4. I wish these guidelines were more widely repeated. Nitrates occur in foods that have been processed and naturally occur in many vegetables. . 5. This condition affects how oxygen in the blood is carried to the rest of the body, and it can be life-threatening in some cases. Get Dr. Greene's Wellness Recommendations. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), research is limited on the presence of nitrates in commercial baby foods. Foodie Tuesday They are also present in groundwater, and even some vegetables have naturally occurring nitrites. (See Maggie’s post in the comments section below for more detail about the report.) Yes, I like to be conservative…. Commercial baby foods in the United States can also contain high levels of nitratesâand itâs not just in the roots and greens. Nitrates occur naturally in the environment and combine with organic and inorganic compounds. . Methemoglobinemia in babies is almost always caused by drinking infant formula, not by eating homemade baby food. Learn more on this and other important tips in Feeding Baby Green. It was a very young baby boy who drank too much contaminated carrot juice. There is limited information on the nitrate content of commercial infant foods, although the highest concentrations (>100 ppm of nitrate nitrogen) are found in beets, carrots, spinach, squash, and green beans. Nitrates are chemicals that can cause an unusual type of anemia (low blood count) in young babies. Breastfeeding is safe from nitrates, even if mothers drink this water. I disagree! Starting to eat solid foods (like baby cereal and baby food) is an important part of your baby’s development. I used to think the same thing Shelley! It's the best way to enjoy everything Bundoo. In fact, the most common cause of methemoglobinemia in babies (including those older than 6 months of age) is the ingestion of infant formula made with nitrate-containing well water! Reported in 1973. While commercially prepared baby foods containing vegetables most likely contain nitrates, these levels are monitored by manufacturers to ensure that nitrate levels in baby food meet safety standards. Donât mix formula with well water, unless it is known to have low nitrates. Infants who are exposed to high levels of nitrates, usually through contaminated well water, are at risk of serious health complications, including a condition called methemoglobinemia, or blue baby syndrome. I found this article very helpful until the final troubling sentence. While commercially prepared baby foods containing vegetables most likely contain nitrates, these levels are monitored by manufacturers to ensure that nitrate levels in baby food meet safety standards. Drinking water (especially well water) can contain high levels of nitrates from fertilizer run-off. Choose organic vegetables, which are grown without synthetic fertilizers. You give your baby food that’s been refrigerated for a week?? Shelov, S. P. Your Babyâs First Year, p. 277. âNitrate in Baby Foods: Adding to the Nitrate Mosaic.â Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 1994, 148: 490â494. While commercially prepared infant foods are considered safe, parents should be cautious when preparing homemade baby food, especially baby food that contains vegetables. Dr. Greeneâs take on homemade baby foodâ¦. 2. © 2018 Interactivation Health Networks, LLC. American Academy of Pediatrics Says Some Common Food Additives May Pose Health Risks to Children. I can see both sides of the argument, but I’m going to trust my pediatrician on this one. âInfant Methemoglobinemia: The Role of Dietary Nitrate in Food and Water.â Pediatrics, 2005, 116: 784â786. This will help prevent babies from developing nitrate poisoning. Refrigerator storage can increase nitrates? This is interesting because I always assumed homemade baby food was the way to go, but are guess there are pros and cons to it. How to Talk to Your Children About Coronavirus, 6 Strategies to Help Your Children Deal with Stress, Sara Connolly, MD, FAAP, Board Certified Pediatrician. Nitrates are mostly a risk to the lingering fetal blood cells that are gone by around three months of age. At each of your baby's daily meals, she should be eating about 4 ounces, or the amount in one small jar of strained baby food. Statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics In 2005, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that “because the intake of naturally occurring nitrates from foods such as green beans, carrots, squash, spinach, and beets can be as high as or higher than that from well water, these foods should be avoided before three months of age.” I never even thought about the nitrates in the vegetables I would use to make purees. Limit giving your baby processed foods that are made for adults and older children. Beets, carrots, broccoli, spinach, and cabbage are all high in nitrates. I just started my 5 months and 2 weeks old efd only baby on organic baby carrots cooked with filtered water, about 1/4 oz a day. Starting around age 6 months, watch for signs that your baby is ready for solid foods. To avoid any nitrate problems in your baby, I suggest that you do the following: 1. Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019. It is best to freez and just take out 3 days worth of food every 3 days. The kind of nitrate reaction of concern is a rare form of anemia called methemoglobinemia. Baby food companies can test for nitrates but mom can’t. Infant Food and Feeding Article Body Information about the onset and patterns of risk behaviors associated with overweight and obesity during infancy are showcased in the link below. For this reason, the AAP has determined that babies who eat commercially prepared foods are not at risk of developing nitrate poisoning. Homemade baby food carries the risk of nitrate contamination. Pediatrics. The official AAP guidelines on nitrates say: âHome-prepared infant foods from vegetables (e.g., spinach, beets, green beans, squash, carrots) should be avoided until infants are 3 months or older.â (Emphasis mine). Keating, J. P., Lell, M. E., Strauss, A. W., Zarkowsky, H., and Smith, G. E. âInfantile Methemoglobinemia Caused by Carrot Juice.â New England Journal of Medicine, 1973, 288: 824 â826. I throw away any refrigerated food older than 2 days! . As a general rule, the AAP recommends that babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months if possible, followed by the introduction of complementary foods along with breast milk until 12 months of age. To play it safe introduce these foods a … The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released a clinical report on the risk factors of nitrate poisoning in infants. Breastfeed. For this reason, the AAP has determined that babies who eat commercially prepared foods are not at risk of developing nitrate poisoning. 3. These chemicals have leached into ground water and spread into urban areas. For this reason, the AAP has determined that babies who eat commercially prepared foods are not at risk of developing nitrate poisoning. Greene says that making homemade baby food with a food grinder is far cheaper than buying jarred foods. They may contain large amounts of nitrates. The extensive use of baby foods provides additional circumstantial evidence that is worth considering. The worried warnings go something like this: âIn some parts of the country, these vegetables contain large amounts of nitrates that can cause an unusual kind of anemia (low blood count) in young infants.
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