There's a common misconception that “going green" is hard. It's expensive. It's time consuming. And your kids will hate it. Maggie Jones Patton is out to prove otherwise. As the co-founder of Bitsy's Brainfood, she's become a cult-favorite of toddlers and moms alike, by providing delicious cookies, snacks and cereal that are USDA Organic and made with no GMOs, plus packed with veggies, vitamins and minerals (and made in a peanut-free bakery!).
Soon Bitsy's Brainfood will have more than a cult-following; the company's joined the very impressive ranks in Target's Made to Matter program, a carefully curated collection of natural, organic and sustainable products from 20 brands ranging from The Honest Co. to Tom's of Maine. Target's Made to Matter program makes “going green" a whole lot easier, more accessible and more affordable, which is what Maggie set out to do when she launched her brand in 2012. “My business partner Alex and I always wanted Bitsy's to be a brand that did more than just make healthy products for healthy people. We love how this program has introduced our products to so many new families around the country."
Maggie's big year includes more than Bitsy's inclusion in Made to Matter, though. She's also pregnant with Baby #3! Below, Maggie shares some of her healthy picks -- and cravings! -- during pregnancy, and curates a from some of her favorite organic and sustainable Made to Matter brands.
What does living a healthy/green life mean to you?
Personally, I try to follow a policy of don't stress; do your best with most everything in life these days. I'm not overly rigid, but I do try to be as healthy and green as possible. This includes everything from our cleaning products to our food.
At home, we try to choose cleaning products without harmful chemicals. And there are so many brands that I love. I buy an assortment that includes loads of great stuff from Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, Method, to name a few. When it comes to food, I shop organic and non-GMO as much as possible and avoid food with artificial colors. I try too to stick with seasonal produce and products that are low in sugar, when buying packaged food.
One of the best switches that I've made has been with personal care products. I've fallen in love with Pacifica natural make-up for myself! I'm also a huge fan of Tom's of Maine. There are some super important things to be aware of while pregnant – like the aluminum in antiperspirant is not good for you or baby – so Tom's of Maine has some great natural alternatives. I've also been using Shea Moisture's Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Lotion on my baby bump and stretching skin.
Above all, healthy green living at my house means getting outside in fresh air to play or walk! I learned recently that indoor air is typically more polluted than outdoor air, even in industrialized cities! It really does feel good to just crack the window a little, even in NYC.
Why are you excited to be part of the Made to Matter program?
Being part of this program was always one of our dreams for Bitsy. Target's Made to Matter program has had proven success in joining purpose-driven brands to make better-for-you product innovation accessible for all. Being in the company of the amazing brands and entrepreneurs through Made to Matter also has been amazing. The food business is honestly pretty tough, and I think surviving generally means never giving up. Being part of this group and having the support of so many great entrepreneurs and Target has truly been inspiring.
How is this program changing the consumer landscape for healthy/nontoxic products?
The Made to Matter collection represents not only a great selection of innovative products, but also brings together some of the most creative and passionate entrepreneurs together in one room. The program challenges us to think collectively about how we can come together to build a healthier world. The power of Made to Matter is not only in making more healthy/non-toxic products accessible, but is also in the unique opportunity to collaborate around common goals to improve health and wellness.
Check out Maggie's 10 Pregnancy Picks and win them all in our * below!
1. Suja's Raspberry Pressed Probiotic Water. Everyone knows that pregnancy thirst is real, but healthy pregnancy beverage choices are limited. This is my serious guilt-free pregnancy FAVE!! I am OBSESSED with Suja's Raspberry Pressed Probiotic Water. It's so light and refreshing and one bottle only has 1 gram of sugar.
2. Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. I love chocolate. And with chasing two little ones, being part of a start-up and pregnancy – sometimes I just really need an afternoon pick me up! And I cannot resist Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. These are one craving that I really don't mind indulging. They are so good—and USDA Organic, too!
3. Tom's of Maine Long Lasting Lavender Deodorant. Using a natural deodorant is really important to me, especially during pregnancy. I use Tom's of Maine Long Lasting Lavender Deodorant, which lives up to its name by working all day and smelling great too.
4. Mrs. Meyer's Hand Soaps. In order to keep germs at bay during this pregnancy (especially during winter with two preschool-aged kids), we do a TON of hand washing. Mrs. Meyer's Hand Soaps are a must-have. I'm a fan of the Basil scent, and I love that it's paraben-free.
Hospital Bag Must-Haves
5. Burt's Bees Coconut Pear Cause Balm. You have got to have a good lip balm during labor. It's just true. Your lips just get so dry with all the breathing – the hee- hee- ho's. One of my must-haves is Burt's Bees Lip Balm. The Coconut Pear Cause Balm is two (more like seven) thumbs- up. It smells delicious, does the job and is a big part of Burt's Bees campaign to Bring Back the Bees!
6. Yes To Cucumbers Facial Wipes. An experienced mom friend gave me her hospital bag list before my first – and at the top were facial wipes. Now these are at the top of mine: it's just so nice to be able to wipe and wash your face with something so clean and fresh. I love the Yes To Cucumbers Facial Wipes.
7. Bitsy's Smart Crackers. I always throw healthy snacks into my bag – not just for me, but for my husband and when my big kids come visit me at the hospital. I'll bring some of our Bitsy's Smart Crackers because they're a great organic snack we all love! They have a ½ serving of vegetables in them per serving and are easy and convenient to pack.
8. Babyganics Natural Wool Dryer Balls. I've always been a fan of Babyganics (their hand sanitizer is always in my bag). I just started getting out all the baby clothes, sheets, and swaddles and started some serious washing. I've been using the new Babyganics Natural Wool Dryer Balls. They're AWESOME and a great eco-friendly alternative to fabric softeners. They also reduce drying time by 25%...Less time doing laundry. Yes please.
9. The Honest Company's Overnight Diapers. The Honest Company's diapers were a favorite when my daughter was little and I'm so excited to use their new Overnight Diapers with the new baby. They're designed to be hypoallergenic, so they're gentle, safe, and not to mention, super adorable with the Sleepy Sheep print!
10. Plum Organics Grow Well Baby Food. Plum Organics is a brand I've trusted with all of my babies. Their new Grow Well line of organic baby food pouches contain DHA, which is great for babies and also for pregnant moms! (If you haven't already found yourself eating a pouch of baby food, believe me – there likely will come a day when you do!)
One lucky winner will win over $250 worth of prizes* from the 10 brands mentioned in this post! ENTER BELOW.
Original photography by Stylish & Hip Kids for Well Rounded NY.
*This giveaway is not sponsored or affiliated with Target.