How to Avoid heavy Metals in Your Baby Foods

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A recent analysis by Healthy Babies Bright Futures carried out on  168 different baby foods from 61 different companies revealed  that 95% of baby foods contained Lead, 74% contained Cadmium, 32% contained Mercury and 73% contained Arsenic. One-fourth of these foods covered all the four metals. “This is cause for concern but not alarm,” said Jane Houlihan, the national director of science and health for Healthy Babies Bright Futures, a coalition of advocates committed to reducing babies’ exposures to neurotoxic chemicals. The problem is that these heavy metals accumulate in the body of a baby from meal to meal and day by day, and it’s this cumulative effect that can threaten the health of the baby.

Developing Brain at much risk

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In the trace amounts present in food, heavy metals can erode a child’s IQ, lead to severe developmental and behavior issues, also impact some organs in the body like kidneys and liver. Children, especially babies, are in highest risk, because their brains kidneys and liver are still developing, their intestines absorb these toxic elements in large amount, since their intake of food to body weight is greater.

The following guidelines will help you in your baby’s diet.

Baby Foods—Get Varieties

The main reason these metals mount up dangerously in infants is lack of varieties in their diets. Many parents still follow aged, outdated rules on the best first foods, or believe that they need to include one food at a time, waiting around a few days to check if  allergy will occur. “There is no recommendations on whatever you have to begin with” Pediatrician Dr. Tanya Altmann, author of “What to Feed Your Baby.”

There’s not really a certain color order, You don’t have to wait days in between presenting new foods. You don’t have to postpone on any kind of allergenic food, unless there is an existing allergy or intolerance in the family.

The most current guidelines is feed your infant a variety of well balanced meals, including all the allergenic foods early and frequently in a regular manner the baby will be able to manage, very well. You do not have to avoid anything at all other than choking hazards, milk or natural honey.

Milk is normally not recommended as a beverage for babies because it cannot be metabolized till around the age one. However it is fine with mashed potatoes or other foods throughout the first 12 months.  After age one, milk and water are the first choice drinks for children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Adding variety in the beginning, will also help children to become less fussy in their meals selections as they grow. That is good news, taking into consideration kiddie favorites such as macaroni and cheese showed up in the Healthy Babies list of many neurotoxic food.

Baby Foods — Go For Better Cereals

The Healthy Babies record identified the meals containing the most heavy metal contaminates that mothers should considerably reduce within their infant and child’s diet plan. Rice-based snacks, rice rusks or teething biscuits, rice-based puffs and rice cereal top the list. Rice is at the very top of the list since it is very high in arsenic. Arsenic is a natural element found in soil, water and air. Since rice is going to be grown submersed in water, it is specifically good at absorbing inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form.

Since the milling procedure used to produce white rice removes the exterior layers, exactly where much of the arsenic concentrates, white rice contain less arsenic than brown rice and wild rice. In spite of that, 4 out of 7 rice cereals analyzed contained the highest toxic form of arsenic in levels higher than the proposed  level of 100 parts per billion (ppb). — The Healthy Babies analysis. Rice cereal has 6 times even more arsenic than any other types of cereal, just like oatmeal and multi-grain.

Recommendation Avoid rice cereal as a first food, rather, feed your baby with oatmeal and whole grain cereals. Add almond butter and peanut butter to the oatmeal for extra nutrition except for the first day which you should keep plain.Veggies and avocados are good choice. You can also go for salmon and chicken as well as meat, beans or lentils, as long as you blend it.

Choose appetizers and snacks carefully

Teething biscuits, like rice teething rusks and others are more like other snacks which have no nutrition value and are bad choices to relief a baby’s pain. A peeled cucumber, a cold piece of melon, and a frozen banana, are better choices if you watch closely for choking. But I really prefer a teething ring or soft wet cloth, again with watching for choking. This will reduce levels of arsenic as well as lead and cadmium that are present in those teething foods. Fat-free yogurt, cheese, grapes and peaches are also good options.

Baby Foods — Cut juice

Apple, grape and other juices really are a significant supply of heavy metals for children, not really because the levels are up to rice food, but since children take in so much drink. “When you do the analysis, which we do on the effect on IQ from these foods, fruit drinks are far up at the very top, and that’s mainly because children take in so much — 80% of parents provide juice for their infants and three quarters of these serve it daily.” — Jane Houlihan, the national director of science and health for Healthy Babies Bright Futures.

By substituting juice with ordinary water, parents can reduce an infant’s exposure to harmful metals by simply 68%. Juice ought to be reduced with regards to other reasons than toxic materials, say experts. “Even 100% fruit juice offers no nutritional benefits over whole fruit,” said a consensus statement published in September by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Natural sugars in juice help in weight gain and teeth decay as much as various other sugars. Whilst juice will contain a few vitamins and a bit of calcium mineral, the overall absence of protein and fiber make it a poor choice for a healthy drink. Infants under 6 months only need breast milk and formula.

The drink of choice for any child in second year of life needs to be water and whole milk,  small quantity of juice is not bad anyway. 100% fruit juice is a better option to avoid added sugar. Much better, serve little pieces of whole fruit, which can be even more healthy.

Preparation Methods

Sweet potatoes and carrots top list of foods that are easily contaminated, according to the Healthy Babies report. When you mix it up with a number of vegetables, you make your baby less at risk by 73%.

Rather than eliminating sweet potatoes and carrot, that happen to be excellent source of key minerals and vitamins, you can serve your infant much less frequently and take extra care to peel them carefully. Peeling definitely helps, and if you  peel even a little more deeply, you can remove more of the heavy metals,”

Recommendation: If you’ll cook rice for the entire family, add extra water, just like you would to prepare pasta and then pour that off prior to serving. This methods will lower arsenic levels by up to 60%, according to FDA studies.” This concerns family who serve rice often, and many do serve it daily.”

What will not help

many folks believe that going organic and natural is a remedy to most of the chemical contaminants of our food supply, while It does assist with some exposures,  but not with heavy metals. Going organic can reduce pesticide exposures, which is a big benefit, but it doesn’t do much when it comes to heavy metals, Heavy metals are found in organic foods, they are found in conventional foods. These are ubiquitous, toxic chemicals in the food supply. Which shows that you can’t  avoid  heavy metals simply by switching to homemade purees for your baby. Heavy metals are so prevalent in the environment that vegetation pick them up in fields. Therefore they are inside the foods you will buy in the produce side of your supermarket.

This doesn’t indicate that home-made baby foods isn’t very great way to manage pesticides and different contaminants, in as much as you get varieties of them . But make sure you cool the foods in glass  containers before freezing.

Recommendation :  Minimizing the use of plastics, especially when considering hot or heated foods. This is when we are a little more concern about chemicals from plastic materials contaminating the baby’s meal. Steam the vegetables, puree, and cool them in glass containers, then keep in freezer.

Article Source

What to Feed Your Baby by Dr. Tanya Altmann
Healthy Babies Bright Futures
Food and Drug Administration”

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