab.
- Synthetic Coloring
- Natural dyes have been used for centuries to color food; however, synthetic dyes can be mass-produced at a fraction of the cost. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have granted approval to just seven synthetic food colorings for use in food. These include; Blue #1, Blue #2, Green #3, Red #3, Red #40, Yellow #5, Yellow #6. Today, most synthetic food dyes are derived from petroleum, or crude oil.
- Chemical Emulsifiers & Preservatives
- These pertain to ingredients such as Polyglycerol polyricinoleate or PGPR and Tertiary Butylhydroquinone or TBHQ. These preservatives and emulsifiers may have detrimental health effects.
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Artificial sweeteners include acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), sucralose (splenda) and aspartame.
Make sure you leave some time this Halloween to be active. If possible walk from house to house when trick-or-treating instead of driving. Remember to be safe, wear reflective materials and walk on the sidewalk not in the streets.
Lifestyle Tips for a Healthier Halloween
- Just because you fill up an entire king size pillowcase with treats doesn’t mean you have to eat it all in one night or even one week. Moderate the intake of candy and other treats by setting limits and discussing with children beforehand how much they are allowed to eat.
- Balance the intake of candy with other healthy alternatives such as fruits, vegetables, crackers and pretzels.
- Don’t spend the night filling up on candy and junk foods. If you are having a party, give your guests some healthier alternatives and more nutrient-dense foods.
- Remember to eat a well-balanced dinner before trick-or-treating. This will prevent children from overeating candy and snacking throughout the night.
- Remember that there are healthier choices for candy which have less fat, calories and sugar content.
- Use smaller size bags that help to limit the amount of candy you collect.
- Store the leftover candy in places that are “out of the way” so you are less likely to indulge in a treat.
- There are plenty of options for parents and children besides throwing away leftover candy. You can donate to a local Ronald McDonald House, children’s hospital, or help support the troops by giving leftover candy to Operation Gratitude.
If you are a parent looking for personal care products made just for kids, Lucky Vitamin has great news for you. We are happy to introduce, SoCozy products, a new brand designed to help parents easily and effortlessly manage their kids’ hair.
SoCozy products contain good, clean formulations with non-toxic ingredients. The company believes that managing kids is one thing, managing their hair is another. Tangles, frizzies, flyaways and bedhead are common challenges of kids’ hair but with these specially developed salon-quality formulas that boast multi-functional use, parents now have a go-to that gets the job done quickly with great results every time. With over 20 years of experience and expertise about kids’ hair, SoCozy products contain no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic color, propylene glycol, or any toxic ingredient. Plus, all products are free of gluten, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts.
Safe to use on young children, SoCozy products contain only natural ingredients and are also considered safe for babies. The company, however, does recommend consulting your doctor before you use any products on your infant. It is best always to do a Skin Patch Test to test for possible allergic reactions. If adverse reaction occurs, or you experience irritation or itching, discontinue use and consult a doctor.
SoCozy formulas are extremely gentle and non-irritating. Many companies add numbing ingredients and chemicals to make their products tear-free. SoCozy uses extremely mild cleansing agents and does not add ‘numbing chemicals’ in any of the products.
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Everyone wants the best for their children. When starting baby’s first foods, the doctor will usually recommend rice cereal but it’s not mandatory. For me, I did the research and learned infants stomachs produce very little amylase, the enzyme needed to break down starch which is why I decided to wait until around ten months to introduce grains. However, five to seven months seems to be a sweet spot where they have enough salivary amylase and if you give breast milk that contains amylase as well. So your little one can break down the starch. Just remember everything in moderation. It’s completely up to you to choose what foods are best for your little one.
So one of the first grains we did was oatmeal since we were beyond rice cereal and it’s less constipating. Here’s a delicious recipe to try that you can make in bulk, keep in the fridge and use for three to four days.
- Bring water to a boil and add oats
- Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes
- Remove from heat and add milk
Summer is coming to an end, and the beginning of school is right around the corner. For parents, it’s back to the school-year routine. For a child, it commonly means a new teacher, new classmates, new routines, new thoughts and maybe even a new school. However, all this excitement can unfortunately bring on some anxiety.
While the causes of anxiety in children can differ, anxious feelings are normal and even expected as children make these important transitions in their lives. I have found that when dealing with a fear-driven thought, it’s important to walk through the fear in its entirety to help children problem solve. For instance, if your child is nervous about attending a new school and is afraid they’ll get lost or be late to class, don’t just reassure them that everything is going be OK. Instead, help walk them through the worst things that could happen and go through different scenarios of what to do if they get lost.
Besides talking out fears, I have found that homeopathic remedies may be helpful in calming back-to-school jitters. Below are just a few examples of some of the remedies that may be helpful for anxious children.
Homeopathic Remedies for Anxiety in Children
Here are five homeopathic remedies to consider that may improve anxiety symptoms in children. These remedies can be taken as pellets and dissolved in the mouth. Remember, it is always best to consult with a trained health care provider before starting to more accurately get the correct remedy and potency for your child:
- Pulsatilla: This remedy is appropriate for a child who is very timid, mild and tends to have a yielding disposition. Oftentimes, they have a strong emotional bond with their mother and cling to them. They may display their anxiety by demanding excessive attention, weeping often and crying at almost everything. Generally, their anxiety is worse in a warm room and they seek the open air.
- Lycopodium Clavatum: This is one of the first remedies that come to mind when speaking about anticipatory anxiety. Lycopodium is suitable for children who have an aversion to undertaking new things, yet when they do so, they go through it with relative ease. A lot of the anticipatory anxiety is because they are afraid they will fail and look foolish. Most of these children try to conceal these insecurities with over-confident mannerisms.
- Gelsemium: This is often the first remedy considered when it comes to test anxiety and stage fright. One of the keynote symptoms for this remedy include anticipation of any unusual ordeal, such as appearing in public, public speaking or test anxiety that can bring on diarrhea.
- Phosphorus: This remedy is good for a child who is generally very sharp, alert and desires creative activities yet has many anxieties. In their anxious state, they become fearful when they are alone and, for that reason, strongly desire company. They are very restless and fidgety and desire to be rubbed gently. When they are anxious, they can bite their nails. Lastly, they have a strong fear of the dark and their anxiety is oftentimes worse during thunderstorms.
- Baryta Carbonicum: This is a great remedy if your child is afraid to go to school because of undertaking anything new, such as new people, new classes, etc. This child is excessively shy, they oftentimes hide behind their mother, their hands or furniture so strangers can’t look at them. They tend to lack self-confidence. If this type of child walks into a room with people laughing, they may assume the people are laughing at them. They easily get homesick because they feel a sense of safety in their home. Lastly, this child may also have some problems in the classroom with learning. They tend to be very forgetful and inattentive, and have a hard time learning and remembering new information.
Diet and Emotional Health
Diet may also play a major role in emotional health. While sugar itself may not cause anxiety, researchers have found that it might worsen anxiety symptoms. In one study, researchers found that rats that binged on sugar and then fasted displayed anxiety-like behaviors. It’s important to limit the amount of sugar-laden, processed foods in your child’s diet throughout the school year. This may not only help with keeping their anxiety at bay but also may help improve their overall health and immunity.
Other Tips for Reducing Anxiety in Children
Here are some other ways you can help reduce anxiety in children:
- Role playing can help your children to come up with different plans for different scenarios that they may be anxious about.
- Focus on the positives and help your children redirect their attention from negative worries to positive thoughts. This could be getting to see friends they haven’t seen since the last day of school, focusing on a special snack in their lunch bag, or any other positive experiences you can come up with.
- Pay attention to your own behavior. Remember, children are very aware of how parents react to situations. Even if it doesn’t seem like they are paying attention, they hear and see more then we think they do. Children also learn many cues and emotions from their parents. If you can show more confidence and less anxiety, your children are more likely to follow suit.
While back-to-school jitters are common, there are many ways to help tackle them before they get out of hand. Consider some of these tips the next time you are faced with a child who is experiencing anxiety around school and life. Best wishes for a happy and healthy school year.
As August begins, it’s time to start thinking about returning to school
. Don’t wait until the very last minute to do your shopping, including supplements and products that can help you kids during the school year. Lucky Vitamin can help you get a jump start on this year’s list as we show you 5 supplements to prepare for back to school
Kids’ multivitamins can be very helpful particularly for kids who struggle to eat a well-balanced and healthy diet. The ABC of vitamins for kids should also add D and E as these 5 vitamins are extremely important for school-aged children.
Supplements to enhance the immune system can be an excellent addition for your children. Year after year, many kids get sick in school not only during the first month of classes but also during the school year, especially during the winter months. A strong immune system can prevent the common cold and flu and reduce the number of school days your kids will miss during the year.
Supplements to improve attention can be helpful for younger kids as well as teenagers and young adults. We live in a very easy-to-be-distracted world and it is no different during school hours. Improving attention can lead to better learning and a better levels of concentration.
Do you remember that time you could not answer a question just because you could not remember it? As soon as the exam/quiz was over, you could easily remember all the answers. Memory booster products can be a great way to avoid this from happening to your kids as this products contain vitamins, minerals, and herbs known to improve memory and focus.
Omega- 3 supplements are an excellent addition to your diet and your kids’ diet at any time of the year. In fact, during this time when kids are going back to school, omega supplements can help with a few of the issues listed above such as improving immunity and enhancing focus and attention.
“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.
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.
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.