Over the past decade, organic food has become increasingly popular.
Research shows organic foods, including fruit, vegetables, eggs and dairy, may have nutritional, environmental and animal welfare benefits. So, it’s clear why parents want to choose organic foods for their children.
So, let’s take a deeper look into the benefits.
Organic foods are grown using farming methods that differ to traditional ones.
Unlike conventional farming, organic farmers don’t use synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, artificial fertilisers, irradiation to kill pests and give food a longer shelf life, growth hormones or antibiotics. They are also not derived from genetically modified components or ingredients.
Increasing consumption of organic food should be particularly welcome by parents given babies, toddlers and children as they are especially vulnerable to intake of pesticides and chemicals.
“When infants and toddlers are going through rapid growth and development, choosing certified organic food can help to reduce the exposure to pesticides and chemicals,” says Paediatric Dietitian Shae Rickards.
“Whilst both organic and conventionally grown foods can provide all the nutrients your child needs for a healthy balanced diet, research has shown that some organic foods have lower nitrate levels, higher omega-3 fatty acid levels and higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals,” says Rickards
“An interesting study from the Netherlands looked at organic food consumption in children and found a statistically significant relationship between strict organic dairy and reduced risk of eczema. The authors noted that the omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and contribute to maintenance of the skin barrier.”
Organic farming principles protect the environment and minimises damage to the environment by diversifying their crops and pastures which reduces soil erosion and nitrous oxide emissions. Furthermore, animals raised on organic farms are treated humanely and with respect. They have access to roam on pastures in the open air (not kept in cages or feeding lots). Organic cows are fed on high-quality grasses and their diets cannot be supplemented with GMO feeds, growth-regulating drugs, steroids, hormones and antibiotics are all prohibited.
What to look for
Despite all these benefits, Rickards says “the use of the word ‘organic’ on a food label is not so well regulated, so it’s important to make sure that products you buy come from certified growers and producers.”
“Don’t be tricked by claims the product is ‘natural’ or ‘chemical free’ if the correct certification labelling is not showed,” advises Rickards.
There are two certification bodies in Australia: ACO (Australian Certified Organic) and NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture in Australia). Certification ensures that the entire organic supply chain maintains its integrity from paddock to plate.
More than six in 10 Australian households currently buy organic products in any given year. Experts predict that this figure will continue to rise, alongside our growing appetite for healthy unprocessed foods.
Organic foods can be found at local markets and health food stores. There is also a wide variety located on your supermarket shelf, making it easier for shoppers to make the best choices for their family.
Brands such as Bellamy’s Organic offer a range of organic meals and snacks, such as apple snacks, that tick all the boxes; simple, nutritious and free from all the bad stuff. Additionally, they are made with organic apples direct from Tasmania, reducing food miles and supporting our local Australian farmers.
“Whilst organic foods sometimes don’t look as shiny or don’t grow as big as conventional ones, many people say they also taste better,” says Rickards. “Anything we can do to boost overall nutritional intake, especially for our little ones, is a good thing long term.”
So, isn’t it time you considered organic foods?
Founded by an Australian mother, Bellamy’s Organic provides certified organic Australian made toddler milk and baby food for the precious first years. Our team of experts are dedicated and passionate about creating high quality, nutritionally balanced and delicious food. Click here to explore our great new range of certified organic food, including our NEW Wholesome Savoury Meals, with chunky textures your baby will love.
With Bellamy’s Organic, you can be confident that you are giving your little ones a pure start to life.Internet Explorer Channel Network