As parents, we are all trying to do what’s best for our children – and sometimes that includes giving them pre-made baby food or packaged snacks. But the scary part is that unbeknownst to most of us, these foods may contain heavy metals that are toxic to the infant and child’s developing brain.
Toxins & Pre-Made Baby Food
A congressional report released this week (accessible here) reported that products made by the largest commercial baby food manufacturers across the US contained arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.
This finding is nothing new. In 2019, an extensive report by Healthy Babies Bright Futures uncovered the same unsettling information. The report stated that 95% of the baby food products tested contained at least one heavy metal, and 1 in 4 of all products tested contained all four heavy metals. The products identified to pose the highest risks were rice cereals, rice or puff snacks, teething biscuits, fruit juices, and root vegetables.
Safer Pre-Made Baby Food Choices
The report identifies safer baby food choices that parents can make to reduce toxic metal exposure by up to 80%.
Here are the key steps:
- Avoid all rice-based products, including rice cereals, rice puffs and other rice snacks.
- Instead of rice, choose alternate grains such as oats or multigrain.
- Instead of rice-based teething biscuits, use frozen fruit or vegetables.
- Avoid giving fruit juice to infants and children, choose water or milk instead.
- Limit the amount carrot and sweet potato products, as these root vegetables accumulate a higher content of heavy metals. Replace them with wide variety of other vegetables.
About Dr. Erica Nikiforuk, BSc, ND, RAc
Dr. Erica is a Naturopathic Doctor and Registered Acupuncturist with a focus on fertility, pregnancy and pediatric health. She has dedicated her 11 years in practice to empowering her patients to make simple lifestyle changes, thereby impacting their own health and benefiting generations to come. You can read more about Dr. Erica here.
- Beal JA. Heavy Metals in Baby Food: What Providers and Parents Need to Know. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 2020 Mar/Apr;45(2):125.
- Healthy Babies Bright Futures, 2019. What’s in my baby’s food? Charlottesville, VA. Retrieved from: https://www.healthybabyfood.org/sites/healthybabyfoods.org/files/2019-10/BabyFoodReport_FULLREPORT_ENGLISH_R5b.pdf
- Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Committee on Oversight and Reform U.S. House of Representatives. Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury. Retrieved from: https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2021-02-04%20ECP%20Baby%20Food%20Staff%20Report.pdf