Ten tips on how to minimize contaminants in children's food

    The George Brown School of Early Childhood weighs in on food safety for

    TORONTO, April 26 /CNW/ - Feeding kids can be a challenge at the best of
times, especially when they are infants and toddlers. But beyond the
preparation of healthy, nutritious meals, Canadian parents should also be
concerned with the contaminants that are in our foods. According to the George
Brown School of Early Childhood, hosts of the Seventh Annual Child Care Cooks'
Conference taking place this week in Toronto, the following ten tips can help
reduce the amount of toxins our children ingest:

    1.  Avoid food that has been charred, especially if it has been
        barbequed. Foods blackened on a BBQ may contain harmful carcinogens
        as a result of overly high temperatures and smoke.

    2.  Cooking at high heat on non-stick pans can release chemicals from the
        special coating. Lower cooking temperatures should be used with non-
        stick pans.

    3.  Ceramic and glass containers should be used to store food. Foods may
        react with some plastics, causing leaching of harmful chemicals.

    4.  It's best to reheat food in glass containers. Plastic containers and
        plastic wrap release chemicals during the reheating process that may
        be harmful when ingested.

    5.  Since pesticides and some other additives used in animal feed are
        stored in that animal's fat, it is a better choice to purchase lower
        fat dairy and meat.

    6.  Try to purchase organic and unprocessed for the foods your children
        eat often.

    7.  A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruit is always a safe

    8.  Avoid fish that may be high in mercury. Fish absorb mercury from the
        water and the prey they eat. The larger the fish, the higher the
        concentration. Fish to avoid include: fresh/frozen tuna, shark,
        swordfish, marlin, orange roughy/escolar, and canned albacore tuna.

    9.  Crystal and pottery made with lead components should not be used to
        store or serve food. Over time, there is a chemical reaction that
        takes place that causes lead to leach into the food.

    10. Breast milk is your wisest choice for infants. Breastfeeding moms
        should be careful with their diet, since elements of what they eat
        are passed to infants in their milk.

    About the George Brown School of Early Childhood

    The School for Early Childhood at George Brown College prepares students
to provide young children with the very best care and education. Building on
its recognized strengths in applying theory and research in real settings,
including the largest number of college-run child care centres in the Greater
Toronto Area, the School provides future early childhood educators with a
solid foundation in the theory of childhood development and practical
experience working with children and families.

    About George Brown College

    Established in 1967, George Brown's (GBC) three campuses are located in
downtown Toronto, the most multicultural city in the world. With more than
14,000 full-time students, including 1,400 international students, GBC is one
of Ontario's fastest growing colleges. GBC offers more than 150 programs
ranging from one-year certificates to four-year bachelor's degrees. In
addition, over 50,000 continuing education students are enrolled in more than
1,300 courses.

For further information:

For further information: Paul Zanettos, George Brown College, Office:
(416) 415-5000 ext. 3428, Mobile: (416) 893-5435, Email: pzanettos@rogers.com

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