Orgain for Kids

My sister-in-law, who works as the quality administrator at Orgain, occasionally comes home bearing delicious samples from work. But yesterday was a special treat as we visited her at work.

The story behind Orgain is a remarkable one. The company was founded by cancer-survivor and doctor, Andrew Abraham, MD. Unsatisfied with the mass meal supplements on the market, he was determined to create a drink that had less sugar, fewer ‘junky’ ingredients (ie. corn syrup and genetically modified soy), and something organic. 

I loved the modern office interior with its fresh splash of colors  – two ping-pong tables and a kitchen pantry stocked with nutritional snack bars and maple waters for added healthy vibes. As a mom, my eyes went straight to the children’s smoothies, which contains 13g of sugar (much less than the standard 22g of sugar in traditional organic chocolate milk or the 28g of sugar in conventional chocolate milk). The Orgain Kids Protein Smoothie is not vegan, but it is made with grass-fed milk, which makes it better from a health perspective – although as a vegan mom, I do look forward to an exclusively plant-based option. The smoothie contains an organic veggie & fruit blend, which consists of kale, beet, blueberry, and acai. The smoothie is suitable for kids ages 2+ years.

Regarding other key nutritional facts, the smoothie is 200 calories, contains 3g of dietary fiber, and 8g of protein. I actually prefer the Kid’s Protein Smoothie better to the adult version because it doesn’t contain any stevia or sugar alcohol. The shakes come in three delicious flavors: strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla. The smoothie contains an organic veggie & fruit blend, which consists of kale, beet, blueberry, and acai and is suitable for picky-eaters that are 2+ years in age. They definitely won’t be making the “I’m allergic to vegetables” argument for this one.

Tummy Time

If there are any tell-tale signs of an impatient child, I think our Squishy has them all. This is why when we put him down for tummy time before feeding, he goes absolutely nuts. The best way, my husband and I figured, was to incorporate tummy time during his daily activities, as much as possible.

[Above] Squishy doing the classic tummy time where his entire body rests on his stomach – the goal is to get the infant to engage his neck muscles to lift his head and potentially be on all fours.

As you can see, this doesn’t make Squishy happy one bit. So why the tummy time? Since the increase of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), doctors require that parents never leave a baby unattended on his/her stomach – this includes sleeping. Personally, I grew up in an era when it was encouraged to let babies sleep on their stomachs, which aids in early crawling and minimizes the chance of having a flat head. To compensate for the lack of early muscle engagement that babies get on their stomachs, it is encouraged for babies to get 30-60 minutes of tummy time sprinkled throughout the day.

[Above] Football hold. This is an effective way to achieve tummy time on-the-go, from room-to-room. Why waste a single minute right?

[Above] Not really on the tummy, but… this is the surprisingly effective upright hold. My husband gently keeps his hand near baby’s head in case Squishy loses stability. This is a less straining way for babies to build their core neck muscles without the added strain on their neck.

This is little Squishy catching a breath in resting pose tummy time. For this pose, we placed the Boppy or Dockatot to support his stomach and back, so that he can regain composure when he needs the chance. It’s very similar to the skin-to-skin method where you lie on your back and directly place baby on your body. The babies don’t seem to mind it as much – making tummy time more tolerable for all.

Practical Goods

My husband and I love discovering new products that can meet our demand for convenience. So when the time came to purchase goods for Squishy, we researched extensively to find well-made, suitably priced gadgets to suit our alternative lifestyle… I’ve narrowed pared down our list to just a few awesome products that I personally love.

Snap n’ Go Stroller Base

The Snap n’ Go is only about 10 pounds, which makes folding and storing much easier. Special thanks to fellow first-time mom and friend, @a_vegan_esq, who gave me the recommendation. Just a quick FYI – remember to research compatibility with your specific seat before purchasing. Snap n’ Go, $49.95.

Swoop Bags

Swoop is a multi-functional play mat… but it can double as a changing pad, diaper carrier, and storage unit. What I love about Swoop is the water-resistant composition which makes cleanup easy peasy. Not to mention, toddlers who love to roll around the floor can be one step closer to germ-free. Mom’s dream? Yes. SWOOP® Bag, $34.00.

PockIt IDAN Carseat

I wouldn’t put $500 and practical in the same sentence.. so when I found the lightweight GT PockIt IDAN Carseat, I was ecstatic. Not only is the car seat size adjustable, but the compact and sleek construction also makes portability hassle-free. Totally reasonably priced for a big ticket item. PockIt IDAN Carseat, $240.00.

Puj Tub

Puj Foldable Infant Tub

In the early days, we bathed Squishy in a small basin; but eventually, we had to find him a real bathtub. The Puj Flyte Tub and the Puj Soft Infant Tub at our local Babies r’ Us seemed like an ideal solution. The Infant Tub is designed to make storage easier and bathing safer for infants. The flat surface folds into a chair and fits into a standard sink. The cushion prevents any head injuries for babies and clean-up is a breeze. Puj Baby Bathtub (Aqua), $49.99.

Stasher Ziploc Containers

My love for Ziploc bags travels back to elementary school when I used them to port my Polly Pocket dolls around; so imagine my joy when I saw the updated eco-friendly, reusable version of the beloved disposable bag. I mainly use the Stasher Containers to carry my baby wipes when the original packaging has torn. Stasher Silicone Food Bag, $11.99.

Moba Travel Bassinette

As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of the Dockatot – the Moba Travel Bassinette is a similar product, but the frame is made of a silicon material that is lightweight and hypoallergenic. I also love that it can dock into the stand to create a stand alone bassinette (something the Dockatot cannot do). Moba Travel Bassinette, $180.00.

Do you own any of the products listed here? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

On Formula

Our culture tends to stigmatize moms who decide to formula feed. Often times, moms who decide to formula feed are given the impression that they didn’t try their best. Squishy had a moderate case of jaundice and he simply wouldn’t latch. So, after a month of exclusive pumping and failed latch attempts, I felt somewhat deflated and began formula feeding.

As a mostly vegan mom, I found that there were other challenges aside from societal pressure to formula feeding. A very limited number of formula options available for vegans. My husband and I initially chose the ProSobee Baby Formula because it was technically vegan. We chose our preference for soy formula based on a few trials with others – Similac, Mother’s Best, Baby Only. Mother’s Best, while having the cleanest ingredient list, caused severe constipation for Squishy. Similac was too rich and oily.

The Gentlease Baby Formula, an alternative recommended by fellow first-time mom and sister-in-law, was effective in solving the constipation issue, but a short while later, we found ourselves trapped with a new diarrhea issue. When I consulted with my pediatrician, he mentioned that this is something that is, unfortunately, more common with formula babies. This brings me to my next point. It is very true that breastfeeding may less frequently encounter these gastrointestinal issues. Breastmilk is exclusively formulated for the baby that’s been growing inside the womb. This is why doctors and nurses so strongly encourage breastfeeding. BUT formula isn’t poison – it’s a perfectly safe alternative to meet the growing baby’s nutritional needs and a mom shouldn’t be shamed for making that choice (for whatever reason).

I’ve also heard great things about the Meiji Hohoemi Raku-Raku Cube. My friend from Japan used the cubes to supplement while breastfeeding her daughter. Formulated to mimic actual breast milk, the Hohoemi is easy to digest for babies.

If baby’s inconsistent bowel movements continue to ensue, I will give the hohoemi product a try.

In terms of taste, Squishy doesn’t have a strong preference for any particular one. As you can see from the picture he’s just happy when he’s fed.

Skinny Salad

I recently shared the recipe for a Hearty Postpartum Soup with kidney beans to promote protein and breast milk production. Let’s face it though. A bowl of simmering soup on a scorching hot day? No thanks.

So here’s a light, refreshing salad instead. Just like the soup, it uses a ton of seaweed – perfect for nursing moms and moms who are going through epic hair loss. Not to mention, this salad has an optimal nutrient to calorie ratio, which is perfect for weightloss. Seaweed provides a ton of nutrients: calcium, iron, and iodine. We begin the salad with fresh ingredients.

Cherry Tomatoes
Bean Sprouts
White Onion
Wakame Seaweed
Sesame Seeds
Sesame Oil
Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
Sea Salt

Preparation
Soak the wakame seaweed in a bowl of warm water. While the seaweed is soaking, cut the cherry tomatoes lengthwise and onions into thin slices. Rinse the bean sprouts under cold water, then using my half-boil & half-steam method, cook the sprouts. Rinse the sprouts and seaweed respectively with cool water until the water turns clear. Squeeze out the excess water when done.

Simple Assembly
Assemble the salad in a medium bowl to prevent the salad from spilling over. Add the seaweed, sprouts, onion slices, and tomatoes to the bowl. Add in two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon of sesame oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Mix together using hands or utensils.

What I love about this salad is that you can easily incorporate or remove ingredients as you wish. Some of my favorite things to include: cucumber, steamed bok choy, mung beans, alfalfa sprouts, kimchi, sprouted tofu. Garnish the salad with the desired amount of sesame seeds. Serve the salad chilled and enjoy with a green juice!