Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Paint those piggies

I can't understand it, but I have a child who is girly. I, myself, was a bit boyish, not caring about my hair, fashion or how dirty I got.   My daughter doesn't mind the dirt, but she loves to look sassy. She changes clothes multiple times a day, loves her princess dresses and shoes and begs to have her nails painted.

For the past few years, I have avoided painting her toes (if I can) because I could not find any polish that was not harmful. I ordered one online, only to have it rub off in less than 24 hours.

Then I was reading treehugger.com and saw a recommendation for Piggy Paint nail polish.  It mentioned that it is great for kids, has lots of colors to choose from and it is toxic free!  Their slogan is "it's as natural as mud". Cute. On their website they tell us that, "It is free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, biphenyl A, ethyl acetate and acetone... and made in the USA!"  Sounds great to me, let's try it.

We ordered the multi-pack with purple, light blue and pink in it and my daughter and I both painted our toes.  I love it!!! It dries quickly and with two coats it looks great for over a week.  They also recommend that you use a blow dryer for a minute to set the color and that definitely helps.  I am so happy. I think I will get green and yellow too.

If you become a fan of them on Facebook, they often give out discount codes for 15%, so it is worth trying. The shipping is reasonable too.  Happy painting...

Monday, August 16, 2010

The dilemma of what to pack

The other day, I realized that I have to pack my daughter's lunch 5 days a week, including a snack and drink.  Here's the dilemma...do I give her a PB&J daily?  According to what I have read, the kids will trade food if they don't like what you packed, so it is a good idea to pack what she likes and to make her involved in the process. 

After researching a list of several dozen possibilities, I stumbled upon smoothies or mixed fruit drinks.  The combinations are endless and hiding veggies in food just got easier! I started with just fruits and yogurt and some OJ, they loved it.  Then I used several fruits and 2 c. of spinach leaves, they loved it.  Now, I include all kinds of veggies including tomato and carrot juice with a little honey, silken tofu, flax seed, and applesauce.  I still use the Environmental Working Group's list of the dirty dozen for fruit and veggies to determine if the fruit or juice should be organic or not. (eg, pineapple juice is not organic, tomato juice is.)

After looking over dozens of sample lunches, I started to make a list of what she would eat and what I could get away with.  The list includes pita pockets with sandwich ingredients, tortillas with sandwich ingredients rolled up, ravioli, cheese and crackers, pasta salad, pancakes, scrambled eggs and breaded chicken pieces. Her snacks include dips like hummus and peanut butter and ranch dressing.  I give her pretzels, pitas, carrots, celery and apples to dip.  For snacks and other random stuff, she will eat hard boiled eggs (already peeled and sliced), yogurt, any fruit, cheese sticks, popcorn, nuts, raisins, applesauce, trail mix and edamame.  This list sounds extensive, but it may not be enough to last through the whole year.  Hopefully if I mix it up enough and don't fall back on PB&J, she will eat it.

The drinks were just going to be water, but she might get tired of that too, so I am going to do what Trader Joe's does.  They put lots of fresh, cut fruit in their water and my kids love it!  Her drink container is stainless steel, so juice is fine.  Now I will keep my fingers crossed and hope that we are off to a good start for the new school year!

Check out some holistic tips for lunch too.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back to school toxics

In about a week and a half, my oldest starts Pre-K.  It is much like public school in that I have to pack lunch, pack a snack, provide a backpack for her that fits a folder comfortably and cloth her in things that might last for the whole school year.

After looking everywhere and doing way too much research, I found our backpack.  It is from Crocodile Creek and it is the perfect size for an almost 5-year-old (it holds a folder too).  It is BPA, lead, PVC and phthalate FREE!!!!  Not only does it not have all these toxic ingredients, but it is also cute, functional and she LIKES it!  I was so excited about it that I bought the matching stainless steel drink bottle too.

Luckily the lunchbox that I bought for her last year is still intact and I will be using it again for as long as possible.  I bought a stainless steel food container that keeps food hot/cold, is BPA free, unbreakable(yeah!) and easy to clean with a wide opening. Now I can send her to school with food that is hot.  If only I could be sure that she would actually eat it. Ha.
I am afraid to use random plastic containers in the cabinet for juicy snacks like fruits and I need containers that fit together.  I found this set of containers that are perfect. They are also BPA, lead, PVC, phthalate and melamine FREE too!  Then for snack time, I found this small plastic pouch which is made of EVA plastic instead of toxic PVC, so you can put juicy snacks in it as well as any other snacks and feel good about it.

For the daunting task of clothing her, I am grateful for the Fall Consignment Season. They have it all, shoes, boots, jackets, hats and tons of jeans and shirts.  The above mentioned website is fabulous for finding sales all over the country and gives you all of the details for when to shop and the "rules" of each sale. Last year I got so many good deals that I could not help myself from buying for others too!

 Not only is buying at a consignment sale good for your wallet, it is good for the environment.  The things you buy are getting re-used, most of them have been washed a few times(which removes a ton of chemicals that new clothes have) and it is keeping things out of the landfill!! WIN-WIN!

After all of this is over, then I can sit back and relax and know that I have kept a few toxins away from my precious little one.