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baby food

Baby

My Top 3 Natural, Summer Baby Staples

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                                           photos by www.malcolmdaviephotography.com

Summer’s here and I’m so excited that it’s the first summer where I can actually take Benjamin different places. Last summer he was still fresh out the box and I was adjusting to being a new mommy.

This time around, I’ve been trying my best to take him somewhere every day, and somewhere new at least twice a month. Hopefully, we can squeeze in some flights out of the state too. This mama gets restless when she does not see different scenery every few months.

With all of this outdoor time and running around, I’ve come across some natural, summer baby items that I currently use or have just ordered.

1. Baby Bum mineral sunscreen– this plant-based, hypoallergenic product line for babies is one of my top three right now. The mineral sunscreen is what I use on Benjamin and I love it!

I plan on trying some of their other products but, for now this sunscreen is a part of the daily morning routine before we leave the house. This super cute packaging is what caught my attention in Target!

2. Do Terra TerraShield– finding a natural bug repellant that actually works took me forever! Now that Benjamin is here, I’ve been paranoid about him getting bit by mosquitoes and other summer critters. I’ve been hearing about Do Terra for a while and figured this would be a great time to see if this product could keep the bugs away without all of the chemicals and toxins.

2. Once Upon a Farm baby food pouches– finally, organic baby food with fresh ingredients and no preservatives! I love the fact that these pouches are not sitting on a store shelf for God only knows how long. After blending, they are cold-pressed and refrigerated.

I found them in Target recently and had to stop myself from buying too many at once. They are pricier than the other brands of baby food pouches but, you get what you pay for.  These are great for those summer outings when baby needs a quick snack!

 

What are some natural baby products that you can’t do without this summer?


Baby

Vegan Baby or Nah?

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As Benjamin is about to turn a year old (next week Saturday, June 2 to be exact), I am constantly thinking about all of the decisions my husband and I have to make.  Ever since he was born, it seems like there is always something that threatens to really stress me out. First, it was what formula to give him as a supplement to breastfeeding, then it was to sleep train or not, what to do about daycare and me returning work (by far the MOST stressful of them all!).

Now that he is eating more food and drinking less milk, I am faced with the question, Do we raise him vegan/ vegetarian?

I know firsthand the benefits that living a plant-based lifestyle has given me (conceiving naturally despite having PCOS) so, I felt like I would be doing my child a disservice by feeding him foods that, in my opinion, would not give him the best health. We’re raising a future leader with a great future and his health needs to be the last thing to get in his way!

After talking to my husband (who is a meat-eater) and doing some research, we decided to allow him to eat meat when the time comes but, only certain types of meat.  This means antibiotic-free, free-range meats only and even then he will probably only eat meat sparingly. I knew for a fact that I did not want him drinking cow’s mil so, we decided to transition him to Ripple milk (made from pea protein) after getting off of the Earth’s Best Organic formula.  Can I add that Ripple tastes so good I’ve been drinking it myself instead of my usual almond milk.

I asked other plant-based moms for suggestions and scoured the internet for any credible information that would help. My concern was him getting enough protein with the transition to dairy-free milk and no meat/little meat but, so far, so good! The Ripple milk is 8 grams of protein per serving and I feed him lots of the same non-meat protein-packed foods that I eat.   He has been eating chickpeas, tofu, and avocado very well, which I am glad about.

I’m going to see what his pediatrician says at his 12-month check-up but, my mind is pretty made up.  We won’t restrict him from eating meat if he chooses to do so but, his diet will be primarily plant-based.

Are you raising vegan, vegetarian or plant-based kiddos?  If so, what obstacles did you come across?


Baby, Eats

Choosing an Organic Baby Formula

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Along with all of the unbelievably joyful moments that being a new parent brings, also comes the worrisome, guilt-filled ones.  As someone who knows firsthand the benefits that eating the right foods can bring, I get consumed with what I am feeding Benjamin. With all that’s out here, I know I should be but it can be seriously overwhelming.

A recent dilemma I had was choosing a baby formula. It really should not bring this much anxiety to pick one, should it?

I have been giving Benjamin formula since birth, at the suggestion of the nurses at the hospital, and also breastfeeding.  He had digestive issues along with some constipation that was painful to even watch. We tried lots of different ones and finally settled on a Soy formula by Gerber Good Start.  After a few months though, I did not feel comfortable keeping him on the soy.

Then the hunt for a regular formula began.

Although very exhausting, breastfeeding was going pretty well so, I began to pump more hoping that I could have enough milk for him during the day while I’m at work.  Between working, nursing, and pumping I was getting really burned out, and I just wasn’t making enough milk.

I did some online research and reached out to family and friends who worked in the pediatric nursing field for some help.  Can I say I’m really surprised that there are no formulas without soy or dairy– ZERO. ZILCH. NADA.

Based on conversations I had with others and everything I read, I decided to go with Plum Organics and Earth’s Best Organic formulas.  They were both listed in the top three formulas online and recommended by almost everyone I spoke with.  What stood out to me was:

  • no corn syrup solids added
  • non-GMO ingredients
  • no added sweetners
  • organic lactose

I used Plum Organics organic formula for the past few weeks and I have no complaints! Benjamin drank it without frowning or spitting up (an issue he had when on soy sometimes).  The price point though ($42 for 32 oz), was hitting our pockets pretty hard especially since we were buying it every week.  I can definitely vouch for the great reviews though.

This week, I picked up Earth’s Best Organic instead.  It’s a little less expensive (about $41 for 35 oz) and has the same ingredients. We’re just a few days in but so far, so good.

I never expected this to give me so much angst but, I’m glad there are great options out there for moms like me who are very particular about what their babies put in their bodies.

I also make all of Benjamin’s pureed foods at home but, I have supplemented a few times with the Plum Organics  and Earth’s Best baby foods.  They are the only two brands of baby foods I trust to give my baby outside of what I make at home.

Which brands of organic baby formula and foods are your favorites?