Baby food doesn’t have to come in jars. It grows on trees and in gardens!
Writing Grow A Green Baby prompted me to think about all of the little choices and dilemmas new parents are faced with daily. One that seems to transcend most of the others is how important it is to provide babies with healthy eating habits right from the start.
Conventional prepackaged baby food can be loaded with additives and preservatives. Some even contain refined sugars and chemically modified starches. Not to mention the condensed fruits and vegetables with potential pesticide residues.
Homemade organic baby food is simply fruits, vegetables and grains that are strained, pureed, or mashed. Making your own baby food makes perfect sense, because little babies have rapidly developing bodies that are especially vulnerable to toxins.
Why make your own organic baby food?
1. Pound for pound, a baby consumes more pesticides, nitrates, food additives and chemicals from the foods they ingest.
2. Studies show that organic foods have higher nutritional levels than conventionally grown foods.
3. Organic foods are not genetically modified.
4. Baby food that isn’t over-cooked and processed has a higher nutrient quotient.
5. You can make food that pleases your baby’s taste.
6. Babies learn what fresh food tastes like, and it is usually preferred.
7. Making your own baby food saves money.
Do organic foods have a higher nutritional value?
Organic food is safer, more nutritious and it tastes better. Here is a study that substantiates that. Wholesomebabyfood.com claims that some organic products may have 60 to 80 percent more nutrients and higher levels of vitamin E than their conventional counterparts. Organic wheat, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, onions and lettuce have between 20 to 40 percent more nutrients.
Isn’t it a waste of time to make your own if you can buy organic baby food?
Using fresh and clean organic fruits and vegetables and whole grains develops healthy eating habits and the nutritional value of homemade organic baby food per ounce is higher than jarred foods.
Next: Best and worst fruits and vegetables to use for baby food
Which fruits and vegetables are the safest to use in homemade baby food?
Below is a Produce Pesticide Report Card from the Environmental Working Group. If you have an iPhone, you can sign up to download the handy iPhone app that will tell you which produce to buy organic, and which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables are okay if organic isn’t available.
How to make your own baby food:
1. Start with fruits or veggies that soften when steamed. Pears, sweet potatoes, squash and apples are great starters.
2. Boil water.
3. Wash, peel and dice fruit or vegetable.
4. Add fruit or vegetable.
5. Poke with a fork, and when it pierces into the food easily, it is ready.
6. Remove from stove top.
7. Pour out most of the water, but you can save some for pureeing.
8. Puree using a hand food mill, food processor or a blender.
For more information on making your own baby food, watch this video: