Southern California Integrative Wellness Center
Every so often, news stories about heavy metals in baby food send ripples of anxiety throughout the country. If you’re a parent who is worried about the quality and safety of the food you give your baby, it helps to understand a few things from the outset.
The first is that the issue of heavy metals in baby food is not new. These stories ebb and flow in the media and it is unfortunate that more isn’t being done by regulatory agencies to finally put this issue to rest. However, we all have a role to play in reducing the pollutants in our environment.
The second thing to know is that although heavy metals are technically natural and found in the earth’s crust, the ones that are present in food come from farming and manufacturing practices that contaminate and pollute the crops. This means that the issue goes well beyond baby food to impact our food supply as a whole.
The good news is that even though there is a high likelihood that baby food contains heavy metals, it is in amounts that don’t pose a significant and immediate threat to children. Ultimately, because the contaminants are introduced at the crop level, they are in almost all food found in grocery stores, so even making your own baby food from scratch won’t 100% protect your baby from heavy metals.
If you want to reduce your baby’s exposure to heavy metals, here are some of the most important lifestyle changes you can make:
- If possible, breastfeed your baby for the first six months of life.
Giving your child breast milk rather than formula may reduce their risk of heavy metal exposure.
- Include certain types of fish in their diet.
Some fish pose a greater risk of heavy metal contamination than others. The best options for healthy fish are light tuna, salmon, cod, pollock, and whitefish.
- Feed your child a diverse diet.
A diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean protein that provides an ample amount of essential nutrients helps lower heavy metal exposure and supports a healthy body.