Going to get the groceries and daunted by the options available? The pre-packed, ready-to-eat meals are very tempting, but keep your little one in mind while choosing things. He is the one who surrounds your world and the pitter patter of those little feet if stops even for few hours when kid is down with health issues makes you worrisome. It is like a nightmare and you don’t want to imagine it even in your worst dream. Thus, think for a while what you are feeding him before picking those things up.
Effects Of Pesticides And Preservatives On Toddlers And Children
Pesticides, preservatives, and artificial colors found in the conventional foods are not good for health be it for adults or kids. These are known to cause various diseases and disorders like cancer, lung diseases, endocrine and immune system disorders, and reproductive problems. Since the body of your toddler is just developing the harmful effects of these pesticides are much more. The gastrointestinal tract of your tot cannot break these harmful toxins and thus slowly blocks the process of absorption of the nutrients required for the growth and development. Researches on animals suggests permanent damage to brain cells and tissues leading to various learning disabilities, behavioral disorders and also many long-term damage to the brain and nervous system. Many a times the adverse effects are not visible until a later stage in life. Thus, it can affect your child’s present as well as future.
It is obvious that those tasty cakes, chips and junk foods will appeal your child most often than not. This is more than enough a reason to make the meals all the more nutritious when you serve it and tasty of course! The organic food available these days in the supermarkets would be a good choice.
In addition, food is not the only source through which your child is coming in contact with the harmful chemicals. The drinking water may also be contaminated. Having a garden at your home where you use pesticides to keep the insects away can also be a source of your child coming in contact with these fatal chemicals. And while you walk in through the garden, your shoes might already be loaded with the chemicals. And finally, your child may ingest the harmful pesticides while putting something in mouth from the floor or simply while he is playing on the floor.
Moreover, even mothers-to-be need to take cautions while buying stuffs as the pesticides in the conventional foods can also cross the placenta and cause harm to the fetus.
Studies To Substantiate The Importance Of Organic Food For Toddlers And Children
According to USDA, organic foods do not contain counterproductive chemicals and fertilizers which modify the genetic structure of the fruits, veggies and crops. Though, these foods do not always guarantee 100% nutrient content, but it unquestionably assures a reduced amount of these harmful chemicals. The quantity of pesticides to be used on crops is restricted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) depending on the extent of toxicity of the pesticide, the residual amount of the pesticide on the crops and also on how much quantity of the crop is consumed by an individual.
Some studies conclude that organic foods are more nutritious for toddlers and children due to the high content of Vitamin C and antioxidants in it. Some of the fruits and vegetables which contain the highest residue of pesticides are apple, peach, grapes, strawberries, sweet bell peppers, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries, potatoes and celery. The fruits and vegetables which contain the lowest residual levels of pesticides are sweet corn, kiwi, sweet potatoes, pineapple, mangoes, watermelon, avocado, onion, cabbage, sweet peas, asparagus, eggplant, domestic cantaloupe, and mushrooms.
Here Are Some Quick Tips To Keep Your Toddler Healthy And Away From The Pesticides:
- Always peel off the outer layer of the fruits and vegetables and throw the outer leaf of vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, etc.
- Thoroughly wash the fruits and vegetables under running water. You may also get several cleaning products for washing the produce.
- For foods like cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, grapes, strawberries which are a little difficult to wash, try soaking them in water for some time and then rinse.
- Avoid foods which have moles, bruises or decays.
- Discard the fat off from meat and also don’t forget to remove the skin from the poultry. These are likely to contain more pesticides.
- Go for foods that are locally grown which often contain fewer pesticides. The longer the foods are preserved, the higher the chemicals used.
- It is better to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables only as out of season produced contain higher pesticides and preservatives.
- Try to serve as many varieties of products you can since it will reduce the amount of same pesticide consumption.
- Be a role model for your toddler even in food habits. It is more likely for him to try more fruits and vegetables if he sees you doing the same.
Though the cost for organic foods is a little higher than the conventional ones, in the long run it would be worth the price as it protects the child from harmful effects of chemicals and pesticides. Even if you don’t want to buy everything organic, try to buy at least those which your tot loves to eat the most.