From when you first know you’re expecting a baby, new mums and dads spend a lot of time thinking about their children’s health and future. They know they have a lot of choices to make and many are not easy ones. While we are at a time where parents have more access to information than ever before, parents can still be unsure and anxious about whether they’re choosing what’s right for their child. This is understandable. These can big choices.
Organic is one of these decisions’ parents will come across.
As your baby develops, it is important that they receive a well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrition. As well as supporting their growth, by setting your child down a path of balanced meals will help them later in life in eating healthier and living better.
In this article, we investigate organic food for babies and help you decide whether organic food is right for your child.
What Is Organic?
Perhaps, before we begin let us clarify what exactly organic food is.
Organic simply means produce that has been reared and grown without the use of things such as pesticides or additives in animal feed to promote growth in livestock.
For an exact definition of it means for farms to produce organic produce, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs describes it as;
‘Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation. ' 'Organic agriculture is a systems approach to production that is working towards environmentally, socially and economically sustainable production. Instead, the agricultural systems rely on crop rotation, animal and plant manures, some hand weeding and biological pest control’.
Is Organic Food Better For My Baby?
Organic produce is often marketed as being more nutritious than food that comes from farms that use pesticides, GMOs and intensive farming practices. However, this is not quite true. As it stands, there is no clear evidence or research that organic produce is more nutritious than non-organic foods.
One aspect that organic foods are more beneficial than non-organic foods is that they have significantly less pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables. This is nothing to be concerned about if you do buy non-organic as these would be at safe, low levels.
It is also important to know that not all organic food is completely devoid of pesticides. EU regulations allow for a very limited number to be used in organic farming. The level of exposure would still be significantly less.
However, it is why washing, scrubbing or peeling fruits and vegetables is important for both organic and non-organic. This will limit the amount of residual pesticide your baby will be exposed to.
Organic meat is defined as meat that has come from livestock that has not received regular and prolonged antibiotic treatment and other medication. This is to protect livestock from diseases. However, some experts believe this could be harmful to humans to eat this meat. It may also lead to diseases more resistant to certain antibiotics and medications.
On the other hand, organic meat does not mean it is completely free from antibiotic treatments; it simply means the livestock has a significantly reduced exposure to them. In cases when the animal is sick and other forms of treatment are not effective or appropriate, a vet will administer a course of antibiotics.
If the animal is slaughtered during or within a time period of the treatment, the meat cannot be sold as organic. However, if it is slaughtered after a certain amount of time, it can be labelled and sold as organic meat.
It is important to remember that free range is not the same as organic. This simply means the livestock can roam outside of a shed or barn and may be receiving such treatment.
Organic Milk For Your Baby
One organic food that has been shown to be more nutritious is milk. Organic milk contains more omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic milk. These important fatty acids have been linked to improving children’s brain development as well as reducing the risk of heart disease in later life.
It is important to remember, omega-3 fatty acids are present in other foods such as oily fish and is a better alternative. Mackerel, salmon and sardines contain long-chain acids which are more beneficial to healthy brain development to short-chain acids present in milk.
However, organic milk or organic milk formula is easier to integrate into your baby’s diet. If you’re bottle feeding or a combination of breast and formula, you can begin introducing organic milk to your child very early on. Whereas you can’t introduce oily fish to their diet until they begin weaning.
At Chemist Direct, we understand the challenges parents face in making the right dietary choices for your baby. It is why we work with the best baby brands to provide our customers with the finest organic milk and organic milk formula at the best price. To help our customer save even more, you can bulk buy baby milk. Check it out today.
This article has been medically approved by Superintendent Pharmacist Shilpa Shailen Karia, MRPharmS. - GPhC Reg No: 2087328