What a thoughtful mom you are!!
A couple of years ago, I switched over to using one of those reusable cups. They're a lot cleaner and safer than tampons and pads, and they're healthier, too (you're not sticking chlorine into your body). At first I thought it might be gross, but after trying it, I realized that if anything, tampons and pads are actually much grosser. It doesn't hurt the way a tampon can. It's also great because it saves me a lot of money, and I never run out - when I'm expecting my period, I just slip it into my purse and have it on hand when I need it! Best of all, it's great for the environment. Every time I use mine, I feel really good about that. And it's part of me really celebrating being a woman every time I get my period, I truly do. It feels very positive.
As for pads, there are also cloth ones available. Same deal. You never run out! I just toss mine in the laundry with everything else; it's never an issue.
Both the cup and the pads can be found at most health food stores, or of course online. You could search "Diva Cup." There are several other brands, and they're all about the same thing. I can't remember the name of the pads I got, but I think I've heard of one brand called "Moon Pads."