Heavy metals in your LO’s Baby Food? Here’s what you need to know & how to keep your child safe
According to an article in Forbes, “The testing involved checking 168 containers of 61 brands of 13 different types of baby food for four types of heavy metals. Arsenic was in 73% of the baby foods tested, cadmium in 75%, mercury in 32%, and lead in a whopping 94%. In fact, 26% of baby foods tested had all four of these metals, and 40% had three of them.” Even though only trace amounts of each toxic chemical were found, these small doses can add up over time and become detrimental to your baby’s developing brain.
So how does this happen? The heavy metals named in this study are often found in soil and water, and crops can absorb them while they grow. However, some plants are more prone to absorption than others.
The good news is that there are many simple steps you can take to protect your Little One and set them up for a healthy future. We will focus on 3 easy tips that will significantly reduce baby’s risk of exposure.
1. Avoid rice puffs & rice cereal: The highest risks of heavy metals come from puff snacks, teething biscuits, and infant rice cereals. Rice absorbs these heavy metal contaminants at 10 times the rate as other crops. One of the bigger issues is that in the US, rice cereal has been recommended by doctors as a first food for many years, but we now know that there are better first food options! Rather than rice puff snacks and teething biscuits, it is totally safe to feed your baby soft, whole veggies as a first food! Gnawing on cold veggies can also be soothing on gums while your baby is teething.
2. Avoid purees and concentrates: Highly concentrated products such as the rice cereals and juices tested in HBBF’s studies have high levels of these contaminants because of the concentration of ingredients in these products.
3. Variety is key: One of the best things we can do for our health is to eat a well-balanced, diverse diet. The same is true for our little ones. The study may call out sweet potatoes and carrots as high risk vegetables for contaminants. It’s important to note however, that the study doesn’t say “don’t eat sweet potatoes or carrots ever again” - because these are great nutritious vegetables that your little one needs in their diet! The best thing you can do is offer your baby or toddler a variety of foods. According to Amy Keating, R.D., a nutritionist at Consumer Reports, “feeding your baby a wide range of foods is key, because this avoids the risk of contaminants building up in the child’s system. It’s important to remember that a healthy diet consists of a variety of foods. Carrots and sweet potatoes are sources of important nutrients like beta carotene, potassium, and fiber, and you can feed them to your child in rotation with other vegetables. What’s key is eating a balance of healthy foods.”
This same study finds that you can reduce your risk by up to 80% just by choosing healthy alternatives like whole vegetables, fruits, legumes, spices and non-rice grains. That's why we emphasize exposing children to a wide variety of diverse ingredients. The best solution found to reduce the risk and exposure to heavy metals is to feed children a well-balanced and diverse diet.
Tiny Organics offers only real, whole foods, freshly cooked and fresh-frozen - a safer and more nutritious alternative than highly processed traditional baby and toddler food offerings.
Here are some ways we are ensuring your little one receives the most nutritious start possible from our meals:
- We only use 100% USDA-certified organic ingredients. Our fresh produce is delivered daily to our kitchen from a local organic purveyor.
- We regularly perform lab tests by an independent third party to ensure food safety and quality.
- Our meals are cooked daily in small batches, no heavy machinery or extra processing.
To find out more about each recipe from our menu,
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1. “95% of Baby Food Had Toxic Heavy Metals, Senator Schumer Calls For Action”, Forbes.
2. Houlihan, Jane. “What’s In My Baby’s Food?”, https://www.healthybabyfood.org/.
3. “Most Baby Foods Contain Arsenic, Lead, and Other Heavy Metals, Study Finds”, Consumer Reports.
4. “95 percent of tested baby foods in U.S. contain toxic metals, report says — here's what parents need to know”, Yahoo.
5. “Toxic Chemicals Found in 95% of Baby Food, According to New Report”, Romper. https://www.romper.com/p/toxic-metals-found-in-95-of-baby-food-according-to-new-report-19250668