Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Most Efficient and Least Toxic Mosquito Repellents for an Itchless Summer




Summer fun = long days, sun, picnics, hikes, water activities, outdoor time and, yes BUGS.   Mosquitoes, ticks -  they all love the summer months and there are few things worse than a child that has been bitten by a couple of mosquitoes and can’t. Stop. Scratching.   What is worse, though?  The illnesses many of these bugs can spread.  Lyme disease affects about 300,000 people each year.  Dengue, West Nile, Zika  are increasingly common.  


Guess what? May through August is peak period for ticks and mosquitoes in the US - so we are in the heart of it in most places around the country.  So, in addition to putting on sunblock, you need to think about bug repellent.... but which is the most effective and which are safe to use on children?

Sunday, June 23, 2019


As the summer holidays approached, I received an increasing number of messages from concerned mamas asking for advise on what to do to reduce their munchkin's exposure to harmful chemicals during their time at grandma and grandpa's.

I understand.  As parents we have worked hard to educate ourselves about why it is important to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals at home- and you can't unknown what you already know... which means that it can become extra difficult to turn a blind eye if you are visiting family or friends for the holidays- especially if you are staying at their home.

 Many people from our parent's   generation don't realize the toxic load that our children are born into.... they might tell you "I have never eaten organic in my life and look at me I am in my 70's and healthy".  

Don't despair- grandparents absolutely love and adore and want the very best for their grandchildren.  I truly believe that if you briefly explain to them how important this is for their grand kid's health (explain to them that their generation was not born with over 200 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood, that when they were little there weren't over 82,000 untested chemicals used in daily products in the US and that most personal care products do not have to be tested for safety before they are sold nor do companies that make household cleaners have to disclose their ingredients.  Explain that our drinking water is commonly full of arsenic, perchlorate, a rocket fuel chemical, pesticides, prescription drugs, bacteria etc.) most grandparents will do their best to protect their grand kids.

The key is to make it REALLY simple.   Do not expect a whole house detox- just pick and choose a couple of key switches and suggest them to grandma a couple of weeks before your visit (or when you arrive).  If your parents are open to it- recommend a documentary on the subject or send them a couple of Non-Toxic Munchkin blog posts (or articles from their favorite most trusted news outlet- everyone from CNN, to ABC news, to Parents Magazine, to Fox and even AARP  - am linking some articles- have at some point covered toxic chemicals in everyday products or chemical reform)  Be patient and see which habits stick - on a personal note I have been blown away at how many of these habits have stuck at my mom - and even my in law's houses! 

A visit to grandma and grandpa's house this summer can be mostly toxin free!

Here are some switches my mom has implemented in her house - feel free to send this as inspiration to a loving grandma/grandpa!   IF the list is too long, start with one or two changes and move forward from there- my mom did NOT make these changes over night !!  Also, sometimes all a loving grandma/pa needs is for your to gift them a product to inspire their switch (ie water filter!) 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Cancer Causing Pesticide Still in America's Favorite Cereal and Granola Bars

Do you know how to choose a morning cereal without glyphosate?

The question today is not “ does your food contain glyphosate?”, but, “ which of the foods that you eat contain high levels of glyphosate” because- honestly- glyphosate is  pretty hard to avoid in today's world.

EWG commissioned a test almost a year ago ( you can read my post '

IS THERE A CANCER CAUSING PESTICIDE IN MY KIDS FAVORITE BREAKFAST FOODS?! ) and now they just published a follow up study that confirms what they found last year: our kids are ingesting potentially harmful levels of glyphosate through their favorite  breakfast and snack.
This most recent set of tests looked at 21 popular oat based cereal and snack products all made by one company:  General Mills . All but four tested products contained levels of glyphosate higher than what EWG scientists consider save for children’s health.


The two highest levels of glyphosate were found in