Are Organic Foods Better for Kids?
What is organic? Organic refers to the way meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables are grown and processed. Organic farming prohibits the use of toxic and persistent chemicals, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Is organic food worth the sometimes higher cost? “Yes,” says best-selling author and pediatrician Dr. William Sears.
Sears says pollutants in the air and water and in food all have the potential to harm your child’s health. “So, while you’re keeping them safe from environmental toxins, give them organic food that’s free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.”
Growing bodies are more vulnerable to the carcinogenic risks of pesticides, says Sears, since pesticides are stored in fat, and infants and toddlers have proportionately more body fat than adults. He also points out that adult food “safety limits” may not be safe for children — kids don’t eat or metabolize pesticides like little adults, and the amount of food they eat is greater in proportion to their body weight than the same food eaten by an adult.
“Are organic foods really that much healthier?” asks Dr. Sears. “Yes,” he answers. “I believe they’re the best choice for kids.”
In fact, Sears recommends organic dairy such as yogurt as a first food. He specifically recommends YoBaby brand organic yogurts, since they not only are made with organic milk and ingredients, but also feature a unique blend of six probiotic cultures to help boost immunity and promote digestive health.
He also recommends that parents choose organic fruits and vegetables, or if organic choices aren’t available, choose fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pesticide residue.
To learn more about organics and how to shop smarter,
visit www.askdrsears.com or www.yobabyyogurt.com. Parents can download a free Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce at www.stonyfield.com.