Is there arsenic in your babies rice cereal?
It's safe to say, if you ask many moms what their child's first food was, the answer is... rice cereal. This has been the norm advised by pediatricians and moms all over. As if being a mom isn't hard enough, having to worry about what is in your child's food is even harder. We were blown away when we heard about the alarming amounts of inorganic arsenic that the FDA has allowed in our child's rice cereal and rice products. However, we have read that the FDA wants to create new limits for the amount. After much research, we are not here to tell you not to feed your child rice cereal or rice products. We just want to offer up facts that we have found and let you as a parent make the decision that you feel is best for you and your child.
Arsenic is a known carcinogen that can influence risk of cardiovascular, immune and other diseases," said Margaret Karagas, an epidemiologist who studies the effects of toxic metals at Dartmouth College, and the lead researcher on the new study. "There is a growing body of evidence that even relatively low levels of exposure can have an adverse impact on young children." According to CNN arsenic levels were highest in babies who ate rice cereal, often given several times a day to introduce babies to solids.
Research has shown that even low levels of arsenic given to babies can affect their neurodevelopment. A 2004 study showed the affects of children in Bangladesh and the affects that drinking water with arsenic had on them. The study found that those children scored significantly lower on intellectual tests.
One thing that shocked us was that US grown rice has some of the highest levels of arsenic in the world. So it's not just imported rice that is the problem.
So what the heck are us moms to do?!?!?!
Like we said before, we feel that every mom is to choose what they feel is best for their child. Pediatrician Tanya Altmann, author of "What to Feed Your Baby: A Pediatrician's Guide to the 11 Essential Foods to Guarantee Veggie-Loving, No-Fuss, Healthy-Eating Kids," said she's changed her guidance on first foods. She recommends "tossing white rice cereal, as there is little nutritional benefit and it simply primes young palates for a lifetime of eating white carbs, not to mention the arsenic issue, which this study confirms." We are all about this! Mom Together, Founder, Stefanie Klausmann, who is originally from Germany, was shocked when her pediatrician recommended starting her son on rice cereal. "I had no idea what this rice cereal was", says Stefanie. "In Germany this is something we have never done. Typically babies start solids with a wide palate of organic vegetable and fruits." she says.
We recommend that you moms do your research and do what you feel is best for your child. Make sure you talk a pediatrician find out what foods are good for babies to first start on and move up from there. As course, even as adults, it is hard to stay away from rice all together. Maybe choose brown over white and if possible wait awhile to incorporate it into your little ones diet.
For more great articles on arsenic in your babies rice cereal click the links below: http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/25/health/arsenic-rice-cereal-baby/index.html http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/04/25/475599295/babies-who-eat-rice-cereal-have-higher-arsenic-levels-study-finds.
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