All of us want the best for our babies. We want them to grow up happy and healthy, with nothing impeding their physical and mental development. Most doctors and health organizations understand that breast milk is the healthiest food for young babies, but not all mothers are able to breastfeed. And once babies start to eat solid food, the choices for nutrition expand considerably.
Many families today don’t have the time or energy to make fresh food for their babies. If both parents are working, or if they’re working multiple jobs, they may be under too much stress to cook baby food for their children.
That’s part of the convenience of commercial baby foods, which provide an off-the-shelf source of healthy nutrition so that parents don’t have to cook food themselves. But while many parents diligently read the ingredients list of their children’s baby food to make sure that the food is nutritious, many may be unaware that their baby food contains dangerous heavy metals that can harm their children’s brain development.
A recent study found that 95% of children’s foods available commercially contained heavy metals that can lower IQ and harm brain development. Nearly 170 containers of food were tested, including cereals, juices, and purees. Researchers looked specifically for arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury.
95% of the tested food samples contained at least one of those heavy metals, with one-quarter of the samples containing all four heavy metals. That’s very worrying to parents who are concerned about their children’s well-being and development.
While the concentrations of those heavy metals wasn’t publicized, children are so small that even trace amounts of those metals can be several times more harmful to them than in adults, who are better able to handle toxins. Parents who are worried about their children’s health would do well to read the study and ask tough questions of the companies that make their children’s food.
Hopefully this study will spur companies to check their products a little better to ensure that they aren’t exposing children to unnecessary toxins. Or maybe consumer groups can start to hold companies’ feet to the fire. Commercial children’s food may be cheap and convenient, but if it results in stunting your child’s development then that convenience may come at a very steep price.