Posts Tagged ‘Children’s Products’

The Baby Dipper Bowl Review and Giveaway

The first night I used this bowl, I was totally geeking out about it. I LOVED it. My determined-to-self-feed son spilled very little of his dinner on the table thus most of his dinner made it to his mouth – success! Just to be fair, I decided to use the bowl a few more times before writing the review just to be sure it continued to live up to its expectations, and it has!

The contoured shape is great. It helps guide food onto the spoon. I was a little worried that my son would get a heaping spoonful and still spill food all over the table, but I think because the bowl only holds 4 ounces, it helps him get the proper amount on the spoon, so spilling is very minimal. And he does not throw this bowl like he does his plates.

This bowl should be on every baby registry – a must-have for anyone with a baby or toddler in the house.

Pros:

  • Very good at helping babies learn to self feed with the innovative shape of the bowl and rubber base to keep bowl in place
  • Utensils are just the right size and shape for little hands to easily grasp
  • Most of the food stays in the bowl or on the spoon 
  • If you are holding baby and feeding with 1 hand, the bowl stays put with the rubber base 
  • Free of all the ickies – BPA, phthalate, lead and PVC 
  • Can be washed in dishwasher (top-rack ONLY!) 
  • Mom-invented and I love that!

Cons

  • I wish the bowl was available in a bigger size – it only holds 4 ounces, so I have to refill his bowl 3 times to fill his growing belly – but it is not a huge issue, as I mentioned above, I think the size helps him get a reasonable amount onto his spoon 
  • It’s a little expensive at $12.95 per set (bowl, spoon, fork) 
  • Other spoons/forks may not work as well with this bowl unless they are the same size and shape as the Baby Dipper set. Meaning you will want to use the set together every time to prevent having to use an alternate spoon. (hard for DH to grasp, though my almost-4-year-old seems to get it)

I love the bowl so much that I gave one to a friend for her baby shower. I think this will be my new baby gift staple.

Want one?? Enter to win!

There are multiple ways to enter. And enter as many ways as you wish, just follow the rules!

1. Leave a comment here and tell us your favorite thing about the bowl (1 entry)

2. Follow @greenparenting on Twitter, leave a comment below (1 entry)

3. Follow @babydipper on Twitter, leave a comment below (1 entry)

4. Subscribe to the Baby Dipper newsletter, leave a comment below (1 entry, to be verified)

5. Follow the Baby Dipper blog, leave a comment below (1 entry, to be verified) 

6. Tweet about the giveaway: Enter to win! Baby Dipper bowl review and #giveaway http://bit.ly/cDIH9G (via @greenparenting) 1 tweet per day, post link to status in comments

You can also keep up with the latest news from the Baby Dipper on Facebook (though following does not count as an extra entry).

Contest ends at midnight CST, April 12, 2010. Winner will be notified via email and must respond within 2 days. If no response, a new winner will be chosen. Baby Dipper LLC will provide shipping to a winner in the US or Canada.

Disclaimers: Previous winners of the Baby Dipper bowl giveaways sponsored by Baby Dipper, LLC are not eligible. I received the bowl from the Baby Dipper LLC, though the views expressed in my review are those of my own experience with the bowl. No other compensation was or will be received.

BPA, PVC and lead free lunch boxes for back to school

Lead as you know is toxic to children (and adults for that matter), so it’s important that the place their lunch is stored in is lead-free. PVC is toxic as it contains phthalates and lead. Lead can also be ingested from your child touching the bag and then their food. And BPA is the hormone disrupting chemical found in plastics whose toxic effects have been hitting the news and blogs for the last several years. crockcreekcountries

Before purchasing a lunch box for your child, read the label. Make sure it is not made of PVC. Nylon, polypropelyne or cloth are much safer materials. Look for tags that say PVC-free. You also want to avoid BPA if you are purchasing a water bottle or food storage containers.

Crockodile Creek Countries lunch box.

Here is a list of BPA, PVC and lead free lunch boxes.

The Cool Tote is a replacement for the traditional brown bag. It’s made of nylon thus lead and other toxin-free.

Crocodile Creek. These are SO CUTE, and my favorite of the bunch. I saw these at Whole Foods and they are very well-made and have very cute traditional style, zippered lunch box and kid-friendly designs like dinosaurs, the solar system, horses (purple for girls) , trucks/vehicles (boyish), girls from around the world, flowers, countries with animals, farm animals  and a sunflower.

Laptop lunches are good for those who don’t like their food to touch. There are little compartments for separating food.

LL Bean has a critter lunch box line that is really cute and lead and PVC-free.  They would be great for a tween who wants something stylish without licensed characters.

The Lunch Pak by Fleurville is a backpack design, but does have a handle to carry like a traditional lunch box. They also offer a lunch buddy which is more of a traditional lunch box style.

Mimi the Sardine has cute cloth lunch totes that are PVC and lead free. There are several designs such as the ladybug, monkey/elephant/flower pattern, bugs and mice (my favorite).

Munchlers look like zoo animals and they fold out into a placemat, also very cute. They are insulated and come in several designs including a yellow tiger, white dog, green bunny and pink panda. My daughter has the white dog.

ZAK Designs offers several licensed character insulated lunch boxes that are lead free and lined with PVC-free material. Note, they just mention “PVC-free lining” so leads me to believe the entire lunch box may not be PVC-free. Some of the characters available include: iron man, Wall-E, The Little Mermaid, Tinkerbell, Spongebob Square Pants, Diego, Spiderman and many others. Wal-Mart and Target carry Zak lunch boxes.

California Innovations is a nice lunch bag that Wal-Mart carries. It’s stylish no-nonesense bag and free from any characters or crazy prints.

Lunchopolis is another zippered, traditional style, no-nonesense lunch box.

Citizens Pip is a new one available only online from what I can tell. The cool thing is you can customize your lunch box with accessories — separate food compartments, stainless steel bottle, cloth napkins, fork/spoon set, and of course the lunch bos itself!

Kid Konserve is a similar to Citizens Pip’s customizable lunch box system and available on their website.

Thermapod is another similar concept to the laptop lunch. However, it is one piece with 4 sections, which may not be desireable for some.

ReusableBags.comhas a whole section also dedicated to lead, PVC, and BPA-free lunches. I bought two ACME lunch bags — one to carry bottles in for my son to daycare (it fits three Dr. Brown bottles) and one for me for the milk I pump for him at work (it fits six medela bottles).

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BPA mimics estrogen and phthalates block testosterone

This article sums up pretty much what we already know, but it does a good job of showing how BPA acts like estrogen and phthalates block testosterone. I did learn that BPA exposure to babies in the womb have a greater negative effect on girls than boys, causing more reproductive harm than I thought.

Mice that were exposed to BPA as fetuses developed abnormalities of the ovaries, uterus, and vagina, Dr. Taylor said. Other murine studies found genetic abnormalities in eggs, an increased risk of mammary cancers, and early puberty in females.

The list of problems was shorter for male mice exposed to the chemical, with reduced sperm production and increased prostate size at the top.

And for phthalates…

Studies in male animals have found reduced sperm production, undescended testes, hypospadias, decreased testosterone production, and reduced anogenital distance.

The chemical’s effects on female reproduction were far fewer, with murine studies linking it to delayed or premature puberty.

They touch on the FDA’s stance that BPA is safe, where the FDA states they did not have sufficient evidence. However, human studies would be difficult. For one, a human study on either substance would be difficult since the entire population is exposed to both chemicals. Also, subjecting humans to high levels of this stuff would be unethical.

“Sometimes you just have to make decisions based on ‘inadequate’ evidence,” Dr. Lustig said regarding the FDA’s investigation of BPA, and potentially phthalates. “You just [make them] based on the right thing to do.”

Amen to that.

Read the entire article here.

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See my lists of BPA free items for children and some for mom too.
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and food storage
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles
 
BPA free dishes, utensils, snack containers and food storage

Related Articles
Harmful plastics with BPA
Lead and PVC-free lunch boxes
Non-Toxic Toys for Christmas 
The Real Story Behind BPA

Britax Car Seat Sale!

Amazon is having a rare sale on Britax car seats, which are touted as being among the best/safest car seats available. I have one and LOVE it. Yes they are a little bigger and heavier than most, but they have performed better than other car seats in crash tests.

The sale is for one week only, so don’t delay, click here to view the sale items! It looks like all Britax seats will also receive free shipping! When I purchased my Britax, all prices were very similar, so free shipping was important to me. But now there is a sale AND free shipping! Can’t beat that!

Britax offers a wide variety of car seats — convertibles, boosters — and in different models with different features. I have the Boulevard, which offers true side impact protection. I have a Civic, so that was an important feature to me. It also had a knob on the side allowing you to adjust the straps to where YOU want them all without having to remove the straps or the seat.

Britax also has a new seat — the Click and Safe seat which provides and audible click to let you k now when the restraints are tight enough to keep your child safe.

Another thing to watch for is weight limits. The Boulevard is rear-facing up to 35 lbs and forward facing up to 65 pounds. The Roundabout is rear-facing also to 35 lbs, but only forward facing to 40 lbs.

The most important thing about car seats it to make sure they are properly installed!! I NEVER install my own seats. There is a technician at one of the fire stations here who is recommended by Children’s Hospital. He is certified and does hundreds of installations every year. The fact is, death from improper use or installation of car seats is the leading cause of death in infants and children. It’s so not worth it — get it professionally installed fire stations will do this for free, so cost is not an excuse, just takes a few minutes. Your child is worth it!

Other tips for safe car seats and usage:

1. Make sure the seat fits your car and fits your child. It does not matter how safe the seat is if it does not properly fit the car or child.

2. Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. This has nothing to do with age or how long your child’s legs are. Rear-facing is the safest position up to the weight limit of the seat or until his head reaches the top of the seat.

3. Use the seat every time! NEVER go anywhere without your child properly restrained in an approved car seat. Surprisingly, nearly half of all child deaths and injuries related to car accidents are from parents not using a restraint. Don’t do this — buckle up your child before you even start the car.

4. Watch for recalls, especially important if you are using a second-hand seat. Car seats come with a registration card. Fill it out and send it in so the manufacturer can send you any recall information.

5. Lifetime of a seat is about 6 years, at which time a new seat should be purchased, because the plastic starts to breakdown. Again, especially important if you are using a second hand seat.

6. Use a 5 point harrness, LATCH system and tethers.

7. Inspect the seat regularly to ensure it is still secured properly (ideally you would do this each time before putting the child in the seat). Very important as one day I discovered the car seat belt came undone on my daughter’s infant seat. Scared me to death to think what could have happened if I had not checked.

8. Make sure the straps are tight and secure each time you buckle up your child and that the chest clip is in the middle of your child’s sternum.

9. Children up to 80 pounds, 4’9″ and 8-10 years old need to be in some restraint system.

10. Don’t buckle in your child when she is wearing a heavy coat. It can create gaps and your child could fly out of the seat on impact. Instead buckle your child in then use blankets for warmth.

Go to the sale NOW! Before it’s too late….

Other resources:

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/

http://www.aap.org/family/carseatguide.htm

http://car-seat.org/

BPA Free dishes, utensils, snack containers, and food storage for kids

I have been working on this list for months. Giving birth, caring for a newborn and having a toddler to chase on top of that sure takes a lot more time. I know I need to answer a few questions too and will get to those as soon as I can. 

Here I have compiled a list of kids BPA free dishes, utensils, snack containers and food storage containers for kids.

DISHES (plates, bowls, tumblers)
Arrow Frostware Dishes and Bowls; Section plates, Sip-a-bowl, Sip-a-cup, Juice sipper, Tumblers, Bowls, plates 
Bany Cie 5 piece luncheon set 
BabyBjorn Plate & Spoon 

Baby Dipper bowl and spoon set
Bambu Kids Organic Bamboo Dishes, Bowls 
Boon: Groovy interlocking plate and bowl, Snack plateCatch bowl  
Camden Rose “Cheery” Wooden Bowl and Spoon set 
Correlle dishware (“unbreakable,” made of glass)
The Dombo cup 
First years: take and toss set, Double duty plates
Frostware: plates, bowls and tumblers 
Gerber: bunch of bowls with lids, Lil Trainer tableware Plates and Utensils, Divide and Dine Plates, Tossables Disposable Plates, Lil Snackin’ Bowl, Snap N’ Store Plates  
Green Sprouts Eco-Friendly cornstarch divided plates, cornstarch bowl, warming plate, Baby food mill, Baby food grinder bowl
Guyot Designs Squishy Bowl & Cup Set 
Gund Tender beginnings ceramic dish set pink  and blue 
IKEA: Kalas Plates, Bowls & Tumblers; MATA 4 piece Dinnerware set (frog, comes in 4 colors)  (note: IKEA’s other kid dishes are mostly made of melamine and another set has a polycarbonate cup)
Kidco Travel Dish with Spoon , Baby food mill
Land of Nod: Ceramic Kids Dishware

Little Tikes: 4 piece turtle mealtime set, Cozy Coup bowl with lid, Turtle Bowl with lid 
Munchkin: Multi Plates & Bowls, Toddler Plates, 3 Pack Stayput Suction Bowls, Stayput Suction Toddler Bowls  
Nuby: Wash or Toss Dishes, Snack Cup and Spoon, Microwaveable Bowl with Lid
ORE Originals Baby Face ABC Ceramic Dish Set (REALLY cute!)
Recycline 10” dinner plates, 7” salad platescups all made of polypropylene
Sassy: Less mess toddler feeding bowl, Feeding plate set, Warming dish, Perfect size snack cups, On-the-go feeding set, Feeding bowl set, Insulated feeding pots, NEW BPA-free line coming soon! 
Skip*Hop Mate Dish Set (note other Skip Hop dishes are made of melamine, so are BPA free, but the safety of melamine in dishware is debatable right now)
TreBimbi Dinnerware Sets: 6 piece Puppet Club  and 5 piece Party set    very cute and would make mealtime fun
Tupperware – all products marketed for kids are BPA-free, including Bell Tumbler Sippy Cups with Seals Set of 4, Divided Dish Set with Easy Grip Handle, Ideal Little Kids Bowls, set of 3, Feeding set for Kids 
Stainless Steel dishware 
Think Baby stainless steel feeding set 
Trendykid Stackable Steady Cup 
ZAK Designs  Many of the dinnerware sets are made of melamine.
 
UTENSILS
Bambu Kids Organic Bamboo Utensils 
Boon: Benders Fork & Spoon, Modware Toddler Utensils, Polka Dot Fork and Spoon, Squirt Food Dispensing Spoon 
First Years forks and spoons
Gerber: Infant Spoons, Toddler Spoons, Fork and Spoon Set, Graduates Kiddy kutlery (SO cute with fork, spoon and knife), Scoopin’ Spoons (my daughter loves these), Tossables Disposable Utensils
Green Sprouts Eco-Friendly Cornstarch fork and spoon, silicone toddler spoon
IKEA: Kalas 18 Piece Cutlery set 
Munchkin: Soft-Tip Infant Spoons
Nuby: hot safe feeding spoon, Nibbler, Easy grip fork and spoon set, Spoon and Fork with Soft Handle, Fun Feeding Spoons with Toys and Sounds,
One Step Ahead: My Very Own Flatware stainless steel (3 and up)
Recycline cutlery made of polypropylene
Sassy: Less mess feeding spoon, toddler feeding spoon, Teether feeder, travel case w/fork and spoon
TreBimbi Dinnerware Utensils
Williams Sonoma: Kids Stainless Flatware

SNACK CONTAINERS
Boon Snack Ball
Little Tikes 3 piece turtle snack set 
Munchkin: Snack Catcher, Snack n’ Serve Cups, Snack Dispenser
RazBaBY formula and snack dispensers 
Snack Trap 
The First Years: take and toss snack savers, 6 pack of snack cups

FOOD STORAGE – Baby
Baby Cubes baby food storage system
BornFree Thermal Food Jar
Gerber Bunch of Bowls with Lids
Green Sprouts Baby food grinder bowlsilicone freezer tray
MunchkinBaby Food Grinder, Fresh Food Feeder 
So Easy Fresh Baby Food Kit 
Thermos Food Jars  

Related Articles
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and food storage
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles
 
Non-Toxic Toys for Christmas

Is it safe to microwave plastic?

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Sentinel conducted a study on the safety of microwaving plastics. Surprisingly, BPA (bisphenol-A) was found to be leaching from many types of plastic, not just polycarbonate. And these plastic containers are labeled “microwave safe,” a claim that is commonly used yet not regulated.

Excerpt:
“The amounts detected were at levels that scientists have found cause neurological and developmental damage in laboratory animals,” the paper reports. “The problems include genital defects, behavioral changes and abnormal development of mammary glands. The changes to the mammary glands were identical to those observed in women at higher risk for breast cancer.”

Makes me glad I recently ditched my plastic for glass, and I usually remove the plastic lid before putting in the microwave and ensure no plastic is touching food in the microwave.

BPA was also found in the plastic trays of microwavable meals, microwavable soup containers and plastic baby food packaging. Even in plastics labeled #1, 2 and 5, which are generally considered safe and typically BPA-free.

This researcher simply states
“There is no such thing as safe microwaveable plastic,” said Frederick vom Saal, a University of Missouri researcher who oversaw the newspaper’s testing.

Related Articles
BPA free bottles, sippies and food storage
Baby products packaged in PVC
Canada bans baby bottles with BPA
BPA linked to chemotherapy resistance

Which Munchkin products are BPA-free?

It’s difficult as a parent to just go to the store and buy a sippy cup, bottle, or other feeding device these days due to the potential the product contains BPA. Fortunately manufacturers are becoming wise and creating lists clarifying which products contain BPA and which do not. Munchkin has such a list on their website which can be found here.

Munchkin products are great in my opinion. I have never had a problem with any of their products I own. And they can easily be found in most discount retail stores (Target, Wal-Mart, Babies R Us, etc) or you can stay home and shop online and get them sent right to your door!

 

Related Articles
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and more
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles

Which Tupperware products are BPA free?
BornFree introduces BPA, PVC and phthalate free pacifeir

Lead and PVC free lunch boxes
BPA in canned food
How to avoid BPA
BPA in infant formula
BPA linked to metobolic syndrome

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