As a parent, there are many reasons to be concerned about the food you’re putting into your young baby, or even your toddler! Many foods labeled natural unfortunately still contain traces of toxins and chemicals that could be harmful for your precious bundle. These may be well under the safety thresholds for older children and adults but are not necessarily harmless for a small child or infant. For this reason many parents, and indeed some health practitioners, believe that organic baby foods are far better for infants. They feel these foods are not only more nutritional for them, despite the lack of scientific proof, but also potentially reduce behavioral and health problems.
Some preservatives for example are known to cause problems like poor sleep, temper tantrums, irritability and restlessness. Others can trigger health problems including asthma, rashes, headaches and gastrointestinal upsets. High on the list of causative culprits are some types of food coloring agents as well as common preservatives like sorbates, benzoates, sulphites, propionates and nitrates. Synthetic antioxidants and flavor enhancers are also problematic.
What are your organic options if you choose to go down the organic baby foods path?
The first thing you’ll notice is that organic foods are generally more expensive than non-organic products. Including baby foods. This alone makes many people wonder if the additional cost is worth it so I guess it comes down to the value you put on your child’s continuing good health. However there really are several good reasons why choosing organic baby food is probably a wise move regardless.
Organic Certification – What It Guarantees You
Because organic products must meet stringent production and processing standards, consumers are guaranteed several things.
- No artificial pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers have been used to grow the product.
- No hormones or synthetic chemicals like preservatives and flavor enhancers have been added to the product at any stage of production. So there are none of those problem causing ones listed above.
- No organic product is allowed to display labeling claiming to be 100% organic unless it truly is.
Know Your Organic Labeling
The USA Organic product labeling system has several different types of organic labels that are designed to clearly inform consumers just how much of a product is organic and how much is not. Therefore, by choosing to feed your baby organic baby food you can more effectively monitor exactly what he or she is eating. This is not always possible with non-organic baby foods, which may contain processed sugars and those other unhealthy additives.
Organic Baby Food – Reducing The Risk
Fans of organic will also tell you that organic foods are more nutritious generally than non-organic produce and will therefore improve overall health and wellness. However, these claims are not backed up by cold hard scientific fact! Despite this, many parents feel it’s not worth taking risks with a young baby’s health and development and opt for organic baby foods anyway. After all, as we all know, there have been numerous instances of product recalls of baby foods, clothing and toys due to problems with the recalled product. These issues can range from too much lead in a toy to fire safety concerns with clothing to problems with contaminants in food products.
Organic Baby Foods – Restricted For Choice?
One concern parents may have when it comes to organic baby food is the perception that their choice will be limited. Once upon a time, this may have been the case but these days there is a much wider selection of organic produce available. Organic products are growing in popularity and as demand increases, so too does supply. There are now a lot more organic producers producing a wider range of organic products than there were just several decades ago. This is great news for the consumer, and for parents looking for a good variety of organic foods. Therefore, you’ll invariably find that the range of organic baby foods available is now comparable to non-organic ones.
Types Of Commercial Organic Baby Foods
Jarred organic baby foods include most of the common flavors like apple, banana, pear, sweet potato, carrot, and many more. You can buy organically grown meat and poultry based baby foods too. Organic varieties of baby formulas, rice cereals and various types of snacks like teething rusks are also available. In other words, if there is a non-organic product available, you’ll more than likely find a comparable organic product somewhere too. It may however take a bit more hunting down.
Shopping For Organic Baby Food
Finding outlets for reputable organic baby food could be as easy as walking down the baby products aisle in your local grocery store. Or, if you have a choice of outlets, visit them all, research the brands they stock and compare prices. Also check any local specialist organic outlets to see what they stock in terms of baby foods. The more outlets you can find, the more chances you have of sourcing a wider variety of different types and flavors of baby foods. This not only provides a broader, and therefore healthier, range of nutritional sources for your baby but also increases their exposure to different foods and flavors very early in life. It could well mean the difference between having a fussy eater and having one that eats everything put in front of them!
Alternatively, you can also find organic food and organic baby food outlets online. Just do a standard internet search to find them. Internet search engines have become very sophisticated and most will return local results first. This will allow you to check out producers closest to you, which is important if you’re buying fresh produce online. It’s also easy to run price comparisons and find any current sales or specials. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, and are happy with the quality of what they’re selling, and their prices, simply order then wait for it all to be shipped to you. If you can find a local organic baby food manufacturer that also sells their products online, so much the better!
Homemade Organic Baby Food – Your Baby Will Thank You
You can also make your own organic baby food, which will help to keep your costs down. Many parents prefer to do this anyway, organic or not, as it guarantees they know exactly what is in the food. It’s easy enough to do – a quick Google search online will find many recipes for homemade baby foods. Then it’s just a case of sourcing fresh organic produce to make them. Most grocery stores have a fresh organic produce section these days or you can look around for specialist organic food stores that carry fresh produce. Farmer’s markets are another place you’ll probably find quality fresh organic produce. The advantage with these is that the person doing the selling could well have also grown the produce so you can discuss what you’re buying with them. Or you can order it online if that’s your preference for grocery shopping!
Tip For Buying Fresh Organic Produce Online To Make Your Homemade Organic Baby Food
Organic produce can’t contain artificial preservatives. So if you want to make your own homemade organic baby foods, and you prefer to shop online, you may find yourself having to order several times a week to ensure that you’re getting fresh produce. Alternatively, you can search out online organic food suppliers that also sell frozen versions of their products. Buying certified organic frozen fruits and vegetables for example is a convenient way to reduce the number of times you need to order fresh produce. These should be supplied in organic safe containers and you can store them in your own freezer when they arrive.
It’s All In The Labeling
Regardless of how you buy your organic baby food, it pays to know your labeling. Only buy products that carry certified organic labels and know what each of the various types of labels means when it comes to organic content of the product. That way you’re guaranteed of knowing exactly what you’re buying and feeding your baby.