Posts Tagged ‘Shaklee Babies’

Nutritional Intelligence

I’m at the age in life where I have friends having babies and the conversation around what they feed them comes up a lot. Apparently when they started reading what’s in the baby food jars they can’t believe the ‘stuff’ included so they have been making food themselves.

I came across a new book called Feeding Baby Green, by one of the country’s pre-eminent pediatricians, Dr. Alan Greene. His book posits a unique, forward-thinking 34-month guide to train your baby’s palate to appreciate the more complex flavors of healthy, unprocessed foods and I thought it would be an interesting read for those interested. Excerpt from Healthy Child Healthy World below:

Every parent is keen to find a way to engender healthy eating habits in their child. “Parents today have an unprecedented awareness and eagerness about the necessity of providing safe, wholesome, nutritious foods for their children”, says Dr. Greene. And yet today’s parents are burdened by economic constraints and severely limited time. The book reports that 80% of parents are unable to feed their children healthy foods because they are inconvenient, unavailable in their communities, or their children don’t like the taste.

What is the connection between what a pregnant woman eats and what her baby experiences? Dr. Greene explains that babies actually have a food life in utero, and the habits they establish in the first years after birth can have a lasting influence on their attitudes to food.

He refutes the claim by some  that it is impossible to get kids to eat healthy foods because they simply don’t like the taste. Dr. Greene believes that babies’ taste-buds can become easily programmed for the extra-sugar, extra-salt, extra starch that is every present in processed and take-out food. But if they are exposed to the “rainbow of flavors”, as he calls it, they can establish a preference for fruits and vegetables early on. This is his core thesis – something he calls “nutritional intelligence”.

“Baby food”, Dr. Greene reminds us, is a myth. Commercial baby food was an invention of 20th century food corporations, enforcing the theory that babies need meals separate from the fruits, vegetables and seasonings the rest of the family consume. Pointed and pervasive advertising convinced mothers that good baby food was scientific, uniform, twice boiled, and sold in jars.

Dr. Greene lays out a clear yet flexible how-to program, incorporating many techniques and angles, all of which is tailored to the baby’s current development stage. The time frames are general enough to work for most families, and allow enough wiggle room for customization.

Many of Feeding Baby Green‘s suggestions are both revolutionary and fundamental – breaking new molds yet also revisiting older traditions. He writes about engaging all of the baby’s senses when learning about food and eating. Flavor, aroma, touch, sights, sounds and language, these are all tools that help you make food a joyous experience. He also counsels on proper amounts, the right variety, and varying repetition with novelty.

Throughout the book, Dr. Greene offers a host of tempting recipes to make for baby at home: Bombay Vegetable Stew, Chickpeas and Tomatoes Provence, Baba Ganoush! There’s very little puree of this or cream of that. These recipes are meant for the culinary delight of the whole family.

Dr. Greene infuses Feeding Baby Green with a connection to the earth, to our food source, and to the truism that we are what we eat. He believes firmly that what is good for the planet is good for your family. As a Board Member of Healthy Child Healthy World, his outlook and practice are always consistent with the advice we offer parents. Much of his book is devoted to educating parents on the dangers of GMO crops, pesticides in agriculture, chemical additives in our food, and prevention of allergies and asthma. Dr. Greene is also a renowned advocate for organic foods, believing they not only keep us healthier but ensure our environment receives protection and nourishment as well.

And throughout, he draws on his wisdom as a practicing pediatrician, his first hand experience as a father of four children, and his family’s journey through his beloved wife’s battle with cancer. (She won!!!) Taking on this endeavor seems less daunting because Dr. Greene’s meticulous guide reassures the reader that they’ve got a friend in the kitchen with them.

Flame Retardant Products, who knew?

I thought this was an interesting article as I don’t know much of anything about flame retardant products. It will be a saga I’m sure with what they come up with to replace the decaBDE. The full article was posted on Healthy Child Healthy World.

On Thursday December 17, while the world was waiting to learn if talks in Copenhagen would produce a plan to keep the planet from heating up any further, the EPA made a flame retardant announcement of its own: Within three years – by the end of 2013 – the two U.S. producers and the largest U.S. importer of the flame retardant known as decaBDE (decabromodiphenyl ether) – used widely in plastics of electronics, motor vehicles, aircraft, in textiles and furniture – will end production, use, and sales of the chemical in the United States.

This may sound arcane but it’s significant in a number of ways, not least because
decaBDE is a persistent and bioaccumulative synthetic chemical – one of a class of flame retardants known as PBDEs – that most of us have been encountering daily for years. Contrary to initial expectations, deca- is not staying put in the finished products where it’s used. In numerous scientific studies it’s been shown to migrate out of finished consumer products and has been found in household dust, in vacuum cleaner and laundry dryer lint as well as in rivers, wildlife, food, and people, most disconcertingly in nursing mothers and children.

Steve Owens, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, said in his official response to the announcement,

“Though DecaBDE has been used as a flame retardant for years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has long been concerned about its impact on human health and the environment. Studies have shown that DecaBDE persists in the environment, potentially causes cancer, and may impact brain function. DecaBDE also can degrade into more toxic chemicals that are frequently found in the environment and are hazardous to wildlife.”

Deca- is one of several PBDE flame retardants that have been used widely in consumer products for years in ever increasing volumes, beginning largely in the 1970s. Other PBDEs have been taken out of use, either voluntarily or by regulation, as evidence of their adverse environmental and health impacts – as endocrine disruptors and possible carcinogens – has grown. Deca- was initially thought to be safer than other PBDEs, but evidence of its adverse effects has also grown, including its ability to break down into smaller more hazardous compounds that can adversely impact thyroid hormones, neurological and immune systems. In Europe, PBDEs, including deca-, are no longer allowed for use in electronics.

PBDEs themselves came onto the market after some of their predecessor flame retardants – among them PBBs (polybrominated biphenyls) and perhaps most notoriously a compound known as “Tris” that was used in children’s pajamas was linked to cancer in animal studies.

While agreeing to the phase-out, PBDE producers continue to maintain their product safety. “While hundreds of science-based and peer-reviewed studies have shown decaBDE to be safe in use and one of the most efficacious flame retardants in the world, Albemarle [one of the two U.S. deca- producers] is committed to delivering safe and effective products with increasingly smaller environmental footprints,” Brian Carter, global business director of Albemarle’s flame retardant group told Chemical and Engineering News.

Concern about PBDEs’ health effects has, in the absence of any federal regulation, prompted a number of U.S. states to ban their use – including that of deca-. How this phase-out will influence legislation remains to be seen but Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) has introduced a bill to ban deca- and ensure its replacement with safe alternatives.

PBDE producers say they are working on environmentally friendly alternatives. Exactly what they are and how they behave remains to be discovered – although at least one is yet another brominated compound. Flame retardants already widely in use as alternatives to PBDEs, among them chemicals known as HBCD and tetrabromobisphenol A, or their breakdown products have been identified as environmentally persistent and are turning up in water, soil, wildlife, people and food samples.

One of the big challenges will be getting behind the websites depicting ladybugs and grassy meadows to find out how “green” this next generation of flame retardants actually is. Right now all we have is the manufacturers’ word.

Elizabeth Grossman is the author most recently of Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry. She writes from Portland, Oregon. This was originally published by The Huffington Post.

Do you read labels?

I was talking to a lovely friend of mine yesterday who has a 9 month old daughter. She’s such an inspiration to me in the way that she mothers as she is constantly asking questions of her doctors, asking questions of the food manufactures that make baby food and has become a real advocate for not accepting data as fact. She truly embodies the kind of mom I want to be someday. We got into a conversation around the importance of reading labels as she was telling me how she’s been making all of her daughter’s baby food as she can only find three kinds of baby food on the market that are actually all organic (meaning carrots and water or sweet potatoes and water vs. peas and absorbic acid, natural flavor, etc). As I was sharing with her the Shaklee baby products and the kind of testing and guarantees the company provides it was such a good reminder to me that we have to be so diligent about not only reading but actually understanding the claims companies are making about what they put in the products we bring into our home, feed our bodies and use to clean ourselves. I went home from that convo and looked up Shaklee’s safety guarantees as a reminder – I’ve pasted them below as every time I read them it reaffirms why I use and trust these products. If you’re interested in the actual studies that have been done on the products check out this link.

Shaklee: We guarantee unconditional safety

We start with nature. Shaklee scientists search the world over to source the finest natural ingredients. Then we conduct over 350 tests on every single new ingredient for heavy metals, pesticides, or any of hundreds of other harmful contaminants. And we continue to conduct over 80,000 quality tests annually to guarantee the purity and safety of each and every product.

That’s why we are absolutely sure of this: Every Shaklee product is 100% safe to use. Guaranteed.

Just Some of Shaklee’s NO List:

  • NO Parabens
  • NO Triclosan
  • NO Phthalates
  • NO Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
  • NO Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES)
  • NO 1,4-Dioxane
  • NO Propylene Glycol
  • NO Volatile Organic Cleaning Compounds (VOCs)
  • NO Hydrochloric Acid
  • NO Ammonia
  • NO Sodium Hydroxide
  • NO Butyl Cellosolve
  • NO Formaldehyde
  • NO Bisphenol-A
  • NO Petroleum Distillates
  • NO Toulene
  • NO Chlorine Bleach
  • NO MSG
  • NO Dyes
  • NO Trans Fats
  • NO Artificial Sweeteners
  • NO Toxic Inks
  • NO Banned Substances

So how often do you all actually read lables? For me , it’s something I have to remind myself to do every time I’m in a store.

Pregnant women exposed to chemicals more likely to have aggressive girls – WHAT!

As someone thinking about getting pregnant, this article was a powerful read for me.  “Pregnant women exposed to chemical more likely to have aggressive girls: study” looks at pregnant women exposed to a common chemical found in plastics are more likely to have daughters with aggressive and hyperactive behaviors. I work my day job in an office where we have bottles of water brought in. I keep a SIGG water bottle on my desk but I’ll be the first to admit that when I get busy I’ll just reach for one of the plastic water bottles.

The study, which is from both the University of North Carolina and the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, is the first to examine the link between exposure to bisphenol A during pregnancy and behaviour problems in kids.

I’ve done a lot of reading on the exposure of toxins during pregnancy and Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, the plastic in the study has also been linked to reproductive problems and diabetes – lovely. No more excuses for me about filling up my SIGG bottle.