Children and Organic Diets

Source: Steve Meyerowitz aka Sproutman,

We all know that organic food is generally more expensive than conventional food and that price is the number-one reason for people’s resistance to purchasing organic. But, it seems to be that inhibition is rarest in the domain of new mothers and their children. A study released this January on Scottish children tells us a lot.

More than half of Scottish children under two are fed an organic food diet by their parents. For many of these families, the toddlers are the only ones eating organic. The parents are willing to spend the money on their children’s health even when they cannot afford it for themselves. In fact, a supermarket survey indicated that the baby-food category outsells the adult organic food section despite the greater variety of the latter.

Baby-food sales throughout Europe are high, (Germany is the highest) and—even in America—organic baby food sales increased 18% last year, a figure that is almost double the growth of the rest of the organic arena, including such categories as dairy and produce.

What is the reason for this baby-food bonanza? There has long been a list of overwhelming evidence against the impact of agricultural and food-processing chemicals on human health, but that evidence is easier to substantiate with children than adults. And, unlike the silent majority, new mothers are passionate protectors of their children’s health. Proving the damage are two 2005 studies published in the peer-reviewed Environmental Health Perspectives journal, a U.S. government National Institutes of Health publication. In one study, when children changed their diets to conventional food, the pesticide levels dropped dramatically and rose again when the diet was reversed. "We didn’t expect that to drop in such dramatic fashion," said Emory University’s Chensheng Lu, who led the Environmental Protection Agency-funded research.

New mother Julie Miller, from Inverness, Scotland, said: “I want to give him [her son] the best start in life and strengthen his immune system…The food is slightly more expensive, but it’s worth it because you can’t put a price on their health…”

The fact is that with organic food, you get a good value. Organic milk, for example, can contain up to 71 percent more omega-3 than nonorganic milk and has a better ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 than conventional milk.

And, the price is not always more. Consider making your own baby food from bulk organic ingredients. That is one sure way to save money, and it costs a lot less than jars of baby food. All you need is a blender and some fresh organic fruits and vegetables. The recipes are easy because toddler food can be a simple mixture of two or three fruits/vegetables. There are even special blenders that enable you to blend, store, and serve—all from the same container. How easy can it get! (My favorite is the Tribest Personal Blender ) The labor is nothing in comparison to the flavor and nutritional rewards of fresh produce—better than bottled (packaged) baby food, any day. Not to mention the knowledge and satisfaction that your child is getting a good and safe start to a healthy life.

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