Volume 13, Issue 5 ~ February 3 - February 9, 2005
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Got an Envionmental Question? Send it to: EARTH TALK, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881. Or submit your question at: www.emagazine.com. Or e-mail us at: earthtalk@emagazine.com.
From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Organic Treats for Young Tastes
Are there any organic products that young children would enjoy?

A recent study by the Environmental Working Group found that each day more than one million children ages five and under ingest unsafe levels of pesticides from food consumed at home.

“Infants and children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides, which can include cancer and nerve damage. Typically, the younger a child, the greater the degree of susceptibility,” says environmental health researcher Linda Bonvie. “Each exposure to a toxic chemical adds to a kid’s body burden, and since children can’t de-toxify as well as adults can, they need to be protected from pesticides and environmental poisons wherever possible.”

Fortunately, organic foods designed especially for kids are turning up more and more in home kitchens and on school lunch trays. Whole Foods markets, for instance, offers an entire line of organic foods for kids. “Many of our shoppers wanted to provide kids with organic food choices, but a lot of traditional foods didn’t appeal to a kid’s palette,” says Whole Foods brand manager Linda Boardman. Whole Kids products, including organic peanut butter, string cheese and flavored applesauce, among other items, are available at Whole Foods stores in 28 states as well as in Canada and the U.K.

Meanwhile, other national natural foods grocery chains such as Trader Joe’s and Wild Oats offer a wide range of foods safe for kids to eat, including organic juices from R.W. Knudsen and Santa Cruz Organic in flavors ranging from apple to tropical. Stonyfield Farm’s YoBaby organic yogurt is available for babies and toddlers, and the company’s colorful tubes of YoSqueeze are designed for easy lunchbox packing.

It’s best to also avoid breakfast cereals laden with sugar and preservatives. One good alternative is any of the cereals — including Amazon Frosted Flakes, Gorilla Munch, Koala Crisp and Orangutan-O’s — made by Envirokidz, which uses less sugar and all organic ingredients in its products.

For snacks, kids can choose from a wide range of organic choices too. Planet Harmony offers organic jellybeans, fruit snacks and gummy worms, and Country Choice Naturals sells organic animal cookies. And parents shouldn’t forget that fruit from any organic farmers’ market can also satisfy a child’s sweet tooth.

Indeed, with such an abundance of organic choices, there is no reason for any child to go hungry in order to avoid pesticides, preservatives and sugars.
 
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