I was SUPER excited to get this book. I have been a big fan of the Healthy Child Healthy World organization for many years so when they published a book I knew it would be good. The title is Healthy Child, Healthy World and it is written by Christopher Gavigan, the CEO of the organization with the same name. The forward is written by Meryl Streep and it has contributions from Gwtneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, Tom Hanks, Tobey Maguire, Kate Hudson, and Erin Brockovich…just to name a few.
Basically it addresses all of the environmental toxins that our children are exposed to, why we need to be concerned, and where they may be lurking. Just as we attempt to child proof our home and cover electric sockets we also need to be concerned with less tangible things….things we can’t see but that still prove to be a serious risk to our children. No parent wants to even imagine that they are allowing their child to come to harm but unknowingly that is what many parents may be allowing to happen and that is why this book was written, to help parents create a cleaner, greener, and safer home. This is a book that EVERY single parent needs to read…before they read the What to Expect Books or even Dr. Sears books. More parents NEED to know about the dangers their children are being exposed to every day. Parents concerned about the issues covered in this book are not alarmists or extremists…the danger is there and it is real. This book is my new #1 baby shower gift. :)
It just covers so much good information I am in awe…like a collection of the “best of the best” that parents need to know. It has also many cut out cheat sheets for green cleaners, fruits and veggies best eaten organic, and a list detailing each plastic and which ones are the most toxic.
The first chapter discusses raising a healthy baby while pregnant and all the potential dangers that are present before a child even enters the world. It covers a lot of things that pregnant moms need to consider from synthetic fragrances to nail polish and all the ways you can ensure a healthier pregnancy.
Chapter 2 discusses household cleaners and why they are so dangerous. After highlighting what specific ingredients do the most harm and why it goes on to explain that green cleaners are the way to go…buying more natural ones or making your own. It has several recipes for homemade cleaners too.
Chapter 3 is one of my favorites. It discusses food and all the nasty preservatives, additives, and chemicals in our food and all the reasons why organic and whole foods are better. It shows how much of the stuff at the grocery store is not real food…you know…like that techni-color blue, cotton candy flavored yogurt for kids. It really covered all the basics…nitrites, food coloring, RBGH, pesticides, high fructose corn syrup, etc. In this section Gwyneth Paltrow shares some of her childhood experiences and provides few recipes her kids love. This summer I will be trying her daughter Apple’s favorite Organic Roast Veggie Sticks with fresh carrots and parsnips from the garden. Mmmm…
It also good info on what to cook your food in and what not to (Teflon) and what the safest food storage options are. In this chapter you also get educated about BPA in plastic baby bottles. This is the first book I have read that had this important info in it.
Chapter 4 was another good one. It addresses beauty products….toothpaste, deodorant, perfumes, lotions, shampoos…all the chemical laden stuff we use to beautify ourselves. It had two essays I loved from Kate Hudson and Vanessa Williams. It is hard to imagine Vanessa Williams reading the Environmental Working Group reports and Kate Hudson making her own homeopathic remedies just like I do.
Chapter 5 takes on the topic of toxic toys and children’s gear that is on the market with nasty chemicals. It mentions all the toys with PVC, pacifiers with BPA, cloth diapers with chemicals, toxic crib mattresses, and our petroleum based crayons. It was a nice refresher but the part I most enjoyed was reading about Noah Wyle and his natural parenting style and background. What can I say…I do kind of like celebrity gossip…and I really enjoy reading about celebrities that have a natural, granola, attached style of parenting.
Chapters 6 & 7 are green gardening and yard maintenance and clean water. Chapter 8 is about green and healthy pet care…something I haven’t really delved into before.
Chapter 9 is all about a safe home from the mattresses to the carpet and then the last chapter talks about where to start your home makeover with all the information you just read. It has a cutout chart with 5 easy steps to a cleaner, greener, safer home. It also has a large resources section at the back of the book that I LOVED. I sat for a long time and looked up all the online stores and resources it mentioned for everything from clothes to a backyard playset. I was also stoked to see some blogs I read mentioned in it.
This book covered all the major issues that any green/healthy child book should cover and that is no easy task. Of course it doesn’t go into all the topics very deeply but it gives a brief overview of each danger zone so that parents can do their own supplimental research and conclude to do something about each. I highly recommend this book for all parents.