Food & Diet
Should Your Baby Be Having Organic Food Only?
Once your baby stops breastfeeding and begins eating solid foods, you start thinking about food choices and the quality of what you will give to your child. Recently, organic food has been commercialized and said to be much better than non-organic, but does that mean you should be giving your baby exclusively organic food? The answer is not yes-or-no, it is a matter of choice, but there are some facts and differences between the two you should be aware of before you make a definite choice.
First, organic foods are lower in pesticides (they do legally contain some, but in much lower levels than non-organic foods). This means that your child will have less toxins in their body, which can lead to better overall health. As for nutritive values, organic and non-organic foods don’t differ much.
There are fruits and vegetables listed in the group called “the dirty dozen”, which are packed with pesticides. As for those foods you should absolutely make sure that you either buy and give your baby organic, or not at all. These foods are peaches, nectarines, apples, cherries, strawberries, imported grapes, pears; bell peppers, celery, kale and carrots.
You should also try to buy the following products organic:
Baby food- because your baby is going to eat it often and in large amounts. So you should make sure your baby doesn’t eat pesticides and toxins for every meal.
Meat and poultry– because conventionally farmed animals are fed with antibiotics and their meat is still packed with chemicals which can harm both adults and young children. When you buy organic, you are making sure your children will not be fed with antibiotics that can affect their immune system later and make them prone to illnesses.
Milk- Just like farmed meat, milk from those cows is also packed with antibiotics and hormones. Just like what you eat goes into your milk to feed your child, the same way the foods and chemicals cows eat end up in their milk. So you should definitely try to buy organic milk and reduce the level of chemicals your child will be taking in from an early age.
On the other hand, there are foods that you don’t have to worry about, as (organic or non-organic) they have similar nutritive values and they are not more harmful for your baby’s health than organic foods.
Also, if you’re buying prepackaged foods that are high in fat, sugars and salt, the fact that it may be organic doesn’t make it healthy. You should avoid such foods in general, but if you’re buying them anyway, it doesn’t matter whether they are organic.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables with a peel you can’t eat, they usually don’t contain high levels of pesticide, as they don’t go through the peel as much. However, tomatoes, broccoli and cabbage have an edible peel, but they are also very low in pesticides. You probably feel like your child should be given all the best foods, but the fact is that if you are on a tight budget, you won’t always be able to afford organic foods. That is why it is important to determine the difference between the foods you should always buy organic if you can, and those that you don’t have to worry about.
Moreover, some foods are fine for your baby to eat occasionally, even if they are not organic. However, if your baby eats some of the following foods every day, then you should try to buy more organic. These foods are onions, avocado, corn, pineapple, mangoes, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwifruit, cabbage, eggplant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.
Finally, your baby doesn’t have to eat exclusively organic food. Feeding your baby with the budget you have and trying to make their nutrition as healthy as possible is good enough, but if you are able to afford more organic than non-organic foods, that is even better.