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5 Green Products: Happy Baby Organic Baby Food to PVC-Free EcoZoo Natural Cotton Animal Backpacks

Posted Oct 31 2010 12:00am

From Dr. Sears’ book Happy Baby: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months , comes a line of organic baby food.  Packaged in BPA-free pouches heated by placing in a pot of hot water, these organic meals are portable and easy to use.  Unfortunately, the pouches can’t be recycled like traditional glass baby bottles.

We chose to use our pouches first and foremost because of their safety and nutritional benefits. Our pouches are BPA and phthalate free. These sealed pouches also allow us to naturally preserve all of our 1: starting solids, 2: simple combos, 3: balanced meals, and 4:organic superfoods for tots & tykes organic purees without additives. And our pouch packaging allows us to cook all of our baby food at a lower temperature than jarred baby foodgiving them not only great flavor, but a significantly higher level of nutrition.

While our pouch material isn’t currently recyclable, many cities do accept the #2 plastics we use for our re-sealable caps. And we’re proud to say that our pouches have a better overall environmental rating than glass jar alternatives. An independent Life Cycle analysis revealed that the pouches take less energy and fewer materials to make and produce less air pollution than glass, tetra pak or PET plastic bottles.

This baby food is made in the USA, and Happy Baby is a supporter of Project Peanut Butter, an organization that feeds malnourished children in Sierra Leone and Malawi.

Would I buy this product? Probably not. I am not convinced we need store packaged baby food, except for perhaps convenience on a long trip. It is so simple to make your own baby food as part of your family meals.  Plus, Heather makes some great points in her post Baby Essentials That Aren’t, Part 7: Baby Food !

I am a firm believer that every baby should wear cloth diapers ; however, there does come a time when a “land fill”, aka disposable diaper is needed.  For example, when I tired of double cloth diapering my baby at night time, concerned the big wad around her bottom was ergonomically incorrect for her back (not to mention the leaks), I switched to land fill diapers at night . I figured one a day wasn’t bad.  For my second child, landfill diapers were used when traveling (second child syndrome).

Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Baby Diapers were our landfill diaper of choice, but there weren’t many options nine years ago.  Today, parents have a lot more choices when it comes to chlorine free disposables.  Whole Foods had introduced its own diaper as part of the 365 line.

The latest 365 Everyday Value™ Baby Diaper Line will bring to the changing table an improved product at a lower price. With more diapers per package and a price point of $9.99 (yup, that’s two bucks off the old rate); parents everywhere can redefine their definition of great value. Improved sizing and a new accordion fastener are sure to guarantee a super fit.

The new line will continue to perform the essential diaper duties:

1. Protect against leaks. Protect us from pooptastrophe. Deliver us from evil. Guard our laps, couches and cribs from ruin, not just during the routine day to day, but during that 7-hour family road trip when there’s no rest stop in sight. With absorbency gel made from a non-toxic super absorbent polymer and the new accordion fastener that ensures a snug fit, 365 Everyday Value™ Baby Diapers keep your kids dry and happy, via natural means.

2. Baby bum preservation. A successful diaper must meet and exceed objective 1 while protecting the delicate skin of your baby’s bottom. Comfort is key and so is product make-up. Hello! Harsh chemicals can lead to allergic reactions and diaper rash and have no business being near kids’ sensitive skin. 365 Everyday Value™ Baby Diapers are made with chlorine free materials, are hypo-allergenic, latex free, and contain no perfumes or dyes making them a safer, healthier choice for your tot- and the environment. Speaking of…

3. Minimize environmental impact. Disposable diapers are a mom’s best friend and one of the Earth’s worst enemies. According to the Clean Air Council, Americans throw away 49 million diapers per day. (Holy crap!) Made from wood pulp fluff sourced from family-owned, sustainably managed forests and with significantly less material than traditional plastic diapers, 365 Everyday Value™ Baby Diapers are responsibly produced and reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills. Because they are chlorine, dye and latex free, these diapers are not only less likely to irritate your baby’s skin; they are less harmful to our soil and thus a more sustainable choice for on-the-go eco-conscious moms everywhere.

I have two concerns with these diapers. One is the color.  These diapers are white, and I prefer and trust the look of unbleached paper products.  Second, the label says, “MOISTURE ABSORBING GEL-Our diaper padding contains an absorbent gel that is safe and non-toxic.  You may notice a small amount of gel on your child’s skin and it can easily be wiped away.”  Gel scares me, but apparently the Whole Foods gel is lot safer and less irritating than Pampers .  Plus, the Seventh Generation diapers use a polymer, so which is safer?  These diapers are made in the USA.

Would I buy this product? No.  The closest Whole Foods is a five-hour drive, and as I mention, I fear gel.

Recently, my daughter fell down the stairs.  We’ve always warn about playing on the stairs and to use a cliche, she finally learned her lesson. Unfortunately, that lesson came with some bruises and pain.

Ever since I sprained my ankle in my early twenties, I’ve relied heavily on topical arnica products to relieve my pain.  I’ve used these same products on my children until I discovered Topricin makes a products designed for kids.

Topricin® Junior Children’s Pain Relief and Healing Cream specially formulated for kids. Pediatrician recommended this paraben free, patent pending formula treats pain associated with a wide range of common children’s injuries. It is perfect for muscle sprains and strains, eczema, back, heel and knee pain, and overall growing pains…
Safe and effective, Topricin® Junior uses no volatile oils such as camphor or menthol or irritating chemicals. Rather, it stimulates the body’s desire to heal the damage that is causing the pain by draining the toxins that build up in an injured area.

In addition to arnica, this product has 12 other homeopathic ingredients.  It is designed for children ages two to twelve.  My daughter did feel that it relieved her pain from the stair fall.

Would I buy this product? Maybe.  I think this is a great, affordable product, I am just not sure why I would need a separate product for my kids than the adults in the family.  It’s not as if the homeopathic remedies we use already have high potencies that concern me.  I do like how five percent of sales are donated to children’s health organizations by Topricin.

I do not subscribe to Cooking Light , but many of my favorite recipes (e.g. The Best Organic Strawberry Tart Ever! ) have been adapted from ones shared by friends who do get the magazine.  Cooking Light has just released a new cookbook aimed at helping busy people make quick, healthy meals. Each recipe is broken down by the amount of time it takes to prepare.

Time is money, and in today’s budget-conscious world, it’s essential to maximize every cent and second. To help families do just that, the editors of Cooking Light have compiled Complete Meals in Minutes (October 12; $29.95), allowing home cooks to choose exactly how much time they want to spend in the kitchenwhether it’s 15, 20 or 30 minutesand find the right recipe in a snap. The cookbook also features advice to help busy parents minimize preparation time while maximizing nutrition for their children.

All parents are busy, whether they work full time or work at home.  I find that during the school week, it is a challenge to get homework done and have time to prepare a meal. It’s not that I don’t like to cook; it’s that I don’t like the pressure of putting a meal on the table every evening.

From black bean corn tostadas to chickpea spinach curry, there are a plethora of vegetarian recipes included in this cookbook for our family to use.  There’s even a section called “Meatless Main Dishes”, but there are many other recipes that could easily be adapted for a vegetarian diet.  There are even some cocktail recipes! (Moms need those!)  This book does recommend some brand items I wouldn’t use, but I have long become accustomed to adjusting recipes to whole foods.

Would I buy this product? Maybe.  It is on sale for $20 now, and I do like how easy this cookbook makes time management; however, I’ve become an internet recipe hunter.  I’m not sure we even need hard copy cookbooks anymore, but I do trust the editors at Cooking Light to know that all of these recipes will work and be delicious. I don’t have time to try out a recipe and have it flop!

Occasionally, we get sent a product we feel is truly green and truly adorable!  EcoZoo backpacks by EcoGear are the real deal!  PVC and Toxic Free, everything about these bags is right, all they way down to the tags.


• natural cotton canvas & rope materials

• non-toxic dyes

• recycled plastic components

• sustainable wood accents

• padded shoulder straps

The only drawbacks are they are made in China, and the cotton could be organic.

Seriously, these animal backpacks are so darn cute.  My children are enamored with our panda.

Would I buy this product? Yes.  They are a little expensive at $36, but I don’t mind the price for the green peace of mind. In fact, I think my little niece may be getting one of these for her birthday!

Disclosure:  The products described above were sent to us as free samples, unless noted differently in the review.  Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given.  No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews.  The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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