Well of course I am going to tell you that organic is best for lots and lots of reasons, but first the high note: it actually can work out a lot cheaper as well. All those prepared baby foods are far more expensive pound for pound than organically grown food.
In the next few weeks I am going to introduce you to your toxic world and why it is so important to really make the change when a baby comes along. I am starting first with food because this is usually our first introduction to an organic lifestyle.
We all know that conventional foods use hundreds of different synthetic chemicals–from the field to manufacturing–but did you know that the levels deemed acceptable in foods are based on adult consumption? A bit scary when you think about your children and babies whose small bodies are still growing and are therefore so, so much more vulnerable to all these nasty chemicals. Babies are able to absorb food far more efficiently than adults, increasing their susceptibility to toxins in their food. Organic food production is closely monitored (always look for certification) providing you with healthy, chemical free food and tastier to boot! And if that isn’t enough, you can also feel good about promoting a healthier environment for your child’s future.
Just to explain a little about organic farming methods: organic farmers cannot use genetically modified seed, and only in dire need are they allowed to use a few from the long list of artificial pesticides available (EU regulation). Pesticides are only allowed if they are based on naturally occurring substances such as nicotine, sulphur and copper. Whereas your conventional farmer has a long, long list of potentially very harmful chemicals to spray on their crops and worryingly regulation is often very slack.
Much to the joy of all us organic food lovers, research in the UK showed that the nutrient levels in organically grown foods such as wheat and tomatoes could be up to 40% higher and organic milk soared up to 80% higher.
So back to the good news, making your own organic baby food.
First, do not fear–it is not a daily job, you can easily make several servings at one go. Just cook, mash them up and freeze them in ice cube trays (you can buy ones with lids) and just pop a cube a few hours before the food fun begins.
Second there are some fruit and veggies that fare well even in conventional farming. The EWG in the states compiled a list of the dirty dozen and the cleanest, see www.foodnews.org for their list and other essential news, especially concerning Bispenol-A.
But to start you off, avocados and bananas are two big favorites with babies, and are at the clean end of the list to help you save money.
So what have we got in Israel? Well awhile back I heard about a company called BabyBis, of course run by another green mum. For info see www.babybis.co.il. The big guys are jumping on the wagon as well; Materna offers a rice and granola organic porridge mix.
Lastly, it is good to remember that you are also encouraging healthy eating habits for the future. What better present can you give your child?