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Dr. Greene Answers Your Questions: Part 3

To celebrate reaching the 1,000 fan mark, Dr. Greene answered three questions posed by our Facebook Fans. I’ll post each question and answer. We’ve answered Ashtyn and Harmony’s questions. Today, Elizabeth!

Dr. Alan Greene


There seems to be an overwhelming amount of information about creating a healthier and safer lifestyle for our family. I realize that I couldn’t change everything overnight. If I were to choose one thing to concetrate on first, what would you recommend?

Dr. Greene

Hi Elizabeth!

It may be easier than you think to make big impact with small changes. My recommendation for the “one thing” is to reduce your family’s exposure to unhealthy chemicals. There are only three routes of exposure to unhealthy chemicals: what goes into the mouth, what goes on the skin and what is inhaled. Although I have a handful of recommendations for each of those areas, I consider these small transitions a critical part of the “one thing.”

What Goes into the Mouth:

The food we eat and the containers they are served and stored in make a huge impact. My Organic RX [’s-organic-rx] lists the top organic choices a family can make to reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals and to keep our environment cleaner.

The list is in order of importance, so start with the most important change and work your way down the list as your budget and food preferences permit. I also recommend every family make the switch to BPA-free food containers, both for storage and microwaving (See Know Your Plastics []).

What Goes on the Skin:

Choosing the right sunscreen can make a big difference to your level of exposure to harmful chemicals. When purchasing sunscreen, select a mineral sunscreen (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) with an SPF of at least 15, preferably greater. Reach for the labels that say “broad-spectrum” – these sunscreens provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays. See more tips for choosing sunscreen here… [], or use the Cosmetics Database to find great products [].

What We Breathe In:

We tend to think of our homes as a safe bubble that protects us from chemicals in the air, but the opposite is true. Our homes trap chemicals emitted from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harsh chemicals, such as the ones in many common cleaning formulas. I recommend making the switch to cleaning products that use all-natural ingredients.

Choose a brand the commits to disclosing all of their ingredients on the label. (Or check out my homemade cleaning recipes here[]). I also love how beautiful green house plants will not only make your home more beautiful but will also filter the indoor air, making the home safer for everyone. Click here for a list of the best air-filtering plants [].


Product Highlight: CoolFlow Pacifier

New product alert! The CoolFlow Pacifier is here!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Dr. Jordan Goldstein, the BornFree Pediatric Dentist who helps us develop our oral line, would like to share some facts with you.

Tips for Cavity Prevention

  • Try and make the brushing time as fun as possible
  • If using a tooth paste without fluoride, pay extra attention for changes in tooth color and structure
  • If your child eats sticky foods, brush afterward, after or at least rinse her/his mouth with water
  • A child’s first visit to the dentist should be made by the first birthday or six months after the first tooth erupts
  • Dental Sealants with no BPA are available today and recommended to prevent decay originating on tooth surfaces
  • The use of pacifier above age 4 or above is likely to cause permanent teeth misalignment
  • New dental techniques available to fill cavities with out drilling are now available.

Enter for a chance to win a pack of CoolFlow Pacifiers by going to our Facebook Fan page (contest ends 2/26).

Dr. Greene Answers Your Questions: Part 2

To celebrate reaching the 1,000 fan mark, Dr. Greene answered three questions posed by our Facebook Fans. I’ll post each question and answer. Yesterday we answered Harmony’s question. Today, Ashtyn!

Dr. Alan Greene


Dr. Greene: Although I would love to only feed our baby organic food and get her the best of everything out there, with the economy the way it is, it is hard to afford these luxury baby items. Could you please suggest which items are worth the extra expenses based on their benefits to nutrition and to baby’s development?

Also, could you please suggest which items will be okay/will do just the same as the as the expensive items for baby? I don’t mind buying pricey items if they will benefit my baby, but some times I wonder if the generic off-brands will do just the same. Thank you!

Dr. Greene

Hi Ashtyn!

First, congratulations on what looks like an adorable 6-month-old — and on your wise choice of BPA/phthalate-free bottles, pacifiers, bowls and spoons.

Beechnut is a reliable brand of baby food — and especially when you choose flavors that are similar to foods your family likes to eat. Part of the goal of baby food is to provide safe, healthy nutrition now. Part is to prepare them to enjoy the healthy food your family likes when the time comes.

As far as the organic question goes, I completely understand your dilemma. We all want the very best for our children, but these days families are cutting back to make ends meet. When I started my Organic Journey [’s-organic-journey], I recognized that not every family could jump right into organic food 100 percent, so I crafted what I consider to be the top 10 (ok, 11) most important organic choices to make for your family’s health[’s-organic-rx].

The top choice I think every family should make is to switch to organic milk[]. Organic baby food comes in at #4[]. One wonderful thing about feeding baby is that she doesn’t eat as much as we do, so the price per meal is fairly low in relation to your overall food budget.

I suggest you try to incorporate some of the most important organic foods from my list into your own diets (potatoes, apples and corn, for example), then share food from your table with baby as she grows (my newest book, Feeding Baby Green[], tells you how). All members of the family will benefit from this transition, and you won’t see much of a bump in your grocery budget.

As for buying name brand baby items versus generics, the secret is in the ingredients and components, not in the name. Look for plastics that are not just BPA free, but free from all xenoestrogens (such as BornFree) and look for natural fabrics for toys and baby items. And stick with food products with ingredients that you can pronounce, without artifical colors or preservatives. These choices will give your little one the best opportunities for a happy, healthy childhood.

Dr. Greene Answers Your Questions

To celebrate reaching the 1,000 fan mark, Dr. Greene answered three questions posed by our Facebook Fans. I’ll post each question and answer. First up, Harmony!

Harmony Wells: What can we do with out medication to help a really bad case of reflex?

Dr. Alan Greene

Dear Harmony,

Gastroesophageal reflux [] is no fun for babies or their parents, and, unfortunately kids — and especially kids under 18 months — can be susceptible to the problem. When we swallow, our food travels down the esophagus, passing through the lower esophageal sphincter that keeps the stomach acids out of the esophagus.

In many babies, the lower esophageal sphincter hasn’t developed enough to stay tightly closed. This is why little babies spit up, and for many, the regurgitation is no big deal. But some kids with a looser-than-average sphincter, a stomach that digests more slowly or a food allergy might have trouble gaining weight and can experience heartburn, irritability, bad breath, excessive cavities, wheezing, chronic cough, pain with eating or recurrent pneumonias. A doctor’s exam may diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD [ ].

Although some may need medicine, and today’s prescriptions are often effective with few side effects, these can be strong medications that should be distributed with discretion. If your baby has acid reflux problems, you might consider the following before trying medication:

1) Try feeding your baby more frequently, decreasing the amount of milk or formula. And some have had success with adding a tablespoon of rice cereal per ounce of formula when feeding by bottle. Some studies say this may decrease both spitting up and crying in babies with reflux, though others have found no effect. And the extra calories might make it tougher for your baby to know when he is sated.

2) Because it’s easier for a baby to keep food out of the esophagus when he is upright, carry your baby upright when he is awake, or place him on his tummy. In the crib, you might elevate the head of the bed or use a Tucker Sling, a foam wedge developed just for this purpose.

3) Ask your pediatrician about food allergies. About 60% of the babies with reflux have a food allergy, perhaps to cow’s milk and soy proteins in formulas. Breastfeeding moms might avoid eating other common food allergy culprits, such as peanuts, cow’s milk, soy and eggs. And, although we haven’t seen studies on the effect of a breastfeeding mother’s consumption of tobacco, coffee or caffeine, I suspect that these may also worsen reflux in babies.

Celebrating 1,000 Facebook Fans

We’re so close to having 1,000 Facebook Fans that we can taste it! When we finally do reach the milestone we have something very special planned. Dr. Greene has agreed to answer three questions from BornFree Fans.

What have you always wanted to know? Ask our favorite green pediatrician your questions about sleep schedules, feeding, nutrition, and more.

Here’s to 1,000!

Show Me Your BornFree Baby

So many of you have shared photos of your little ones using BornFree products on the Facebook Fan page! Thank you. The photos are adorable!

To add your photos to the BornFree Facebook page simply post them on our wall using the “Share” tool. They have to be saved on your computer.

These will automatically be sent to our album. Thank you!

Winner: 2nd Facebook Contest

The winner of the second Facebook contest has been announced!

Ashley S. is the lucky winner of 2 free Silicone Teethers!

The question was:

What is the build-in cavity in the BornFree™ Silicone Teether for?
Answer: The built-in cavity is for anesthetic paste.


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