Every day, millions of mums pack a fruit snack into their child's lunchbox but when was the last time you stopped and thought about whether this healthy snack could cause health issues in the future? As a mum who is about to send her child off to prep at school for the first time, the fruit choice you make could end up having a negative impact on their health because of pesticide residue left on the fruit skin. Use these two tips to make sure your child's fruit choice doesn't become one that makes them sick.
Chose Low Pesticide Residue Choices
You may think that every piece of fruit has the same amount of pesticide on it, but you would be wrong with this assumption. Each year, the Environmental Working Order releases a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides. This list is known as the "Dirty Dozen". Fruits on this year's Dirty Dozen list include strawberries, grapes and apples.
The first way you can reduce the impact of pesticide residue is to not buy fruits on the Dirty Dozen list. Instead, purchase fruit alternatives on the Clean 15 list. Options on this list include pineapple, melons and mango. The reason why the fruits on the Clean 15 list are more acceptable is that you remove the skin before the fruit is eaten. This substantially reduces the pesticide contamination on the fruit.
Remove As Many Pesticides As You Can:
If your child loves fruit on the Dirty Dozen list, and they just can't live without it, there are still ways you can include these fruits in their lunchbox. Your options to cut down the pesticide levels include:
- Buy certified organic fruit. Organic fruit is grown without the use of a pesticide. However, it is more expensive that produce grown with pesticides so may not suit every parent's budget.
- Wash fruit thoroughly before eating it. This does not remove 100% of the pesticides, but it does do a better job than not washing the fruit at all.
- Peel the skin from the fruit before eating it. With the pesticide mostly on the fruit's skin, peeling it does a better job than washing can do.
Pesticide residue can lead to food allergies. Reducing the amount of pesticide your child is exposed to will reduce their chance of future food issues. A healthy child is a happy child, so make wise fruit choices as you pack the school lunchbox each day.