Raising Natural Kids

Raising Natural Kids provides parents with the resources that they need to make informed decisions regarding their children, specifically focusing on raising children in healthy environments that will benefit their overall well-being.

© Raising Natural Kids 2011. All rights reserved. Text and images are not to be reproduced or replicated without my written consent. Contact me at rnkcommunity@gmail.com.

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Cleaning up ‘Cradle Cap’

cradle capNot knowing much as a new mom six years ago, I was surprised when my crunchy pediatrician revealed to me that cradle cap is actually fungal and that eliminating dairy would help to eradicate it, being that dairy intolerance is often the cause.

I used to sit and pick at my son’s scalp as he nursed, trying to clear it up myself. I could pick all I wanted, but it always came back. It was when I eliminated dairy from my diet that it stayed away… until he was old enough to eat foods on his own. None of my three children have ever had a sip of cow’s milk, but they do enjoy plain Greek yogurt and cheese. Having limited diets as it is (no wheat and very little sugar), I sometimes feel bad depriving them of these two treats, so I often let them have them. However, there a periods of time (months) where I give them barely any dairy and it’s then that their scalps are clear.

Because we have had a dairy filed summer, as I start to once again work on the cause (dairy intolerance), I am also tackling the symptom (the actual cradle cap). To clear it up, I turned to a 100% organic and safe shampoo designed for dandruff and cradle cap, Ta Da Shampoo. The combination of organic ingredients, including neem oil (works as a fungicide), tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar, lend to an effective, chemical free treatment.

I have only used the shampoo a few times, as I just ordered and received it this past week, but I could see a difference after the first wash. Here’s what I have been doing: I apply the Ta Da Shampoo to their scalps when they first get in the bath and I let it sit for five minutes before washing it off. While it sits, I gently scrub their scalps with my fingers. Then I rinse. Because it is helping to lift off and kill the fungus, you will probably see flakes in the hair that you can comb out as it is drying. It will take a week or two of washing with it to get the fungus gone completely, but it is clear that it has already started working (Note: It will most likely come back if you discontinue use without having eliminated dairy). I’ve got my own dandruff/cradle cap issues and I can’t wait to have longer than two minutes in the shower to use it on my scalp! On a side note, I was pleasantly surprised how soft the shampoo leaves their hair and at how nice the smell is, especially once it has dried.

In addition to eliminating dairy and the use of the shampoo, adding probiotics to the diet will help get rid of the fungus for good as well.

Where to find Ta Da Shampoo – On my Poofy Organic’s Page under the Personal Care Tab

Author’s Note: I joined the Poofy team after recommending their products for 5 years unaffiliated. It made sense to join an amazing team that puts out 100% organic and safe products. They are what they say, unlike so many other companies saying they are green or organic, when they are not. I share them because I love them first and foremost. Thank you for supporting Raising Natural Kids with your purchase.

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Depriving Kids of Junk Versus Feeding Them It for Convenience

“These days, being a ‘healthy eater’ is to be abnormal. To feed your kids healthy food is to be a mother who is depriving her kids of their childhood. It is convenient to give kids what one is certain they will eat instead of what they should eat.” ~ Wendy of RNK Africa

When I saw this quote, it rang true to me. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten and still get looks from people when I don’t want my kids eating foods high in sugar and or loaded with chemicals. Sorry folks, I am interested in heath and building my children’s bodies to be strong; I am not interested in feeding them foods that will break it down. I realize that friends and family members may, at times, find this inconvenient as for some reason, food seems to be the universal way of spoiling a child and making them feel special, but there are much more appropriate and meaningful ways to achieve the same goal.

And for those who will read this and say, everything in moderation, I don’t necessarily disagree (unless you have a child who is clearly sensitive to these foods, like I do). It’s not like my children don’t get special treats; they do. They just get the “better for you” forms of them. It’s always quite clear to me when an hour after my son gets home after not being with me, if he’s had something that he shouldn’t have. He cannot control his emotions or behavior and he flips out, leaving myself and my other children to deal with it. That one (or 10) cookies, ice cream, what have you, is not worth what it does to him nor my immediate family (artificial chocolate (versus pure chocolate without added junk) and food dyes do it in for him). My daughter, on the other hand, is not sensitive to the foods in the same way as my son and it isn’t so much of an issue with her. 

I put this quote out there to the RNK FB community and I loved the reposes, so I thought I would share them here. Feel free to add your own response in the comments. 

Amber: Agree, but I also think it’s okay to give them the unhealthy treats once in a while. If they’re eating healthy 90% of the time, then I think it’s okay to let them eat what they want the other 10%.

Sara: Well my 3 year old prefers dates over candy so :)

Liz: It is a struggle, especially because we are a generation who hates to tell our kids No. But the easy/convenient way is rarely the best way–it’s our job to teach them moderation and healthy habits!

Kristin: Yes, I’ve heard the “deprivation” argument. Have even been called a “hippie”. And that’s ok. I’ve never *forced* my choices on anyone else…so I’m not sure why I get criticized (I have always been fine bringing along our own food/snacks/drinks–no big deal! Don’t go and rearrange your menu for us–please!) *We* choose to steer clear of artificial ingredients (and even some of those “natural ” ones). *We* choose to support local eateries and grocers that offer “real” food from local/organic farms. Yes, we still eat candy and “junk food” from time to time because it is more convenient. But my boys have never said they feel like they’re missing out on fun times because of the food choices we make (at least they haven’t so far!). I am proud that my boys reach for a piece of fruit at snack time, think that trail mix is awesome, and ask for applesauce or yogurt for “dessert”!

Maggie: Glad I started early with my daughter; she chooses healthy foods herself- when she eats conventional junk food she inevitably is sick from it. Strangers can think what they like my child’s health is more important then the warped idea that childhood=junk foods. There are so many recipes for healthy “junk”- she loves our zucchini carrot cupcakes for parties : ) I don’t really see the convenience when so many additives cause behavior issues or sickness … my friend’s with kids consider her a good influence and we offer recipes (she’s a good influence on me too  I hear that all the time! “Just a taste won’t hurt him,” “You had it when you were a kid,” etc. I applaud those who can afford to feed their kids healthy, organic, home-made food. When relatives want to feed my 1yo ‘garbage food’ I ask them what’s in it, and what are those ingredients made of. Most times that gets my point across. I agree that it is abnormal to be the ‘healthy eater’ these days. I do not think it is appropriate to give kids what they WILL eat instead of what they SHOULD eat, because it is up to us as parents to teach them to eat the right things. Occasional treats are fine (think birthday cake) but nobody else is going to teach them about healthy, nutritious choices.)

Tamara: Absolutely. People think I’m terrible that my kids eat “all that healthy stuff”. They act as if we are poisoning them. I’ve actually been told that if we fed them more junk/ processed foods they would be healthier because it will strengthen their tummy! LOL

Marilyn: Agree! And I find it ironic that the people that don’t want to be judged are the first to judge me and say I am depriving them. Then tell me how when my kids are older they are going to rebel. Really? Rebel? Because I informed them about their bodies and making healthy choices? And we talk about it and cook together?

Michelle: Totally agree and get so frustrated trying to make sure she gets good choices when at daycare. I’ve been told to just give it up… Makes me crazy.

Jessica: I absolutely hate having people tell me too that I am just being mean that their kids ate the junk and they are just fine. Ye many of those grown up kids having depression and mental focus issues they struggle with aches and pains, heart issues etc. that people write off as its just getting old.

Linda: We have run into this and it’s so frustrating! Kids being fed a healthy diet are deprived…deprived of obesity, diabetes and inflammation! Fifty years ago treats were treats…now treats are given at every meal and in between.

Amanda: I get eye rolls about our healthy eating but I don’t care. I do think that if I control all of the food inside our home, then treats outside of the home are o.k. Besides, I love an good walk to the ice cream shop!

Elizabeth: Agree!! And I must ad to this; if someone is eating healthy & feeding their kids healthy food…. DO NOT try to convince them that your garbage food is normal and pressure them “Oh!! Have a cookie, it won’t kill you! C’mon, just eat it it!!” It’s very rude!! We don’t mock you for eating garbage and try to force carrot sticks down your throat. Respect peoples choices!!!

Thyra: I totally agree! When people offer my kids crappy food I think “do you want him to unhealthy?” Not that I never give him treats but it’s disgusting how often I have to say no or intervene.

Cassie: I catch it all the time. My fiancé and I are the butt of family jokes. We’re ‘the weird ones’. We’re treated as conspiracy theorists or freaks for toting our tales of chemicals and poisons and, yes, accused of depriving the children of normal childhood treats. We’re made to feel guilty because of ‘how difficult it is to find things the children are allowed to have’ when holidays come around and our family members want to give the children Easter baskets or stockings. I tell them very simply to put fruit in the baskets. (We travel and have a large family, so I tell them no toys…there’s never enough room in the car to get everything home) Apparently, fruit isn’t enough of a treat. I say organic dark chocolate. -Too bitter for children. Battles aplenty. Inevitably we end up with a bunch of garbage that goes exactly there.

Renee: Oh that makes me so sad if that is true. I don’t feel like I am depriving my children of their childhood in the least. I grew up on crap and i’m still trying to recover my body – I hope my kids don’t have to fight for their health as much as I have had to…

Chelsea:  I hear that all the time! “Just a taste won’t hurt him,” “You had it when you were a kid,” etc. I applaud those who can afford to feed their kids healthy, organic, home-made food. When relatives want to feed my 1yo ‘garbage food’ I ask them what’s in it, and what are those ingredients made of. Most times that gets my point across. I agree that it is abnormal to be the ‘healthy eater’ these days. I do not think it is appropriate to give kids what they WILL eat instead of what they SHOULD eat, because it is up to us as parents to teach them to eat the right things. Occasional treats are fine (think birthday cake) but nobody else is going to teach them about healthy, nutritious choices.

Mandi: Agree. I just had this discussion with my 11 yo. at a grocery store. He was like, “mom we can get so much more food for our money if you would not buy everything organic and grass-fed.” (This was his statement after I said no to Doritos. I told him we eat to live and not live to eat. I also asked him if he knew what that ment. His reply ” we eat foods that will help us take care of our bodies instead of eating junk that will break them down and make us sick.”

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Preventing Lice So that You Don’t Have to Deal With Them

LicePreventionTips

With the start of school often comes the threat of lice entering your home via the heads of your little ones. Last year I had a guest post about a homemade concoction to get rid of lice in case you ever have an encounter with them. When discussing it on our Facebook page, people wanted a simpler solution, something that they didn’t have to put together themselves. They also wanted something to use so that they didn’t have to deal with lice in the first place. Thus, this post!

1798845_10203113983185271_2476730829502361382_nThere are a couple of options available when it comes to lice prevention. You all know that I love my Poofy, so of course, I have to share their shampoo with you. This shampoo can replace what it is you are using as a daily shampoo. You can choose to start using this at the beginning of the school year, or wait until an ‘outbreak’ occurs in your child’s school. Here are the ingredients: Purified water, Decyl Polyglucose (plant source), Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Essential Oils of Tea Tree, Rosemary, Citronella & Geranium, Xanthan Gum. If by chance you forget to use it and do contract lice, this can be used as a treatment as well, along with some other important components which include “combing through the hair thoroughly with a lice comb as well as using some kind of suffocating element (coconut oil works well), and the hot dryer or dishwasher for all items that might come in contact with the head/hair (pillow cases, pillows, sheets, brushes, hats, etc.). The shampoo alone won’t take care of the problem but it’s an important component”(Sarah Gomez-Kaveney). You can find this shampoo under the Personal Care tab.

Rosemary_Repel_H_508f384aa5111The other option, that can be used instead of or in conjunction with Poofy’s shampoo, is Fairy Tales Repel Conditioning Spray. This is something that is easy in that you spray it on the hair before sending the kids off to school. I don’t love the ingredients as much as Poofy’s shampoo, but they are still ok. Specifically, I don’t love the dicetyldimonium chloride, but it only rates a 2 on EWG. Fairy Tales does make a repelling shampoo as well, but if you look at the ingredients, you will see that some are toxic and not something you would want to use on your child’s head every day.

 

Fortunately, the prevention products have worked for my family and I haven’t had to ever treat lice. Feel free to share your tried and true lice treatment strategies in the comments if you have had to deal with the little pests.

 

 

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Garden Zucchini Bread ~ A Healthier Twist

I was so excited to pick my first garden zucchini of the year. Here’s what I did with it!

zucchini bread

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Toxin Free, Eco-Friendly Lunch Box Options

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that any kind of plastic that comes into contact with food or drink is no good. When it comes down to it, plastic is made from harmful chemicals that have been linked to cancers and hormone disruption. Just because a plastic is BPA free doesn’t mean it’s safe. It just means that the BPA was replaced with another chemical, such as EA, which is still toxic. These toxins leach most in warm and moist environments, like in dishwashers, in the dish basin, or when it’s holding something moist and warm, like certain food or beverage (such as warmed milk in a bottle). For more on this, see these links: The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics and Is BPA-Free Plastic Safe? (Fox News)

lunch box

Because I do not want my children to be part of a science experiment, I chose to pack my kids’ lunches in stainless steel instead of plastic, as it’s the safest in regards to not leaching and not being able to break like glass does.

Here are some stainless steel lunch box options at different price ranges.

PlanetBox: Price Range – $50-60

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I know that one look at the price and some of you are saying no thanks. However, please think twice about this. For one, stainless steel is going to be more expensive than plastic. It’s a long term investment that you are making in your child’s health. In addition, this stainless steel box will last until your child has long graduated from high school. I cannot say that the bag it comes it will last as long, but this can be replaced at some point down the line. My son used it for his first year in kindergarten and will be using it again, in like-new shape for first grade in the fall.

LunchBots: Price Range – $20-30

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A lot more reasonable in price, BUT that price does not include an insulated lunch bag, which run about $21.00 itself. The good news is that unlike the PlanetBox container, LunchBots will fit into many standard lunch bags.

D’ECO: Price Range – $11.99

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The cheapest of the lot, it has some good reviews and a nice design. It does not come with any type of lunch bag, nor does one seem to be offered separately.

I did find other options as well. I like the idea behind ECO Lunchboxes, but I don’t love the shape of the main box and I don’t find the carry bags to be well designed, especially not for a young child.

The key is to find something to fit your needs in both size and budget, while knowing that you are investing in health and in the environment by not packing lunch in plastic.

Please Note: All products are linked to Amazon affiliates. While costing the purchaser nothing extra, Amazon gives a percentage of sale to me, which goes into the upkeep of this site. I appreciate your support of the website through your purchase. Thank you.

Posted in Toxic Chemicals Around Children, Toxins in and around the Home | Tagged , , | 9 Comments