Get Your "Mama Bear" On
Whether you're sending a little guy for his first day ever or just sending the whole clan back, green moms can still get their "mama bear" on and set their kids up for success even when it feels like toxins and crazy stuff are everywhere.
I'm going to talk about a few ways you can help "shield" your kids from the junk thrown at them every day. For each topic, there are different things you can do. Each one is rated with between one and four paws depending on how protective each measure is. Choose the level of "mama bear" you are comfortable with or mix and match!
Control What You Send Them With
Purchase school supplies second hand-or use last year's! New things will have a higher concentration of chemicals that will off-gas throughout the year. Used things have already off-gassed, thereby reducing exposure.
Make sure any new products you buy are labeled BPA free.
Look for backpacks, lunch totes and other supplies labeled as phthalate, lead, and PVC free. Avoid anything with flame retardants.
Purchase supplies made from organic or sustainable materials such as sugar cane and bamboo.
Feed Them Well
Kids brains and bodies are growing. Their bodies take what they eat and drink and use that as the raw material to power their brains and build new cells. If they eat nutrient-rich healthy foods, they are more well powered than the kids eating tons of sugar or foods coated in pesticides (or foods with built in pestides...BT corn, anyone?). While you may not be able to send them with hand crafted organic lunches everyday, you can control the kinds of snacks and foods you keep at home.
Check out the "dirty dozen" (most pesticide contaminated foods) and buy those organic for snacking and meals at home.
Put kids in charge of packing their own lunches with "better for you" foods from home you ahead like sugar-free organic apple sauce, pre-cut organic apples, string cheese, whole grain crackers, or other convenience foods that feature real ingredients and avoid processed sugars and GMOs.
Eat at least one meal together as a family everyday and pack it with nutrition by serving whole grains, a variety or raw and cooked veggies and hormone and antibiotic free meat.
Send your kids to school with homemade (primarily organic) lunches and snacks packed in metal or glass containers. Eat healthy meals together as a family at home as well.
Help Them Recharge
Help them make a smooth transition to bed time by avoiding TV, the internet and social media right before bed which can lead to "I-can't-get-my-brain-to-turn-off"-itis.
Help them avoid absorbing toxins while sleeping by getting them jammies free of flame retardants.
Splurge on pillowcases and sheets made from organic cotton (Cotton is one of the most pesticide burdened crops we grow. Processing and weaving the cotton into fabric does not remove these pesticides). Organic cotton too expensive? Look for sheets made from bamboo (a low pesticide fiber crop) instead.
Buy an organic mattress. Purchasing an extra long twin mattress will help the mattress last them well into college - helping you get more years of use for your dollar.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~As a member of Clever Girls Collective, I was selected to participate in the Healthy Habits program sponsored by Kimberly-Clark and Colgate-Palmolive. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #healthyhabits #cgc