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'Green Mama' blogger advises parents to worry smarter, not less

02/24/2015 02:55 EST | Updated 04/26/2015 05:59 EDT
Manda Aufochs Gillespie knows parents often have tonnes to worry about, but instead of telling each not to worry, she's encouraging parents to worry smarter.  

Aufochs Gillespie, a mother, blogger and author of Green Mama: Giving Your Child a Healthy Start and Greener Future, says many parents have become more environmentally-conscious. They are concerned about pervasive toxins and household chemicals and how they can impact a child's health, but when they voice their concerns, many are told not to stress themselves out over such matters.

"I can't stand it when people say, well, just don't worry about it … just don't worry so much, then you won't be so stressed out, then your baby will sleep through the night," she said in an interview with North by Northwest's Sheryl MacKay. "Who cares more about the future — having a future that is a beautiful, wonderful, green place — than a parent, a new parent?"

Making healthy choices for your children can be overwhelming in a world where parents are frequently bombarded with information, but raising healthier kids in a greener environment is possible if parents just worry smarter, Gillespie insists.

For example, "new babies absorb 90 per cent just about of what is put on their skin into their bodies," she said. "We're talking heavy metals, formaldehyde, perfumes. This can be like, 'Oh my gosh, that's really scary. Now, I'm really freaked out.'"

Even so, Gillespie says parents could worry smarter by trusting their own judgment first.

"If you look at the ingredients list, and you're like, 'I don't know what any of those things mean, I cannot pronounce them, I definitely would not eat them,' don't put them on your baby's skin," she said. "Just do what's going to make you worry less and then you can start doing more of the research afterwards of why you did it."

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