Does Baby Food Have to be Organic?
by Lara Mannell
(USA and Lebanon)
The answer is yes and no. Yes to all fruits and vegetables that are not peelable like berries, carrots, peas, etc. It is best if you buy these certified organic. Xaia’s pediatrician said “buying non organic fruits and vegetables is like dipping the food in Raid and giving them to your baby”. Some of these produce are not available all year around, or are just too hard to prepare, like peas. What I usually do in the case of peas for example, is buy a bag or organic frozen peas, store them in my freezer, and just throw them in the meal on the stove or in the steamer straight from the freezer. I do the same for spinach and green beans only because I don’t want to run to the supermarket every time I want to prepare her a quick meal. In the case of berries, I also buy a bag of frozen organic blueberries, I store it in my freezer, and take some out the night before. By the morning, they are ready to eat with her breakfast. Strawberries and other seasonal fruits, I just wait until they are available, but blueberries are very healthy, so I like to have them around all the time.When it comes to bread, pasta, and rice, I usually try to find whole grain products. They are the best for your baby, they don’t necessarily have to be organic but it’s better if they are whole grain. I have yet to find bread without sugar though!
Juices – Be very careful when it comes to buying juices off the shelves. You have to look for 100% juice that have no added sugars. I usually buy the Lakewood brand because it seems like it’s the only brand that offers 100% juice, not from concentrate, and organic all at the same time! You can find it at Whole Foods. Just make sure when you buy the juice bottle to read the ingredients. It should have only one ingredient, the actual juice that you are buying! It doesn’t need to be mixed with anything else. Xaia’s pediatrician recommends the dark color juices, they are healthier for your baby. Xaia doesn’t really like to drink them by themselves because I think they tend to be bitter, so I mix them with milk.
Xaia is now 10 months old and she has been drinking Cow’s milk for about a month. As long as the milk is “organic whole milk”, it is ok to give it to your baby before a year old. Just make sure to ask your baby’s pediatrician before you do, and watch for any signs of allergies.
By the age of 9 months, Xaia had already tried all kinds of foods (except chocolate and candy of course)! They are all healthy and mostly organic. Thank God she had no signs of allergies, and she enjoys eating so much! I cook her complicated meals that have meat, vegetables, grains, and spices and she loves all of them!
Stay tuned for some recipes…