Baby food without heavy metals

Baby Food Without Heavy Metals: Report Detects Significant Contaminiation


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By Sophie Hirsh

Aug. 11 2022, Published 11:56 a.m. ET

Every now and then, a new report about heavy metals potentially contaminating baby food will circulate, prompting parents and caregivers to start making homemade baby food for their little ones. However, a new study on the topic is causing further alarm, as it found that comparable amounts of toxic metals are also found in homemade baby food.

Is this a cause for concern? And how can we find baby food without heavy metals for our children?

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Keep reading for the details on the report, and the researchers’ best advice for avoiding toxic metal exposure.

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Heavy metals are just as likely to be in homemade and store-bought baby food.

Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) is a science-led organization that works to reduce babies’ exposures to neurotoxic chemicals. The group just released a new report, in which researchers conducted lab tests comparing homemade baby food to store-bought baby food, in pursuit of detecting the presence four specific toxic heavy metals: inorganic arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.

According to Healthy Children, being exposed to toxic metals is worse for children than adults as it can cause brain development issues, including issues related to behavior, cognition, and learning.

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Overall, HBBF tested 288 foods commonly served to babies, along with data from more than 7,000 previously published food studies.

The HBBF scientists found that homemade baby purees and store-bought baby food were just as likely to be contaminated with at least one or the four tested toxic heavy metals. In fact, they found that 94 percent of both homemade and packaged baby foods were contaminated.

"We found no evidence to suggest that homemade baby foods made from store-bought produce are better than store-bought baby foods when it comes to heavy metal contamination," stated co-author Jane Houlihan, HBBF’s Research Director, as per CNN.

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Making baby food at home with store-bought produce isn't going to reduce the amount of toxic heavy metals in the food your baby eats, according to a new report released exclusively to CNN.

— CNN (@CNN) August 11, 2022

HBBF found that the 10 most heavily contaminated foods ordinarily eaten by babies (in order from highest to lowest concentration) are: rice cakes, crisped rice cereal, rice-based puffs, brown rice, rice-based teething biscuits and rusks, white rice, raisins, teething crackers (non-rice), granola bar with raisins, and oat-ring cereal.

Basically, rice-based baby foods are most heavily contaminated, typically with inorganic arsenic.

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Of the 288 foods tested, the authors found that the 10 least contaminated foods consumed by babies (from lowest to highest concentration) to be: bananas, grits, baby food brand meats, butternut squash, lamb, apples, pork, eggs, oranges, and watermelon.

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Baby food without heavy metals: Here’s how to avoid exposing your child too much.

The authors of the study stress that when it comes to foods that tend to contain heavy metals, you should vary the sources and brands of these foods.

“Parents shouldn’t have to worry about the safety of their babies’ meals and snacks, but until the FDA sets protective limits, the good news is that parents can skip and swap out certain foods to limit toxic chemical exposures,” Houlihan stated.

The authors recommend avoiding feeding your baby rice cakes, crisped rice cereal, rice-based puffs, and brown rice too often. HBBF recommends that when serving rice to your child, cook it like you would pasta, in extra water, and then drain the water. The group also recommends choosing basmati rice from California; white rice over brown; and adding other grains to your rotation, such as quinoa or farro.

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As for foods for which you don’t need to worry about metal contamination, they recommend feeding your child:

  • Fruit (fresh or frozen, but not canned)

  • Baby food brand fruits

  • Green beans

  • Peas

  • Butternut squash

  • Chilled, peeled cucumber

  • Frozen bananas

  • Meat (either baby food brand, or soft or pureed and home-cooked)

  • Beans

  • Eggs

  • Infant formula

  • Unsweetened applesauce

  • Cut grapes

  • Yogurt.

The researchers also shared a number of additional tips to avoid exposing your child to too many metals through their diet. For one thing, vary their diet, and mix up what you serve every day; make sure to never skip meals, and to regularly feed your child snacks, as skipping meals has been correlated with higher blood lead levels in children; ask your doctor about your baby’s iron levels; and make sure to always thoroughly wash produce.

For parents and caregivers, you can download HBBF’s two-page tip sheet for more tips on avoiding toxic metal contamination.

HBBF is also calling on the FDA to “go beyond the baby food aisle and set strong standards for these contaminants,” not just for baby food brands, but also for “fresh and family-style foods babies eat,” as stated by Charlotte Brody, RN, the National Director at HBBF.


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    Baby Foods Without Heavy Metals

    This year, multiple government reports found that baby foods from several top brands “are tainted with significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. ” While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced some initiatives aimed at reducing heavy metals in baby foods, the consumer attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman believe there is still a long way to go before children are safe from the dangers these tainted products pose.

    For example, the FDA has yet to implement comprehensive federal standards regarding toxic heavy metals in baby foods. Unfortunately, this lack of oversight puts pressure on parents to research baby food brands and products for safety.

    Our attorneys often get calls from parents who want to know which baby food brands do a good job testing and screening ingredients that add to heavy metals levels. Contrary to the excuses some of the major manufacturers have put out that the heavy metals issue is unavoidable, there are a lot of companies that go to great lengths to make healthy products. Read on for more information on safe baby foods without heavy metals.

    Safest Baby Food

    One of the best ways to ensure that your child consumes only the highest quality foods is to make your own baby food using quality ingredients. Of course, not all parents have the time or resources necessary to make their own baby food. So if you need to buy premade baby foods, some of the brands that include:


    In addition to only using organic ingredients, Yumi rigorously tests its products for toxic heavy metals. They test the ingredients they use before processing as well as the finished products.

    The company only uses USDA-certified organic ingredients and it only partners with farms that are trusted as USDA-certified organic and Non-GMO Project verified.

    Yumi also considers federal soil contamination data to find the best farms for baby food ingredients. The company refrains from including soy, rice, and fruit juice within its products specifically because these ingredients add toxic heavy metals to baby foods.

    Once Upon a Farm

    Another baby food brand that makes a strong commitment to safe products is Once Upon a Farm. It is a newer brand that is dedicated to providing nutritious baby food products by only using organic and non-GMO ingredients. They also don’t use any preservatives, which means they are perishable and must stay in the refrigerator.

    Square Baby

    The products that Square Baby sells are all USDA certified organic and non-GMO. They provide a subscription-based service in which they deliver frozen meals to your home based on the schedule you set up. This new brand is solely available for purchase online and they only deliver to the following states at this time:

    • Arizona
    • California
    • Colorado
    • Idaho
    • Nevada
    • Oregon
    • Utah
    • Washington

    Little Spoon

    Little Spoon prepares certified USDA organic baby foods, and the majority of its products are highly nutritious. These baby foods arrive at your door fresh, preservative- and pasteurization-free. One thing to keep in mind is that Little Spoon products must be eaten within two weeks or they may spoil.

    This company is similar to Square Baby in the sense that it provides its products to customers using a delivery service. It offers a subscription package or you can purchase products without subscribing.

    Serenity Kids

    Serenity Kids has made a strong commitment to diligently vet each of its suppliers in an effort to only use the cleanest ingredients. This brand solely uses organic vegetables grown on trusted U.S. family farms that regularly conduct soil testing, have comprehensive food safety systems in place, and ensure the most meticulous food safety audit (SQF Level III).

    Baby Food Lawyer Videos – watch here.

    Other Ways to Reduce Heavy Metals in Your Child’s Diet

    Read Food Labels

    One of the best things you can do to reduce your child’s exposure to toxic heavy metals is to read food labels before you buy. Pay careful attention to the brand and the first few ingredients listed in the product.

    Ingredients are listed in order of prevalence in the product. Some baby food products may emphasize flavors like “kale and pear” or “pumpkin and spinach,” but a closer inspection reveals that the main ingredient is sweet potatoes. As you can see from the ingredients listed in the government reports at the top of this blog, sweet potatoes frequently test high in heavy metals.

    It is also wise to avoid rice-based foods, or products including additives such as premade vitamin mixes.


    If you can, using breastmilk to feed your child is much safer than using infant formula as some of the formulas on the market test high for heavy metals.

    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), mothers should breastfeed exclusively for about six months. Then, mothers should continue breastfeeding for a year or more as complementary foods are introduced into the child’s diet. Breastfeeding should continue as long as it is mutually desired by both the mother and baby.

    Replace Fruit Juice with Water

    Kids love fruit juices, but it’s important to keep in mind that some fruit juices (like grape juice) test high for arsenic.

    Instead of serving fruit juice to your child, you can sweeten the water you serve using fresh lemon. You can also give your child sliced whole fruits.

    Try Making Your Own Purees and Baby Foods

    Many people may not have the time or resources needed to make baby food, but the advantages of making your child’s food at home can help him or her avoid toxic heavy metals and other contaminants as a result of packaging and manufacturing.

    You may think that making your own baby food has to be expensive. It doesn’t. You can choose which ingredients fit your budget and your child’s taste buds. If you’d like to learn more about how you can make your own organic baby food, The Big Book of Organic Toddler Food is a good place to start.

    We Help Parents with Kids Harmed by Heavy Metals in Baby Foods

    It is fair to assume that the FDA-approved food you buy for your child is safe and healthy. You may be distraught to discover that you’ve been feeding your child products that contain toxic heavy metals. Frustratingly, some companies knowingly sell products with high levels of heavy metals and refuse to issue baby food recalls.

    If your child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity-disorder (ADHD) after regularly consuming baby foods from the brands listed in the government reports, we want to help your family seek justice in a baby food lawsuit. Don’t delay—reach out to our firm right away with any questions you may have. We are ready and willing to fight for your family now.

    Call (855) 948-5098 or submit an online contact form today to get your free consultation with one of our skilled toxic baby food lawsuit attorneys.

    Heavy metals in baby food: how to feed babies safely?

    Lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and other toxic substances have been found in some US brands of baby food. How they ended up there, what consequences the use of such products can lead to, and how safe baby food is on the shelves of Russian stores, Elena Miroshnik, head of the pediatric department No.

    - Have you ever heard mothers complain about the products of these manufacturers and the quality of ready-made baby food?

    Elena Miroshnik: Indeed, according to the report of the House of Representatives, hazardous substances were found in some brands. I am constantly faced with the question of what baby food is best for babies, which brands can be trusted, and whether the food is safe. What is the best way to feed a child - food that is packaged in jars, or what is cooked with your own hands.

    - No complaints so far?

    Elena Miroshnik: Complaints related to the content of heavy metals can only be received if the parents took the can of baby food to the laboratory and the analysis was carried out there. The content of these substances does not affect the taste in any way.

    - The content of arsenic in some products is exceeded by 91 times, and cadmium and lead by 177 times. Is this even possible? What needs to be done with the products to get such numbers?

    Elena Miroshnik: Hypothetically, this is possible. As a rule, this may be due to contamination of the soil in which certain products were grown. Most experts are inclined to think that such a situation occurred in the United States.

    - Isn't the fruit used in baby food checked before preparation?

    Elena Miroshnik: Normally, there must be strict quality control - all this goes through multi-level checks: laboratory control, organoleptic properties of the product are evaluated. At what stage the failure occurred, it is difficult to say. But it must be mentioned that in 2019In the same year, a report from one of the organizations was also published, according to which the authors randomly took banks in supermarkets. 95% of the samples were found to be of poor quality. At some stages, failures occur. It is very difficult to say what stage it is - growing products, cooking. We are not immune from this, both in baby food and in any other.

    - Do imported and Russian baby food differ in quality?

    Elena Miroshnik: The choice always remains with the parents, the reasons may be different: either people are simply sure that imported food is much better than Russian, someone is guided by the pricing policy. We, pediatricians, try never to give hard recommendations, not to impose our opinion. I believe that there are high-quality Russian-made products, and there are wonderful high-quality imported products.

    - How could heavy metals affect children's health?

    Elena Miroshnik: Multiple excess of heavy metals in food is indeed very dangerous, especially for children under two years old. There can be very serious consequences, usually neurological disorders. There are reports that the gradual accumulation of heavy metals can lead to various pathologies up to autism, a decrease in the level of intelligence. They can also lead to oncological diseases, a decrease in the level of immunity, and allergies.

    - Does the reaction to a high concentration of such substances appear immediately?

    Elena Miroshnik: As a rule, such substances are dangerous because their excess is not immediately noticeable. This does not affect the properties of the product in any way, but they have a cumulative effect and have an unpleasant effect on health: the immune system, digestive organs, allergization.

    - How often can a child be given food that is sold in a store in the Baby Food section?

    Elena Miroshnik: Everything is also individual. As a rule, it depends on the preferences in the family. As part of everyday life, mothers often use ready-made products - it's convenient, fast. Is it helpful? Probably not always, although parents often turn to them about food allergies, food intolerances, and we understand that this is not entirely related to the product, but to some substances that this product is processed with.

    I always recommend that my patients look for trusted places to buy food for all family members.

    - Is it possible to protect a child from dangerous substances from food in modern conditions?

    Elena Miroshnik: In modern conditions, this is a difficult task, from the category of impossible, only if you constantly use the services of laboratories. Many people buy analyzers that measure the level of pesticides - all this makes some sense, but the main recommendation for parents is to look for proven places, buy products in stores, supermarkets, be sure to look at the expiration date. This does not always protect the consumer from buying low-quality goods, but it gives at least some kind of guarantee.

    When it comes to preparing food for your child, where the food was bought is of great importance. Were these spontaneous markets or proven stores that have official status, documents and certain quality standards.

    Arsenic, lead and mercury found in popular baby food brands

    Arsenic, lead and mercury found in popular baby food brands

    Popular baby food brands found arsenic, lead and mercury - RIA Novosti, 05.02.2021

    Arsenic, lead and mercury were found in popular brands of baby food

    High levels of heavy toxic metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, were found in the baby food of some American... RIA Novosti, 05.02.2021

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    MOSCOW, February 5 - RIA Novosti. High levels of heavy toxic metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, have been found in some U.S. baby formulas that can lead to neurological damage in children, according to a U.S. House of Representatives study. Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee experts examined the domestic documentation from Gerber, Nurture Inc, Hain Celestial Group Inc, Beech-Nutrition, who provided data on a voluntary basis in response to a subcommittee request. It was based on reports of the presence of metals a year earlier. Walmart, Campbell and Sprout Organic Foods refused to cooperate with the investigators. "The subcommittee investigation proves that commercial baby food contains dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium. "metals pose a serious health hazard to infants and toddlers. Manufacturers knowingly sell these products to unsuspecting parents, despite internal company standards and test results, and without any warning labels," the subcommittee on economic and consumer policy said in the text of the study. in the structure of the Committee on Oversight and Reform in the US House of Representatives. It is noted that exposure to toxic heavy metals leads to a "permanent decrease in IQ", as well as a decrease in "infant neurological development and long-term brain function." According to the US regulator and WHO, these four heavy metals are hazardous to human health, "especially for infants and children, who are most susceptible to their neutrotoxic effects."



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    MOSCOW, February 5 - RIA Novosti. High levels of heavy toxic metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, have been found in some US baby formulas that can lead to neurological damage in children, according to a US House of Representatives study.

    Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee experts reviewed internal documentation from Gerber, Nurture Inc, Hain Celestial Group Inc, Beech-Nutrition, which provided data on a voluntary basis in response to a subcommittee request. It was based on reports of the presence of metals that appeared a year earlier.

    August 15, 2020, 02:05 AM

    Sugar in baby food deemed dangerous for adults

    Walmart, Campbell and Sprout Organic Foods refused to cooperate with the investigators.

    "Subcommittee investigation finds that commercial baby food contains dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium. These toxic heavy metals pose a serious health hazard to infants and toddlers. Manufacturers knowingly sell these products to unsuspecting parents despite internal company standards and test results, and without any warning label," the text of the study by the subcommittee on economic and consumer policy in the structure of the Committee on Oversight and Reform in the US House of Representatives says.

    Exposure to toxic heavy metals has been reported to result in a "permanent decline in IQ" as well as a reduction in "infant neurological development and long-term brain function".

    Learn more