How to Tactfully Suggest Non-toxic Gifts Ideas

How to Make Non-toxic Gift Suggestions without Offending Your Family and Friends

by Alicia Voorhies, RN

It's totally against the rules to tell people what type of gifts they should or shouldn't get your child, right?  So how should parents handle those well-meaning family and friends who buy gifts with unhealthy ingredients?

Over the years, we've gotten more requests for help with this awkward situation than you'd ever imagine.  We still don't have the perfect answer, so we asked for a little help from our friends:

I don't think it's acceptable to ask for money because most everyone enjoys watching kids open their gifts.  The best solution I've found is to create an Amazon wish list.  Some people have thanked me for having everything so organized.  It's a win-win for everybody! – Jen

Instead of forcing my family to attend a 3-day seminar on the atrocities caused by toxic chemicals in plastics, paints, and jewelry, I try to include hints about what my daughter would like the most to steer them in the right direction.  I include major categories that are known to be safer such as organic clothing, books, puzzles, and wooden toys.  – Amy

We explain to our family and friends that we're trying hard to practice more of a minimalist approach in our home, and that we would much rather receive gifts focused on family fun like zoo memberships, train rides or tickets to a play.  That way we get to choose which safe, eco-friendly toys we buy for our children.  – Trudy

It can be really tough to tame everyone's desire to buy mountains of things for your unborn baby.  I came across a really great copy and paste list of responses by Off Beat Mama that you might find helpful.  My favorite tip is to ask for hand-me-downs, second-hand, and home-made gifts only. – Melissa

But what if somebody asks why you're so picky about the toys your child receives?  We suggest you give them a brief descriptions of the top two chemicals you're worried most about.  Then, if they want to know more, send them to for quick cheat sheet of tips for non-toxic toy shopping.