5 Baby Foods with Toxins: Safer Choices to Feed your Baby
Scientific research now shows that there are several baby foods that contain arsenic, lead and other toxic heavy metals.
Health risks include cancer and decreased learning ability for children, and some foods have very high levels leading to greater risks for your little ones.
Unfortunately, the FDA hasn't set safety standards for heavy metals in some of our most popular bay foods.
Here are easy ways to cut down on the amounts of heavy toxins in your baby or toddler's diet:
SNACKS: Puffs and other snacks made with rice flour are high in arsenic. So choose rice-free packaged snacks. Even better, try these healthy snacks with fewer contaminants: Apples, unsweetened applesauce, bananas, barley with diced veggies, beans, cheese, grapes (cut lengthwise), hard-boiled eggs, peaches, and yogurt.
CEREALS: Infant rice cereal is the #1 source of arsenic in infant's diets. Choose other cereals that are naturally low in arsenic, like oatmeal and multi-grain.
TEETHING FOODS: Teething biscuits often contain arsenic, lead, and cadmium. They also lack nutrients and can cause tooth decay. Doctors and dentists recommend trying a frozen banana, a peeled and chilled cucumber, or a clean, cold, wet washcloth or spoon...and to stay with your baby to make sure there are no choking hazards whenever they are teething on something.
DRINKS: Apple, pear, grape and other fruit juices contain lead and arsenic. Levels aren't as high as in some other foods, but since many toddlers drink juice often, it's a top exposure source. Filtered tap water and milk are better drinks for toddlers. Serve whole or pureed fruits (like applesauce) instead of fruit juice for more healthy fiber and nutrients. Doctors advise avoiding fruit juice altogether in a baby's first year.
FRUITS & VEGGIES: Carrots and sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin A and other nutrients your baby needs. But they are also high in two toxic metals: lead and cadmium. Variety is the solution: give your baby these PLUS OTHER fruits & veggies throughout the week, for benefits without the excess risk of overloading on carrots and sweet potatoes.
Toxic heavy metals are often found in soil, water, and, therefore, food. But when babies are ingesting them often, that can be more dangerous.
But rice -- that is something to be especially aware of. Rice is high in arsenic and a top exposure source for toddlers. Here are extra steps you can take:
-- Cook rice in extra water that you pour off before eating, to cut down arsenic levels by 60 percent (according to FDA studies).
-- For the lowest levels, buy basmati rice grown in California, India, and Pakistan. White rice has less arsenic than brown rice.
-- Avoid rice from Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, or simply "U.S." It has the highest levels, according to testing by Consumer Reports.
-- Eat a variety of grains to help reduce your family's arsenic exposures. Try amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, millet and polenta (all gluten-free), or bulgur, barley and farro (these contain gluten.)
To read the entire report on what's dangerous to feed your baby (168 store-bought baby foods contain toxins!), CLICK HERE.