Six easy ways to go green with your baby

Ever wondered how you can raise a ‘green' baby?

The good news is that there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives on the market so whether you decided to go completely organic or just make a few small changes, everything you do adds up to a healthier planet and a happy baby.

Emma Gardiner has found six easy ways to go green:

Buy or make your own organic baby food

Whether you decide to buy it or make it yourself, organic baby food has been scientifically proven to be nutritionally better. There has been a lot of debate about whether there is any point spending the extra money on organic foods but the research continues to support the fact that organically produced foods are generally higher in nutrients and antioxidants, as well as being free of chemical residues. There is a huge range of pre-prepared organic baby foods on the market but it's also very easy to make your own at home with a food processor. All you need to do is stock up on organic fruit and vegies and draw inspirations from the combinations that are commercially available such as pear & apple, sweet potato & chicken or spinach & potato. You can easily do this in combination with making meals for the rest of the family but make sure you don't add any salt or sugar to the baby food.

Buy organic formula

If breast milk is not the right option for you, there is an organic alternative to the standard formula on the market. Usually available in dairy and soy varieties, organic formulas should be free of steroids, antibiotics, pesticides, growth hormones and chemical fertilisers. They are nutritionally complete and provide 100% of essential nutrients that babies need during the first 12 months of life.
Organic skin care - Babies are prone to a range of skin conditions including nappy rash and cradle cap. Rather than treating these ailments with a chemical cocktail of synthetic fragrances and mineral oils, try products that contain natural ingredients such as Vitamin E-rich wheat germ oil, chamomile and lavender (to soothe redness and irritation), calendula, zinc, castor oil (to help the skin repair itself) and beeswax (to provide a barrier between the skin and fabric).

Organic cotton

Cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops on the planet so while it may not be immediately toxic, its production is responsible for devastating amounts of environmental degradation. The number of organic baby wear and bedding options is growing everyday and in many cases, the organic products are of superior quality because they have been made locally or under Fair Trade conditions. With the amount of times that babies' clothes and linen are laundered, it is definitely worth spending a little bit of extra money to receive a better constructed product, with the bonus being that you will feel good about your decision to support the chemical-free cotton movement.

Organic / eco friendly nappies

There are two options here - organic cotton cloth nappies or eco-friendly disposable nappies. In the case of cloth nappies, there will always be the additional effort of laundering them, meaning considerations of detergents and water consumption, but with disposable nappies, there's the whole landfill and biodegrading aspects to consider. For starters eco-friendly disposables are generally unbleached and are latex-free. The upside of this is that they don't release dioxin as they degrade. Dioxin is a genuinely nasty chemical found in a lot of different synthetic materials but primarily in plastics and chlorines, both of which are found in conventional nappies. Once dioxin enters your system, it stays there for life.

Organic cleaning products

There are again two paths you can follow here - to buy eco-friendly cleaning products or use household items such as white vinegar, bicarbonate soda, eucalyptus oil, lemon juice and vanilla essence to clean with. There is a huge variety of ready-to-go cleaning products on the market that are generally ammonia-free, biodegradable and often made using plant extracts, simple mineral salts and oils such a citrus and lavender. Ideal for allergy suffers, eco-friendly cleaning products usually smell pretty good too!

A great place to start is at Macro Wholefoods Markets or visit www.macrowholefoods.com.au for further information.

 
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