Because "non-toxic" finger paint might not really be non-toxic
If you have a little artist who's still too young to know that paint isn't food, you might want to consider making your own safe and edible paint. It might not surprise you that paints and other art supplies labeled as "non-toxic" might not really be non-toxic. Unfortunately, there's no real guarantee what's in your paint because most ingredients in commercially available paints don't have to be disclosed.
However, scientists do know that pigments used in paints can contain toxic metals like cadmium, lead, and nickel. And preservatives need to be added to a lot of water-based paints so the product can sit on the shelf and not rot or mold before being used.
We feel a lot better knowing exactly what is potentially going in our kid's mouths, especially before they're old enough to follow instructions. Thankfully making yogurt paint is super easy and fun to do. Yogurt paint is a truly non-toxic paint that is edible too!
- Put plain or vanilla yogurt in several small bowls or in different compartments of a muffin tin.
- Add a couple drops of food coloring and mix. If you are concerned about artificial food colorings, there are some brands that use only vegetable-based pigments, like Watkins, Chefmaster, McCormick's Color By Nature, and Color Garden, or you can make your own natural food coloring with these recipes.
- Start painting with a brush or with fingers! Let the paper dry and enjoy your homemade art. Just a note that the colors will fade over time, especially if left out in the sun.