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Benefits of Organic Baby Food
If we lived in a perfect world, all baby food would be the absolute best for your little one. Let’s talk about why organic baby food jars are better and where you can find them!
Benefits of Organic Baby Food
Navigating the world of parenting is confusing enough without having to worry about what’s in your baby’s food. Unfortunately, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the best food for your little one, and one of these is whether to feed your baby organic foods.
With the recent findings on heavy metals, pesticides, additives, and chemicals found in some big-name grocery store baby foods, it’s important to protect your baby and know what to look for. Organic baby food jars not only avoid these health concerns and protect your little one, but they have an abundance of benefits too ranging from increased nutrition and freshness to being non-GMO.
Understanding what organic food is empowers you to make informed food choices for your little one and make sure they’re eating the best!
What Does it Mean to be Organic?
First things first. What does organic even mean? Let’s break it down.
Organic foods are any foods grown without pesticides, chemicals, genetically modified organisms, radiation, or artificial fertilizers. Organic foods are also planet friendly and actively improve environmental quality of soil and water by avoiding chemicals and pesticides.
Any food that is organic has to be tested and regulated heavily by the USDA and pass a series of meticulous tests. If an organization or company offers organic foods, they must have an organic-certified operating plan and detailed records in addition to frequent inspections to evaluate health standards.
In other words, organic foods have lots and lots of rules to make sure the organic label really means organic.
There are different levels of organic foods, such as 100% organic and 95% organic, but the difference is small and depends on the level of processing done to the produce.
What are the Benefits?
Let’s dig into some of the benefits of organic foods and how they protect your little one!
One of the most known benefits of organic food is that it is pesticide free. Pesticides are used by farmers to protect produce from pests such as insects or animals, mold, and diseases. Some common pesticides found in baby food include carcinogens, neurotoxins, and endocrine disruptors among other harmful chemicals.
These pesticides are sprayed over the foods to coat them and even when they are washed and cooked, pesticide residue often remains on the food.
Why are pesticides so harmful to babies?
While your little one is eating baby food, their body has not fully matured. This means they are less able to process chemicals and preservatives, metabolize them, and excrete them. Their tiny brains and bodies are also quickly developing, and exposure to pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides can cause irreversible damage to this development and serious harm to your child.
Buying organic food allows you to regain control of your babe’s health, protect them from these harmful substances, and keep their brains and bodies healthy.
Processed foods are any foods that have been modified or changed from its natural state. This can include cleaning, cutting, heating, cooking, pasteurizing, blanching, canning, freezing, drying, or mixing. In addition, any food that contains artificial colors, chemical additives, or artificial flavoring is processed.
All produce is generally cleaned, cooked, and chopped, so the USDA has identified four different levels of food processing to differentiate between what’s acceptable and what isn’t.
Unprocessed foods are foods that are very minimally processed. For example, produce that undergo cleaning, chopping, cooking, and refrigerating are examples of minimally processed foods.
What’s the harm?
A lot of the food you find in the grocery store is processed, so what’s the harm? Processed foods are thought to contribute to obesity, chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, and overall bodily harm. The harm increases when it comes to our children because their bodies are small and undeveloped.
Unprocessed foods are also much more likely to retain nutrient content! Many of the processes produced are put through, involve the use of extreme temperatures. For instance, produce may be blasted at high heats or frozen to preserve shelf life and decrease germs. However, these processes often kill nutrients in the process and dull nutritional content.
By choosing organic food for your little one you can avoid processed foods that compromise on nutrition and quality.
The USDA has strict guidelines in place when it comes to additives in organic foods, and for good reason. Food additives interfere with hormones, development, growth, and health and have even been linked to obesity. Many food additives are used to package foods, alter the colors, or modify the taste or appearance.
To avoid additives, buy fresh and organic! These foods must adhere to the USDA’s guidelines on food additives.
Free of Antibiotics and Non-GMO
Another benefit of organic foods is that it is free of antibiotics and GMOs! Studies have found that using antibiotics to feed livestock may cause strains of bacteria that are immune to antibiotics. GMOs are genetically modified organisms, which simply means they are any organism whose DNA has been altered or modified.
What’s that? A two-year expiration date?
As you stroll through the aisles of the grocery store, don’t be shocked if the cans of baby food are older than your baby. This is because non-organic farming uses preservatives to increase the shelf life of baby food. While this may seem like a good idea on the surface, it cuts corners when it comes to nutrition and safety.
Baby food should be fresh from the garden, prepared, and then given to your baby. It shouldn’t be made in a factory months ago, preserved with chemicals and extreme temperatures, and canned for your baby to eat years later.
One of our favorite reasons to choose organic is that it’s planet friendly. While many farms process and grow produce in ways that harm the environment, organic farming does not. For instance, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers have been known to harm animal life and even human life for those who live close to farms.
On the other hand, studies show that organic farming reduces and avoids pollution, saves water, increases soil health and fertility, and uses less energy overall. Just like we want to fuel the next generation with nutrition and health, we want to take care of their planet too.
Richer in Nutrients
When food is grown organic it may have higher nutritional content. A European study conducted in 2016 found that organic meat and dairy products contained up to 50% higher levels of nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, than non-organic produce.
In addition, organic food is not processed. This means that organic foods don’t undergo some of the changes made by food manufacturers that can tamper with and dull the nutritional content.
Making sure your baby’s food is rich in nutrients is essential to their growth and development. We like to think of this way. Your baby’s tummy is like a small tank. It can’t hold a ton of food, but since their bodies are rapidly growing and developing, it’s vital that what their tummies do hold are rich in nutrients. Every bite counts.
By giving your baby organic foods, you can ensure they get all the nutrients they need.
How to Tell if Baby Food is Organic
Navigating labels and claims on baby food can be tricky, so here are some tips to help you
Read the Label
Watch out for labels that read “all-natural”, “100% natural ingredients”, or even “locally grown”. While they may be natural and even grown at local farms, this does not mean the same thing as organic and can be deceiving.
Make sure you see both the organic and locally grown label to be safe!
Natural foods have fewer restrictions and guidelines set in place than organic foods and often compromise on quality and freshness. Natural foods may also contain pesticides, hormones, synthetic fertilizers, and artificial ingredients as there is no overarching third-party ensuring they follow any guidelines.
Read the Ingredient List
If you’re confused by a label or packaging, it’s always a good idea to take a look at the ingredients. If there are ingredients you can’t pronounce, these are likely additives or artificial ingredients. Instead, look for a simple, shorter list of ingredients—ideally a list you can pronounce!
Helpful tip: Finding an organic baby food brand can make it easier to find nutritious baby food and keep your little one safe! Here at Yumi, all our food is organic as well as heavy metal free. Check out our menu here.