As parents, we are always trying to do the best that we can for our children. We try to make sure our children are eating the right foods, meeting their developmental milestones, and that they are growing and thriving to meet their fullest potential.
Eat (Check your Nutritional Labels)
I know I have been thoroughly involved in researching the nutritional labels of the products that my kids eat. My kids often let out big, dramatic sighs when they see me hovered over a nutritional label at the grocery store. We have started to make small changes based on this new awareness about ingredients that just shouldn’t be in food (high fructose corn syrup, propylparaben, sodium nitrates etc.). We also try to get our produce from our local farmer’s markets whenever we can. We have started buying bread from the bakery sections at Whole Foods because that was the freshest bread we could find, with no preservatives. Here are some other brands that are great choices for store-bought bread. Basically, you want to make sure your food is still food, and not just a bunch of additives, preservatives, and artificial colors.
Play (Low-Tech is the Way to Go)
As a former teacher, and currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at San Jose State University, I have tried to make sure that my children are meeting their developmental milestones, socially and emotionally. I think this is an area that is often overlooked in schools. We have created a “low-tech” environment in our home so the kids are forced to interact with one another— and with us! Recently, many high tech employees have come forward with how and why they have made their homes low tech. As per the article, we have also implemented unlimited board game time with our children! International authority on child development Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D., and bestselling author Gabor Maté, M.D., wrote the book “Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers.” The message is loud and clear, it’s important to spend time with your children because if you don’t their peers will be guiding their values, identity, and codes of behavior.If you want to know more about developmental milestones from infancy – adolescence, listen to my hybrid parenting podcasts.
Love (Love your Kids and the Products They Use!)
Now, one thing that I overlooked, were products that my children were using on a day-to-day basis. These are items like soaps, shampoos, and lotions. It wasn’t until my daughter had eczema that I started reading the labels on these products and noticed many artificial colors and preservatives. As I started researching, I found some companies that were creating fresh products, with no preservatives! They were all natural. They are also using ingredients that are becoming very popular in the US such as turmeric (see benefits of golden milk)
I wanted to highlight a few other Indian-inspired ingredients here today that you may not have heard of and what the benefits are. Looks for these ingredients in your products. You can find many of these products at Nizzy Naturals, a new company on Etsy.
Turmeric: Although turmeric plant thrives in many tropical locations most of it is grown and consumed in India. The active curcumin component gives turmeric its color and have many therapeutic benefits for the skin. Antioxidants in turmeric protects the skin by combating free radicals and reduces inflammation. It can help in restoring skin’s natural glow and treat uneven skin tone. This spice is capable of healing cracked feet, reduces sun tan, acne, scars, calms irritated skin, delays signs of aging, soothes burns and helps in curing stretch marks.
Neem: Neem is one of the miracle herbs that offer many health benefits. Neem has immense skin healing properties. The antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties present in neem is a perfect remedy for several skin problems like rashes, allergy and irritation. It heals scars, fights acne, treats pigmentation, controls excess oil, treats skin infection and is anti-aging. Neem oil acts as a skin moisturizer and has anti-inflammatory properties which may help relieve symptoms of skin conditions exacerbated by dryness, such as eczema and psoriasis.
Saffron: A spice derived from flower, saffron is mainly used as a seasoning and coloring agent in food. Apart from its uses, it is also well known for being one of the most expensive spices in the world. Saffron treats dull skin by providing radiant glow. It brightens, tones, removes tan, reduces marks, skin pigmentation and heals skin by improving blood circulation and adding glow back to the skin. It can also be soaked in hair massaging carrier oil to increase blood circulation of scalp and induce follicles to grow healthier.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what is convenient or easy. I know I have been on auto-pilot for many years (especially when my kids were under 4 years of age, and my basic goal in life was survival!). It’s the power of habit, which is also a great book if you are looking to change your habits. But knowledge truly is power. The more you know, the better you can do. It’s important to think about what your kids are eating, how they are playing, and the types of products they are using a on a day-to-day basis. Good luck to all the parents out there! We hope this information helps!