So, after starting a bit conservative with Caleb, I’ve been practicing more of a Baby-Led Weaning approach to feeding. I initially had been pureeing foods (he loves avocado and banana!) but then he started really whining for food he saw us all eating and, within reason, I’d let him try things. So far, it’s been all homemade stuff like turkey breast, vegetable stew, mashed potatoes and a little cornbread stuffing. He’s really been enjoying himself!
I do, occasionally, buy him baby food in a jar but we stick with Earth’s Best or anything that has a Non-GMO Project label on it. Everything had been going just fine but then, one day, I was at Toys R Us and spotted what looked like a veggie version of Cheetos. He already has two teeth and I suspect more are coming and I thought that something with a little crunch but dissolved quickly might be appealing to him so I grabbed it.
For a few days, the Gerber Graduates Lil’ Crunchies Veggie Dip flavored treats sat on my counter. I realized that they weren’t organic and I was hesitant about giving them to him, especially since a main ingredient is corn, a vegetable known to be highly modified. Still, against my good judgment, I poured some on his high chair tray and, immediately, he started gobbling them up. He really loved them. I can’t say that he didn’t.
I’m not trying to be elitist or whatever when I say this but, I was literally finishing the sentence “you know, I should go see if they have a natural equivalent of these at Whole Foods” when I looked over and saw his mouth. It was just starting to get red all around and, at first, we wondered if he had just scratched himself with the texture of the snack. Then it started getting worse.
Within about a minute, it was clear that these were little baby hives on his face. I instantly grabbed the snacks out of his hand and we wiped his hands and face. I began Googling, of course, to see if they really were hives (after four kids, I knew they were but we’re so conditioned to look things up on the internet instead of relying on our own eyes, aren’t we?). Feeling more confident, I decided to look up the actual treat. I had gone over the ingredients ahead of time and there really wasn’t anything in there that he hadn’t tried in its “real form” before so I thought was safe. And then I saw this.
The GMO Free USA website tested Lil Crunchies, the same ones I had given Caleb. They determined that it contained Glyphosate, the “active chemical ingredient in Roundup herbicide as well as many other name brand glyphosate-based herbicides.” Further, it was determined that “100% of the corn in the Lil’ Crunchies Veggie Dip was GMO.” I really, seriously, just wanted to scream. It’s a baby food, for crying out loud! Yes, I realize that more needs to be done to fully understand Genetically Modified Organisms but, in the meantime, can we keep them out of food designed for infants and children?
So what happened?
I looked up a treatment for hives and one site suggested mixing coconut and peppermint oils to make a salve. I already had some mixed up since that’s what I use to moisturize my face and, within 45 minutes (with a few reapplications since he was drooling and rubbing it off!), he was almost back to normal. I, on the other hand, was completely beside myself. I felt so guilty for having doubts about this snack but I gave it to him anyway. He had a bit of a rough sleep but that was partially because we had an eventful evening and ended up buying a minivan but that’s another story!
In the end, one of the hives kind of lingered overnight but was not red or inflamed. You could just kind of see where it had been, if that makes sense. I’m heading out to Whole Foods today to check out some other options for better snacks. I know to trust my inner voice implicitly from now on!