Most parents these days recognize the benefits of organic purchases. Moreover, the good thing is that most parents are even willing to pay a little more to give their babies the highest quality and the healthiest foods being offered in the market.
You can already hear “baby organic formulas” supporters say yes to organic food options available at the local stores.
However, the question you need to answer at this stage is whether organic, natural baby food is worth the hype?
The Truth About Feeding Baby “Organic Formulas”
Organic baby food is one of the best choices you can make for your baby. Studies show that kids who are fed organic diet have much lower levels of insecticides in their body. We also know that organic food can reduce your exposure to toxins in general.
Unfortunately, pesticides and other chemicals used frequently on crops are known or are believed to cause cancer. Many of these chemicals disrupt the hormonal system and mimic your body’s natural hormones – estrogen and testosterone.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued special warning about the exposure to pesticides. Children particularly infants are highly susceptible to pesticide toxicity and this is not good news for parents. What’s unfortunate is that you cannot limit your child’s exposure to toxins in the environment. However, what you can do is feed them organic baby food.
Unlike regular baby food, baby organic formulas contain significantly lower levels of pesticides. Remember that choosing organic food and even dairy for your babies is the best way to ensure that they are not exposed to hormone disruptors and toxic chemicals.
A study conducted by Organic Valley found that organic milk has significantly higher amounts of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Not only organic stuff is healthy for babies, but your adorable angels would love its taste too.
Why Should I Be Concerned About Pesticides In The Food My Baby Eats?
Fruits, vegetables and even milk contain pesticide residues, which cannot be washed away. Of course, pesticides protect crops from damage, but they also contribute to a wide range of health problems including cancer as well as reproductive problems.
Babies are especially vulnerable to chemicals because their immune system isn’t well developed. Another reason is that babies tend to eat much of certain foods than older children and adults – for examples, carrots or bananas.
Babies Can Be Exposed To Toxins Even Before They Are Born
The developing fetus can also be exposed to pesticide toxicity. A study conducted by University of California and Columbia University shows that kids born to pregnant women who consume higher amounts of organophosphate pesticides have lower IQ than their peers.
Benefits Of Organic Baby Food
The choice for giving organic food is not just good for the health and safety of your baby. However, it is good for the health and safety of all children. When you find organic food in the market, you would know that this is the best choice you can make for the health of your families.
It is important to note that babies absorb pesticides more easily because their gastrointestinal tract is still developing. Another thing is that babies are less capable of breaking down toxins that enter their body.
What most parents don’t realize that that eating contaminated food is not the only way your baby can meet pesticides! These chemicals can be present in milk, and even drinking water. Your baby can also ingest chemicals if he puts something from the floor into his mouth.
Organic baby food can be better for your baby compared to conventional formulas. Studies show that organic milk does contain higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids than non-organic milk. Remember that omega 3 fatty acids are known to help with brain development and at the same time, they can protect your body against inflammation and a number of chronic health conditions.
The omega 3 fatty acids contained in organic milk are especially helpful for brain health. Giving your baby portions of organic milk can give him or her, the right amount of brain healthy omega 3 fatty acids that they need.
When your baby is about six months, you might want to give her organic fruits and vegetables. Of course, organic produce have much lower levels of pesticides, but you still need to scrub, clean and wash the fruits and vegetables before giving them to your baby.
You may also want to offer organic dairy and even organic meat to your baby. These products come from farmed animals that are not exposed to antibiotics or hormone injections.
The Difference Between Organic And Regular Baby Food?
Being a parent is not always easy especially when it comes to feeding your babies. You have enough choices to make your head spin and most first time parents are confused when it comes to making the right choice between regular and organic baby food.
Even if you check the ingredients list to see what’s actually in the jar when it comes to commercial food, you don’t know the complete picture. Sometimes commercial baby food contains flour or chemically modified agents instead of real milk or water. What’s worse is that these products contain far less nutrition than other organic single ingredients foods.
Stages Of Feeding Babies
Babies are introduced to a variety of foods in stages. First, you would introduce your baby to light cereal, which is made with special milk formula. Because of their simple consistency, cereals don’t pose a serious health threat or risk of causing food allergies like most other foods do.
When you are all set to move past the cereal stage, you would start looking at cute fruits and vegetable packed in jars. These foods have thicker consistency and some babies aren’t happy with their consistency. The last stage is feeding chunky foods to your babies. If your child is a year old, he or she can handle pieces of meat pretty well.
Now that you are aware of the different feeding stages, you have to understand that regular baby food you find in the market is not the same as organic baby food. What really concerns the parents about commercially available baby food is the way ingredients are processed.
Generally, baby food should be free from all kinds of processing but if you look at bottled baby foods that are available in the markets, there needs to be some kind of processing done to keep the food edible after several months of the store shelf.
Some stores are now offering organic food for babies but you would never know what ingredients are put into them.
When Is The Right Time To Start Feeding Solids To Your Baby?
Most babies are ready for eating solids when they are 4 to 6 months old. However, sometimes, your baby might not be very cooperative.
Ideally, you should wait until your angel is 6 months old before introducing solid foods. Remember, feeding solids to babies before age 4 months poses a huge risk of aspiration – the food might be stuck in the airway. It can also cause the baby to get too much and increase his or her risk of developing obesity. Sometimes feeding solids to babies that are exclusively breast-fed can cause upset stomach.
On the other hand, waiting too long to start giving solids isn’t recommended either. Trying to give solid food to babies after 6 months might:
- Slowdown your baby’s growth
- Cause iron deficiency
- Affect oral motor function – your baby might not develop the necessary coordination required to move solid food from the tongue to the back of the mouth for swallowing.
- Cause hatred towards solids
Should You Try Homemade Organic Baby Food?
Some parents are skeptical about commercial baby food, which is why they resort to homemade organic baby food. When you freshly prepare organic food for your baby at home, you know what you are putting in your baby’s food bowl.
Most of the foods adults eat are processed in some way. Processing as you can guess removes all vital nutrients that your body needs. To avoid doing this to your baby, you should take steps to create your own organic baby food when they are prepared to begin solid foods.
Homemade organic baby food as you can guess is prepared with fresh, organic items such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Cleaning and preparing the ingredients at home ensures that the food is healthy for your baby.
Another huge advantage is that homemade food for babies contains no added preservatives, sugars or salt.
You can use a food processor to puree the fresh produce to the proper consistency. Remember, the food you prepare should be right for your baby’s age and eating abilities.
Is Homemade Organic Baby Food Too Expensive?
Of course, organic fruits and vegetables are more expensive than regular produce. However, if you are still concerned about the cost, think about the following:
- Purchasing a high quality food processor seems expensive at first but it can be one of the best kitchen investments you have ever made. After all, you can use the food processor for lots of other things.
- Homemade organic baby food offers more variety than store bought baby food. You can introduce your babies to as many fruits and vegetables you like. You can puree some carrots if you feel like feeding one of the most nutritious stuff on the planet to your baby. Similarly, as your baby gets older, you can think about adding veggies such as broccoli.
Will My Baby Love The Taste Of Organic Baby Food?
Well, this isn’t the simplest question to answer. You would never know how your baby will react to organic baby food unless you start giving them fresh pureed fruits and vegetables. Starting babies off with solid food that contains no added salt, sugar or preservatives sets them up for a healthier lifestyle, which is quite beneficial in the long run.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of feeding organic food to babies is that they become a less picky eater.
What Are The Best Organic Baby Food Combinations?
Creating healthy organic homemade baby food isn’t as complicated as it sounds. You can keep pureed fruits and veggies in small containers and store them in the freezer. Perhaps the best way to go about things is to make small batches of baby food and let your baby experience the variety of tastes that nature intended.
When you have your first baby, it’s completely normal to feel like a beginner at many levels. Moreover, one of the major challenges you will be facing is preparing healthy food for your baby. If you are not particularly impressed with the quality of commercial baby food, making your own organic baby food can be an exciting learning experience.
How To Make Organic Baby Food – An Overview
Here are a few simple instructions that will help you create very own homemade organic baby food.
- Go shopping and find the best food processor that suits your budget. Buying a blender sounds good but you won’t be able to achieve the right puree consistency as a food processor.
- Make a list of fruits and vegetables you want to introduce to your baby’s first. Even if your baby is older, you can cook and grind the grains before feeding homemade cereal to babies.
- Scrub and wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly to remove dirt and other unhealthy things. Remember, paying careful attention to how you wash fruits and vegetables can prevent the unhealthy bacteria from entering your baby’s food bowl.
- To help your baby digest organic baby food, cook everything before pureeing. This includes cooking apples, pears and other fruits so that they become soft and blend better. Not to forget, you should remove the skin and seeds from fruits before cooking so that there are no choking hazards.
- Babies do have their personal like and dislikes. Yes, even though it sounds surprising, your baby will have different reactions to the different kinds of baby foods. Some foods can cause gas in babies. On a separate note, you should stay away from “harder” greens, and veggies such as cauliflower and broccoli until your child is 12 months. Your nose will definitely thank you for this.
Remember that the whole process of making organic baby food is trial and error. You will have to experiment with the amount of milk or water you have to add to the fruit or vegetable so that the consistency is just right.
It’s best not to use any seasonings or sugar in baby food. Yes, the natural taste of food is much for your baby’s health as well as taste buds. If you prepare large batches of food, you should only refrigerate the amount of baby food you need right away and store the rest in single serving containers in the freezer.
Storing cooked organic baby food in the fridge for a long period of time can lead to food poisoning. Experts recommend that you prepare small batches of organic baby food to prevent spoilage.
Recipes For Organic Baby Food
As stated earlier, making your own baby food is fun and easy. You can choose organic baby food ingredients you think are best for your child. Once you have the necessary fruits and veggies, all you need is a high quality food processor and empty ice cube trays to store small baby food portions for future use.
You should always start with seasonal organic produce. Needless to say, fruits need to be peeled and pitted as necessary. Organic vegetables on the other hand should be peeled and cooked. To preserve maximum nutrition in vegetables, you should only steam, bake or broil the ingredients before pureeing.
When you feed solid foods to your babies for the first time, you can add breast milk or organic milk to the puree to help it achieve a thinner consistency. Adding breast milk to purees is an excellent idea because the flavor will be more familiar to your baby. As your baby gets older, you can add less liquid and puree the food less to help your baby experience the different kind of textures.
What Do Babies Like?
Babies tend to enjoy colorful fruits and vegetables such as carrots and bananas. Not many babies are excited about tasting ‘green’ veggies. Interestingly, you always need to remember the rule of 10. It might take ten tries before your baby gets used to the new food.
There would be occasions your child is particularly interested in eating homemade organic baby food. However, it is also likely that your child refuses to eat the entire batch of organic baby food you have just made.
For Babies 4 To 6 Months
The Goodness Of Carrots
Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene and you can start giving pureed home cooked carrots to your baby when he or she is at least 6 months old. You should never try feeding raw carrots to babies because they are a serious choking hazard.
Carrots should always be peeled when making organic baby food as infants are not able to digest the skin.
- Rinse carrots in cold water and peel. You need to dice carrots into small pieces.
- Bring water to boil in a saucepan and cook carrots until tender.
- Drain water and allow the carrots to cool for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Puree cooked carrots in a food processor and add milk or water to reach the desired consistency.
- To add more flavors, mix carrot puree with peaches or butternut squash puree.
You can freeze leftover carrot puree in a standard ice cube tray for up to three months.
Sweet Potato Puree
You can puree cooked sweet potato in a food processor until smooth. Feel free to add water to reach the desired consistency. You can even serve cooked sweet potato that has been cut into fine pieces when your child is a year old.
Butternut Squash Puree
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and wash the squash.
- Next, cut washed squashes lengthwise and place them face down in your baking dish. If you don’t want squash from sticking to the baking dish, add a small amount of water into the bottom of the dish.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and toss it in the oven for about 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and let cooked squash pieces cool. Discard any seeds and scoop the ‘soft’ squash using an ice cream scooper. You can also use a simple spoon for the task.
- Add the cooked squash to a food processor to puree. You can add breast milk or ½ cup of water to make sure the puree reaches the right consistency.
- You can serve butternut squash puree immediately and store the rest in the freezer.
Peach Puree For Babies
You’ll need 6 peaches to make enough puree to fill one standard ice tray.
- Begin by peeling your washed peaches and cut them into smaller pieces.
- Steam the small peach chunks until you can easily mash the pieces with a fork.
- Add steamed peach to your food processor and puree until smooth.
- Immediately transfer pureed peaches to the ice tray and freeze. If you would like to serve your baby a portion right away, just let the puree cool.
Homemade Pea Puree
- Steam 3 cups organic peas – you would want to use the plumpest and green peas available.
- Place steamed peas in a food processor and add 2 tbsp water. You can puree the peas until you achieve a smooth and creamy texture. You can add more water to the puree if needed.
- Let the puree cool before servings. Freeze leftover puree in ice cube tray
Remember that you only need to do experiment when it comes to feeding the right organic baby food to your adorable munchkins. Hopefully this post will allow you to introduce the interesting organic flavors just the way your baby likes it. If you haven’t tried organic baby food already, do it now. Just be sure you provide the best variety to your baby.