Optimal Baby and Kids


Whether you are a first-time parent or a seasoned mom or dad, your child's health and development are of great importance to you.


You may have been given lots of advice, by friends and family, and much of it may not have come with research-based reasoning, other than, "it worked for my kids." You may have also felt your pediatricians left too much up to you when it came to the formula or foods and it was too overwhelming to do the research at that time.


As a mom, I remember those moments. I was sleep-deprived and over-tasked. I knew the importance of doing my research before committing to a formula, but in an urgent need to get my newborn a formula, the drive to a local pharmacy became the only urgent solution, and I was limited to making a choice from what was on the shelf. About 12 months later, I found out that my little one had a milk allergy and there I was giving her a cow-based milk formula. Live and learn. A word of caution, I am not a pediatrician or child allergist, but I am a mother who wants to do what is best for my little one as often as I can. This experience led to my choice in adding a Baby and Kid page with information and resources on this site. ~Nicole Romano


What can you do if you are expecting?

1. Consider a backup to breastfeeding before you need it and stock up on enough for a few weeks in advance of your delivery date. Otherwise, you will feel forced to start and stick with the first formula you can get your hands on.

2. Don't simply pick one of the big-name brands just because it has been around a long time, as the ingredients have most certainly have changed over the years.

3. Remember, formulas commonly get updated to remove chemicals and often add new "supplements" to the milk to provide added benefits, which have not been fed to babies long enough to know the long-term health impact.

Let's start with the research 

  • Breast milk is best when you have enough supply for your baby. The longer you can feed your baby breast milk, the better. (1)

  • If your baby is showing skin rashes it may be a sign of a food allergy and don't just dismiss it as baby eczema. If you suspect your baby or child is reacting to a food, stop giving that food and talk to your child's doctor who can refer your child to a pediatric allergist to confirm a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. (2,3)




Children's Toys and Safety

Facts about Toys:

  • The toys you buy can have an impact on your child's health.

  • Toys can be sold in the US without the testing to confirm they are in fact safe from exposing your child to toxic chemicals. 

  • The potential health and environmental risks of new chemicals are often not identified as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an independent executive agency of the United States federal government tasked with environmental protection matters. 

  • The EPA lacks data to ensure that it issues EPA rules on the new chemicals, which allows chemical companies to manufacture and sell toys without developing and submitting toxicity information to EPA.  

  • The younger the child, the more careful you want to be about buying chemical-free toys, as the toys are more likely to end up in a child’s mouth.


One resource for checking on the safety of toys is HealthyStuff.org*, a Michigan-based nonprofit environmental organization that works at the local, state, and national levels for clean production so that parents are aware of what their children are playing with.