Organic Baby Foods and Infant Nutrition

satisfaction in breast milk

Infant nutrition is simply the description of an infant’s dietary requirements. A diet deficient in necessary vitamins, minerals, calories, or liquids is considered insufficient. Breast milk offers the greatest nutrition for these critical early months of development when compared to infant formula, especially when breast milk is introduced after the fourth month of life. Most studies indicate that there is a high nutritional level and satisfaction in breast milk among infants on organic foods versus other types. Among these studies are the following:

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the best food choices for infants include “whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.” The phrase “organic food” is used for two reasons. First, organic foods do not contain chemicals or synthetic ingredients, as are most conventional foods. Second, organic foods are usually grown without use of pesticides, herbicides, or other harmful chemicals. Both these factors are considered important for infant nutrition, which is why organic food is often recommended by pediatricians.

nutritional deficiencies

Experts agree that adequate infant nutrition is dependent upon adequate intake of vitamins, minerals, and fluids. Infant formulas typically provide a minimal amount of nutrients and the majority of these nutrients are derived from refined sugars and artificial flavorings, while most of the fluids provided through feeding are nothing more than water. While breast milk and other naturally derived foods provide a variety of nutrients, including those with a wide range of biological value, infant formulas rely on a very limited range of nutrients, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies and other health issues, including allergies, chronic illnesses, and autoimmune disorders.

It’s important to note that despite the common misconception, organic infant formulas are not always nutritionally inferior to infant formulas that utilize cow’s milk. Organic formulas may still utilize pasteurized milk and other pasteurized products, but they are generally free of any bacterial contamination (such as listeria, salmonella, E. coli), which is critical to proper infant nutrition. Furthermore, it’s important to understand that although some organic formulas do include certain vitamins (notably thiamin and biotin), these vitamins are derived from plant sources and can be synthesized by the body at a normal rate. In addition, even though most organic formulas do not utilize growth hormones (such as human growth hormone, which has been banned by the U.S. FDA), many infants do grow to their full capacity between eight to sixteen weeks of age, so the absence of this vital hormone does not inhibit growth. Importantly, natural vitamin supplements are available for premature babies that are not receiving formula based supplements.

safer than traditional food

Finally, even though organic food is generally safer than traditional commercially prepared foods, there are additional concerns regarding the pesticides used during production. Specifically, experts recommend avoiding any foods that are “aged” (which typically refers to months instead of years) and those that are marked as having been produced using any genetically modified organism. (Genetically modified organisms are considered to be unsafe for consumption because they are not designed to withstand the same environmental stresses that do occur in natural environments.)

In conclusion, there is no reason to believe that organic foods are necessarily nutritionally inferior to commercially prepared ones. On the contrary, many infants who are introduced to organic foods and have grown to feed well have expressed significant increases in both gross and net weight, as well as an increased ability to absorb nutrients. These benefits can be especially beneficial to low-income families whose budgets have been affected by the current economic conditions. Moreover, babies who are breastfeed receive many essential vitamins and minerals that are unavailable to formula fed infants, such as folic acid, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin D. In fact, studies have shown that babies who were bottle fed and were later given organic formulas had lower risks of being diagnosed with childhood ailments, such as allergies, asthma, eczema, and obesity. (Source: “The Effect of Age on Infant Nutrition,” Infant Research Institute of the University of Texas Health Science Center, May-June 2021)

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