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A Greener Home For Your Baby

Good Eats

You can feel assured that the food made for babies is the safest -- and greenest -- around.

Breast milk and formula. Breast milk offers superior nutrition and, of course, is very green: straight from Mom, no processing involved. If you nurse for any length of time, then kudos to you. If you want to spring for organic formula, go ahead, but it's not mandatory, says Tanya Altmann, M.D., a pediatrician and author of Mommy Calls. "The major formulas all have the right combination of vitamins, protein, and fat," she explains. (Read more on combining breast- and bottle-feeding on page 112.)

Solids. Organic fruits and vegetables, grown without pesticides, are definitely good for the earth, but if you go with conventional baby foods, you can be confident that those jarred meals are also strictly regulated and supersafe. If you do make your own baby food, just be careful of ingredients from small local farmers, whose produce might not be checked for contamination, Dr. Altmann warns.

Bottles and dishware. Some hard plastics are made with BPA (the chemical bisphenol-A, an endocrine disrupter linked to negative health effects), which can leach into food. Check the bottom of plastic containers for the number in the triangle: a "7" usually indicates BPA. There are many BPA-free plastic bottles on the market, as well as glass ones with sleeves to minimize breakage.