A recent report on toxic heavy metals in baby food revealed that more than 95% of baby food sold in America is contaminated with dangerous lead levels and other heavy metals. This contamination is concerning because it can lead to neurodevelopmental problems in babies. The report also found that baby food manufacturers were underreporting their products’ high toxicity levels and knowingly selling them to consumers.
Consumer Report Testing
According to the report, heavy metals were found in 168 tested store-bought baby foods, including jars and pouches, infant formulas, infant cereals, baby snack foods like puffs and teething biscuits, and juices. The congressional investigation found contamination of various metals, including inorganic arsenic, lead, and cadmium.
A 2018 Consumer Report tested 50 baby foods and found that 15 contained hazardous levels of lead and other heavy metals in quantities that could pose a risk to a child who ate only one serving per day.
While some baby food companies have recalled products with high toxicity levels, there has been little accountability for the harm caused. Some buyers and re-sellers of baby food, like Walmart, issued initial limits on arsenic in their baby food products, only to reverse the decision. Baby food companies and re-sellers should be more careful with testing or relying on the baby food companies themselves to report any toxicity levels.
One solution is to make your baby food at home, but even homemade baby food has been found to contain heavy metal contamination. Instead, parents can buy certain foods organic, as some are more prone to absorbing heavy metals than others. Riskier foods include rice, sweet potato, and grapes, while safer foods include bananas, apples, beans, peas, milk, and cheese. Somewhere between the safe and risky categories are peanut butter, fruit juice, oatmeal, and teething biscuits.
Rice is one of the most problematic ingredients in baby foods, with high levels of arsenic concentration. Opting for white rice is recommended; prepare it properly by soaking it first and using a pressure cooker. Other nutrient-dense options for babies include animal-based products such as egg yolks, beef, and bone broth.
Parents should also be aware of the specific baby food brands and products to avoid due to toxic heavy metals. The following baby food brands and products measured higher levels of toxic heavy metals and should be avoided:
These foods from each of these brands contain measurable levels of toxic heavy metals, so avoid feeding them to your baby:
- Earth’s Best:
Chicken and Brown Rice Turkey
Red Beans & Brown Rice
Sweet Potatoes, 1st StageWhole Grain Oatmeal Cereal
Whole Grain Rice Cereal
Sunny Days Snack Bars, Strawberry
Chicken and Rice
Turkey and Rice
Lil’ Meals White Turkey Stew With Rice & Vegetables
Carrot, Pear, and Blackberry
Carrots Peas & Corn With Lil’ BitsSingle Grain Cereal
Organic Oatmeal Cereal
Gerber Graduates Arrowroot Cookies
Gerber Graduates Cinnamon Graham Animal Crackers
Gerber Graduates Banana Cookies
Gerber Graduates Waffle Wheels Puffed Grain Snack, Banana Cream
Gerber Graduates Lil’ Biscuits Vanilla Wheat
Gerber Graduates Cereal Bars, Strawberry Banana
- Parent’s Choice:
Little Puffs Cereal Snack, Strawberry Apple
- Sprout Organic:
Garden Vegetables Brown Rice With Turkey
Quinoa Puffs Baby Cereal Snack, Apple Kale
- Plum Organics:
Just Sweet Potato Organic Baby Food
Little Yums Organic Teething Wafers, Pumpkin & Banana
Mighty Sticks Whole Grain Snacks, Berry Beet
Beech-Nut Classics Sweet Potatoes
Beech-Nut Complete Rice Single Grain Baby Cereal
Organic Oatmeal Whole Grain Baby Cereal
Complete Oatmeal Whole Grain Baby Cereal
Quinoa Crispies, Vanilla
- Baby Mum Mum:
Banana Rice Rusks
Vegetable Rice Rusks
- Happy Baby Organics:
Organic Probiotic Baby Cereal
Superfood Puffs, Apple & Broccoli
Superfood Puffs, Purple Carrot & Blueberry
Heavy metal levels in these specific food items were lower (consumed in moderation)
Lil’ Entrées Chicken & Brown Rice With Peas & Corn
Gerber Grabbers Strong Veggies, Broccoli, Carrot, Banana, Pineapple
Gerber Organic Peas, Carrots & Beets
Gerber Breakfast Buddies Hot Cereal With Real Fruit, Apple Cinnamon
Gerber Graduates Puffs Cereal Snack, Strawberry Apple
Lil’ Beanies Baked Snack Made With Beans, White Cheddar & Broccoli
Lil’ Crunchies Baked Corn Snack Mild Cheddar
Lil’ Crunchies Baked Corn Snack Vanilla Maple
Organic Puffs, Puffed Grain Snack, Apple
- Beech Nut:
Beech-Nut Classics Apple, Pear & Banana
Beech-Nut Naturals Carrot, Broccoli, Apple & Strawberry
Beech-Nut Organic Just Apple & Green Beans
Beech-Nut Organic Peas, Green Beans, and Avocado
- Happy Baby Organics:
Purple Carrots, Bananas, Avocados & Quinoa
- Ella’s Kitchen:
Apples + Strawberries Nibbly Fingers
The Good List (these baby food brands were safe)
- Once Upon a Farm
- Serenity Foods
- Fresh Bellies
- Tiny Human Food
Toxic Heavy Metals in Baby Food: Conclusion
In conclusion, the shocking report about toxic heavy metals found in baby food has raised parents’ concerns about their babies’ health and safety. While it’s impossible to eliminate heavy metals from our environment completely, parents can take steps to protect their children. Choosing organic options for certain foods and avoiding specific baby food brands and products that contain toxic heavy metals can help reduce the risk of exposure.
Additionally, preparing certain foods, such as rice, can help lower the concentration of arsenic, a common heavy metal found in baby food. Ultimately, it’s up to parents to make informed choices about the food they feed their babies to help ensure their health and well-being.
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