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Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthy

Worried about your kid’s eating habits? Want them to eat healthier foods and make better choices on their own? There are some easy ways to help encourage healthy eating habits for your kids. 

Encouraging kids to eat healthy, healthy eating, kids gardening, kids cooking

Childhood obesity is on the rise and we are seeing more and more illnesses in children which are linked to weight and nutrition. It’s a problem that often follows them to adulthood.


Teaching young kids to eat and enjoy healthy foods is very important. They are tempted by sweet treats more than ever with ads targeting them everywhere. It can be hard to get them to make the right choices.

Thankfully there are some ways that have been proven to help encourage healthy eating habits. Sure your kids will likely still want a candy bar from time to time, don’t we all, but overall they can learn to make better choices.

Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthy

There are several ways that have been shown to encourage healthy eating habits in kids. By instilling healthy habits at a young age you set your child up for a healthier adulthood.

Encouraging kids to eat healthy, healthy eating, kids gardening, kids cooking

Gardening

Gardening with kids helps encourage them to try new foods and also helps instill green living habits. Christina of Little Sprouts Learning runs a daycare and teaches the kids to garden, she has wonderful success with this. Kids at her daycare and now trying and enjoying more healthy foods.

“When introducing a new food, I let them decide when they want to try it and if I like it, I let them know.  I never pressure them to try anything.  I just let nature take its course.  Lots of healthy fresh foods are being eaten here that just a few years ago I would never have imagined kids even trying much less begging for.” – Gardening With Kids, Why It’s Important

Encouraging kids to eat healthy, healthy eating, kids gardening, kids cooking

Cooking

Teaching kids to cook is another great way to get them involved with food. A review done of eight studies on cooking education programs for kids between 5 and 12 years old, showed in increased consumption of fruit, vegetables, dietary fiber, as well as a greater willingness to try new foods.

“We found that it is particularly important to expose kids to healthy foods on a number of occasions. This makes them feel comfortable with the new foods, which helps them build healthy habits,” said Derek Hersch, the lead author of the study.

WebMD lists a wide range of short-term and long-term benefits to teaching your kids to cook.

  • Encourages kids to try healthy foods.
  • Kids are more likely to sit down to a family meal when they helped prepare it.
  • It can increase self-confidence.
  • Kids that learn to eat well may be more likely to eat healthy as adults.

A great place to start is by teaching your kids how to make healthy snacks. You can find great snack recipes in this download 10 Snacks Your Kids Can Make.

Kids Cook Real Food

It’s also easier than ever to teach your kids to cook with the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. Even if you aren’t the best cook with the help of this course you can teach your kids valuable lessons.

Doing these fairly simple things will help your children for the rest of their lives. And who knows, maybe you will get the benefits of not having to cook every night.

How to Make Homemade Baby Food Purées

Want to start making your own baby food purées? It’s not as hard as you think. 

Want to make your own homemade baby food purees? It's not as hard as you think.

Starting solids has been quite an adventure. As a first-time mom, there’s a lot of information to consider and several different methods of feeding. After a great deal of research and taking a class on starting solids and homemade baby food I felt ready, but my baby had other ideas.

We started offering solids at six months, but she just was not interested. Throughout the next three months, we continued to offer, but there was still no interest. Right around when she turned nine months, she started to show some interest so we started making our own purées.

Homemade baby food supplies


As we all know, there’s many ways to skin a cat. Everyone has different ideas about how to introduce solids. I tried a few different methods before deciding that purées were the best way for all of us. I purchased a Beaba Babycook and started with simple purées of a single fruit or vegetable.

When buying the fruits and vegetables, I mostly try to adhere to the “clean fifteen/dirty dozen” rules. Once you can eliminate any foods that may cause an allergic reaction in your child, then comes the fun part! You can start making purée mixes with many fruits and vegetables. Recipes are easy to find online and there are even baby food cookbooks. Or you can create your own!

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Once you get the hang of making your own food, it’s easy! I use the Babycook machine, but purées can be made in a blender as well. What I love about the Babycook is that it is an all-in-one machine. It steam cooks and purées your food. To start, chop up your food into chunks and set it to steam cook on the desired setting. After it has finished, dump your steamed food into the blender part of the machine and purée to your preference.

After I make a batch of food, I pour it into a silicone ice tray and freeze for an hour or two. After each portion is frozen, pop them out of the ice tray and store in freezer bags until you are ready to feed them to your little one. I like to label mine with the contents and when I made them so I know how old they are.

When you get ready to prepare them, you can either re-steam a cube in the Babycook machine or throw them in the microwave for ten seconds at a time. One cube is about one portion for my little eater, but if your baby likes more you can always heat up another one. If your baby likes to eat out of pouches like mine does, then you can buy reusable pouches and put in your own baby food. My daughter likes them because she can squeeze them herself.

Homemade baby food storage

Homemade purées can be fun and give you the peace of mind of knowing what your child is eating. I occasionally give my child store bought food when I need a break or we are out and about, but for the most part, we know the source of her foods.

Do you make your own baby food? Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 

8 Reasons to Teach Kids to Care for the Earth

Is it that important to teach kids how to take care of the earth? We all know it’s important to care for the earth because that’s what we will be leaving for our kids, but it’s also important to be a good example for them. We need to teach them what they can do now and in the future to help our earth as well. It takes a village to make a change. Everyone has to work together for change to happen and the damage we have done to be reversed.

8 Reasons to Teach Kids to Care for the Earth

Over the past few years, we have seen some serious results of the way we’ve been living on this planet like there is no tomorrow. I want our grandchildren to inherit a wonderful, healthy place to live so we have to teach the next generation how to be good stewards.


The climate is changing, the earth is groaning for us to stop the damage. Are we listening? Have we made any changes? Does anyone care?

8 Reasons to Teach Kids to Care for the Earth

The society we live in is a disposable one. We don’t care what we waste. We don’t care what could be reused or donated instead of piled in a landfill. Why bring a cup to get your coffee when they have perfectly good ones there at the store? What about shopping bags? What about saving energy or fuel? It’s up to all of us to make a difference. Small changes can add up over time, so it’s important that we look at the small things.

Before I realized what was going on, I could use up a 12 pack of Bounty paper towels in my daycare in a month. That was one of the small changes I made, to pay attention to what I could use a washrag for or something else that could be reused. I still use paper towels, but two rolls last me about a year. I use them for very few things.

8 Reasons to Teach Kids to Care for the Earth

Daycare is messy business, so it’s tough to find ways to cut back on wasting resources. I have gone from getting approximately 10 plastic bags a week from the grocery store to maybe 25 in a year when I forget my bags. I have even taught my husband to ask not to have a bag when he buys just one thing. Ten bags a week is about 500 a year! I reuse some of them to send home soiled clothing but that’s a LOT of bags I was throwing away and then recycling. Eventually we pared it down to what we do now.

There are so many ways I can save resources in daycare AND it saves me money as well. I love that I’m being a good example to my kids. They know where the recycle bin is and if they are going to throw something away that’s recyclable, I tell them, put that in the recycle and they do it. That’s teaching them early what needs to be done.

8 Reasons to Teach Kids to Care for the Earth

 

Reasons to Teach Kids to Care for the Earth

Why should I care if my kids learn these lessons? There are many reasons, I’ll name a few here to get you thinking.

  1. It is SOOOO much easier to be disciplined to do something if you are used to doing it. There are many habits I really wish I would have been taught as a child. When I became an adult, it was so hard to discipline MYSELF to be a good worker, to clean up after myself, and other things. I wish I would have been a disciplined child, but I just wasn’t. I would love for my kids to have good earth friendly habits as second nature BEFORE they are the ones responsible for it.
  2. It teaches them respect for resources and doing the right thing. It’s in our nature to cast off doing what isn’t fun. An object at rest stays at rest. If kids feel compelled to recycle, pre-cycle or upcycle their trash instead of piling it all on someone else to deal with, that feeling stays with them. Teaching kids how hard it is to acquire resources or how things are made teaches them a greater appreciation for what they are choosing and using.
  3. They will be here after I’m gone. When I’m too old to make my shopping choices or to guide anyone else anymore, someone will need to carry on my beliefs about caring for the environment. The lessons they learn now will take them into the future.
  4. We need MORE people to care. I believe children are the future. They are the ones that will unite together to form a larger group of people who care if we teach them young. They can teach others as well.
  5. Kids have such unbridled passion. I remember seeing my daughter learn about being a good steward of the earth. She is still shouting it from the mountaintops. Young people have such vigor for what they believe in. I believe she is changing the world and I believe SHE can change our future.
  6. If they don’t take care of it, there may be nothing left. As quickly as we see the environment changing, we may not have much time left to make a change. If we don’t get as many people on board as we can now, it may be too late when these children are grown.
  7. It’s fun. Thinking of creative ways to care for the environment around us can be made into a game. It’s like a puzzle trying to figure out the best ways to make a difference. Kids can make it more fun for us as we teach them that it’s a pleasure to make this choice!
  8. It helps kids think about something outside of themselves. It’s never too early to teach children their wants and needs aren’t the most important thing. It teaches them empathy and patience if we show them that materialism is not good for anyone. Learning where many of our products come from is a big eye opener for kids and adults.

It’s a great and valuable lesson to teach children or other adults why these issues matter. Making small changes is a great way to take baby steps in making a different future than we are headed for now. Think of one thing you can do today to change the future and invite some kids to do it with you. You will plant a seed in them that will make a difference in our world for generations.

8 Reasons to Teach Kids to Care for the Earth

Green Tips

  • Start using reusable shopping bags.
  • Bring your own cup instead of getting a disposable one.
  • Serve food on real washable dishes and can the paper and Styrofoam products.
  • Chose glass as often as you can and recycle it when you’re finished using it. Glass can be recycled indefinitely and lasts nearly forever in a landfill.
  • Turn your heat or air two degrees cooler in winter and warmer in summer to save valuable resources. You might not even notice two degrees.
  • Start composting your food scraps for your garden or your neighbor’s.
  • Buy from bulk bins using your own containers to save packing. If you don’t have bulk bins, buy the biggest package possible so there is less packaging involved.
  • Use as little soap, shampoo, detergent, etc. as it takes to get the job done. Start by trying using half and see if things are still getting as clean.
  • Use vinegar, a great disinfectant, to clean as many things as you can. It’s great on glass diluted by half, it makes a great fabric softener, it can be used for tons of things and doesn’t leave harsh chemicals in the water supply and air.

There are many more things that can be super effective. Check into it and make small changes today!

For more on Little Sprouts Learning Garden please visit our website or Facebook page.

8 Reasons to Teach Kids to Care for the Earth

7 Things to Do This Fall with Your Family

Fall is almost here and it’s a great time to get out in nature with the family. Oklahoma offers a wide range of family-friendly outdoor activities. These are just a few of the ways to enjoy the cooler weather and some of the beauty Oklahoma has to offer.

Fall Activities

 

  • Chickasaw National Recreation Area
    Chickasaw National Recreation Area is Oklahoma’s oldest national park area. It offers mineral and freshwater springs, a 2,350-acre lake, nature trails for hiking and cycling, many great fishing areas, campgrounds, picnic areas, a nature center, and more.
  • Tenkiller State Park
    Tellkiller State Park offers a lot of great family-friendly activities. Everything from playgrounds, picnic areas, three hiking trails, a kids’ fishing pond, to the Driftwood Nature Center.
  • Greenleaf State Park
    Stay in one of the parks cabins or at the parks campgrounds. Nature hiking trails, a discovery center, basketball and volleyball courts, miniature golf, fishing, and naturalist lead programs are just some of the fun activities found at Greenleaf State Park.
  • Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
    The 39,000 acre preserve is the largest protected area of tall grass prairie on Earth. The preserve is known for the bison that call it home. With a herd of 2,700 American Bison it’s one of the largest herds in the country. It’s also home to white-tailed deer, beavers, bobcats, coyotes, woodchucks, over 300 species of birds, and more. You can drive the 15 mile scenic road to see the bison and other wildlife, visit the preserve headquarters and gift shop, have a picnic, check out the nature trail, visit the historic 1920’s ranch bunkhouse, and more.
  • Alabaster Caverns State Park
    The 200-acre state park offers the largest natural gypsum cave open to the public and the only gypsum show cave in the United States. There are daily guided tours of the cavern. There are also hiking trails, RV sites, picnic areas, a gift shop and more.
  • Pumpkin Patch
    Oklahoma offers many great pumpkin patches with lots of fun activities for the whole family.
  • Orr Family Farm
    The Orr Family Farm offers train rides on an historic train, pony rides, a vintage 1975 carousel, a playground, and so much more. September 20th will start the fall season for the Orr Family Farm.

What are your favorite family-friendly fall activities in Oklahoma? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.


Gardening With Kids, Why It’s Important

What’s the big deal about growing your own food?  Our food supply in the United States is increasingly becoming unhealthier.  Fast food and convenience foods are so processed and loaded with synthetic chemicals that groceries are more like a science experiment than a meal.  We can shop for whole foods like meat, dairy, and produce for a healthier diet, right?  With the increasing use of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides even our fresh foods are becoming more polluted than ever before.

My name is Christina and I run Little Sprouts Learning Garden, a home daycare in Oklahoma.  The more I learn about our food supply, the more careful I want to be about what I feed my daycare kids and my family.  In small town Oklahoma, organic food is hard to find, although it is more available than ever before.  How can I KNOW what I’m feeding my kids is as synthetic chemical free as possible?  By growing it myself.

Kids are 80% more likely to try foods that they helped grow, harvest, and prepare.  The best way to encourage them to try a variety of healthy produce is by helping them grow it and teaching them to prepare it themselves.  For the first 16 years of daycare, I tried to grow food with my kids.  We had smothering weeds, inadequate light, poor soil, bug attacks, bad seeds, and innumerable big mistakes.  But three years ago I got a call from my friend Claudia.  She had gotten a flyer in the mail about a class about gardening with our daycare kids.  She asked me if I wanted to go with her and I emphatically said YES!  She signed us up and we learned the basics of gardening with kids.


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Doug Walton was the teacher of the “gardening 101” portion of our class.  The information he shared was life changing.  He went over every part of basic gardening.  One thing I learned in the class is plants do not grow well in clay soil.  The clay holds too much water and suffocates the roots of the plants.  The soil in my yard has so much clay you can dig a shovel full of it and begin to sculpt.  So the answer for us was raised beds.  The class provided one 3×10 raised bed for each daycare facility.  When we got ours, we got to growing and finally found some successes.

One of my daycare parents built us a second raised bed and taught us how he built the simple frame.  The second year, we built four more and added some other containers.  The third year we talked to the owner of the field next to our house and he said we could grow whatever we wanted in it.

We were no longer bound by limited space, so we set out to expand.  We wanted to keep the expansion small enough that we could still manage it.  We did some research and drew up some plans and ended up with a 20 x 80 area that we planned to use.  We needed a fence, beds, soil, seeds, plants, and some type of weed barrier.

We went door to door in our town to local businesses and people asking them to help us build this dream for the kids.  People donated used chain link fencing, old privacy fence, landscape timbers and other used wood, seeds, money, advice, and labor.  We built the outer fence, and then began building raised beds from the privacy fence pieces.  Next we bought cedar planks to build the remaining beds.  Then we got a load of garden soil and filled all the beds.  The daycare families were instrumental in getting all of the materials in place.

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Once we had most of the beds filled (several still remain empty as we ran out of funding, time, and energy), we let the kids plant a variety of seeds and plants that we had grown inside earlier in the season.

What have my Little Sprouts learned from this experience?

They are trying and enjoying a much wider variety of fresh produce than they were even at the beginning of this summer.  When introducing a new food, I let them decide when they want to try it and if I like it, I let them know.  I never pressure them to try anything.  I just let nature take its course.  Lots of healthy fresh foods are being eaten here that just a few years ago I would never have imagined kids even trying much less begging for.

They have also learned to prepare dishes they can recreate or ask for at home, which is teaching their families to like healthier foods.  I even have some older kids creating recipes of their own with our home grown produce.

I have children as young as 1 that can plant a seed or seedling properly all on their own with just a few words of guidance from me.  I use their knuckles to tell them how many knuckles deep the seeds need to be.  I show the youngest ones, and after that, they can do it.  With this knowledge, we have the chance to save the beautiful art of gardening from dying with an older generation.  There are fewer and fewer people that have the knowledge to produce food.  Our future needs that knowledge.

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They are learning about life cycles, metamorphosis, germination, botany, entomology, pollinators, caring for the earth, and so many things they could never be listed.  This is knowledge this world needs!

The garden brings knowledge, closeness to nature, health, exercise, fresh air, and many other things.  It’s a place where the world is at peace and makes sense.  Some of my children have remarked that working in the garden is more fun than video games, and it keeps them out of trouble, is cool, yummy, fun, and smells good.  These are just a small example of the benefits we receive from this magical place we call the garden.

My hope is sharing our garden with others will plant a seed in them.  If you have the knowledge to grow your food, do it and teach it.  If you don’t, seek it out and learn it.  Gardening can change the world.  It begins with a little sprout and it grows and grows….  Grow something today!

For more on Little Sprouts Learning Garden please visit our website or Facebook page.

Safer Sun Protection

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in 2011 that they are studying if spray-on sunscreens are safe when inhaled by children. A conclusion has not been reached yet.

However, Consumer Reports has come out warning parents against the sunscreens until the FDA reaches a conclusion.

“We now say that until the FDA completes its analysis, the products should generally not be used by or on children,” Consumer Reports says. “We have also removed one sunscreen spray — Ocean Potion Kids Instant Dry Mist SPF 50 — from the group of recommended sunscreens in our sunscreen ratings, because it is marketed especially for children.”


They went on to say adults can safely use the products but not to spray them on their face and to avoid inhaling it. However, they also said they are harder to use properly.

There is also growing evidence that many of the ingredients in conventional sunscreens, spray-on or not, are harmful. One of those ingredients is oxybenzone. Oxybenzone penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body. One study has even linked it to endometriosis in older women.

Artificial fragrances, which contain phthalates and other harmful ingredients, are also found in most sunscreens. Along with many other possibly harmful ingredients like parabens, retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), homosalate, and octocrylene.

There are safe sunscreen options out there. Mineral based sunscreens with natural ingredients are your best bet when it comes to sun protection. Here are some of our favorites.

*Note: The following links are affiliate links, click to learn more.*

These are just a few of the options out there. Be sure to look for sunscreens that are free of oxybenzone, parabens, retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), homosalate, octocrylene, and fragrance, use minerals as the active ingredients, and are not spray-on.

Natural sunscreens can be found at most locally owned natural food stores, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Natural Grocers, and other stores where natural products are sold. As always we recommend you check locally owned stores first.

Back to School Green: Waste-Free Lunches

It’s hard to believe it but back to school time is almost here. This year why not be a bit greener? One great way to reduce the waste caused by school is to pack a waste-free lunch. This is easier than you think! To start packing waste-free lunches you can either buy a kit that comes with everything you need, or you can put the supplies together yourself. We have put together a guide with what you need and what to avoid.

wastefreelunch

  • Lunch Bag- look for organic cotton or recycled plastic that says it’s free of BPA and lead.
  • Cloth Napkins- organic cotton is best.
  • Food containers- stainless steel is best, if plastic look for clear #5 plastic that says it’s BPA-free.
  • Silverware- stainless steel or bamboo is best.
  • Reusable water bottle- stainless steel is best. Glass is great but not best for packing in lunches.

notrash

  • PVC- PVC often contains lead and other toxic materials
  • Unknown plastic- avoid plastic when possible but if you must by plastic make sure it’s BPA free, #5 plastic is thought to be the safest choice.
  • Traditional lunch boxes- many of these contain lead or other harmful chemicals.
  • Vintage lunch boxes- this may seem eco-friendly but they may contain things like lead.

Disposable school lunches can create a lot of waste, around 67 pounds per year, per child! Just switching to waste-free lunches this year can make your child’s school year a lot greener. Many of these items can be used to pack your own lunch as well to save even more waste!

We encourage you to look locally for these types of products. However, when that isn’t possible be sure to support Green Oklahoma by shopping our new online store.

What are your favorite waste-free lunch items? And where do you shop for them? Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 

Cloth Diapering On the Go

clothonthegoAfter figuring out all of the logistics of how to cloth diaper at home, I suddenly realized that at some point we would need to leave our house. This thought left me with the question: how do you cloth diaper when you are away from home? Luckily, I saved up this question for the cloth diaper class that my husband and I took. Much to our relief, we learned that there are options for cloth diapering on the go.

Most of our outings consist of going to baby classes, the grocery store, or on a walk. None of these events take more than a few hours. Cloth diapering in these situations is fairly easy provided you keep the correct supplies on hand.

Babies are unpredictable and so are their diaper outputs. Make sure you have all your cloth diapering supplies with you. You definitely do not want to be caught off-guard while you are out and about without enough inserts or shells because, believe me; it is not fun when you are. My rule of thumb with baby supplies is to always bring more than what you think you will actually need. Since we primarily use all-in-two diapers, for a typical outing of a few hours I usually bring two extra shells and about five or six inserts and maybe an all-in-one just in case we encounter too many messes.


The most important item for cloth diapering while on the go is a zippered wet bag. Most wet bags have the same waterproof lining as some cloth diapers. Once your baby needs a diaper change, you can toss the dirty diaper or insert into your wet bag, zip it up, and go. There are many sizes of wet bags available. Our wet bag holds between seven and nine diapers which is usually a full day’s worth of diapering. This is more than enough room for a few hours worth of errands. When you get home, you can just dump your wet bag and its contents into your diaper pail and wash as usual.

Once you get the hang of cloth diapering on the go it becomes easy. I thought this aspect of cloth diapering would be a deal-breaker if we were not able to figure out how to successfully cloth diaper while out, but it turned out to be fairly simple.

Do you cloth diaper, any tips for cloth diapering away from home? Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 

 

A Journey into Cloth Diapering

We decided to dive in…to the world of cloth diapering, that is.  My husband and I decided this after our newborn gift stash of disposable diapers from our baby showers was gone and I went out to buy our first pack of diapers.  After paying 40 dollars for a bit more than 200 diapers, I knew something needed to change.

We have been flooded with all the questions in our heads: How will we ever learn the lingo, the types of diapers, and how to make this work for an average middle class family?  Not to mention questions from family members and friends: You have to touch poop?!  (Spoiler alert: You have to touch poop with disposables on occasion, too!) Isn’t your washing machine going to be gross with all the waste in there?  (Another spoiler alert: With a newborn, almost every outfit gets poopy and is thrown in the washer anyway).

As a disclaimer: I am a newbie, a first timer.  I do not claim to have any expertise on the subject other than being an active participant.  My husband and I mulled over the idea of cloth diapering for months.  After meeting several parents who have chosen this route and taking a class, we decided to try this out for ourselves.


We took a class at a local store, Green Bambino, when our daughter was about two months old.  The class was a couple hours long and they went over all the different types of cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and how to care for your cloth diapers.  After taking this class, we decided to start with what seemed to be the easiest (and cheapest) route: prefolds and covers.  Prefolds look a bit like kitchen rags and can be folded up like an old-fashioned cloth diaper and closed together with a Snappi, or they can be folded into thirds and put inside a cover.

diaper illustration

When it came time to make our resolutions for the New Year, my husband and I decided that fully diving into cloth diapering should be our number one goal for many reasons.

  1. The most obvious reason – cloth diapering is better for the environment.  Yes, you are using water and energy to clean and dry them, but the impact is minimal compared to a landfill of dirty diapers.  Also, you can line dry your diapers if you want to cut down the impact of using a dryer.
  2. We want to save as much money as we can and disposables end up costing thousands of dollars for the two years plus that you will end up using them.
  3. They are cute and can make a mundane task, such as changing diapers, entertaining.  (Entertainment is key for the stay-at-home mom!)
  4. There are so many options.  All-in-ones, all-in-twos, prefolds, flats, pockets, and so on.  There is a diaper for every occasion!

After the start of the New Year, we went to The Changing Table to set up our diaper trial.  We were able to pick out the types of diapers that we wanted to try out to see if we like them.  I gravitated towards mostly all-in-twos because I figured I could get the most all-day use out of them since as long as the waste doesn’t hit the shell, you can snap out the inserts and replace with a new one.  We, of course, decided that we needed to try more than one type of diaper so we were loaded up with a combination of all-in-ones, all-in-twos, pockets, nappies, prefolds, and covers.

We are now on Day 3 of our trial and have officially gone more than 48 hours in cloth without so much as touching a disposable.  I am looking forward to our future in cloth.

Are you interesting in cloth diapering or have you already started? We would love to hear your thoughts and tips, just share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 

What’s on Your Baby’s Bum?

There’s a cloth diaper on my baby. Not only is it cute, but it will be used close to 400 times before he potty trains. That’s 400 disposable diapers that I’m keeping out of the landfills with that one little cloth diaper. The really amazing thing is that each baby born will have his diaper changed an average of 6,500 times before he is potty trained. This is either 6,500 single-use diapers being thrown away or 24-36 cloth diapers that can be reused not only for that child but for multiple children. In the US alone, there are more than 20 billion disposable diapers dumped in landfills each year.

I love knowing I’m helping reduce waste by using cloth diapers, but the primary reason I first started using cloth was for the health of my children. I have a confession. I used disposable diapers on my first child. In my defense, it was seven years ago, and there really wasn’t as much information available about cloth diapering as there is today. She was plagued by persistent diaper rash for the entire first two and a half years of her life. She was sensitive to the chemicals in disposables and nothing helped. I was determined to make changes when my second child was born. Baby #2 started in cloth from the very beginning. Now her baby brother is wearing her old diapers. And the best part is that neither baby #2 nor baby #3 has had diaper rash the way their sister did. Like me, many parents are becoming increasingly aware of what comes into contact with their children’s skin.

Cloth diapers are often made from natural fibers such as organic cotton, hemp and bamboo. Disposable diapers are made from paper and plastic and contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) which is toxic and can cause hormonal problems. Disposable diapers also contain sodium polyacrylate, a super absorbent polymer (SAP). A similar substance was banned from use in feminine hygiene products because it increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome. Sadly this and many other chemicals have not been banned from use in disposable diapers.


So I’m feeling pretty good about myself now. I’m helping reduce my family’s waste, and I’m keeping harmful chemicals off my children at the same time. If that doesn’t impress you, maybe this will. Cloth diapering two children, I have saved over $4,000 using cloth instead of disposables. That’s $4,000 going into their college funds to give them a brighter future. Using cloth makes an incredible difference on your budget, but you need diapers that will work for your child, and every child is different.

I could go on and on about the benefits of cloth diapers. For more information, I encourage you to contact a local cloth diaper store. It’s just another way to decrease your carbon footprint and support your local community. Also, consider where your diapers come from and how they are made. There are many great diaper companies who create their diapers in the US or have fair labor practices, great customer service, and great warranties.

For local cloth diaper resources, visit Cloth Diaper OklahomaBottoms and Beyond Boutique in Sand Springs, Gummy Giggles in Yukon, and Green Bambino or The Changing Table in Oklahoma City.

Do you use cloth diapers? If not, would you try them? Share your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Photo Credits: Elizabeth Pilgrim