Home Children & Parenting Is Baby Food Dangerous? New Investigation Finds Toxic Chemicals From 95 Percent...

Is Baby Food Dangerous? New Investigation Finds Toxic Chemicals From 95 Percent of Tested Baby Foods

Zerxza.com may earn commission when you buy something through the links or banners on this page but we only feature brands or products we trust.

Readers' Picks

What to Do if You Don’t Like Your Child

The birth and arrival of your baby is surrounded by pastel colors, baby showers, decorating the nursery and gift registries. It’s a time of...

10 Reasons Why You Lose Sex Drive After Having Children

Becoming a new mom means so much more than just giving birth to a new baby. Your entire life changes. You’ll experience countless joys...

Grounding Your Kids: The Right and Wrong Way to Discipline

It’s safe to say that you were grounded at least once in your childhood or adolescent years. It’s a form of discipline that most...

8 Fun Games That Help to Discipline Your Child

Communication is key in any good relationship, and we usually talk about it when it has to do with couples and other adult relationships....

Parentese: The “Smart” Baby Talk That Helps Your Child's Development, According to Research

Baby talk gets a bad rep, especially due to strong myths that many moms still whole-heartedly believe. But no one can deny it's almost impossible...

Apartment Life With Kids: How to Manage It Without Going Crazy

As much as you love your kids, they’re going to drive you crazy. It’s inevitable. And most people can take a much-needed break by...

Storebought baby food is generally assumed to be safe for your child. After all, it's found in a supermarket and seems very appealing, promising to be a nutritious choice for your little one. Many of us don't even suspect anything dangerous lurking in the baby food jar.

However, a new investigation by Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) brings parents' attention to a worrying fact: 95 percent of baby foods tested during the study contained one or more toxic heavy metals.

One in four baby foods contained all four – arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Lead was found from 94 percent of tested baby foods, cadmium from 75 percent of foods and arsenic from 73 percent.

Subscribe & Save 20% On 20 Smoothies At SmoothieBox.com, no coupon needed!

What's even more troubling is that 168 baby foods were tested, many of those big brands, including Gerber, Earth's Best and Parent's Choice.

Even if these toxic metals are found in just trace amounts, they can still damage your baby's development and even affect their IQ. Categorized as developmental neurotoxins, they can harm your baby's nervous system and the effects can be permanent.

This is not just a conclusion made during this study as there are decades of research backing this. The fact is that babies might consume a significant amount of all common heavy metals and these might damage their nervous system in horrific, lifelong ways.

Happy Baby Organic Yogis Freeze-Dried Yogurt & Fruit Snacks, 3 Flavor Variety Pack,1 Ounce
Earth's Best Organic Sesame Street Sunny Day Toddler Snack Bars with Cereal Crust, Strawberries, (8 Count of 0.67 Oz Bars) 5.3 Oz, Pack of 6

Inadequate safety standards and exceeded limits

The recent study reminds a problem many have already been dealing with for a long time. The problem of toxic metals in baby food is, unfortunately, not a new one. So, you might be wondering – how is it possible that even today you might accidentally let your baby consume harmful heavy metals?

The reason is simple: there's a serious lack of guidance and safety standards on the federal level.

At the moment, there aren't many proper limits set by the FDA. In 2016, FDA established a limit on inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal and there's also a limit on arsenic and lead in fruit juices but without a doubt, there's a serious lack in standards, leading to manufacturers not even knowing the safe limits.

Even though there are some recommended limits established by public health organizations, HBBF says that these limits are often exceeded. For example, 83 percent of baby foods tested contained more lead than recommended.

This shortcoming in standards affects everything from veggies to snacks and drinks.

How toxic heavy metals get into baby food

Heavy metals are actually in the very heart of our planet: they belong to the earth's crust. Mostly, heavy metals end up in our food due to the soil or contaminated water. Contamination can arise from a number of things, starting from pesticides and ending with pollution. As crops grow, they absorb nutrients from the soil, but unfortunately, heavy metals are also in that absorption package.

As Consumer Reports outlines, packaged foods may also get contaminated during the manufacturing process, for example, due to the metal used in the machinery.

Unfortunately, avoiding heavy metals is near impossible, not even by opting for organic products. Since the metals are in the soil, even organic food contains them. To the surprise of many, the difference between organic and non-organic food isn't that big when it comes to their heavy metal count.

Some crops, like rice, are especially susceptible to absorbing heavy metals, so experts warn parents on feeding too much rice to toddlers.

Is there anything that could be done to lower the heavy metal content? Many manufacturers already do rigorous testing to detect heavy metals and many are also sourcing their ingredients from places that tend to have a lower heavy metal count in the soil, such as areas further away from industrial areas or big cities.

It's clear though that the methods used so far are not sufficient enough to lower the heavy metal content in the products, so more needs to be done as toxic metals can sneak into end products in various ways.

5 things you can do as a parent to provide safer food for your child

Happy Baby Organic Yogis Freeze-Dried Yogurt & Fruit Snacks, 3 Flavor Variety Pack,1 Ounce
Earth's Best Organic Sesame Street Sunny Day Toddler Snack Bars with Cereal Crust, Strawberries, (8 Count of 0.67 Oz Bars) 5.3 Oz, Pack of 6

Of course, there are some things you can do to lower your child's exposure to heavy metals. It might be impossible to completely avoid heavy metals but it's still possible to do some small changes in your daily life to protect your child more. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:


1. Replace infant rice cereal with safer choices

As HBBF highlighted in the report, rice is the leading source of arsenic for babies and toddlers. Infant rice cereal is extremely popular, especially due to being iron-fortified, but as HBBF found, there are alternatives that contain as much as 84 percent less inorganic arsenic on average.

These alternatives include oats, corn, quinoa, and others. Many of those are also iron-fortified, so there really isn't any reason to stick to rice cereal.

2. Look out for rice flour

Rice puff snacks, rice cakes, and other rice snacks are also very common, but snacks that have been prepared using rice flour have shown to be very high in arsenic, lead, and cadmium. According to HBBF, you can reduce your child's exposure to heavy metals significantly if you choose rice-free snacks that have shown to contain on average 93 percent less heavy metal residues.

Nordstrom Rack Holiday Gift Guide

As an alternative, experts recommend offering rice-free nutritious snacks to your child, such as fresh fruit, eggs, beans, peaches or yogurt.

3. When choosing rice, be smart

Though rice does, indeed, have the highest inorganic arsenic level, it doesn't mean you need to swear off rice for good. Consumer Reports recommends choosing white basmati rice that comes from California, India, and Pakistan as tests found this kind of rice having the lowest arsenic count.

Also, when cooking rice, use extra water. FDA recommends even as much as 6 to 10 parts water to 1 part rice. This could potentially reduce the arsenic count by up to 60 percent.

4. Choose drinks carefully

Fruit juices are also known to have higher traces of lead and arsenic, though not as much as some other foods. Due to juice's high sugar content, it's not recommended to offer children too much juice anyway. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving no fruit juice to babies under the age of one and less than half a cup to those under the age of three.

Alyaka Beauty Advent Calendar Luxe 2020

Instead of fruit juice, opt for good old tap water. However, Consumer Reports also highlights that if your water is coming from a well (therefore, comes very directly from the soil) or your house is equipped with old pipes, it might be worth to have your water tested for heavy metals.

5. Provide your child with a variety of veggies

Carrots and sweet potatoes are notoriously popular among parents but unfortunately, they're also known for a higher level of lead and cadmium. To avoid putting your child into danger, make sure you offer your baby with a variety of vegetables. Other fruits and vegetables contain, on average, up to 73 percent less toxic heavy metals.

As you see, there are plenty of things you can do to choose safer food for your toddler. Heavy metal content isn't something to be dismissed or taken too light-heartedly but you also shouldn't be scared. Make sure your child has a nice balanced diet and gets to enjoy a variety of healthy options.

Latest at Zerxza

9 Extremely Clever Ways to Save More Money

Have you ever tried to save more money but end up completely broke anyway? Even if you think you’ve done so so well. Maybe...

The Psychology of Money: Why Sometimes It Feels Great to Spend Money (and Sometimes It Makes You Feel Guilty)?

Whether it’s Cyber Monday, Black Friday, or some other shopping madness, consumer society is hunting the western world and showing its ugliest side. A frighteningly...

8 Powerful Winter Skincare Products for a Revitalized Skin

Wintertime is a real hazard on your skin. Cold wind and harsh temperatures do a number on you, starting from redness and ending with...

Are Your Friends Stopping You From Making Better Financial Decisions?

You should definitely buy that handbag, it’s meant for you… Hey, come out with us tonight! Please pay for the dinner this time, I promise it...

What to Do if Your Child Catches You Having Sex

Tonight’s the night. You tucked your children into bed. You made sure they had everything they could possibly need. You shut the doors, and...

What Are Solar Ovens and Should You Get One?

Have you heard of solar ovens? If you love baking in your oven, or camping, or you want to live off the grid, solar...

Brand Eating: Is There Any Point to Choosing Brand Names Over Generic?

It’s important to eat well. After all, you are what you eat. And that’s why you fill your cart with brand name items every...

Related Articles

error: Content is protected !!