May 26, 2010

Healthy Snacks: Stretch Island All-Natural Fruit Strips and FruitaBu Rolls

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My kids love Stretch Island fruit snacks! It's a popular lunch item and car ride treat that I feel good about giving my children. There are two varieties that come in many flavors: fruit strips (leather) and fruit rolls.


  • All-natural, 100%-fruit

  • No sugar added; gluten-free; dairy-free; certified kosher

  • One bar equal to one fruit-exchange in diabetic diet

  • Made on Stretch Island, WA


My kids prefer the fruit strips over the rolls, probably because they are easier and neater to eat.  It is important to pay attention when buying Stretch Island products, as they do make organic and conventionally-grown versions of their popular snacks.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 8, 2010

Freaky Plush Toys Based on Endangered Species

yoohoo.jpgAurora has created a line of plush toys called Yoo Hoo & Friends. Each character is based upon an endangered species, and a virtual world accompanies the toys at yoohoofriends.com. From lemurs to capuchin monkeys, each toy can be squeezed to make a noise and have certain characteristics online, like being "creative & smart".

Personally, I find these toys a bit freaky. Their color schemes are bizarre, and the sounds are not genuine to the animals they represent. I am not sure what the educational benefit is as far teaching children about endangered species, and these toys are made of synthetic materials. Unlike Aurora's Natural plush toys made from soy and kapok that more accurately resemble animals, I feel the Yoo Hoo line is all about marketing and trying to tap into the Webkinz frenzy.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 11, 2010

150 Great Ideas to Get Kids Outside and Into Nature

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Get Out!: 150 Easy Ways for Kids & Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature and Build a Greener Future is a budget-friendly, easy to pick up book about ways to engage your child in nature and combat Nature Deficit Disorder.

Today's children spend an average of 6.5 hours per say staring at computer and TV screens, and very little time out-of-doors. This book aims to change that with 150 ideas for enjoying nature and being eco-friendly. Ranging from window gardens to birdhouses, from family bike rides to hikes, these suggestions are sure to spark the interest of all! For kids, families, schoolgroups.

One of my favorite ideas is to have a daily "green hour", no matter the weather.
As e.e. Cummings wrote, the world is "mud-luscious" and "puddle-wonderful".

Other ideas go beyond the outdoors to how your family can become green consumers and get involved.

Disclosure: I was sent a sample of this product to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 23, 2009

100% Natural, Gluten-Free Freeze Dried Fruit Snacks in New Flavors

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We've tried Funky Monkey 100% natural freeze dried snacks before, and they were a big hit in my family. Now, we have tried three new flavors:

My favorite new flavor is Applemon, but my daughter loves the Pink Pineapple. My kids love Funky Monkey, and when I told my daughter they were not organic, she said, "I don't care. They are good!" All of our samples disappeared quickly.  These snacks are gluten-free and vegan, and they contain nothing but fruit. They do stick to your molars, making the flavor last in your mouth for awhile. The product label claims these snacks are "raw", but my understanding of raw does not involve any processing, including freeze drying.


Disclosure: I was sent free samples of this product to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 14, 2009

BPA-Free Silicone "Skinned" Glass Makes Little Kids Feel Big

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Glass is truly the safest material to drink from, but often parents are worried young children will break glass and be injured. Silikids has a solution with its food grade silicone-sleeved glass cup for young children. Silikids Siliskin Glass provides a non-slip surface for little hands to grasp and feel like big kids drinking out of a real glass.

The Siliskin Glass is a clean alternative to plastic drink-ware. For toddlers who want to drink from a "big kid" cup. Silikids makes this easy to do with a small BPA free silicone covered glass. This Siliskin glass helps prevent slipping and adds extra protection to the glass inside. Glass is the cleanest option for drinking and it lasts because it's reusable, and recyclable. The Siliskin is hypo- allergenic, has no open pores to harbor bacteria and is dishwasher safe. Two simple ideas have come together to make the perfect drink ware better for your family and the environment.

Even though there are a lot of BPA-free plastic cup products on the market, I still feel safest with real glass, and I don't have to worry about placing them in the dishwasher.

Silikids also makes Silibibs. These bibs are easy to put on and easy to clean. They are even safe for the dishwasher. I personally prefer cloth bibs, but many parents prefer silicone for the ease of cleaning.

If you visit www.silikids.com, you can use the discount code OHBABY to receive a 15% off any order through 12/31/2009

Disclosure: I was sent a free sample of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 1, 2009

Ikea Holiday Soft Toy Gifts Support UNICEF and Save the Children

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Not only are Ikea soft toys a super deal, the purchase of these toys contributes to global educational programs. Of course, there is nothing natural about these toys made from polyester and synthetic rubber, but the money goes for good causes and they are super soft and uniquely designed.  My children also enjoy playing with them.

Last year the program raised over $7 million with these plush animals that donate 1 euro ($1.47) to UNICEF and Save the Children with every toy purchased November 1 through December 24...Ranging in price from $1.49 to $19.99, these lovable creatures make a great stocking stuffer or featured present for kids of all ages.

Designed for children of all ages, I would not want my baby chewing on the synthetic rubber, and there are many other natural soft toys on the market. Although Ikea is known for environmentally responsible practices, I think I would prefer to just give money to a charitable organization and purchase a more eco-friendly gift. Ikea does make some nice wooden toys though.

Disclosure: I received a Barnslig and a Korall Krabba in order to write this review. No assurances were given as to whether the review would positive or negative in exchange for the product.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 23, 2009

Organic, Gluten Free Kids Cereals by Nature's Path Not Just for Kids!

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Celiac's disease runs in my family, so we try to limit our gluten intake, even though no one has yet to show gluten sensitivity. Many of Nature's Paths Envirokidz line of organic cereals has always been gluten-free. Some of our favorites include:

All of these products are gluten-free, organic, vegetarian, low in sodium, and contain no preservatives or additives.

Disclosure: I was sent the above described products to try out in order to write an authentic review. Assurances were not given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 20, 2009

Natural Art Supplies that are Genuinely Non-Toxic and Sustainably Manufactured

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I truly believe that one of the best gifts you can give a child are art supplies; however, even though many kid art supplies carry the "non-toxic" label, they may not be truly sustainable or natural. Clementine Art's motto is "Non-toxic is just the beginning," and the company was born out of a children's art studio in Boulder, CO.

Clementine Art produces professional-quality and earth-friendly art supplies with pure, simple ingredients. Clementine's products are colored with plant and mineral pigments instead of artificial dyes, providing an innovative solution to chemical laden, artificially colored art supplies. Clementine Art's products do not contain any synthetic preservatives, animal byproducts, or petroleum bases, and Clementine is the first art product company to list all ingredients on its packages.

Considering how messy young children are when they create often getting supplies in their hair, skin, and even mouth, choosing quality natural products is key.  The Clementine Art Holiday Eco-Art Gift Set contains:

The vivid colors of these art supplies are wonderful, and the crayon and rock shapes are perfect for little hands. The soy crayons and rock work better than traditional crayons, and I am in love with all of the products we tried. Furthermore, Clementine Art's packaging is made from recyclable and recycled content in a wind-powered facility.

Disclosure: We were sent a Clementine Art Holiday Eco-Art Gift Set to review without prior assurances of positive or negative opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 29, 2009

Chinese Candy Contains Excessive Lead

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Chinese candy made by Jigong Chayote has been recalled due to excessive lead content (note: The above picture may or may not feature Jigong Chayote candy). The San Jose Mercury News reports:

The California Department of Public Health has warned consumers not to eat an imported Chinese candy called Jigong Chayote after it was found to have unsafe levels of lead.
Recent tests found 0.68 parts per million of lead, and candies with more than 0.10 ppm are considered contaminated, the CDPH said...The CDPH said pregnant women and children who might have eaten the candy should see a doctor to determine if they need lead testing.

Just why would there be any amount of lead in candy to begin with considering the adverse effects it has on our health, especially children?
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 21, 2009

Green Toys 100% Recycled Plastic Tea Set

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One of my son's favorite toys is the made in the USA Green Toys Recycling Truck, and now we have another great Green Toys product in our home. The Green Toys Tea Set is made in the USA from 100% curbside collected, recycled plastic milk jugs. Knowing this product is made from curbside collected plastic gives me peace of mind, considering I know it was part of closing the loop, as well as I am assured these toys are not made from industrial waste plastic. Besides being made of recycled materials, this tea set is sure to enchant your child (no matter the gender), as we have experienced in our home. Who doesn't love a tea party? The set includes a tea pot, creamer, sugar bowl, four cups, four saucers and four spoons. Of course, the Green Toys Tea Set is bpa-free, lead-free, and phthalate-free!

Disclosure: I received this product for free in order write this review. There was no guarantee of a positive or negative review in exchange for the product. This is an authentic review.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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