Category: Food Allergies
Willows Pediatrics. We advocate a diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, dairy and whole grains. And while we know that some parents purchase organic fruits, vegetables and meats for their families, we recently learned that organic food is not a nutritionally essential part of a child’s diet.
A new AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) clinical report found that while there are certain benefits to consuming organic products—most significantly the absence of pesticides—these foods are not more nutritious than regular produce. This is the first time the AAP has spoken on this issue.
Here’s what the report concluded:
While organic foods have the same vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, lipids and other nutrients as conventional foods, they also have lower pesticide levels, which may be significant for children. Organically raised animals are also less likely to be contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria because organic farming rules prohibit the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics.
Regarding the impact of pesticides on children, the AAP said it was unable to make a definitive statement:
“At this point, we simply do not have the scientific evidence to know whether the difference in pesticide levels will impact a person’s health over a lifetime, though we do know that children–especially young children whose brains are developing–are uniquely vulnerable to chemical exposures,” said Joel Forman, MD, FAAP, a member of the AAP Council on Environmental Health and one of the lead authors of the AAP clinical report.
If you have a child with a life-threatening food allergy, you know the importance of planning ahead and carrying an Epi-Pen. You probably cook allergen-free meals or eat out at trusted restaurants, making day-to-day life a little easier on you and your child. However, as Thanksgiving and other holidays that involve a lot of eating approach, food allergies can become a more pressing daily concern. The family is snacking on the fly, attending parties with unfamiliar food and joining in family gatherings with well-meaning relatives who might not completely understand the severity of your child’s allergy.
The doctors at Willows Pediatrics are very familiar with food allergies, and several have family members with life-threatening allergies. Here is their advice as to how to prepare for, and navigate, the “eating” season.
First and foremost, always carry your child’s Epi-Pen and keep it nearby. Don’t leave it at home (where it will be of no use in an emergency) and don’t leave it in the car (where it can be rendered ineffective by extremely cold weather). Likewise, if you are dropping off your child at a party, leave the Epi-Pen with a responsible adult and take the time to train him or her on how and when to use it. Read More