What’s the deal with organic eating?
Eating organic is becoming easier and easier: many shops, even your local corner shop, now stock organic produce, but it can sometimes be hard to know what all the fuss is about.
Top five reasons to try organic when feeding your little one:
1. Eating organic = eating less pesticides
Regulations for pesticide use in farming are created with adults' health risks in mind, rather than those of babies or children. Babies consume more of some types of food than adults because they don’t have as varied a diet, which means they can be exposed to more pesticides. These chemicals could be more harmful to infants as their immune systems are still developing. Experts are still unsure of the long-term health effects of these pesticides, so by giving your little one organic produce whenever possible, you're doing the best you can to give them as healthy a start to life as possible.
2. More nutritious
According to a study by Newcastle University, organic crops contain up to 60% more antioxidants than conventional ones. Antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers.
3. Organic eating = green eating
Looking after the environment is really important for us, and organic farming is better for the planet as more carbon is taken up by the soil.
4. Happier animals
Organic farm animals are allowed to roam free, which makes for better animal husbandry. You could consider buying organic meat, dairy and eggs because organic farming avoids unnecessary drugs getting into the food chain: intensively farmed animals are regularly treated with antibiotics, hormones and other medications, which may cause human antibiotic resistance as well as hormonal issues.
5. Better wildlife
Although pesticides are designed to kill pests, they can also unfortunately hurt other insects, and affect local wildlife. Organic farms create friendlier habitats for amazing little creatures like bees, birds and butterflies, which are all crucial to maintaining a healthy environment.
So what’s all this got to do with babies?
Weaning your baby onto solid foods is a very exciting time, as you'll be thinking about all the yummy food that you'll be able to give them, and help set them up for a lifetime of delicious and nutritious eating! Wherever possible, it's good to try to use organic food when cooking for you baby.
Here are our top tips for organic eating:
1. Wash your fruit and veg
We think it's really important to wash fruit and veg really well, and peel when necessary, even when using organic produce. This means your baby will be exposed to less chemicals, and avoids any other contamination.
Store fruit and veg in a cool, dry, dark place, such as a drawer at the bottom of the refrigerator, and try not to over cram them. If you have any leftover veggies, instead of letting them go off and throwing them out, why not whizz them all up into a delicious soup!
Steaming vegetables is always the best way to keep in all the nutrients. Depending on what stage of the journey your little one is on, you can purée the steamed veg, or chop it into little pieces for finger food.
4. When buying ready-made baby food...
We really recommend you check the ingredients list first. Whether you decide to buy organic or not, it's important to make sure you know what's in the packet, and ensure you're completely comfortable with what you're feeding your little one, as sometimes titles can be misleading!
If you’re unable to find organic, there’s no need to beat yourself up, as feeding your little one as many different vegetables as possible is the most important thing. When using non-organic vegetables, always remember to peel and wash them before cooking because pesticides are found under the skin, and make sure you choose the freshest vegetables possible.
Most importantly, mealtimes should be about nourishment and sharing food with the whole family...so enjoy your vegetables, and happy cooking!