95% of Baby food have Toxins!
Some popular baby foods are tainted with dangerous levels of heavy metals including lead, arsenic, and mercury, according to a Congressional report released in 2019. The levels of toxic metals in the products far exceed the limit the US Food and Drug Administration has set for other products like bottled water, the report also said. The findings highlighted how baby food manufacturers have been held to loose standards and in some cases haven't even lived up to their safety benchmarks.
Exposure to heavy metals in childhood is linked to:
Permanent dips in IQ
An increased risk of future criminal activity
Damaged long-term brain function
Here's what you should do:
MAKE 5 SIMPLE SWAPS
According to the 2019 national investigation led by Healthy Babies, Bright Futures finding that 95% of baby foods tested contain toxic chemicals including arsenic and lead, 15 foods account for half the risk, with rice-based foods at the top. Rice absorbs more arsenic from groundwater than other crops. As such, making five particular food choices can reduce toxic metal residue by 80%:
Choose rice-free snacks over rice-based ones
Try a frozen banana or chilled cucumber instead of rice-based teething biscuits
Opt for oatmeal over a rice cereal
Give them tap water over fruit juice
Mix up their fruit- and vegetable-based foods rather than sticking strictly to those made with sweet potatoes and carrots.
DON'T SWITCH TO A NEW BRAND
Swapping baby foods made the manufacturers called out in the Congressional report for direct-to-consumer brands, however, won't necessarily make a difference. This is an issue of soil and heavy metals from agricultural and industrial practices.
FOCUS ON VARIETY
Making sure your kid is eating a variety of foods not only naturally limits the amount of heavy metals that could be in any one food source, but also supports kids' development by supplying a range of nutrients and maturing their palate for different flavors and textures, which will benefit them long-term
DON'T GET STUCK IN THE BABY FOOD PHASE
Due to their convenience, it's easy to get stuck on baby food and not advance your baby, but the meals are meant to be transitional. The same thing goes for other sources of nutrition, such as breast milk or formula and single-grain cereal. According to the Mayo Clinic, single-ingredient finger foods like mashed peas or chopped-up chicken can usually be introduced between 8 and 10 months. You can also introduce fish, which is a great source of protein and other nutrients, stick to options that are more likely to be low in mercury, like light tuna (solid or chunk), salmon, cod, whitefish, and pollock, the AAP recommends.
MAKE YOUR OWN BABY FOOD
Make your own baby food if it makes you feel more comfortable, but it's not a surefire solution. Parents can make their own baby food by buying, washing, and blending their own fruits and vegetables, but that's no guarantee the final product won't be contaminated with heavy metals since even organic produce can be grown in soil with traces of them. On the other hand, homemade baby food can have benefits beyond the potential reduction in heavy metals. Many parents find that making food at the same time they are preparing food for older family members was the most economic and efficient way to ensure balanced eating and variety
VISIT YOUR PREFERRED MEDICAL PRACTITIONER
Regular pediatric visits can help identify any development problems, whether influenced by your child's diet or something else. It's recommended that babies get checkups at birth, three to five days after birth, and then at one, two, four, six, nine, 12, 15, 18, and 24 months.
LIMIT HEAVY METAL EXPOSURE IN OTHER WAYS
Baby food isn't the only way your child could be exposed to heavy metals.
PAINT- The most common source of lead exposure is from peeling or chipping paint in older homes built before 1978. If you're concerned your home may have some lead-based paint, you can request an inspector or even use an at-home test kit.
WATER- The AAP also recommends contacting your local health department to have your water tested if you're concerned it could be contaminated with metals like arsenic or lead.
SMOKE- Don't smoke or vape either, the association says, as secondhand and even third-hand smoke (or residue from smoking on furniture or clothes rather than in the air, may expose children to metals like cadmium and lead.
ADVOCATE FOR MORE OVERSIGHT OF BABY FOODS
The Congressional report, for instance, recommended the FDA require baby food manufacturers to test their finished products for toxic heavy metals and label products that contain them. Manufacturers should also be encouraged to "phase out" ingredients with heavy toxic metals, it said. Finally, the FDA should set a limit on toxic metals allowed in all baby foods. It was stated that the reason the FDA hasn't already instituted such protocols is a lack of funding, and encouraged worried parents to call their Congresspeople and urge them to change that. The word of a mom is a powerful engine for change!
If you feel that your child has been exposed to toxins and would like to schedule a complimentary phone consultation to see if a gentle detox might be right for your child. Please request a phone consultation online here.