What are the Advantages of Organic Baby Food?

K. Testa

Nutritionists commonly recommend that people consume organic foods for general health, and organic baby food may have some additional advantages for children. Babies tend to have special dietary needs, largely because of their developing organs and newer immune systems. Some also might be prone to certain sensitivities or allergies that could be avoided by eating organic baby food. A number of studies have suggested that there might be a link between pesticide consumption and certain children's health problems. For these reasons and more, many people are choosing organic baby food over conventional products.

Organic baby food has been made without the use of pesticides.
Organic baby food has been made without the use of pesticides.

Pesticides in food can block the absorption of certain nutrients. The brain and other vital organs are still developing in babies, so they tend to require nutritious food to help them develop normally. Babies typically eat significant amounts of fruits and vegetables, which often contain pesticides. Due to their smaller size, babies can potentially ingest and absorb higher concentrations of pesticides than adults.

Some parents opt to make their own organic baby food with a kitchen blender.
Some parents opt to make their own organic baby food with a kitchen blender.

There are many general health benefits of organic baby food. Although the meaning of the term certified organic may vary between countries, there usually are common standards in place. In general, organic products are not allowed to contain synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, the use of growth hormones or antibiotics in certain products is usually prohibited.

The fruits commonly found in inorganic baby food may be genetically modified.
The fruits commonly found in inorganic baby food may be genetically modified.

Health experts in the U.S. have scrutinized canned baby food, because of the potentially harmful presence of Bisphenol A (BPA). Scientists are focusing on BPA for its presumably damaging effects on a child’s brain and behavior, among other risks. Frozen baby food and food in glass jars are presumed to be free of these allegedly harmful chemicals.

Fruits and vegetables that are grown organically may have a higher vitamin and mineral content.
Fruits and vegetables that are grown organically may have a higher vitamin and mineral content.

In response to the argument that organic baby food is more expensive than conventional products, many experts suggest reducing costs by making one’s own baby food with fresh organic ingredients at home. A benefit of homemade baby food is that it is normally not processed or overcooked, so its nutrients are retained. Other possible ways to reduce costs include buying packaged baby food in bulk or comparing stores' sale prices.

Since homemade baby food is not processed, it retains most of its nutrients.
Since homemade baby food is not processed, it retains most of its nutrients.

There is no definitive answer to whether organic baby food is nutritionally superior to non-organic food. Groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have suggested that there is not necessarily a difference in nutritional value between organic and conventional foods. Yet some recent studies have refuted that claim. Most medical professionals recommend that children should be fed a variety of foods containing necessary vitamins and minerals. Beyond that, parents can decide whether they want to feed their children organic baby food.

Some parents buy organic baby food in an attempt to limit their child's exposure to toxic pesticide residues.
Some parents buy organic baby food in an attempt to limit their child's exposure to toxic pesticide residues.

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