new products to love

i had a gift certificate for a 'regular' (hollywood market) grocery store that i needed to spend the other day. hubby does all our shopping for 'normal' foods at costco and the local grocery store, while i buy all the organic/allergy friendly stuff at whole foods and our other local health food store. suffice it to say, i haven't really shopped at a regular grocery store in over 2 yrs now. i wandered up and down every single aisle, trying to find allergy friendly and corn-free things i could buy.

in the juice aisle, i got excited when i saw a giant bottle of grape juice that said, "100% grape juice". i picked it up and read the label. it had 6 ingredients, the second of which was maltodextrin, which is corn. the rest were preservatives, additives and color enhancers. how the hell can they put "100% grape juice" on the label?! i was thoroughly annoyed. imagine all the parents thinking they just bought their kids something healthy... and they're really feeding them corn syrup and chemicals with a tiny bit of grape juice - from concentrate, at that! we, as american consumers - have *got* to start holding food manufacturers accountable for misleading labels like this. we've got to learn all the deceptive names for corn ( and start boycotting products containing it. i've been using alternatives for 2.5 yrs now and it *can* be done and they taste even better and we're healthier for it - you don't need all that corn, it's just cheaper and easier for them!

anyway, i ended up buying non-edible products and walked out of their with a new appreciation for health food store labels!

speaking of which, i have recently discovered 2 new products i want to share. one is a fabulous mosquito repellant by burt's bees. i live in michigan, where they swarm by the thousands this time of year in every swampy, humid backyard. we get eaten alive in just a few minutes of walking the dog. i don't like to use the chemical stuff and typically try putting long sleeves & pants on all my kids and spritzing their clothing with folkloric repellants like windex or 'skin so soft' by avon or citronella oil. for the 4th of july, though, i have to bring out the big guns and go for the deet- free 'off!' on all their clothing as we are sitting on grass for hours.

i decided to try this burt's bees herbal insect repellant in time for 4th of july this year. my oldest boy was my first tester, as he walks his dog every evening in the gloaming and comes home looking like he has chicken pox again - he is, apparently, mosquito ambrosia. i spritzed his bare arms and legs and rubbed some on his face and he came home just crowing and raving about seeing the mosquitos swarm up from the grass in the park and cut a wide swath around him as he approached! and this stuff smells great, he smells like a lemony christmas tree. now, it does have soybean oil as an inert ingredient so i won't put it on the allergy toddler's bare skin, but i put long light layers on him and spritz it over those. (soy is one of his less serious allergies - i'm not sure i'd try it if it were one of his serious ones.) besides, as anyone with a multiple severe allergy child knows, their skin tends to be extremely fragile and easily irritated, so you wouldn't put something with all these zingy oils directly on their skin anyway - even without the soy.

we all experienced the same effects as my 10 yr old and you know what the best part was? i didn't feel like i had to come home and immediately get them all in the shower to get every trace of chemicals off them. this stuff eventually just rubbed into their skin and clothes and smelled so nice, i didn't care if it ended up in their beds, too. the packaging is awesome because it's in a little metal pump canister that we will save and reuse for misting plants or for skin oil or something else! i can't recommend it enough, it gets a 10 out of 10 for me for effectiveness and ease of use and just general peace of mind and likability factors!

the other product is a peppermint patty. my youngest is the one with all the food allergies at 2.5. the others all love chewing gum. he can't have any. he watches them chew it with fascination and i feel so guilty for the poor guy. he's never tasted pizza, never had a single crumb of dairy in his whole life, not even one fast food french fry... and now no gum. kids love gum. :-( so i found these peppermint patties by 'heavenly organics'. as you can see, they have exactly 3 ingredients. they taste just like junior mints, but they are much denser and chewier and last longer. he calls it his 'chocolate gum' and i keep them on hand to give him when the other kids get gum! again, i can't recommend them enough, i love them myself and buy them buy the bagful.


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