Ensuring Safe Food for our Babies
One of the pleasures and challenges of having a baby in your life is figuring out how to provide healthy foods. The transition to solid foods is exciting but can also be a source of anxiety, especially for new parents. The face your baby makes after that first mouthful of a new food is often adorable. But parents must be prepared for messy mealtimes, figuring out an eating schedule that works for their lifestyle, favorite foods that suddenly become unacceptable and a variety of other challenges.
Recent studies from the United Nations report findings of heavy metals and other dangerous ingredients like arsenic, mercury and lead in baby food which complicates the process of feeding even further. The revelation that baby food companies have been knowingly producing unsafe food for our babies is shocking to say the least! There are currently no federal standards for heavy metals for baby food in the U.S. Ingredients like rice, sweet potatoes and carrots tend to absorb metals from the soil and water around them, so it is important to limit these. We know how busy parents are, so we've put together some findings on safe foods you can buy and also some ideas about making your own baby food.
We at RISE OT appreciate all you do to nurture your babies and we hope the following information will be helpful to you in making informed choices about what to feed your precious ones!
A few good baby food brands:
Once Upon a Farm, located in the refrigerator case at Whole Foods
Serenity Kids baby food and grain free puffs
Some Lucky's Market Brands
Even though these companies strive for quality, is still important to read labels. Remember to check for sugar content. We recommend 6 grams or less per serving. Avoid rice products, sweet potato and carrots sparingly even if they are organic. Pumpkin and butternut squash can be good substitute for carrots and sweet potatoes.
Research these for which might meet your baby’s needs:
Teething Snacks: NONE were found to be safe! We suggest using chewy tubes, which are latex, lead, and PVC free teethers. They are a T shape and we recommend adult supervision for young children to ensure safety. We recommend using the yellow one to start with.
Food Brands to Avoid:
Parents Choice (Walmart)
Sprout Organic Foods
Plum Organics (Campbell’s Soup Company)
Nurture Happy Baby
Hain Earth Best Organics
Evaluating Baby Food
Sugar 6 grams or less per serving
100% organic ingredients
Avoid rice products
Feed root vegetables sparingly
Go for non-fruit pouches, make sure the first ingredient is a vegetable!
Making your own baby food
Consider making your own baby food. This may seem daunting but if you dedicate a couple of hours you can freeze enough baby food in ice trays for a month!
You control the ingredients
Nutrients are preserved due to less processing
More variety, for example you could use ingredients not common like melon or meats. This means you will have a less picky baby
Your baby can eat the same food your family is eating
Lower in sugar: Many companies add juice and cook down the fruits so that they contain much more sugar per serving than fresh fruit
*When making your own baby food, It is very important to buy 100% organic and wash your ingredients with a fruit and vegetable wash!
Here is a blog we found which includes step by step instructions for making your own baby food: https://urbanmomtales.com/one-hour-one-months-worth-homemade-baby-food-40-recipes/
Disclaimer: we recommend substituting or omitting rice cereal, carrots and sweet potatoes with pumpkin or butternut squash.
Keeping your baby food safe:
Make sure to look at expiration dates on the ingredients you're buying
Discard extra food that has come in contact with the feeding spoon
Label food as you freeze it, use within three months
Refrigerate open pouches when you are traveling