Do you know what your baby is eating?
How often have we as parents stopped to check the labels of the foods and products we are feeding to our children to understand more fully what it is our children are consuming? It’s likely that we simply look for what seems nutritional, ignoring those additional ingredients that provide no nutritional value to our little ones (and may, in fact, cause harm to them too).
Nowadays it’s hard to find a processed food product – those are the ones that are transformed by physical or chemical means into food or into other forms of food – that does not contain synthetic ingredients used solely to make the product smell better, taste better, feel better, look better and last longer on the shelf. There is zero nutritional value in these synthetic ingredients.
However, in today’s busy world, parents may feel it is impossible to raise our children on only fresh foods free of preservatives.
Luckily, we don’t have to till our land and sow our own seeds to provide fresh and healthy food to our little ones. We have the option of purchasing organic food products for our children and, importantly, for our growing and developing babies.
The first years of a child’s life are vital in establishing a healthy mind and body, as well as healthy eating habits. Organic foods are made from higher quality ingredients and therefore provide more nutrients to growing brains and bodies whereas processed foods have their nutrients removed in order to have a longer self life. Organic foods are also higher in omega-3 fatty acids which are a heart-healthy type of fat that also helps in brain development.
If your child experiences these higher quality foods and tastes during the time of their taste development, they will develop healthier eating habits and prefer the taste of wholesome and fresh organic foods.
Organic foods are free of toxins and pesticides, harmful chemicals that are commonly found on non-organic produce. These substances have been linked to cancer and hormone disruptions in children and adults. To avoid these chemicals entirely, try to purchase fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables or look for the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) seal of organic certification instead of labels such as “all-natural”. These buzz terms are not regulated by the USDA.
Organic food products may seem expensive and parents may feel they cannot afford them.
While organic food products tend to ring in at a higher price-point than non-organic, processed products, parents do not need to break the bank in order to provide a healthier diet to their children and babies. Some families choose to purchase only organic produce in which the skin is consumed and stick to non-organic fruits and vegetables that can be peeled and cooked. Other choose to make their own baby food from available foods to ensure there are no additives or preservatives.
Making even the slightest change in the foods you purchase means you are making healthier decisions for the well-bring and development of your little ones. Next time you go grocery shopping, be sure to check the labels and consider what it is you are putting into your child’s body.