From the Big Friendly Giant to the concept of foodclusivity, Rosie Greenaway takes a ‘whizz-popping’ tour of what’s newly trending in the natural parent aisle
When new life grows in the womb and parental instinct kicks in, it’s common for the sole focus to become the creation of a safe, nurturing environment in which that new life has the best chance of thriving. It is often remarked how many new ‘natural parent’ customers flock to health food stores after a positive pregnancy test – expectant parents who may not otherwise have ‘gone green’, now seeking ways to protect their growing foetus from unnecessary, harmful toxins before and as it enters the world.
It is said that the health of a baby begins with the health of its mother, so hitting recommended levels of nutrients (such as vitamin D, which helps develop bones, teeth, kidneys, hearts and nervous systems) is crucial. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition – Longitudinal Assessment of Vitamin D Status across Trimesters of Pregnancy – recently declared supplementation to be the ‘single most effective way to achieve and maintain target blood levels of vitamin D throughout pregnancy’. Dr Nisa Aslam of the Health and Food Supplements Information Service (HSIS), comments on the data: “This was a study in 79 pregnant women recruited during the first trimester (average 9.3 weeks pregnant) which measured vitamin D blood levels in all the women in each of their three trimesters of pregnancy.
“The key finding … was that vitamin D intake from supplements, and not vitamin D intake [from] diet, was the main influence on vitamin D blood levels in these 79 pregnant women. This finding was true for each of the three trimesters but was most significant during the third trimester. More than three-quarters (78%) of the 79 women were taking a supplement containing vitamin D, either from a multivitamin supplement or a single vitamin D supplement.
“Evaluation of this finding in the context of other research is difficult because few other studies have measured vitamin D intake. Increase in vitamin D levels observed in pregnancy may be due to hormonal changes, and depending on the time of year the study is conducted, vitamin D levels may increase according to the season. But accounting for season in this study made no difference to the findings.
“Women who reported taking vitamin D supplements of 600iu (15 micrograms) or more had higher blood vitamin D than those with lower intakes. All of the women taking the higher doses had blood vitamin D levels of 50nmol/litre or more. The target vitamin D level in Canada is 40 to 50nmol/litre compared to 25nmol/litre in the UK.”
From D to Dahl
A brand synonymous with vitamin D is BetterYou. A 2021 collaboration with Madeleine Shaw saw it bring to market Conception and Pregnancy sprays, both containing optimal doses of vitamin D3 to support mother and baby at different ends of the journey – the Pregnancy spray is also marketed as an ‘anti-nausea formulation’ which could be a sales hook for customers suffering from queasiness. But this spring it’s another partnership which is peaking parents’ interest: BetterYou’s new six-strong children’s health line, released in collaboration with The Roald Dahl Story Company. With Roald Dahl stories still prominent on the bookshelves of 21st century children, the first SKU is sure to be popular with little ones thanks to the ‘whizz-popping’ fun it brings to bath times. Wanting to create ‘something magical that had never been seen before’, the brand turned its Kids’ Bath Flakes into Magnesium Sleep Whizz-popping Kids’ Bath Flakes.
The character of the BFG was ‘the originator of the term whizz-pop’ and is ‘synonymous with sleep, collecting and distributing good dreams to children’, making him ‘a natural fit’ for the product, explains Jen Julian, marketing director for BetterYou. “Bath time is a crucial part of any child’s bedtime routine. It signifies the end of the day and provides time for parents to play, communicate and bond with their children before they go to bed. Through this collaboration, we wanted to make this experience extra special by developing a product that brought these elements together.”
High quality magnesium chloride is combined with English lavender to encourage rest and relaxation, while the addition of popping candy brings an element of ‘sensory excitement and fun’.
The partnership had been in the pipeline for some time, says Julian. “It takes time to execute any successful collaboration and we have been working with The Roald Dahl Story Company for the past 12 months to ensure that what we produce is right not only for both brands, but for our customers as well. As you can imagine, working with any well-known and beloved brand, there are strict guidelines that we need to follow to ensure the proper use of Quentin Blake’s illustrations, but the team at The Roald Dahl Story Company has been extremely supportive of our activities and enthusiastic about the partnership, which has made the whole process really enjoyable.”
“Bath time is a crucial part of any child’s bedtime routine. It signifies the end of the day and provides time … to play, communicate and bond”
Bag of tricks
From paper cuts to allergy attacks, parents must be prepared for any number of minor emergencies when they leave the house. And here’s where the industry’s handiest on-the-go saviours step in.
HayMax is a household name and for good reason: its organic, lavender-scented Kids balm jumps to the rescue whenever hay fever, dust or pet allergies threaten to ruin a play date. A mighty balm in a small pot (sporting two little superheroes on the box), it acts as a barrier – simply rub a small amount around the rim of each nostril or around the eye socket bones to ‘trap’ allergens before they cause tears.
Grazed knees are another common hazard of outdoor play, and for most parents a plaster will be the answer. Although consumers are generally becoming more eco-aware, imagine how many single-use plastic adhesive dressings are still applied to wounds each day.
As Elastoplast itself says: ‘Old habits die hard’, which is why the brand came up with an eco-friendly version of its original design: Elasto-plast Green & Protect Plasters to help customers ‘make their first-aid more sustainable’. Climate-neutralized and made from naturally derived fibres (from FSC-certified forests), the plasters offer extra-strong adhesion for prolonged durability, housed in recycled, recyclable packaging.
Nobody enjoys the company of a hungry, whingeing child, so it’s welcome news that Organix continues to create on-the-go snack options that will keep toddler tantrums at bay. Fun-shaped Veggie Mini Mix-Ups ‘bring grown-up flavours to the baby aisle’ using organic vegetables, so little ones can have a taste of more mature, savoury flavours which will challenge their developing taste buds. Green Pea, Parsnip and Carrot & Beetroot are the variants, presented in mini heart, hoop and star shapes. They’re designed to ‘give little ones a head start on learning to love veggie flavours’, and while we’re on the subject of weaning, we’d be remiss not to mention the brand’s other new product: Little Ruskits. Suitable from six months, they’re ‘grabbable, munchable and mashable’ vanilla-flavoured biscuits which can either be mixed into milk and served with a spoon or presented as finger food from eight months. This versatility is coupled with the fact that Little Ruskits boast low sugar: 33% less than the average rusk, in fact.
Top to tail
Even with low amounts of sugar in the diet, teeth need to be treated with care throughout childhood and mainstream toothpastes won’t appeal to all families. Parents who want to create ‘long-lasting, natural white smiles’ might be interested to know that German organic brand Ben & Anna has launched a 100% vegan and cruelty-free natural toothpaste for children in a tasty strawberry flavour – making bedtime teeth-brushing a bit more appealing. While it does contain some fluoride, you won’t find any of the following in the ingredients list: parabens, phthalates, peroxides and parabens. The product is also microplastic-free and comes in glass jar, within a cardboard box – both of which are widely recycled. For children who love sea creatures, it’s worth noting that Ben & Anna support ocean clean-up initiatives.
The ‘easy, squeezy’ tube used by JASON for its Kids Only Strawberry Toothpaste is another sales-strong option for parents who are teaching their little ones about oral hygiene. Bright packaging and fun illustrations give the tubes ‘stand out power’, while calcium carbonate keeps teeth clean and healthy. The brand also offers ‘tear-free’ Kids Only Extra Gentle Shampoo which gets tough on dirt but remains a firm favourite among five-year-olds thanks to its strawberry-banana bubble gum scent.
Before potty training kicks in, there’s a vast choice of planet-friendly reusable nappies for parents who want to save money, use something kinder on their baby’s bottom and lessen their landfill footprint. It’s one of life’s undisputable truths that a soiled nappy smells unpleasant, but there’s no reason why the task of changing one shouldn’t be done with a splash of style. With that in mind, a brand-new collection has launched from Bambino Mio, bringing a touch of design flair to a functional product. The range features three new patterns – Get Growing, Sunflower Power and Little Leaves – which extend to matching reusable wet bags and changing mats.
Tried and tasted
Hungry babies have never been so well served by the UK market. Two new baby food brands making names for themselves are Oliver’s Cupboard (which promotes ‘togetherness through food and diversity through flavour’ while introducing young palettes to ‘the world of flavours that exist in the UK’) and Posh for Tots (which delivers homemade food pots to save busy parents time in the kitchen).
For Sadia Ahmed, who founded Oliver’s Cupboard, ‘foodclusion’ is the focus. “There is a serious lack of ‘inclusive food’ that represents the diversity of parents we have in the UK. We’ve seen a gap in the market for a premium brand that can bring something new to a growing population who are so far feeling excluded. At Oliver’s Cupboard we intend to use a diverse range of interesting ingredients to not only provide a nutritious meal, but to encourage babies and children to enjoy the taste of real foods from around the world.
“Our aim is to build a premium baby and children’s food brand which has diversity at its heart, and inclusivity in mind. We want to deliver high quality organic and halal recipes that match lifestyle and cultural needs, whilst being tasty, nutritious and convenient products that don’t cost the earth.”
The brand launched with six recipes, suitable from seven months: Sri Lankan Sambar; Indian-inspired Korma; Brazilian Bahia; Egyptian Koshari; Malaysian Laksa; and Thai Tom Yum.
“There is a serious lack of ‘inclusive food’ that represents the diversity of parents we have in the UK”
For Flora Campbell – a mother who was made redundant during the pandemic – Posh for Tots was the answer not just to her next career move but to keeping her two-year-old son content. As ‘chief taster’, his feedback on her initial recipes was invaluable; having been created with a professional chef, Campbell was able to learn if the dishes were too spicy for toddlers’ state buds, or if they got the seal of approval.
Each meal includes four or five vegetables; any meat in the recipes is always free-range, organic and locally sourced; and the packaging is recyclable.
The meal deliveries aim to ‘liberate parents’ from the time constraints of scratch cooking and have so far been well received by several celebrity parents.
“Not all parents have the time or the energy to cook for their child every night, and others just don’t like cooking!” comments Campbell. “Our pots … make the lives of mums and dads more convenient and less stressful. As a mum, I know the guilt you feel when you end up giving your child plain pasta for dinner three nights running. However, I also know the elation you feel when you give them homemade nutritious meals every night of the week.
“Supermarkets have very few options for parents who want high quality, nutritious, ready-made meals that young children will actually eat, and we are here to fill this gap.”
Birth and beyond
Developed for pregnancy, birth and beyond by a team of specialist midwives and nutrition experts, Mummy’s Organics is a range of plant-powered innovations which ‘put the health and wellbeing of mum and baby first’. With 100% organic and natural ingredients, the product line harnesses the power of nature and covers a broad range of needs from sleep and sore nipples in the mother to tummy troubles in the baby.
The raspberry leaf component in Birth Ready Tea helps women prepare for and heal from labour; Colic Sooth gently blends herbs to settle small stomachs and relieve common colic symptoms; Breast Milk Booster can promote a healthy milk supply during nursing; and the three remaining teas – Calm & Tranquil, Digestive and Night Time – reduce anxiety, alleviate gastric discomfort and encourage restful sleep.
Topical skincare applications within the range include Stretch Mark Serum and Scar Balm, which address the obvious with rosehip, lavender, frankincense and coconut oil; Citrus Lip Balm, a shea butter, castor oil and mandarin combination which repairs neglected lips; Perineal Soothing Spritz for relief from swelling, pain, bruising and inflammation caused by trauma to the perineum during childbirth; Perineal Massage Oil for pre-labour TLC to reduce the risk of tears to sensitive tissue; Labour Massage Oil for hands-on help with mood and pain; and Nipple Balm, a lanolin-free formula to soothe the cracked, sore nipples which blight so many mothers during breastfeeding.
Peppermint & Eucalyptus Shampoo Bar
An invigorating shampoo bar that’s good for your skin, scalp and hair.
Peppermint smells great, relieves itches and has mild antifungal properties, Meanwhile, eucalyptus is well known as a natural disinfectant. It even unblocks your nose. As for the argan, it’s a wonderful natural conditioner, leaving your lustrous locks stronger, healthier and a doddle to style and manage.
Each Peppermint & Eucalyptus shampoo bar is handmade with argan oil, castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil, peppermint & eucalyptus essential oils.
Packed into plastic-free boxes that are recycled and recyclable. Friendly Soap is registered with The Vegan Society and Cruelty-Free International.
Vitamin E Lotion with Calendula
A fragrance-free light moisturiser for use all over the body, dedicated purely to well-being, and suitable for all skin types (scars, dry skin, moisturising).
Vitamin E is readily absorbed and helps keep the skin healthy and moisturised. Calendula is valued for its soothing, antiseptic qualities.
No animal ingredients. No lanolin. No added perfume or colour. Not tested on animals. Paraben free.
Vitamin D3 and K2 Sublingual Spray™
Good Health Naturally’s award-winning sublingual Vitamin D3/K2 Spray™ delivers fast and effective absorption of these essential nutrients. Together, they play a crucial role in the uptake and reabsorption of calcium and phosphorous, supporting the healthy development of children’s bones and teeth. Plus, a daily dose of Vitamin D3 is critical in maintaining the immune system throughout all stages of life. Each spray delivers D3 200iu, allowing flexible dosing and a convenient and practical solution for the whole family’s daily intake, from infants to adults. Spray directly under the tongue or onto food. Vegan. 30ml (approx. 220 sprays per bottle).
HayMax™ organic drug-free allergen barrier balms
Hay Fever? Dust and Pet Allergies? HayMax Kids is suitable for children. Sporting two super heroes on the box, they’re easy to spot on the shelf. No chemical nasties or colouring, just 100% natural ingredients. Drug-free and non-drowsy, so suitable for school and during exams, and pregnant and breast-feeding mums. Certified organic with over 50 awards. Proven in university studies to trap dust and pet allergens and over a third of pollen before they enter the body. Plus, bright, attractive new look HayMax triple tin remains exclusive to independent retailers and the 3 for 2 offer is margin maintained. Wow!
Helios ABC for Children
Award winning Helios ABC contains three homeopathic remedies, Aconite, Belladonna and Chamomilla. This combination has a long history of traditional use for childhood teething, fevers, sore throats and earache. Homeopathy has a large part to play in supporting health, offering gentle, safe and effective alternatives for common complaints for all the family. ABC comes in lactose free, organic sucrose pill form in our easy-to-use, single dose dispenser. For details of all our award winning remedies please contact us.
Body Biotics Gummies For Children
Body Biotics Gummies are a whole-food probiotic formula created specifically to meet the unique needs of children from 4 years and up. We combine our unique Body Biotics™ Blend with real fruit to create a delicious and nutritious supplement with no added preservatives, sugars, fillers, sweeteners, additives or binders.
Body Biotics Gummies for Children contain a blend of 8 Soil-based organisms (SBOs) friendly bacterial live cultures of the most effective and gut health-boosting bacterial lacto and bifido “super strains” which help the digestive system absorb nutrients, eliminate waste and repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria for overall wellbeing.
Natracare Natural Nursing Pads
Soft, breathable, and kind to sensitive skin, Natracare nursing pads keep skin and clothing dry between breastfeeds. The round, cushioned pads fit neatly into nursing bras, helping to absorb any excess milk. Made from high-quality natural materials, Natracare nursing pads are gentle on delicate skin by avoiding synthetic materials, perfumes and dyes. The cover is made from certified organic cotton and sits next to the skin, acting as a soft cover to wick away breast milk.
Balade en Provence Bébè Pur
Formulated for babies, pregnant women and those with sensitive skin, Balade en Provence’s Bébè Pur (Pure Baby) Body Bar is a 100% natural and fragrance-free cleanser for face, hair and body. Enriched with coconut oil, grapeseed oil, rapeseed oil, clay and shea butter to soothe, moisturise and protect skin, hair and scalp. Balade en Provence products are lovingly handmade in Provence and reflect the artistry, fragrance and flora of the region. These zero waste solid beauty bars are certified both organic and vegan, and packaged in compostable and recyclable boxes, 100% plastic-free.
Clinically-proven protection… Organyc 100% Organic Cotton Maternity Pads
Natural parents unite! Organyc’s award-winning Maternity Pads have been created from only 100% certified organic cotton. With an organic cotton top sheet and naturally absorbent cotton core, the ultra-soft and fluffy maternity pads are specially tailored to absorb a heavy flow in the first days after childbirth. They are designed to be comfortable against the delicate vulva. The award-winning maternity pads are naturally hypoallergenic, breathable, and anatomically designed. The Organyc Maternity Pads are free from synthetics such as bleach, SAP’s, and fragrances. Organyc organic cotton maternity pads are certified Organic by ICEA, certified Vegan by VEGANOK. Cruelty free.
Perfect for all skin types! Our CBD oils will do wonders for your skin complexion. They sooth, calm and regenerate. Your skin will be balanced, matte and nourished. CBD oils contain linoleic acid and oleic acid which can’t be produced by the body but play crucial roles in skin maintenance. If you are looking for something simple and minimalistic, perhaps also vegan, cruelty free and eco-friendly, CBD oils are perfect choice for you. They hold their power in simplicity and on top of that, they are COSMOS organic and COSMOS natural certified.
Sun Chlorella ‘A’ Powder
Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life and one that requires good nutrition. A healthy pregnancy ideally starts with a holistic preconception care plan for both mother and father, which lays the foundation for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Sun Chlorella can be a valuable supplement for mothers during this time. The nutrients in Sun Chlorella can help support a mother as part of a preconception care protocol, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Chlorella is a freshwater algae that contains a broad spectrum of food state nutrients including the B vitamins folate and B12, vitamin D and iron.
Informed Choice certified.
Weleda Calendula Range
The natural healing power of Calendula. Our 100% certified natural products contain precious extracts of handpicked organic calendula to soothe, nourish and protect delicate skin. Specifically formulated with the assistance of healthcare professionals and pharmacists to protect and support the development of healthy skin, and suitable for even the most sensitive skin of babies and children.