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Food & Water

Infant (Newborn - 1 Year)

Breast milk and formula

Breast milk
Lead-free water for making infant formula

Breast milk has a nearly perfect mix of the vitamins, protein, and fat that your baby needs to grow. It helps them fight off infection, allows you to bond, and did we mention it burns calories for mom? Win-win-win.

Some moms need an alternative to breastfeeding. If that’s the case for you, use your pediatrician’s recommended brand of infant formula. Make sure any water you add is lead-free. You can test your water here.

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Cow's milk

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants below 1 year of age not drink cow’s milk, in part because of its low iron levels. Iron in breast milk and iron-fortified formula helps protect babies from lead poisoning, reducing the amount of lead their bodies absorb. After age 1 children usually have other iron-rich foods in their diets, and cow’s milk does not pose the same risk.

Infant cereal

Oatmeal, mixed grain, or quinoa infant cereal

Infants who eat rice cereal can ingest 3 times more arsenic than babies on a rice-free diet. Swap rice cereal for any of these to limit your baby’s exposure. Choose any alternate whole grain cereal, or any mixed grain cereal with rice no higher than 3rd on the ingredient list.

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White and brown rice infant cereal

FDA tells parents to "consider options other than rice cereal for a child’s first solid food." Rice is often grown in old cotton fields where arsenic pesticides were sprayed. It takes up arsenic from the soil, absorbing up to 10 times more of it than other grains.

Juice and fruit for infants and toddlers

Tap water
Whole fruit

Not only are water and applesauce easy for baby bellies to digest, they also don’t contain high levels of arsenic found in many apple juice brands. Whole fruit is also a good low-arsenic choice, full of fiber and nutrients. Follow your doctor’s advice on when your baby can start sipping water (usually around 6 months) and eating solid foods.

And make sure any water you give your baby is lead-free. You can test your water here.

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Apple juice

There’s arsenic in many types of fruit juice. Apple juice stands out because children drink so much of it. It’s second only to rice cereal as the top source of arsenic in children’s diets.

Fruit accumulates arsenic from water that passes through contaminated orchard soil. The arsenic is dissolved throughout the fruit’s liquid, and becomes concentrated with juicing. Going head to head with applesauce and whole fruit, apple juice has fewer natural nutrients, less fiber, and more arsenic - not the best choice for your baby.


Healthy rice-free snacks

Switching to rice-free snacks could cut your child's arsenic exposures by 40%, according to a recent study. Choose healthy snacks like fresh fruits and veggies, dips and whole grains, and natural snacks without "rice" on the ingredient list.

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Rice snacks

Snacks likely to be high in arsenic include puffed rice, rice cakes, and cereal bars and other snacks sweetened with brown rice syrup. Choose rice-free snacks instead.