06-12-2011, 04:32 AM
i got a 8 month old neice,. even the organic foods, contain transfats and carcinogens,. everything my sis, buys for her daughter. i check rigerously,.
its really best to use fresh fruits and veg to cook with, any short cut way and your opening up these poisons to enter your system.. most the time they are not even listed as they come under natural flavourings ...
Two very shocking articles ive read recentlym:
Some baby foods contain as much sugar and saturated fats as chocolate cookies or cheeseburgers.
A survey of more than 100 foods for babies and toddlers found examples that were 29 percent sugar, and others that contained trans fats, which have been linked to heart disease.
The Children's Food Campaign, part of food and farming campaign group Sustain, examined the nutritional content of 107 baby and toddler foods. Only half the products were low in saturated fat, salt and sugar.
So, what about organic baby food -- is it your safest choice?
Katharine Wroth of Grist was curious about her organic baby food options, so she took a look at several types of baby food.
She found that, among other results, Earth’s Best had an extensive selection, but also had high sodium levels. Gerber Organic was easy to find, but came in plastic containers. Organic Baby was from a good company, but was sometimes hard to find.
Plum Organics had BPA-free packaging, but a high price and limited flavor options. Happy Baby had the same advantages and the same problems. Little Lettice comes from a company that uses local ingredients and doesn’t ship outside the region, but that means it is only available in Massachusetts.
In the final analysis, the frozen baby foods tasted better than the jarred ones, but they would be prohibitively expensive if they were all you bought. However, they also noted that there is one option that is affordable, tasty, and healthy: making your own.
As shocking as these findings are, I’m still not surprised. As the food industry is notorious for flooding the market with unhealthy foods – why should you believe the baby food sector is that much different?
Just What Are You Feeding Your Baby?
The results of a survey of more than 100 foods for babies and toddlers (http://www.sustainweb.org/news/may_09_junk_food_babies/) found that one brand of dry biscuits contained a staggering 29 percent sugar!
Other weaning biscuits were found to contain unlabeled trans fat (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/07/19/trans-fat-part-three.aspx), which is known to increase LDL, also known as "bad" cholesterol, while lowering levels of HDL, or "good" cholesterol. It can also cause clogging of arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems, and can increase the risk of heart disease.
Many food companies use trans fat instead of oil because it reduces cost, extends storage life of products and can improve flavor and texture.
None of these reasons have anything to do with benefitting the health of your child.
Yet despite all the science available on the dangers of trans fats, when a researcher from the Children’s Food Campaign (CFC) spoke to one of the baby food manufacturers, asking about the trans fats in their products, he was told that they were “pretty sure” that there were no trans fats in their baby biscuits, but that they would check with a nutritionist.
They called back two days later and admitted that their biscuits do contain trans fats, but assured the CFC researcher that “trans fats aren’t any worse than saturated fats and that it is the whole diet that matters.”
The CFC researcher was also told that tiny amounts of trans fats “do not pose a health risk, and that if there was any concrete evidence that trans fats were dangerous, they wouldn’t be allowed.”
That’s the kind of ignorant nonsense you have to contend with from many sources within the food industry, but rest assured, they are completely wrong.
As far back as 2002, the Institute of Medicine concluded there is no safe level of trans fat (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/07/27/trans-fat-part-two.aspx).
Said Christine Haigh, joint-coordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign,
“The results of this survey are staggering. Many foods marketed for babies and young children are often advertised as “healthy”.
In reality, in terms of sugar and saturated fat content, some are worse than junk food. In particular, failing to correctly label products that contain dangerous trans fats is outrageous.”
Infant Formulas and Processed Baby Food Do Not Equal Healthy Babies
Hopefully, you already know that the absolute healthiest food for your baby is breast milk. Unfortunately, many mothers and their infants are paying a hefty price for advertising promoting powdered baby formulas over breastfeeding. The United Nations even blames the manufacturers of formulas and their deceptive marketing practices for the drastic decline in breastfeeding across the world, which is negatively impacting the health of millions of babies.
Nestle (http://v.mercola.com/blogs/public_blog/Nestle-Continues-Reprehensible-Infant-Formula-Actions-16166.aspx) continues to be one of the main culprits in dissuading mothers from breastfeeding. Campaigners first called for a boycott of Nestle back in 1977 to try to limit their dirty marketing techniques in some of the poorest of countries. Thirty years later, it is crystal clear that it has done nothing to stop them, even though they are still one of the most boycotted brands in the world (http://www.babymilkaction.org/pages/boycott.html).
Unfortunately, infant formulas (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/07/30/formula-diabetes.aspx) are still a popular choice here in the United States as well. I strongly advocate breastfeeding if at all possible. If for some reason you're unable to breastfeed, however, please read my previous article, Healthy Alternative to Conventional Infant Formula (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/10/11/healthy-alternative-to-conventional-infant-formula-part-1.aspx), for advice on how to make homemade baby formula and infant “starter foods.”
And while on the subject of formula, please avoid soy infant formulas (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/11/26/soy-formula-part-five.aspx) at all costs!
What are some of the problems associated with soy formula?
Well, for starters it can:
Adversely affect hormone levels, and has been associated with reduced testosterone levels (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/04/23/soy-formula-part-four.aspx)
Impair thyroid function (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/02/13/soy-thyroid-disease.aspx) through isoflavones present in the formula
Increase the risk of behavioral problems (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/10/26/soy-formula-part-three.aspx)
Expose your child to up to 2,000 times higher estrogen content (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/01/02/soy-formula-part-seven.aspx)
Soy formula can also contain potentially high concentrations of aluminum and manganese (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2001/06/23/manganese.aspx).
It is generally given to infants who aren't breastfeeding and have trouble taking regular cow-milk-based infant formulas. While I am no fan of these formulas either, they tend to be safer than soy formula.
However, the cow-milk-based formulas are derived from pasteurized milk, and if you haven't heard by now, pasteurized milk is not good for you or your baby (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/03/26/pasteurized-milk-part-one.aspx). Fortunately, you can use raw milk (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/03/29/pasteurized-milk-part-two.aspx) to produce a terrific infant formula (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/10/22/infant-formula-part-one.aspx), but, again, remember that breast milk is ALWAYS best.
Is Organic Baby Food as Good as Homemade?
Just as organic food in general has become more popular, the demand for organic baby food has increased as well. In 2007, parents were spending $116 million on organics for their babies, a 21.6 percent increase from the previous year alone. But that’s still a tiny slice of the $3.6 billion baby food industry as a whole.
But are organic baby foods the ideal choice?
One mother’s independent evaluation shows you may still end up feeding your child ingredients he or she does not need at that tender young age, such as excessive amounts of salt (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/03/31/Is-Salt-Natures-Antidepressant.aspx).
Now, whereas an adequate intake of sodium is required for optimal growth of fat, bone and muscle tissues, you will not get these health benefits from regular processed salt, but from natural unprocessed salts (http://products.mercola.com/himalayan-salt/) – which you can bet your bottom dollar is NOT what’s used in most processed baby food, organic or not.
You may also expose your infant to toxic contaminants like BPA from plastic containers (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/05/22/where-to-find-bpa-free-products.aspx), even if the content itself is agreeable.
When you make homemade baby food however, you have complete control over the ingredients; no unresolved questions about potential additives, preservatives, mysterious “natural flavors,” etcetera.
Yes, it may require a little more time—but in the end, it’s up to you to decide what the health of your family is worth to you.
Simply cooking a squash or sweet potato, mashing it up and putting it into an ice cube tray is an easy way to have ready-made multiple servings available for the rest of the week.
Egg yolk is another healthy food that requires little preparation. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, egg yolk should be your baby's first solid food, starting at 4 months, whether your baby is breastfed or formula-fed. Egg yolks from free-range hens will contain the special long-chain fatty acids so critical for the optimal development of your child’s brain and nervous system.
However, the egg whites may cause an allergic reaction so they’re best avoided until your child is at least one year old.
Here’s a simple, healthy recipe you may want to try:
1 organic egg from a pasture-fed (free-range) hen
1/2 teaspoon grated raw, frozen organic liver (optional)
pinch natural unprocessed salt
Boil the egg for 3 1/2 minutes. Place in a bowl and peel off the shell. Remove the egg white and discard. The yolk should be soft and warm, not hot, with its enzyme content intact. Sprinkle with a small amount of natural salt.
If you wish to add liver, grate it on the small holes of a grater while frozen. Allow to warm up and stir into the egg yolk
By Dr. Mercola
With escalating rates of childhood illness these days, it is more important than ever to be careful about what you feed your child, from day one. Babies are already born at considerable risk due to the toxic load of their mothers. Some of this is from exposure to plastics and the contaminants present therein, such as BPA (Bisphenol A). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has detected BPA in the urine of 95 percent of people tested. (http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/executive_summary.html)
And now there's evidence these toxins are being spread to babies even BEFORE they're born.
In 2009, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found an average of 287 toxins (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/12/31/232-Toxic-Chemicals-found-in-10-Babies.aspx), including BPA, mercury, fire retardants, and pesticides, in the umbilical cord blood of American infants. If your baby is exposed to numerous toxic compounds in utero, it lengthens the period of exposure to carcinogens, thereby making your child more susceptible to cancer and other diseases later in life.
This underscores the importance of minimizing your child's risk for exposure to toxic compounds in the foods you feed him.
Yet, so many well- intenioned moms unknowingly add to their baby's toxic load by feeding them contaminated, chemical-laden infant formulas (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/08/05/which-infant-formulas-contain-secret-toxic-chemicals.aspx) (in plastic bottles) during their first several months, then hit their tender little immune systems with cereal, which is the LAST thing they should be eating because it's mostly grain, which turns into sugar.
Now, baby food manufacturers are compounding the problem by suggesting that busy moms feed their toddlers highly processed food sold in convenient plastic tubs. As if that isn't enough, you microwave it first, further destroying and denaturing its nutritional value and promoting leaching of toxic chemicals right out of the plastic and into your baby's meal.
When you look at what we, as a society, are sacrificing by feeding our children processed foods, together with the amount of sugar (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/20/sugar-dangers.aspx) our youth are consuming from candy and juices, sodas and further disabling their immune systems by bombarding them with 29 vaccines by the age of two—then letting them spend their days idly sitting in front of televisions and computers—it's no wonder we have the unhealthiest children in generations.
Western children, as a whole, are showing this damage in the form of lowered IQs (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/18/how-parents-can-ruin-their-childrens-health.aspx), mood and behavioral problems, skyrocketing obesity rates, and multiple forms of chronic disease that are occurring at earlier ages.
Some baby foods are worse than junk foods (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/05/21/Some-Baby-Foods-are-Worse-Than-Junk-Food.aspx).
I am not a fan of cooking foods in the microwave for a number of reasons, which I've covered extensively in this past article (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx). Microwaved food has been associated with the following problems:
Causes your food to vibrate at very high frequencies, changing your food's chemical structure, structurally deforming its molecules and potentially making nutrients unrecognizable and unusable by your body.
Creates the formation of free radicals and carcinogenic molecules.
May result in actual changes to cellular DNA.
May corrupt or destroy biophotons (light energy in living food).
Some microwave ovens leak microwave radiation into the surrounding environment.
If you want to make use of your microwave, use it to clean your dishrags and sponges (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/02/08/finally-something-good-you-can-do-with-your-microwave.aspx), but not to prepare food for your family.
Please Remember: Microwave Ovens and Plastics Don't Mix
One of the greatest concerns about microwave ovens is what happens to plastics and the food they contain when you heat them in this way.
When you put "microwave safe" plastic into your microwave oven, you're not going to see it bubble or melt, or see sparks fly or smell toxic fumes. You won't see or taste plastic particles in your food. As the microwave heats the plastic, the chemical bonds break silently and invisibly. If your plastic is scratched or worn, the degradation is worse.
So, as long as you stick to "BPA-free" plastics, you're okay, right?
Not necessarily so, according to what researcher and BPA expert Frederic vom Saal of the University of Missouri has discovered during his decade of research. Vom Saal states, "There is no such thing as microwavable plastic." His studies revealed leaching of BPA from all plastics tested.
BPA is a major ingredient in polycarbonate plastics, and those are often combined with other plastics, although it may not say so on the label. Polycarbonates are used in the following products (this list is by no means comprehensive):
Canned food and soda can linings
Plastic milk jugs
"Microwave-safe" plastic dishware
Nalgene and other water bottles
Baby bottles and sippy cups
Toys and pacifiers
Vom Saal's studies showed that BPA is released when any BPA-containing plastic is exposed to heat, such as from dishwashers and hot food. For example, in 2007, polycarbonate drinking bottles were shown to release BPA 55 times more rapidly when exposed to boiling water (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/2/23/don-t-put-your-coffee-in-plastic-bottles.aspx). Some studies have also detected leaching at room temperature.
Plastics Pose Extraordinary Risks for Babies
That BPA should be taken out of all products intended for babies or children is a no-brainer. The cumulative effect of being exposed to even minuscule amounts of BPA from cans, bottles, plates and all other sources over the years can eventually spell serious trouble for your child. Research tells us the chemical can raise your risk for a long list of serious health problems:
Heart disease Liver problems Diabetes Structural damage to your brain Hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness, and impaired learning Increased fat formation and risk of obesity Altered immune function Early puberty, stimulation of mammary gland development, disrupted reproductive cycles, and ovarian dysfunction Changes in gender-specific behavior, and abnormal sexual behavior Stimulation of prostate cancer cells Increased prostate size, and decreased sperm production
Of 115 published animal studies, 81 percent found significant effects from even low-level exposure to BPA. This endocrine disrupter first caught researchers' attention after normal mice began to display uncommon genetic abnormalities. The defects were linked to plastic cages and water bottles that had been cleaned with a harsh detergent, causing BPA to leach out of the plastic.
How Much BPA is Too Much BPA?
The more research comes in, the more we realize there is probably NO safe level of BPA. Some of the greatest concern surrounds early-life exposure to BPA (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/01/11/new-evidence-linking-toxic-food-containers-to-breast-cancer-risks-in-the-womb.aspx), which can lead to chromosomal errors in the developing fetus, triggering spontaneous miscarriages and genetic damage. Exposure to only 0.23 parts per billion of BPA is enough to disrupt the effect of estrogen (http://blogs.mercola.com/sites/vitalvotes/archive/2005/12/06/How-Food-Containers-Can-Harm-Your-Babys-Brain.aspx) in your baby's developing brain.
Although sometimes the amount of BPA leaching out is incredibly small (40-60 parts per trillion, or ppt), several peer-reviewed studies found harm to laboratory animals at levels even lower than that—as low as 25 ppt.
For some appreciation of scale, one part per trillion (http://heartontheleft.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/what-is-a-part-per-million/) is like one drop of water diluted into 20 Olympic-size swimming pools, or about three seconds out of every hundred thousand years! Experts on the biological effects of BPA state there IS cause for concern, particularly in babies, given their developmental vulnerability and how even tiny amounts of BPA can trigger cell damage (http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/34532034.html).
According to the Journal Sentinel (http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/34532859.html):
"Studies have shown that at 25 and 250 parts per trillion, BPA can cause harm in laboratory animals, including precancerous changes in breast tissue, reproductive abnormalities and changes in brain cell and neural growth. And beginning at 2 parts per trillion, scientists saw a trend toward decreasing testicle weight in adult male rats. A 2007 Japanese study found similar levels in human breast milk."
Babies up to age 12 months or so can't metabolize BPA as efficiently as adults. No one gets more BPA per pound of body weight than newborns, as illustrated by the following shocking example.
The Journal Sentinel (http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/34532859.html) calculated the following BPA exposure you could expect from an average baby's food intake, based on CDC nutritional estimates (If your child is smaller, the levels would be even higher):
Age and Weight of Child Food Intake BPA Exposure from Formula/Bottles BPA Exposure from Solid Foods/Packaging One-month-old boy, weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces (average) Liquid formula, 27.5 ounces (5.5 feedings at 5 ounces) 450 ppt (214 ppt from formula, plus 236 ppt from polycarbonate bottle N/A One-year-old body, weighing 24 pounds, 5 ounces (average) Liquid formula, 24 ounces 155 ppt (74 ppt from formula, plus 81 ppt from polycarbonate bottle) Breakfast: Munchkin bowl filled with warm oatmeal and puree frozen strawberries warmed in a Rubbermaid container: 53 ppt Lunch: Gerber pasta and warmed Hawaiian Delight: 0.24ppt Dinner: Canned chili and applesauce, warmed in Munchkin bowls: 12 ppt TOTAL BPA FROM PACKAGING: 146 PPT
So, a one-month-old baby on formula could be getting 450 parts per trillion BPA per day, which is 18 TIMES the level shown in scientific studies to cause cellular damage.A toddler could be getting300 ppt daily, which is still 12 times the minimum dose shown to cause damage.
More than 200 research studies now show that BPA is harmful to human health. Yet, every attempt to get the FDA to ban the toxic chemical from baby bottles and sippy cups has failed, thanks to heavy pressure from the chemical industry. BPA in baby bottles has already been banned in Canada (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/02/canada-declares-bpa-toxic-as-first-step-in-bpa-regulation.aspx) and in several U.S. states. The next time you see a label with the words "microwave safe," remember there was also a time when they claimed DDT was safe.
Tips for Getting the BPA Out of Your Life
You can reduce your family's exposure to this toxic chemical by following these simple tips:
Replace your plastic kitchenware and plastic food storage containers with glass, ceramic or stainless steel. If you opt to use plastic kitchenware, at least get rid of the older, scratched-up varieties, avoid putting them in the dishwasher, and don't wash them with harsh detergents, as these things can cause more BPA to leach into your food.
Only use glass baby bottles.
Avoid using plastic wrap (and never microwave anything covered in it).
Use glass, ceramic, or stainless steel travel mugs for hot beverages, rather than plastic or Styrofoam coffee cups.
Avoid using bottled water; instead, filter your own using a high-quality filter, then store it in glass drinking bottles.
Never microwave food in a plastic container. Work toward eliminating the use of your microwave altogether for anything except cleaning.
Purchase natural fabric toys instead of plastic ones, and if you're going to purchase teethers and pacifiers, looks for those that are BPA-free.
Avoid using canned foods (including soda pop), because the linings often contain BPA. If you choose to eat canned foods, choose only those that come in BPA-free cans (http://blogs.mercola.com/sites/vitalvotes/archive/2010/03/04/companies-you-can-trust-to-use-bpafree-cans.aspx).
Before allowing a dental sealant to be applied to your children's teeth, ask your dentist to verify that it does not contain BPA.
How an Advertising Blitz in the 1950s Hoodwinked the Public into Believing Babies Needed Rice Cereal
Almost every childcare book offers the same advice about a baby's first solid meal—start them first on rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. This has been the standard line for 60 years now.
But there is no scientific basis for this recommendation—none at all.
According to Stanford University pediatrician Alan Greene, other than breast milk or formula, rice is the number one source of calories for infants in their first year of life—and this is a nutritional disaster. The notion originated in the 1950s when baby food companies launched an advertising blitz trumpeting the benefits of white rice cereal.
White rice is a refined carbohydrate, one of the highly processed, nutritionally devoid foods that have been linked to increased rates of heart disease (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/01/new-proof-that-white-bread-and-rice-increase-heart-disease.aspx), insulin resistance (http://www.ajcn.org/content/77/1/43.full), eye damage (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/12/15/eat-grains-and-sugars-if-you-want-to-go-blind.aspx) and cancer (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/04/27/breast-cancer-part-seven.aspx) in adults, and are nutritionally worthless for infants as well. Feeding infants cereal has been associated with an increased risk of type 1 diabetes (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/10/22/infant-diabetes.aspx) and may prime your baby for a lifetime of carb cravings for white bread, cookies and cakes.
According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, high sugar content and starchy carbohydrates lead to excessive insulin release, which in turn leads to falling blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia causes the brain to secrete glutamate in levels that can cause agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, panic attacks and an increase in suicide risk.
This glutamate is identical to the flavor-enhancing monosodium glutamate (MSG) and its chemical cousins, found in literally thousands of food products, which further inflame the problem.
In addition to taking a physical toll on your child's health, food dyes, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and other chemical additives cause a multitude of behavioral and mood disturbances. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/07/29/what-s-in-that-how-food-affects-your-behavior.aspx) This is just one more reason to avoid feeding your toddler pre-packaged and highly processed "convenience foods"—including the new microwaveable ones.
What Should Your Baby's First Solid Food Be?
It certainly isn't any form of grain-based infant cereal! When flour is refined to make cereal, the most nutritious part of the grain is removed, so the flour essentially becomes a form of sugar. When you feed your baby a bowl of infant cereal, picture yourself dipping directly into your sugar bowl and feeding baby a spoon or two, because that's essentially what it amounts to.
So what's a better option?
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, egg yolk should be your baby's first solid food, starting as early as 4 months, whether your baby is breastfed or formula-fed.
Egg yolks from free-range hens contain the special long-chain fatty acids so critical for the optimal development of your child's brain and nervous system. Although egg yolks are excellent, be aware that egg whites may cause an allergic reaction, so they're best avoided until your child is at least one year old. If you want some simple recipes and guidelines about how to feed your toddler, refer to this article (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/12/20/get-the-white-out-of-babys-first-foods.aspx).
Preparing REAL Food Without Being a Slave to Your Kitchen
The best thing you can do for your child is to model good eating habits. Don't shoo your toddler out of the kitchen—instead, involve him in what goes on in there. Use your kitchen as a classroom where you teach him the connection between food and health and happiness.
Some of the warmest childhood memories are from ordinary days and activities together with family members gathered in your kitchen.
Also, take your little ones out into the garden so they can see where REAL food comes from, rather than believing food comes in little plastic tubs from the grocery store. Help them plant their own veggie pot and witness the miracle of transformation from seed to food. Consider Nutritional Typing for your children. Nutritional typing (http://products.mercola.com/nutritional-typing/) is an important tool to let you know which types of foods are best for your unique biochemistry, and it works for kids of all ages too.
Preparing meals from scratch requires a time commitment. Naturopath Colleen Huber authored an article (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/05/29/whole-food-cooking.aspx) several years ago that is full of great tips that can help you streamline this process. For example, PLAN AHEAD—you are more likely to cave into ordering that pizza if you are tired from a long day and have nothing ready in the fridge.
Another good strategy is "cooking big and freezing small," which makes for easy homemade weeknight dinners that are always readily on hand.
I've said this for many years, and it's worth repeating again—the secret to your health, and your children's health, is preparing real food from organic whole ingredients, preferably local or raised in your own backyard, the way humans have done it for thousands of years.
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