Author: Jeannie Fleming-Gifford
Toddlerhood - it is full of adventures. From becoming walking, talking “machines” to testing limits, toddlerhood presents an amazing time of growth and opportunities for learning.
As your baby grows into a little, independent person, you may find yourself going a little crazy from time to time when it comes to maintaining a nutritious diet. You may be specifically concerned about laying a foundation for good eating habits. As you read labels, you may begin to seek alternatives to many pre-packaged foods, which contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and even trans fats.
Where to begin?
Simple is best. Many of the foods that are best for our children are those that are grown naturally and, even better, grown organically.
What exactly does that mean?
The USDA defines organic foods as “food produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation.”
When it comes to eating organically, your first thought may be the higher costs that are often associated with purchasing organic foods. These costs are a result of production methods, which often may take more resources, meaning more time and money.
If you want your child to eat organically, there are ways to make it happen.
If you can’t or don’t want to buy all organic foods, there are recommendations for foods that are better to buy organically. Check out the following list.
Buy these foods organically. Why? These foods have been shown to have higher amounts of pesticide residues than some other foods.
Organic foods that are great for toddlers and worthy of the few extra pennies (or dollars) include:
- Carrots (be sure to slice lengthwise)
- Cherries (remove pits for toddlers)
- Leafy Greens
Can’t find organic? Can’t invest the money?
The following foods – even non-organic – are a fairly safe bet both for low pesticide levels as well as providing optimal nutrition:
- Green Peas
In addition to some fruits and vegetables, investing in organic milk – a staple of many toddler’s diets – is worthwhile.