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Organic baby food, a simple overview
When your baby reaches about 6 months of age, you will be starting to feed him pureed foods to supplement his formula. A lot of pediatricians (a doctor who specializes in the treatment of children) will recommend starting your baby with rice cereal and then progressing with pureed vegetables, meats and fruits. Organic baby food is by far the best to feed your baby as it has the least amount of pesticide residue on the food.
Organic foods are grown or processed without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Farmers or conventional growers use pesticides to protect their crops from molds, insects and diseases. When farmers spray pesticides, this can leave residue on produce. Organic produce carries significantly fewer pesticide residues than does conventional produce.
Babies and young children may be more susceptible to harm potentially caused by pesticides than adults.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification program that requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards. These standards regulate how such foods are grown, handled and processed. To see whether a food is organic, check the label.
The USDA has guidelines on how organic foods are described on product labels:
- 100 percent organic. This description is used on certified organic fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat or other single-ingredient foods. It may also be used on multi-ingredient foods if all the ingredients are certified organic, excluding salt and water. These may have a USDA seal.
- Organic. If a multi-ingredient food is labeled organic, at least 95 percent of the ingredients are certified organic, excluding salt and water. The non organic items must be from a USDA list of approved additional ingredients. These also may have a USDA seal.
- Made with organic. If a multi-ingredient product has at least 70 percent certified organic ingredients, it may have a “made with organic” ingredients label. For example, a breakfast cereal might be labeled “made with organic oats.” The ingredient list must identify what ingredients are organic. These products may not carry a USDA seal.
- Organic ingredients. If less than 70 percent of a multi-ingredient product is certified organic, it may not be labeled as organic or carry a USDA seal. The ingredient list can indicate which ingredients are organic.”
Is organic and natural the same thing?
When a food label says it is “natural”, it means that there are no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It does not refer to the methods or materials used to produce the food ingredients.
When a food label says it is “organic”, it means it follows the guidelines as mentioned above.
Organic and natural are not the same.
Preparing or purchasing organic baby food
If you are a stay at home mom, you may want to buy your fresh produce in the organic section of the market, and puree the fruits, vegetables and meat yourself. Find the meat in the meat section and look for the organic labels or Amish labels as the Amish use no antibiotics or pesticides on their livestock or crops.
Preparing and pureeing is always the best option if you are able to do it and have the time. But for most moms, that is not always the case. In most households both mom and dad work full-time jobs, so being able to prepare the food will be a problem. Fortunately, you can purchase organic baby food from the store or online shopping.
Potential benefits of organic foods
There have been studies that show there are small to moderate increases of nutrients in the organic foods. There is less toxic metal and less pesticide residue. With regard to meat, the feeding requirements for organic livestock farming, such as the primary use of grass and alfalfa for cattle, result in generally higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, a kind of fat that is more heart healthy than other fats. These higher omega-3 fatty acids are found in organic meats, dairy and eggs.
Drawbacks of organic baby food
Organic baby food can be a little more expensive than regular baby food. Other than the expense, there are really no other drawbacks to this baby food. The benefits definitely outweigh the drawbacks. I always prefer to have products that are labeled natural and/or organic. I want to feed the best food to my family and grandson.
Organic baby food book
If you are interested in information about organic foods for your baby and toddler, I found a book for you. It is titled: The Big Book of Organic Baby Food: Baby Purees, Finger Foods, and Toddler Meals for Every Stage. This book is perfect for beginners and slowly progresses to more advanced foods to make in the kitchen. There is a part of this book devoted to information such as how to properly buy organic foods, store and freeze these foods, allergies information, how to start baby on solids, and much more!
You can purchase it here.
Don’t have time to prepare your own?
If you do not have the time to puree and prepare your own baby food, you can purchase your food here. Happy Tots, Earth’s Best, and Gerber provide various packages of pureed baby foods that are organic.
For starters, here is:
Smoothies for baby
Instead of giving your baby regular juice which could be filled with sugar, here is a wonderful alternative. Smoothies for baby!!! They are organic too! These are from Sprout Organic Baby Food.
Get your smoothies here!
Feed your baby well
My aim is to provide you with helpful information in choosing the best possible foods for your little one. We all should be aware of what we are eating and do our best to be well-informed and make wise food choices for ourselves and our family.
Please let me know your thoughts, questions, or comments in the comment section below. I look forward to hearing from you!