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Reading Labels With Your Kids

Posted by: NJ Kids Contributors - April 19, 2017

There probably isn’t a more personal and emotional moment in the world other than a positive pregnancy test.

You can remember exactly where you standing.

You can remember that flood of emotion that hit you like a wave.

And you sure can remember the thought that comes almost immediately following, “There’s a person inside of me!”

For a lot of us moms (and dad’s),  what follows that wonderful experience is also a ton of unknown and most of it surrounding how we can help create the healthiest atmosphere possible for that little baby to thrive.  We start reading food labels, drinking more water than we’d like to and for some of us, even looking at the products that we use on our bodies and to clean our home with.  We start to navigate labels one-by-one, rid our home of harmful things we used and swap them for new, healthier options.  Once we know better, we do better.

Fast forward and now it’s become more of a way of life.  You’re no longer tricked by companies that try to make you think their products are pure.  When shopping, you know the drill and can easily spot if something makes it to your cart (both physical and online) and feel good in the decisions that you make.  Your kids regularly ask you if something is a “healthy choice” and when Grandma slips them a treat, they ask if it has too much ‘sugar’ or is ‘organic.’  Way to go, mom + dad, you’ve made it a way of life + that is an awesome feat! 

Now, I want to challenge you to take that a step further - it’s time to start empowering our kids to make the best possible decisions and to know HOW to do it.  Remember, once we know better, we do better – so, let’s pass on the torch! 

We’ve been practicing this now with my 5 and 6 year olds, they actually really enjoy the process and with practice, they’re able to determine if a new shiny toothpaste or item that they see while shopping with me is actually something worthy of a) spending money on and b) being brought into our home.  Here are four, easy ways you can start to teach your little one to be a smart label reader!

Anything ending in –ol is probably a no go. 

Almost always when we see this ending, it is a toxic, lab created chemical ingredient.  Typically ingredients ending in –ol also score super high on EWG.org.  Examples include Benzol, Retinol, and Phenoxyethanol.  Say no to the word ‘fragrance’

One simple word can actually house hundreds of chemical components - and believe it or not, to protect the COMPANY (not the consumer) they’re allowed to hide their trade secrets inside the umbrella of fragrance.  Because you know, Tide doesn’t want anyone else to know what actual chemicals make up that fabulous scent (insert sarcasm here). 
Ingredients go in order of how much is inside the bottle.

The first ingredient has the highest percentage and it continues to go down as you move through the list.  And here, is where companies have a hidden trick.  It’s called ‘Angel Dusting’ and it’s what many companies do to trick consumers into thinking they have a healthy product.  That argan oil hair serum you paid a bunch for most likely has argan listed as one of the last ingredients.  Same with the lotion made with Aloe…you’ll be surprised to find Aloe is also there at the end.  That’s primarily because using raw ingredients like that is expensive and those large corporations know that they can get away with making the majority of the product chemically.  But you can be sure they’ve got the word Aloe written all over the front of that lotion bottle…and I bet it even is written in green.
Stay away from Sulfates + Parabens.

Teaching kids the big basics to stay away from is easy and gives them something to quickly scan the label for.  It allows for an easy pass/fail!  If you have a household that stays away from gluten, you can add those ingredients to the list.  If you know you have a certain allergy, teach them specific ingredients to look for.  We basically use it as the ‘I Spy’ of label reading and it gives them quick satisfaction!
 
Use this as a quick-start guide to starting your kids off down the right path.  Empower them to be in charge of their health and you’ll quickly see that they innately want to make the right decisions - it’s so rewarding as a parent to know that you’re not only building healthy kids but also, contributing to a healthier tomorrow! 

Looking to start the path to a greener home now? 
 
Let's take the guesswork out of going green! Radiantly You has everything you need to start your journey, shipped right to your door.
 
A great start is starting with the Radiantly You Detox Box. This kit is has a  variety our products to help you start the detox process in every room of your home!

by Melissa Brown-Radiantly You-CEO, Certified Holistic Health Coach, Mom of 4 (4 and under!)

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Posted by: NJ Kids Contributors| April 19, 2017
Subcategories:  Kids Health
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