Heavy Metals in Baby Food
Moms on Call breaks down what we know and what changes you can make in regards to the recent reports on heavy metals found in store-bought baby food.
The congressional report recently released has brought attention to something that many groups have been discussing for years. This information is not new.
And there is much more research that is needed.
What We Know
- All plants, veggies and fruits are grown in soil that have heavy metals.
- Organic and non-organic foods may have concerning levels.
- The baby foods that were tested did have levels that are higher than acceptable levels in other products.
- Some foods that used rice, sweet potatoes and carrots had higher levels of these metals.
- Genetics, types of exposure and variety of diet play a role in how children’s bodies respond.
- Many of the foods tested would have to be consumed at 3-5 times the normal serving to reach concerning levels.
- How these foods are manufactured may play a role.
What You Can Do
- Minimize exposure. Limit rice products. Use other cereals made of whole grains.
- When eating rice, choose the right rice:
- Avoid brown rice.
- Basmati rice tends to have half the amount of non-organic arsenic.
- Know where the rice comes from.
- Rinse rice before cooking
- Cook with extra water. (Like you would cook pasta.)
- Limit processed foods and pre-packaged snacks.
- Great options for snacks: boiled eggs, avocados, bananas, peaches, yogurt, apples and applesauce (unsweetened) to name a few.
- Avoid juice. Unless using it occasionally for constipation, there is no benefit of juice.
- Avoid high-mercury fish. Best choices are: salmon, cod, shrimp and pollock.
- Variety. Rotate foods. Offer different items from different food groups at each meal.
- Choose non-processed foods when possible.
- Less than 5 ingredients on the labels.
- No added sugars. (Except for that occasional cookie or 1st birthday cupcake!)
We know the fear, panic and concern that happens when these reports come out. We also know that much more research is needed. And that making these few changes will help.
There is no way to completely eliminate these even if we grew our own food in our own yard.
Realistically, the key is variety. Offer a wide range of foods and food groups!