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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Modern Family Expo Overview Part 2

This past Sunday I attended the Modern Family Expo, an event focused on promoting healthy and eco- friendly options for families. The organizers did a great job coordinating a variety of vendors offering natural and health- conscious products and services; the businesses ranged from local, small scale operations to national and international companies. In order to give the amazing businesses and individuals I met the attention they deserve, I have broken up my coverage of the event into two posts. You can view my first post highlighting the event sponsors here

The entry to the vendor and speaker areas & the $10,000 worth of swag up for gabs.

I did my best to meet as many of the vendors as possible. Those I spoke to I have organized below, so you can come back and go through them as you have time. These amazing businesses- many of them founded and based right here in Metro Vancouver- are worth supporting, and I hope you will check them out. For the complete list of vendors from the Modern Family Expo, click here

Health & Wellness
From Tummy to Mummy
As a Certified Birth Doula and Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, Kate Minder helps families transition into life with a newborn. If you're unsure about the idea of placenta encapsulation, the health benefits may change your mind. Kate is a lovely lady who I'm proud to have featured (click here to view). If you're considering your options for a natural birth experience, From Tummy to Mummy can help you achieve your goal.

Leap! Therapy for Kids
Leap!'s goal is to give children the confidence and skills they need to be successful and offers comprehensive therapy services for kids from infancy through the teen years. Programs include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech language therapy, and dietician services. Individual and group programs available. 

With the help of Dietician Kristen Yarker, parents can teach their children to try new foods without hassle and turn picky eaters into "food confident kids". If you're trying to get your child(ren) to be better eaters, Kristen can help; 5% of each in- home session is donated to Breakfast for Learning, a non- profit organization that helps make healthy options available to kids in school food programs.

Free from preservatives, added sugar, and artificial flavours, Vega One supplements are available in shake powder and bar form. A source of a variety of nutrients including protein, probiotics, omega-3s, and antioxidants, this is a great option for those seeking allergy- friendly health options. Gluten free, dairy free, and soy free.

A local franchise offering pre and postnatal fitness for ladies with kids. All franchisees/ instructors are Certified Fitness Instructors and/ or Personal Trainers with additional certification in pre and postnatal fitness instruction. 

Specializing in paediatric occupational therapy, Sleep Dreams addresses concerns such as sleep, feeding, and cognitive/ motor development. Operated by a team of Registered Occupational Therapists, the company evaluates sleep concerns and the effect on behaviour to help families achieve a better night's sleep. Because staff are registered occupational therapists many extended health care plans cover the cost of consultation.

Based in France, Boiron offers homeopathic alternatives to traditional medicine. With products for the whole family including cold/ cough/ flu medicine for infants, children, and adults, Boiron products are great if you're looking for a natural choice. (I have used their teething drops and mentioned them in my post about teething here).

In support of mothers providing the nutritional benefits of breast milk to their babies, Medela makes products such as breast pumps and bottles for nursing women. In addition, the company offers support and information to help make breast feeding and breast milk feeding as simple as possible. 

Fun For Kids

Founded by local moms when one of their daughters was diagnosed with celiac disease and had to wear gloves to participate in crafts, Giggles Fun Dough is an allergy friendly play dough. Free from a variety of allergens including gluten and soy (to view the whole list, click here) and containing no artificial dyes or perfumes, this is a natural alternative to the mass- produced variety. Added bonus: you're supporting local mompreneurs when you buy it!

Another great local business with an inspiring story. When Joey Simon delivered her baby boy at 26 weeks, she and her husband were warned he may suffer from developmental issues due to his premature birth. In an effort to help her son, Joey and her husband, both artists, encouraged their son to develop a love for art. When other parents started asking Joey if she would offer classes, 4 Cats was born! With locations throughout Canada, the US, Australia, and Mexico, 4 Cats offers classes and camps to help children learn about all aspects of art.

In Good Company 

A co- op of several local small businesses and artisans, In Good Company is essentially several stores within a store. Co- op members share the cost of operation and staffing responsibilities allowing them valuable retail space and work- life balance hard to find with traditional jobs. Products include local, handmade items, clothing, and choices for kids and babies. Check out two of the current co-op members,YaYa Baby and Boske Kids. I love this concept and hope to see more operations like this in the future.

Crocodile Baby
Locally owned and operated, Crocodile Baby strives to "be the local store for everybody". The company offers quality products with a focus on natural and sustainable options and seeks to differentiate itself through excellent customer service and attention to detail. Crocodile Baby offers free furniture delivery for large items such as cribs, and has $5 flat rate shipping for residents in the Lower Mainland.

Pure Anada 
Free from chemicals such as parabens and phalates, Pure Anada offers natural makeup artist quality cosmetic and skincare products. With everything from mascara and mineral makeup to vegan makeup brushes, Pure Anada has everything to stock your makeup bag with natural beauty.

With products such as organic cotton bedding, Pottery Barn Kids is recognizing the shift in demand for products made from sustainable and natural sources. While it isn't a small- scale local operation, a large company such as Pottery Barn has the ability to have a big impact through it's buying power. When consumers purchase products such as the organic cotton baby bedding, they send a strong message to the company and their suppliers that these options are becoming more in- demand. Having trouble perfecting your nursery vision? Pottery Barn Kids offers complimentary design services to help you make your baby's room eco- friendly and beautiful. 

Tasty Treats
With 10 lbs of nutrient- rich ingredients such as protein, fruits, and vegetables in every 1 lb muffin, U- Be- Livin- Smart proves that natural and healthy can be delicious. Allergy- friendly, the muffins contain no flour, oil, or added sugar and are free from additives and preservatives. Available at large chain stores such as Save On Foods, Pricesmart, Urbanfare, and Whole Foods.

Tea Sparrow 

A monthly tea membership, Tea Sparrow deals directly with tea sommeliers, blenders, and farmers to bring quality unique teas to their members. Each month members receive a tea box containing 4 teas (with enough tea to make approx. 35 cups) with information and instructions for the specific varieties.  If a member likes one enough, Tea Sparrow will put them directly in touch with the blender to purchase more. Another great local gem I am happy to have discovered!

A brand spanking new business started by a local lady, Diya's Delights makes natural and delicious fruit and nut snacks. Another great option for those with allergies and sensitivities, Diya's products are gluten free, contain no added sugar or preservatives, and are vegan friendly. Coming soon to a store near you.

The Cocoa Nuts 
Using organic and fair trade ingredients, The Cocoa Nuts provide gourmet hand- crafted chocolates for special events. A Vancouver- based company, these ladies create decadent goodies while ensuring their ingredients are ethically sourced. Another local business I am proud to have featured (click here).

If you're looking for something a little different, how about freeze- dried fruit as a snack? Each bag contains 2 servings of fruit from non GMO sources. Another option for vegans, this snack is also OU Kosher certified an is free from peanuts/ tree nuts, gluten, soy, and dairy. Available at a variety of retailers.

Hidden Garden

Another healthy, natural, and allergy- friendly snack option, Hidden Garden cookies are vegetables in disguise. If you're not a fan of vegetables, these cookies will help you meet your daily recommended amount with half a serving of vegetables in each cookie. Free from gluten, nuts, preservatives, and containing no artificial colours and flavours. 

Non- Profit
Baby Go Round

Started by a group of local moms, Baby Go Round collects used items for babies and children between the ages of 0- 4 years and distributes them to families in need. I am proud to have featured Baby Go Round (you can view the post here) and think this organization is an example of what makes Vancouver amazing: the people who live here. For a list of items Baby Go Round collects click here.

I really enjoyed meeting these vendors and love how many amazing local businesses we have here in Metro Vancouver, large and small. I hope you will check some or all of them out and remember that supporting local makes for a happy and healthy local economy. <3

Image Sources: 
Photos by Katherine Petrunia