From screen time to sugar to sedentary lifestyles, there are many aspects of modern living which give parents cause for concern when it comes to their children’s health. Claire Lavelle discovers how retailers are responding
It’s natural for parents to worry about their children. However, what’s ironic for this generation is that many of the aspects of modern life that are designed to make things so much easier – cars, smartphones, convenience foods – are also the source of so many anxieties.
Take air pollution: some busy London roads are so polluted that it damages lung development in children, putting them at greater risk of chest infections and asthma. Phones and tablets make it easier to get dinner on the table when you need a break from an excitable toddler, but the jury’s still out on exactly what constitutes too much screen time (studies show that children spending more than two or three hours per day on these devices are less likely to hit developmental milestones).
And when they start school, it’s pretty much impossible to police children’s lunches – what used to be a weekend treat (pizza, burgers, chips) can potentially become part of their everyday diet. It’s no wonder parents are losing sleep at night.
“While safeguarding your child’s wellbeing is all part of being a parent, it’s easy for normal concerns to become a debilitating cycle of anxiety,” says GP Dr Katie Perrett. “But it’s important to keep a sense of perspective. An over-reliance on screens to entertain, or processed foods at mealtimes may tip the balance into unhealthy habits, but most of us naturally self-regulate our behaviour so that most of the time, we make a better choice.”
Old heads …?
If we’re worrying about whether the kids are alright, it’s safe to say that they have concerns too. “It was not only my own, but also my eldest daughter’s worries about the chemicals contained in everyday toiletries that led me to develop a natural deodorant,” says Henrietta Lampkin, founder of Elsa’s Organic Skin Foods. “She felt she wanted to start using deodorant as a pre-teen, as do many young girls who are going through hormonal changes. It seems that for many children, puberty is starting earlier, and although the medical community speculates over reasons for this, the effects of environmental chemicals in both products and foods may play a part.
“A new generation of parents (and their children) are demanding better standards from the brands they choose, to future-proof both their own welfare and that of the planet”
“So there’s a need for this type of self-care product for this age group, but I was concerned about ingredients such as aluminium because of its affect on the hormonal and endocrine system. I started experimenting with natural ingredients and creating very basic products at my kitchen table. After 18 months I’d finally hit on a formulation that worked, using a combination of pink Himalayan salt, organic coconut oil and dietary magnesium oxide. We’ve now got four different deodorant sticks, and produce a deodorant crème, too.
“Parents can have peace of mind that their children are using products that are natural, organic and free from any synthetic ingredients, while the children using them can do so feeling confident that they are not compromising their health. I know that means a lot to me, as mum of four girls – even if I don’t get a look-in in the bathroom mirror these days!”
The demand for natural and organic cosmetic and toiletry products is something both manufacturers and retailers should take heed of, with a report from the Soil Association asserting that sales of certified organic and natural beauty products hit £86.5 million in 2018, up 14% year-on-year. “Until recently, there was an assumption that if a product was ‘natural’ it was less effective,” continues Lampkin. “The thinking around that has changed. Increasing numbers of customers are turning to natural alternatives but still demand efficacy and quality, and brands are stepping up to the plate. A significant proportion of this market is made up of parents concerned about the products they use on their children. They want fewer chemicals, and to know what they’re using is as environmentally friendly as possible.”
A neat example of this is demonstrated by Puressentiel, which uses 100% organic essential oils in its range, with effective results. “It’s not ‘sexy’ but Puressentiel Anti-Lice Treatment Lotion has been proven to eliminate lice, larvae and nits in just ten minutes,” says medical herbalist and plant medicine expert Dr Chris Etheridge. “Furthermore, the Puressentiel Lice Repellent Spray has been clinically proven to effectively repel lice and prevent infestation of the scalp for 24 hours. The main active ingredient in the spray is derived from lemon eucalyptus essential oil, and the repellent action of this key ingredient has proved itself to be as effective as synthetic chemicals. The formula also contains lavender and lavandin essential oils, organic lavender floral water and apple vinegar – all ingredients shown to naturally repel lice. “This is important because studies from the US show that head lice are becoming resistant to traditional treatments, which commonly contain pyrethroids, of which permethrin is one. Researchers warned that in the US at least, widespread pyrethroid-resistant lice have been a growing problem for years, with 104 out of 109 lice cases studied having high levels of gene mutations linked to resistance to pyrethroids.”
Food for thought
Of course, just as important as what we put on our bodies is what we put in them. While parents are better able to control what their children eat home, at school it’s a different matter, with many households tearing their hair out in frustration at the poor quality or sugary foods on offer to their kids over the course of a normal school day. There is progress, however, in the form of the Soil Association’s Food For Life (FFL) initiative – a programme of resources, support and guidance to help schools and nurseries provide freshly prepared, nutritious lunches. It’s still a growing movement, but all the signs are good: 8.5% of the 833 FFL schools with in-house catering serve organic food, while 66% of the 10,019 FFL schools to whom food is supplied by external catering companies enjoy organic produce.
The message is clear: a new generation of parents (and their children) are demanding better standards from the brands they choose, to future-proof both their own welfare and that of the planet. It’s an area in which the switched-on trendsetter can make huge gains; recent research published by Mintel reveals that European parents are consistently willing to pay more for organic products. Canny manufacturers and retailers take note.
Air pollution and asthma: signs of the times
Air pollution is a growing concern in the UK’s major cities, and London particularly. If children’s lungs don’t develop properly as a result of air pollution, it can increase their likelihood of developing asthma and other life-threatening respiratory diseases. DSI:Inhalo, a Hungarian company which designs and manufactures award-winning, all-natural dry salt inhalers, is a welcome newcomer to the natural health market, and makes the proven benefits of salt crystal therapy convenient and accessible for all.
“The inhalers are essentially a portable salt mine,” says CEO Patrick Holota. “The dry salt inhaler can be used by adults and children over the age of five for natural, drug-free relief from asthma, congestion, wheezing or coughing,” he continues. “There are no side-effects and it helps to reduce the number of asthma attacks in those living with the condition, plus reduces long-term drug treatment. Mouth and nasal inhalers are available, and both use unprocessed rock salt crystals in their natural form.”
AQUA Carpatica Kids Still Natural Mineral Water
AQUA CARPATICA KIDS- Low Sodium Award Winning Water for Kids Each day is a big adventure for little ones; from powering through playtimes to creating the perfect secret den, there’s a lot to pack in! With AQUA Carpatica Kids you know that wherever the day takes them they’ll be hydrated and energised throughout. Virtually nitrate free AQUA Carpatica Kids has already got the thumbs up from grown ups and children. In 250ml bottles, BPA-free and 100 % spill proof, with eight playful designs, it is an absolute lunchbox essential.
AQUA Carpatica range is available in more than 1500 independent stores in the UK, including Harrods, Whole Foods Market, As Nature Intended, Revital, Simply Fresh etc.
Strath herbal yeast has been subjected to several clinical studies involving school children which has demonstrated that it can improve concentration, absenteeism and performance. These studies have been further strengthened by the recent bioavailability study which has shown that nutrient uptake in the digestive system can be increased by up to 10-fold when combining with Strath herbal yeast. Strath herbal yeast can be given to children from 1 year of age and are a perfect addition during increased risk of infection or during exam season.
Welcoming a baby into the world is an exciting time for any new parent, but it can be full of unwelcome stresses too. Bio-Kult Infantis has been helping parents ensure their little bundle of joy stays in optimum health with a unique multi-strain formulation that has been designed specifically for infants, toddlers and young children. Each easy to use sachet contains 7 live strains of bacteria, Vitamin D3 to contribute to the normal function of the immune system, Preplex and Omega 3. The formulation does not contain artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and does not need to be refrigerated.
BetterYou Children’s Range:
DLux Infant Vitamin D Oral Spray
DLux Junior Vitamin D Oral Spray
MultiVit Junior Oral Spray
Magnesium Sleep Lotion Junior
It’s vital that young children get the vitamins and minerals they need for optimal growth, however nutrients can often become depleted – particularly if children struggle to consume a varied diet – with supplementation being favourable to help plug the nutrient gap left behind.
Taking tablets or capsules and following a supplementation plan can be a constant battle with children, that’s why BetterYou’s range of great-tasting oral sprays and easy-to-use transdermal magnesium supplements, which are specially formulated for children, take the fuss out of supplementation.
There are a number of beneficial vitamins and minerals for growing children, these include; folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and the full spectrum of B vitamins. A nutritional supplement, such as BetterYou’s MultiVit Junior Oral Spray, which is designed to support growing bodies is a great way to target essential nutrients which children may be lacking.
During childhood and adolescence, the skeletal system undergoes a lot of change in order to achieve peak bone mass and without the proper environment, diet and hormones, this process can be hindered. Magnesium is a vital component in establishing healthy bones, aiding the conversion of vitamin D into its active form so it can promote calcium absorption into the bones. |
With a formulation that is clinically proven to effectively aid sleep quality, BetterYou’s Magnesium Sleep Lotion Junior contains Zechstein Magnesium Chloride which is a mineral especially crucial to children due to its ability to fight off infection and illness, keeping them healthy.
Working alongside magnesium, vitamin D contributes towards healthy bones and teeth. A daily dose of BetterYou’s DLux Infant Oral Spray (suitable from birth to 3 years) or DLux Junior Oral Spray (suitable for children aged 3 years and above) will also help to protect children against infection due to its crucial role in activating immune defences.
For more information, please visit www.betteryou.com.
Kids Immunovite provides immune support for children. It contains Beta 1-3 1-6 Glucan, a natural substance, derived from the cell wall of baker’s yeast. It is a pure extraction and does not contain enough yeast protein to cause any allergic reactions. Kids Immunovite contains Vitamin C, Iron, Zinc and Selenium, all of which contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system and the protection of cells from oxidative stress.
Elsa’s Award-Winning 4 in 1 natural deodorants
Elsa’s Organic Skinfoods make effective Award-Winning 4 in 1 natural deodorants, which deodorise, detoxify, nourish and sooth. Only the highest quality Cruelty free & Vegan Organic plant ingredients and earth minerals are used. Not just a deodorant, but Skincare for your armpits. Visit www.elsas.co.uk.
Vitamin E Lotion With Calendul
A fragrance free light moisturiser for use all over the body. With natural Vitamin E and Calendula which is valued for its soothing, antiseptic qualities. It is suitable for all skin types, (scars, dry skin, moisturising) and protects against the harmful effects of exposure to sun, wind and environmental pollution. Vitamin E is readily absorbed and helps keep the skin healthy and moisturised. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans. No animal ingredients. No lanolin. No added perfume or colour. Not tested on animals. Paraben free.
Organic Children offers a fully comprehensive range of natural hair and body care, including bath washes, shampoos, conditioners, body lotion, toothpaste and hand sanitiser – all just for kids, with truly natural ingredients that nurture and protect their delicate skin. Suitable for young skin prone to eczema, skin allergies and prickly heat, these are the purest products for your little one – organic goodness you can trust. Always inspired to do more, this summer we proudly launch our award-winning, marine-friendly sun lotion in new, sustainable packaging. Loved by parents and trusted by midwives, Organic Children is stocked on Ocado and online at www.greenpeople.co.uk.
Specifically formulated for babies and children, award winning ABC from Helios Homeopathy contains three homeopathic remedies traditionally used to relieve minor fevers and earache in children and teething in infants and toddlers. Being completely natural and without any known side effects, ABC is a safe, gentle alternative for the first aid cupboard. The remedy comes in lactose free, sucrose pill form in our easy to use single dose dispenser. Remedies for infants may be dissolved in a little sterile water. For more details
of ABC and other remedies from the range covering Injuries; Hay Fever; Sleep and Stress please contact Helios
MultiGuard® for Kids
For children from 4 to 14 years of age. MultiGuard® for Kids remains one of the best children’s formulas in the UK, providing useful levels of all the important vitamins and trace minerals. We have developed this formula using micro-encapsulated nutrients (that masks the flavour of the minerals), plus natural forest fruit flavour to produce chewable tablets that children readily accept. We use natural Xylitol, so the formula is aspartame free and sugar free so will not contribute to tooth decay.
The tablets are carefully formulated for ages 4-14 years, with one tablet per day for children up to 10 years and two for the older group.
Hope’s Relief – Clinically Proven Natural Eczema Cream
Babies and children can be prone to dry skin and eczema, so help your customers find a gentle and effective range that they can trust. Hope’s Relief therapeutic skincare is a multi-award winning range to help relieve itchy, dry skin and is specially formulated for skin prone to eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. As an effective, natural alternative to cortisone and other medicated treatments, Hope’s Relief is suitable for long term to soothe the itch and regenerate skin. No.1 in Australia, the growing range includes haircare and cleansers and is safe for babies, children and adults and trusted by mums worldwide.
Multiple award-winning PATCH Bamboo Strip Bandages is getting major attention from the European market for its amazing hypoallergenic, zero waste packaging and compostable solution that aims to fix a major market problem! When father-of-two and PATCH founder, James Dutton discovered his son had an adverse reaction to an adhesive bandage, he quickly realized his son was not alone. 1 in 4 people cannot wear normal plasters due to reactions and skin sensitivities. PATCH is an advanced new range of natural adhesive plasters designed to support wound recovery with natural bamboo fibre and mineral based Pressure Sensitive Adhesive