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You may have already made the organic transition, but have your children? Eating organic means consuming food without the assistance of man-made chemicals. And while the organic method of farming can be more costly - even more than the rising cost of non-organic staples like milk and eggs - experts tell us the benefits in natural foods are well worth it. And when it comes to your kids, spending more on organic choices is worth it too.

Boy Eating Tomato

The green movement

The green movement is upon us. From using sustainable materials when building new homes to driving hybrid cars, many are changing their lifestyles to save energy, help Mother Earth and get healthy. What about giving your children's diet a green makeover? As more and more natural food stores and organic brands surface, it's getting easier for you and your family to eat organic, which is a good thing considering all the health benefits of an all-natural diet.

Go organic for their health

Dr. Therese Pasqualoni, a public health specialist and behavioral therapist, is concerned with kids' diets these days. Dr. Pasqualoni, who's been researching nutrition, physical activity and stress management for over 14 years, recognizes that organic foods are more beneficial than conventional foods. While evaluating the relationship between organic diets and conventional diets, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that among 815 two-year-olds, those who consumed organic dairy products experience decreased eczema and wheezing than those who consumed conventional dairy diets.

Of course eating organic isn't the only important factor, says Dr. Pasqualoni. She stresses that drinking organic milk should also be accompanied by other nutritional habits like eating a wide range of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. "Parents and children need to read ingredient lists and steer away from foods with artificial food dyes and preservatives," she adds. "You can find healthier alternatives by looking for natural food dyes such as beets, as well as natural preservatives that include Vitamin E."

Prevent Mental Health Issues

A study conducted by the University of Washington found that Seattle pre-schoolers eating primarily organic foods were exposed to fewer organophosphate pesticides than children eating primarily conventional foods. What does this mean for your children's brain?

In 2006, the BBC reported that pesticides found in fruits and vegetables, and the decreased nutrients in non-organic produce, can cause mental health issues like depression, and memory problems in children and adults.

Battle Attention Deficit Disorder

Many kids are suffering from Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD), a recurrent pattern of behavior characterized by short attention spans, impulsivity and sometimes hyperactivity. Typically, doctors prescribe Ritalin, a stimulant that's also used to treat daytime drowsiness and chronic fatigue syndrome, to those suffering from ADD. But some of these prescription drugs have side effects like anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia.

Need an alternative with less side effects? There's a holistic option for your kids. There's a plant-based nutrition program that's believed to help ADD sufferers. David Sandoval, founder and CEO of Purium Health Products, tells us there's a relationship between diet and disease. "Everything the human body needs to live a long, disease-free life has been provided by the Earth," he says. The possible food-related ADD risk factors are high-sugar consumption and eating processed foods and additives. Eliminate the three from your diet and you should see an improvement.

"Initially, it's going to take some discipline, but switching to whole, unprocessed and, preferably, organic meals will cleanse the body and help in re-harnessing the power of your own mind," explains Sandoval, who believes poor nutrition may be the most harmful in the early development stages of life. He stresses that parents should feed their kids organic produce because it has the maximum nutrient density, and a minimal amount of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

Healthy vs. unhealthy organic food

Now that know some of the benefits of organic foods for your children's diet, it's also important to remember that not all organic foods are beneficial for them. For instance, are organic Oreo cookies healthy? Certifying something organic is difficult to decipher. Just because something says it's organic, doesn't mean it's good for you. Cookies like Oreos are also loaded with unhealthy sugars and poor quality fats. Organic fruit, free of pesticides and chemicals from the farmer's market would be a better option.

More advice on eating organic foods:

Is your organic food really organic?
How to buy organic foods for children
Natural, healthy and organic baby food

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Comments

Comments on "How eating organic improves your child's health"

smilinggreenmom June 21, 2010 | 6:44 AM

This is a wonderful article! I agree so much and my husband and I have really made many changes to help teach our children about healthy eating! We choose natural and organic products and eat lots of whole foods, drink water and take our chewable probiotic everyday. We avoid processed foods too and cannot stand anything with corn syrup. It is so important that we help make our children's generation healthier!!

Graham Whiteman November 20, 2008 | 6:41 AM

The image of the freckly kid is great. I am designing a cover for a local health authority charity magazine which feature a story of getting kids to eat healthy at school. I'd like to use this image on the cover. Can you tell me where you obtained the image or the photographer. many thanks Graham

runrun ukiuki August 29, 2008 | 2:56 PM

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Patricia Wooster July 22, 2008 | 9:35 AM

This is a great article. I just switched my family to all organic food. Everyone thinks it costs so much more, but with in reality the price difference is small. I documented my grocery bill on my website with organic vs. nonorganic and the difference was under $5. Also, so many manufacturers offer great coupons for their products. I came up with a list of them today, and expect bigger savings in the future. Thanks again! www.projectorganiceating

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