For the last several months, I have been looking to partner with a pediatrician that shares my (somewhat untraditional) philosophies around baby food, infant nutrition, and introducing solids. As soon as I read about GetzWell Pediatrics, I knew that Dr. Julia Getzelman was the one for me! She’s the only board certified, primary care, integrative pediatrician based in San Francisco, and she’s agreed to be an occasional guest blogger to share some great tips with all of us.
For more information on GetzWell Pediatrics, check out their website here. And stay tuned for a workshop on infant nutrition and making your own baby food hosted by GetzWell and Little City Kitchen Co. in early April.
Feel free to ask questions or post comments below, and Dr. Getzelman will be happy to respond.
Keeping Kids Healthy in a Toxic World
By: Dr. Julia Getzelman, MD
Jill Epner, founder of Little City Kitchen Co., and I met last November at the San Francisco Birth and Baby Fair. I became enamored with Jill’s baby food not only when I understood that it was an organic, locally produced alternative for busy mothers who want to feed their babies healthy, tasty, whole foods but also as soon as I tasted her delicious creations (though I don’t routinely eat baby food)!
I believe and teach my families that baby food should taste good and feeding your baby (once she is ready to eat) can be a fun experience. I feel really good about Jill’s food in terms of its nutritional content and yummy flavors and also its contribution to lowering “toxic load,” the amount of unnatural (and often poisonous) substances we are exposed to in today’s world.
As an integrative pediatrician with hundreds of babies and young children as my patients, I’m concerned about the increasingly toxic world in which we live. In particular, young children are at the greatest risk due to exposure to toxins because their brains and other organs are rapidly developing. Pound for pound young kids eat more food, breathe more air, drink more fluids and spend more time on the floor/ground (where there is an accumulation of dust, chemicals, metals and other environmental toxins) compared to older children and adults.
There are many things as individuals we cannot control about our environment, but we can and must take important actions to significantly reduce unhealthy and toxic exposures. Here are a few ways to make a big difference for you and your family:
- Know where your food comes from, particularly which ranches and farms produce the meat and eggs you eat
- Buy local, sustainable, organic food whenever possible
- Try Meatless Mondays
- Gather as a family for meals
- Don’t use anything on your child’s skin or hair with ingredients you wouldn’t eat
- Use the Environmental Working Group’s guide to personal care products and sunscreens
- Eliminate artificial fragrances (which contain endocrine disruptors)
Use green cleaning solutions: investigate less toxic alternatives like using vinegar in place of bleach, baking soda to scrub your tiles and hydrogen peroxide to remove stains
- Eliminate Teflon pans
- Don’t microwave in plastic and store foods/left-overs in glass (e.g., Pyrex) whenever possible
- Use wax paper instead of plastic wrap whenever possible
Special thanks to Dr. Getzelman for sharing her tips on reducing toxins. Stay tuned next week for an update on what I’m coming to call my “Great California Farmers Market Tour”… Happy week everyone!