Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Preverbal Communication

Dedicating time to communicate with our children is one of the wisest moves we can make. Studies have shown that dialogues help babies understand the world, and develop their communication process with other people.

A recent study published by the New York Times reinforces the benefits of communicating with young babies and toddlers by using gestures, vocalization imitation, laughter and facial expressions. At this early age, kids understand far more that they can say.

Speech experts recommend to "Talk while doing things and going places. When taking a walk in the stroller, for example, point to familiar objects and say their names. Use simple but grammatical speech. Expand on words. For example, if your child says 'car', you respond by saying: 'You're right! That is a big red car.'"

For more information, logon to The New York Times.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Very Classy, Very Wise

Check out this video for creative eco-friendly ideas for a baby shower. Very classy...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Growing Organic Veggies

Growing your own organic veggies can be a lot of fun, and is definitely a lot cheaper than buying them in grocery stores.
I've tried a couple of times, but unfortunately always lost the battles to bunnies and chipmunks. They seem to be a lot faster than me, specially during their night shifts!

Raised in apartment buildings, I've never had the opportunity to develop a green thumb! Since moved to a house, our few attempts to plant some fruits, veggies and herbs have been quite entertaining to our neighborhood speedy critters.

The Daily Green just published 9 easy steps to develop an organic garden, and although the Winter is approaching quite soon, there are several techniques to grow and maintain an indoor garden. Click on the sources below for detailed information, and step-by-step guidance.

Sources: The Daily Green for organic gardens, and for indoor herb garden

Friday, September 25, 2009

Latest BS from BA

British Airways has just announced a fee to assign seats in advance. So, if you want to be assured that your 3-year-old child will be sitting next to you during your flight, a fee ranging from £10 to £60 will apply.

Looking from another angle, this could be an opportunity to have free babysitting on board! Whoever is randomly selected to sit next to your child will take the burden! Note that the fee applies to international flights as well. I can't wait...

Here is BA's version: "Customers frequently request specific seats, but in the past we've only been able to confirm them 24 hours in advance or on the day. We know people want to secure them in advance and have real control over their flying experience. This will allow them to do that."

On BBC News today.

Tylenol Voluntary Recall

Tylenol is voluntarily recalling certain lots of Children's and Infants' liquid products, manufactured between April and June 2008.
The reason for the recall is that an unused portion of one active ingredient did not meet all quality standards.
Click here to access list of recalled lot numbers.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Online Eco Tools

Check out these sites with interactive tools to help you figure out how to save energy and money at home:
An interactive graphic, Energystar@Home, guides you on changes room by room.
The site prompts you to fill out a questionnaire about your house, then provides tips on reducing energy consumption based on your profile.
This site provides suggestions on making your renovation project more energy efficient, with estimated costs and payback period.
Provides a calculator that helps you break down your energy bill by appliance, and correct problem areas.

Very nice tools, all free!
For more information, logon to

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

BPA-free Bake, Serve and Store Gadgets

Pirex has just launched a very useful container for BPA-free conscious mommas.
It can be used for baking and storage, and is cool enough for serving!
The container is made of glass, and comes with 2 lids, a glass version for heating and serving, and a BPA-free plastic lid for storage.

For more information, logon to

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Great Quality, Supreme Taste

Healthy and delicious snacks are a great source of nutrition for kids.
There are many choices of snacks available, such as cookies, chocolates, muffins, cakes, and a variety of items loaded with sugar and fat. However, kids develop their taste for good quality food based on what they are influenced to try at home.
It is so easy to buy or make healthy snacks, with delicious taste! Here are a few examples that couldn't be any easier to prepare, and the ingredients are already very popular with kids:

  • Sliced apple with peanut butter
  • Home made granola bar (click here for recipe)
  • Fruit smoothies and shakes with yogurt or milk (click here for recipe)
  • Peanut butter and honey on whole wheat bread
  • Granola, dried fruits and milk - classic combination, delicious taste!
  • Fruit salad with sprinkles of cereal and honey
  • Oatmeal with raisins, cranberries
  • Cheese chunks and grapes
  • Cooked bananas with honey
  • Cooked fruits with oats crisps (or granola) on top

The list is endless, all we need is a tiny bit of creativity. Invite the kids to create recipes, explaining the reasons why we focus on quality, without giving up great taste.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Useful Database for Concerned Mommas

HealthyStuff is an organization that researches toxic chemicals in everyday products. Check their website for test results for over 5,000 products, including children toys. They also rate car seats, kids' apparel, teethers, etc.
It is a great resource to consult before buying products for our kids.
Check it out!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Organic Ingredients, Not Always Necessary

We all know that pesticides are not good for our bodies. The exposure to toxic chemicals can have an even more adverse effect in children. The metabolism of a fetus, infant and child is less able to metabolize and inactivate toxic chemicals, being more vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides.

Consuming organic food minimizes the problem, but it is generally expensive, and not accessible to everybody. The Environmental Working Group developed a list of vegetables and fruits that contain the highest amount of pesticides, and the ones that are generally clear. So, be wise and don't spend the extra cash when not necessary. Here is a summary of the list:

Highest pesticide load, starting with the worst: peach, apple, bell pepper, celery, nectarine, strawberry, cherry, kale, lettuce, grapes, carrot, pear, collard greens, spinach and potatoes

Lowest pesticide load, starting with the cleanest: onion, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, papaya, watermelon and broccoli.

For a complete list, check the Baby Food Recipes section, or consult the Environmental Working Group.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Children's Personal Care Harm

Moms love buying products for their children. Who doesn't like the scent of baby products? Well, while they smell good, sometimes the products may be harmful for kids. Here are a few points to consider when shopping children's personal care products.
1. Use fewer products, and use them less frequently.
2. Don't trust claims. Check the ingredients.
3. Always opt for fragrance-free products.

Below are some product tips from the Environmental Working Group:
Shampoo and conditioner: Avoid DMDM hydantoin, fragrances, ceteareth, and PEG compounds
Body wash and liquid soap: Avoid triclosan, DMDM hydantoin, and fragrance.
Toothpaste: The American Dental Association recommends fluoride-free products for children under 2. Also, avoid triclosan and PEG compounds
Sunscreen: Children under 6 months of age should not be in the sun. Older children should have limited exposure, and always use products with UVA and UVB protection.
Baby wipes: Avoid 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol, DMDM hydantoin and fragrance.
Diaper cream: Avoid BHA, boric acid, sodium borate and fragrance.
Baby powder: Don't use them. Lung damage results when baby inhales the small particles released during application.

For more information, logon to

Guide for Baby-Safe Bottles

We think that breast milk is the best feeding option for babies. However, if you need to use bottles, for breast milk or formula, the Environmental Working Group released a guide with interesting bottle best practices. Below are key points:
- Use clear silicone nipple: latex rubber nipples can cause allergies, and can contain impurities linked to cancer.
- Use glass bottles: plastic bottles can leach the toxic chemical BPA into formula or breast milk. Avoid clear, hard plastic bottles marked with a 7 or PC.
- Don't use plastic bottle liners: it can leach chemicals into formula when heated.
- Use filtered tap water: if you choose bottle water, make sure it is fluoride-free.
- Choose powered formula: toxic BPA leaches into liquid formula. Powdered formulas don't have BPA.

For more information, vist

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Car Sharing, a Great Concept

If you leave in a big city and don't need a car on a daily basis, you have to try a car-sharing service. It is incredibly useful and convenient. You pick a car at a convenient location, just slide your card and voila! Easy for shopping days, especially when you have kids. Having just two arms sometimes is limiting when pushing a stroller and carrying grocery bags at the same time.

The concept is absolutely great. You save tons of money by not having a car, and that is the green motivation to only use one when necessary, helping reduce CO2 emission. In fact, a Canadian car-sharing service company claims a 13,000-ton reduction in CO2 emission by its 11,000 members in Quebec, according to a Fortune source. What a great green concept!

And if this is not enough, the hourly rate is about $12 for a small car, generally including insurance and gas. What a bargain.