Kimberly Rider is the author of Organic Baby: Simple Steps for Healthy Living which gives great ideas on how to incorporate healthy, organic items for babies. Her book covers important baby topics, such as the nursery, gear, diapers, clothing, grooming products, and food. She can recommend items that are organic must-haves.
Kimberly Rider is also the founder of Kimberly Rider Interiors, an interior design firm dedicated to blending sustainable materials and modern style for homeowners, developers and business owners. Kimberly has appeared on HGTV's Curb Appeal and 100 Sizzling Summer Ideas. Kimberly has recently signed on to be a spokesperson for Dial's new organic line of body care products, and she took time out of her busy schedule to give our readers a few tips on choosing safe products for baby.
Tell us a little about your book and your expertise regarding this topic
I had written another book on the topic,The Healthy Home Workbook, and I own an interior design firm where we work with clients on making their homes beautiful using sustainable and eco-friendly building practices as well as non-toxic and green materials. When I became pregnant and starting planning my own nursery and getting ready for the baby, I found that there were so many more specific aspects to creating a safe home for a baby, that it inspired me to write about that specifically.
Why should parents be considered about baby product materials and foods?
There are so many products and materials that we bring into our homes that have potentially unsafe ingredients. Because a baby's immune system is so sensitive and developing so rapidly, parents need to be aware of the impact they can have on the health of their baby by creating a safe and nurturing home environment.
What major children's companies are jumping on board the organic wagon?
Big retailers like Babies R Us, Wal-Mart and Target are seeing an opportunity to reach a mass audience with organic and natural product alternatives.
What does organic really mean?
In the case of food, organic means certified by the USDA or other reputable organization, and they track the product from start to finish, whether it's farmed produce, meat, or packaged foods that claim organic ingredients. No pesticides or genetically-modified organisms can be used in certified organic products. With fabric and textiles, it means that the crops are pesticide free and certified by a third party-but seeing the word organic can be misleading; some products contain some organic ingredients (like personal care products which are unfortunately not monitored the same way food is), but may contain lots of other chemicals or ingredients that are problematic, irritating or allergy-triggers.
How can parents find true organic products for their babies?
Look for the USDA certified organic label or reputable companies like Under the Nile, or companies that tell their organic story on their company home page or are willing to explain to you why their product is safer, better and more environmentally friendly.
What types of organic products are available?
Food products include produce, formula, milk/dairy/egg products, and grains. For shampoos and body products be sure to look at the other ingredients on the personal care product label to avoid petrochemically derived surfactants and harsh fragrances. For fabrics, look for cotton, wool, or hemp.
Why is choosing organic so important?
Because organic practices are better for the environment and organic products are safer and better for you and your family.
Do you have any other advice you'd like to share with our readers?
Try to give yourself a break and do what you can manage easily. Making change and educating yourself is an ongoing process, and it should be fun, inspiring and pleasant--not a chore!
Additional LoveToKnow Resources
To learn more about choosing organic products for your entire family, visit LoveToKnow Organic.