Knowing what is in the products we use

February 24, 2016

It’s amazing to me what is in some of the products we use.  Especially since having a child, I make sure to look at the ingredients whenever I buy a new product.  Recently, though, my husband discovered that a product we’ve been using for years changed their ingredients without telling customers.  Does this mean we have to look at the ingredients list EVERY time we buy a product?  That’s pretty impossible, but I guess I’ll be doing spot checks every so often now on the items I buy regularly.

This post contains only a list of products I have personally used.  Feel free to post about your own great or terrible product findings in the comments.  I also want to mention that I know fresh foods are best…real fruit, home made smoothies, etc.  But sometimes a mom just doesn’t have time for that.  🙂


Happy Baby is a brand we use a lot, and I like that their ingredient list is all items that I recognize and can pronounce. As I mentioned above, they recently began changing their ingredients to include more white rice and less brown.  Is it because of the findings that brown rice has more arsenic than white?  I don’t know, but here’s a consumer reports article from a few years ago about arsenic levels in rice: How much arsenic is in your rice? 

  • Happy Baby cereal was one of my daughter’s first foods, and she still eats the multi-grain baby cereal every morning for breakfast (at the age of 2).
  • Happy Baby puffs are another favorite.  My daughter likes the strawberry beet best.  These used to come in single flavors, which I preferred, since my daughter really loved the apple, but is not such a fan of the apple broccoli.
  • Happy Baby rice cakes another good snack.  My daughter likes the apple.
  • Happy Baby yogis (yogurt snacks).  My daughter loved these, but they were a one-time buy because of added sugar.

Earth’s Best

  • Organic Fruit Yogurt SmoothieMy daughter can’t get enough of these.  She could eat literally a dozen a day, and I love the ingredients, just organic fruit and yogurt.  She pretty much loves all the flavors: strawberry banana, peach banana, pear mango, mixed berry…

Little Duck Organics

  • Tiny Fruits.  What we love about these are that they are simply freeze dried fruits, with no added sugar or any other ingredients.   My only complaint is that they are combo packs, and my daughter will often pick out the ones she wants and make a mess of the pieces she doesn’t want.  For example, one package will contain pineapple, apple, and peas, and sometimes she just wants the apple pieces.
  • Tiny Yogurts.  Another favorite, and these, unlike the above, are blended, so each piece tastes the same.  This avoids my daughter picking out different pieces.  And you’ll amaze friends and family when your toddler asks for “mango goji.”  I don’t even know what goji is (or does WordPress spellcheck, apparently!)  Okay, so it’s a berry.

Milk products

  • Organic Valley Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
  • 365 organic milk.  We buy this because it is not ultra-pasteurized.  Read more about why this process is not ideal here.


I get asked a lot about this.  Moms saying the formula they are using makes their kid gassy or irritable, or moms who nurse, but want something natural to supplement with when necessary.  The endless samples I got of Enfamil and Similac were so tempting, but one look at the ingredients and I decided to look elsewhere.

We ended up with Hipp Organic, which I used to buy on Amazon, but seems they may no longer carry it.  The only negative to this formula is that it isn’t sold in the US, so we ordered from the UK and had to make sure we had a several-month supply at all times.  Not the easiest thing to do when you have a baby.  At times when we ran short before our order arrived, we would make do with the best that the US has to offer: Baby’s Only.

Vitamins and Medicine:

My daughter gets a scoop of Dr. Fuhrman’s pixie vites vitamin in her oatmeal every morning.

We generally avoid medicine, but love Hylands cold and cough.  I didn’t find that their baby medicines really worked, but their cold and cough medicine “4 kids” has been great.  And it’s all natural ingredients.

Lotion and Body Wash:

I grew up with Johnson and Johnson products, so naturally bought it for my own baby girl.  My husband was disgusted when he read the ingredients, which include many items I can’t pronounce, and of course, “Red 33,” which always amazes me.  Do people really buy lotion for the color?  Just today I heard about a victim of ovarian cancer winning a lawsuit from J&J: NBC News.

I next tried Aveeno Baby, which also has too many chemical ingredients for my liking.  Next, we moved on to Mild by Nature, which I believe is very good, but the lotion gives my daughter a rash when used on her face.  We’ll continue to use their all-in-one shampoo and body wash, but have switched to Shea Moisture Baby Healing Body Lotion.  The whole family is now using this “baby” lotion!

A final note:

The areas I wrote about above are those where I feel it’s important to buy organic/natural.  I am somewhat careful about wipes (we use seventh generation) and detergent (dreft), but didn’t care as much about these items, diapers, or other things that don’t really get absorbed into the body.

But, as always, these are just my thoughts, and I hope they help you in some way!




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