Before I had my babies, I didn’t give much thought to what food came in, what I cooked it in or what I ate it from. In fact I was less concerned about food in general and more worried about which champagne or wine I would drink and if I had enough (but that’s a different story)!

Having my precious angels enter the world changed me in many ways and one of these was to worry more about what I was putting into them.

We are unfortunately bombarded with unavoidable chemicals, toxins and poisons and while there are many we can’t control, in our own homes we can create a healthy living environment for our families. It’s unreasonable to think we’ll be able to totally eradicate all plastic from our lives but as mamas we can, and should make a stand to do what we can for our children. Every little helps.

Plastics (especially those used in ‘take and toss’ items like coffee cups, straws and plastic bags) have a massively detrimental impact on the environment, marine life and our own health. Just small changes can have a big impact. You will have a bunch of plastic stuff in your kitchen right now that seems wasteful to just toss but being aware for future purchases will make a big difference.

Plastic food packaging

a) Use your own shopping bags when buying groceries
b) Shop at farmers markets for produce and butchers for organic, ethically raised, grass fed meat.
c) Purchase dried goods from bulk bin shops (they have them now in some grocery stores).
d) Try to eat more wholefoods and less processed and packaged foods.

Food storage at home

a) Recycle jars and bottles or use Pyrex containers (even though the lids are plastic) for leftovers and storage. Make sure to leave about 2.5cm of space at the top of jars and Pyrex if freezing.
b) Invest in a stainless steel ice cube tray as they’re great for ice and for freezing stock in small batches to use in cooking.
c) Try to cut down on plastic film and plastic sandwich bags by using glass storage for leftovers. Keep leafy greens fresh by wrapping in a damp tea towel to store in veggie compartment.

Cooking and food prep

a) Ditch Teflon coated pans and bakeware. While there is debate about whether chemicals are released from Teflon while cooking, the fact that the chemical in Teflon has been linked to cancer is enough for me to avoid this kitchen item. There are green/eco companies making non-stick pans or try cast iron and enamel lined cast iron like Le Creuset.
b) For baking in the oven you can use glass bakeware, ceramic, stoneware and stainless steel trays and dishes.

Leaving the house

a) Use glass or stainless steel water bottles for you and your family.
b) Send the kids off with any of the green/eco options available for lunchboxes, snack and sandwich bags.
c) Take your own lunch in a stainless steel thermos, Pyrex container or pinch one of the kids’ lunch boxes.

What you eat from

a) If your babies and kids are eating from plastic bowls, plates and cutlery replace all of these items with stainless steel or bamboo alternatives. There are so many beautiful products available these days.

Cleaning products

a) Opt for natural, chemical free cleaners or better yet, make your own. The best ingredients are often the simplest. Try vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and essential oils.
b) Replace toxic dishwashing liquid, dishwasher tabs, powders or gels with chemical free alternatives. If you’re washing the items you eat your food from in chemicals, you’re also consuming the chemicals with your next meal!