We have been hearing a lot lately about organic foods for children, but are they really healthier than Gerber’s and the baby foods we grew up with? We as parents are now becoming aware of a healthy diet for babies which contain whole wheat, fruits and vegetables. We also know that it cost more money to serve these foods as well.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) conducted an investigation on organic foods, dairy foods and meat. ” The conclusion is mixed: While organic foods have the same vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, lipids and other nutrients as conventional foods, they also have lower pesticide levels, which may be significant for children. Organically raised animals are also less likely to be contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria because organic farming rules prohibit the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics.”
The conclusion the AAP came to is that there isn’t any scientific evidence that organic food is better than traditional food for babies. There simply has not been enough scientific research addressing the issues. Janet Silverstein, MD, FAAP, a member of the AAP Committee on Nutrition and one of the lead authors of the report says that what is crucial is that children get the whole grains, low fat or fat free dairy products, fruits and vegetables from either organic or traditional sources.
She goes on to say, “Many families have a limited food budget, and we do not want families to choose to consume smaller amounts of more expensive organic foods and thus reduce their overall intake of healthy foods like produce.” The report of the AAP committee report will be published in the November 2012 issue of Pediatrics.
Joel Forman, MD, FAAP, a member of the AAP Council on Environmental Health and one of the lead authors of the AAP clinical report states, “At this point, we simply do not have the scientific evidence to know whether the difference in pesticide levels will impact a person’s health over a lifetime, though we do know that children — especially young children whose brains are developing — are uniquely vulnerable to chemical exposures.”
“The AAP found no individual health benefit from purchasing organic milk, but emphasizes that all milk should be pasteurized to reduce the risk of bacterial infections. Raw milk increases the risk of serious infection with bacteria including Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, Campylobacter and Brucella.” Also, purchasing meat from organic farms that do not use antibiotics for nontherapeutic uses has the potential to reduce antibiotic resistance in bacteria that infect people.”
Parents need to have the proper information on hand to be able to make proper dietary chooses for their families. Also, since cost is the factor for many American families, they need to know if their babies are safe with the traditional foods that we all grew up on.