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TNC 037: Lead, Breastfed Toddlers & Milk Allergy

Lead, Breastfed Toddlers and Milk Allergy

Ask Jill: Lead in Baby Food & More

I’ve been getting a few questions here and there, so I thought I’d devote a show to answering them! In this episode, I unpack the recent news about lead in baby food, clear the air on what breastfed toddlers need for nutrition during their second year of life, and answer a question about choosing the right milk for a child who has a milk allergy.

What You Will Learn:

  • The latest news on lead in baby food
  • Which baby foods contain the most lead
  • How to moderate your baby’s consumption of lead-containing baby food
  • The nutritional requirements of toddlers who continue to breastfeed in the second year
  • How breastmilk contributes nutrition to the toddler’s diet
  • What parents should consider when choosing a milk substitute for their milk allergic child
  • Which alternative milks are most nutritious (FREE GUIDE)

What I Discuss:

  • The prevalence of lead in baby food
  • The keys to avoiding too much lead in your baby’s diet
  • The benefits of continued breastfeeding in the second year of life
  • The nutritional shortfalls of breastmilk for the toddler
  • How to balance breastfeeding and meals so your toddler gets optimal nutrition
  • The key nutrients that are at risk when a child is allergic to milk
  • The differences between milk alternatives (not all substitutes are created equal)
  • Some of the best alternative options for children with milk allergy

Links I Mentioned in the Show:

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  1. Jill, I am a new listener to your podcast. I am a pediatric occupational therapist with a special interest in feeding children and resonate with most of your advice and comments. However, I am puzzled at your advice to the breast feeding mother of a toddler. Why all the cow’s milk, when the mom reports that her child is eating well and nursing frequently? The tone of your response suggests that the mother’s milk is no longer nutritious and only helpful for “bonding … connecting … immunity.” Why the mention of risk to brain development? The information that I have states that human milk is far superior to cow’s milk for brain development. Your comments are appreciated.

    I also listened intently to your information about lead in baby food. How scary is that! Instead of recommending a Russian Roulette of baby foods off the shelf, hoping to dodge the accumulation of lead, why not recommend whole table foods, mashed or pureed if needed?

    Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.

    1. Hi Teri – so glad you found my podcast and are finding it helpful. RE: the breastfed toddler…The nutritional contribution of breastmilk after the first 6 months of life dramatically shifts and while still a nutritious beverage, fails to match the nutritional needs of the young infant in the second half of the first year– hence the introduction of complementary foods. As the baby ages into toddlerhood, breastmilk nutrition continues to decrease, which is why I suggest that the toddler get most of his nutrition from food, including the recommended dairy/non-dairy servings. Brain development is critical in the first 5 years (especially first 2 years) and nutrition is therefore critical. Some parents don’t understand or appreciate how important nutrients are for growth and development during this time frame, especially for the brain. While it is absolutely fine to breastfeed as long as desired and able, whole foods in the diet are a more reliable nutrient source for the toddler. You may find this article about liquid nutrition helpful for your reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4882692/
      About lead…my recommendations are of course for whole foods, homemade baby food, or a rotation of convenient sources like commercial baby food. I try to share recommendations that can applied to all socio-economic demographics, as well as provide some flexibility to parents. Since the topic was on lead in baby food (commercial types), my recommendations reflected how to manage them if that was the type of baby food a parent was using.
      Thanks again for listening, and feel free to peruse the blog where I hope you’ll find some more useful resources!