Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Kim Taylor

There are numerous ways to contribute to an earth-friendly future, and the suggestions below are just the tip of the iceberg – while we still have icebergs to use as metaphors. Parents can clear the path to a more responsible future, starting with the everyday products we consume. Here’s a guide to the brands you can stock in the kitchen, shower, and cleaning closet without worry.

In the Kitchen:

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Hemp milk is fast increasing in popularity due to the nutritional payload it delivers and its versatility; the award-winning Manitoba Harvest brand is among the most respected. Supporting sustainable agriculture, this “hempreneur” brand offers an array of organic food products. Children will love Hemp Bliss vanilla or chocolate hemp milk on cereal, by itself, or over ice. Visit www.manitobaharvest.com to view the complete product lineup and to contribute to greener pastures.

Has your family ever tasted raw, organic Wild Amazonian Jungle Peanuts? They’re not your ordinary nut. Far chewier and more oblong than peanuts, they’re a solid source of protein, oleic acid and all 8 essential amino acids. They’re also sustainably grown and wild-harvested. To find this original heirloom peanut culled from deep within the heart of the Ecuadorian rainforest, go to www.sunfood.com.

Why BELA-Olhao sardines? Because at last there is a gourmet sardine that doesn’t smell fishy, taste fishy, or leave you feeling as though you’re a cat. Sardines are healthier than salmon, and rich in CoQ10, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin D and B-12 and protein. Canned within 8 hours of the catch in olive oil, lemon or cayenne olive oil or tomato sauce — and fresh (not frozen!), this is a tasty brand. Available at Whole Foods, Trader Joes and at www.mybela.com.

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When you or your children crave a healthy snack, peel open a SOYJOY bar, a perfect meld of taste and nutrition. Available in Apple, Berry, coconut Mango and Raisin Almond flavors, and completely devoid of trans fats, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, preservatives and artificial colors, they also boast 130 to 140 calories per bar. Buy them by the bucketful at www.soyjoy.com.

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Summer is iced tea season, so stock up on Adagio Anteadote Teas for healthy refreshment through the sultry months. Available in black, decaf, oolong white, green, herbal and other flavors, these teas have no additives, sugar, and preservatives – which is music to a parent’s ears. These artisan teas also made from real tea, not concentrates or powders. For a world of info about teas and to order, visit www.adagio.com.

Ito En is synonymous with healthy teas; this revered company has introduced a new flavor: Gyokuro green tea, Japan’s most prized tea. Part of the Dr. Andrew Weil-for-Tea product line, it is the first time that Gyokuro is available as a ready-to-drink tea. Families will love the taste of Green White, Jasmine White and Gyokuro Green – and the healthy benefits will be rewarding. Find these teas and others, such as Turmeric, at www.itoen.com/weil.

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For those who prefer coffee, Jim’s Organic Coffee line is a dream come true. It’s kosher, certified 100% organic, sustainable and grown on organic farms utilizing renewable energy methods. Available in regular and decaf in an assortment of memorable flavors at www.jimsorganiccoffee.com or by calling 1-800-999-9218.

Is coffee too harsh for you? Try full-bodied Gentle Java, designed for the millions of people who require stomach-friendly joe due to heartburn, acid reflux or other digestive ailments. Pregnant moms will appreciate this brand, which is available is flavors such as Hazelnnut Decaf, French Vanilla and dark roasts. Peruse the complete line and choose your favorites at www.gentlejava.com.

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Hint water offers the refreshment and flavor of fruits, mint and cucumber without any added sugar. Not only is Hint water a parent’s dream come true, but it helps parents in bathing suit season as well. Available in flavors such as pomegranate-tangerine, peppermint, tangerine, pear and raspberry, this is an obviously great new product. Find Hint at your local grocery store or online at www.drinkhint.com.

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Every wish you could find one convenient and “green” source for organic spices, natural beauty products, medications and all of the things your family could desire? Look no further than your laptop and mailbox. The J.R. Watkins Apothecary website offers organic spices such as cinnamon and pepper (both taste more flavorful!), luscious natural body creams, and remedies such as a muscle-soothing spray to ease tension and headaches. Visit www.jrwatkins.com — your personal general store. Sit back and let the healthy products roll right into your doorman’s capable hands.

In the Bath:

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Auromere, also known as the “ayurvedic people,” offer herbal toothpaste as another gum-healthy family option, infused with neem and peelu; www.toothpaste@auromere.com. Ayurvedic neem balm is great for a wee one’s little scrapes, and the masks, soaps, and hair care products are equally rich in beneficial ingredients – and devoid of anything harmful. www.auromere.com

Organix products will have you covered, green-style, in the bath and shower with its 20-plus hair care products, including Smoothing Shea Shampoo, conditioner, and liquid glass serum. Available at www.organixhair.com. Organix also puts the power of neem to work for you with neem skina care products, toothpaste, cuticle treatment, shampoo & conditioner, and even neem-based herbal outdoor spray. Swoon over the offerings at www.organixsouth.com.

Earth Therapeutics Cracked Heel Repair will keep feet sandal-ready and smooth for summer. Antiseptic tea tree oil, shea butter, beeswax, olive and sunflower oil, sweet almond oil and vitamins nourish skin, and the transparent push-up stick is convenient and whimsical. No paraffin or mineral oil! Visit www.earththerapeutics.com.

In the Boudoir:

Pregnant moms, experimental teens, and all health conscious tatt-fans will appreciate the chemical-free, 100% natural temporary Surya Tattoo set. Designs last approximately 10 days, and there are 30 original drawings in four different variety packs to be found at www.suryacosmetics.com.

Moms and teens will also love IQ Derma’s Lip Quench lip balm, infused with olive and sweet almond oils to hydrate and help protect against free radical damage. This is ideal for thinning lips, since it serves as a plumper! Mom can toss it in the diaper bag and add a soft sheen to lips throughout the day. Find it at www.iqderma.com.

For Baby:

Colicky or fussy babies and their frazzled parents will find relief with Happi Tummi’s 100% natural waistband, which can be heated up in 15 seconds and wrapped around baby’s mid-section for much-needed peace all around. Baby goes from cranky to calm in moments without medications or drops, and aromatherapy herbs work their wonders too. Visit www.happitummi.com to usher in a new era of calm!

For Cleaning:

And last, but certainly not least in the big scheme of things, is the Holy Cow cleaning product line. This safe, non-toxic cleaning products line fuses strong cleaning power with a roster of ingredients natural enough to appease picky parents. This heavy-duty line can clean a car engine as well as a crib, and includes a glass cleaner, general purpose cleaner, concentrated cleaner and ranch & farm cleaner. No solvents, no citrus, no ammonia, no alcohol and no bleach – these products are perfect! Order them at www.holycowproducts.com.

These products are simply the tried-here-and-true, and you will no doubt find numerous others. Summer’s here — but we all think green during every season.

Originally published June 2007
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