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: