Summer 2015 Sunscreen Guide


Hall of Shame for Worst Sunscreens

We just spent a wonderful family vacation at the beach!!  With a total of 7 cousins under FIVE, Sunscreen was definitely on everyone’s minds!!  My FITmama pick for Best Sunscreen was California Baby.  Before you head out to the pool, park, or beach, be sure to checkout the report below by the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Hall Of Shame.

When deciding on sunscreen this summer for you and the kids, be sure to checkout whether your pick is good, bad, or shameful! Those in the “shameful” category are not only a waste of money and time but also potentially harmful. Here are the EWG’s picks for products to banish from your beach bag.

  • Spray sunscreens can be inhaled, and they don’t cover skin completely.
  • SPF values above 50+ try to trick you into believing they’ll prevent sun damage. Don’t trust them. SPF protection tops out at 30 to 50.
  • Oxybenzone can disrupt the hormone system.
  • Retinyl palmitate may trigger damage, possibly cancer.

11 Worst Spray Sunscreens

These sunscreens are aerosol sprays with SPFs above 50+ and the harmful additives oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate.

Banana Boat Clear UltraMist Ultra Defense MAX Skin Protect Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110
Coppertone Sport High Performance AccuSpray Sunscreen, SPF 70
Coppertone Sport High Performance Clear Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100+
CVS Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100
CVS Sheer Mist Spray Sunscreen, SPF 70
CVS Sport Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100+
CVS Wet & Dry Sunscreen Spray, SPF 85
Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunscreen Body Mist, SPF 70
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray, SPF 85+

12 Worst Sunscreen Lotions

These sunscreen lotions claim SPFs above 50+ and contain oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate.

Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen, SPF 75
Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+
CVS Sport Sunstick Sunscreen, SPF 55
CVS Sun Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 100
CVS Sun Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 70
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Daily Liquid Sunscreen, SPF 70
NO-AD Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 60
NO-AD Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 85
Ocean Potion Protect & Nourish Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70

11 Worst Sunscreens for Kids

These terrible kid and baby sunscreens have at least three strikes against them: 1) oxybenzone, 2) retinyl palmitate and 3) SPFs above 50+. Two have a fourth strike: they’re aerosol sprays that can harm sensitive young lungs. Convenient? Yes. Good for kids? Absolutely not.

Banana Boat Clear UltraMist Kids Max Protect & Play Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110
Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
Coppertone Kids Wacky Foam Foaming Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 70+
Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+
Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
Equate Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
Kroger Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
Kroger Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Beach & Pool Sunblock Spray, SPF 70+
Up & Up Kid’s Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55

How the EWG picked the Hall of Shame

1) Spray sunscreens

One in every four sunscreens in this year’s database is a spray. People like sprays because they’re easy to squirt on squirming kids and hard-to-reach areas. But they may pose serious inhalation risks, and they make it too easy to apply too little or miss a spot.

The FDA has expressed doubts about their safety and effectiveness but hasn’t banned them. As long as they’re legal, sunscreen manufacturers will make them.

2) Sky-high SPFs

One eighth of the sunscreens we evaluated this year boast SPFs above 50+. SPF stands for “sun protection factor,” but that outdated term refers only to protection against UVB rays that burn the skin. It has little to do with a product’s ability to protect skin from UVA rays, which penetrate deep into the body, accelerate skin aging, may suppress the immune system and may cause skin cancer.

The worst thing about high-SPF products is that they give people a false sense of security and tempt them to stay in the sun too long. They suppress sunburns but raise the risk of other kinds of skin damage. The FDA is considering barring SPF above 50+.

3) Oxybenzone

Half of the beach and sport sunscreens in this year’s guide contain oxybenzone, an active ingredient in sunscreens. But it penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body. It can trigger allergic skin reactions. Some research studies, while not conclusive, have linked higher concentrations of oxybenzone to disorders, including endometriosis in older women and, lower birth weights in newborn girls.

4) Retinyl palmitate

Nearly 20 percent of the sunscreens and SPF-rated moisturizers and 13 percent of SPF-rate lip products in this year’s guide contain retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A. Night creams with this chemical may help skin look more youthful. But on sun-exposed skin, retinyl palmitate may speed development of skin tumors and lesions, according to government studies. Why does the FDA allow this “inactive ingredient” in sunscreens intended for use in the sun? The agency has been studying the chemical for years but hasn’t made a decision. We have. The definitive study may not have been done, but we think we know enough to believe you’re better off without sunscreens with retinyl palmitate.

Click here to find out how your sunscreen rates!! 

Stay Safe:)




TGIF Fish Tacos!

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One of my favorite dishes is Fish Tacos!  I could seriously eat fish tacos all year long but the spring weather makes everything taste better… especially these Turbot Fish Tacos with roasted peppers and crunchy kale!! Try our FITapproved recipe for a yummy, healthy, and easy 15min dinner!!

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Serves 4

1lb Wild Turbot (or mahi mahi, tilapia)

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

1 orange pepper

1/2 onion

1 batch of Kale

1 avocado or fresh guacamole

1 pack of original homemade tortilla wraps (I buy the whole foods brand).

old bay seasoning & evoo (extra virgin olive oil)



1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Rinse the turbot and place on an oven safe dish.  Pour 2tbsp of evoo on the turbot and three dashes of old bay seasoning.  Rub the evoo and old bay evenly throughout the turbot.  Bake in the oven for 10-15mins until it starts to flake apart.

2. Wash all the peppers and then dice up the peppers and onions into thin slices.  On the stove top, pour 1-2tbsp of evoo onto a skillet and heat to medium.  First add the onions and stir.  After 2mins add all the peppers and continue to stir for another 5mins.

3. Wash the kale, and break off the leaves from the stem and chop into small pieces.  Place all the kale on an oven safe dish and pour 2tbsp of evoo and add another dash of old bay!  Mix and rub the evoo and old bay evenly into the kale and then place the dish into the oven and bake until crunchy (5mins).

4. Warm up the tortillas in the oven for 1-2mins.  And then serve the warm tortilla with the turbot, peppers, onions, and topped with crunchy kale and either a 1/4 of avocado or 1 dollop of guacamole!!

Even my little one can’t get enough!!






Homemade Baby Food, MADE SIMPLE!


IMG_1433As a mama of two, I’ve definitely made my share of homemade baby food.  With my first child, I was very careful to follow my guidelines below (and those of my pediatrician) for introducing each food stage by stage.  I would go to the grocery store and buy tons of veggies and sweet potatoes and make these delicious purees and freeze them in glass containers.  And then, with my second child it was a totally different story.  She wanted nothing to do with these purees, so instead I followed Baby Led Weaning.  In a nutshell, it’s basically the opposite of what I did with my first… No purees, no ice cube trays, no food processor, no potato masher, no baby rice, no weird fruit and veg combos… and just eating “grown-up” food at 7 months.  Last night she ate salmon, green beans, and sweet potatoes… a girl after my own heart 🙂  The bottom-line is that each child is unique and different and they will let you know which approach they prefer.  I wanted to share my guidelines and tips below as a starting point for moms to use as a resource.  And of course, always check with your pediatrician when it comes to allergies.  My husband has nut and shellfish allergies, so we introduced peanuts early (at 7 mos.) with both kids and they both love their peanut butter!

FIRST FOODS (4-6months): 

  • Ripe Avocado
  • Ripe Banana
  • Infant Cereal
  • Baked and Pureed Sweet Potato

Feeding Tips: 

  • 4 to 7 day wait rule, but no longer than one week of the same food.
  • Introduce Single Foods before giving “mixed dinners” or “squeezable pouches” of multiple ingredients. 
  • Watch for signs of Allergies

STAGE 2 (6-8months):  

In addition to the foods for 4-6months.

2 meals per day and breastfeeding (about ~4-5x day) or 32oz of formula 

Introduce more greens and veggies before more fruits

  • Brown Rice Cereal, Millet Cereal, Oat Cereal, Barley Cereal
  • Cooked and Strained: Apricots, peaches, pears, plums, prunes
  • Raw mild fruits: Mango, Papaya, Pears
  • asparagus, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, spinach
  • Apples, applesauce

FINGER FOODS (8-12months): 

In addition to the foods for 4-8months.  They start to eat what you are eating and maybe at the same time 🙂 

  • Egg yolk (first)
  • salmon, codfish
  • chicken, turkey, beef
  • tahini, chick peas, black beans, lentils
  • kale, brussels sprouts
  • Quinoa, buckwheat “kasha”, pasta, orzo,


Always ask your pediatrician when they recommend the following foods, because they may may trigger allergies!

One parent with allergies= 25% chance  —- Both Parents with allergies= 40% chance

  • cow’s milk
  • soy
  • egg whites
  • wheat
  • nuts, peanuts
  • strawberries, honey, citrus fruits
  • artificial additives, chemicals
  • shellfish


  • 1.) Think ahead!  When you go to the grocery store, be sure to buy enough to food to puree and/or cook that will last you at least 3-5 days.  Make a large batch of sweet potatoes, carrots, white potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, and (a) use the food processor to blend everything together and freeze in small batches (b) freeze separate finger foods to mix and match different combinations.
  • 2.) Budget Friendly for the whole family 🙂  As a busy working mom, I don’t have time to make separate meals.  Food brings us together so have fun eating at the same time!  If we are eating salmon for dinner with green beans, than so does the baby. 
  • 3.) Healthy!!  I find that some parents spend time and energy on making their kids plates healthier than theirs or vice versa.  We all enjoy colorful food, full of nutrients, and lots of flavor, so help yourself and your kids develop a clean, nutritious, and delicious palate.




  • 3 Red or blush apples
  • 9 Prunes
  • Cinnamon
  • Yogurt (optional)


  • 1.) Awesome Apples:
    Wash and core 3 apples. If you don’t have an apple corer (which most of us don’t) just use a knife to cut out the center, starting at the stem and working your way down as best possible. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon inside cored area and over skin. Stuff 3 prunes inside each apple. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for about 30-40 minutes or until apples are very soft. Remove from oven and cut apples in half. Place prunes and apples (with about half skins still on) in blender with 1/3 cup water. Blend until smooth.
    * Optional: add ¼ cup plain yogurt to mixture and blend for the creamy delicious version.


Options for puree, cooked, or baked!

  • Green beans, pear, pea
  • Kale, apple, mango
  • Sweet potato, apple, carrot, cinnamon
  • Banana, Peach, Mango
  • Carrot, Sweet potato, peas, beets

Enjoy! And have fun with it!!