Lunchables have concerning levels of lead, sodium, Consumer Reports says

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Study finds 1 successful 4 who devour steadfast snack poorly

Study finds 1 successful 4 who devour steadfast inactive snack poorly 00:21

Lunchables — prepackaged boxes of deli meat, food and crackers — are not the healthiest enactment erstwhile it comes to picking snacks oregon lunches for kids, arsenic they incorporate troublesome levels of lead and sodium, according to Consumer Reports.

The advocacy radical tested Lunchables, made by Kraft Heinz, arsenic good arsenic akin luncheon and snack kits from different manufacturers, uncovering origin for interest successful the products fashionable for decades arsenic a convenient snack oregon luncheon for children.

"There's a batch to beryllium acrophobic astir successful these kits," according to Amy Keating, a registered dietitian astatine CR. "They're highly processed, and regularly eating processed meat, a main constituent successful galore of these products, has been linked to accrued hazard of immoderate cancers."

None of the kits exceeded ineligible oregon regulatory limits, but 5 of 12 tested products would exposure idiosyncratic to 50% oregon much of California's maximum allowable magnitude of lead, oregon cadmium dense metals that tin origin developmental and different problems successful kids, CR found.

A 3.2-ounce Turkey and Cheddar Cracker Stackers Lunchables held 74% of California's level allowed for lead, and 49% of the regular recommended sodium for 4- to 8-year-olds. Other products tested by CR were recovered to incorporate lesser amounts of some pb and sodium. 

FDA investigating pb poisoning outbreak tied to pouches of cinnamon applesauce for kids 02:33

"The kits supply lone astir 15% of the 1,600 regular calories that a emblematic 8-year-old requires, but that tiny magnitude of nutrient puts them reasonably adjacent to the regular maximum bounds for lead," stated Eric Boring, a CR chemist who led the testing. "So if a kid gets much than fractional of the regular bounds for pb from truthful fewer calories, there's small country for imaginable vulnerability from different foods, drinking h2o oregon the environment."

"We don't deliberation anybody should regularly devour these products, and they decidedly shouldn't beryllium considered a steadfast schoolhouse lunch," said Boring.

A spokesperson for Kraft Heinz defended the company's 35-year-old brand. 

"Many of our Lunchables products are a bully root of protein, offering nutrients done meats and cheeses. We've taken large steps to amended the nutrition illustration of Lunchables, including precocious unveiling Lunchables with Fresh Fruit, successful concern with Fresh Del Monte, and reducing the sodium successful each Lunchables crackers by 26%," the spokesperson stated successful an email.

"According to existent science, processed foods arbitrarily classified arsenic 'ultra-processed' are not needfully little nutritious. In fact, galore processed foods incorporate added nutrients, providing adjacent much benefits to the consumer. The classification of foods should beryllium based connected technological grounds that includes an appraisal of the nutritional worth of the full product, not restricted to 1 constituent specified arsenic a azygous constituent oregon the level of processing," the Kraft Heinz spokesperson stated.

Kate Gibson

Kate Gibson is simply a newsman for CBS MoneyWatch successful New York.

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