Kids need a well-balanced diet as part of a healthy lifestyle. And some parents prefer to serve organic foods to avoid pesticides and certain bacteria.
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But a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states there is no added nutritional value to eating organic food and no clinical benefit to avoiding pesticides.
Defining ‘a healthy diet’
Tara Harwood, RD, a pediatric registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic, says that organic or not, what’s most important is that children eat a healthy diet.
“By consuming organic foods, you are consuming less pesticides than conventionally grown foods,” she says. “However, there is no research stating that there is any harm in consuming those pesticides.
“Is my child eating fruits, vegetables, dairy, and lean proteins? If so, that’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter how it’s been grown,” she says.
AAP researchers analyzed the scientific evidence surrounding organic produce, dairy products and meat. They found only minimal nutritional differences between organic and conventional produce.
Organic produce does contain fewer pesticide residues, but it remains unclear if a reduction in exposure to these pesticides is clinically relevant.
There are also no nutritional or clinically relevant differences between organic and conventional milk.
Researchers say more studies are needed.
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