Saturday, December 24, 2016

Paleo (gluten free, dairy free) Christmas Cookies


Christmas Eve is upon us and we still haven't made our Christmas cookies- but as the kids pointed out we need something to leave for Santa and Rudolf under the tree tonight SO, among the many things we need to do today we decided to make Christmas cookies for Santa tonight (thanks to grandma for supervising!) 

This year, however, we are experimenting with a new, healthier, recipe that has amazing reviews online. It is gluten free, dairy-free and no refined sugar...  and with only 7 ingredients they are easy and quick to make!    If you are feeling adventurous here is the recipe!  Thanks to Elanaspantry for the recipe! 


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Non-Toxic Home Cleaner; Because Kids Will Lick (and touch and breathe in) That Recently Cleaned Surface

Little kids not only are capable of licking all surfaces in the house, but they are  always going to lay one, touch and breathe in the ingredients in your home cleaners - so, what is in yours?

The boys and I are taking a moment this Sunday to organize and breathes clean out their playroom to make room  for some new additions which are sure to arrive in a week ( hopefully they are on Santa's nice list 😜) and choose toys that we can pass on to other children in need before the holiday.  


How important are the products we use to clean the playroom and the rest of the house?  Well, consider that your family will touch, breathe & absorb the ingredients in your cleaning products for days after you cleaned. Continual exposure to hundreds of cleaners, even some of those labelled as "green" or "natural," can and do have serious health effects, especially on children.  Not to mention my kids who actually like to "help" clean the house and regularly spray the windows and tables with out cleaning spray.

This is why, at home, our multi-surface cleaner is a 50/50 mix of 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Flame Retardants Chemicals Still Used in All But ONE Car Seat Brand Tested (new study)


A new study  by the Ecology Center was released today about the state of flame retardants in our children’s car seats.

What's NEW
In this new study, the Ecology Center tested 15 car seats (both infant and toddler).  This time, they included  two from the United Kingdom (I would imagine because laws in Europe are quite different to the laws in the US), by the following manufacturers: BabyTrend, Britax, Chicco, Clek, Cosco, Diono, Evenflo, Graco, Joie, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Orbit, Recaro, and Safety 1st; and a 2017-model car seat from UPPAbaby.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Best Alternative to Plastic Cups for Kids




What cups do you use at home with the kids everyday? 

Plastic cups (including BPA free) 
Cheap, plastic cups (you know the type - usually decorated with the most popular cartoon characters!) made overseas still often contain endocrine disrupting BPA.  Even BPA free plastic is often made with a chemical that is very similar to BPA with massive endocrine disrupting properties.   These cups can leech the chemicals into your children's drink- especially when the plastic is washed in the washing machine or when acidic drinks like OJ are served.   

Melamine
Generally considered safer than plastic, melamina can sometimes leech a chemical associated with renal failure (at extremely high dosis) when heated (you can read more about the study that found this in our IS MELAMINE SAFE FOR MY KIDS post ).  

In general, it is safer than plastic, just avoid using with hot liquids or very acidic liquids.  


Glass, silicon and  stainless steel 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Aida Garcia-Toledo and Non-Toxic Munchkin Joining The Tot Family of Experts


On a personal note, I wanted to share with my readers a side project I have been working on.   I can now say I am finishing the year off extra grateful and proud; last week the amazing The Tot family welcomed me as one of their Experts. I will be regularly contributing to their community (and sharing my contributions with you guys here too!). 

The Tot is a community with the mission of improving " the lives of tots, mamas and mamas-to-be by providing a one-stop-shop for unbiased information and advice coupled with healthy, safe and innovative products curated and tested by moms themselves." ...

Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas Tree Showdown: Natural Trees vs Artificial Trees


*please head over to our updated post.  Updated December 2017

I love real Christmas trees.  I love how they smell, how they look and I love the experience of going with my family to pick “the perfect tree”.  It becomes the center of our holiday celebrations, the place where we take family photos every year, around which we host holiday cocktail parties (or, truth be told these days, afternoon playdates)  and, of course, where Santa leaves his presents on Christmas morning.  

This year, someone asked me if I thought that buying natural Christmas trees was damaging to the environment (cutting down so many trees)  - a valid question.  It also lead  me to thinking about artificial Christmas trees and whether or not they were better for the environment.  Here are my findings.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

'I Want Her Job' features Aida Garcia-Toledo and the Non-Toxic Munchkin Blog




Starting the Non-Toxic Munchkin blog and launching my home consulting business has been incredibly fun, hard and incredibly fulfilling.  I really consider myself lucky to have found something that adds meaning to my life and to have the time to slowly make it grow into a business! 

 Recently, the folks at  the "I Want Her Job" blog interviewed me about this journey.   It was a great opportunity to, among other things, think about balancing being a mom/ wife and starting a business, as well as what the future of NTM is.  

To read their interview click on the link



Monday, November 14, 2016

Ho Ho YES PLEASE! Our 2016 Non-Toxic Children's Holiday Gift Guide




The holidays are around the corner and as moms, or mom to be’s, we are all starting to think about what Santa, or whoever does the gifting in your home, will bring to the munchkins in your life.   So, so, so many choices, but how do you choose the ‘perfect’ toy that your little one will love?

One key factor is to choose toys that will not expose your young children to toxic chemicals.   As my son said to me last year, “don’t worry mommy, Santa wouldn't put that (toxic chemicals) in our toys”…… oooohhh but it seems he sometimes does! You see, nasty chemicals are actually quite common in today’s most popular toys; we are talking about hormone disrupting chemicals in some plastic or smelling toys, the infamous neurotoxin lead which is still found in some metal and plastic toys, to name just two.

So, how to you avoid purchasing toys that will expose your children to a troubling number of chemicals?   

As parents, we need to do our homework before purchasing toys for our children; because no one else will. Here is your cheat sheet (feel free to print and add to your munchkin’s Santa’s letter!) :

Instead of: plastic toys, especially cheap plastic toys (birthday loot, Dollar Store etc)
TRY THIS: sturdy, heirloom quality natural wood. Bamboo is another great alternative to plastic.

Instead of: metal trinkets, like children’s play jewelry, which often contain cadmium a known human carcinogen that has also been linked to learning disabilities. Metal toys can also contain lead and lead based paint.
TRY THIS:  soft cloth toys (ideally organic) or natural wood, especially for play jewelry. Make sure your wooden toys use water-based paints.


Instead of: products that are made of polyurethane foam (kiddie soft seating, baby changers,  possibly anything with padding).  These materials almost always contain flame retardant chemicals, which have been linked to learning disorders, cancer, hormone disruption, infertility and other serious health problems.  
Try This: Wool; it is a natural flame retardant (no added chemicals necessary).  Also, always read the label. The law now requires all foam products to have a label that will specify if chemical flame retardants were used in that product.  Look for products that specify no chemical retardants were used.  

Instead of:  buying toys that are made abroad, specifically in Asia ( some products made in Asia are reliable and chemical-free but unless the company has a proven track record of non-toxic products, the reality is that the "Made in China" and similar labels are not that trustworthy).
TRY THIS:  buying local from small trusted retailers in the US.   There are so many great company's producing amazing toys with natural, non-toxic materials!  WE spotlight various in our list below! Toys made in Europe also tend to follow more stringent chemical laws.  

Instead of: Smelly toys;  if it smells like plastic it probably is made of PVC/vinyl which is a known human carcinogen.  If it smells ‘fruity’  the toy probably contains phthalates, known endocrine disruptor's.
TRY THIS: Toys shouldn't smell, let your nose be your guide when picking a safe toy! That means avoiding fruity  and plastic smelling toys! 

Instead of:  Purchasing something that has a ‘BPA free’ label, because it should be safe.....
TRY THIS:   Choose an alternative to plastic.   It can be cloth, silicon, wood, stainless steel.  Even 'BPA free"  plastic an still contain chemicals very similar to BPA and just as bad since they too mimic your hormones. 

Safest alternatives:

Monday, November 7, 2016

HO HO NO! How To Stay Away from Toxic Pj's This Holiday



Few things are cuter during the holidays than little munchkins in their holiday pjs.  I mean, so so cute!


 This past weekend I was browsing holiday pj's at The Gap and saw that they have two different tags on their pj's:   the yellow tag, the one I am always used to seeing and the only one I buy for my kids, reads:


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Coming Soon- The First Flame Retardant Free Infant Car Seat




(in December 2016 a new study tested 15 car seats for flame retardant chemicals.   To read the results, and how this Uppababy model did, read our blog post ' FLAME RETARDANTS CHEMICALS STILL USED IN ALL BUT ONE CAR SEAT BRAND TESTED (NEW STUDY)


We talk a lot about flame retardants and car seats on this blog.    Parents constantly contact me for the newest studies and for help in determining what car seat they should buy for their munchkins that will be safe and also expose them to the least amount of toxic flame retardants.


The laws, currently, in the US require all children's car seats to meet the same flammability standards as the rest of the car interior.  To do this most car seat companies add chemical flame retardants.   The problem with flame retardants is that they are known to be linked to a long list of serious ailments including cancer, birth defects, reproductive harm, developmental challenges, infertility and hormone disruption.    

Michigan's Ecology Center is the most recent study  that specifically tested for flame retardants in car seats and they found all car seats had flame retardants, however some were using flame retardants that are considered 'safer' while others were using some very well known and toxic flame retardants (we have a complete breakdown of this study and what the least toxic car seat option currently is in our blog post THE CAR SEAT DILEMMA: THEY SAVE LIVES BUT COULD THEY BE MAKING KIDS SICK? HOW TO CHOOSE THE LEAST TOXIC CAR SEAT IN 2015  you can also shop for the models that tested with the lowest levels of toxic flame retardant in our Amazon Shop.  Click on the link !) 

Duke University's Superfund  Research Center has also been actively testing for flame retardants in many products, including car seats.   Their most recently published results (accounting for testing done through June 2016) tested 98 car seats of which 72  tested positive for more than one flame retardant.   Unfortunately for us parents,  they cannot reveal the brands of the 26 cars seats found not to contain the toxic flame retardants.  


The good news is that last week Uppa Baby revealed their 2017 car seat model which they claim will be " a first-to-market fire retardant free infant car seat ".  Their MESA model in Henry (blue marl color) will use a naturally fire resistant wool blend to achieve the fire protection the law requires without added chemicals. This wool blends  will make up the seat fabric & SIP carriage cover.   The idea being, they can meet the flammability standard by encasing the foam in the car seat with naturally fire resistant fabric.

In the past, company's like Orbit baby, have made claims to not use fire retardant chemicals and have been found to indeed be using  the worse kind of fire retardant chemicals - so we really really hope Uppa Baby is serious with their new product and that other companies then follow their lead.   We will have to wait some months to see!

The 2017 Mesa  with the Henry color is here and retails for $349.  You can buy it on Amazon here: 
UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat, Henry

June 2017 UPDATE:
The UppaBaby Mesa Car Seat in Henry Fabric is finally available on Amazon!
Click on the link below!
UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat, Henry


Sunday, October 23, 2016

How One Purchase Solved My Chronic Back Pain




I have been dealing with horrible chronic lower back pain for years.  It became significantly worse during and after my second pregnancy ( 4 years ago).   Ever since then, I  have woken up stiff and dealt with pain daily.   Sitting on the floor to play with my young sons was incredibly painful. As anyone that has had chronic back pain can tell you:  it is debilitating, and it affects the quality of your life.  No joke. 

I tried everything; yoga ( temporary relief, but no long term help), stretching (temporary relief, but no long term help), massage, chiropractor ( no help) and acupuncture ( best results, but pain came back).  Finally, I decided to purchase a mattress topper for my bed and voila- I kid you not- my back has gotten significantly better.   It is all but gone (I still carry a big 3 year old around so I do have a bit of back pain on occasion but nothing like a couple of months ago!).  

Clearly, not all back pain has the same cause and thus, this might not be the solution for everyone, but in my case it has been life changing.   I wish I had figured this out years ago, especially during my pregnancy - I could have saved myself countless sleepless nights and uncomfortable mornings!

Friday, October 14, 2016

THE NEW BREAST CANCER PREVENTION ROUTINE: HOW CHEMICALS AND TIMING PLAY A ROLE AND HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR OWN CHILDREN DECREASE THEIR RISK: Benzene and Butadiene


This is part 5 of our 5 part series.  If you have already read the other entries feel free to scroll down to where we have the information on today's chemical :  Benzene & Butadiene

When we talk about breast cancer, prevention is key.  

Do as many things as you can do to decrease your risk of getting cancer will always be a better game plan than dealing with it once you already have it, obviously.   

Today, many well known organizations and breast cancer specialist agree that avoiding certain environmental chemicals should and need to be taken seriously as part of what any woman does to prevent breast cancer.   ( Four authoritative panels have already  pointed to further study of environmental chemicals as a promising direction for prevention: Cogliano et al. 2011; IBCERCC 2013; Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2011;  and the President’s Cancer Panel 2010).

The timing of the exposure to endocrine disputing chemicals also has a lot to do with how big an impact these chemicals can  have on a person.  There are periods of development called " windows of susceptibility"  where the breast is especially sensitive to environmental exposures.   These are:
  1. during fetal development (when the organ is formed)
  2. during puberty 
  3. during pregnancy ( both during pregnancy and after lactation, when the breast tissue remodels)

During these periods,  an environment is created in which the mammary gland is sensitive to environmental factors that can lead to cancer.  Sometimes the impact of a chemical is seen at birth,  but for chemicals linked to breast cancer, often times  it remains hidden until years even decades later (ie.  when breast cancer is diagnosed). 

Thus, a key way to protect yourself and daughters (and sons since breast cancer affects men too) comes down to decreasing their exposure to estrogen mimicking chemicals from the moment of conception and throughout puberty (early childhood - puberty is ideal) as well as during a woman's pregnancy. 


This week we are talking about the 4 common and potentially harmful estrogen mimicking chemicals that have links to breast cancer.  Yesterday we spoke about BPA, today we will focus on a common, although lesser known, chemical duo and its :  Benzene and Butadiene


Benzene and Butadiene

Thursday, October 13, 2016

THE NEW BREAST CANCER PREVENTION ROUTINE: HOW CHEMICALS AND TIMING PLAY A ROLE AND HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR OWN CHILDREN DECREASE THEIR RISK: PARABENS

Parabens are commonly found in makeup... the good news is that
 many new brands like RMS Beauty (pictured) avoid parabens and are
great products - make the switch to safe!

This is part 4 of our 5 part series.  If you have already read the other entries feel free to scroll down to where we have the information on today's chemical :  parabens!

Background Information
When we talk about breast cancer, prevention is key.  

Do as many things as you can do to decrease your risk of getting cancer will always be a better game plan than dealing with it once you already have it, obviously.   

Today, many well known organizations and breast cancer specialist agree that avoiding certain environmental chemicals should and need to be taken seriously as part of what any woman does to prevent breast cancer.   ( Four authoritative panels have already  pointed to further study of environmental chemicals as a promising direction for prevention: Cogliano et al. 2011; IBCERCC 2013; Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2011;  and the President’s Cancer Panel 2010).

The timing of the exposure to endocrine disputing chemicals also has a lot to do with how big an impact these chemicals can  have on a person.  There are periods of development called " windows of susceptibility"  where the breast is especially sensitive to environmental exposures.   These are:
  • - during fetal development (when the organ is formed)
  • - during puberty 
  • - during pregnancy ( both during pregnancy and after lactation, when the breast tissue remodels)

During these periods,  an environment is created in which the mammary gland is sensitive to environmental factors that can lead to cancer.  Sometimes the impact of a chemical is seen at birth,  but for chemicals linked to breast cancer, often times  it remains hidden until years even decades later (ie.  when breast cancer is diagnosed). 

Thus, a key way to protect yourself and daughters (and sons since breast cancer affects men too) comes down to decreasing their exposure to estrogen mimicking chemicals from the moment of conception and throughout puberty (early childhood - puberty is ideal) as well as during a woman's pregnancy. 

This week we are talking about the 4 common and potentially harmful estrogen mimicking chemicals that have links to breast cancer.  Yesterday we spoke about BPA, today we will focus on another common chemical:   parabens.

PARABENS

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The New Breast Cancer Prevention Routine: How Chemicals and Timing Play a Role and How You Can Help Your Own Children Decrease Their Risk: BPA

Photo credit:  Growing Your Baby

Overview

When we talk about breast cancer, prevention is key.  

Do as many things as you can do to decrease your risk of getting cancer will always be a better game plan than dealing with it once you already have it, obviously.   

Today, many well known organizations and breast cancer specialist agree that avoiding certain environmental chemicals should and need to be taken seriously as part of what any woman does to prevent breast cancer.   ( Four authoritative panels have already  pointed to further study of environmental chemicals as a promising direction for prevention: Cogliano et al. 2011; IBCERCC 2013; Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2011;  and the President’s Cancer Panel 2010).

The timing of the exposure to endocrine disputing chemicals also has a lot to do with how big an impact these chemicals can  have on a person.  There are periods of development called " windows of susceptibility"  where the breast is especially sensitive to environmental exposures.   These are:

  • during fetal development (when the organ is formed)
  • during puberty 
  • during pregnancy ( both during pregnancy and after lactation, when the breast tissue remodels)
During these periods,  an environment is created in which the mammary gland is sensitive to environmental factors that can lead to cancer.  Sometimes the impact of a chemical is seen at birth,  but for chemicals linked to breast cancer, often times  it remains hidden until years even decades later (ie.  when breast cancer is diagnosed). 

Thus, a key way to protect yourself and daughters (and sons since breast cancer affects men too) comes down to decreasing their exposure to estrogen mimicking chemicals from the moment of conception and throughout puberty (early childhood - puberty is ideal) as well as during a woman's pregnancy. 

This week we are talking about the 4 common and potentially harmful estrogen mimicking chemicals that have links to breast cancer.  Yesterday we spoke about phthalates- chemicals commonly found in your makeup, fragrance, some plastics, toys, school supplies and vinyl.

Today we will focus on a very well known chemical:  

BPA (and  some of its replacement chemicals) 

Monday, October 10, 2016

The New Breast Cancer Prevention Routine: How Chemicals and Timing Play a Role and How You Can Help Your Own Children Decrease Their Risk: Phthalates

Phthalates have many uses - among them helping fragrance
"stick to" a product, including perfume.

Part 1 of 4:  Phthalates

When we talk about breast cancer, prevention is key.  

Do as many things as you can do to decrease your risk of getting cancer will always be a better game plan than dealing with it once you already have it, obviously.   

Today, many well known organizations and breast cancer specialist agree that avoiding certain environmental chemicals should and need to be taken seriously as part of what any woman does to prevent breast cancer.   ( Four authoritative panels have already  pointed to further study of environmental chemicals as a promising direction for prevention: Cogliano et al. 2011; IBCERCC 2013; Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2011;  and the President’s Cancer Panel 2010).

The timing of the exposure to endocrine disputing chemicals also has a lot to do with how big an impact these chemicals can  have on a person.  There are periods of development called " windows of susceptibility"  where the breast is especially sensitive to environmental exposures.   These are:
  • during fetal development (when the organ is formed)
  • during puberty 
  • during pregnancy ( both during pregnancy and after lactation, when the breast tissue remodels)
During these periods,  an environment is created in which the mammary gland is sensitive to environmental factors that can lead to cancer.  Sometimes the impact of a chemical is seen at birth,  but for chemicals linked to breast cancer, often times  it remains hidden until years even decades later (ie.  when breast cancer is diagnosed).

Thus, a key way to protect yourself and daughters (and sons since breast cancer affects men too) comes down to decreasing their exposure to estrogen mimicking chemicals from the moment of conception and throughout puberty (early childhood - puberty is ideal) as well as during a woman's pregnancy. 


This week we are talking about the 4 common and potentially harmful estrogen mimicking chemicals that have links to breast cancer.  Today we will focus on the first one:  

PHTHALATES

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The New Breast Cancer Prevention Routine: How Chemicals and Timing Play a Role and How You Can Help Your Own Children Decrease Their Risk: A 5 Day Series


Think breast cancer prevention is only for adults?  Think again.
photo credit: Annamaria Zampona de Quintero

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.   For an increasing number of people, this disease hits close to home.  It seems, almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by this disease.  For me, both my mother and aunt are breast cancer survivors.  The disease scares me and scares just about every woman I know.

And with good reason.  A woman is diagnosed  with breast cancer every two minutes. In the 1960s, a woman’s lifetime risk for breast cancer was 1 in 20. Today it is 1 in 8.

So, what are you actively doing to prevent breast cancer in yourself and in your children (especially daughters) ?

What?  Can we really do something to help decrease our children's chances of developing breast cancer? The answer is:  yes we can.

Hopefully, your breast cancer prevention routine includes:  healthy eating, monthly breast self exams and  exercise.  But, science today, points at one major step in our daily routines that is being ignored by the majority of women for breast cancer prevention:   reducing our exposure to daily use chemicals already linked to breast cancer.  In fact, back in 2010 the President’s Cancer Panel reported that “the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated [and] . . . the American people—even before they are born—are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Not All Stainless Steel Thermal Containers Are Created Equal



Guess what? 
Not all stainless steel thermal containers are created equal.
You might already know that you want to avoid placing hot food in plastic thermal containers ( the reason? The heat could cause the plastic to leach worrisome chemicals like BPA, or similar chemicals sometimes found in BPA free plastics, into the food).

You would be correct to, then, opt for a stainless steel thermal container- but guess what?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Non-Toxic Beauty Products Available at Target NOW! Run Don't Walk!




Beautycounter for Target is here! 

 I made a Target run last night  and ran into the Beautycounter for Target display at our local City Target. They have some nice options available at much lower prices ( smaller sizes too);  there really are no excuses not to try safe beauty products - i mean, its available at Target!

Remind me- Why is Beautycounter a good brand to try?

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Antibacterial Ingredients Banned in Soap - But They're Still in your Toothpaste, Toys, Hand Sanitizer and More




After years of debate, we can finally say bye-bye to antibacterial soap and washes.... but what about antibacterial gels and other products with similar ingredients?   

This past week, the FDA  announced a final rule establishing that over-the-counter antiseptic wash products that  contain any of a list of 20 specifically banned ingredients, including the very popular triclosan  can no longer be sold.

What is the reason for this new ban? 

The FDA issued this ban after concluding that " manufacturers did not demonstrate that (these) ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections."

Adding to this, the director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), Janet Woodcock, M.D., said, “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”

Sunday, August 28, 2016

No One Regulates The Ingredients In Your Family's Shampoo, Bath Gel, Moisturizer, Makeup etc Should You?




Did you know that most products we buy over the counter in a store or pharmacy are not regulated by anyone?   

There is absolutely no legal requirement that cosmetic companies ensure their products are safe before selling them... they don't even have to publish what ingredients are in their products... so, yes, even chemicals linked to cancer, chemicals that mess with your hormones and are linked to other serious illnesses can be - and are - found in everyday products.

Let me say that again:  no one is regulating the "personal care " products sold over the counter for  babies, children and adults. Companies can put whatever they want in these products and not tell anyone.  


WHAT PRODUCTS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?  DO I HAVE THEM AT HOME?

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Non-Toxic and Cool 2016 Back to School Guide!



It is officially that time of the year again- as we prepare to say goodbye to the long hot summer days, parents and children everywhere are getting ready for the new school year. 

Back to school shopping might have already started at your house.... or if you are like me - this weekend and next week will be a busy one getting ready for the start of the new school year!



Because all kids want school supplies that fit their personalities and we parents want them to have safe products that wont expose them to nasty toxic chemicals, here is your 2016 Non-Toxic Munchkin Back To School Guide for kids of all ages.  


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Our Fav Non-Toxic Sunscreens Right Now- Have You Tried Them?



Summer is well underway, and we have had plenty of time to try a couple of new safe sunblocks.   Some we have loved, whie others - truth be told- have left us a bit too white and oily.   If you are currently looking for your next fav sunblock - here are 3 to try.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Pucker Up: Why Lipstick Should Be The First Non-Toxic Cosmetic You Switch Too

'Clean' Beautycounter lipstick in Scarlet 

Do you use lipstick?  
If so, here is something to think about :
The average women applies lipstick from 2 - 14 times every day

How much lipstick is the average woman ingesting?  
As much as 87 milligrams of product a day… every single day for years, even decades.  

Something more to think about? 
A 2010 FDA study  found lead in 400 lipsticks at levels up to 7.19 ppm.  a UC Berkley 2013 study went on to find more chemicals of concern in common lipsticks.  In addition to lead they found cadmium, chromium, aluminum and titanium.

If you are a daily user of lipstick you might want to think twice before you use it again today - especially if you are pregnant since these heavy metals (especially lead) can be particularly bad for the developing fetus.   Some studies have found (obviously, depending on the lipstick) in some cases women who slathered lipstick on (14 times a day or more) were meeting or surpassing the daily recommended exposure to chromium, aluminum, and manganese. 

Should you care?   Yes!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lavender 101: A Starter Guide to Using Essential Oil at Home


Last weekend we went to the Lavender Festival at the 123 Farm in Cherry Valley, California (about 2 hour's drive from Santa Monica).

It was lovely! 


The location is stunning, and you are allowed to wander throughout all the lavender fields (who knew there were so many types of lavender? Even white lavender!).  They offered seminars on the benefits of lavender, cooking with lavender, how to use lavender essential oils and simple but fun activities for kids.  Oh yeah, they also had lavender-infused lemonade, beer and champagne - YES

Seriously, it felt like we had been transported to Provence.

Anyway, let's talk a bit about lavender, shall we?

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Non-Toxic Munchkin Summer Guide: Pool Party Days

1. UV SKINZ Reversible Bucket hat 2. Real Kids Shades 3. Polarn o Pyret Eco UV Rash Guard  4.Feelgoodz Kidz Animalz flip flops   5-6 Polarn o Pyret 7.  Bling20 Swim Goggles 8.Onyx 18/8 Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold 9. Aqua Rider


It is practically summer. School will be out soon (this week for us!) and those long sunny days will be full of (somehow, hopefully!)  play, fun, a bit of travel and memories in the making.

  All this free time entails a lot of planning on my (and most mom and/or dads) end, so the last thing we want to worry about are our kids being unnecessarily exposed to toxic chemicals and the very last thing we want to be doing is spending our summer researching safe fun products!

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Best and The Worse Sunblocks for Kids: Is it Time To Try a New Sunscreen?




Memorial Day is this weekend;  the (unofficial) start of summer - so lets talk sunscreens!

Everyone should be wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, especially during summer.   We should not only be wearing it daily, but if we spend time outdoors we need to be reapplying throughout the day- that is a lot of sunscreen you and your family will be using!

It makes sense, then, to buy a sunscreen that will protect you and your family from the sun's dangerous rays and not expose you to numerous dangerous chemicals.   The good news?  Today, there are is a plethora of safe, non-toxic alternatives available.   There is no reason NOT to buy a safe non-toxic sunscreen; you just need to know what to look for and which to choose, because the one you have been using since you were a little child might not be the safest option.



Sunday, May 22, 2016

Non-Toxic Munchkin Non-Toxic Summer Guide : FOR THE BEACH BUM

Non-Toxic Munchkin Summer Beach Bum Guide (links in post!) : 1. UVSkinz 2. Flap Happy Flap Hat with Tie - Chambray Blue Seersucker 3. UVSkinz sun hats 4. Beautycounter Protect Stick Sunscreen 5. ThinkBaby Sunscreen 6.  Pura Stainless Steel water bottles 7. Solartex Girls 8. Zoe B Organic Fantastic Beach Toys  

Memorial Day is around the corner and there is really only one thing on my mind: Summer! 

 School will be out soon and those long sunny days will (somehow, hopefully!) be full of play, fun, a bit of travel and memories in the making..... this entails a lot of planning on my (and most mom and/or dads) end, so the last thing we want to worry about are our kids being unnecessarily exposed to toxic chemicals. I just don't want to deal, and I am sure you don't either.

Never fear, Non-Toxic Munchkin is here, with our 2016 (Non-Toxic!) Summer Guide: because you already have to spend your time figuring out what you are going to do with the kids while school is out - now you don't have to spend your time figuring out what the safest products for them to use are!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Non-Toxic Guide to Manicure & Pedicures





Planning a mother daughter mani/pedi session to celebrate Mothers Day? It's a fun and great way to spend quality time, but traditional nail salons and nail polishes expose you to some pretty nasty chemicals - chemicals that we definitely should expose our moms or daughters too! Instead, make it a fun and non -toxic mothers day and choose a salon or spa that uses 3 or 5 free polishes.   




What does '3 Free' mean?
Traditional nail polish can contain a 'toxic trio' of chemicals: toluene, BPD and formaldehyde, obviously not a healthy thing for little girls (especially those who bite their nails or suck their thumbs) to have on their nails.  

When buying a new nail polish at a minimum look for those that are 'THREE FREE' which means they are free of these three chemicals:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Non-Toxic Living? There is an App for that! The Best Apps for Non-Toxic Living





Living a healthier, less toxic life has never been easier.   Obviously, the first place you should turn to is our very own Non-Toxic Munchkin  (blog or via Facebook or Instagram ) to ask any questions you might have about transitioning to a less chemical dependent life .   Obviously. 

 (BTW have you liked us on Facebook?  What about Instagram - @nontoxicmunchkin ? You should do that right now, since we are constantly sharing great information and tips!)

However, for those situations when you are on the go- for example in a store about to buy a product and you need immediate help,  or just want after-hours help around the house, there are great apps that you should have handy at all times!


These apps not only have great information available about non-toxic products, they can also make your life easier since some of them allow you to order products directly from the apps.  All are from very trustworthy sources - so you are in good hands.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Spring Cleaning Ready! 20 Ways To Replace Toxic Chemicals With Baking Soda Around the House

Photo credit: Life Hacker India

Baking soda. We all know it, own it and probably use it to keep our refrigerators fresh or for baking, but, let's face it , it is not all that exciting..... or is it? IS IT?!

This natural white powder is actually quite the rock star of your pantry. In fact, it is one of the most multidimensional and useful tools out there. It does it (almost) all, I tell you.

Read on for a huge huge list of things you can do with baking soda. Remember, when it comes to reducing the chemical exposure in your house and for your family, small changes in your routine make a huge difference. This week, choose 2-3 options form the list bellow that will allow you to switch out a toxic product for baking soda and feel like your own rock start of green and healthy living!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

EWG's 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce: The Good, The Bad and the Super Toxic




It is that time of the year again when the Environmental Working Group publishes its annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Two lists, Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen, are released to help you know what fresh produce you should be buying organic ( those with the highest levels of pesticides or the ' Dirty Dozen') and which produce you can save some money on and buy conventional ( the 'Clean Fifteen' list). 



What are some of the dangers of exposure to pesticides ( especially during pregnancy and early childhood?) 



Let's start by saying that pesticides are designed to kill living things (pests) - by definition something that kills living things can't be great for you or your kids.



Pesticides have been linked to cancer, acute and chronic nervous system injury and dysfunction of the endocrine, reproductive and immune systems.