Office of Pollution Prevention and	EPA-747-F-01-004
Toxics (7404)	October 2019
United States
Environmental Protection
with a Healthy Diet
Lead Poisoning Prevention
Tips for Families

Lead and a Healthy Diet
What you Can Do to protect your Child
Lead's Effects on the Body
Lead is a poisonous metal that our bodies cannot use.
Lead poisoning can cause learning, hearing, and behavioral
problems, and can harm your child's brain, kidneys, and other
organs. Lead in the body stops good minerals such as iron
and calcium from working right. Some of these effects may
be permanent.
Lead Awareness and your Child
Children with lead poisoning usually do not look or act
sick. The only way to know if your child has lead poisoning is
by getting a blood test. Ask your doctor or health care
provider to test your child under six years of age at least once
a year.
Lead Hazards
Where is Lead Found?
Main Sources of Lead
Lead-based paint is a hazard if it is peeling, chipping,
chalking, or cracking. Even lead-based paint that
appears to be undisturbed can be a problem if it is on
surfaces that children chew or that get a lot of wear
and tear. The older your home is, the more likely it is
to contain lead-based paint.
Contaminated dust forms when lead paint is dryscraped or
sanded. Dust can also become contaminated when painted
surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can
gather on surfaces and objects that people touch or that
children put into their mouths.
Contaminated soil occurs when exterior lead-based
paint from houses, buildings, or other structures
flakes or peels and gets into the soil. Soil near roadways
may also be contaminated from past use of leaded
gasoline in cars. Avoid these areas when planting
vegetable gardens.
Other Sources of Lead
•	Contaminated drinking water from older plumbing
•	Lead-based painted toys and household furniture
•	Imported lead-glazed pottery and leaded crystal
•	Lead smelters
•	Hobbies
•	Folk remedies like azarcon and pay-loo-ah
•	Cosmetics, like kohl and kajal
Lead poisoning occurs without any

Meal and £nacK Ideas
Tips to Help you and Your Children Plan Meals and £nacKs
Oatmeal swirlers
Sliced banana
Orange juice
Grilled cheese and tomato
Low-fat milk
Sloppy joes
Low-fat milk
Cheese omelet
Low-fat milk
Tuna salad sandwich
Pear slices
Macaroni and cheese
Stewed tomatoes
Melon slice
French toast
Orange sections
Pizza bagel
100% fruit juice
Fresh or canned peaches
Low-fat milk
Chicken stew
Between meals offer small snacks, such as cereal with low-fat milk, whole wheat crackers with cheese, apple or pear slices,
oranges or bananas, raisins, yogurt, frozen fruit juice pops, and fruit smoothies.
Many of the foods listed in this brochure can be bought with food vouchers from the WIC program.
To find out more about WIC, call you child's pediatrician or visit

Ingredients	Makes 4-6 servings
•	1 1/2 cups of quick cooking oats
•	1/3 cup of peanut butter
•	1/3 cup of fruit jelly or jam
1.	Follow the package directions to
cook oats.	/	/
2.	Sppon peanut bu tter and jelly f
on top of cooked oatm eal.
3.	Stir and spoon into bowls.
4.	Serve with low-fat milk.
ingredients	Makes 2-3 servinss
•	3 eggs
•	1 tablespoon of low-fat milk
•	Vegetable oil
•	3 tablespoons of cheese
1.	Mix eggs and milk in a bowl.
2.	Lightly coat pan with vegetable oil. Use medium heat.
3.	Add egg mixture and cook.
4.	When omelet is cooked on the bottom, add cheese.
5.	When cheese is melted, fold omelet in half.
6.	Top with salsa if you like.
7.	Serve with toast, fruit, and low-fat milk.
•	3 eggs, beaten
•	1/2 cups of low-fat milk
•	Vegetable oil
Makes 4-6 servings
6 slices of bread
2 bananas, sliced
1.	Mix eggs and milk.
2.	Lightly coat pan with vegetable oil. Use medium heat.
3.	Dip bread into egg mixture, so that bread is covered.
4.	Brown one side of bread in pan.
5.	Sprinkle top with cinnamon.
6.	Turn over bread and brown the other side. Top with
sliced banana.
7.	Serve with low-fat milk.
Grilled C
•	2 slices of bread
•	2 slices of American
Makes 1 serving
1 slice of tomato
Vegetable oil
1.	Make sandwich using bread, cheese, and tomato.
2.	Lightly coat pan with vegetable oil.
3.	Brown sandwich on both sides
over low heat to melt the cheese.
4.	Serve with low-fat milk or fruit

Tung glDDdl
ingredients	Makes 2 servings
•	4 slices of bread
•	1 can of water packed tuna
•	4 teaspoons of low-fat mayonnaise
•	Onion and celery, chopped
1.	Mix tuna with low-fat mayonnaise, onion, and celery.
2.	Try your sandwich with cheese and tomato.
3.	Serve with low-fat milk.
* ¦*
Ingredients	Makes 2-3 servinss
•	1 bagel
•	2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
•	Garlic, basil, or oregano
•	2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese or part-skim mozzarella
1.	Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.	Slice open a bagel and place on a flat pan.
3.	Add tomato sauce, seasonings, and cheese.
4.	Bake for 3 minutes or until cheese melts.
5.	Serve with fruit juice.
•	1 pound of lean ground
beef, turkey, or chicken
•	1 small onion, chopped
•	1/2 green pepper,
Makes 4-6 servings
1 cup of tomato sauce
Your choice of
5 hamburger buns or
pita pocket breads
1.	In a pan, cook lean ground meat, onion,
2.	and green pepper until meat is well done.
3.	Drain fat.
4.	Stir in tomato sauce and seasonings.
5.	Cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
6.	Spoon into hamburger bun or pita.
7.	Serve with fruit juice.
Ingredients	Makes 2-3 servinss
•	1 cup of low-fat milk
•	1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries, mashed
•	1 ripe banana, mashed
1.	Mix all together in
a blender or use a
wire whisk.
2.	Eat as a snack
or for dessert.

Makes 6-8 servings
1 stalk of celery,
28 ounce can of stewed
Poultry seasoning
•	3 pounds of frying
chicken, cut up into
small pieces
•	Vegetable oil
•	1 medium onion,
1.	Lightly coat pot with vegetable oil. Use medium heat.
2.	Cook chicken until it is well done.
3.	Add can of stewed tomatoes.
4.	Add vegetables and seasoning.
5.	Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
6.	Serve with rice or noodles
aroii C
Makes 3-5 servings
2 tablespoons of
2 cups of low-fat milk
2 tablespoons of flour
Salt and pepper
•	4 cups of cooked
•	3 cups of grated cheddar
•	Vegetable oil
1.	Preheat oven to 375° degrees.
2.	Lightly coat casserole dish with vegetable oil. Mix
cooked macaroni with grated cheese. Pour into casserole.
3.	Melt margarine in a pan. Remove from heat, stir in flour.
4.	Return to heat. Add low-fat milk slowly, stirring until
smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5.	Pour over macaroni. Stir and cover. Bake for 30 minutes.
6.	Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.

"Regularly Eat Heaitbiy Foods
The importance of iron, Calcium, and Vitamin-C
Children with empty stomachs absorb more lead than
children with food in their stomachs. Provide your child
with four to six small meals during the day. Hie following-
nutrients can help protect your child fromlead poisoning:
Foods with Iron
Normal levels of iron work to protect the body
from the harmful effects of lead. Good sources
of dietary iron include:
•	Lean red meats, fish, and chicken
•	Iron-fortified cereals
•	Dried fruits (raisins, prunes)
Foods with Calcium
Calcium reduces lead absorption and also helps
make teeth and bones strong. Good sources of
dietary calcium include:
•	Milk
•	Yogurt
•	Cheese
•	Green leafy vegetables (spinach,
•	kale, collard greens)
Foods with Vitamin C
Foods with vitamin C and iron work together
to reduce lead absorption. Good sources of
vitamin C include:
•	Oranges, orange juice
•	Grapefruits, grapefruit juice
•	Tomatoes, tomato juice
•	Green peppers
Afitaflthy d)o<
can help
your child from the harmful effects

Simple Steps you Can TaKe
to protect Your Family from Lead Hazards
•	Get your children tested for lead, even if they seem
•	Make sure your children eat healthy, low-fat foods high
in iron, calcium, and vitamin C.
•	Always wash your hands before eating.
•	Wash children's hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys.
•	Run water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before drinking,
espcially if you have not used your water for a few hours.
•	Use only cold water for making your baby's formula,
drinking, and cooking.
•	Do not use imported pottery to store or serve food.
•	Regularly clean floors, windowsills, and other surfaces
using wet methods that control dust.
•	Wipe or remove shoes before entering your house.
•	Get your home tested for lead by a lead-safe certified
professional if it was built before 1978.
•	If you rent, it is your landlord's job to keep paint in good
shape. Report peeling or chipping paint to your landlord
and call your health department if the paint is not
repaired safely.
•	Take precautions to avoid exposure to lead dust when
remodeling or renovating.
•	Don't try to remove paint yourself!
Lead poisoning is completely
For More Information
on Childhood Lead poisoningprevention
•	Your child's pediatrician
•	The National Lead Information Center at
1-800-424-LEAD (424-5323)
•	U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Safe
Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791
•	EPA's Lead Program website at
•	U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
website at
•	U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) website at
United States
Environmental Protection