Kids and Plastic

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Kids are affected by many environmental chemicals, including phthalates, which have been known to contribute to childhood obesity. Kids can improve poor nutrition and physical inactivity, major causes of obesity, by growing an organic veggie garden at home, school, or community garden and learning to cook from scratch. Organic food is never treated with toxic pesticides or made from genetically modified organisms. Certain foods have been named “The Dirty Dozen” because of the high risk of toxins from pesticides. They are some of kids’ favorite foods: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce, and kale.  Phthalates are man-made, endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can mimic the body’s natural hormones.  Parents can avoid plastics containing bisphenol A or phthalates by choosing plastics with the recycling code of 1, 2, or 5 and avoiding those with the code of 3, 7, or 6, like rigid plastic baby bottles, food containers, and plastic dinner ware. Phthalates are commonly used in plastic flooring and wall coverings, food processing materials, and medical devices. Personal care products also commonly contain phthalates that can be identified by their chemical names: DBP, DEP, DEHP, BzBP, and DMP, including baby products. Kids can grow an organic garden in containers on the patio, balcony, or porch to grow strong and lose weight with a diet rich in fruits and veggies.

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