Organic Baby Food

41The nasty components of some Organic Baby Foods that food manufacturer’s don’t want you to know!

Most Organic Baby Foods are fantastic, made by ethical, sustainable & considerate companies.

Others are large corporations simply aiming to get a piece of the “Organic pie” – although they may still scrape under the regulations and call themselves “Organic baby food” some of them are no good for your baby and not much better than the non organic varieties.

Read through the below tips 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 being truly organic. Only trust brands which have a say “certified organic” & have a logo somewhere on their label. In the USA 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 is BPA Free.
  • NEVER heat anything made from plastic (even if it says microwave safe!) as heat causes all sorts of dangerous toxins to leach out of 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? Try always to buy food in packaging that can be recycled – and remember to recycle it! every little jar counts!
  • How much packaging is used? Don’t support companies that don’t care about our environment and who use multiple levels of packaging. For example, a jar, inside a cardboard box then wrapped in plastic. Instead choose to support a company who uses only 1 level of packaging.

Filler ingredients – what other ingredients are in this item?

Baby food really should be only 1 ingredient – the food you are feeding your baby! (And maybe a little breast milk to make a runnier consistency for newbies)

However, when you buy any premade, 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 this food is and how ethical the company supplying it is.

Do not buy any baby foods that do not have the main ingredient at the first thing in the ingredient list, or that have lots of other ingredients as well as the main one.

For example, green bean puree ingredients should read: green beans, water. And maybe a little citric acid (lemon juice) or vitamin c.

The bottom line is the less ingredients – the better, more pure and closer to nature this food will be!

Preservation method – Fresh or frozen?

Frozen foods are ALWAYS best. They contain fewer (if any) preservatives as the freezing is the preservation method. They are also more nutritious as they have been frozen quickly after harvest or preparation, thus locking in the goodness.

Room temperature foods in pouches or jars are not very fresh or nutritious. They either have preservatives in them (organic baby foods will have natural preservatives). Or if there are “no preservatives”, the food has been heat treated to kill bacteria and seal the jar or pouch which raises a few issues;

  • The chemicals in the packaging can leach into the food during the heating process.
  • Heating foods also kills vitamins and minerals and nutrition levels! So your food may be “safe”, has no bacteria and has a long shelf life – but all the goodness of eating fresh, organic baby food is killed! And nutrition levels keep dropping the longer it has been sitting on the shelf.

The bottom line – buy frozen organic baby food or make your own from the freshest local produce you can find.

Additives like DHA etc

Many baby foods and formulas now contain extra additives – which may sound like they are good for you – but think twice before believing the marketing hype!

Anything which says “fortified”, “enriched”, “supplemented” or “added nutrition” etc should be treated with caution, things such as DHA or ARA (a synthetic version of Omega 3 fatty acid), Iron, Vitamin C, or anything similar are needed in a diet of a child, but if you are breastfeeding (which the AAP recommends until the age of 12 months) then your baby should be getting all of these things from you.

And if you are feeding your baby a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables, they will be getting much of their 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 baby formula brands are fortified with DHA & ARA.

The company as a whole

While this may not affect the actual quality of the food, I like to access the company who provides each product to decide whether I want to support them with my money. I look at things like –

Are they are large or small company?

I prefer to support smaller companies as they tend to be more ethical, sustainable and local and I feel good knowing I am supporting a family.

Are they a local or international company?

I prefer to support companies who are from my own country – thus creating jobs for my own community.

What other products do they sell?

Do they sell only certified organic and other healthy products? Or are they a big company who makes non organic baby food and has decided to make an organic version of it?

I tend not to support this kind of company because in my opinion they probably started making organic baby food for the money and market share and not because they truly believe in it.
What kind of marketing do they use?

Does this company make sugary or salty “junk” foods as well and still tell the consumers they are healthy?

Breakfast foods are the worst kind of foods for this – many, many cereals and breakfast items are marketed as “healthy” but common sense and a quick look at the ingredients for sugar & salt levels will tell you otherwise.

I prefer not to support a company who misleads their consumers in this way.

Amy Garrow is an Organic Food Researcher, Alternative Health Nut & Mom. She is also author of a new ebook “Organic Baby Food: The Buyer’s Guide”. Her passions include, health foods and alternative cosmetics, great food, friends & most importantly – family.

Essential Sources of Nutrition

124Milk is the best source of calcium and many other essential minerals and vitamins like Vitamin D, Vitamin A and Vitamin B12 along with folic acid. It is considered a wholesome diet that is beneficial for the growth of healthy bones and teeth in children. It also proves to be fruitful to adults as it prevents breakage of bones and other injuries. There are a number of milk products that can be consumed to maintain a healthy life style.

Variety of Milk Products

Today milk is also used to manufacture a variety of other products like cosmetics, baby products and so forth. Some of the most commonly used milk products include:

  • Dairy products: These include products made from the milk of cow, goat and buffaloes. An array of dairy products is available in the market today. Ranging from ordinary milk to pasteurized and homogenised milk, the list is endless which also includes ice-creams, cottage cheese, butter, plain cheese, curd, yogurt, whipped cream, custards and sour cream. A variety of cheeses is also made from cow’s milk such as Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, Parmesan and so forth. There are many kinds of milk like flavoured, Vitaminized, Homogenised, and Acidophilus milk.
  • Baby products: A wide variety of baby products contain milk as it helps to keep the skin soft and moisturized. Baby soap, creams and lotions include milk products enriched in vitamin D. Baby formulas also contain milk as it is essential for the growth and development of babies. In addition to cow’s milk, goat milk is also used in baby formulas as it is a rich source of calcium.
  • Cosmetics: Most of the beauty products contain milk products essential for beautifying the skin. Several skin creams, soaps and shampoos contain milk to enrich the skin and hair. Both goat and camel milk contain substances which are beneficial for the skin.
  • Sweets and other items: Milk products are also used to make sweets especially Indian sweets. There are quite a variety of sweets which are made purely from milk. Cakes, chocolates and baked products also contain dairy products in sufficient quantities.

Other Milk Products Found Online

In addition to the above products, a variety of other dairy products can be bought online from milk product manufacturers which include:

  • Evaporated Milk: This is one of the most common forms of milk that is used in many homes when fresh milk is unavailable. It is available in both skimmed and whole fat milk. Skimmed milk is healthier as it contains lesser amount of fat and is a rich source of Vitamin D and A. It is used for cooking dishes like sweets with low fat content.
  • Condensed Milk: Rich in calories, the sugared condensed milk is one of the best canned products available that is used for puddings, ice-creams and other sweet dishes.
  • Dried Milk powder: This is another dairy product which is absolutely fat free but contains calcium and other vitamins.

There is a plethora of milk products which can be purchased in bulks or in retail form from the online web portals at different prices.

Choosing the Best Organic Baby Formula

Baby holding a baby bottle with breast milk for breastfeeding. Mothers breast milk is the most healthy food for newborn baby.

After going through the thrill of bringing your baby into the world, there is much to consider with regard to keeping her happy and healthy. From nutrition to comfort to sleep, there are many things your baby will need around the clock. Most parents find the first few weeks of baby’s life to be filled with sleepless nights and thrilling experiences. This emotional rollercoaster is worth it when you consider the beautiful and healthy child you get to care for.

For most babies, breastfeeding is the first choice for nutrition. Some babies, however, have trouble breastfeeding, or require additional supplements to achieve optimum health. Whether baby won’t latch on or your physician recommends supplementing with formula, it’s important to choose the right formula for your baby. Organic baby formula is the top choice for feeding baby, after breastfeeding. Once the decision has been made to supplement with formula, it’s time to figure out if you should go with dairy or soy. This is an important thing to consider, because many babies have milk allergies.

When it comes to dairy organic baby formula, there are many advantages and disadvantages. If your baby is lactose intolerant, dairy formula is out of the question. The problem is, the only way to find out if your baby has a milk allergy is by giving it to her and waiting for any adverse reaction. Other than that, dairy is better for baby than soy. Soy formula lacks the calcium babies need to be healthy. Cow’s milk is the closest thing to breast milk and is therefore much better for baby than soy. Whatever organic baby formula you choose, consulting with your physician for advice is always a good idea. From soy to dairy, choosing the formula that is best for your baby is important to her overall health.

How to Increase Your Baby’s Height?

45Do you want to know how to increase your baby’s height? Most parents feel proud when their baby grows taller than the average babies. Having a smooth and perfect rise in the baby’s growth chart is considered as a milestone for parents. There is always a reason to celebrate when the baby’s length continues to rise as days goes by.

However, it is important to note that babies grow according to their predisposed height which is determined by their genetics. While there are also some babies and toddlers who experience delayed growth due to some medical issues.

Keep in mind that there is no any artificial way to make your baby grow taller. Never give any artificial supplements or stimulants to increase your baby’s growth unless it is directly supervised by your doctor. Be sure to consult the pediatrician, if you have any question about your baby’s growth.

The growth rate of babies varies and it may also be influenced by some environmental factors. Thus, there are steps that you can do to help your baby’s height increase in a healthy and normal pace. One of the important factors to help improve your baby’s growth rate is to provide them with the right amount of calories and nutrients which they need for their growing up years.

Provide them with a healthy diet consisting of lean meat, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and milk. Studies on height gap shows that babies given with the right amount of vitamins and minerals grows taller and slimmer compared with baby’s who are not getting the proper nutrients.

Moreover, you also need to establish a regular nap schedule. Children ages 5 and below needs longer hours of sleep. Babies and Toddlers who fails to get the right amount of sleep may fail to grow taller as compared with their peers.

It is also important for your child to get enough physical activities. Studies shows that overweight children tend to become less active than other children and may also experience slower growth rate. Thus, it is important to schedule an hour of exercise every day.

As a parent, it is very important that you ensure that your baby is getting the right amount of nutrients they need for their growing years. You need to establish a healthy family meal time. You also need to monitor your baby’s eating habits and exercise schedule.

You need to show and talk to them about the importance of growing up with a healthy habit by being a role model for them. Being a good example, is the key to effectively influence your children.

Beware of Baby Foods

Young mother feeding adorable baby

Nutrition taking precedence over taste or vice-versa depends upon the taste buds of the individual and also the perception for health a person possesses. There have been a slew of campaigns on health, diet, and calories et al by which governments and non-profit organizations are constantly driving awareness in people. There are legislations aplenty like printing the calorific values of eatables- especially fast foods and junk food on the wrappers so consumers understand the nature of nutrition they consume. Despite many such regulations, bad diets continue to mar the food markets with gay abandon.

A recent study reveals that some baby foods are abound in sugar and fat than cheeseburgers and chocolate biscuits on the pretext of being healthy. Poor nutrition which otherwise would take a toll on a baby’s health seems to be the prevailing fact if another survey is to be reckoned with. The survey results on 100 baby foods exposed the absolute lack of nutrition and rather than being benign, they were found to be high in sugar and saturated fats. According to children’s food campaign joint coordinator Christine Haigh “… some are worse than junk food”.

Food manufacturers have a different yardstick to justify their stand in that they claim the studies and surveys are based only on a meager 100 gram basis, whereas ‘in total’ the foods had a relatively modest amount of sugar and fat.

Look into the other fact. Doctors in India feel that junk food is the cause of asthma in children- the truth, which couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment – on the ‘World Asthma Day’ observed every year on May 5. Childhood Asthma is on the rise in India, which Doctors attribute the probability of occurrence due to junk foods. The reasoning is that for normal development of the lungs, essential vitamins and minerals are necessary, which children do not get from junk food. The needle of suspicion point towards junk foods apart from reasons like genetics and environment, though doctors acknowledge that research is yet to be carried out in that direction.

If this is one side of the coin, a baby has been reported to consume nearly 3000 calories a day. Believe it or not! The consumption is staggering, which is 500 calories more than recommended for grown-up men. However, the prematurely born baby Agatha Holloway is fed with nutrition equivalent to 20,000 calories, as she was underweight as a sixteen month old and weighed only 17 pounds. Her diet consists of porridge with clotted cream for breakfast and toast with chocolate spread followed by mid morning snacks such as avocado and hummus. Fatty puddings, meat, roasts and foods drowned in olive oil, butter and cream are other generous doses of food that the baby has to eat for her health maintenance.

The general adherence to basics of abstinence from monounsaturated foods, fatty items and foods of high calorific values outweighs uncommon examples as above. Only the rarest of rare cases qualify for heavy inputs of fatty diets with caution and expert advice. And the need to think twice before going in for baby foods at random is another desideratum that would certainly reduce the problems of tiny toddlers to a greater extent.

Venkat Ramamurthy is a Freelance Writer from India and writes on different topics. He has a Diploma in ‘Freelance Journalism’ from ‘The Writers Bureau College of Journalism, Manchester, U.K. The college has awarded him the coveted ‘Red Seal Diploma’ for successful published Freelance Writer. He has several published works to his credit. His maiden work ‘One Indian’s View of Diet: How Food Habits Can Make or Break a Person’ was published in ‘The Positive Health’ published from Portsmouth U.K. His travel articles ‘Legacy of City of Pearls’, ‘The Seat of Nawabi Culture’ and articles on social malice ‘Far from Maddening Crowd’, ‘Operation Crush’ were aired in the web portal hyderabadnews.