Article updated on February 2021.
Marie, I heard someone say that there is arsenic in baby cereal. This worries me…my baby is over five months old and ready to start. But I don’t dare because of what I heard. Can you help? Angèle

In fact Angela, there are very tiny amounts of arsenic in many of the food items on our grocery shelves, including baby cereals.

Although there is currently no law to regulate the concentration of arsenic in foods sold in supermarket. Majority of the time, the amounts are minimal and have no consequence to the baby. However, there is general agreement that ideally baby foods should be free from arsenic or contain as little as possible. Good to know, arsenic does not lead to poisoning, it is at the very least considered a toxic product which can be carcinogenic if taken in high concentrations.

Since babies are immature and have kidneys and liver that work more slowly than adults, it is good to choose foods that are low or without any trace of arsenic.

Rice is the main ingredient to watch out for, as it often contains arsenic because it is grown in rice paddy water which is often contaminated. So, we can find, by the same fact, more arsenic in rice cereals for babies.

It’s best to avoid those products when choosing cereals for your little ones, because of the too high level of arsenic:

  • Healthy brand brown rice cereals *
  • Baby Gourmet rice cereals *

Remember, a baby can eat barley and oat cereals, and after 6 months protein foods are valued, so it also helps limit the consumption of rice cereals in infants. Hope this gives you a little more confidence going forward.

See you soon,
Marie The baby expert