April 21, 2011 at 10:04 AM ET
Ack! Add pesticides to the long list of things to worry about during pregnancy.
Three new studies found that exposure to pesticides in the womb may harm a baby’s brain and be linked to lower IQ scores, MyHealthNewsDaily reported.
In one of the studies, kids with the highest level of exposure in the womb scored 7 points lower on an IQ test at age 7, compared to those who had the lowest level of exposure. (The 7 points was equal to a 7-year-old performing like someone who is 6-and-a-half.)
So what are the best ways to avoid pesticides? Start by thoroughly washing fruits and veggies and try to eat organic foods, which are grown without synthetic pesticides. (See which organic foods are most worth buying here.)
One mom on BabyCenter.com suggests this easy-to-remember rule of thumb when it comes to eating pesticide-free fruit: “I always try to remove the peel off the skin of the fruits I eat because they have pesticides. So I tend to not eat fruits like strawberries and cherries.”
Once pregnancy is over and the little one arrives, the pesticide worry doesn’t go away. Here’s an example of a mom who says homemade baby food is the only way to go. Kat_mommy writes on BabyCenter.com:
I find that making my own organic baby food (pureed or chopped and frozen into cubes) is so much cheaper than buying non organic baby food. With how little babies eat when they are trying out new things it just makes sense. It's great for the environment (no waste, no packaging), the pocketbook, and for baby (I know there are no additives and it's entirely organic).
(Of course, you can buy organic baby food -- but it costs more.) What did you do to avoid toxic foods while pregnant? How much do you worry about pesticides in the food you give your kids?