Heavy Metals Have Been Found In Popular Baby Food

toddler eating

As parents, we want to make sure we're giving our kids the best possible foods, right? While it would be nice to be able to grow our own food and make everything that we feed our precious babes, the majority of us just don't have that kind of time or money. So we rely on commercially produced and packaged foods to meet their nutritional needs. There are tons of baby and toddler foods on the market, and everyone has their favorites. So when a report was published that showed many of those favorites contain high levels of incredibly dangerous heavy metals, parents sort of freaked out. And rightfully so! What's the scoop behind this report, and which foods are included?

An investigation by Consumer Reports found high levels of heavy metals in several varieties of popular baby and toddlers foods and snacks. The agency took three samples of 50 of the most packaged foods, then estimated how often those foods were eaten by young kids. Then, they cross-checked that data with medical data about what are considered safe levels of heavy metal consumption.

Shockingly, two-thirds of the tested samples didn't just have heavy metals; there were very large trace amounts of heavy metals, which typically end up on food by way of water or soil pollution, pesticides, or runoff from leaded gas. These heavy metals have been shown to be carcinogenic, and obviously pose an even greater risk to small kids and babies. They won't make your child sick right now, but built up over time, they can cause a greater risk later in life. Experts are still unsure of how much heavy metal consumption is considered "safe."

baby eating food
Credit: iStock / Halfpoint

James Dickerson, Consumer Reports‘ chief scientific officer, recommends that concerned parents aim for a balance. Products that contain rice or sweet potatoes are more likely to contain unsafe levels of heavy metals, so try not to feed your child too much of a single grain or food.

Here is the full list of foods that tested positive for heavy metals:

  • Earth’s Best Organic Chicken & Brown Rice
  • Earth’s Best Turkey, Red Beans, and Brown Rice
  • Gerber Chicken &Rice
  • Gerber Turkey & Rice
  • Sprout Organic Baby Food Garden Vegetables Brown Rice with Turkey
  • Gerber Lil’ Meals White Turkey Stew with Rice & Vegetables
  • Gerber Carrot, Pear & Blackberry
  • Gerber Carrots Peas & Corn with Lil’ Bits
  • Plum Organics Just Sweet Potato Organic Baby Food
  • Beech-Nut Classics Sweet Potatoes
  • Earth’s Best Organic Sweet Potatoes, 1st Stage
  • Earth’s Best Organic Whole Grain Rice Cereal
  • Earth’s Best Organic Sunny Days Snack Bars, Strawberry
  • Happy Baby Organics Superfood Puffs, Apple & Broccoli
  • Happy Baby Organics Superfood Puffs, Purple Carrot & Blueberry

What are your thoughts on this? Scary or are we over reacting?

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