Organic Savings: Get Thee to Target Today

October 18th, 2008

Big Boy asks to go to Target so often that now 23-month-old Baby Boo is saying, “Wanna go Target!” I’m a goner. In addition to all this pressure on the home front, I was working hard this week on the launch of my client Mom Made Food’s kid’s organic line at SuperTargets nationwide.

So of course we ended up there yesterday, and I’ve got some great savings to share from Target’s in-house organic brand, Archer Farms. Target is running a nationwide sale through today (Saturday) on all Archer Farms products – 15% off a line that is already value priced.

I’ve posted here before about how the half gallons of Archer Farms organic milk are the Holy Grail for cheap organic milk by the half gallon. Can you believe they’re on sale for $2.92 per half gallon? And if you drink soymilk, you’re really in luck. You can nab a half gallon of Archer Farms organic soymilk for just $2.28. I usually refuse Big Boy’s pleas for chocolate milk, but at that price, I got him some as a special treat.

Now some folks dispute the notion that you need to buy organic for packaged or processed foods. Sure, we should all eat lots of fresh, whole foods, but sometimes it just makes sense to take advantage of the convenience of processed or packaged foods. And in those situations, whenever I can, I opt for products with the USDA organic seal, because it means that my children will be eating foods with no transfats, no artificial colors, no artifical preservatives, and no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Many parents don’t realize that nearly all of today’s conventional packaged foods contain GMOs, and that GMOs have been banned in places like Europe and Japan. What’s more, in the United States, companies are not required to disclose the existence of GMOs in their products.

That’s why I stocked up on Archer Farms organic flaxseed and homestyle waffles– on sale for $1.86 per package and Archer Farms organic crackers (seasalt, multigrain, rye and flax, multiseed, and Italian herb) on sale for $2.11 per package.

I tend to stay away from over sugared items – in my book, organic cane juice is just sugar, thank you very much. But for those of you with kids whose teeth can withstand “fruit leather” or roll-ups, you might want to check out the Archer Farms organic fruit strips at $2.99 per 10 count box of organic raspberry, organic strawberry, organic apricot, organic pomengranate, organic wildberry, and organic tropical fruit.

And before you go? Print out these coupons for $1 off Archer Farms juice and cookies. The coupons don’t specify if they apply to the organic varieties, but it’s worth trying.  And if you arrive and the shelves are bare? Remember you can get rain checks on all advertised sale items.

Happy Shopping! Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have any shopping tips to share? Please leave a comment!


Copyright OrganicMania 2008

10 Tips for Raising Healthy Eaters – Even Away from Home

January 28th, 2008

Last week this comment was left on OrganicMania: “We have a 4 year old who has been raised without any [ok, without much] junky food. Now as we enter the mainstream I am worried about how to maintain our standards. Would like to start a dialog about this.”

I can really empathize with MA, who left the comment. Any parent can relate, especially those of use who have had to answer questions like, “How come Jack gets to drink soda at dinner and I don’t?” or “Why can’t I have Cap’n Crunch for breakfast like at Dylan’s house?”

It’s relatively easy to control a child’s nutrition when they’re still at home, but I’ve found that once they leave the nest, whether it’s for a childcare setting, preschool, kindergarten, or even for neighborhood playdates, all bets are off. The point is you really can’t control what goes into their little mouths – you can only guide and encourage. Still, some parents may find some of the following ten tips useful while struggling to raise healthy eaters in our supersized, fast food, hydrogenated oil culture.

1. Talk to your children at a very early age (2 is ideal) about healthy food choices. Outings to the grocery store are a great way to start the conversation. Make it fun. Teach them about what’s in food – everything from chemicals, preservatives, and sugar in processed foods to vitamins and minerals in produce.

2. Reinforce these discussions with appropriate media choices. There is a cute Barney song on the “Lets go to the Farm” DVD that talks about healthy food choices. You can easily find other examples in plenty of books and PBS fare.

3. At about age 3, you can explain how “kid marketing” works. Make it a game. My son walks through the grocery store cereal aisle pointing out all the “kid marketing.” Again, make it fun and exaggerate – kids love that. Say, “Can you believe people eat SUGAR for BREAKFAST?” “Can you believe some grown-ups think they can trick kids into actually eating this JUNK? Yuck!!”

4. Associate with like-minded parents. Bring up the food issue pro-actively and try to set standards for playdate snacks. Be specific. One person’s “healthy” does not always equal another person’s idea of “healthy.”

5. Choose preschools and day care providers carefully. Talk about snack policies in detail. Even if you have a nanny come to your home, you may need to have this conversation. I know one parent who bought all organic foods only to find that they weren’t being eaten because her nanny was bringing white bread, gummy bear snacks, and crackers with hydrogenated oils for her children to eat as “special treats.”

6. The public schools are a mess, for the most part. Lobby for better food in the public schools. Talk to your school board and your local elected officials.

7. Don’t be a zealot. If you put all junk food off limit all the time, guess what your kids will crave? The forbidden fruit! There are certain times when some crappy food is just what the doctor ordered … cotton candy at the fair, Halloween candy, French Fries on the boardwalk, or a stop at McDonald’s as a break from a long car trip (only when the better alternatives described in this post are not available).

8. Those exceptions aside, don’t make a habit of rewarding your kids with crappy food.

9. Don’t leave the house without some healthy snacks. It never fails…your child will get hungry when there is nothing around but a vending machine! And bring more than you think you’ll need…so that you can be the parent with the “treats.” For the longest time, I supplied the neighborhood kids with “Just Peas,” which everyone thought was great until they discovered Gummy Bear snacks.

10. Look at close replacements to the “cool” foods that the other kids are eating. Some may snicker at the new organic processed foods, but I’d rather have my child eating preservative-free organic chips than the traditional chemical, GMO, and preservative-laden bags of crap.

— Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2008