Dangerous Cookware - How It Can Affect Your Baby's Food
When preparing homemade baby food, we parents are always careful to ensure that the foods we choose are healthy and appropriate for our
babies. Something that many of us overlook, however, is the suitability of the pots we're cooking in -- yet the fact is that cookware made from
certain materials may not be ideal for the preparation of baby food.
No one knows exactly how hazardous these types of cookware are to health and research has yet to come up with any conclusive evidence. Some
experts think that the risk is very low, or that only people who are sensitive to certain materials will react unfavourably. But what would be
considered a small risk to an adult may be significantly greater to a baby, so it's probably a good idea to look to safer cookware alternatives
when cooking for your little one.
- Unlined or uninsulated copper pots should not be used to cook your baby's food. This is because copper destroys both vitamins C and E and
also the folic acid in the food. In addition, acidic foods cooked in copper pots can contain toxic levels of copper.
- Aluminum pots are also believed to be unsafe for cooking your baby's food. Acidic foods cooked in aluminum pots can dissolve very small
quantities of aluminum, which may then be absorbed into the food. Anodized aluminum cookware is a safer alternative, because the the
anodizing process "locks" the aluminum into the cookware.
- Stainless steel cookware is made up of a mixture of different metals. It is generally considered to be very safe -- but you shouldn't use
it to cook your baby's food if it is particularly pitted or dented. You should also avoid scrubbing your stainless steel cookware with an
abrasive substance, because this can cause small quantities of nickel and chromium to be released into food.
- You should avoid cooking your baby's food in non-stick pans because the non-stick coating may chip off and end up in the food. It is also
believed that toxic fumes can be released by heating a non-stick pan to a very high temperature.
For the sake of your baby's health AND your own, always make sure that your cookware is kept in very good condition - and don't use pots
that are cracked, peeling, chipped or pitted. Author Bio: Christine Albury is a mother of four and the author of Homemade Baby Food Recipes - your complete guide to solid feeding during baby's first year. Christine writes for many
other parenting sites and a regional UK magazine. Homemade Baby Food Recipes, which was recently featured by the BBC, includes a very
active blog - keeping parents up to date with all important baby food news - plus a free monthly newsletter.
- Cooking with iron cookware is actually beneficial to health. When you cook acidic foods (like tomatoes) in iron pots,
the foods actually "pull" the iron from the pot. This boosts the important dietary iron in your baby's food.
- The FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition consider ceramic, glass and enameled cookware to be safe. You should avoid using
older enameled cookware, though, because it may contain cadmium. Cadmium is a toxic substance which is no longer used in the manufacture of
cookware in the US. You should also be careful of glazed ceramic cookware from overseas, where the regulations for the inclusion of cadmium
and lead in cookware may not be as stringent.