What’s the deal with the “NEW” research that shows baby foods are at risk of containing heavy metals?
Heavy metals aren’t new
Remember a few years ago all the hubbub about arsenic in apple juice?
Same story, different year.
Heavy metals are found in soil and water, so plants absorb them as they grow, some more than others. For example, rice absorbs about 10 times more arsenic than other grains absorb. Root vegetables are also prone to higher levels of metals.
Arsenic levels are falling
In the past 10 years improved irrigation processes have brought levels down in many foods. There’s still work to do but this is good news!
Vary it up!
Offering a variety of foods can help lower risk. You do not have to eliminate all high risk foods-such as root vegetables and rice.
Limit their use by offering a variety of other foods. Root vegetables offer important nutrients, so rather than avoiding them all together, offer them occasionally.
Variety is best for overall nutrition for many reasons, not just contaminant risks!
Ways to lower risk of arsenic
If your family eats a lot of rice, learn to cook it with excess water (like you would with pasta) so you can pour off the extra water and contaminants.
Use cereals other than rice cereal. There are many other grains with less risk. Many parents still think that the first food should be rice cereal. That hasn’t been the recommendation for many years. There’s no reason to start with rice cereal other than that’s what Grandma did.
Don’t give juice to infants and young children. Not only can they include arsenic and other metals, they’re high in sugar and low in nutrients. Have them eat the fruit instead!
Be careful of headlines.
Read critically and look at the sources. Fear based articles are there to grab your attention. Don’t fall into the trap.
You are not poisoning your babies.
Your child’s IQ isn’t lowered by 20 points because you fed them carrots and rice. It’s okay.
Give them rice. Give them root vegetables. Just also give other foods!