Feeding an infant is, for the most part, easy and decision free at first. You either breast-feed or formula-feed and, other than formula or breastmilk digestion issues, the baby generally sticks with that decision. Eventually, despite our protests to stay little forever, babies turn into infants and need food of a little more substance. I must insist that you consult with your child’s doctor regarding the best time to introduce solids as well as which foods are best for him or her. However, for those of us who chose the organic route, there are now seemingly endless options for us, and this article will explore those options.
Nearly every baby food company on the market now offers an ‘organic’ variety of food. Whether or not said food is actually organic is up for debate and solid answers never seem to be provided. To be on the safe side, purchase baby food that lists only a food ingredient and water in the ingredients list. Ella’s Kitchen is a great example of a truly organic baby food that is readily available at most grocery stores. One downside to these products is that their packaging isn’t completely recyclable but, according to their website, that is an issue they hope to resolve within the next year. The problem seems to be that recycled packaging brings about a need for nasty preservatives, which would go against their mission for a completely organic food. They do state:
‘Technically, under US law, our packaging is approved as recyclable because when incinerated it produces more energy than is used in production and transportation. But US government agencies define and deal with recycling in different ways so we didn’t feel we could indicate on pack that the product was recyclable.’
It’s always reassuring to know that they had the option to market as recyclable and chose not to deceive their customers. This helps most consumers trust the brand a little more, which has been an issue for the baby food market in recent years.
If trusting mainstream baby food companies is an issue, there is always the option to make babyfood in your own kitchen. The process is quite simple, and never as expensive as it can seem to be. While products like The Baby Bullet are useful, they can often be pricey. A more frugal parent could easily get away with using a basic chopper and a food storage product such as the Green Sprouts Silicone Freezer Baby Food Tray. Products like these make it cheap and easy to blend and freeze the products into serving sized portions, which can then be stored in labeled freezer bags. As long as the product is blended smoothly and safely stored, it doesn’t matter what you use.
When deciding which foods to feed your baby, remember to only introduce new foods onenat a time, for a period of 3-4 days. This assists in determining food allergies or intolerances should there be a reaction of any kind. Once your baby has tried a food for 3-4 days without incident, you can add it your babyfood rotation and move on to the next one. Wholesome Baby Food is a great, informative resource for baby food recipes, age-and-stage baby food lists, and nutirents information. Once you’ve picked out recipes you want to try, purchase organic fruits and vegetables to create those recipes from. Your local farmers market is generally the best bet for finding a variety of cost-friendly, organic foods. It is not always necessary to purchase in bulk when beginning your adventure into babyfood, as you may purchase a bundle of something only to discover that your baby’s digestive system isn’t mature enough to tolerate that food quite yet. Many foods, like a small pie pumpkin or an eggplant, create enough babyfood to fill one or two complete trays of baby food, so keep your freezer space in mind when shopping for baby food ingredients. Also great to have on hand, once your infant is eating baby food regularly, are common spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon.
Don’t allow babyfood to become an overwhelming task! Setting aside time once a week to create a week’s worth of food can make it easier for those with busy schedules, as it prevents the need to make a bulk amount at once while also keeping you from blending and chopping baby food on a daily basis. All-in-all, have fun experimenting with your baby and foods – introducing your infant to the world of tastes and nutrition can be a fun, loving, and often entertaining bonding experience.