Are you wasting money on organic food for kids?

Dec 25, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Despite assertions that organic food is best for your kiddos, you may want to uncover the American Academy of Pediatrics' findings before you dish out the extra cash.

From the benefits of avoiding pesticides to the evident health benefits of varieties of cuisine, are you wasting money on organic food for kids?

Organic foods not more nutritious

In a report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the children-focused organization asserts their stance that organic food doesn't contain any more nutritional benefits to kids than conventionally grown food. Their research was sparked by another prior study by the American College of Physicians which came to the same conclusion. Although some parents site allergies as the reason they skip on non-organically grown fruits and vegetables, the research also revealed no significant differences between organic food versus conventional produce when it comes to the effects on allergies like eczema or wheezing as well.

But, the battle between organic versus conventionally grown foods doesn't stop at fruits and vegetables alone; for parents who choose to dish up organic nourishment to their brood, it's important to note that the AAP study found no individual health benefit from serving organic milk, so long as it's pasteurized. But, that doesn't mean that the benefits of organic food for kids are nonexistent.

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Benefits of organic foods

Just because the nutritional value between organic foods and conventionally grown fare aren't significant, it doesn't dismiss the benefits of buying organic food for kids. The American College of Physicians report acknowledged that the organic grub does in fact boast lower levels of pesticide residues and exposure to certain bacteria, however, the difference in risk based on maximum allowed limits were small. You may also want to carve out room on your table for organically raised meat, as it has the potential to reduce antibiotic resistance in your family. But, studies are still also digging to determine the impact of hormone exposure of children through meat and milk.

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Nutritional factors in kids' diets

Since all-natural organic foods tend to be a little steeper in price, you may find that buying organic foods eats up more of your budget, resulting in less fruits and veggies in your fridge. However, the most important aspect of your youngster's diet is that kids nosh on a wide variety of food, whether their diet is filled with organic foods or based solely on conventionally grown fare. Be sure that your family is powering up with a well-balanced diet, even if it means working in non-organic foods as well, instead of letting your budget limit how much of the higher-priced provisions your family eats.

Although the study by the American Academy of Pediatrics revealed that the nutritional benefits of organic foods may be comparable to their conventionally-grown counterparts, many parents maintain that the shrunken exposure to pesticides and antibiotics is enough reason to confirm that they aren't wasting money on organic food for kids. Furthermore, when the AAP facts are paired up with the environmental benefits of going organic, you may find yourself compelled to still reach for the green goodies when feeding your youngsters, regardless of what studies have said.

Learn more about organic foods

Organic lunch ideas for kids
How to select the best organic foods
Budget-friendly tips to go organic