By Amy Kux, Itsabelly Baby Planner (San Francisco)

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In these economic times, we tend to look at the bottom line and not the healthiest or greenest options.  But this does not have to be the case.  Here are some quick Itsabelly Baby Planner tips that can be used to stay earth friendly, while keeping money in the bank. In addition, you can download your FREE guide to pesticides from the Environmental Working Group.

–    Make your own organic baby food.  At our home, we currently mix a few seasonal vegetables and organic chicken in a pan to roast or a pot to boil.  Once the food is well cooked, we blend them in the food processer until they are very smooth.  We freeze the food in baby food jars and BPA free storage containers.  (Consult with your pediatrician about which foods you should use.)
–    Apple sauce.  Again, you can make your own.  We buy the “cosmetically challenged” apples for our local farmers market at half of the price.  Or, another option is to buy a larger container and make your own smaller portions as needed.
–    Prioritize your organic needs.  Often organic foods do cost more, but you can save by concentrating on buying foods that are known to be grown with the most pesticides.  These include the dirty dozen:
o    Apples
o    Cherries
o    Grapes, imported (Chili)
o    Nectarines
o    Peaches
o    Pears
o    Raspberries
o    Strawberries
o    Bell peppers
o    Celery
o    Potatoes
o    Spinach
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that even after washing, some fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. government pesticide test results, researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., have developed the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables, above, that they say you should always buy organic, if possible, because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides. They cost about 50 percent more – but are well worth the money.”  MSNBC online article “Organic food: Is it worth the extra money?”

The below products generally do not contain pesticide residue:
o    Bananas
o    Kiwi
o    Mangos
o    Papaya
o    Pineapples
o    Asparagus
o    Avocado
o    Broccoli
o    Cauliflower
o    Corn
o    Onions
o    Peas
– Lastly, share resources.  The idea of being green is recycle, restore and reuse.  This can be achieved by reaching out to friends and family and pass on what you no longer need and vise versa.  As your baby grows, you go through clothes very quickly.  Often you will find numerous outfits that still have the tags on them.  Share them with friends, or even try to resell on sites such as ebay or craigslist.

Baby Planner Budgeting for Baby Green Baby Non-toxic Babycare