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Independent health store advice for parents with new babies

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health store can offer a wealth of expertise. This month we talk to Roxana Chirita, General Manager of the Alara Health Shop in London

Words: Bronwyn Hardy

Here at Alara, we advocate brands that respect the skin of your baby. We recommend products that are made of natural ingredients such as bamboo, and do not contain harsh chemicals and chlorine. Also, those that do not impact heavily on the environment and are manufactured in ways that minimise landfill waste. We champion products that sustain forests. Biodegradable is best, too (less greenhouse gas!)

Nappy changing and the planet

We recommend Cheeky Panda and Beaming Baby. These nappies are biodegradable and free from chlorine bleach and other chemical nasties. In terms of wipes, once again Cheeky Panda are great. They are made from 99 per cent water, 1 per cent aloe juice and fruit extract with a teeny-weeny trace of food preservatives. And they are biodegradable! Beaming Baby wipes only use certified organic plant ingredients, so your baby will avoid the herbicide and insecticide residues found in standard wipes. By stripping out parabens, alcohol, detergents and chlorine, which are often found in other wipes, your baby will avoid these potential health hazards. The wipes are also 100 per cent biodegradable.

Dr Hauschka Silk Body powder, talc free, is a great alternative to the traditional baby powder. Moogoo and Hope’s Relief have some excellent products for babies, too, especially for those who suffer from skin sensitivity.

Healthy options that meet mum and dad’s needs

A good multivitamin supplement, made from natural sources, can be helpful when trying to cope with low energy levels brought on by sleepless nights. These will maintain the intake of essential fatty acids, DHA, vitamin D, B vitamins and folate among other nutrients. Nursing teas are great (to support breastfeeding) and a probiotic for mum and baby are options to consider.

When time-poor parents need a quick meal, we recommend fruit and vegetable smoothies with a superfood supplement – add a teaspoon and you will get all your nutrients. These are tasty, easy to make and you can have them on the go. Healthy snack bars will give you a boost – we stock brands full of vegetables, proteins and probiotics.

Aromatherapy products, such as essential oils, bath products (body washes, bath salts, body oils) and pillow mists encourage relaxation. Magnesium bath salts can help with stress levels and to soothe tired muscles.

Other eco-friendly tips

Natural household products (like washing-up liquid and laundry liquid) should be considered too. Bio D has an amazing range of natural, biodegradable products. It’s a UK brand and is ethically sound, safe to use and has minimal environmental impact.

In terms of skincare, Weleda’s baby range offers a superb selection of products made of 100 per cent natural ingredients. Badger makes a great sunscreen that is made from 98 per cent organic ingredients and is water resistant.

And as your baby starts to grow…

When your baby starts eating solids, try Organix. They make breakfast products, like porridge and muesli, and also a range of organic soft oaty bars. Their huge selection of snacks are super tasty and contain all sorts of vegetables for your growing little person.

For any queries, pop into Alara. We have a free nutritionist who works five days a week here who can always offer advice.

Alara Health Shop

58-60 Marchmont Street, London WC1N 1AB

Alara Health Store was founded in 1979 and is now part of the Well Natural group of health stores. Alara believes that the secret to good health is for the individual to assume responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, and to fully understand their choices.

With this in mind they strive to bring their customers the best quality natural products that the UK has to offer. The store aims to provide information, lifestyle and nutritional goods for optimum wellness and has a wide selection of top brand natural products at great prices; products that cover the whole spectrum of health, fitness and wellbeing.

To contact the store call 020 7837 1172 or visit

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