It’s no surprise that making sure baby gets the right nutrition is a big deal to mamas. After all, making sure a little one gets the right combination of nutrients and vitamins from their food, in order to grow healthy and strong is super important. It may come as a surprise, however, that certain foods that mom’s trust to nurture their babes, may actually be downright toxic.
Yes, some of the near and dear trusted brands of food commonly fed to babies and growing children, do in fact contain some unsavory elements. Moms may try their best to decipher nutritional labels, consult pediatricians, and trust mother wit, but occasionally some things fall between the cracks. The best thing a mom can do is prepare herself with information about what to look for.
Reading up on certain food additives to watch out for, when scouring labels at the grocery store for dangerous ingredients is a good idea. There is some good news, as many active ingredients have to compound in the body’s tissues to make a significant impact. So, no need for a mom to go into a frantic panic for accidentally giving her little one something less than optimal to eat. Being aware, and making healthy choices is the best preventative measure.
15 Honey: The Not So Sweet Treat
Honey may be naturally sweet, but it is not a sweet treat for a developing baby. Especially if the baby is under 1-year-old, eating honey can even prove fatal. A significant amount of honey does contain spores of the bacteria that causes the toxin, botulism. The fancy scientific name for this bacteria is known as Clostridium botulinum.
Botulism causes nerve endings to shut down and muscles to become paralyzed. This is all thanks to the spores transforming into the toxin botulism, once it is digested and in the intestines of the body. Consuming honey as a baby risks the baby developing ‘floppy baby syndrome’ thanks to altered muscle tone, or even suddenly passing away shortly after. Honey pacifiers are not worth the risk. The honey can wait until the baby is older.
14 Rice Cereals: Dirty Secret?
Rice is a readily available source of nutrition for many people around the world, but rice has a dirty secret. Arsenic. Found in rice in small amounts, over time, arsenic can compound itself in a baby’s tissues, especially if the baby does not have a varied diet.
Maybe a bowl of rice cereal once in a blue moon won’t hurt, but does a mom seriously want to run that risk with their little one? Arsenic poisoning can lead to fatality. Rice cereals and rice are not the only culprits, as over half of many baby foods on the market contain arsenic and other disturbing chemical compounds. The Clean Label Project is a study of various baby foods, like rice cereals, which can help mom make more sound choices.
13 Teddy Grahams: More Than Meets The Eye
TBHQ, or Tertiary Butylhydroquinone, may be a popular additive as a preservative in many snacks and foods, but there is more than meets the eye. TBHQ is a form of butane, which extends the span of time that food can stay on the shelf. There have been studies regarding the connection between TBHQ and ADHD, DNA damage, and TBHQ being carcinogenic in nature.
Teddy Grahams are not the only snack that can put the baby at risk, but convenience snacks like Oreos, Cheez-Its, and even chicken nuggets from Mcdonald’s also use TBHQ as a preservative for their food products. If the baby continues to consume snacks and foods with TBHQ, compounded amounts in the body may lead to nausea, ringing in the ears, and even delirium. This preservative is also used in butane, a la lighters. Food for thought?
12 Canned Fruits and Veggies: Full Of Preserves
Canned foods such as peaches, carrots, peas, and beans may have been heralded as a life-saver of the future, but more recently, canned foods have shown some connections to various health problems. The main problem? The liner of the can. Canning has been used as a way of preserving food successfully for many years, and the method does stave off spoilage and creates a longer shelf-life. However, chemical compounds can eventually leach their way into the food contained within, passing on health complications after consumption.
If mom wants to get some canned goods for her conscious budget, convenience, or familiarity, she wants to go for canned goods that are BPA-free. Another concern with canned fruits and veggies is the type of preservative used. Foods that are preserved with high fructose corn syrup can trigger hyperactivity, throw glucose levels off, and contribute to obesity.
11 Cheetos And Chips With Coloring Agents And Dyes
Cheetos may look like fun to munch on, but the artificial food dye Yellow 6, is created from petroleum. Yes, petroleum. Other ingredients such as methyl benzoate and ethyl methylphenylglycidate are also derived from petroleum too. If mom is having a hard time pronouncing these ingredients, and learning that they are created from oil by-products, maybe the baby shouldn’t be snacking away on such things?
Petroleum-based additives are included in many snacks and foods which are linked to cancer, allergic reactions, and cause hypersensitivity. Many coloring agents that are used in products like Cheetos and other chips contain food dyes that are linked to hyperactivity, nausea, and a host of other health problems for babies, growing children, and even adults. Certain snacks may seem tempting and are conveniently found for purchase, but the short-term benefits of a quick bite may lead to long-term heartache and health problems.
10 Hot Dogs- The Unknown Meat
No one really wants to know what is in a hot dog. And if mom loves her hot dogs, whether due to nostalgia, or having an easy-to-cook food item, ignorance is bliss. Even though many children have grown up enjoying slices of hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, or other condiments, hot dogs are not so hot for health.
Hot dogs are often made of leftovers from processed meat which are full of preservatives and nitrates to keep them looking plump and ready to eat. Mom should make sure her little one is not constantly eating hot dogs as a go-to lunch or dinner option, as excessive amounts of nitrates, salts, and coloring agents can build up in baby’s system and cause problems. Obesity, heart disease, and addiction to poorer quality food choices can all be contributed to the hot dog.
9 Chicken Nuggets- Not Finger-Lickin' Good
Chicken nuggets may be a friendly looking finger food, but they are anything but finger-lickin' good. Unfortunately, chicken nuggets undergo a lot of processing to get their unique look and texture. Many ingredients within chicken nuggets contain properties which can have devastating long-term health effects on a growing child, let alone an adult.
TBHQ is commonly used as a preservative in chicken nuggets, to prevent spoilage. Also, mom can look forward to feeding her baby nuggets full of sugar, salt, and most commonly fried up in grease before serving. Conventional nuggets purchased from many fast food chains and stores are laden with potential harmful elements. If mom wants a healthier option, it is better to make homemade chicken nuggets which can be baked and contain less sugar and salt.
8 Deli Meats: Why The Long Shelf Life?
Deli meat may be easy to obtain and can be cut up into bite-sized pieces for a hungry growing babe, but it does present some health problems. In order to maintain their shelf-life in the deli case, most deli meat is full of preservatives and salt. Fresher meats offer baby higher nutrition, and lower exposure to nitrates, and chemical preservatives. Also, many deli types of meat are formed into the shape they come in and are not natural.
Depending on food handling, some deli meats can expose the baby to listeria, salmonella, or even E. coli. Certain cold cuts should not be served cold, because of the risk of food-borne illnesses. If mom wants to feed the baby cold cuts, heating them up before serving can be helpful.
7 Yogurt: Not All Are Created Equal
Yogurt is a baby-friendly treat, or so it seems. All yogurts are not created equal, as the fermented food may contain artificial sweeteners like acesulfame potassium. Acesulfame potassium is a controversial sweetener, as it is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, but doesn’t contain the calories. Studies are still ongoing, but this food additive has been connected to disruption of the body’s metabolism, problems with blood sugar, and potential to cause cancer.
There are plenty of yogurts on the market which do not contain this additive, as it is not necessary for yogurt production. Giving the baby yogurt with probiotics may not be such a bad thing, as it has been known to reduce the chances of the baby getting diarrhea, and helps digestive health overall. Babies with dairy allergies can enjoy eating soy-based yogurt. Concerned moms should check with their pediatrician about feeding yogurt to the baby.
6 Fish: Pollution Is More Dangerous Than You Think
Fish may be considered a brain food, things like parasites, PCBs, mercury, and microplastics often lurk in fish. Certain fish like fugu should definitely be off limits for a baby because it could potentially prove fatal if prepared incorrectly. Even though some fish like salmon and tuna are recommended for a healthy diet, pollution has created some mishaps in the food chain.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, nuclear disasters, oil spills, and other man-made disasters have negatively impacted fish health. Warmer waters in some parts of the world have affected population numbers, diet, and intensified contaminants in the bodies of fish. Some fish end up eating plastic, mistaking it for food. Many fish have high levels of mercury, which can cause poisoning in babies and adults over time. Fish that is processed and contained in cans can be full of contaminants from packaging too.
5 Soft Cheeses: Just Think Of Mold
Cheese is such a versatile food, perfectly paired with bread, crackers, and on sandwiches. Some types of cheese are incredibly risky to feed the baby, and especially if under one year of age. Some select cheeses can only be produced with raw unpasteurized milk, which may present health risks to a small baby with a developing digestive system. Some cheeses eaten uncooked may hurt the baby.
Cheese that relies on certain strains of mold for their flavor and texture, such as blue cheese and Roquefort should not be given to young babies unless mom wants to risk vomiting, or a stressed-out baby tummy. Things like E. coli, listeria, and salmonella could land the baby in the hospital if they have a bad reaction. Some foods are just safer for more developed bodies, and baby’s palate doesn’t know what they are missing just yet.
4 Egg Whites: High Cholesterol
Eggs are an inexpensive and full of protein which is good for the baby and is easy for them to eat on their own with supervision. However, aside from the risk of cholesterol from methods of cooking, or salmonella, egg whites might not be the best for baby.
Many children are born increasingly allergic to eggs, so mom might have to get creative with providing a substitute. Egg whites contain a good amount of compounds that set off allergies in a baby, even more than the yolk. Babies really shouldn’t give eggs a try, until they are over a year old, just to be on the safe side. If eggs are undercooked, the baby can pick up a parasite, or get an upset tummy and suffer bouts of vomiting.
3 Pre-Made Baby Food: Read The Ingredients
Moms put a lot of trust in the brands of food that they purchase for their little ones, but sometimes further research is necessary. Some big brands and labels that provide pre-made baby foods have been contaminated with arsenic, lead, and other nasty bits. There is contamination via herbicides, which leaves a residue within the fruits and vegetables that get processed. There is contamination from heavy metals and poor packaging materials that leach chemicals into the baby food.
It is not enough for mom to look for labels that read organic, natural or BPA-free liner. Choosing pre-made food in glass jars over plastic containers helps lessen exposure. Making baby food at home can be tricky, but is another option. However, mom has to do their homework and look deeper at where companies are sourcing their foods, processing methods, and question elements that may have undesirable side-effects.
2 Strawberries: What Keeps Them Looking Fresh?
Strawberries are not actually a fruit, and even worse, they are one of the top foods with high levels of exposure to insecticides. Even if mom chooses to wash off strawberries before feeding them to her little one, the risk of the baby consuming toxic levels of herbicides over time is a real risk. If mom chooses to feed strawberries her baby, she might see the baby with a rash around the mouth afterward.
Even if mom chooses to purchase organic strawberries, it is important to follow-up with the company, to ensure the fruits were not sprayed or treated with any insecticides. Some approved herbicides used on fresh produce can have nasty side-effects on children and their development.
Strawberries do provide some color and vitamins to the diet, but if your baby is under the one year of age, strawberries should be off the list until later.
1 Pineapple: One Of The Trickiest Fruits For Babies
Pineapple fruit is delicious, but if mom wants to feed it to the baby, she should take some cautions. First off, if your baby is under one year of age, he or she may have a hard time digesting this fruit. Pineapple is not exactly a citrus fruit, but the citric acid can be really irritating to the baby’s tummy.
One reason pineapple is a fruit for mom to be a bit wary about is that many children and adults have allergic reactions to the fruit. If the baby is forced to eat pineapple, with the hope that enough exposure will dampen reaction, it could lead to more severe reactions in the long-run. Moms should be cautious when feeding their child pineapple, because of ensuing respiratory problems, tummy troubles or worse. Pineapple should definitely be cut into very tiny pieces to prevent choking.
Sources: Power of Positivity, Parents, Baby Centre, New Kids Center, Healthline, Mother Jones, ABC, The Atlantic, Healthfully
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