Tips on how to live a more natural family lifestyle from diet to household cleaners.
You may already be living a natural/eco/green lifestyle as an individual, couple, or family, or you may be considering a more natural way
of life now that you have a little one to care for.
Natural/eco/green living is based on a lifestyle choice to eliminate as many chemicals, perfumes, additives and other nasties from toiletries and home/cleaning products and to use more natural products instead. This lifestyle choice can also include eating a more natural diet of whole and organic foods, and eating less pre-packed and processed foods.
A natural, whole food diet generally consists of: fresh foods, organic dairy, eggs, poultry and meat, organic fruit, vegetables, salads,
cereals, pulses and as many other organic products as is possible or affordable.
A natural diet is beneficial to all members of the family, promoting their health and wellbeing, by reducing artificial hormones, chemical preservatives, additives, E numbers, unhealthy fats, salts and sugars that they consume. Following a natural diet also reduces or eliminates the amount of processed food consumed daily and helps to maintain a healthy weight.
Eating as well as possible is especially important when pregnant and breastfeeding. It is also important when making homemade baby/toddler food to give each child the best start in life.
Use chemical-free shampoos, soaps, washes, lotions and creams that contain as many natural ingredients as possible and are
free from Sulfates, Parabens, Phthalates, Paraffin, Mineral oil, and synthetic colours.
There are many different choices available online, in health shops, and in some larger supermarkets, and most are reasonably priced. Be aware that not all products labelled as 'natural' really are so always check the list of ingredients.
Harsh chemical cleaners are well known for contributing to childhood asthma and allergies. There are many natural cleaners available to buy
online, in health shops, and in larger supermarkets that work just as well but don't leave a chemical residue around your home to be
breathed in by babies and young children.
Laundry products, liquids, powders, and fabric softeners also contain many chemicals that, after contact with your baby's skin all day on clothes, blankets, bedding, and comforters, can contribute to irritated skin, rashes, eczema, allergies, and asthma.
Look for an eco range of products or buy products that are especially made to wash baby clothes. Products should always be non-bio.
NAPPIES / WIPES
Reusable nappies very good for the environment as none end up in landfills. There are many different types of reusables and they are
gentle and soft on your baby's skin.
There are also many biodegradable nappies now available to buy if you do not wish to use reuseable/cloth nappies. Most are available to buy online, in health shops, or larger supermarkets, and they are chemical and bleach free and gentle on sensitive skin.
You can also combine using reusables with biodegradable nappies if you are out and about a lot.
Natural wipes that do not contain any bleaching agents, perfumes, or harsh chemicals are ideal for a baby's sensitive skin. Most are also biodegradable so benefit the environment too.
If your baby has particularly sensitive skin it may be better to just use organic cotton wool and cooled boiled water to wash them.
Again not all products labelled as 'natural' really are so make sure you always check the list of ingredients.
COOKING & FOOD STORAGE
Reducing the amount of plastic containers used in the home for cooking and food storage can be beneficial to the health of all family members and to the environment. Any plastic container used should always be BPA free to prevent chemicals leaking into foods.
To become more heath conscious and environmentally friendly you can consider using more products such as these:
• Glass containers for food instead of plastic (many are heatproof and freezer safe and come with lids) for cooking and storage.
• Stainless steel cooking pans and flasks.
• Ceramic / stainless steel travel mugs (adults) for hot drinks on the go. Many coffee shops are now welcoming customers bringing their own to reduce the amount of plastic cup waste.
• Heatproof wooden spoons and cooking utensils.
• Bamboo toothbrushes for all the family (becoming more popular and widely available to buy).
• Wooden hair brushes (more widely recyclable).
• Adult chemical free toothpaste in a glass jar.
• BPA free lunch boxes, snack boxes, drinking flasks or water bottles.
• Water filter jugs. These are a healthy way to drink tap water and reduce the amount of plastic water bottles bought and used.
• Reusable cotton shopping bags to reduce the amount of plastic bags bought, used, and thrown away.
• Recycling and composting as much as possible.
NATURAL CLEANING & HEALTH PRODUCTS
Bicarbonate of Soda: good for stains on clothes, can also be used (mixed with warm water) as a floor or surface cleaner.
Natural Pure Liquid Soap: good for many things including laundry liquid, floor/surface cleaner, dish washing, as a bath or shower soap, and as a shampoo. Make sure that it is Pure Liquid Soap made up of natural oils.
Coconut oil: can be used for dry skin and eczema, cradle, nappy rash, and can also be rubbed into sore gums when teething as it is moisturising and anti-inflammatory. Make sure the coconut oil you use is cold pressed, extra virgin, and non-refined.
Tea Tree: a few drops can be added to water in a clean spray bottle and used for cleaning bathrooms and kitchen. It is antibacterial and can help prevent mould and damp.
1-2 drops of Tea Tree can also be added to shampoo to prevent or treat headlice and 1-2 drops diluted in freshly cooled boiled water can be used as an antiseptic on skin cuts/grazes (Tea Tree can be quite drying so never use undiluted on the skin).
Always test on a small area of skin before using any natural products, such as coconut oil and Tea Tree, incase of an adverse reaction.