It seems like only yesterday when my kids were babies, yet when I look at the baby food aisle of the store, I see how much has changed in 5 short years. I remember searching the aisle for Earth’s best baby food as this was an organic brand I had read about. I could not find it anywhere and now it occupies 3 shelves. Baby food also comes frozen now too: Plum Organics (www.plumorganics.com) can be found at Babies R US and Happy Baby (www.happybabyfood.com) which can be found at Publix.
So as you navigate through the options juggling the coupons, sales and advertisement you might be wondering if it is worth it to buy organic baby food. Well, that is a personal decision as well as a financial one. I did not have much option with my first child although I did do my best to make homemade baby food for him.
Let’s talk a minute about why people choose organic foods. The main reasons are to be more environmentally friendly and to limit use and ingestion of pesticides. In the case of feeding young children it would seem intuitive to provide children organic foods simply for the reduction in pesticides. The problem is that this could prove cost prohibitive to some people and it is important to introduce infants to fruits and vegetables organic or not. So do you HAVE to give your infant organic fruits and vegetables? No, but you can still limit pesticide exposure even if working off a budget.
Information about baby food from baby food makers:
I called a few baby food companies. It is important to consider the source of the information here of course. Gerber said that they do not use pesticides on any of the crops they use for baby food. Beechnut said they discontinued their organic line but use a very strict pesticide policy for all of the farms they contract with. So even though I got this information from baby food companies I still find it reassuring from a pesticide standpoint.
There is a list of produce called the “dirty dozen” which names produce traditionally found to retain more pesticide residue compared to other fruits and vegetables. If some organic foods (for you or your infant) do fit in the budget it may be worthy purchasing the items from the dirty dozen list in the organic form (apples, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, bell peppers, carrots, celery, green beans, potatoes, spinach).
Other cost saving ideas:
• Make your own baby food (www.wholesomebabyfood.com)
• Log onto baby food manufacturer web sites and sign up for coupons and promotions.