getting our daily allotment of dirt

i am really lucky that both boys enjoy spending time in the backyard.  it is much easier for me than packing them up and taking them to the park (especially when it is just me).  and we are much closer to things like water, snacks, bandaids, etc…

i have always heard that it is good for us to consume a certain amount of dirt each day.  probably something moms say because they are anxious about the dirt the kids get into their mouths.  i apparently ate dirt daubers when i was a baby and i turned out ok….i think.

on a whim i thought i would see if i could find some scientific information about soil consumption.  well, the first article i clicked on was full of some very interesting stuff.

“Children may eat soil for the same reasons pregnant women and some animals do. Because of their rapid growth, they have special nutritional needs and surface soils may serve as supplemental nutrients; detoxification of plant or animal toxins might be accelerated by geophagy— particularly in some parts of the world; or soil components, especially clays, may relieve gastric distress. But topsoils are probably not as effective as deep clays at gastric soothing.”

um, wow.  i guess it makes sense, but i didn’t really expect that answer.  do i need to be adding supplements to the squirt’s diet, or should i just let him graze in the backyard….

the complete text of the article on eating dirt can be found here.


About phrogmom

kind of eccentric artsy type raising two boys in texas.
This entry was posted in attempted parenting, photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to getting our daily allotment of dirt

  1. Man, you’re the Mom I wish I was ! I’ve always been a big believer that an antiseptic and semi-sterile environment does more harm than good ( also known as the “so *that’s* why you never dust” clause by my Hubby ), but for some reason the thought of plonking my children down in the garden gives me an attack of the heebies. I know they’d love it, but I just can’t do it. When we visit my Sister-in-law with the gorgeous child-friendly garden it’s always Hubby that takes them out for fresh air whilst I watch from inside and wince lol

  2. kloppenmum says:

    Our kids live outside. In fact, it’s neigh on impossible to get them inside even for food most days. In the winter they end up having four showers some days because they are so wet! (We have a fire linked to our hot water – phew!) Dirt is good, I go for the graze as you need approach and no-one has been ill…yet.

  3. April says:

    Great post!!! I say let him graze in the backyard!!! My oldest is 8yrs now but when he was 8months-11 months my husband coached soccer and we always went to watch. It never failed we would sit on the ground and he would always eat the grass!!

  4. My kids use to eat worms and any other bugs they could find…well they were boys!

  5. barb19 says:

    Let the boys enjoy it I say!
    I’ve always been a keen gardener, so our kids grew up with dirt! One of the boys had a liking for worms too, ugh! Never seemed to do him any harm though, and none of them ever got sick from playing in the dirt.

  6. hakea says:

    Hey phrogmom

    I think the article you happened upon was talking about “pica” which is related to an iron deficiency. Dr Scepticaemia will be able to advise more. A work colleague of mine had huge dirt cravings when she was pregnant and she was advised to take iron tablets.

    Apart from that, kids and dirt are like a horse and carriage. Love the photos of squirt and squirm doing what kids do so well.

    • phrogmom says:

      apparently you are safe from a pica diagnosis, as long as you eat less than 500 g of dirt a day *grin* i don’t really have a picture of how much that is, but i assume we are under the limits.

  7. Ali says:

    I was just reading the above post and it’s so uncanny because I had a friend who used to crave dirt when she was expecting her first baby too……she also used to crave coal as well!! Beautiful photos, they’re soooo cute!! 🙂

    Ali x

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