What Parents Need to Know
A recent congressional study exposed four of America’s top baby food manufacturers as they discovered high levels of toxic metals in the brands’ baby food products.
According to the report, Gerber, Beech-Nut, HappyBABY and Nurture baby food products were all contaminated with heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and cadmium. Sprout Organic Foods, Plum Organics and Parent’s Choice did not fully cooperate with the investigation.
“Excess amounts of heavy metals can be harmful to infants because they are in a critical stage of growth and development,” Anita S. Henderson, MD, a pediatrician at Hattiesburg Clinic and the president of the Mississippi Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics said. “Metals are found naturally in soil and the earth’s crust. Toxic levels of these metals can be detrimental to the developing brain.”
While it is impossible to know which baby foods are completely safe, Dr. Henderson suggests that parents limit rice cereal to three to five times per week as rice is known to be higher in arsenic than other cereals. Alternating between rice, oatmeal, barley and giving a variety of grains is the safer option.
“It’s also important to serve children a variety of foods, especially more natural colors,” Henderson said. “Eating a variety of healthy foods that are rich in essential nutrients can lower the exposure to toxic metals and other contaminants found in some foods.”
If you are concerned about toxic metal exposure in your child, talk to your pediatrician or call Hattiesburg Clinic The Pediatric Clinic at (601) 579-3000 to schedule an appointment.
About Hattiesburg Clinic – The Pediatric Clinic
The Pediatric Clinic is a group practice that has been serving the community of Hattiesburg and surrounding areas for over 30 years. Our practice consists of 11 pediatricians and two nurse practitioners who work very closely together to form a consistent and similar style of practice. We are dedicated to providing the best personal and quality care for your child from birth through adolescence.