Toxic Baby Food: Your Favorite Baby Food Brands Contain High Levels of Toxins
An Oct 17th report on CNN spotlighted toxic baby food. The truth is we now live in a toxic culture-and this is not to scare you. Rather, the goal is to arm you with the best ways to counteract our environment and rid the body of toxins.
Researchers tested 168 baby foods in the US and found:
- 95% contained lead
- 73% contained arsenic
- 75% contained cadmium and
- 32% contained mercury.
- they also contain pesticides and mycotoxins
Of all the baby food tested, one fourth contained all four heavy metals. These are alarming statistics.
The Biggest Toxic Baby Food Offender: Rice Cereal
Pediatricians will often recommend that you start your baby out on rice cereal, as it can be easy for babies to digest. However, rice cereal contains high amounts of neurotoxins and is void of necessary nutrients for development. The iron in rice cereal is not all bio-available; therefore, the baby might not be assimilating all the iron. The form of iron in rice cereal is very constipating.
Bottom Line: Rice cereal is a stripped, processed food that contributes to the metabolic epidemic we now have. There is not much in it in the way of nutrients. There is a longstanding misconception that your baby will sleep better with rice cereal. Sure it fills their tummy, but it is filling them with a nutrient-void food-like product. Rice cereal is not real food. It’s just not necessary.
On top of that—we now know it’s high in neurotoxins.
Even organic rice is high in arsenic-and whole grains are worse than white rice, as these heavy metals are absorbed into the outermost layer of the grains.
What Can I Feed My Baby?
You want the most bang for your buck when it comes to feeding babies, and you want to avoid toxic baby food. Think nutrient-dense real foods. If you are eating these kinds of foods while breastfeeding, your baby is already exposed to the taste of them. Breastmilk taste changes based on what you are eating. If you’re not breastfeeding, starting solids with palatable nutrient-rich foods is your best bet.
Here is a list of the top 10 best foods (I believe) are great for introducing to the baby when he or she is ready to start solid foods. Again, the first year is mostly experimenting and tasting different foods. Most calories and nutrients are obtained from breastmilk or quality formula.
Depending on the baby’s ability to chew and swallow, you can puree, mash, or give soft chunks. Avocados are nutrient-dense and loaded with good fats. Infants need a high-fat diet for their developing brain, eyes, and neurological system. You can also make guacamole for baby!
2. Egg yolk from pasture-raised eggs
Pediatricians might warn you about starting eggs early because of possible allergies. The egg white does contain many different proteins that pose a risk to an immature gut. However, the yolk is gentle on the stomach and loaded with healthy saturated fat and nutrients for growing babies.
3. Liver from grass-fed or pasture-raised animals
You would want to give tiny pieces or puree depending on the baby’s ability to chew and swallow. Liver from pasture-raised animals is an extremely rich source of B vitamins, vitamin A, and iron. The iron in the liver is bioavailable-meaning; it will be digested and assimilated by the baby’s body, unlike the iron-fortified cereals and baby foods. Fish and liver can be made into pates for babies!
4. Sweet potato
Loaded with vitamin A and good carbohydrates, palatable taste. Excellent for mixing with stronger meat like liver and fish.
5. Grass-fed beef
Niacin, iron, choline, high in good omega-three fats, nutrient-rich. You can make a baby bolognese sauce using ground grass-fed beef, veggies such as carrots, spices, and marinara sauce.
6. Bone broth or bone marrow
Teething babies love to suck/chew on bones! As long as the bone does not have pieces sticking out that they can choke on, it can help them teeth, and they can suck nutrients from it. I remember my younger son loved chewing on a chicken leg. Make sure the bone is from a grass-fed or pastured animal. You can scoop out the nutrient-dense marrow from roasted marrow bones and serve it mixed with a little avocado or sweet potato. You can also mix some bone broth with a bit of meat, avocado, or sweet potato.
7. Salmon (wild-caught sustainable only)
Excellent source of healthy fatty acids for brain development, also rich in vitamin D.
8. Sticks of cooked vegetables
Such as zucchini that they can hold and chew on- again, make sure the tongue-thrust reflex is gone (usually after six months). Steam until tender and give them the little sticks to hold. **You never want to leave a baby unattended while feeding themselves and use common sense.
9. Mashed roasted squash or pumpkin
High in vitamin A-great for mixing with grass-fed beef or liver
10. Seasoning and spices
Get that baby used to different flavors! Play around with cinnamon, cumin, garlic, ginger, curry, dill, oregano, sage, thyme, basil, mint, lemongrass, pepper. You want them to enjoy flavorful food just as you do. Don’t assume baby food must be bland. Babies of different ethnicities can enjoy the flavor of ethnic foods just as adults do. My children love spicy foods and garlic and have since they were infants.
Bonus! Add fat and lots of it. Babies’ brains need fat, especially healthy, stable saturated fats. Fat insulates the brain, helps develop good eyesight, and satiates baby.
- Raw full fat grass-fed milk (after one year)
- Full-fat yogurt or kefir (after one year)
- A spoonful of ghee (the milk proteins have been removed, so it is just the fat-high in CLA, and fat-soluble vitamins, great for a growing brain)
- Coconut oil
- You can also cook baby’s veggies and meats in pastured lard and tallow.
- Do not give your baby, toddler, or child anything labeled low-fat or fat-free.
Want more tips on Feeding your baby? Check out my Infant and Toddler Feeding Guide!
Why we Should Avoid Toxins:
Toxic baby food can contribute to neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments. Toxins can also affect gut permeability, increasing the risk of autoimmune issues, and metabolic issues. Toxins affect brain development, increasing the risk of developmental delays and can have an impact on cognition and mental health both in the early years and through adulthood. Neurotoxins can also contribute to sensory deficits.
Neurotoxins can also interfere with the endocrine systems. Some chemicals may have many different methods of action and can, directly and indirectly, affect the nervous system. For example, some toxins may interact directly with brain cells, and also affect the development of the nervous system by altering the thyroid hormone. These interactions can lead to endocrine issues and affect fertility and hormonal homeostasis.
We live in a toxic world, and it’s nearly impossible to avoid all toxins, but there are ways to counteract our daily exposure to toxins. I’ve tried many different detox methods, many of which just did not work for me. The best combination I’ve found is Cytodetox and Bind.
CytoDetox (affiliate links)
CytoDetox® Liposomal Zeolite Clinoptilolite with Fulvates is a cutting-edge way to support the removal of environmental toxins like heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, and biotoxins at the cellular level, safely and 100% naturally. CytoDetox contains Molecular Clinoptilolite Fragments that come from zeolites. Zeolites (Clinoptilolite) are natural minerals formed from fossilized volcanic ash and seawater that are known as nature’s detoxifier for the environment.
CytoDetox provides an all-inclusive detox support system with water-soluble molecular clinoptilolite fragments, larger clinoptilolite molecules and fulvates with the ability to travel beyond the colon and liver, supporting your body’s natural ability to detoxify throughout every cell. This zeolite clinoptilolite and liposomal technology contain ingredients provided by nature with no known allergens or side effects, and start working immediately.
Bind: Super-activated carbon that binds to toxins. For optimal detox results. (affiliate links)
The BIND (Toxin Elimination) formula provides a specialized form of activated charcoal and powerful humates (humic and fulvic acids) along with key botanicals that effectively bind toxins and prevent retoxification. BIND serves as a master drainage formula that attracts toxins, binds them so they can’t be reabsorbed, and escorts them out of the body.
Benefits of BIND:
- Contains super-activated charcoal
- Absorbs up to 300 times its weight in toxins
- Cascara Sagrada brings water into the intestines
- Apple and Flax provide beneficial fiber
- Probiotics added to support leaky gut
- Alkaline has a negative ion charge that electromagnetically binds with positively charged toxins (heavy metals)
- Sweetens the intestines (absorbs gasses that the liver would otherwise have to handle), and prevents flatus
- Absorbs pathogens (virus, bacteria, parasites, mycoplasma) and their metabolic wastes
- Does not interfere with nutrient absorption or intestinal function
- Favorably impacts cholesterol via binding the bile complex • Helps prevent bloating
- Daily use can lower the body’s toxic exposure by 60%
- Helps trap pesticides, herbicides, and plastics when nonorganic foods are eaten
- Ultimate quality, super activated, highest binding capacity.
- Fulvic acid transports minerals throughout the body and supports cellular fluidity.
- Humic acid smothers viruses and prevents their attachment to cell membranes
- Binds bio-toxins (candida, molds, etc.) in the intestines, prevents resorption
- Humates provide over 70 plant-sourced trace minerals
- Promote healthy enzyme reactions
Klerks, Michelle et al. “Infant Cereals: Current Status, Challenges, and Future Opportunities for Whole Grains.” Nutrients vol. 11,2 473. 23 Feb. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11020473
Grandjean, Philippe, and Philip J Landrigan. “Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity.” The Lancet. Neurology vol. 13,3 (2014): 330-8. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70278-3
Giordano, Gennaro, and Lucio G Costa. “Developmental neurotoxicity: some old and new issues.” ISRN toxicology vol. 2012 814795. 24 Jun. 2012, doi:10.5402/2012/814795