Written by contributor Megan Tietz of SortaCrunchy
Here at Simple Organic, Nicole has been sharing some inspiring ideas for green goals we can implement in the coming year. For those of us who are parents seeking to live a little more naturally, this is a great time of year to consider how green goals can be applied specifically to parenting.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, nor is it meant to make any parents feel badly about current choices for their families. One of the best things about the start of a fresh new year is the opportunity to be challenged. What better time than January to be bold and make a leap into something new?
Here are 10 ideas to motivate your own parenting goals for 2011:
Photo by abbybatchelder
2. Switch to a non-toxic crib mattress, or wrap your conventional crib mattress to help combat the effects of off-gassing.
3. Use non-toxic baby care products, particularly those that are free of parabens and phthalates. (Here’s a cheat sheet from SafeMama!)
4. Consider buying dye-free, phosphate-free detergents, or just make your own!
5. Thoroughly research vaccine choices. Consider a balanced approach to research by reading both Dr. Sears’ The Vaccine Book and Aviva Jill Romm’s Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parents’ Guide. If you do choose vaccinations for your family, consider a wellness regime to boost health around the time of vaccinations (such as the Vaccishield from WellFuture).
6. Promote wellness naturally by focusing on priobiotics either in supplements or food form. For children older than two, consider frequent use of elderberry syrup as a preventative during cold and flu seasons. Elderberry syrup is also a great alternative to Tamiflu or the flu shot!
7. Get lots of Vitamin D! Vitamin D is a pivotal component of wellness for people of all ages, especially children. The best source is sunshine, and I found this cool calculator that shows how much UV exposure you need for optimum Vitamin D absorption. When sunshine isn’t available, look into supplements such as cod liver oil. (Here’s a more extensive list of great sources of Vitamin D.)
8. Stock an herbal and/or homeopathic medicine cabinet. Some great items to have on hand for children are:
- Willow & Garlic Ear Oil
- Cherry Bark Blend for sore throats
- Camilia for teething
- Chestal for coughs
- Aloe vera, arnica, and other items for a natural first-aid kit
Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt
9. Begin phasing out battery-powered toys and opt for more open-ended, imagination-inspiring items for play. If your family is like mine, this will be a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on replacing plastic toys with play items made from natural materials. (Why? Read more in “Nurturing the Playful Mind” in Natural Child Magazine.)
10. Make play a sensory experience! Seek out activities, games, toys, and experiences that appeal to all five senses. I’m in love with these play clays that invite fun with aromatherapy, and this tremendously helpful article from Mommy Poppins – “99 Sensory Activities For Any Child” - just brims with sensory-filled ideas.
Again, this is just a short list meant to be a springboard for ideas for your family in 2011. The path to living more naturally is broad and looks different for everyone!
Do you have any goals for more natural parenting this year? Please share them in the comments so we can be further inspired!