Organic Baby Foods: An Expanding Market
Four years ago when we found out we were going to be parents, I decided that my baby would be grown and raised on organic and natural foods. As the editor of an organic, natural magazine, I new how important it was for me to start eating well, eating clean, and feeding my baby the best options possible. So my husband and I started eating local and organic meats, dairy, and fruits and vegetables as much as possible.
So when Gordon grew into eating solids, my job was to provide him with the best foods available. So I bought a stick blender and went to work steaming, baking and blending my way to good baby food.
And it’s funny now that he’s three he won’t try a sweet potato even if I cover it in chocolate, but back then he loved mamma’s homemade, organic, pureed baby food. Fast forward three years and as our family grew, so did the market for organic baby food. When Gordon was a baby, and maybe I didn’t look hard enough, there weren’t too many organic baby foods on the market. I knew about Earth’s Best (because of their commercials before Sesame Street), which has been around for 25 years, but never purchased any.
When Quinn, who is a year now, started moving towards pureed squash and apples, I was surprised and very happy that the market had opened up to give me several options when it came to buying her food.
I did and still do bake and puree the foods that I can find at our local stores, like organic squash, apples, and sweet potatoes. And when the farmers markets are in full swing, the options of local, organic is outstanding. But there is also a time factor that I didn’t necessarily have to contend with when I had only one child. Now that there are two kids, it takes a bit of planning and effort to make my own baby food. So in it’s (time’s) absence, I started purchasing more of her meals. She has an endless selection of single foods like peaches or pears, but also full balanced meals like Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, Chicken and Spring Vegetables, or Butternut Squash and Mac and Cheese. So we have delved into the world of pre-made organic baby foods and you should too if your budget allows. There are also some awesome ways that you can use them in recipes the whole family will enjoy, like cookies and homemade mac and cheese.
The idea is that knowing where your baby’s food comes from is the most important thing. So whether you puree your own or let Tyler Florence do it for you (who doesn’t want a personal chef, eh?), going organic is the best for little ones.
Why Organic Food?
Organic produce is grown without the use of pesticides and minimizes the use of off-farm inputs. In general, Organic produce is also greater in nutrients because the plants are allowed to grow fully and the soil has time to regenerate – according to nature’s timeframe. In many cases, organic produce had 2 to 3 times more vitamins and antioxidants than non-organic samples.
Pesticides, hormones and antibiotics can affect a baby’s under-developed immune and digestive system and has been linked to developmental problems. Organic agricultural practices seek to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.
Not only is Organic safer for baby, but organic foods have been found to taste better too. Why not start your baby on the best tasting, most nutritious, safest food available?
Information provided by Plum Organics. For more, go to www.plumorganics.com
Some great options…
So, we have graciously sampled a variety of the new organic baby foods online and I have to say they are all a hit! I would like to thank Plum Organics, Nurtrume and Sprout for sending samples for Quinn (and my 3 year old, Gordon) to enjoy. All were so well received, I went online immediately and ordered more of each kind. Quinn was partial to fruits (who isn’t) but I was surprised how she eagerly ventured on to meals like Lasagna and Mac and Cheese. Her little hands couldn’t sign more fast enough! So I recommend all these brands when introducing new solids to your little one. They will love them all!