Making healthy babies and keeping them healthy, happy … and safe.

Archive for the ‘food & nutrition’ Category

boost baby-making nutrients and reduce exposure to toxins

Food coloring linked to hyperactivity, says advocacy group

Posted by NonToxic House on June 4, 2008

Fruit Roll-ups get their ‘fruity’ colors from Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40 and Blue 1 – artifical food colorings. The ‘blueberries’ in Aunt Jemima waffles are blue because they contain a mix of Red 40 and Blue 2. And Kraft’s guacamole dip is green, but not from avocados – from a combination of Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Blue 1. 

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Free prenatal vitamins for the Midwest!

Posted by NonToxic House on May 29, 2008

Starting this weekend, all 182 Meijer store pharmacies in the Midwest will be offering free prenatal vitamins for soon-to-be moms – including those in baby-making mode.

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Edible schoolyards aim to reduce obesity

Posted by NonToxic House on May 29, 2008

TreeHugger reported on a concept garden at the Chelsea Flower Show that shows how a school can create a small kitchen garden for kids. It’s prime time for such an idea to take stronger hold, I say, with childhood obesity rates where they are.

The show garden is modeled after The Edible Schoolyard, a really neat not-for-profit piloted by influential chef Alice Waters at a public school in Berkeley (where else?). Designed to help kids make better food choices, the program runs a one-acre garden where children learn to plant, grow, harvest and prepare fresh vegetables and other foods; they shape the beds, amend the soil, turn compost and even make their own school lunches. Since it launched in 1995, the Edible Schoolyard concept has spread around the globe. There’s even some research to indicate that kids are indeed improving their nutritional outlooks through such programs.

I love this idea! It empowers kids and encourages them to be healthier by educating them about the entire cycle of food production, from “field” to “fork”.

Try the National Gardening Association for an informal database of school gardens, and check out the group’s ideas on gardening projects you can take on with your kids. 

Could The Edible Schoolyard work in your community?

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Decoding produce stickers: organic? genetically modified?

Posted by NonToxic House on May 12, 2008

Pregnancy is the time when you have most control over your child’s health –  and it’s a time when many women start to seriously seek out organic foods and produce. Grocers typically do a good job of highlighting the organics, and keeping them separate from conventionally grown (i.e., made with pesticides). But do you ever wonder if regular produce gets tossed in with the organic? Or if there’s genetically modified produce in the bunch?

Learn how to decode the stickers and you’ll wonder no more …

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Boys are made of … bananas?

Posted by NonToxic House on April 24, 2008

Surprising new research out of the UK is suggesting that what (and how much) you eat at conception influences the gender of your baby. And that eating bananas could help you conceive a boy.

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Eden Foods’ line of canned beans is BPA free

Posted by NonToxic House on April 22, 2008

The Environmental Working Group found that canned foods (including infant formula) pose the greatest risk of leaching bisphenol-A. But there’s news of one food brand, at least, the has some of its product line in cans that are BPA free.

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BPA concern greater in canned goods (sorry, Chef Boyardee)

Posted by NonToxic House on April 17, 2008

This week’s study by the National Toxicology Program put the spotlight on the potential health risks of BPA. But it seems everyone has latched onto the (polycarbonate) baby bottle connection and overlooked the fact that the lining of food and beverage cans (including infant formula) incorporate BPA-embedded plastic as well.

In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group, canned foods are thought to be the predominate route of BPA exposure, and instances in the womb and during early childhood hold particular risk. In some instances, a single exposure contained enough BPA to bring a woman or infant to levels more than 200 times the government’s traditional safe level for industrial chemicals.

In light of that, it would surely be prudent to avoid, as best as possible, canned goods. Read on for some alternatives to consider:

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Posted in baby-making, bisphenol A, detox your home, food & nutrition, in the womb, plastics | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Hydrate safely

Posted by NonToxic House on April 8, 2008

If you’re expecting, you need lots of water to stay hydrated. The Institute of Medicine recommends pregnant women drink about 10 cups a day. Nursing mums should drink more, up to 12.5 cups, because breast-feeding depletes your fluids.

But does it matter where all this water comes from?

Absolutely! A recent Associated Press investigation found high levels of prescription drugs in the tap water of 24 major metro areas around the country. And the Environmental Working Group’s 2005 study of water test results found more than 141 contaminants (including rocket fuel) in 42 states.

Sadly, pure water just isn’t a guarantee. So, here are some tips on how to hydrate safely:

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Pregnant (or working on it)? Detox your diet!

Posted by NonToxic House on March 31, 2008


Decisions over what to eat can be overwhelming when you’re pregnant – or if you’re trying. You know you’ll need to fuel your growing baby with good stuff and avoid passing bad stuff along. But, what’s good? What’s bad?

I came across some great advice from Fit Pregnancy. They’ve simplified food choices down to six simple steps, using The Whole Pregnancy Handbook by Joel M. Evans, M.D., and Robin Aronson (Gotham Books, 2005) as their guide. Read on for the tips:

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Research: Little swimmers need folic acid too

Posted by NonToxic House on March 21, 2008


An earlier post covered the benefits of folic acid for women. But, today, the Washington Post reported on a study that says it can benefit men too. Dads-to-be with low levels of folate (the natural form of folic acid) were at increased risk of having sperm with too few/too many chromosomes, according to the research.

The fine print? Men with “poor nutrition” still had 99 percent normal sperm. But the researchers still advised men in baby-making mode to increase their folate intake (my husband’s multi-vitamin already has 100 percent of the daily folic acid requirement; I bet most do).

The takeaway is that good nutrition is important for both sexes when you’re planning a baby. Study details are in the journal of Human Reproduction.

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