A friend of mine is a real natural mama -- and as much as her energy inspires me, it also exhausts me. It exhausts me because some of this natural parenting stuff is a lot of work. For instance, when my daughter first started solids I was dead-set on blending everything up for every meal. That lasted for about a dozen ice-cube trays worth of broccoli and squash. Don't get me wrong -- I would still mash a fresh banana instead of giving her the jarred version ... but pushing those veggies through a strainer, after steaming and blending -- it just did me in. Who has time for that?
But baby food aside ... all products (food and otherwise) have so many chemicals in them. It would be a full-time job to learn what it all means. And so that's just not gonna happen. Plus, I worry that once I find out what's actually in the stuff I'm using that I will realize there is something harmful in everything I use. Then what?
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So I asked my friend how she keeps track of it all. She told me straight out that I am never going to be able to avoid everything -- it's just not possible -- and it would drive me crazy to try. She referred me to the Environmental Working Group website for when I want to find out if specific products are okay for my family. And then she gave me great advice ... to start small -- and pick and choose what parts of my life I am going to change. Baby steps are key to not getting overwhelmed by it all. Some switches may simply cost too much ... while others might just seem unreasonable given my family's lifestyle. And so with her encouragement I have managed to make my world a little healthier because of the products I've chosen to use. And I haven't really felt much of a difference in my wallet -- or in my every day living. So it's a win-win all around.
Here are six of the super simple changes I've made over the last couple of years ... and there are more to come!
What products do you use to make sure your family stays healthy?
Hormone-free milk was a great place to start because it is sold every where and it tastes the same as "regular" milk. Plus, it doesn't cost more money than milk from cows that are given hormones. And while LOTS of things I serve my kids have hormones in them (who can afford all organic meats?) this was an easy change to incorporate into my life. And my kids drink a heck-of a lot of milk!