Feeding Baby Homemade Whole Foods
By: Beth Martin, Just Local Foods Cooperative
When the time comes to begin feeding baby solid foods, consider skipping the cute little jars of baby food that line store shelves. Yes, organic baby food is available and a great option when traveling or in a pinch. Making your own baby food is very easy, cost effective, fun, and allows you to provide your precious bundle with a nutrient dense, delicious, first experience with food.
Does is matter if we use organic produce? Truth be told, YES it really is.* Cooking with fresh wholesome foods is always best. Use fresh, well cleaned fruits and vegetables – organic when you can. Feeding baby fresh foods helps develop healthy early eating habits and packs more nutritional value per serving than jarred foods
*If affordability is a concern when purchasing organic fruits and vegetables, consider familiarizing yourself with the Environmental Working Group list of the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen” which measures pesticide and herbicide toxicity in conventional produce. You can find these lists at www.ewg.org
Advantages of Organic Foods For Infants
Pound for pound, a baby consumes more pesticides due to their body size than adults.
Babies who eat organic are not exposed to the levels of pesticides and herbicides found in conventionally grown produce.
Studies are now showing that organically grown foods are higher in nutrients than their conventionally grown counterparts.
Organic foods are NOT GMO foods.
Where to Begin! Wonderful First Foods for Baby!
Healthy Fats are essential to brain and nervous system development. Use organic, hormone-free butter, extra virgin olive oil, avocado.
Fruits & Veggies Lightly steamed fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Use banana, carrots, apples, sweet potato, papaya, avocado, cooked greens (well pureed).
High Quality, Local & Pastured Meat Healthy proteins provide better sources of iron and zinc. Try cooked, well pureed dark poultry and organic, chemical free red meat, organic chicken liver, and egg yolk.
The American Association of Pediatrics recommends trying these as better sources of iron than plant based foods. Wild caught, cold water fish: Salmon. Avoid farmed salmon. Wild fish provides high level s of DHA, crucial to retinal and brain development.