Halifax mum says baby food turned her son yellow

Kerry Watson with seven-month-old Reuben Watson who turned yellow because of his food.
Kerry Watson with seven-month-old Reuben Watson who turned yellow because of his food.

A mum says her son’s baby food turned him yellow.

Kerry Watson, 33, of Abbey Walk South, Halifax, took her six-month-old son Reuben to her GP when she noticed his skin changing colour on his head, hands and feet.

The GP told her to take Reuben to Calderdale Royal Hospital, where they ran tests.

Kerry said doctors’ only explanation was his diet - specifically a build up of the the carotene from carrots.

Kerry said since she weaned Reuben, she had been feeding him Cow and Gate meals - building up to one 125g jar for lunch and another for dinner.

She said: “They said they’d never seen anything like it but were 99 per cent sure that was what it was. The paediatrician said there was nothing to harm him, just basically a lot of carotene from the carrots.”

Kerry said friends had been asking if the family had been away - because it looked like Reuben had a tan.

“The colour change happened fairly quickly,” she said. “After about two weeks of him going onto full jars he started to turn yellow.”

Kerry has been left stumped by the reaction in Reuben - having fed her daughter Scarlet, now three, on the jars without any problem.

A spokeswoman for Cow and Gate said: “Cow and Gate are committed to using only high quality ingredients in our baby foods. Carotene is a natural pigment which occurs in many vegetables such as carrot, sweet potato and butternut squash.

“A baby meal prepared at home using these vegetables would also contain carotene and there will be no difference in carotene levels between the same recipe manufactured by Cow and Gate and that prepared in the home.

“Carotenemia is the scientific name for the condition in which there is an elevated level of carotene in the blood causing a yellowing effect to the skin. This is not harmful and is temporary. We regret any concern caused to Ms Watson and can reassure parents that they can continue to use Cow and Gate baby foods with confidence.”