BLW aka Baby-Led-Weaning

DS, DD, SAHM, EBF, STTN, CIO and BLW.  Obviously, us moms love our acronyms and they come in handy when you are talking about the same things again and again.  The first 6 I’ve known for quiet awhile, especially with the help of Google and various mom/baby forums and boards over the years.  The way information travels these days, which is quicker than ever before, you can do all the paper and library book research you want, but the material could be totally outdated.  I did my library research, then hit up google and mom blogs after mom blogs, and Youtube actually helped the most!

Baby-Led Weaning is not new agey, but I’ve read it’s another cog in the “crunchy Mom” wheel that is so common these days.  It sounds like parents have realized that the way things were done when they were children- or their parents themselves were children- aren’t exactly raising the healthiest eaters each generation.  Companies are capitalizing on charging what they charge so it’s one less things for moms to learn/handle/do in general.  It was a big deal to go from small glass baby food jars, to plastic reusable ones, and then from that to these space-saving pouches.  It seems the original idea was the most green to begin with, because glass doesn’t leach chemicals and make many happy crafty projects when reused.  I digress.

BLW: Baby led weaning is simple= no mushed food, no purees.  Go.

You take what the rest of the family is having, and slice it up into adequate sizes (comparable to either a potato chip, or two fingers in size) and give it to your baby.  You don’t “help” at all! or shove food or do any extra work for baby.  Baby doesn’t need a plate or utensils.  You sit back and eat your food like a family should, together at mealtime.  It sounds so easy!  I keep reading that it’s messy, but since I made all the baby food for Sillyboy at 6 months (never before! please don’t listen to the riffraff or your mom on cereal in a bottle or other scary things), I’d take a mess over the mountains of peeling/slicing/steaming/pureeing/portioning months anytime.  We begin late next week.  Have you tried baby led weaning?  Something similar?  A combination?  RhodeyGirlTests and YoungHouseLove have both tried with differing results, but both of their kids eat real (i.e. not baby) food every day too.

P.S. by the way, DS= Dear Son, DD= Dear Daughter, SAHM= Stay at home mom, EBF= Exclusively breastfed, STTN= Sleeping through the night, CIO= Crying it out.

Small Salve Step

A friend of mine (who isn’t tired of my lengthy “green” fact-fests) asked what type of baby or small-steps she could take without freaking out and reading every label.  Over-analyzing our lives is already work itself, no need to complicate things, I agree.  While I was finishing up my morning routine, I found just the thing.  Replacing this petrolatum product with this green salve.

 

First difference: the size of the product.  How long do people hold onto a jar of Vaseline anyhow? I couldn’t find an expiration date on mine, which could be good or bad depending on your opinion of the twinkie effect.  You literally use a dab of the salve, without adding a thick layer of greasiness.  The smaller size makes it just the thing to toss in a purse or pocket- even for a quick trail hike.

 

Next: actual effectiveness.  The reviews are hands down 5 out of 5 stars attesting to the Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment.  You can use this for anything you would normally use petroleum jelly for- and more even, like bruises and poison ivy.  The natural oils are absorbed by your skin to help heal.  We have a strict “no blood, no band-aid” rule in our house.  It’s easy to think a band-aid can fix everything, but if a paper cut or a small knick is bothering Sillyboy- he can just dab this on himself.

 

And, of course: it’s green.  Green all around.  The salve comes in a small metal green tin.  The salve itself is dark green color. And the ingredients inside are green- the first two ingredients are sweet almond oil and olive oil.  The ingredients on Vaseline= petrolatum is the active ingredient, and… nothing else is listed.

 

All in all, just try this small salve step.  If you can’t remember how old your petroleum jelly is, toss it anyways.  After my experience with spraying ethanol around the house, that is one less product I need to slather on.  What other baby steps can you take to turn one thing in your life into something green?

Being EcoMom Made Easy

Every time I visit a big box store, or even a grocery store,  I make a beeline for the HBA’s.  In retail talk, that’s Health and Beauty Accessories.  I look for organic, eco-friendly brands that I can find in other places.  I always hope that the one store will have a special little niche that has exactly what I’m looking for- at hopefully decent budget friendly prices.  But then I blame Missouri.  Not that I should- it can be really great at times.  But since we’re literally in the middle of everything, it takes awhile for trends and most brands to make their availability known here if they’re not sold at Walmart. (Thank goodness for Target!).

I feel so lucky to have the availability to ship whatever I want from online sites.  Luckily, EcoMom does a heft of work as well- by gathering all those organic, wooden, cloth, natural rubber, and earth happy products and putting them on their site.  They’re motto is “We do the research, so you don’t have to.”  Unlike a few other green sites that do the same thing, Ecomom has product reviews readily available (you can even volunteer for that).  They include upscale make-up for moms, books, kitchen gear, organizing tools, perfect giftsets, and even giftcards!  I’ve only ordered a few things so far, as I slowly replace each few plastic toys in our house with something better, but the quality is awesome so I really recommend them.  Where do you find green products?

 

Add a Bit of Green… To Your Plate

Fast food. Convenience food.  It’s tough to be vegetarian or semi-vegan in the Midwest, namely the middle of Missouri.  It’s not like we have a dearth of organic, raw, fresh veg places to choose from.  In my zip code, we have like one of those- and sometimes it’s crowded and not that clean.   So I try to keep all of our healthy veg food coming from the best place ever- our kitchen.  But weekday evenings get busy, over-scheduled, and by the time all four of us make it home we’re exhausted enough to eat anything reheated in the microwave.  Drive-thru is a guilty pleasure, but while repeating my mantra of “which is better?” instead of “which is best?” helps in these times of weakness.  My husband and Sillyboy LURVE (that’s Love with some extra) chicken nuggets.  Up until recently – even with the white meat craze, a percentage of them were still made from pink slime.  But they don’t want to hear me preach about that while ordering at the drive up intercom.  I don’t control what my husband orders when I’m not with them.  He is simply not me.

My rule – is simple, but hard to stick to often, is that you get one fried thing off the menu.  If you don’t eat beef, it’s a real tough call.  This means no fries with chicken nuggets.  Sillyboy groans every time, but ends up completely satisfied at the end of his meal.

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Thank goodness for the $1 menu!  Here’s options they sometimes choose: nuggets and a side salad, grilled chicken sandwich and fries, grilled chicken salad with fries, salad with a soft-serve cone, or nuggets and apples.  Luckily, the nuggets still come in a Happy Meal.  I end up with a big salad- asking for the grilled meat on the side (which goes to either of the guys, or the dogs at home if they behave).  I used to omit the meat completely, but the price is still the same, and if someone else in the car gets the side salad, they don’t mind some sliced grilled chicken added.  For the few and far between fast food stops, it’s a win!  Adding a bit of green to your plate is always a good thing, despite the unhealthy options that dominate outside of the home.  Just beware of all that creamy dressing- raspberry vinaigrette is sweet enough for a kid’s taste.

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Healthy Child Healthy World [useful printables link!]

Since I finally got around to testing out my free trial sizes of Honest products, I took the plunge and ordered my first set of diaper/wipes bundle and a home product bundle.  I’m excited to test out the sunscreen and multi-purpose cleaner the most!  The eco-green earth-friendly talk has been everywhere, with today being Earth Day and all.  The motivation behind a lot of movements was spurred on by Healthy Child Healthy World– a non-profit organization that is trying to promote a healthier environment for all kids (and families).

Former CEO of the company, Chris Gavigan, authored a highly revered book by the same name.  (I just grabbed it from the library today!).  The org has helped many families identify and remove harmful toxins in their lives to create lower allergy and asthmatic environments.  Healthy Child Healthy World works to educate families for the future of our children.  While perusing their site, I found a list of informational printables for you here.  You can print some out, or download the app to keep the pocket lists with you always.  They’ve already done the research for the healthiest brands- look for them by name.

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I can get serious with a 5 year old, this is true.  Even with the bambina, I’m not a baby-talking high pitched voicing person coercing my baby to smile.  I’m not so much the helicopter parent my husband is.  I try my hardest to be vegetarian.  Some days it’s great, some days I have sushi, and others I’m vegan.  With both of our family histories filled with overweight, diabetic, heart-attacking, cancerous relatives, we try harder some days and less others.  So we went halfsies on our kids, who are halfsies of us.  So they consume dairy, eggs, fish, and poultry but never pork or beef meats or products (except that one time Sillyboy forgot to ask about some rice and porky beans at school, and now he knows better). It lets us think about our food.  Just like making a decision between a brownie or a lemon bar, it might just be a preference.

I provide this little disclaimer/info note on our family because I was surprised that the Today Show had a quick segment on vegan kids.   They featured a new children’s book being released this month called Vegan is Love.  They also criticize Alicia Silverstone and Mayim Bialik about their parenting habits near the end to shock parents.  I’m surprised that the segment keeps mentioning how controversial the entire idea is but the article below it says it’s all good as long as you stay smart.  Watch and read here:

TODAY Moms- Should kids go vegan?

I have so many questions!  What do “regular” meat-eating families tell their children about where the food comes from?  I know several people who grew up on Midwest farms and learned at a young age where all their food came from.   Nothing about hatching, raising, butchering, cooking, or eating farm animals shocked them (except maybe the pig castrating example back in 4H).  Sillyboy understands that we raise animals to eat them, just like we grow vegetables.  I’m not sure how the Vegan is Love book would create malnourished children.  Are parents hiding the fact that hamburgers come from cows?  Parents should be there to provide information, guidance, and answers to kids about what they eat and how they grow.  Not everybody should or can be vegetarian or try veganism, but any education beyond McDonald’s and pink slime could help everyone eat healthier, or at least I believe it.  Why should something you eat everyday scare you?

Honest Good Stuff

Jessica Alba saw a need and fulfilled her goal of creating a company that provides chemical and toxic-free home and baby products at an affordable rate. Maybe you’ve heard of The Honest Company? The products are mailed to your home each month after subscribing, and you’re billed automatically each time.

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I’ve spied Jessica on Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, and she’s visited many other tv shows promoting The Honest Company.  The products sound wonderful and look pretty – but even after reading other blogs’ reviews (themommareport, Blogher, Babycenter,  of their freebie trial packs, I had to check it out on my own.

My trial kit for the home products (balm, lotion, detergent, hand soap, shampoo), and the diaper pack (diapers & wipes) arrived just last night!  The mini-products came with a brochure from Alba and her business partner Chris Gavigan (Jessica Capshaw‘s husband) – *apologizing here for my blurry camera phone*

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The husband is worried that these earthy diapers won’t absorb well and we’ll be left to clean up twice the mess as we already do.  Here’s hoping they work out great- I have 7 days to test everything out and decide if I want to stay subscribed to both shipments, before they’re automatically sent out.  My favorite part of all the label reading are the wipes.

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Bonus points: Not tested on animals (they are working on being included in PETA’s safe list), Made in America, all-natural ingredients, durable cloth-like texture, and they’re flushable!  Win and win for everybody.