Ruth's Blog

Ruth Yaron, Super Baby Food Author, Weighs in on the Arsenic Levels In Rice Issue

Recently, rice has been found to contain arsenic.  There is plenty of information online, and you’ll find that the amount of arsenic in different types of rice varies greatly.  Although doctors on TV and other sources have been telling us it’s still OK to still eat rice, why take the chance–especially with our babies!    I recommend not eating any rice when there are so many other whole grains available.  That goes for any foods containing rice–infant cereal, breakfast cereal, brown rice syrup, cooked rice, granola with rice, rice milk, etc.–read the ingredients list on the label.

A healthy diet is about variety.  Just as babies (and adults) should eat a variety of organic fruits and veggies to help ensure we get a vast array of nutrients, we should eat a variety of organic whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils).  You shouldn’t feed carrots, and only carrots. to your baby for veggies and you shouldn’t feed only brown rice for whole grains.

The Super Baby Food Diet is about eating a vast array of healthy organic whole foods.  Quinoa, millet, and oats are other super whole grains recommended for Super Porridge, as well as those listed in the Super Baby Book on page 222. Page 235 has a list of legumes.  On page 215, see my tips for mixing several whole grains and legumes together to ensure your baby will have a variety of these foods in their high-protein Super Porridge (2 parts grains + 1 part legumes).  Make Super Porridge even more healthy by sprinkling freshly-ground seeds and nuts (if your baby has no allergies) into cooked Super Porridge.  (Freshly-ground immediately before feeding because once seeds and nuts are cracked open, their super healthy oils/fats start becoming rancid.)  See Page 135 for a list of seeds and nuts.  If you can’t find these foods in your supermarket, visit your local natural foods store.  You can also find these foods online; you’ll have to pay shipping, but you might find it’s worth it when you consider your time and energy, since you don’t have to use gas and bundle up baby or get a sitter.  (I always buy from www.BreadBeckers.com, a website you can trust for only the highest quality foods.)  You may even want to join a food coop to buy in bulk and save $.

Parents who are concerned because they have been feeding large amounts of brown rice to their babies should talk with their pediatricians.  Rice is one of the grains that is gluten-free, therefore many people might be eating it frequently.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has information about arsenic at http://www.aap.org; search for “arsenic.”  We should expect more information about arsenic in rice as more studies are completed.

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