Babies don’t know this, but if they did they would request that mom or dad buy organic to encourage healthy development.
Babies, even more than adults, need to avoid exposure to pesticides and other toxins and chemicals. Baby food often concentrates fruits and vegetables, increasing the concentration of pesticide residues used in non-organic farming, according to Consumer Reports. Pesticides can be toxic to the brain, an especially important consideration for developing babies and children.
Adults can easily turn their own produce into homemade organic baby food by puréeing it in a food processor or blender. It is very easy to whip up in a matter of minutes, and ensures that fresh, seasonal produce is used. Purchase from local farmers' markets (search Local Harvest) to support small farmers and help to reduce carbon emissions produced through long distance travel.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, picked at the peak of season, contain important nutrients like beta carotene, vitamins, and protein. Pre-packaged organic baby foods and produce are great alternatives to fresh food, but as with all packaged food, some things are lost during processing and packaging.
Here are some things to note:
-- When buying frozen baby food or fruits and vegetables, look for brands that freeze produce picked at the peak of ripeness.
-- Be aware that freezing, thawing, and heating frozen produce can diminish the amount of nutrients like Vitamins C and B1 by as much as 25%.
-- Canned produce and baby foods preserve fruits and vegetables for a long period of time, but some nutrients are lost when heat is used to seal the cans. Also, produce in cans or jars may be swimming in sugary syrup, which is not nutritious for babies (or adults).
For mommies and daddies on the go, try these organic baby foods that are found in most supermarkets:
- Earth’s Best Baby Food offers organic food for babies and toddlers
- Plum Organics, started by a mom, uses organic ingredients and cooks them at low temperatures to retain nutrients
- Homemade Baby uses organic ingredients and donates 10% of their food to charities to feed hungry babies
- Gerber Organics is a well-known brand and can easily be found in major supermarkets and drug stores
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