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Organic Baby Food – Do Not Buy ANY Brands Until You Read This!
The nasty ingredients in some organic baby foods that food manufacturers don’t want you to know about!
Most organic baby foods are great, made by ethical, sustainable and reputable companies.
Others are large corporations simply aiming to get a piece of the ‘organic pie’, while they can still skirt the regulations and call themselves ‘organic baby food’, some of them are not good for your baby and they are not much better than non-organic. varieties
Read the tips below to help you tell the good brands from the bad!
Is it certified organic?
Many brands put the word “organic” somewhere on their label without any regulation or actually being organic. Only trust brands that say “certified organic” and have a logo somewhere on their label. In the US, the main certifier logo is the USDA, but there are many others. Packaging: What is it made of?
- is it plastic If so, make sure it’s BPA-free.
- NEVER heat anything made of plastic (even if it says microwave safe!) as the heat causes all kinds of dangerous toxins to escape from all plastics and into the food. (Especially in the microwave)
- If you need to heat this item, empty the contents into a glass, ceramic or stainless steel container.
- Is it recyclable? Always try to buy food in packaging that can be recycled, and remember to recycle! every little can counts!
- How many containers are used? Don’t support companies that don’t care about our environment and use multiple levels of packaging. For example, a jar, inside a cardboard box then wrapped in plastic. Instead, choose to support a company that only uses 1 level of packaging.
Filling Ingredients: What other ingredients are in this item?
Baby food should be just one ingredient – the food you are feeding your baby! (And maybe some breast milk to make a smoother consistency for newbies)
However, when you buy pre-packaged and pre-packaged foods (organic or not), some other ingredients are needed, such as preservatives to maintain quality and thickeners/stabilizers to ensure a good consistency.
The percentage of the main ingredient will determine how good that food is and how ethical the company supplying it is.
Don’t buy baby food that doesn’t have the main ingredient at the top of the ingredient list, or that has a lot of other ingredients in addition to the main ingredient.
For example, the ingredients for mashed green beans should read: green beans, water. And maybe some citric acid (lemon juice) or vitamin c.
The conclusion is that the fewer ingredients there are: the better, purer and closer to nature this food will be!
Preservation method – Fresh or frozen?
Frozen food is ALWAYS the best. They contain fewer (if any) preservatives since freezing is the method of preservation. They are also more nutritious as they have been frozen quickly after harvesting or preparation, thus maintaining the goodness.
Food at room temperature in bags or jars is not very fresh or nutritious. Or they have preservatives (organic baby food will have natural preservatives). Or if “preservative-free,” the food has been heat-treated to kill bacteria and seal the jar or bag, which poses some problems;
- The chemicals in the packaging can leach into the food during the heating process.
- Heating food also kills vitamins and minerals and nutrition levels! So your food may be ‘safe’, bacteria free and have a long shelf life, but all the goodness of eating fresh organic baby food is removed! And the nutrition levels keep dropping the longer it’s been sitting on the shelf.
Bottom Line: Buy organic frozen baby food or make your own using the freshest local produce you can find.
Additives like DHA etc
Many baby foods and formulas now contain extra additives, which may seem like they’re good for you, but think twice before believing the marketing hype!
Anything that says “enriched”, “enriched”, “supplemented” or “added nutrition” etc. should be treated with caution, such as DHA or ARA (a synthetic version of Omega 3 fatty acids), iron, vitamin C, or whatever. similar things are needed in a child’s diet, but if you’re breastfeeding (which the AAP recommends until 12 months), your baby should get all of these things from you.
And if you’re feeding your baby a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables, he’ll get much of his iron and vitamin needs from those foods.
If your baby is formula fed, they may be missing out on some essential fatty acids, which is why many brands of baby formula are fortified with DHA and ARA.
However, the jury is still out on the safety of these additives in their synthetic version in food. So, in my opinion, until the jury is out, I’m avoiding them. For more information read this article http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/nutrition/a/dha_ara.htm
The company as a whole
While this may not affect the actual quality of the food, I like to access the company that provides each product to decide if I want to support them with my money. I look at things like…
Are they large or small companies?
I prefer to support smaller businesses as they tend to be more ethical, sustainable and local and it feels good to know I’m supporting a family.
Are they a local or international company?
I prefer to support companies that are from my own country, thus creating jobs for my own community.
What other products do they sell?
Do they only sell certified organic and other healthy products? Or are they a big company that makes non-organic baby food and decided to make an organic version?
I tend not to support these types of companies because in my opinion they probably started making organic baby food for money and market share and not because they really believe in it.
What type of marketing do they use?
Does this company also make sugary or salty “junk” foods and still tell consumers they are healthy?
Breakfast foods are the worst kind of food for this – many, many cereals and breakfast items are marketed as ‘healthy’, but common sense and a quick look at the ingredients for sugar and salt levels will tell you will say the opposite.
I’d rather not support a company that misleads its consumers in this way.
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