Baby Food & Heavy Metals

95 percent baby food tested contains toxic chemicals that harm kid’s brains *

What it means for babies’ health: The chemicals found in baby food – arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury – are neurotoxins that can harm the developing brain, lower IQ, and affect behavior.

Why baby foods contain these toxic heavy metals: These four harmful metals are found in all food – not just baby food. They occur naturally or from pollution in the environment. Crops absorb them from soil and water, and they are even found in organic food.

Take action: tell FDA to get arsenic & lead out of our babies’ food by signing our petition.

How to protect your family: Some popular baby foods have higher levels of heavy metals, like rice-based snacks, juice, and sweet potatoes. Here’s what you can do.

Baby Foods with Arsenic and Lead & Safer Choices

1) SNACKS: Puffs and other snacks made with rice flour are high in arsenic. Choose rice-free packaged snacks. Better yet, try these healthy snacks with fewer chemicals recommended by Consumer Reports: apples, applesauce (unsweetened), bananas, barley with diced vegetables, beans, cheese, grapes (cut lengthwise), hard-boiled eggs, peaches, and yogurt.

2) CEREAL: 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.

3) TEETHING FOODS: Teething biscuits often contain arsenic, lead, and cadmium. They also lack nutrients and can cause tooth decay. Instead, try frozen banana, a peeled and chilled cucumber, or a clean, cold wet washcloth or spoon. Stay with your baby to watch for any choking.

4) DRINKS: Apple, pear, grape and other fruit juices have lead and arsenic. Tap water and milk are better drinks for thirsty toddlers. Serve whole or pureed fruits (like applesauce) instead of fruit juice, for more healthy fiber and nutrients. Doctors advise avoiding fruit juice during a baby’s first year.

5) FRUITS & VEGGIES: Carrots and sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin A & other nutrients, but they are also high in lead and cadmium. Variety is the solution: give your baby these plus other fruits & veggies during the week.

BONUS – WHAT TO DO ABOUT RICE – Rice is high in arsenic and a top exposure source for toddlers. Simple steps can help:

– 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).

Source: Healthy Babies Bright Future. Learn more at healthybabyfood.org. We are a proud partner of HBBF, and co-released this report Oct 2019.’

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Check out the CNN story of this report.