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WWYD, eco dilema related to state provided services.

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Anyone want to help me with a not-so-serious problem?

Since my FC has arrived I seem to be constantly compromising my eco-choices for "free" services, cheaper stuff, and general convenience items. For example, his FS payments would cover the cost of organic formula and foods but it's pretty hard to say no to WIC formula.

Oh and as for family foods....I still buy some organic and serve plenty of nutritious foods but these days at least half our dinners come from the freezer section.

Cloth diapers...I've had to trade in night time cloth for more sleep since DS doesn't sleep well in a CD and DS always poops in the car! So we've switched to sposies in the car too. I tried a few bio friendly brands but for pete's sake they just don't work as well as the Walmart sposies and cost twice as much! (I pay 10 cents a gallon for water and 20 cents/KWH for electricity so using CD isn't a huge savings over sposies in anycase.)

So anyway...here's my latest moral quandary...he's just been accepted into a WONDERFUL Early HeadStart program (and we desperately need the child care because DH and I have been working opposite shifts on very little sleep for nine months).

HeadStart will provide diapers, formula, and food! However, they are perfectly willing to use both my cloth diapers and any food/formula that I provide. (WIC no longer covers ds's full formula supply so I buy 1/2 month's supply organic) The HeadStart program is free but I'll spend at least $20 per week on gas to transport. Accepting their food/diapers/formula will let me pretty much break even. Our FS subsidy does cover his costs well enough that either option isn't a budget breaker but in these tough times I do feel like I need to be careful with money and save when I can, KWIM?

WWYD? Use their diapers? Use their formula?

Anyway I'm actually grateful that this is the scale of my problems (lol) but still, I just can't decide what to do...
post #2 of 20
I think it depends on your financial situation. If you can reasonably swing paying for the organics, etc., and you feel those are best, then do so. If it would cause financial hardship... take the freebies.

Or at least that's what I'd do.

--K
post #3 of 20
"Use their diapers? Use their formula?"

YES. Your job as a responsible citizen of the world is NOT to take it on the chin because our social services aren't as eco-friendly as they should be. Your job (and mine!) is to support candidates at all level of government who will put the government's buying power squarely behind organic and sustainable producers.

It's not a total pipe dream. There are states where the PRISONS serve organic veggies, because the state has decided to support its organic growers! Change is coming!

... but meanwhile, if you are so stretched financially that you are worried about the $20 on gas and have been functioning for months on too little sleep, PLEASE use the full range of support services being offered and don't feel a speck of guilt about it. I'd be saying the same thing if you the bio mom. Poor is poor. Free is free. I wish that our tax dollars were supplying a better product for your baby.
post #4 of 20
First of all, congratulations for getting an EHS slot for your FS. As a former HS/EHS teacher and education coordinator (as well as an EHS and HS parent.) They are generally excellent programs and you can't beat the maximum 1:4 ratio/maximum 8 children group size for birth to three. I am really surprised tht they are able to let you bring in food, though. That's generally against the federal performance standards. I don't think it matters what the infant eats at school but I wouldn't send special food for a toddler. I think it's important for the children (and teachers) to be eating the same foods (with substitutes for allergies, of course.) The food they provide (while not usually organic) has to meet the CACFP guidelines which are much more stringent than the School Lunch Program for older children.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
"Use their diapers? Use their formula?"

YES. Your job as a responsible citizen of the world is NOT to take it on the chin because our social services aren't as eco-friendly as they should be. Your job (and mine!) is to support candidates at all level of government who will put the government's buying power squarely behind organic and sustainable producers.

It's not a total pipe dream. There are states where the PRISONS serve organic veggies, because the state has decided to support its organic growers! Change is coming!

... but meanwhile, if you are so stretched financially that you are worried about the $20 on gas and have been functioning for months on too little sleep, PLEASE use the full range of support services being offered and don't feel a speck of guilt about it. I'd be saying the same thing if you the bio mom. Poor is poor. Free is free. I wish that our tax dollars were supplying a better product for your baby.
Are you at all familiar with Early Head Start. It's a federal program, but it's usually wonderful. VERY high standards (mandated by Congress.) It's not like they are providing crap. There is NOTHING really wrong with non-organic formula. The children are given a lot of fruit and vegetables and very little sugary baked goods. There is absolutely no reason why they can't provide whole grains and organics when they can afford it. My STBAdaughter just graduated from EHS and is now in HS. She gets a lot of whole grains in her school meals and tons of fresh fruit and vegetables which are sometimes local.
post #6 of 20
I get your dilemma... those eco choices you are making are important, I'd want to try to find a compromise too. Sounds like you can send in the cloth dipes you already have? So you aren't "losing" money except for your laundering and time (which I get aren't nothing!). I'd probably experiment with making that work at first, myself. If it works smoothly enough for them to use your cloth at daycare (and you stick with sposies at night), then try that.

Also, it sounds like you are currently buying a portion of his formula organic. That seems like a good thing for his health, and again experiment with whether you can make the budget work to do part of the formula each month organic. I think it sounds like you want to stick with your principles to some extent, and these things aren't always all or nothing.

Good luck! Hope it's a good situation for all of you. Will be nice not to work opposite shifts, that sucks!
post #7 of 20
Read this really interesting book about the archeology of landfills http://www.amazon.com/Rubbish-Archae...8451474&sr=8-1 and you'll learn that disposable diapers aren't as evil as we think.

Regarding diapers, I'd use whatever is most convenient.

Regarding organic formula. Pesticides bind with the fat in dairy products. I'd stick to organic if you can afford it. I have heard, though don't actually know, that organic in dairy is more important than organic in produce.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post
Regarding organic formula. Pesticides bind with the fat in dairy products. I'd stick to organic if you can afford it. I have heard, though don't actually know, that organic in dairy is more important than organic in produce.
I was just talking with a dairy-farmer-friend the other night and he shared that in the US there is a big difference between organic and not, whereas in Canada the difference isn't that big (BGH not allowed here, already testing for antibiotics in milk). Apparently a cow can be medicated and milked in the US and there is no test/ they are not held out for the duration of their antibiotics. Heresay, of course, but I found it interesting and I deem my source reliable.

OP - life is full of hard decisions, eh? We are just dipping our toes into the idea of fostering right now and your situation/decisions make me realize that even though I've done a lot of thinking and reading and researching, there sure is a lot I haven't considered. I'm glad you're going to get some balance in your life with the babysitting, and I hope that opens you up to being able to be comfortable with whatever eco-choices you end up needing/choosing to make! As far as what I'd do - I think I'd try the CDing and use the formula they have at the center, but of course I'm not in your shoes and haven't been so I don't really KNOW.

Tjej
post #9 of 20
This is interesting. My husband and I havehad an ongoing lighthearted argument about this. He wants to use the WIC provided formula and save the money but I want the better but more expensive organic formula.

Well, I gave in for 8+ months. And the the WIC formula was recalled. So I bought the stuff I wanted. And I put my foot down about it. So hubby went online and found a way to buy it much more cheaply than from Whole Foods.

He's still annoyed about the money, but... He understands. And now that it looks like some scary details are coming out about the recalled formula... We'reboth glad baby is drinking another brand.
post #10 of 20
What formula did your state have as it's WIC brand? In most states, it's Similac or Enfamil. I'm assuming that your state had a different brand in it's contract.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post
What formula did your state have as it's WIC brand? In most states, it's Similac or Enfamil. I'm assuming that your state had a different brand in it's contract.
There was a big Similac recall a few months back I believe. Insect parts in it or something to that effect.
post #12 of 20
I don't have a little one so I'm out of the loop on that, apparently. But, that could happen with organic products, too.

Hey, I really like Earth's Best Toddler Formula. I used it to supplement my toddler's diet when she wasn't gaining weight (that was a pretty contentious thread here.) The OP should use organic formula if they feel strongly about it and can afford it. But if it's not (for her or anyone else,) the non-organic is just fine.
post #13 of 20
Similac had a major recall of virtually all their dry formula. It didn't matter if it was diary based or soy based, if it was powdered, it was recalled. The recall website is here to look up recalled batches: http://recall.similac.com/recall/

They say:
Quote:
The United States Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae, could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract.
Our son had reflux and painful defecation. He'd been to a specialist and everything. They just said, "This happens sometimes," which is true, but when we changed formula brands, it went away! It could just be coincidence, but I don't want to take any chances by going back to Similac just in case.

There's even a lawsuit now alleging that Similac acted irresponsibly and knew about the bug infestation weeks before they recalled the products: http://www.similaclawsuit.com/

I feel like if I'd just gone with my heart and used the brand I wanted to in the first place, I might have spared our baby a lot of pain. Who knows now?
post #14 of 20
I wouldn't worry too much about the diapers. I would use cloth part time if I were in your position, but not feel guilty about using disposibles at night or in the car.

I would think more carefully about the formula. If money were not an issue, I think I would buy organic - but for most families it is at least a concern. I think what you are doing makes sense. If you have extra resources, I might concentrate on getting healthy organic food in your babies diet as she gets older.
post #15 of 20
I'm at a different age level, but going through the same thing. We have a 14 year old, and went from our complete organic diet to a definitely not organic diet because that's not what he's used to and he wasn't eating. Plus it's a lot cheaper. I even went to Walmart. Yes, I did it and I'm not proud, but it happened. Hopefully, as we get into the swing of things and the start up expenses dwindle down (we had to buy a bed, dresser, clothes, put insurance on our second vehicle, which was in storage) we will be able to re-introduce some organic. We do stick with our organic milk though, I won't give that up.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks to all of you who replied, I've had to take soo many convenience short cuts since DS has arrived, I feel really bad. Purchases which were clear-cut with my DDs aren't so clear with DS.

The organic formula is especially tough for me to sort out because many of them contain sucrose and corn syrup as primary ingredients. The two available in my town that don't are Horizon which is $$$ and the Safeway O brand which will still cost me $80 for a 1/2 month supply and as far as I can describer from the labels neither Safeway O or Horizon has as much of the supposedly beneficial additives (DHA/RDA, prebiotics) as Enfamil (the EHS house brand).

I've always wondered if other foster parents face the same dilemma.
post #17 of 20
I am sure I will be facing many of the same issues. I will be cloth diapering, but it is absolutely cheaper and better for the planet for me to do this with my setup. The formula thing is a bridge I will cross when I get to, but I lean towards using formula. We are taking ages 0-3, so it may be a non-issue. One of the things I struggle with is that children 3 and over have to be in a part time preschool, by law. The Head Start here will be free, but is far away and not very good. There is a decent preschool here in town, but it is spendy. Add that decision to the fact that I've never used a day care, and you've got one conflicted mamma!
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tumblewieds View Post
I am sure I will be facing many of the same issues. I will be cloth diapering, but it is absolutely cheaper and better for the planet for me to do this with my setup. The formula thing is a bridge I will cross when I get to, but I lean towards using formula. We are taking ages 0-3, so it may be a non-issue. One of the things I struggle with is that children 3 and over have to be in a part time preschool, by law. The Head Start here will be free, but is far away and not very good. There is a decent preschool here in town, but it is spendy. Add that decision to the fact that I've never used a day care, and you've got one conflicted mamma!
Do you have Early Head Start in your area? It's the component of Head Start for children under three and pregnant moms. There are many new EHS programs this year because of the additional funding from the stimulus package. If you do end up needing child care, I strongly recommend EHS.

I'm going to check with my Texan FP friends. I'm pretty sure that I have at least one who has a preschool-aged foster child who isn't in preschool.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post
Do you have Early Head Start in your area? It's the component of Head Start for children under three and pregnant moms. There are many new EHS programs this year because of the additional funding from the stimulus package. If you do end up needing child care, I strongly recommend EHS.

I'm going to check with my Texan FP friends. I'm pretty sure that I have at least one who has a preschool-aged foster child who isn't in preschool.
I appreciate the feedback, and any information you can give me. As of now, it looks like I may be able to get special permission to count the private homeschool co-op (that has a preschool) as a preschool for any toddlers we may have. I am going to look into the EHS for our area, just so I have my ducks in a row.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tumblewieds View Post
I appreciate the feedback, and any information you can give me. As of now, it looks like I may be able to get special permission to count the private homeschool co-op (that has a preschool) as a preschool for any toddlers we may have. I am going to look into the EHS for our area, just so I have my ducks in a row.
So far, I've heard back from two of my long-time Texas foster (and foster/adoptive) parent friends. Neither one has ever used a child care center or preschool with their foster children nor have they been asked to do so.

I'm still waiting to hear back from one more person.
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