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Keeping School Lunches Safe And Cool In Warm Weather

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Packing a lunch that will withstand warm days seems to be a constant struggle.  Our daughter once brought home her lunch box after a very warm day and the cheese I had packed her was a melted glob in the bottom of a stainless steel container. Yuck!

Below we have assembled some of the best safe lunch products that can help keep lunches cool and healthy.

Avoid Perishable Food On Hot Days

First and foremost, if you live in a place where extreme heat is still occurring be sure to pack non-perishable items until temperatures cool down a bit.  We live in Arizona (school starts early August here) and I have often waited until mid September to pack any type of perishable items.

Some non-perishable School lunch ideas include:
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Kind Granola Bars kids love these bars, plus most are gluten and gmo free.


 

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Earth Best Kidz Organic Apple Sauce


 

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Late July Organic Crackers 

 


 

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Bare Fruit Organic Baked Snacks

 

Other easy ideas include:

  • Fresh Whole Fruit
  • Cut up Vegetables
  • Sandwiches: like hummus and veggies or a version of pb&j

 

 

Safe Ice Packs That Stay Cool

Ice packs are a necessity for most of the school year.  Choose ones that will easily fit in your child’s lunch box and that cannot easily  puncture and leak the contents.

We recommend sturdy BPA and PVC free ice packs and prefer the ones that are as flat as possible, making them easy to fit in all types of lunch boxes.

Fit and Fresh makes a line of Cool Coolers that are BPA free and PVC free.  The inside of the cool coolers are filled with 99.2% distilled water and the other less then one percent is food coloring.

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Safe Lunch Boxes that are BPA, Phthalate, PVC & Lead free

The really big double decker ones are a great optoion, but we prefer ones that are sleek in design and can easily be placed in a school backpack. The top two brands that meet our criteria are Bixbee and Beatrix both are bpa free, phthalate free, pvc free, and lead free.

 

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Beatrix Lunchboxes

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Bixbee Lunchboxes

 


 


 

Safe Insulated Lunch Containers

There are some great products that really keep food insulated and leak proof for the whole day.  They’re perfect for packing perishable items and feeling confident that they will stay cold all day.

One of our favorites is the Thermos Lunch Containers.  They keep food really cold/hot and they have a small enough opening that even younger kids (like 1st graders) can open them by themselves.  These containers are vacuum sealed and made from 18/8 stainless steel.

FYI — once I packed two scoops of ice cream in one of these and my daughter said most of it was still frozen solid at lunch time!

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Lunchbots also makes a brand of leak proof insulated lunch containers, but these do have a much wider lid and would be difficult for children under the age of 9 to open by themselves.

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Innobaby makes an insulated and leak-proof stainless steel bento box encased in a plastic shell.  These do help keep food cooler longer, but do not expect the same results as the above mentioned containers. The nice thing about the Innobaby insulated bento boxes are that they are very easy for kids to open and close.

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Safe Insulated Water Bottles

 

We will sort our picks for insulated stainless steel water bottles by age.

 

Ages 1-5:

We love the Foogo Stainless Steel Straw Bottles.  These are completely leak proof and really keep drinks cold.  Our daughter used one of these from daycare all the way into kindergarten.  They are indestructible and come in really cute designs are well.  They are also super easy to clean.  Plus, now there is a safe Frozen themed water bottle on the market!

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Ages 6-12:

Our favorite here is the Ecovessel insulated stainless steel water bottles. They are 99% leak proof. We had a leak once when the straw was not properly stored in the down position.  It keeps water really cold and comes in different sizes. The 16 oz. may seem a little big for a first grader, so some smaller sizes are available.

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Naturepedic Crib Mattress Giveaway!

Naturepedic Crib Mattress GiveawayThe Glass Baby Bottle is giving away a Naturepedic No-Compromise Organic Cotton Classic Dual Firmness Crib Mattress valued at $299.00!

To enter the contest head on over to the always informative Safe Mama blog at www.safemama.com.

Babies and toddlers need plenty of rest and an organic mattress is one of the most important investments you can make for a developing child. To help insure that your little one gets the best and safest sleep possible, we offer a range of organic crib mattress that are firm on one side (perfect for babies) and softer on the other (comfort for toddlers). These are referred to as dual firmness organic mattresses.

Dual Firmness = Dual Purpose

Naturepedic products are made the highest quality organic and natural materials. Plus they are made right here in the USA. Yeah.

We offer free shipping on all Naturepedic mattresses. This includes organic crib, toddler, twin and full mattresses. The Glass Baby Bottle also offers additional complementary Naturepedic products with your purchase:

The contest ends August 7, 2013 at 8PM EST so be sure and visit the Safe Mama and enter for your chance to win this fantastic prize!

Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Baby and Sippy Bottles

So you have decided to stay clear of any plastic baby and sippy bottles, and now you are on the hunt for the best safe baby feeding products, and your not sure which route to go. The most common reason parents call us is for advice on which brand of glass or stainless steel bottle they should choose.

In general I tend to lead parents to a hybrid style bottle that will grow with their child. In other words a baby bottle that can then easily also be used as a sippy bottle. For glass I usually steer parents to the Lifefactory glass bottles (I will write more about Lifefactory soon). And for a stainless steel hybrid bottle Pura is the way to go.

Pura designed their line of baby and toddler bottles with a few simple concepts in mind, no plastic components and a versatile style opening that allows you to choose from a large selection of nipples and sippy spouts that are compatible with the bottle. Why is this so important? Can’t I just buy the Pura brand of nipples? Yes you can, but as a lot of parents find out over time, your baby or toddler may tend to prefer on brand of nipple or sippy spouts over another. So instead of having to spend your money and time looking for a perfect fit, Pura makes it easy.

Pura bottles come in either a 5oz. or 11oz baby bottle size or an 11oz. sippy size. Now there are even some fun sealing disks which can turn the bottle into a great storage container for snacks while on the go. Below is a chart of all of the nipple and sippy tops that are compatible with the Pura bottles.

Pretty Pushers Stylish Birthing Gowns

Pretty Pushers Birthing GownLet’s face it, having to put on one of those starchy hospital gowns to deliver your baby, is less than thrilling. For my hospital birth my husband and I arrived at the hospital eager and ready to go.  I was assigned my birthing room and handed one of those pale pinkish blue hospital gowns with the ties and was instructed to put it on.  I have not spent much time in a hospital, so I took one look at this ugly thing and decided that the ties must go in the front, because that is where the baby was.  When the nurse came back into our room she got a good laugh and told me my gown was on backwards.  At the given moment, I did not find it so amusing.

If Pretty Pushers birthing gowns had been around when I gave birth, I hands down would have bought one.

These birthing gowns are designed to meet all of your birthing needs. If you have to have an epidural, to help relieve some of the pain, the back of the gown has a low cut V design allowing plenty of access to your back. Plus the halter style makes breastfeeding your new born baby a snap! Trust me it is no fun in the regular hospital gowns.

Pretty Pusher Diagram

Pretty Pushers Green GownThe gown can then be easily disposed of.  For those of you that might be wondering about how eco-conscious it is to throw a gown away.  Keep in mind that the regular hospital gowns are washed in extremely harsh chemicals that then enter our environment.  So giving your birthing gown a toss when it is no longer needed seems pretty legitimate in my mind.

What do you think?  Would you wear a Pretty Pushers for your next hospital birth?

GreenPaxx and Klean Kanteen make a perfect plastic free cup combo!

kleankanteen and greenpaxx
I have always been a big fan of Klean Kanteen and use the 16oz stainless steel pint cup on a daily basis. Everyone in our household is now using one with the GreenPaxx silicone lid and silicone straw. The fit is perfect! The lid stays on tight and the silicone straw is wide enough to drink smoothies or summer time milkshakes out of, no problem. What I really like is how light weight the Klean Kanteen stainless steel cup is. It cup only weighs 3oz!
A stainless steel cup + silicone lid and straw = no plastic :)

Misleading Labeling


BPA Free Does Not Equal Nontoxic & Safe

As public awareness of the dangers of BPA grows some less than reputable manufacturers have decided to capitalize with technically true, but in our view, deceptive labeling.

 

Case in point is this 5 gallon water jug from Walmart. While prominently labeled as BPA free, which is commonly held as dangerous, they neglect to mention that a compound (DEHP) commonly found the #3 PVC from which the jug is made is a suspected human carcinogen according to the National Institutes of Health.

 

PVC 5 Gallon JugSo the moral of the story is that just because something is labeled BPA free doesn’t mean it’s toxin free!

 

Whether any plastics are safe for food or water storage is debatable, but some plastics have been clearly identified as a health risk. No matter what the labeling may state, we recommend avoiding #3, #6 and #7 plastics when used as food or liquid containers. 

 

Here are some useful links to learn more about plastics:

PBS Smart Plastics Guide 

SafeMama How to avoid BPA Leeching Plastics    

Giveaway! Kinderville Silicone Kids Cups

Kinderville Little Bites Cups

Kinderville Silicone Cups

We are having a Giveaway!  These Kinderville silicone 6oz.  cups are the perfect size and shape for little hands and little mouths!  The colors are vibrant and fun.
Kinderville Little bites cups feature a wide base and low profile to minimize tipping and spills. These little silicone cups are highly portable, easy to clean and a fantastic alternative to plastic! Bacteria resistant and, most importantly, BPA, Phthalate and Lead free!

To enter just leave a comment below on what your little ones favorite song is!  Winner will be chosen at random on Jan. 25th. US residents only.

Good Luck!

We Just picked a Winner!  CONGRATULATIONS  Latasha G.  entry #29, I just sent you a email for your address !  Thanks to everyone for entering!

EIO Glass Trainer Cup Review and Giveaway!

EIO Kids Cup

EIO Kids Cup

We’re giving away an EIO Glass Trainer Cup…

Head on over to Homemade Mothering and leave a comment for a chance to win!
http://homemademothering.com/2011/11/testing-eio-training-cup-giveaway.html

How many baby bottles will my baby need?

How many baby bottles will my baby need? This is one of the most common questions we are asked. Let us break this down a bit.

Glass Baby Bottles

Glass Baby Bottles w/Silcone Sleeves

If you are strictly bottle feeding you will want around 10-12 baby bottles. Depending on how often you are willing to clean your baby bottles.

If you are primarily breastfeeding and pumping into bottles on occasion or supplementing with formula you will most likely want around 4-5 baby bottles.

Most newborns will require a bottle every 2-3 hours. As your babies stomach starts to grow, and your baby is gaining weight you will be feeding your baby less often with larger amounts of breast milk or formula.

Should I buy small 4-5oz baby bottles or the larger 8-9oz baby bottles?

The small baby bottles (4-5oz.) are really nice to have at first while your baby is a newborn. One of the main reasons is that they are lighter in weight, making them easier for you to hold during feedings. Also smaller baby bottles can be used later for water or juice.

The larger size baby bottles (8-9oz) can be used from birth on, but are typically used by most parents when your baby starts drinking more than 4 fluid ounces per feeding. It really depends on your baby when you will start needing more than 4oz per feeding, but you will most likely not begin feeding more then 4 fl. Oz. for the first month or maybe even two.

As always consult with your doctor about your babies individual feeding needs.

View our selection of Glass Baby Bottles

View our selection of Stainless Steel Baby Bottles

Toxic Toys R Us | PVC in Toys

Toxic Toys R UsSafeMama.com wrote about this great organization on her blog today, and with the holiday season approaching this is a must read. Here is a link to Toxic Toys R Us, a organization that is working to inform consumers about the sale of PVC-contaminated toys in Toys R Us stores.
http://www.toxictoysrus.com/about.htm