Organic food not necessarily better for children: Expert

Feed your children plenty of fruits and vegetables but don't fret over whether they're organic or not if you're on a budget, US experts said Monday.

While organic foods have lower pesticide levels, they also have the same vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients as their conventional counterparts.

"We do not want families to choose to consume smaller amounts of more expensive organic foods and thus reduce their overall intake of healthy foods like produce," said Janet Silverstein of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"What's most important is that children eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products, whether those are conventional or organic foods," she said.

"This type of diet has proven health benefits," she said.

The report found no individual health benefit from organic milk but emphasised that all milk should be pasteurized to reduce the risk of bacterial infections.

In that vein, the group called for large prospective cohort studies that directly measure environmental exposures such as estrogen at low levels to examine the impact of hormonal exposure of children through milk and meat.

A large-scale study by researchers from Stanford University published in early September found that organic foods were no more nutritious than conventional products but contained fewer traces of pesticides.

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