PRODUCT: HappyBaby: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months by the founders of HAPPYBABY, Robert W. Sears, and Amy Marlow (September 2009, Harper Collins)
BASICS: From HAPPYBABY; “HappyBaby The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months, focuses on the most crucial and confusing time for growing families: the beginning. This book is the one-stop source for new moms and dads who are committed to having the healthiest, happiest family possible. This groundbreaking book offers a proactive, harmonious approach to parenting that’s easier, greener, and just plain better for your precious infant or toddler.”
- This book is the perfect easy introduction to green living and healthy baby care.
- Chapters are easy to follow and make sense plus the whole book offers up info in bite sized chunks so it’s not overwhelming and easy to browse.
- Practical, not guilt inducing, like some green advice. Focuses on doing what you can manage vs. doing it all.
- Easy to follow charts are included such as “A Healthy Mama’s Weekly Grocery List”) along with tiny tips throughout the text, such as, “green mama tip”, “green feeding tip”, and “real mama tip”.
- Pretty good free coupon section is included in the back of the book that offers really deals and savings on organic baby food, juices, green magazines, organic clothing. There are diapers too – but they’re disposable which was not as good.
The best parts of the book in my opinion included was the middle (and largest section) The Happy (and Well-Fed!) Baby. This is where the book shines because co-authors, the founders of HAPPYBABY really know their food stuff. Their company makes organic baby and toddler food such as frozen organic baby food cubes, baby snacks, cereal, and more. Included was the following…
- Breastfeeding info including breastfeeding myths and facts, breastfeeding nutrition for mamas, mama health, latching on help, breast milk storage, weaning and more.
- Starting your baby on solids along with when to feed, the best nutritious foods, baby food textures, problems you may run into, finger foods, beverages for baby, food allergies, and a run down on baby food types (jarred, homemade, frozen, etc).
- How to make your own homemade baby food. This section was excellent with tips on ingredients, prep, the baby food cooking process, plus totally easy to follow charts on how to prepare specific veggies, fruits, and meats. There’s also baby food storage information, flavors babies love, and many excellent recipes that your baby will adore.
- Life-long healthy feeding tips for all kids including how to get your child to love veggies and other healthy foods, and lots more.
- The book is not printed on recycled paper. Although it is available in ebook format which is nice, but doesn’t help if you’d like to own a hard copy. If you want a hard copy and have some guilt about that you can always plant some trees in exchange for this book though.
- As someone who has been living green for a while, I found the first chapter to be less useful – i.e. I didn’t find many new tips for me – but keep in mind I’m a green writer and have been looking at green living topics for years.
- The book focused on some major green brands but not some other (better in my opinion) obscure green brands. For example, Seventh Generation, who I like in some ways, is mentioned often, and the book recommends their diapers as having less of an impact on the planet – which really they don’t. There are many greener diaper choices. Seventh Generation is more a dressed up “natural” disposable diaper with fewer chemicals. Because Seventh Generation is mentioned throughout the book and because they have coupons in the back it makes me wonder if they were a partner which is just sort of sketchy. They also suggest some odd choices of safer diaper creams but fail to mention Earth Mama Angel Baby which is literally the safest baby care on the market right now.
- While I did like their make your own green cleaners section, some of the store-bought ‘greener’ cleaners they suggest come from companies that conduct animal testing, contribute to pollution by means of their other bleach filled products, or that contain ingredients not made public.
- I just got an overall feeling that whoever wrote the green resource sections haven’t been living green for too long or didn’t do enough homework. As one example, The Good Guide is listed more than once as a place to find green and safe products but it’s actually a terrible place to compare actual green products. Basically I felt the green sections could have been better.
4 out of 5 trees!
As a healthy baby book, HAPPYBABY deserves four trees. It’s not a perfect green book, but it is an excellent how to feed your baby in the best possible way book. The book loses a point for not being printed on recycled paper and because the green sections could have been more informed. Overall though, this is a great read for parents concerned with feeding their baby super healthy meals from birth onward. Plus if you want to learn to make homemade baby food, why not learn from experts? This book would also make a great gift for new parents. Check out HAPPYBABY at your local library or order a copy today – HappyBaby: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months.