We are nature, born from nature and will get back to nature after death… Human bodies are totally natural, fully biodegradable & compostable! This is how we are meant to be … Natural. But just think are we living natural life? We are surrounded by chemicals & toxic substances – Air, Water, Food, Cleaning products, Makeup, Lunchboxes, bottles all have some mysterious chemicals in it which is not good for us… it looks like we have accepted these chemicals to become a part of our bodies and minds. Our bodies are so precious, It’s going to be with us till we die!
But the creatures who are most precious to us – our Children – are far more vulnerable and delicate than adults. Children between 1 and five eat 3-4 times more food per pound of body weight than the average adult. They absorb more nutrients and subsequently more toxins than we do. More than 80 thousand chemicals are registered for use today and several thousand are found in our everyday environments. Far too few of these have been tested for toxicity. As is the popular saying “Better safe than sorry “. We should be protecting ourselves and our children from chemicals and substances which can be harmful sometime down the road. The adage “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” has never been so relevant as is today! We should comprehend the world our children live in, to realize how fast the Diseases as deadliest as Cancer are increasing at such high rates and the researches have proven that most of these diseases can be very well prevented – as Dr.Philip Landrigan said: “If a disease is made by human beings, we can prevent it”.
I would like to share some of the easy changes you can make in everyday life to keep your little ones away from toxins as much as possible :
1: Air– According to the U.S. centers for disease control and prevention- in 2005, 6.5 million children under 18 had asthma, an increase of more than 200% since 1980. Indoor air quality is the main culprit, in addition to dust mites, mold, pet dander, second-hand smoke, air contaminants that contribute to asthma include certain insecticides & chemicals found in plastic such as formaldehyde. So, what needs to be done : -Avoid artificial fragrances in the form of air sprays, deodorizers, etc.
-Ditch the artificial candles and instead opt for Natural Soy candles. Make your own essential oil spray (8 tablespoons of water with 10 drops of your favorite essential oil).-Make your own natural air spritz – 1tsp baking soda+1tsp lemon or vinegar+ 2cups warm water.-Open windows of your house for as much time as you can during the day.-Plant some good indoor plants.
2: Water – Ensuring clean and safe water for your family should be done by you! The water coming to your house contains lots of chemicals (like chlorine) are added in order to make it safe to drink but chemicals like chlorine, chloramine, lead is not good for you and especially your little ones…some of the easy steps you should provide purified water for you and your kids are : -Run cold water from the taps of your house for a minute every morning, it will help to flush lead buildup which has happened overnight in the pipes.-Water Filter- A good quality filter can be installed at your place after testing the water (there are lots of options available in the market today like a carbon filter, Reverse osmosis, etc but they all come with their own pros & cons which I’ll discuss in a blog soon).Some of the measures which can be taken if you don’t want to have a filter at your home and want to go for natural alternatives like me :Aerate water – Fill your water jugs, keep them uncovered in a sunny spot(letting the water sit in sun for a few hours in a day actually neutralizes most of chlorine and chloramine) before consumption.
Magical Herb – I’ll tell you about a magical herb which is so commonly used in our everyday food dishes which can very effectively absorb a lot of harmful chemicals from the water, it’s no other than our Corriander!Coriander or cilantro has this remarkable property of absorbing toxins as well as heavy metals like lead from water and all the credit goes to the structure of the outer wall of its leaves.The way to use Corriander is: Fill in your jugs of water in the morning(this will help in aerating the water to evaporate chlorine), add a few organic coriander leaves(you can add mint or parsley as well if you wish) to it and leave it in the sun for a day(the rays of sun will kill any other bacterias and viruses), this simple & cheap technique will make your water far better and healthier.
3: Ditch the plastic – More and more researches are telling us about the negative impact of plastic on our bodies and environment. Plastic is made up of chemicals like Phthalates, BPA, BPS, Parabens, PFAs, etc which have been proven to cause numerous health issues ranging from Hormone disruptions, ADD, cancer, behavioral issues, low IQ and the list goes on.And really no plastic is safe for us especially kids – even the plastics which claim free of BPA have other BPA free alternatives like BPS & Diphenyl sulphone – Even these alternatives are equally bad for health!And do not Microwave/heat food in plastic- heat causes chemicals to migrate into the meals; try not to buy foods wrapped in plastic and don’t use plastic wraps yourself.
4: No to synthetic baby products – Our skin absorbs up to 60% of what’s applied on it & most of these chemicals are absorbed into the bloodstream. Children’s skin is even more delicate than ours so why to risk it?Most conventional beauty products are made up of Phthalates -Used in cosmetics, personal care products such as shampoos, hair spray, sanitary pads, etc. Phthalates are believed to be endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC)- that can alter hormonal balance & can cause reproduction, development and other health issues.-Use natural oils like Virgin Coconut, almond, olive is best for your child’s skin; also, babies should be bathed alternate day so as to retain the body’s natural oils.-Avoid Talcum -There is no need for talcum or baby powder on your baby’s body, tiny particles of baby powder when inhaled can cause irritation of babies’ lungs and long term exposure can even lead to lung damage.-Read the prints on your baby’s bath products – stay away from products that contain sulfates, phthalates, fragrances. (making bath soaps at home is not difficult at all…we’ll discuss in some other blog about making your own bath soaps).
4: Ditch your Microwave – I was one of the regular users of microwave till 3 yrs back and I always wondered how can I have a kitchen minus microwave but after reading an article about the bad effects that come with the convenience of using microwave, I just took it out of our house… and will never bring it back.Enough researches are available today to prove that microwave causes the molecular structure in your food to change, and thus resulting in diminishing the nutrient content in the food. According to one of the swiss experimental studies, the individuals who consumed microwaved foods had their blood chemistry altered – the results showed a decrease in no of RBCs whereas WBCs and cholesterol spiked!The best form of cooking for your kids and your family is still -steaming or cooking at a cooktop and oven at low temperatures.
5: Packing the lunchboxes – Use paper bags or muslin cloth to wrap your child’s lunch sandwich.Get steel lunch boxes for your kids but if cost is keeping you away from buying them, at least wrap the sandwich/wrap in a paper bag or muslin clothSteel drink bottles for your kids are the best, even choosing steel milk bottles for your little ones. (I had made this mistake for long and have recently switched to glass milk bottle for my son…what a relief !).
6: Minimal screen time – Screen time limits should be there for kids, set a maximum time limit for TV or computers. Also, you should be well aware of what content your kids are watching or what games are they playing … In our house, we have a rule of TV or computer use only in the living room and not in bedrooms so that we are well aware of what kids are watching!Encourage your little ones to go and play out and if possible play with them, they will love it!
7: Use those 5 mins before bedtime – All mums feel exhausted by the end of the day and we really really want our little ones to sleep soon but one thing to remember before your kids go to sleep is to ask them about their day… how has it been, One thing which they learned today and is there anything which is bothering them? Believe me, it’s so important to use this 5 min before they go to sleep and its even more important for the working mamas as they get only that time of day to actually unwind, relax and talk to kids.
Hopefully, you gained something from this blog, so be as natural as possible and let those pure and beautiful little creatures be pure and not get adulterated by those nasty chemicals!