Advertising
Advertising

Organic Products Are Really Better For Your Kids: 10 Reasons Why Your Kids Need Them

Organic Products Are Really Better For Your Kids: 10 Reasons Why Your Kids Need Them

It seems like every product today has the word natural, sustainable, organic or green stamped across the front of it to lure buyers in. In fact there is so much “green washing” going on and companies making their “own” labels that aren’t recognized by a certifying body, that it can be really challenging for parents to decipher the good healthy products for their kids from just hyped up marketing.

1.  Reduced Off Gasses From Manufacturing

Choosing to by organic doesn’t just mean fruits and vegetables that have no additives or pesticides sprayed on them or chicken that is free of antibiotics. You see when you buy a traditional mattress, it often contains a slew of chemicals that aren’t fully off-gassed before packaging. An organic mattress will not contain any volatile organic compounds – often found from the off gassing of traditional mattresses during manufacturing.

These gases can be quite harmful to your health. Specifically, the VOCs are found in the foam and adhesive parts of the mattress {funny how memory foam mattresses are so good for you back, but can be bad for your health} and can include harmful chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), formaldehyde, benzene (carcinogenic chemical), methylene chloride, toluene, trichloroethane, naphthalene, perfluorocarbons.

Overall, Organic mattresses are made without the use of any harmful chemicals– no chemicals, no off gassing smell! As opposed to a conventional mattress, an organic mattress contains:

  • No synthetic materials; only organic and natural
  • No chemical fire retardants, eg., use untreated wool as a natural fire retardant

For a little bit more, you can rest assured that you and your family are safe from off gassing. And be warned- just because a mattress labels itself as ‘organic’ does not mean that it is ‘non-toxic’. For example, a mattress made with organic cotton as the filling can be covered in a vinyl plastic or have chemical fire retardants added to it. Ensure that you are doing the proper research with the retailer to ensure that you are buying the best possible product for your needs. We spend ⅓ of our lives sleeping- spend that time with the peace of mind knowing that you are not exposing yourself to harmful chemicals.

Advertising

2. Organic Toys Leach Less Chemicals

Ever wonder what your child chews on in the bath or during playtime? Phthalates leach out of soft vinyl (i.e. rubber duckies) during periods of sustained mouthing action (sucking and chewing) that occurs on a daily basis, and migrate into the body through the saliva. The European Union classifies one phthalate called di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) as a suspected endocrine disruptor on the basis of evidence that it interferes with hormone function, and as toxic to reproduction on the basis that it may cause harm to the unborn child and impair fertility.

Organic toys contain safer dyes and less harmful chemicals. Luckily there are lots of alternative, healthy and organic options for children. If you have a baby who is teething, you may want to consider a product made from 100% organic cotton and contains no synthetic ingredients (there are many of these kinds of toys that looks like animals) that involves simply wetting and putting in the freezer. Also, Look for words on the label such as “BPA- free” (BPA stands for “bisphenol-A) or “Phthalate-Free”.

3. Contain Less Pesticides

Did you know that five of the top 9 pesticides used on conventional cotton in the U.S. are known cancer-causing chemicals? Also, did you know that to make just ONE cotton t-shirt, 1/3 of a pound of pesticides and other chemicals are used. You can avoid pesticides by choosing chemical and dye-free products, such as Organic Cotton crib/bed sheets. Furthermore, organic cotton crib sheets are much stronger than traditional cotton fiber (hence they last longer/better quality). More so, organic cotton is better for the environment when compared to conventional cotton as it uses 25 percent of worldwide insecticides.

Choosing organic cotton helps to support organic farmers,  gives motivation to conventional farmers who are trying to convert to organic practices, and has been known for enhanced quality. Hopefully, over time, this can reduce the amount of chemicals consumed by conventional cotton farming and help contribute to a healthier planet.

4. Organic Drinks Contain Less Artificial Coloring

Do you ever think twice before you give your child that Koolaid Jammer? You would probably be shocked to learn all the artificial colors in juices and the affect they can have on your child. For example, in the Journal of Paediatrics it was reported that the colouring Tartrazine (also known as yellow 5 and yellow 4) has been associated with hyperactivity, behavioral changes in irritability, restlessness and sleep disturbances in children. Tartrazine is also found in a lot of colored candy (i.e. gummy bears), instant noodle products (i.e. Kraft Dinner) …check your cupboards, it will surprise you! Luckily, there are lots of organic options available that do not contain tartrazine.

Advertising

5. Reduced Exposure To Flame Retardant Chemicals

Did you know flame retardant chemicals have been found in food, not just clothing and furniture?! You may want to think again before giving your child a sports drink or cold beverage loaded with artificial dyes and additives. For example, brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is commonly found in drinks such as Fresca, Mountain Dew and Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, Powerade Strawberry Lemonade, Sunkist Pineapple, Fanta Orange. Brominated Vegetable Oil is classified as a food additive, but little is found in scientific literature regarding its composition. Whats more, BVO it contains bromine which is found in flame retardants and has been found to build up body lipids. Why is this concerning? In the United States, 85 percent of kids drink a beverage containing sugar or artificial sweetener at least once per week, according to a study published in 2012 in the American Medical Associations Journal of Paediatrics. Sodas are the largest source of calories for teenagers between the ages of 14 to 18, according to a National Cancer Institute study.

Brominated Vegetable oil is added to soda/sports drinks to keep them from getting cloudy and allow the artificial flavor suspended in the drink.  In fact, BVO is found in 10 percent of soda in the United States of America! So it’s not surprising then that this controversial substance is linked to serious health consequences like skin rashes, severe acne and thyroid disease and is banned in Europe and Japan!

Recently, a young girl petitioned against these companies who put BVO in their products with hopes to get it removed. After hundreds of thousands of signatures on a change.org, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola decided to phase out BVO in Gatorade. On the contrary, it is still in many of the Canadian Gatorade drinks. Luckily their are several organic sports drinks that don’t contain flame retardant chemicals. How can you find these products? When at the grocery store or health food store, choose organic juice products that have natural dyes and additives derived from ingredients which you will actually be able to pronounce, such as beet extract, red radish extract or carrot extract.

6. Less Opportunities For Allergens

Let’s face it, sometimes children have random asthma attacks or get sick for a short period of time and no one can figure out what caused it. Perhaps your child has been sleeping on the same pillow for years and you had no ideas all these random allergy incidents were a result to their sensitives to wool, latex and even dust.

One natural alternative would be to buy them a “natural shredded rubber pillow”. Rubber acts like an inhospitable environment for dust mites to thrive. Also the shredded pieces in these types of pillows increases the surface area, which will repel dust mites. Another organic option is to use Buckwheat pillows which have been used in Asia for over 2,000 years and continue to be used throughout the world for the wonderful orthodic comfort they provide. An added bonus is that buckwheat hulls provide good insulation and will not absorb surrounding odors.

Advertising

 

7. Less Artificial Preservatives

When your child or you scrubs that “tear-free” shampoo all over their hair and body, do you ever think twice about the ingredients in these products? Most parents are just concerned about what goes into their child’s mouth, but realistically this is just one variable in the big picture. What’s great about organic shampoos and body washes is they are often free of parabens and sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate is a detergent used in cosmetics that also makes products bubble and foam.  Health Canada has even classified SLS as a “moderate human health priority”.

Depending on the manufacturing processes, SLS may be contaminated with measurable amounts of chemicals such as 1,4 –dioxane and ethylene oxide. What’s more is that The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified ethylene oxide as a known human carcinogen and 1, 4-dioxane as a possible human carcinogen. One study, published in the Journal of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists found that levels of 1,4-dioxane in excess of 85 ppm in children’s shampoos indicate that continued monitoring of raw materials and finished products is warranted.

8. Contain Less Hormones

I’ll never forget meeting this assistant to my physiotherapist and she was telling me about her twin daughters and how despite being only 13, they both had massive breasts and were entering puberty way too soon. She also mentioned that once she had switched her family over to organic chicken (something I presume her family had consumed once or twice a week), her daughters kept mentioning how much better they felt and how they could focus more in school.  Now, it’s hard to say if this was a direct result of the organic meat, but when you look at the scientific literature it could make sense.

Not surprising, most cattle farmers in the United States use chemicals such as growth hormones to increase a cow’s size or milk production.  More milk means more money! What’s more, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows farmers to use recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rBGH, to increase milk yield in dairy cattle. In addition, farmers are also allowed to use synthetic and natural growth hormones to promote rapid weight gain in cattle; increasing the total meat volume when the cows are slaughtered.  Over the FDA has approved of six different growth hormones for this purpose. These hormones enter the meat and milk, exposing children to potentially harmful chemicals.

Advertising

9. Increase Your Child’s IQ

Surprisingly, conventional produce is more than five times more likely than organic to have pesticide residues (38 percent of samples versus 7 percent). Furthermore, when pediatrician and author Alan Greene, participated in a study with the Environmental Working Group, pesticides were found in EVERY baby tested. Specifically, they analyzed the umbilical cord blood for these pesticides and 21 different synthetic pesticides where present in the babies’ blood. One study, published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found organophosphates associated with enlargement of different parts of the brain, as well as frontal and paeital cortical thinning. In another study, suburban Seattle children had their urine tested multiple times for evidence of organophosphate pesticides. It was present in all samples, suggesting exposure above what the EPA set as a safe level.

One group of pesticides found in the babies’ umbilical cord blood is called, the organophosphates. Organophosphates were produced as nerve agents during World War II. We still have much to learn about their health effects, but higher levels of exposure have been linked to lower IQ, memory problems, developmental problems, and ADHD. It is then no wonder that today’s children, from infancy up to age 5, in the US have lost more than 16 million IQ points from exposure to organophosphate pesticides, according to another recent analysis. They’re exposed to these pesticides almost entirely through our food.

On the bright side of things, choosing organic food products can drop a child’s organophosphate pesticide exposure almost overnight.

Featured photo credit: Sara Bonham via eco-savy.com

More by this author

Organic Products Are Really Better For Your Kids: 10 Reasons Why Your Kids Need Them 10 Benefits of Oatmeal You Probably Never Knew 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home 10 Tips for Handling the Difficult People At Work 4 Unexpected Superfoods To Promote Beauty, Inside and Out

Trending in Family

1 If You Think You’re in an Unhappy Marriage, Remember These 5 Things 2 What Happened to Family Dinners? Why We Should Bring Them Back 3 How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome and Stop Feeling Lonely 4 How Not to Let Work Take Priority over Spending Time With Family 5 35 Life Hacks for Kids That Make Parenting Easier And More Fun

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

Advertising

The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

Advertising

If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

Advertising

5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

Advertising

If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next