So, now the question arises - are you a part of the "organic product" boom yet? If yes, YOU as a parent deserve our fervent approval. But if you are not, here is why you should not make any more delays in going organic.
Why Organic Baby Products?
In an independent study commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (UK), it was concluded that there were no additional benefits for those who eat organic food. So, is it really worth spending the extra few bucks on organics, as compared to the conventional produce? What about the other constituents of this organic product boom - the organic skincare products, clothings, furniture and daily use objects such as the baby milk bottle? Are they really worth the hype or money?
Sari Cavanna, CEO (Green Baby), says "A number of studies indicate that they (conventional products that are made of ingredients or grown on farms that use pesticides and fertilizers) can be carcinogenic, and cause higher levels of allergies and irritation, as well as leading to many different illnesses". She asserts further that these harmful effects can affect babies and younger kids more than adults. What's even more worrying is the fact that these problems can continue to hamper kids' health, even when they are all grown up.
Apart from being 100% free of these health risks, the organic products are also extremely environment friendly. If you think that this bit of news does not matter, think again. By going organic, you will also be leaving a healthy planet for your kids (and their kids), which otherwise seems to be going in the dumps, literally!
A survey conducted by BabyCenter.com confirmed the belief, that having a newborn in the family is the ultimate driving factor behind parents going completely organic. But do all these findings and statements really matter? Is a "organic baby" really healthier than the other kids who have been raised in the old school way?
We have dissected the 3 major categories of organic baby products, and tried to show what are the advantages your baby stands to receive upon using them.
1) Why organic baby food is better for your newborn?
Once your baby is grown enough to consume solid food, you need to start looking at the available food product options in the market and where and how they were made/grown. It is also equally important that you know what exactly the term "organic" means. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) describes organic food as a food that has been produced and processed without using any antibiotics, growth hormones or pesticides. A "certified organic" labelled food product means that it is at least 95% organic, and contains ingredients or is made of products grown on land that has been organic for at least three years.
While it is yet to be confirmed that organic food is more nutritious than the conventional produce, there is certainly no doubt about the fact that it curbs your baby's exposure to harmful chemicals and synthetic hormones. In fact, according to Amy Marlow, R.D and co-author of "Happy Baby: The Organic Guide to Baby's First 24 Months", babies are that much more vulnerable to the effects of chemicals because "they eat more per pound of body weight than adults"!
To help you sort out which food to buy organic (only) at the supermarket, here is a brief list of "conventional" food products that are generally found to be high risk for babies, due to the amount of chemicals present in them.
i) Baby foods - Heavy processing means the baby food that is usually found in the supermarket, is ridden with chemicals. Buy only organic baby food product as much as possible.
ii) Milk - Cows at farms are fed growth hormones and antibiotics for several reasons. And as the rule goes, the higher the fat content in the milk (and other dairy products as well), the higher the level of chemicals present in them.
iii) Meat & Poultry - Animals at the farm are often fed antibiotics to ward off diseases and synthetic hormones to increase growth. All these chemicals are bound to be present in the meat available at the market. Avoid completely.
iv) Fruits & Vegetables - While not all the fruits and veggies pose the same amount of risk, some do contain a harmful level of pesticide in them. It is advisable that you feed only the organic form of these fruits and vegetables - Apples, Pears, Peaches, Strawberries, Celery, Bell Peppers, Kale, Lettuce and Carrots. On the other hand, these veggies and fruits are mostly chemical free, and can be used in the conventional form - Onions, Avocados, Corn, Pineapple, Mango, Papaya, Asparagus, Cabbage, Eggplants, Watermelons, and Broccoli.
2) Why are Organic Baby Skin Care products better for your newborn?
A baby's skin is the softest and most delicate of all and so, it requires that extra bit of care as well. You will be surprised to know that all those regular "baby skin care" products, might not actually be that "caring about your baby's skin! Here is the how and why of what makes the non-organic baby skin care products harmful for your little one.
Most of the baby skin care products available in the market contain only artificially flavored, scented or colored ingredients. We are talking about artificial petroleum gels, mineral oil/gels, detergents and antiseptic, antibiotic or disinfectant agents such as boric acid, that can seriously damage your baby's skin!
Thankfully, the Organic Baby Skin Care is now understood by most parents and is being adopted by more, as they come to know about its effectiveness and necessity. It must be understood here that organic baby skin care is not just about using those ready-made products found in the market, with a label that says "organic". It is about taking care of your baby's skin in the most organic and natural way of life. Therefore, it is highly recommended to use home-made natural lotions and creams that are made of milk and milk cream, juice of Aloe Vera, essential oils, coconut oil, turmeric, sandal and lentils.
Additionally, when buying an organic baby skincare product at the market, make sure that they bear a certificate of authenticity from a well recognized agency.
3) Why are Organic accessories and clothings better for your newborn?
In the last decade or so, concerns have been raised over the use of plastic milk bottles that are used for feeding babies and they are not without genuine reasons. Scientists believe that Bisphenol A or BPA, which is found in the plastic used for making baby milk bottles, can cause genetic abnormalities in babies. While the debate is still on about whether BPA "actually" poses a health risk for babies, it is strongly recommended for parents (especially those with newborn babies) to make sure that they completely -
- avoid hard polycarbonate plastic bottles, and instead, use bottles made of softer plastics or glass
- discard worn out or scratched up bottles
- avoid putting bottles in boiling water
- avoid leaving milk bottles in direct sunlight or inside a car parked under the sun.
Also, when it comes to objects such as blankets, nursery furniture, clothings or even room décor, parents must be aware that the non-organic version of these items is known to emit chemicals and toxins, that can be harmful for your kid. Infants and toddlers, whose lungs are still not completely developed, stand a much higher risk for developing allergies and infections due to these toxins and the gas that is produced by them. NYU pediatric allergist Jonathan Field, MD, says "if parents are trying to reduce the exposure to chemicals of their children at an early age - when lungs are still developing, there is something to be said about less exposure to these irritants".
Final Word about Organic Baby Products
Pediatrician Lawrence Rosen, MD & Section Chief at Hackensack University Medical Center, states that the very simple reason for adopting organics in the lifestyle (especially that for your baby) is that, they completely eliminate the possibility of any unwanted exposure of your baby to any harmful chemicals of any kind. She says, "There's still definitely a gap between what we know to be true scientifically and what we theoretically think is true, but either way, avoiding even potentially damaging compounds, particularly with babies, can never be a bad thing, and it simply makes good common sense,"
. And we couldn't agree more. Despite the slightly pricey nature of the organics, it definitely makes sense to ensure a healthier life for your baby by adopting them and reducing the exposure to harmful chemicals from an early age.