Parents would do anything to keep their kids safe, but what about what you’re unknowingly serving your babies in their food? A new study says that nearly all baby food in the United States contains harmful metals.
The analysis was done by alliance Healthy Babies Bright Futures. They tested 170 types of food and 95% had traces of lead. One in five even had over 10 times the public health limit. It also revealed that cadmium and arsenic were found in 70% of the foods.
“Even in the trace amounts found in food, these contaminants can alter the developing brain and erode a child’s IQ. The impacts add up with each meal or snack a baby eats,” said the report.
Sweet potatoes and fruit juices were among the food and drinks with the highest risks of metal. However, the biggest culprit was rice-based products such as infant cereal. The FDA says this is because the rice absorbs inorganic arsenic in water.
“These popular baby foods are not only high in inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form of arsenic, but also are nearly always contaminated with all four toxic metals,” said the report.
Healthy Babies Bright Futures demands that the FDA and baby food companies respond to their findings.
“We need the FDA to use their authority more effectively, and much more quickly, to reduce toxic heavy metals in baby foods,” said Jane Houlihan, research director for Healthy Babies Bright Futures.
Tanya Altmann, a pediatrician, recommends feeding your children a variety of other products instead of rice-based foods first.
“Best first foods for infants are avocado, pureed veggies, peanut-butter oatmeal, and salmon. They all provide important nutrients that babies need, help develop their taste buds to prefer healthy food and may decrease food allergies,” said Altmann.
If this information worries you, try making your own baby food at home. It’s quick and easy and allows you to know exactly what you’re feeding your kids.