As CEO of a thriving business and one of San Diego’s “40 Under 40” Mompreneurs, Kathryn faced the possible life and death effects of her son’s serious peanut allergy.  Because of it, Kathryn went on a mission to find safe, non-toxic, healthy food products for her family—and now yours.

We’re teaming up with Blue Shield of California to celebrate local San Diego moms who have inspired us to seek healthy, balanced lives.  First up:  Kathryn Cloward, CEO of Natural Kidz.

Red Tricycle:  You’re part of a group of moms that are on a serious mission.  What’s yours?
Kathryn Cloward: My company, Natural Kidz is focused on helping nurture the development of healthy, compassionate, and responsible children.  It was born out of my desire to help other families have a convenient and reliable online resource for non-toxic products that are good for the kids and the planet.

RT: What was your inspiration to start Natural Kidz?
KC:  It was soon after discovering that my son has a serious peanut allergy.  The severity of my son’s “allergy” became life and death clear to me  as I rode to the emergency room in the back of an ambulance with him as he was strapped to a gurney in his car seat.  I developed a deeper appreciation for, and was inspired to choose, everyday products that promote a more natural and sustainable lifestyle.

RT:  Does your son get involved with what you do?
KC:  He’s actually the ultimate Natural Kidz product tester!  Whenever we are considering a new line of products to bring into our store, my son helps by testing them.  But I also write the “Kathryn the Grape” series of award winning children’s books and music – and my son is a character in the series and one of my main sources of inspiration.

RT:  With a writer as a mom, I bet your kid has had some pretty good one-liners, right?
KC: One day when I was sick in bed, my son came into my room and gave me a kiss.  He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Don’t worry, mommy, I will take care of everything.  You just rest.”  It warmed my heart to know that I am fulfilling my heart’s desire in raising a compassionate child.

RT:  Have any advice for other moms that have similar passions?
KC:  I think the most important thing you need to ask yourself is, “What am I passionate about?”  Being a Mom on a Mission requires a lot of tireless hard work, and you will be more likely to go the distance when you are waking up every day doing the things that fulfill your passion.

Be Like Kathryn!  Blue Shield of California’s Wellness Challenge:
It is never too early to involve your child in making decisions about the food they eat or products they use daily.  So lead by example.  Kathryn drinks water every day from Klean Kanteen stainless steel bottles, and so does her son.

Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Shield of California.