While introducing solid food is a fun and exciting time for families, it may also come with questions and uncertainty. To help make the food introduction process as easy as possible, we’ve identified several core principles to help guide families. These principles act as guidelines, no matter what food preferences may be, as families embark on their food introduction journey. Read on to learn about one of these core principles,Quality and First Foods.
First foods offer complimentary nutrition to either breast milk or formula and are important for experimentation, play and fun. From health professionals to grandparents and friends, lots of people will have opinions! It may be hard to know where to start. When it comes time to introduce solid foods, the thing to remember is: one size does not fit all. First foods will vary, depending on culture, personal preference and what’s available.
We believe that two factors, non-GMO and organic, contribute to food Quality. And, that these factors are important when it comes to selecting first foods.
Young children are among the most vulnerable to environmental toxins. Chronic exposure, to even small amounts, can have a big impact on their growth, and physical and cognitive development. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a report on pesticide exposure in children. In it, they concluded that North American children are increasingly exposed to pesticides through air, dust, soil, and food.
Genetically modified (GM) foods may be associated with greater use of pesticides. Overall pesticide use hasincreased by an estimated 404 million pounds since genetically modified crops were introduced in the US, compared to what would have been used if the same acres had been planted with non-GM crops.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has advocated reducing children’s exposure to potentially harmful pesticides. Choosing organic and/or non-GMO food is one strategy to help achieve this. In one study, researchers followed 23 children, ages 3-11, for 15 consecutive days as they ate either conventional or organic food. Looking at pesticide metabolites found in the urine, the researchers concluded that an organic diet provided a dramatic and immediate protective effect against exposures to pesticides and that these children were most likely exposed to these pesticides exclusively through their diet.
For families interested in minimizing their pesticide exposure through diet, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has compiled a helpful shopping guide.
We believe that good eating habits start early. When we designed our line of gentle goat milk foods, we intentionally selected non-GMO European and organic ingredients where possible. In general, both non-GMO and organic foods contain fewer pesticides.
First Foods is a series of blogs looking into several core principles to help guide families when introducing solid foods.
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