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"There is definitely something we can all do about it," 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. 20 of the 30 tested fruit and fruit-vegetable purees contained excessive levels of Lead, especially the Beech-Nut Mixed Vegetables. All four of the heavy metals they tested are neurotoxic. "A small amount of juice is OK," the recommendations say, "but make sure it's 100% fruit juice to avoid added sugar. She also suggests playing with food, such as using beans in a tic-tac-toe game. ", Even in the trace amounts found in food, toxic metals can erode a child's IQ, cause developmental and behavior problems, and impact kidneys and liver, according to the. "Heavy metals are so common in the environment that crops pick them up in fields. Another tip: When cooking rice for the entire family, add extra water, just as you would for pasta, said Houlihan. A study released by the non-profit Healthy Babies Bright Future (HBBF) organization is causing concern among parents about the safety of traditional and organic baby foods and formulas. These are ubiquitous, toxic chemicals in the food supply.". Pediatricians, nutritionists and feeding specialists give their top tips for handling picky eaters. Five of the 11 tested non-rice (oatmeal or multi-grain) baby cereals contained high Arsenic levels exceeding the HBBF limit of 25ppb. "A cold piece of melon, a frozen banana, a peeled cucumber are better choices if you watch closely for choking. But instead of eliminating carrots and sweet potatoes, which are excellent sources of key vitamins and minerals, Houlihan suggests parents serve them less frequently and take extra care to peel them carefully. But the report does not recommend bottled water: "Bottled water is no safer than filtered tap water and generates plastic waste that is easily avoided by choosing tap water.". ", Milk is not advised as a drink for infants because it cannot be metabolized until around the age of one. The group tested for lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and an additional neurotoxin called perchlorate. They found concerning results for even the best organic baby foods and best organic formulas. "Going organic does reduce pesticide exposures, which is a big benefit, but it doesn't do much when it comes to heavy metals," Houlihan said. Babies Eating Lemons for the First Time: Cutest Video Ever! "If they change the water cycle, they can reduce the amounts of arsenic that the rice picks up.". "Growers can test the soil and water and understand what their levels are, and try to shift growing to cleaner areas. Given how much Arsenic was found in the baby cereals containing rice, it shouldn't be surprising that teething snacks (like baby Mum-Mums and HappyBABY Rice Cakes) would also contain very high levels of Arsenic. "(There) are actions that the Food and Drug Administration, baby food companies and parents can take," Houlihan said. Of the 30 tested fruit purees and fruit and vegetable blends, all of them contained acceptable Arsenic levels. But you don't have to do cereal as a first food at all, she added. Great alternatives are oats, barley, and other mixed whole grains. Updated 1659 GMT (0059 HKT) October 21, 2019. 12 of the 13 formulas exceeded the AAP and EDF limit of 1 ppb (parts per billion) of Lead. "The latest guidelines are: Feed your baby a variety of healthy foods, including all of the allergenic foods early and often in a consistency the baby can manage," she said. We need the FDA to speed up developing guidelines on safety standards for these toxic metals. Better yet, serve small pieces of real fruit, which are even healthier.". ", Parents should model healthy eating behavior, said Ellyn Satter, author of "Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense.". Prior studies by the FDA and others have found. "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 joined the and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. So they are in the foods you would buy in the produce section of your grocery store," Houlihan said. The baby cereal winner with the lowest overall Arsenic, Lead and Cadmium levels is the HappyBABY Oatmeal Baby Cereal, Organic Whole Grains. Additionally, arsenic, cadmium and lead are all carcinogens in humans, meaning that they can cause or increase the risk of cancer. The runner-up with the second-lowest overall levels of these heavy metals is the HappyBABY Oats & Quinoa Baby Cereal, Organic Whole Grains with Iron. "There's not any one brand or a single container of food we tested that is cause for panic in any way. 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