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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The Epigenetic Epidemic

Raising Natural Kids:

I love the last paragraph of this post – we’ve all had people tell us that they ate junk, played with toys laced with lead from China, sprayed their lawn with chemicals and turned out just fine… they aren’t willing to see the effect it has had on them and their future generations…

Originally posted on Michael Chad (Stay-at-Home Dad):

evolution

Epigenetics: heritable changes that are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence. In other words, disease-causing damage done to a parent body that is then passed along to offspring, also known as “having bad genes,” and the “epigenetic epidemic.”

Picture a healthy adult after being bombarded by all of the usual environmental crap in our food, water, air, and medicine for their first 20 years. The impact that toxic load might have in a healthy, non-cancerous, non-obese, non-inflammatory body (does that exist anymore?) is to switch on the “bad genes” that were already present, and make those bad genes start expressing themselves.

The person’s DNA itself is not changed, only whether or not the cancer/autoimmune disease/obesity genes are expressed. The damaged adult, who isn’t feeling damaged just yet, later makes a child.  That child doesn’t get to start with a healthy clean slate because their bodies were told…

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Natural, Green and Healthier Halloween Ideas!

I have been told by a number of pediatricians that the beginning of November seems to be their busiest time in regards to children coming in with illnesses like the flu and colds. Is it any wonder? The kids were bombarded with sugar only days before! For every tablespoon of sugar consumed, their immune system is suppressed for up to SIX hours! This, combined with the flu inoculations being given out like candy themselves, can wreak havoc on anyone’s immune system.

According to Dr. Jerry Lee Hover, “Eating white sugar will paralyze and hinder your white blood cells from fighting off an infection. Eating 25 teaspoons of sugar will paralyze 92% of your white blood cells for approximately five hours. The average American eats over 42 teaspoons of sugar per day. For example: A banana split has 24 teaspoons of sugar. A 12 oz coke has approx. 8-10 teaspoons, a piece of white bread 2 teaspoons. It must be remembered that sugar or empty calories and junk foods interfere with the working of the body’s immune system.” So on any given day the average person is already taking in an obscene amount of sugar. Times that by the amount of Halloween candy consumed in one sitting and WHAM – here comes that cold!

So, what to do? Should you not let your kids go trick or treating?  I doubt many people will jump on board with that idea!  Personally, I will let my children go out, but as we did with our son last year, we will have them hand over the candy in exchange for a gift, something they have been really wanting. For older kids, you can offer to buy back their candy. Also, be sure to pump your kids with vitamin D and elderberry so that they are prepared for when they are around the other kids that are fighting off illness. By treating their bodies with immune building nutrients instead of tricking them with immune suppressing sugars, dyes and chemicals, you are helping your children to remain strong and healthy. (You may want to apply this idea to yourself as well, instead of eating the candy yourself, though I know this is easier said than done!)

Moving on, this post is broken down into three parts: Alternatives to Candy, Safe Face Paint and Natural Party Ideas

ALTERNATIVES TO CANDY

Halloween Treats

When it comes to handing out treats, there are some great alternatives to candy. Last year we gave little packages of stickers out to the younger kids. I was surprised to see that when some of the older kids saw the stickers mixed in with the candy that they chose the stickers instead, so I am going the sticker route in lieu of any candy this year.

Here are some other ideas in regards to limiting the non-organic sugar loaded candy while also keeping Halloween a treat:

I have seen some great ideas in regards to limiting the non-organic sugar loaded candy while also keeping Halloween ‘green.’  Listed below are links to help you get some ideas. Feel free to share your tips in the comment area!

Also, I will start a thread on the Raising Natural Kids Facebook page for you to share your green, sugar free or sugar “less” Halloween ideas!

Related Posts:

All Natural and Organic Halloween Treats

Avoiding PBDEsIn Children’s Halloween Costumes

Celebrating Halloween with Less Consumerism

Green Halloween

More Green Halloween Ideas

No Nestle Halloween

FACE PAINT

safe face paint

Mainstream face painting kits contain heavy metals, including lead and nickel, along with toxic chemicals. Fortunately, there are safe alternatives. Instead of reiventing the wheel, here are some great links!

Make your own: The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Halloween Recipes, Mommypotamus

BUY some toxic free face paint: Go Green Face Paint, Glob Natural Face Paint, Lolliface Face Paint, Sweetcolor Face PaintNon-toxic NAIL POLISH in Halloween Colors

 PARTY IDEAS

halloween party ideas

These are just some things I have done in the past to make things a bit more festive. The mini pumpkin and ghost fruit treats are my version of the one that floats around the social media communities during this time of year, for which the origin seems to be unknown. The lollipops are my organic take on the ones I have seen in party favor catalogs. Super Healthy Kids has a great candy corn gone fruit option too!

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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 ShampooOn 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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