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Organic food for babies

Organic food for babies

We all want the very best for our kids and this includes the food they put into their mouths. From as young as around six months old, parents are faced with the difficult decision of how best to introduce baby food. Before, it was the option of either making the food at home or buying the conventional baby jars from the supermarket. In this age, we now worry about the long-term effects of non-organic food versus the organic variety. So, which is better? Motherhood Diaries discusses whether organic food is indeed a more viable option for our babies than their non-organic alternatives.

What does ‘organic food’ mean?

Organic food, put simply, means food that is grown out in the garden or houses like Premier Polytunnels, without synthetic fertilisers or pesticides. Pesticides are used to protect farmer’s crops from mould, insects and diseases. However, the pesticide spray may leave a residue on the produce and, arguably, this residue might cause harm to infants in the long-term. Having said that, the residue in both organic and non-organic food does not currently exceed government safety thresholds. The Soil Association, which campaigns for organic food and farming, says that some of the chemicals that are used in traditional farming may have long-term effects on health, by contributing to male infertility and even cancer. The Soil Association also states that three out of four babies in the UK have organic baby food regularly.

So, why go organic?

Child eating watermelon

Here are some reasons as to why organic is a preferred option for most:

  • Organic food is environmentally friendly
  • Organic food tastes better
  • Organic meat is friendlier to the animals, as antibiotics are not added routinely to animal feed. Some people believe that this practice may be the reason why humans are becoming resistant to antibiotics.
  • Organic food is not allowed to contain any artificial colourings, sweeteners or flavourings. It also cannot contain any genetically modified ingredients.
  • Some campaigns believe that organic food offers health benefits, such as cancer prevention and higher vitamin levels. However, there is not enough evidence to back these claims up.
  • Legal limits are placed on a number of pesticide residues found in commercial baby food, as they are more dangerous for children to ingest. Therefore, children should eat more organic foods to prevent exposure to genetically modified ingredients. The long-term effects, however, are still unknown.

Is organic baby food really all that it is cracked up to be?

Taking organic strawberries

Overall, yes, organic food for babies is better. However, if you are offering your child healthy food, this is far more important because you are setting your baby up for the best possible start in life, whether it is organic or not. Also, note that some organic baby foods have been found to contain similar levels of environmental pollutants as the standard baby food jars. Processing also destroys some of the residue found in fresh food and pesticide residue has not been found in conventionally produced foods either. Baby food like non-organic breakfast cereal may actually be a healthier option for children as organic cereals don’t contain any of the fortified vitamins and minerals.

Whatever your reason for going organic, it is important to note that your baby needs the best possible start in life. So, offering your baby a healthy and nutritious diet, not only offers them the best possible start in life, but it also allows them to have a great relationship with food in general. Be mindful that sometimes organic baby food can sometimes be the better option in terms of least exposure the residue found in non-organic food. However, it is also just as important to ensure your baby gets all the vitamins and mineral they need from fortified products, which are not found in organic food. In this case, common sense will prevail.

Is organic food better for babies?

*Collaborative feature post*

Leyla Preston (602 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/


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