Rice cereal and arsenic

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For anyone feeding their baby rice cereal, this is a headline that you don’t ever want to read. If your baby has been fed cereal in the past, this story is just as alarming. I think of rat poisoning when I think of arsenic. Or someone slipping it into a cup of tea or cocktail in an old spy movie where the heroine is trying to kill her husband so she can be with her adulterous lover – not in a bowl of infant cereal recommended by Health Canada to feed your baby.

While this headline has a new spin on it (European standards and levels), arsenic in infant rice cereal or rice isn’t a new concern. In 2017, an investigation by Healthy Babies Bright Futures reported the following findings:

  • There is 6x more arsenic in infant rice cereals than other types of infant cereals (including oatmeal and multi-grain).
  • Infant rice cereals brands tested that had arsenic in them: Gerber, Earth’s Best, BeechNut, BioKinetics, HappyBABY, and Healthy Times (which is organic)
  • The non-rice and multi grain cereals of the same brands had a much lower level of arsenic.

The new information that has come through CBC’s Marketplace brings the conversation to the forefront once again. While it’s making your head spin, I’m grateful for another chance to discuss this issue because there is no safe level of arsenic for your baby, or for you.

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Herb Garden Series – Basil

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One of my favourite herbs is basil. Have you ever had buffalo mozzarella, ripe and juicy cherry tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar piled on a cracker or piled on your fork? They’re gorgeous summer flavours that work any time of year. I wouldn’t suggest attempting to eat such a tower on a first date, but maybe a second!

Basil turns up in most Italian dishes like pesto, tomato sauce and as a pizza topping, but that’s only one type of basil: Italian large leaf. I was surprised to learn that there are more than 40 cultivars of this aromatic plant, each with its own unique taste and tang. Thai and holy basil are typically used in Thai, Vietnamese and Indian cuisine, but I add any of them to whatever I’m cooking.

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Babies and Toddlers Still Don’t Have a Balanced Diet – According to a US Study

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I do love it when medical studies echo what I say, or have said, for years. I sometimes feel like a broken record saying and writing the same things, over and over again. According to a recent study in Pediatrics, it seems that I need to keep going, and not stop! This CBC article expanded on the study and really said a lot of what I say every time I speak with a client or at a speaking engagement.

I know parents know that eating a colourful variety of fruits and vegetables, every day, is important for health. I wonder what the disconnect is between knowing it and it actually becoming a reality. When it comes time to feed babies and toddlers, according to their data collected from a total of 2,359 participants, they just aren’t getting enough.

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Food Pouches: Is it the best way to feed your baby?

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When I first started focusing on nutrition from tummy to toddler, there weren’t many options for packaged food to feed your baby. For as long as I can remember there have been jarred baby food lining the aisle along with Farley’s rusks and Arrowroot.

Fast forward to the past 10 years, there has been frozen food available in cubes and containers, jars are still going strong and now the food pouches. I remember seeing them in England when my kids were babies, so they have been available on the market, just not in North America.

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