Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy and Safe Halloween

     Halloween is almost upon us. You probably have the candy and costumes all ready. I think it is good to be reminded of safety tips for Halloween. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a wonderful list to help make Halloween safe for everyone. Here is a link. I hope it is a happy and safe Trick or Treat for all!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Update on Arsenic in Rice

     I wrote earlier this year about arsenic levels in rice. I have followed the Consumer Reports recommendations and told families to consider limiting the amount of rice cereal to one serving per day for infants. The report from Consumer Reports is here. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released new information in September of this year after their investigation into the levels of arsenic in rice and rice products. Their report is at this link. In addition, here is a blog post written by an FDA scientist.
      Some facts: 1. There are no federal limits (agreed upon safe levels) for arsenic in most foods. 2. To cut arsenic risk, both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend families eat a well balanced diet with a variety of grains, including wheat, barley and oats. 3. The chair of the AAP Committee on Nutrition feels the latest information from the FDA is "reassuring". In addition, Dr. Stephen Daniels stated for the AAP News that "While there is inorganic arsenic in rice and rice products, it is a level that should be safe for consumption across the population." 4. The FDA plans to do additional testing of rice products made for infants and toddlers in the coming months.
       For now, I do not think my recommendation has changed. I would follow the Consumer Reports recommendations.  That includes limiting rice cereal to no more than one serving per day for infants. It is fine to do oat cereal instead of rice cereal for infants, and avoid the rice cereal all together. As further research happens, I will update my blog.