What Can Parents Do About Heavy Metals in Baby Food?enparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/KH_generic_header_01_2.jpgI've heard about heavy metals in baby food. How can I keep my baby safe?heavy metals, arsenic, lead, baby food, safe baby food, rice, rice cereal, cadmium, mercury, teething biscuits, fruit juice03/18/202103/18/202103/18/2021Mary L. Gavin, MD03/16/202170fc0c90-d622-449d-9ac9-d317b55fbb3ehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/heavy-metals.html/<p><em>I've heard about heavy metals in baby food. How can I keep my baby safe?<br />- Keeley</em></p> <p>Heavy metals are found in soil, water, and the air we breathe. Plants take up these metals as they grow and can end up in the food we eat. Our bodies need some heavy metals (like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/iron.html/">iron</a> and zinc) to work well, but other heavy metals (like arsenic and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lead-poisoning.html/">lead</a>) are harmful. Some crops, like rice, absorb more of these harmful metals than others. Heavy metals can build up in the body over time and cause problems with learning, behavior, and attention.</p> <p>When making baby food, companies add vitamins and minerals along with food additives that may contain heavy metals. Some baby foods have higher levels of heavy metals than others, including:</p> <ul> <li>infant rice cereal</li> <li>infant rice puff snacks</li> <li>teething biscuits and rice rusks</li> <li>fruit juice</li> <li>carrots and sweet potatoes</li> </ul> <p>Even organic baby food can have heavy metals in it.</p> <p>The amount of heavy metals is low in baby foods, but you can take steps to lower it even more. Here are ways to do that:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Offer your baby a variety of healthy foods.</strong> Eating a balanced diet can lower your baby's overall exposure to heavy metals.</li> <li><strong>Don't only give infant rice cereal.</strong> Give your baby other cereals like oatmeal, barley, quinoa, and multigrain cereals.</li> <li><strong>Keep giving carrots and sweet potatoes.</strong> They contain important nutrients, but serve them along with other fruits and vegetables.</li> <li><strong>Don't give your baby fruit juice.</strong> Juice is not recommended for children under 1 year old because it can cause cavities and weight gain. <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/formulafeed-starting.html/">Formula</a> or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/breastfeed-starting.html/">breast milk</a> for infants and water and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cow-milk.html/">milk</a> for older children are the best drinks. Instead of juice, give your baby fruit because it has more fiber and nutrients.</li> <li><strong>Make your own baby food.</strong> You can avoid additives and baby foods with high levels of heavy metals by making your own. Serve the same foods your family eats, prepared in a way that your baby can eat. Infants just starting <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/breastfeed-solids.html/">solid food</a> will need smooth pur&eacute;es.</li> <li><strong>Choose white basmati rice and sushi rice when making rice dishes.</strong> These kinds of rice have less arsenic than other types. Rinse rice thoroughly before cooking. Cook rice in plenty of water, and then drain off the extra water. This helps lower the amount of arsenic.</li> <li><strong>Limit baby food snacks, including rice puffs and oat ring cereals.</strong> Instead of processed snacks, give your baby pur&eacute;ed, mashed, or soft foods that are rich in nutrients, such as fruit, vegetables, eggs, cheese, or yogurt. This also helps your baby eat less added sugar, salt, and refined flour. If you serve your baby prepared snacks, choose rice-free or multigrain options.</li> <li><strong>Don't use teething biscuits.</strong> Instead, give your baby a cold (not frozen) <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/teething.html/">teether</a> or wet washcloth to chew on.</li> <li><strong>Test your water.</strong> Tap water may have lead in it from lead pipes. Well water may contain lead and other heavy metals.</li> </ul>
Blood Test: LeadIn babies and young kids whose brains are still developing, even a small amount of lead can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems. A lead test can determine the amount of lead in the blood.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/test-lead.html/6b0a6c6a-a8a9-45a4-8bd4-d41dded18933
Breastfeeding FAQs: Getting StartedHere are answers to common questions about getting started with breastfeeding.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/breastfeed-starting.html/090cc80e-55b7-4681-82c2-dc5dd9590165
Can Lead Affect My Unborn Baby?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lead.html/fa399c72-7274-4518-b20e-949a8946364c
Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-OldToddlers have little tummies, so serve foods that are packed with the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong, and limit the sweets and empty calories.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/feed12yr.html/6bfff690-c633-480f-83f3-dcf985f77294
Feeding Your 1- to 3-Month-OldWhether you've chosen to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby, your infant will let you know when it's time to eat.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/feed13m.html/5f2fdec1-e571-44e6-8f45-4cc0c83a2c7b
Feeding Your 4- to 7-Month-OldIs your baby is ready for solid foods? Learn how and when to get started.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/feed47m.html/1d8d9f97-7488-4301-b9e8-8f75d4462e43
Feeding Your 8- to 12-Month-OldAt this age, babies start to explore table foods.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/feed812m.html/381bc385-9743-4a54-852b-2f1e90078b86
Feeding Your Family on a Tight BudgetEveryone needs enough healthy food, but many people can't get it all the time. Here are programs that can help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/feeding-families.html/00b1aeb7-6e96-4778-9a86-1677a4a68599
Feeding Your NewbornThese guidelines on breastfeeding and bottle feeding can help you know what's right for you and your baby.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/feednewborn.html/31c4eb38-d266-4e5a-b06b-c7ee09d8ced8
Formula Feeding FAQs: Getting StartedShopping for formula-feeding supplies can be daunting. Here are answers to some common questions about formula feeding.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/formulafeed-starting.html/6d5a92cb-459c-427f-b107-dc59faaf85b6
IronIron is an important ingredient needed to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying part of every red blood cell.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/iron.html/d4b58ddd-4132-4d3e-bacf-94c06fe5d0e0
Is Homemade Baby Formula Safe?Parents might want to make their own infant formula for many reasons. But commercially prepared formula is the best and safest choice. Here's why.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/homemade-formula.html/257f40cd-407a-4733-850f-560418ce27ff
Lead PoisoningLong-term exposure to lead can cause serious health problems, particularly in young kids, so it's important to find out whether your child might be at risk for lead exposure.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lead-poisoning.html/0d32a361-b384-40fa-bc34-4730bf42ac3c
kh:age-babyZeroToOnekh:clinicalDesignation-neonatologykh:genre-qAndAkh:primaryClinicalDesignation-gastroenterologyAndNutritionWeightManagementNewborn Carehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pregnancy-center/newborn-care/92cfa6ea-2e13-47d8-a2c6-6678383a3c14Introducing Solid Foodshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pregnancy-newborn/feeding/ee1deb24-0dc6-4809-ae8e-1de86b60b649Nutrition Q&Ahttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/nutrition-center/q-a/94cfc09a-8659-49ff-bbda-0abfe4b633b1All About Formula Feedinghttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pregnancy-newborn/formulafeed/5384b2d2-4f62-40be-8a13-e504e480c4d3All About Breastfeedinghttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pregnancy-newborn/breastfeed/a81e5bef-3f7c-42eb-b630-7b8eacce64ae