Monthly Archives

February 2021

  • DIY & Recipes

    Healthy Blueberry Muffins

    healthy blueberry muffins

    Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, these healthy blueberry muffins are the perfect way to start your day! Soft and scrumptious, this treat is free of gluten and refined sugar too.


    • 2 Cup Oat Flour (ground up oats)
    • 2 Eggs
    • ⅓ Cup Applesauce (if preferred, use oil or Greek Yogurt instead)
    • ⅔ Cup Greek Yogurt (if preferred, substitute ⅔ cup of applesauce instead)
    • ⅓ Cup Honey (Add more if you have a sweet tooth!)
    • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
    • ½ Tsp Salt
    • ½ Tsp Cinnamon
    • 1 Cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen – If you don’t have blueberries on hand, you can substitute blackberries, raspberries, or another berry favorite!

    *We used all organic ingredients linked. Also, we went dairy-free and chose to use applesauce instead of yogurt!


    • ½ Cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen
    • Optional: Cinnamon, honey, or maple syrup
      Note: You may also use traditional jam or the topping of your choosing instead.


    1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
    2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (except for the blueberries). You may first combine dry, then wet ingredients if you prefer. Mix well.
    3. Then, slowly stir in blueberries.
    4. Line a regular sized muffin pan with parchment paper muffin liners (or the liners of your choice). Then, fill with the muffin mixture. If you would like to add the topping prior to baking, see “Optional Sauce Topping” below.
    5. Bake 15 – 20 minutes.
    6. Optional Sauce Topping | On the stove, heat blueberries on low heat until the berries start to melt (I smashed them a little to expedite the process). Add a little honey, cinnamon, or maple syrup, if desired. Remove from heat. This topping can be added prior to baking or after, depending on your preference!

    Store in fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for up to a month.

    Now you too can enjoy your delicious and nutritious moist blueberry muffins morning, noon, and night!

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” Regardless, we only recommend products or services that have extensively researched; and products that we use personally, have used and would use in the future. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Clean Living, Healthy Home

    5 Eco-Conscious Reusable Containers We Love

    As we work towards a zero-waste environment, choosing to use eco-friendly, reusable containers in our kitchen and around our home is a great place to start! Since plastic (and especially single-use plastic) is straight-up bad for our environment, we’ve rounded up our top 5 reusable, sustainable storage containers with the hopes of helping you find the best solution to fit your needs. Check them out below!

    1. Stasher Bags

    Stasher bags are an awesome, sustainable alternative to traditional plastic baggies – I haven’t purchased any single use plastic bags in 3 years! Made from 100% food grade silicone, Stasher bags are free of toxic chemicals like lead, BPA, PVC, and latex! Best of all, these bags tightly seal and come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors! You can even freeze and microwave them (although I probably wouldn’t personally microwave them, only because I don’t microwave anything other than glass). All in all, I cannot say enough good things about them!

    2. Pyrex Containers

    Pyrex storage containers are more aesthetically pleasing and last longer than their plastic competitors. These glass containers can be used to store just about anything and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. We love this rectangular set – it makes storing leftovers a breeze and conveniently fits (neatly) into smaller spaces! Lids are available in glass, silicone, and BPA-free plastic.

    3. OXO Glass Storage Containers

    Similar to Pyrex, OXO glass storage containers come in a variety of sizes making them convenient for all types of storage. OXO containers are made from borosilicate glass, complete with a plastic and silicone lid that is 100% free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates.

    Since we use these OXO glass jars for baby food and snacks on-the-go, I had them tested for heavy metals which can typically be found in the paint on jars, containers, and measuring cups. The results were non-detect for all heavy metals tested!

    4. Ball Mason Jars

    Made in the USA, Ball Mason jars are extremely durable, versatile, and inexpensive! The glass jars come in a variety of sizes including the most popular 4 ounce, 8 ounce, 16 ounce and 32 ounce. Store salad, smoothies, beans, lotions, craft supplies, cereal, jelly, herbs, you name it!

    Personally, I stick with the clear glass jars as the colored glasses have been known to have very low levels of lead present and although it is considered safe by all standards, I prefer to keep my home as ‘clean and lead-free’ as possible. Also, check your local Target – ours had a pack of 32 ounce jars for just $12!

    5. Anchor Hocking

    Anchor Hocking storage containers are affordably made in the USA! Similar to Pyrex and OXO containers, Anchor Hocking glass storage can be used to safely store just about anything. Lids are available in BPA-free plastic, glass with silicone, and metal.

    I prefer these ‘true seal’ lids rather than the ‘snug fit’ lids. It seems the ‘snug fit’ lids have cracked slightly over time around the edges, although so far it hasn’t affected the storage of my food at all.

    Other Sustainable Storage Ideas

    To check out more of my kitchen favorites, visit the What Mommy Knows Amazon storefront here.

    Thanks for reading!

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” Regardless, we only recommend products or services that have extensively researched; and products that we use personally, have used and would use in the future. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Beauty

    9 Ways To Naturally Detox Your Lymphatic System

    The lymphatic system* plays an important role in your overall health as it works to eliminate bacteria, viruses, white blood cells, and other toxins from your tissues.

    Although your body naturally cleanses itself, sometimes stress and digestive imbalances can cause your system to work extra hard to rid your body of toxins. Overtime this stress contributes to inflammation that can damage cells causing a variety of health issues.

    Signs You May Need To Cleanse Your Lymphatic System

    Digestive issues, skin conditions, chronic fatigue, constipation, bloating, brain fog, inflammation, frequent headaches, as well as cold hands and feet, can all be a sign your lymphatic system is in need of a cleanse.

    How To Naturally Cleanse Your Lymphatic System

    1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

    Water is essential and especially important when it comes to cleansing your system. Be sure your water is purified with a high quality filter (we have the Pure Effects System and love it!) to remove heavy metals and other contaminates. Squeeze some lemon into your water to help mineralize the body and lymph.

    2. Move your body.

    Go for walk. Go for a jog. Go for a run. Jump on a rebounder. Bounce on a eco-ball. Do some quick 15-minute cardio outside or on the treadmill. Just get moving!

    3. Stretch daily.

    Stretching is so important for your health and anyone can do it. Regardless of how fit you are, stretch a little each day and soon you will see improvements and reap the benefits. Practicing yoga is great for your mind and body too!

    4. Heal your gut: Eat a healthy diet and avoid processed sugar.

    A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and whole foods like fruits and veggies including cherries, leafy greens, flaxseed and chia seeds helps to cleanse your system. Avoiding artificial flavors, artificial sugars, and processed foods is also key.

    5. Try Dry Brushing.

    Dry brushing exfoliates your skin while supporting lymphatic flow. If nothing else, you’ll have the benefit of healthy, glowing skin!

    6. Lymphatic Massage.

    A lymphatic massage specifically encourages the flow of fluids thus helping to eliminate waste from your system. Learn how to perform a lymphatic drainage massage here.

    7. Relax. Breathe Deep.

    Relax. Release Tension. Breathe Deep. Slow, deep breathing moves your diaphragm and abdominal muscles as it pushes fluid (lymph) through your vessels. Deep breathing is also an excellent remedy for stress. Laughter has a similar effect and releases ‘feel good’ hormones too!

    8. Alternate between hot and cold in your shower.

    Hot water dilates the blood vessels, while the cold water shrivels them. If you’re pregnant, skip this tip!

    9. Wear natural, loose-fitting clothing.

    Cute lounge wear is totally in right now! Opt for loose fitting clothing whenever possible as tight clothing may restrict your body’s natural drainage process.

    Now that you’ve cleansed your lymphatic system, be sure to keep your body in tip-top shape by drinking plenty of water, eating a proper diet rich in whole foods and don’t forget to exercising regularly! Remember to avoid chemical additives, preservatives, processed foods, food intolerances, and stress(!!) which can all cause your system to become congested.

    Stay happy and healthy!

    *The Lymphatic System consists of fluid (lymph), vessels, and organs that contain lymphoid tissue such as the lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen, bone marrow, and thymus.

    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which does not cost you anything. I am not a medical professional and the information on this website is for informational purposes only. As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting any medical treatment. This blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or methods mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment.

    Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

  • Babies & Kids

    The Best Non-Toxic Art Supplies!

    Chemicals in popular art supplies have raised quite a few red flags over the years. The good news is, you can still let your kiddos creativity flow – safe supplies DO exist!

    Concerns with Art Supplies

    • Chemicals known to cause a host of health issues including heavy metals like lead, asbestos fibers, phthalates, formaldehyde, PVC, xylene, ammonia, and VOCs can be present (and many often are).
    • Young children and babies are most susceptible to harmful chemicals that may lurk in toys, art supplies and around your home. Babies often ‘mouth’ art supplies which is specifically concerning.
    • Children and babies can inhale lead dust and asbestos fibers leading to long-term health issues and irreversible damage.
    • Asbestos and lead have been found in chalk.
    • Lead has been found in crayons and paint.
    • Undisclosed chemicals and other ‘proprietary’ ingredients make-up traditional play dough.

    BUT, thankfully, there are safe art supplies on the market that will allow your little one to channel their inner artist and spark their creativity!

    The list below contains my absolute favorite truly non-toxic art supplies:

    Filana Crayons

    These crayons are my absolute favorite crayons! Filana uses organic beeswax and natural colors to make their crayons without petroleum waxes, paraffin, and GMO’s! I also love how smooth they color (you’ll know exactly what I’m talking) and they come in a variety of sizes and shapes – perfect for little hands! Made in the USA.

    Play Dough, Paint, Crayons, Creative Kits

    Eco-Kids makes a variety of different art supplies made from natural materials such as beeswax and flour. We love their play dough and egg coloring kits, but they also make crayons, paint and other creative kits. All of their dyes are made from natural, organic pigments sourced from vegetables, plants, and fruits. Made in the USA.

    Colored Pencils

    Lyra colored pencils wear so much better than your typical colored pencil, meaning less sharpening is required and they last longer! These unlacquered colored pencils are AP certified non-toxic too, and glide oh, so smoothly! Made in Germany.

    Paint, Beeswax, Crayons

    Stockmar uses natural materials to create safe art supplies for your kiddos! Wax crayonsmodeling beeswax stripswater-based paints and more make-up this creative collection! Made in Germany.

    Tip: Always choose water-based paints for your kids. Oil-based paints often contain heavy metals, VOCs, and other chemicals.

    Bath Crayons, Bath Drops, Crayons

    Honeysticks crayons are made from 100% New Zealand beeswax and food grade pigments without paraffin wax, synthetic fragrance, or fillers. My daughter is obsessed (literally) with these bath crayons and bath drops and I love that they are non-toxic and clean up easily! Honeysticks also makes these thick crayons (my daughter’s first crayons!), but I have to admit, these don’t write as well as the Finela Crayons. Honeysticks also make thinner crayons too and paint – which I haven’t tried yet! Made in New Zealand.

    Green Toys
    Play Dough

    Made from organic flour, Green Toys manufacturers their natural dough using natural colors rather than synthetic dyes in a food manufacturing facility. Made in the USA. Shop Green Toys on Amazon here.

    Veggie Baby (originally Wee Can Too)
    Paint and Chalk

    Made from vegan-friendly organic veggies that are dairy, sugar, nut, preservative, and gluten free, Veggie Baby paints are truely non-toxic for your little one and even edible! Veggie Baby (formerly Wee Can Too) used to make organic chalk that was the safest on the market, but they discontinued it. Made in the USA.

    IKEA – Just OK, read the description.
    Art Easel and Art Supplies

    IKEA is an affordable, conscious company, that makes some solid wood toys and art supplies for your little one! While not my top choice, due to IKEA lacking the testing and credentials of the brands above, it is still an OK option, in my opinion for when kiddos are a bit older or out of the mouthing stage. Personally, we love their chalk board/easel (less expensive on their website)! Made mostly in China and Sweden.

    Looking for more of my non-toxic favorites for your family? Shop my faves by visiting my Amazon Storefront here.

    Thanks for reading!

    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which does not cost you anything. I am not a medical professional and the information on this website is for informational purposes only. As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting any medical treatment. This blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or methods mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment.

    Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

  • Babies & Kids, Healthy Home

    The Ultimate Non-Toxic Toy Guide

    From quality wooden toys to the best eco-friendly plastic toys on the market, What Mommy Knows has compiled a list of the safest toys for your little ones!

    Continue reading to learn more about the manufacturing of toys as well as safety concerns in modern toys or continue scrolling to check out the safest (and best) toys on the market today!

    TOYS | Then VS. Now

    The manufacturing process of toys has changed quite a bit since our grandparents were children. In earlier years, toys were made using natural materials like solid wood, while today most toys are made from plastic, foam, particle board, and MDF. Although vintage toys may have been made from more natural materials, they often contained high amounts of heavy metals like lead, cadmium or arsenic in the paint and other components which have been now been deemed unsafe for children.

    Harmful Chemicals Still Found in Toys Today

    • FLAME RETARDANTS | Although flame retardants are found in so many of our household products (and children’s products too), they are actually quite harmful to our health. Chemical flame retardants are known to cause reproductive harm, endocrine problems, thyroid issues, cancer and are particularly harmful to fetal and child development. Often flame retardants are found in plastic toys, tents, tunnels, foam, upholstered furniture, mattresses, and so much more.
    • LEAD & HEAVY METALS | Lead is a neurotoxin that has been banned in house paint in the USA since 1978, but unfortunately it is still used in household items and even toys made abroad. It can cause irreversible brain damage leading to behavioral issues, learning problems, dementia, and other health issues. Lead also has not been banned for use in toys, believe it or not. In addition to lead, other heavy metals like cadmium, mercury and arsenic have been found in toys as well.
    • PVC / VINYL | PVC is the most toxic plastic for our bodies and the environment. Phthalates, organotins and other heavy metals are often added to PVC to make it flexible or rigid. PVC can cause respiratory problems, reproductive issues, weaken your immune system and contribute to cancer among other things.
    • PHTHALATES | Phthalates are found in soft plastic toys and scented toys. Phthalates disrupt your body’s endocrine system, cause reproductive and hormonal issues, increase your risk of cancer, and may be responsible for contributing to allergies and asthma.  Artificial scents contain phthalates so it is best to avoid anything with fragrance – in any and all products.
    • BPA & BPS | BPA is an endocrine disrupting chemical that mimics estrogen and is often added to plastic. Even in small amounts, BPA has been linked to reproductive issues including infertility, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and obesity. While BPA is now banned in some baby goods, and many manufacturers have replaced it with BPS or other chemicals – which some scientist believe are just as toxic.
    • FORMALDEHYDE | Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can be found in some plastic toys, some paint, and in the glue used for wooden toys, especially ‘wooden’ toys made from plywood or composite wood.

    Learn more about chemicals in toys and other household products here.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) | Doesn’t the CPSC regulate the safety of toys?

    Over the years, the government realized something must be done to protect our children so in 1972, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was created to limit the amount of chemicals our children are exposed to. The job of the CPSC is to regulate the safety of toys, but they only do this to an extent in terms of chemical exposure, electrical and mechanical safety.

    Here’s why we can’t fully rely on the CPSC for toy safety:

    • Often times toys are recalled after complaints are filed. Then, by the time a recall is issued, the damage is already done. Popular recalls for unsafe amounts of lead include products from Melissa and Doug, Thomas the Train, & Fidget Spinners.
    • The CPSC is not able to check every specific batch of toys for hazards and contamination – such as lead paint. Unfortunately, this means toys containing unsafe amounts of chemicals or unsafe toy parts, may be sold.
    • Allowable amounts of chemicals have a history of changing as time progresses. For example, BPA, lead, phthalates and other harmful chemicals were allowed in children’s toys for decades (and still are to an extent – see below).
    • Lead is still legally allowed to be present in toys. The legal allowable amount of lead, a neurotoxin, in children’s toys is 90 ppm (parts per million) in the coating or paint, and 100 ppm in the substrate.
    • BPA is often replaced with other chemicals like BPS to which the safety has been debated.
    • Not all flame retardants are banned in children’s toys although studies show there is no need for them in our products, including children’s toys.

    And maybe MOST importantly…

    • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), toys intended for children over 12 years old do not require any third-party testing in the USA.
    • Additionally, if a toy is intended for children age 6 and not intended for mouthing, the CPSC does not test toys for heavy metals – which I believe is a total disservice.

    This means if 2 year old Tommy is playing with a toy from 6 year old Susie’s toy box, he could potentially be playing roulette with toxins. Personally, I don’t care how old my kiddo is, I want to limit chemical exposure as much as possible.

    Why Avoid Toys (And Products) Made in China

    While avoiding toys made in China can be challenging considering 80% or more of toys are made there, it is important to note that Chinese factories are often poorly regulated with little oversight and not held to the highest standards. Workers are often treated unethically, inhumanely and subjected to poor, unsafe working conditions. Additionally, it is very possible that due to the lack of quality control and lax regulations in China, chemicals and toxins that are ban in the USA may very well make it into products that we import.


    The following list contains toy brands that I personally own and have thoroughly researched. From quality wooden toys to the safest, eco-friendly plastic toys on the market, you’re sure to find brands your little will love! Questions? Feel free to comment below or contact me!

    Plan Toys

    One of my favorite toy brands, Plan Toys, creates their collection from natural rubberwood (free of additives) using formaldehyde-free glue and non-toxic, heavy metal free dyes. The Plan Toys collection is extremely durable too – I credit that to the chemical-free kiln-drying process! Plan Toys crafts clutching toys, doll houses, play food, vehicles, games, blocks, educational and imaginary play toys like doctor kits and so much more! We have numerous favorites, but this fruit and veggie set is used daily. Made in Thailand.


    Made from solid wood and non-toxic, water-based stains, Grimms stacking toys are open-ended and perfect for any age! Since this brand is a bit on the pricier side, I did a ton of research prior to purchasing our first Grimms toy to really ensure they lived up to the hype. My thoughts? Grimms is a trust-worthy, transparent company that makes true heirloom toys. If you’re going to splurge on one toy from this collection, I’d suggest the XL rainbow – the uses are endless and quality is superior to other brands! Made in Germany.


    Haba uses sustainable wood to manufacture a vast range of toys including clutching toys, blocks, prams, games and much more. Non-toxic water-based dyes are used on all of their wooden toys. Haba’s plastic toys are made from ABS plastic or polypropylene, for the most part. Haba does, unfortunately, make their “Little Friends” collection from PVC – I was super disappointed to learn this. Most of their wooden toys are made in Germany, although some toys are manufactured in China. Note: I really, really am a big fan of this company. They are very transparent and specifically their wooden toys made in Germany are excellent, but the PVC plastic really irks me!

    Petit Collage

    Petit Collage makes non-toxic toys using recycled paper, vegetable ink and absolutely zero PVC! Traditional paper dolls, magnet sets, wooden pull toys, stickers, coloring books, and even this ferris wheel are just some of our favorites from Petite Collage! Made in China.


    Tegu solid wood magnetic blocks are made from sustainably sourced, FSC-certified Honduran hardwood and come in an assortment of colors and sizes! Tegu uses water-based pigments and paints that hold up exceptionally well. We’ve added several sets to our collection over the years! Made in Honduras.

    Uncle Goose

    Uncle Goose creates a wide variety of solid wood blocks using non-toxic dyes. Made in the USA.

    Tender Leaf Toys

    Made from rubberwood, Tender Leaf Toys are similar Plan Toys, but it seems the quality of Plan Toys is better overall, making it my first pick. For example, the paint on Tender Leaf Toys sometimes chips unlike Plan Toys. But, at this time, Tender Leaf Toys offers a bit more variety when it comes to certain toys – which is why we have quite the collection from both brands! Here’s one of our favorites from Tender Leaf. Made in Indonesia.


    Holztiger makes cute wooden animals, like this cow, from solid beechwood and non-toxic, water-based paints and sealers. Made in Germany.


    Made from solid wood, Ostheimer animals are beautifully handcrafted using thin, almost stain-like non-toxic coloring. Made in Germany.


    Hevea makes natural rubber bath toys, bath mats, baby gear, and even stuff for your pup! Hevea bath toys don’t have holes, making them a mold-free zone – which I love. Hevea also uses vegetable and plant-based paints on all of their products. Made in Malaysia.

    Begin Again

    Begin Again creates cute natural rubber bath toys that my daughter adores – and I love that the holes are large enough to allow water to escape, therefore, inhibiting mold growth! Begin Again rubber toys do smell a bit like natural rubber when they first arrive, but the smell dissipates quickly. You can also soak them in vinegar to speed up the process.

    Begin Again also makes wooden toys using water-based dyes as well, but we do not own any so I cannot comment on the quality. Mostly made in China with select toys manufactured in the USA.

    Camden Rose

    Camden Rose carefully crafts beautiful wooden play kitchens and heirloom-quality toys made from solid hardwood and coated with food-grade finishes. Solid wood kitchen sets, kitchen accessories, dollhouses, Montessori toys, and so much more make up the Camden Rose collection. Ethically made in the USA.

    Elves and Angels

    Made from solid hardwood and pine, Elves and Angels offers a lifetime guarantee on their products including play kitchens, furniture, puzzles, and even dolls. Elves and Angels manufacturers their products without the use of particle board, MDF, or other cheaply made products and uses “Tried & True” linseed oil (the only linseed oil to my knowledge that is free of heavy metals) as a sealer. Made in the USA.

    Bannor Toys

    Solid wood toys made with non-toxic paints and stains make up the Bannor Toys collection. They even sell cute teethers made from silicone and wood like this one! Made in the USA.

    Maple Landmark

    Maple Landmark, a historically reputable company, creates solid wood toys. The Schoolhouse Naturals line from Maple Landmark does not contain any type of finish while other lines by Maple Landmark use a petroleum-based lacquer or urethane finish which you really wouldn’t want your little one mouthing. Made in the USA.


    lovevery play kit

    Lovevery uses solid wood, water-based paints, and organic cotton. Given this is a newer brand, and my daughter has pretty much outgrown it, I have yet to try their products. However, I have looked into them and definitely am excited to purchase from Lovevery when I have my next little one! Check them out for yourself here.

    Little Colorado

    Little Colorado products are mostly made from solid wood, although some products use plywood (specifically some of the painted products). Little Colorado toys can be purchased unfinished or finished using a non-toxic sealant. This cradle, our step stool, and my daughter’s table and chair set are some of our favorites from Little Colorado – they also make cute book shelves and toy boxes too! Made in the USA.


    We absolutely love our pickler triangle (with rock climbing board) and XL rocking boat from Wiwurka! This brand makes open-ended, aesthetically pleasing, heavy-duty, quality toys made from wood using non-toxic water-based dyes. You can order their products finished or unfinished from their website or Etsy. Made in Mexico.

    Open-Ended Creations
    Balance Board

    Open-Ended Creations makes one of the best curvy boards / balance boards on the market! Available in 6 different non-toxic finishes, these curvy boards are handmade from nine layers of Canadian Maple plywood using truly non-toxic glues. We purchased ours from Etsy! Made in the USA.

    Lifetime Climbing Dome

    This sturdy climbing dome is made from metal, free of heavy metals like lead and built to last! The brand offers a variety of colors and sizes too! This is a great alternative to the plastic versions made from PVC.

    North Star Toys

    North Star crafts affordable, non-toxic wooden trains, cars, boats, animals and other toys that are perfect for your baby or little one! All toys are made from a variety of woods including walnut, oak, and alder, then, finished with a food-grade mineral oil. Made in the USA.


    Made from 100% stainless steel, Kleyanimals keys and key rings are a safe option and close alternative to real keys. Kleyanimals keys are BPA, lead, cadmium, and toxin-free! Did you know almost all household keys contain unsafe amounts of lead and are not safe for babies to play with? In fact, there is often a Proposition 65 Warning that can be found on new keys. Made in the USA.


    Squigz, a Fat Brain Toy, are made from 100% food-grade silicone that is free of BPA and latex. Squigz are a great alternative to PVC suction toys and best of all can be used in the bath, on windows, floors, and so much more!

    Organic Stuffed Animals
    Elly Lu | Apple Park | Under the Nile
    Emma + Finn | Bears For Humanity

    Traditional stuffed animals often use synthetic chemicals in the manufacturing process which can be harmful to our bodies and our earth. These chemicals can be inhaled or absorbed through out skin. The following brands are ones I know, own, and trust!

    • Apple Park | Organic cotton, corn fibers, and natural silk are used to make this cute collection of stuffed animal favorites!
    • Elly Lu | OCS organic certified cotton, nontoxic dyes and organic buckwheat hulls make up the majority of their products with a small percentage of products containing hypoallergenic recycled polyfill and corn fiber fill. Check the fill ingredients for details.
    • Finn + Emma | Handmade using GOTS certified organic cotton and low impact dyes, Finn + Emma, ensures the highest standards for environmental, quality and labor protections at their fair trade facility.
    • Under the Nile | Manufactured using GOTS-certified organic Egyptian cotton, at a fair trade facility in Egypt, Under the Nile ensures all products are 100% free of BPA, PVC, formaldehyde, flame retardants, and heavy metals.
    • ‘Bears for Humanity’ | Made from 100% GOTS Certified organic cotton and filled with recycled polyester, this option is filled with recycled polyester, but still a better option than most conventional stuffies!


    Not all plastic toys are created the equal! BPA, BPS, phthalates, chlorine, and other chemicals can all leach out of plastic with each use. While we don’t have very many plastic toys, we do have a few from some of the safest brands on the market today. Continue reading to learn why these plastic toys made the cut!

    Green Toys

    My top pick for plastic toys is Green Toys. Made from 100% recycled milk jugs (non-leaching polyethene plastic), these toys hold up way better than other plastic toys and are more environmentally friendly too.

    Green Toys manufacturers cute watering cans, sand toys, doll houses, vehicles, kitchen accessories like tea pots, plates and utensils and of course, this cupcake set (a favorite in our home)! Made in the USA.


    Spielstabil toys are made of ABS plastic and do not contain BPA, PVC or phthalates, making them a safer plastic choice. Additionally, Spielstabil offers a 10 year warranty. Our favorites include these cool ice cream cones and this shovel! Made in Germany.


    Legos are made from ABS plastic – one of the safest plastics. Something to be aware of… while NEW legos are made safely, older vintage legos have tested positive for lead, cadmium, arsenic and other heavy metals just as many other vintage toys have. Made in Denmark, Hungary, Monterrey, Mexico and most recently China.

    American Plastic Toys*

    While American Plastic Toys, would not be my number one pick for plastic, it is still a better option than other popular brands. Personally, when choosing plastic toys, I’d always choose Green Toys over American Plastic Toys for several reasons: Green Toys is a ‘cleaner’ brand, more eco-friendly brand, and the quality is superior. Since Green Toys has a smaller selection, they don’t always have what I am looking for. For example, this small water moat was the perfect gift to keep my daughter occupied all winter long, but at this time, Green Toys doesn’t manufacture it yet! Disclosure: This is the only toy we own from American Plastic Toys so I cannot yet speak on the quality of their other items.

    American Plastic Toys uses safer materials and plastics such as polypropylene (~80%), polyethylene (~20%), and FDA approved colorants on most of their toys. None of their products contain phthalates or BPA. While a majority of their materials are sourced domestically, the company does import some small components, such as a fastener or sound part, on about 24% of their toys. Made in the USA.

    *I was hesitant to put American Plastic Toys on this list, but I know many people are looking for additional safe plastic options when it comes to certain toys so I added American Plastic Toys to the list. I still encourage you to shop the other more eco-conscious brands first or better yet, buy wooden toys!

    But, wait, what about these brands? Are they safe?

    Although the brands below are not ideal, as a rule of thumb, I would always choose one of the brands listed below rather than a ‘no-name’ brand or dollar store toy due to the fact that so often many of the generic, ‘no-name’ brands are manufactured as cheaply as possible at factories in China with little oversight. The chemical make-up of no-name products very well may (and often do) contain toxins. Continue reading to learn more.

    Melissa and Doug

    Everyone’s heard of Melissa and Doug! When you think about wooden toys, this is the brand that often comes to mind… except… most of their toys are not wood or at least not solid wood, instead they are made are plywood or plastic. Additionally, Melissa and Doug has had several recalls over the years regarding toxic heavy metals like lead found in their toys.

    While we generally avoid this brand, I would be OK with dress up costumes from Melissa and Doug (although they are polyester and often come with plastic toys that are iff-y). And to be completely transparent, my daughter does have the Melissa and Doug Disney Princess Magnetic Doll set – which she loves as well as some activity pads which are perfect for when we are on-the-go!


    One reason I like Ikea is because all materials used are listed on all products (ie: particle board, solid pine, polyester, and so on). Ikea also does not use PVC in the manufacturing of any of their toys – another plus! But, some toys do contain particle board and while they lack some transparency as far as the paint, glues, and finishes go, Ikea has claimed to use non-toxic, formaldehyde-free glues and finishes. In general, the brand tests pretty clean in terms of toxins and they are a conscious company, so I do purchase Ikea products from to time to time! Mostly made in China and Sweden. Side note: I also love Ikea’s live plant selection!


    Hape is not an ideal brand in my opinion, but the company is very responsive which I admire. Hape claims to have great oversight of their factory. We own this puzzle from Hape and so far so good! Made in China.

    Little Tikes

    Besides being plastic (not environmentally-friendly and contains questionable chemicals), the company also said, ‘yes, they use flame retardants’ and cadmium in their toys. Due to these concerns, I prefer to keep this brand outside. If we do purchase outdoor toys from Little Tikes, like this cute little car, we make sure to only purchase hard plastic toys which have less of a chance of leaching toxins. Made in the USA.


    Step2 doesn’t add flame retardants to their plastic, but in the past have said it is possible their products contain flame retardants in the plastic provided by the manufacturer. For this reason, I would choose Step2 over Little Tikes. With that being said, when choosing plastic toys for outdoor play, I always choose Step2 over Little Tikes for larger items. This water table is one of our favorites. We also scored the discontinued Step 2 hard plastic pool from a “Buy/Sell” group which we love – I highly recommend purchasing it, if you come across one! Made in the USA.

    Looking for other safe options?

    For more safe toy ideas, check out my Amazon Storefront! As always, thank you for your support and thank you for reading!

    Additional Reading:

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” Regardless, we only recommend products or services that have extensively researched; and products that we use personally, have used and would use in the future. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Healthy Home

    My Imperfect Foods Review

    When my first order from Imperfect Foods arrived, although I was a little skeptical, I couldn’t wait to see what was inside.

    My First Impressions:

    • The box was waaayyy heavier than I expected! I literally dragged it inside.
    • The produce inside really seemed quite normal with the exception of an couple small oddly shaped sweet potatoes (which didn’t affect the quality at all).
    • I received so much more food than I expected for an awesome price!

    Here’s why I LOVE Imperfect Foods:

    • Saves you $$$ | up to 30% grocery store prices
    • Helps to eliminate food waste | All of the food I received would have otherwise been thrown away – what a waste when there are so many people without adequate nutrition in this world!!
    • Totally customizable | You can choose organic or conventional produce based on your likes and dislikes. Want to switch it up next week? You’re able to make changes on a week to week basis.
    • Delivered direct to your door each week in a cardboard box with as little plastic as possible.
    • No contracts | I hate contracts so this was huge for me!

    My Order Details:

    • I ordered a medium box filled with all organic produce and products. Below is a screen shot of exactly what I ordered and the price breakdown.

    Final Thoughts:

    I saved a lot more money than I initially thought – which was great! My only “con” would be that I am unable to order every single item I need each week, but it’s not a big deal to pick up a few things from the grocery store or order online from Fresh or Whole Foods. Overall, I would still rate it a 10/10 and will continue using the company for fresh, perfectly imperfect produce!

    Want to give it a try?

    If you’re like me and want to give it a try, you can use this coupon for $10 off your order and order here today! I highly recommend it!

    Looking for other options?

    Check out this article on “Inexpensive Organic Food Delivery”.

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be “affiliate links.” Regardless, we only honestly recommend products or services that have extensively researched; and products that we use personally, have used and would use in the future. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • DIY & Recipes

    Baked Parmesan Zucchini ‘Fries’ Recipe

    Baked parmesan zucchini ‘fries’ are a KETO-friendly, gluten-free alternative to traditional fries that are not only delicious, but healthy too!

    Looking for a bit of ‘crunch’? Try adding panko breadcrumbs.


    • 1 1/2 lb Zucchini (we used 3 zucchini)
    • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
    • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder (or more!)
    • 1 tsp Dried Herbs
    • 3 tbsp Fresh Parsley
    • 1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika (to taste)
    • Black Pepper (to taste)
    • Salt (to taste)


    1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line your baking sheet with parchment.
    2. In a bowl, combine the parmesan, garlic powder, herbs, black pepper, salt, smoked paprika, and finely chopped fresh parsley. Set aside.
    3. Cut the zucchini into quarters. Be sure to chop the ends off first!
    4. Toss quartered zucchini in olive oil and coat with the parmesan mixture.
    5. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until crispy. Broil for an additional 3 minutes if you’d like a nice golden brown color (we chose to skip the broiler).
    6. Serve immediately.

    And enjoy!

    *All organic ingredients were used

    Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.