A viral TikTok video has people wondering: Are there metals in baby food?
The short answer is yes, but it’s not as dangerous as you might think.
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On March 5, TikTok user @jazi83 made a video in which she put a magnet up against a bag of Gerber baby formula. “I saw a post about Gerber having metals in their baby food so I go and pull out my daughter’s cereal to take a look and sure enough,” the audio said, as the magnet separated some shards of metal from the cereal.
The video was met with both skepticism and concern by some TikTok users, so the duo behind “Fact or Cap” decided to test out some baby food for themselves.
When the “Fact or Cap” boys put a magnet up against a bag of Gerber baby food, they were able to separate some “tiny bits of metal” from the cereal.
“I was not expecting this, but there were small amounts of something at least attracted to magnets,” they concluded.
The “Fact or Cap” team was able to determine that there were indeed some shards of metal in the baby food, but that still begs the question: Why? And is it safe?
Those shards of metal in your baby’s food are iron, and they’re supposed to be there.
On the Gerber website, Chief Parent Officer Bill Partyka explained that those “dark particles” parents find in their infant’s cereal are iron, and it’s “completely safe.” In fact, it’s actually important for a child’s growth and development.
“At Gerber, we fortify our cereals by adding essential vitamins and minerals to help promote healthy baby development,” he said. “All of these nutrients are safe and accepted by the FDA. We add iron to support baby’s learning ability and brain development. We know that without iron, babies can risk becoming iron deficient, which can cause anemia, developmental delays and cognitive concerns.”
Don’t just take Gerber’s word for this. The American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed iron fortification of infant formulas since 1969 and notes that formula-fed infants who receive iron-fortified formula during the first year have significantly lower rates of iron deficiency, which can lead to heart and developmental problems.
According to the Pediatric Wellness Group in California, iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common nutritional problems diagnosed in children. Feeding your child an iron-fortified infant cereal can help prevent this problem and keep your kid happy and healthy.
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