Organic food can be defined as the food that can be either grown or processed without the harmful impact of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Serving baby with organic baby food helps in limiting the exposure towards such harmful substances.
Conventional farming requires the use of pesticides to prevent the destruction of crops from molds, insects and diseases. This process involves spraying of pesticides on plants which remains as a residue on the food produced. On the other hand, organic produce has significantly scarcer pesticide residues than on the regular produce. This is the prime reason for parents to shift to organic baby food as it limits the exposure to such residues because infants and toddlers are more susceptible to harm which can be caused by pesticides.
Effect of Pesticides and Preservatives on Food of Toddlers
Pesticides, preservatives, and artificial coloring’s in the regular foods are a health hazard for all, whether be adults or kids. They can cause various disorders, which can have a severe impact on the body of the young ones which is still in the developing phase. The numerous harmful effects are:
- A permanent damage to brain cells leading to learning disabilities, social disorders along with a long-term damage to the brain and nervous system.
- Occurrence of renal and hepatic disorders since, the underdeveloped kidneys and liver of toddlers are incapable in proper removal of pesticides from the body.
- The release of harmful toxin in the toddlers gut impairs the nutrient absorption process thus leading to gastrointestinal disorders.
What to be Cautious about when giving Food to a Toddler?
The junk food appeals to all children hence the parents should focus on making meals nutritious as well as tasty. The organic produce available in market also comprises of food items that appeases the taste palate of the toddlers. Also, the parents must ensure that harmful toxin exposure is not just limited to food; it can also be present in water or the air around. Families who possess home gardens or kitchen gardens, when use the pesticides should keep a check that the child does not come in contact with the chemicals as they can prove fatal.
Why are Organic Foods recommended for Toddlers?
Organic food is indeed healthy and below is the reasons for which it should be incorporated in the toddler’s diet:
- The organic diet constitutes much lower levels of metabolites originating from insecticide.
- The organic food minimizes the danger due to the presence of toxic pesticides in the food.
- Many of the chemicals present in the food which is not organic are known to be carcinogenic; these not only cause cancer but also are responsible for hormonal disruption and neurological disorders.
- The organic meat and dairy products ensure that the toddlers are not affected by the non-organic synthetic hormones which are injected to the animals to expedite their growth and reproducing ability.
- The in-organic meat and dairy products also pose a high risk of exposure to antibiotics given to the livestock, which may cause a danger of antibiotic resistance in the child.
Studies that substantiate the Importance of Organic Foods for Toddlers
According to recent studies in US, organic foods do not contain any chemicals and fertilizers which alter the inherent structure of the crops. Although, these foods cannot ensure complete nutrition, but these indeed lower the extent of exposure to harmful chemicals. Organic foods are regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which has criteria to assess the toxicity and impact of the pesticide along with its residual amount present on the crops. It has also devised the quantity of the crop which should be consumed by an individual.
The studies determine that organic foods are undoubtedly more nutritious for toddlers because of the large amounts of Vitamin C and antioxidants in them. There also is a categorization of organic food based on the amount of residue of pesticide.
- High Pesticide Residue Organic Foods: It includes fruits and vegetables like apple, strawberries, potatoes, peach, cucumbers, grapes, sweet bell peppers, spinach, blueberries, lettuce and celery.
- Low Pesticide Residue Organic Foods: These include kiwi, eggplant, sweet potatoes, onion, pineapple, mangoes, avocado, sweet peas, watermelon, asparagus, sweet corn, domestic cantaloupe, cabbage and mushrooms.
Tips to keep your child Healthy and Away from Pesticides with Organic Foods
There are a few simple tips if kept in mind while selecting food items and feeding the toddlers, then they ensure the child stays healthy and free from harmful effects of pesticide.
- Eat organic food produce.
- While picking up food items,analyze the product and read its label, to ensure the product is
- Drink purified water.
- Always go for the least toxic option available.
- Keeping the children away from the areas where pesticides are being sprayed till they dry.
- Ensure that hands are washed before handling and eating of food, particularly when outdoors.
- If pets are sprayed with pesticides then keep them away from children until dry.
- Always keep mothballs in sealed and airtight containers. Children could often make a mistake of eating a mothball thinking it to be food. Hence, these should be always used properly in and around the house.
- Never use illegal pesticides
Although the price of are a bit high compared to the prices of the conventional ones, it is worth the price as they help keep your toddler away from the harmful substances used in food during the production. For a growing child it is very essential as the young kids’ system cannot handle the harsh insecticides and pesticides and damages the health entirely. Even if not all, be sure to buy at least those foods that the toddlers loves and eats more.
Note: This information is only for reference and is not a substitute of a medical care in any form. Kindly consult with a Healthcare Professional for detailed diagnosis, treatment and follow up.