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Healing Cream

With a complete overabundance of “natural treatments” available on the market, it’s very hard to tell which ones work and which ones don’t. A lot of herbal creams do not have the herbs, listed as ingredients, in high enough concentration, to make a difference. Coyote’s Natural Medicine products are as pure as they can get. They are made with loving care from pure organic herbs and this is why they work like magic. I have been using them myself and advertising them to all of my friends ( without being paid for it.) These natural remedies are made form organic herbs that my midwife and her husband grow in their beautiful garden in Florida. Their Coyote’s Natural Medicine line offers  baby products, ointments, vitamins and more. Their “healing cream” is probably my favorite product and I believe everyone should have a jar. I used it post-partum and it helped my sore bottom like the best anesthetic. I also used it on my kids’ bruises, burns and cuts.

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This post a reprint of a post by AnneMarie Colbin. The author suggests the following tips for  a healthy school year. I would take this one step further and recommend these steps year-round for happy and healthy children. Annemarie has been on the forefront of educating people on how to eat healthily through her books, articles and seminars.

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Here are my four top tips for helping your children to stay healthy and avoid illnesses in the new school year. The foods that make kids the sickest are sugar and dairy.

 

 

1. Avoid dairy.

If you can possibly raise them without milk products, you will prevent the most common mucus conditions, especially colds and ear infections. Milk is a great mucus producer; bacteria love living in it, and casein, the protein in milk, is commonly used in laboratories to set up bacterial cultures. Cheese is just as much of a problem, and yogurt is little better. And it’s not because of the fat – in fact, butter does not bring on infections, according to my observations – it is the protein and the calcium, which in cow’s milk are intended to help baby cows become big cows (or steer), and are excessive for humans.

 

2. Don’t reward them with sugar.

If you can avoid giving your kids sugared foods – including sugared breakfast cereals, cookies, cake, candy, and ice cream – you will allow their immune systems to do a better job of keeping them healthy. Sugar is known to depress the immune system, and what is worse, it is really addictive. According to a recent study at the University of Bordeaux, France, it appears to be more addictive than cocaine. I know that we tend to reward the children with sweet goodies, but that habit is perhaps best reconsidered – crayons, balloons, comic books or nuts and raisins might be a better idea for rewards.

 

3. Give them lots of protein.

To keep the kids healthy, they also need to eat sufficient protein (some in each meal, such as fish, chicken, meats, or beans and legumes), with lots of vegetables both cooked and raw, as well as good quality fats (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, organic butter). See my post on protein breakfasts for more advice. 4. Make sure they get plenty of rest Most importantly, they need enough sleep and rest, which will allow their bodies and their brains to recuperate and restore, as well as grow. Lack of sleep is one of the major causes of stress and illness. So there you have it: feed them well, keep them off the ice cream and sweets, and make sure they sleep enough, and they will avoid many illnesses.

 

4.  Make sure they get plenty of rest

Most importantly, they need enough sleep and rest, which will allow their bodies and their brains to recuperate and restore, as well as grow.  Lack of sleep is one of the major causes of stress and illness.

So there you have it:  feed them well, keep them off the ice cream and sweets, and make sure they sleep enough, and they will avoid many illnesses.

My eight months-old twin babies are eating real food. Not the stuff that comes from jars and costs 99 cents per 1/4 cup-size portion. I am not a pediatrician, I am a mother and a nutritionist, so take my advice accordingly, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to feed your children healthy, nutritious whole foods from the time they are about 6 months old.

 

Firstly, you need to change the way your family eats. I know, easier said than done. Keep in mind, whatever you eat is exactly what your kids are eventually  going to end up eating, so the occassional pizza or the French fries, or the “hidden” chocolate bar or a gallon of ice cream: they will find it and eat it, no matter how hard you are trying to never take them to a fast food restaurant or feed them a raw diet of carrots and broccoli.

So, the first step to the optimal baby nutrition is optimal family nutrition.

Grains, veggies, some organic meats, fresh fruits, nuts and seeds…. You know, the real stuff.  Not cheerios, pasta, bread pieces and weird baby snacks that cost $5 per handful. If you have an organic sweet potato lying around, think twice about buying the processed baby food jar full of sweet potatoes. First of all, one sweet potato yields about three-four jars of baby food. So, you are spending A LOT less. Second, you can make fresh food, instead of feeding your baby something canned, that could be three months old. Think of energy of that jarred food that’s eventually going to become your child’s thoughts. Would you personally eat all of your food from a jar? Than why do you think your baby likes it any more than you do?

If you fear bacteria in homemade food, use boiling water in cleaning any utensils that have to do with baby food. Rinse produce with boiling water, as well. People have fed their babies homemade food for generations and humanity is still here. Jarred food is a relatively new invention and we don’t have enough long-term studies to see its consequences on human development.

So far, my babies have tried: carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, broccoli, pears, butternut squash, cauliflower, cucumbers, avocado, quinoa and buckwheat. Some veggies have been  cooked and some were given raw, to preserve naturally present enzymes. When I cook grains for us, I always leave a bit for the babies. I don’t buy the “special” baby hot cereals, because it’s a waste of money. I don’t feed my babies the empty-calorie rice cereal. Some foods need to be cooked and mashed and some things (like bananas or avocado) only need a fork and three seconds of your time to be made into nutritious baby foods.

You don’t need a fancy food processor to mash up the baby foods: I have a 15$  small blender from my local pharmacy and it works just fine. I don’t spend a lot of time on ideas for baby dinners: I just take the foods we eat as a family and mash up a small portion of them for the babies.

My babies also snack on unprocessed foods. The Cheerio-eating babies are an interesting modern phenomenon: why give your child processed food that costs  a lot? Make buckwheat, put it on the tray in front of them and let them pick at it. Let them nibble on cucumber slices. Let them pick up and eat a banana. Let them pick up avocado slices. Blueberries work, too. A whole carrot or quartered apples are excellent for taking to restaurants, because they tend to occupy babies well, in addition to providing excellent nutrition. My children eat quartered apples daily from eight months old on. Giving your baby cooked pasta to pick at, is, essentially, giving your baby processed food. Try a chopped cooked carrot or some cooked broccoli florets, instead. Green peas are wonderful baby food, too.

There is an interesting method of giving your baby fresh whole foods as their first solids. It’s called Baby-Led Weaning.  I haven’t tried it, but heard many good things about it.  For example, giving your baby a cooked whole carrot, instead of a pureed one, to get them accustomed to table foods faster, is a baby-led weaning technique.

Another problem with commercially purchased purees is their texture. It is way too smooth. Babies generally don’t choke if there is a tiny bit of texture in their food. They do choke if you jam too much of it in their mouths. I am all for chopping fruits finely with a knife, instead of fruit purees, once the baby is past the first “intro to solids” page. Babies used to texture of raw foods, don’t cringe at salads later.

I am also for natural food combining. If you look at baby food jars at your local supermarket, everything is made to be sweet. Combos, such as green beans with apples are normal in jarred food world. Would you eat green beans with apples at your family’s table? Unlikely. Babies tend to do better as far as not becoming picky eaters, when they are introduced to non-sweet solids first. Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans : these foods are all great as first solids. Then, trying to stuff your baby full of banana would be a piece of cake.

Eventually, as your family gathers up for a healthy dinner, your baby will be a welcome participant, as he or she would have some of your mashed up grains, veggies, meats or casseroles. Your baby would be part of your family and not an alien, requiring a whole cupboard full of weird food that costs a lot.

 

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Let your little one’s imagination soar with a sweetly crafted bird mobile from Children Inspire Design. Perfect for a nursery, a playroom or bedroom, this line of arts and crafts, created through a partnership between Children Inspire Design and PEACE, is handmade from recycled materials. Each mobile is one of a kind

I remember being four months pregnant with my first child and getting a subscription to a pregnancy magazine. I was very excited to learn about all of the new things and processes, occurring in my body and to try and understand this new thing, called “parenting.”  When my first issue arrived, I was overwhelmed by all the things I, apparently, needed to buy for the new baby.

Intuitively, I knew it was all wrong. How did people have babies before the “soothing” swing, the “calming vibrations” chair, the fancy crib, the modern changing table and precisely 20 sheets and thirty blankets? Then, my son was born and I knew that I was right to make that assumption of needing less, not more. All he needed was my love, a rattle and something warm to be wrapped in. A towel would do.

Then, two years later I had my twins. Being more experienced, I  didn’t buy into the whole “double of everything you don’t need anyway” promotion. Here’s what Babies R Us  suggests you buy for a new baby. And this is my list:

Car seats:

You need an infant car seat with an adapter. If you have two cars, simply switch the adapter back and forth, or buckle the seat in without the adapter.

Shopping cart cover – this is funny. Bring a blanket to the store.

Car seat toys – Buy ten infant-friendly toys and rotate those between the car seat, the stroller and the baby gym.

Car mirror -buy, it’s helpful.

Strollers

I highly recommend KolCraft car seat carrier! It costs only about 50$ and is the only stroller you need the first six months or so, unless you have a budget for multiple strollers. When my babies used to fall asleep in the car, I  simply transfered their car seats into KolCraft, without waking them and transferring them. KolCraft also has a lot of room for storage.

I also recommend these stroller hooks, regardless of the type of stroller you have. They will help you hang your shopping bags.

After the baby outgrows the infant car seat, I highly recommend a simple umbrella stroller, such as Mac Laren.  I know at $250, it’s expensive, but it’s worth every penny. This stroller is lightweight, portable and beautiful. We took it everywhere for two years and it still looks like new, so we will keep using it with the twins!

If you like jogging and are prepared to spend some money, buy B.O.B. This stroller always gets rave reviews from those who own it.

Backpacks and carriers

In my opinion, you need just one : Ergo. Well, maybe a Moby Wrap. Don’t buy the Baby Bjorn:  it hurts your shoulders and puts too much pressure on the baby’s sciatic nerve. We got a Baby Bjorn for our  baby shower and I ended up giving this  carrier away when I discovered the Ergo.

Play yards

Buy a playpen which converts into a crib. And don’t buy the actual crib, unless you have some extra space, extra money or just want something pretty. The play yard is portable and your baby can sleep in it for a good year and a half. The prices range widely, from $60 to $200, so choose wisely. Just buy a good mattress for it.

Crib

If you do decide to buy a crib, buy one simple set of bedding and three-four sheets and rotate them. There is no need to buy more.

If you do decide to buy a crib, get the one that converts to toddler bed. This way, you are saving money in the long run.

Bassinet

These are pretty and pretty useless.  I repeat, buy a playpen which converts into a crib and keep it right next to your bed, like a co-sleeper.

Activity

Get a bouncing chair and a play gym. The swing in my opinion, is a waste of money, as it accomplishes exactly what the bouncing chair does. You can put your baby on the bouncer and give him/her  a different toy to hold each time. The baby will be in heaven.

Feeding and nursing

I brestfeed, so bottles are not part of my expertise. For nursing, I recommend a good breastpump if you intend to leave the house and some bottles.

Indian prefold diapers- this is a must buy item! You can use them as diapers, as burp cloths, as blankets, as nursing covers, you name it. They are cheap and absorbent. Once you are done with the baby phase, you can use them for cleaning.

Bibs -buy a set of three small ones and a set of three plastic ones, BPA free. The plastic ones are good for when the baby is older and the food is all over the clothes.

Bottles, nipples, breast pump – you probably need those

Nursing cover- you don’t need it. Just use a blanket.

High chair- not worth the money and is hard to clean. Buy this booster instead: you can start using it as soon as the baby eats solids.

Splat mat-  you can buy a plastic tablecloth at a dollar store instead

Spoons -it’s good to have one set, made of BPA-free plastic

Bath and Potty

Changing table – you may or may not need one. Yes, it’s a convenient thing to have, but changing a baby on the bed is pretty convenient, too. You can put your regular bath towel under the baby to make sure the bed stays clean.

Potty- you need a potty, but don’t buy it until you are ready to potty  train.

Diapers – I like cloth. It saves money and the environment. Plus, they don’t leak as much as paper diapers do and the baby gets no rashes.At least, this has been my experience.

Wipes -I like cloth wipes: they are better on baby’s skin and save a TON of money on the long run. Just carry a bottle of water with your wipes or use a spray.

Spray (if using cloth wipes)- I like California Baby, but you can make your own, using water and a few drops of lavender and tea tree essential oils.

Wipe Warmer – Don’t ever buy it. What a  joke.

Mobile – I believe you need one. Babies love them.

Toys- Buy a lot less than you think you need. People love giving toys as gifts.

Books- I am for buying as many books as possible.

Blankets – about four receiving blankets and a few more warm ones for when the  baby gets bigger.

Towels- You don’t need special hooded towels. Use your regular bath  towels.

Bath Toys -Buy a cheap set.

Bathtub -Infant bathtubs are useless: wash your baby in the sink for the same result. Buy an inflatable baby tub, so you can wash him/her in it both at home and while traveling. At about 6 months of age both baby and daddy can take a bath together in a big tub.

Diaper Bag- If you don’t have disposable income, don’t buy it. Buy this instead and carry it in your large purse with some extra diapers and extra clothes.

Clothes

I am obsessed with baby clothes, so I can’t give you any good money-saving advice here. Sorry. 🙂

Moms, how would you change this list? What were the baby items you couldn’t live without and what was useless?

image by dan

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