It seems a career requisite now for actresses to pick up a hyphen when they have kids. You know what I mean? Actress-lifestyle guru, actress-designer, actress-cookbook author. And to me it makes sense. Don't most women you know realize their full multi-tasking potential upon having a baby? It's when many of the women I know in digital media started blogging. Yes, you want the flexibility of your own business, but there's also something new that you care about a lot. When Jessica Alba and her partner in The Honest Company, Christopher Gavigan, came through Toronto to launch their brand in Canada, the passion they both feel for their line and their families was so clear.
In fact, there was a bittersweet moment during the presentation they made to a group of parenting editors and bloggers. In introducing The Honest Company to Canada (shipping to us now!) they showed a beautifully produced video explaining how eco-friendly line of baby, body and home cleaning products was created. Both Alba and Gavigan appear in it along with their adorable children. At the end, Gavigan announced, "And now I really need to go home!" (psst: keep reading to find out about the prize!)
Alba met Gavigan at the launch for his excellent book, Healthy Child Healthy World; Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home. 7-months pregnant with her first child, Alba was beginning to worry about what kind of environment she'd be bringing her child into — and not just the air we breathe when we're out in the world but the immediate environment created by our homes and the products we use on our bodies. The two decided to join forces to create a line of safe products that parents could feel good about using. When I asked Gavigan what he thought consumers didn't know about products they're buying he said that there's a misconception that if a product is available for sale by the public that it must be okay. Or at least safe. Sadly, not so.
I've tried a few of the products from the line and so far I've liked them all. My kids love the children's toothpaste and the Healing Balm has done wonders for the rash that was covering my son's tush last week. I look forward to trying more but in the meantime maybe one of you can tell me how you like the line? Because one lovely (and lucky) Canadian reader is going to win a Bath Time Collection! Made up of a shampoo and body wash, a body lotion, a bubble bath and a body oil, it's a great way to get to know the line. Sign up for our newsletter for a chance to win!!
We loved everything Alba had to say about getting her kids involved in the kitchen, helping to guide them toward more adventurous choices. But we really fell in love with her when she answered another reporter's question about how she juggles family and work: she shook her head and said, "It's haaaaaard." Amen.
Sweet Potato Chronicles: The Honest Company focuses on bringing healthy options home to parents. What do you think many parents don't realize about many body/cleaning products they're using at home?
Jessica Alba: When I was pregnant with my first daughter Honor, I had a terrible allergic reaction to the THE “baby-safe” detergent that my friends and family had used — my mom even recommended it. But I knew it couldn’t be good for my baby if it made me break out in a rash. So, I set out to educate myself. I read the book Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home by Christopher Gavigan and scoured the Internet, only to discover that there are toxic chemicals in everyday products like baby shampoo, diapers, home furnishings, and household cleaners. Then I bought the supposedly natural alternatives only to get home and find out those ecodiapers still had the ingredients in them I was trying to avoid. Needless to say, I was shocked! And I think many parents find themselves in this same situation — they don’t know that the basics we use often contain untested or unregulated chemicals or now have vastly different formulations than the products they remember from childhood. Why would we when these items are marketed as being the “best” for our homes? So, I created The Honest Company because my mission was to make healthy, non-toxic products accessible to children and families everywhere — all from one trusted source.
SPC: Which Honest Company product is your daughters' favourite?
SPC: What's your earliest food memory?
SPC: How did you learn to cook?
SPC: How do you deal with pickiness in your daughters?
JA: Although it’s impossible to avoid picky eating when you have young children, I tried to influence the girls’ palettes from an early age so they developed a taste for more savory foods. I’d often incorporate spices or flavors that adults typically eat in their baby foods, so they didn’t gravitate toward sweeter things. My trick was blending things like squash, cauliflower, and banana or green lentils and broccoli. Now that they’re older, I prepare them the same meals that my husband Cash and I eat for dinner. Giving them appropriate versions of our meals has encouraged them to try new foods.
JA: We focus on making healthy choices as a family. By emphasizing that healthy eating is fun and taking classes like karate and yoga, I think the girls learn about strength and well-being instead of internalizing messages about appearances.
SPC: What do your kids turn their noses up at that you wish they'd eat?