Earth Friendly Infants

Parenting: What Does It Mean to Raise a Child in a Green World?

More and more parents with children and babies are going green – and we're not talking about broccoli. Since 2002, sales of organic products, from strawberries to clothing and shampoo, have nearly tripled but before jumping on the green bandwagon, parents need to consider a variety of terms and factors before choosing what works best for them, their baby, and the environment.

Making Green Decisions

As with most parenting questions, there's no right or wrong answer for raising children in an earth-friendly manner. For some parents, the choice rests on individual health issues such as their baby's sensitivity to specific pesticide residues or food additives. Parent choices can also come from an overall concern for using baby and child products and methods they feel will have less impact on the environment.
When it comes to deciding what food products to buy for your baby, organic milk products and eating seasonal fruits and vegetables purchased locally, are generally fresher, not to mention better for the environment because they haven't traveled halfway across the world to get to you.

Food Choices for Baby

Breast or bottle? Right from the start, you can begin with the most organic activity there is – breastfeeding. You don't need to clog landfills with formula containers and use countless gallons of water to wash hundreds of baby bottles.
Infant formula. If you choose not to breastfeed your baby, infant formulas are available that certifies that the ingredients are grown without the use of certain pesticides. Don't use bottled water to mix with your formula, tap water is fine. Try using glass baby bottles or try BPA-free plastic bottles.
Solid foods. Once your baby is on solids, if you want to try making your own baby food. Make individual portions that are easy to remove by pouring it into silicone ice cube trays, cover with freezer bags, label them, and store in the freezer.
Fresh fruits and veggies. If you can't see the extra cost to buy all organic fruits and vegetables, the organic versions of the following produce items are recommended:
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Bell Peppers
  • Potatoes

Non-organic produce items that are lowest in pesticides include:
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapple
  • Mangos
  • Sweet peas
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet potato
  • Honeydew

You can also go organic on only the foods your child eats most, like milk and apple juice.

Other Ways to Go Green

Dressing Your Baby. Look for 100% certified organic cotton on the label, and avoid synthetic fibers. Newborn baby clothes from Natures Purest offer this option.
Skip the "stuff." It's a myth that babies need lots of gear. For example, instead of bringing your newborn home to a pricey bassinet, put your baby in the crib right away. Don't bother with lots of sterilization equipment – your dishwasher will do just fine.
Get used gear. Buying second-hand on big-ticket baby and child items can save you oodles of cash, not to mention it's better for the environment. Trade or borrow used baby items from friends and family and go to garage sales.

Whether you are fully committed to the organic way of life or simply want to do your bit - following these guidelines could make your little one a real “Earth Angel”