baby foodSo, you've decided baby is ready for solid food, and you're wondering what the heck to feed them? Scientists may have just made the choice a little easier. A chemical named acrylamide has been linked to cancer. What does that have to do with baby food?

Turns out that's where it's hiding (along with certain coffees and starchy foods such as French fries). The new warning comes out of the European Food Safety Authority, but American parents should know they're not the first to flag acrylamide. Here in the states, the FDA has been warning folks about its presence since late last fall. 

Typically it seems to be via skin exposure that acrylamide hurts humans -- those in industrial settings have reportedly experienced muscle weakness or limb numbness. But lab reports done on animals have shown that acrylamide in the diet has been linked to DNA mutations that could increase the risk of tumor growth and spread of cancer cells.

Thinking you're going to have make all your own baby food from now on, just to be on the safe side? Read on, Moms ...

The good news is this chemical only seems to be present in commercial baby foods that contain processed cereal grains and certain starches -- so if you're buying jars of pureed peas that contain peas and only peas, for example, you don't have to panic. But you do need to check to see what else is in there! The FDA also has a handy guide to baby foods they've tested, including those that were acrylamide-free and those that tested positive for the chemical.

What is your baby eating? Have you checked it against the FDA list?

 

Image © iStock.com/tcort