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Healthy Beginnings

Healthy Eating and Smart Shopping

When selecting feeding items such as baby bottles and sippy cups, choose products that are listed as PVC and bisphenol-A (BPA) free. Beware of toys that contain toxic plastic softeners (phthalates), PVC (#3 plastics), and fragrances. When you’re not quite sure, avoid the “rubber ducky.” Also be cautious of imported or antique toys that may contain toxic lead paint.

When buying a toy, look for items that are made from wood or cloth. If a toy can be reused like a dollhouse or play set, then purchase a higher quality item that can be passed onto a family member or friend. Think about where the toy is manufactured. If it can be purchased from a local retailer, then it is a great idea to support your local business.

Top 10 Tips for Healthy Eating

  1. Eat a varied diet. One that is rich in protein, whole grains and folic acid.
  2. Avoid fish that contains high levels of methylmercury: Swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and shark. Avoid farm-raised fish including salmon. For a complete list of fish visit - www.seafoodwatch.org and www.epa.gov/mercury/advisories.htm
  3. Always wash off fruits and vegetables prior to eating. Some produce such as apples and berries contain a high amount of pesticide residue. Visit www.ewg.org for a list of those produce items you should consider purchasing as organic. Shop for color!
  4. Support local farms (www.buylocalpa.org) by visiting farmers’ markets and eating a variety of foods. Start your own backyard garden or join a community garden.
  5. Buy fresh, whole foods and reduce intake of processed foods containing artificial preservatives, chemicals, sweeteners, coloring and flavors.
  6. Avoid meats and dairy products containing added hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals. Trim fat on meat and remove skin from fish and poultry.
  7. Avoid canned food (the lining contains BPA). Instead, choose fresh or frozen foods and foods packaged in glass or TetraPak® containers.
  8. Rather than cook your plastic food packages in the microwave, simmer or boil your food on the stovetop and never cover food with plastic then heat.
  9. Choose to cook at home rather than ordering take-out. Better for you, better for baby!
  10. Limit food and drinks containing caffeine. March of Dimes recommends that women who are pregnant get no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine. That's rouchly the equivalent of two small cups of coffee or five cans of caffeinated soda per day.