AUSTIN, Texas (May 1, 2007) Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI), the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket, celebrates the third year of its “Whole Baby” program with five simple steps and positive solutions to make your home safer and healthier for your newborn or toddler by helping minimize environmental toxins that can affect your child's growth and development.

  “The addition of a new baby causes dramatic changes in your life and leads new parents to more closely examine their lifestyle and the products that they bring into home,” said Jody Villecco, food and nutrition quality standards coordinator at Whole Foods Market. “Whether you are welcoming a newborn or cheering on baby's first steps, Whole Foods Market is a trusted source for information on nutrition and lifestyle topics ranging from the best plastics for babies to safer, natural household cleaning products.”

From May 1 through June 30, Whole Foods Market offers new parents five simple steps to naturally prepare a home for a child as well as coupons from natural baby product companies in a free in-store booklet called Your Guide to Natural Choices for a Healthy Home, for a Healthy Baby. The booklet is a collaboration between Whole Foods Market, Healthy Child Healthy World and Seventh Generation.

“Simple shifts in habit can make a huge difference in the health of your children and their environment in their early years that can have incredible benefits on them later in life.” said Christopher Gavigan, CEO and executive director of Healthy Child Healthy World, the national leading nonprofit dedicated to protecting children's health and well-being from harmful environmental exposures by educating parents about preventative strategies and engaging communities to take 'The 5 Easy Steps' to managing their lives in safer, greener, and healthier ways.

The Five Easy Steps

Following these easy steps to a healthier home can help your new bundle of joy get the best natural start in his or her first few years of life.


Clean up Indoor Air

Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors. While it might seem safer and cleaner, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says indoor pollution is one of the nation's most pressing personal health concerns. To reduce your family's risk, replace products that contribute to the problem:

  • Ventilate your home, especially the bedrooms and nursery, by opening windows.
  • Change the filters in your air conditioning and heating units frequently – and the bag in your vacuum cleaner when full – to greatly improve indoor air quality.


Use Natural Household Cleaners and Products

Prior to World War II, most household cleaning jobs utilized mild ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar. Today, there are many harsh chemicals in conventional cleaning products. Fortunately, there are plenty of nontoxic options to choose from to clean your home easily and effectively.

  • Look for products labeled bio-based, chlorine-free, organic, nontoxic, phosphate-free, natural fragrance and/or biodegradable.
  • Follow all directions because some natural choices are more concentrated than their conventional counterparts.


Use Plastic Products Wisely

Plastic provides a good amount of affordable convenience. Only recently has it been discovered that the hidden cost may be one's health. Some plastics have the potential to negatively affect health in certain applications.

  • Replace vinyl chew toys made of soft plastic, especially any labeled “V” or “3.” Opt for toys and books made with natural wood or cloth.
  • Avoid using plastic in the microwave or in contact with heat, oily or fatty foods, or harsh cleaners.
  • Choose plastics such as polyethylene (#1, #2, and #4) and polypropylene (#5) which generally require the use of less toxic additives and are non-chlorinated. Avoid polycarbonate plastics and look for products which state “no phthalates.”


Avoid Use of All Pesticides and Insecticides

Though we often encourage children to “go out and play,” exposure to common lawn care and indoor pesticides is identified by the EPA as potentially causing a range of health problems. Rather than stifling healthy activity in children, make healthier choices in lawn care!

  • Choose safer products for insecticides, pesticides, weed killers, lawn chemicals and flea/tick control.
  • Encourage good habits such as washing hands after being outdoors and taking shoes off at the door.


Eat More Organic Food

Organic foods are grown without potentially harmful, long-lasting synthetic chemicals. Choose organics to avoid the residues of conventional pesticides and to support a form of agriculture that is healthier for the planet.

  • Eat more organic fruits and vegetables or at least avoid those with the highest pesticide residues: apples, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, red raspberries, strawberries, bell peppers, carrots, celery, green beans, potatoes, and spinach.
  • Make wise protein choices with meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and milk products from animals raised on vegetarian feed without added hormones or antibiotics.

“Whole Foods Market has provided a safe haven for health-conscious families for more than 25 years. Parents often discover Whole Foods Market for the first time when they begin thinking about moving toward a healthy lifestyle with the birth of a baby,” added Villecco. “These moms and dads tell us they find peace of mind in the assurance that Whole Foods Market only offers foods free of artificial colors, preservatives, sweeteners, flavors and hydrogenated oils.”

Shoppers can pick up the in-store booklet in their local Whole Foods Market store and enjoy coupons by these baby-friendly companies: Boiron, Born Free, Dr. Bronner's, Earth's Best, gDiapers, Hyland's, Luna, Naturally Clean, a book by Jeffrey Hollander, Nordic Naturals, Organic Valley, Plum Organics, Seventh Generation, Stonyfield Farms, and Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value™.