Like most parents, I cannot help but want to buy my children things that make their little faces light up.  What parent doesn't want to bring a smile to their child's face?  It's constantly a balancing act to give them what they want without harming them or some portion of the world around them, however.


I found several products at Expo West that delighted my girls AND that I can feel good about.  If a product isn't health-promoting, then I aim for it to at least not be health-damaging.  The same goes for the products that we use.  I wouldn't want my children to breath smog-filled air day in/day out so that another child can get a $1 toy on a whim (only to toss in the trash the next day).  I try to purchase things with a social and environmental conscious as much as possible.  Products that don't use junky ingredients and that care about the world around them are more expensive, however.  Remember, you vote with your fork (and your dollar), so support the products that you can feel good about.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world
— Gandhi

Arterro's Eco Art Kits and Journals:  If you have kids that enjoy crafts or you are looking for engaging activities to do with them, this is the ticket.  Ya know how you can pick up cheap little craft packets that your kids do and then you secretly toss them out the moment that they look away? These are just the opposite!  They really do have all the components to create some lovely keepsakes.  Most importantly, you can feel good about them, they are made from natural and recycled products and assembled in the USA. Plus the company founder is a true gem.

Don't Go Nuts Soy Butter:  Peanut butter and jelly is to vegans what B-O-L-O-G-N-A is to omnivores. There's just one problem- our school has a nut free policy due to allergies. Understandably. Nut allergies can be life threatening. The founders get it! They've taken great pains to ensure their product is safe.  So, even though a PB&J is just about the only cold lunch that my girls will eat (this health nutty momma makes a warm lunch most every day for her babes), I cannot prepare them for school.  We've tried other nut-free spreads and they just don't cut it.  This one is delicious!  At home I still prefer that my ladies eat the freshly ground, unprocessed peanut butter, but this is a good option for schools or for those with allergies. It's organic, low in sugar, and low in sodium.  Thanks to the lovely folks that founded this product to keep the world safe.  The co-founder Lily is only 12! 

It shouldn’t be so hard to find fun products and yummy food for kids that doesn’t harm the environment or their little growing bodies.

Drazil Kids Tea: My daugther just starting drinking Tazo's herbal teas and loves the ones that have hibiscus and rooibos. Did you know how good hibiscus tea is for you?  Chock full of antibiotics!  These little drink boxes have organic teas as their first ingredients. Now, they still have juice added (white grape, apple, and raspberry), but this is one of the better looking beverages for kiddos out there if you are providing juice or beverage boxes for an occasional lunch or party treat.

Susty Party Supplies:  Their party supplies are adorable, like throwbacks to the 1950's, especially with their paper straws. My girls went crazy for the few that I brought home.  Their products are simple and lovely with a conscious: compostable, non-toxic, renewable, and made in the USA. 

TreeHugger Gum:  With a name like that, how could Broccoli Hugger not love these?  It's so very hard to find gum that doesn't have artificial colors or flavors or - worse yet - aspartame. If the Easter Bunny hops in with eggs filled with these sweet treats, I wouldn't bop him over the head.  Surprisingly, my little sweeties liked the pomegranate flavor the best.  There's lots of other fun flavors like watermelon and tangerine in addition to traditional bubble gum flavor. P.S. they contain beeswax, so they aren't vegan.

None of these products are sold in my local stores, but you can order them all on Amazon by clicking on the photo images.  If you love these products as much as I do, tell your local stores to carry them!

Check back soon for "Top Picks for Grown-ups at Expo West" and "Emerging Trends and Specialty Diets in the Natural Products Industry."

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