Parents want to give their children the best quality meals they can, and for this reason many choose to buy organic meat and naturally grown produce.
Are organic products better for your growing children than their non-organic counterparts?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has said organic produce and meat have the same nutrients as conventional food, sharing the same vitamins, minerals, proteins, lipids and antioxidants.
However, it added that organic food has lower levels of pesticides and other additives. This could be important for parents looking to keep their children’s diets as natural as possible.
The impact of these chemicals is not known yet, with more scientific evidence still required to see the effects over a lifetime, according to Dr Joel Forman, lead author of the AAP report.
“We do know that children – especially young children whose brains are developing – are uniquely vulnerable to chemical exposures,” he said.
The 2012 AAP report stated that 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.”
Potential concerns are that the growth hormones given to some conventionally farmed animals to accelerate their growth can trigger early puberty in girls and cause cancer in later life. However, there is no conclusive evidence to support this.
Children also consume more food in proportion to their body weight than adults do, making the purchase of organic products a more important decision for them than for the bigger members of your family.
Natural meat is a great choice to incorporate into your grocery list. However, the AAP says having a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in your child’s diet is more important than making sure they are only organic.