Thursday, February 16, 2012

Raising Baby Green

Seattle baby guru Ann Keppler has mentioned Dr. Alan Greene, a pediatrician at Stanford, a few times during her Birth and Beyond workshops and I decided to check out his books, Raising Baby Green and Feeding Baby Green.  They had a few good nuggets of information I want to remember for future reference.

Our wonderful neighbors recently moved which means we no longer have access to a lawnmower.  Dr. Greene had some good suggestions for baby-friendly lawn alternatives (more ideas are found here:
- Baby's tears (soleirolia soleirolii): It has small leaves, and tiny white flowers in the summer.  It prefers shade a moderate moisture, and will die back during the winter in colder regions.
- Irish moss (sagina subulata): Its tufts of slender stems form a velvety soft green carpet, and has small white flowers in the spring.
- Blue star creeper (isotoma): forms a flat ground cover and blooms with blue flowers from spring to frost.  It's easy to grow and maintain.

I absolutely don't have a green thumb, but I always aspire to more plants (if only to replace the ones I've killed).  Dr. Greene gave a list of the top ten air-filtering plants (as found by a NASA study - these are most effective at removing formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air):
chinese evergreen
- bamboo palm
- chinese evergreen
- english ivy
- gerbera daisy
- janet craig
- marginata
- mass cane/corn plant
- mother-in-law's tongue
- pot mum
- peace lily

Dr. Greene included a biodiversity checklist in Feeding Baby Green to make sure your family's diet is varied enough:
1. Mushrooms
2.  Amaranths: beet, buckwheat, quinoa, spinach, swiss chard
3.  Umbrellifers: carrot, celery, cilantro, parsnip
4.  Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chinese cabbage
5.  Bromeliad: pineapple
6.  Composites: artichoke, lettuce
7.  Bindweeds: sweet potato, water spinach
8.  Gourds: cantaloupe, cucumber, squash, watermelon
9.  Heath: blueberry
10. Legumes: black beans, chickpeas, peas, lentils, peanuts
11. Lilies: asparagus, garlic, onion, shallots
12. Woody: bananas, plantains
13. Sesames
14. True grasses: brown rice, corn, oats, wheat
15. Rosy plants: almond, apple, apricot, blackberry, peach, pear, strawberry
16. Citrus: grapefruit, lemon, orange
17. Nightshades: eggplant, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes
18. Grapes
19. Laurels: avocados, cinnamon
20. Myrtles: allspice, cloves, guava
21. Loosestifes: pomengranate

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