As parents we all want the best for our children. Starting your child off on a healthy lifestyle while transitioning your baby to baby food is the best start for a healthier outcome! Typically, babies who are 4 to 6 months is the ideal age to start this transition period. Organic foods are the best due to the fact that they aren’t exposed to chemicals and other things that could potentially contaminate your baby’s food. Organic foods are all free of preservatives, artificial flavors and added coloring. Whether your baby prefers fruit or veggies, we’ve got you covered! We’re sure one of the products on our top ten list below will fulfill your baby’s needs!
Our Top 3 Picks
- Plum Stage 2 Fruit and Veggie
- No Artificial Flavors
- Mama Bear Pouch Apple Banana
- Gluten Free
- Beech-Nut Just Pumpkin Stage 1
The Best Organic Baby Foods Reviewed
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Organic Baby Food
We know that there are various products out there in today’s market of the best organic products. The last thing a parent wants to do is spend any of their limited free time trying to narrow down and figure out which is the best product they could get for their baby. Well, we did the research for you. We tasked our research team by coming up with an important criteria method when coming up with our best ten products and made sure each product met our standards. They did. When coming up with our list we made sure that we paid close attention to two important factors when coming up with our top ten list. We made sure that each product on our list had certification from the USDA and their nutritional value. We want nothing but the best of the best for your children and we hope that this answers some of the questions on whether you’ve decided or are still deciding on going the organic route for your baby. Whatever you decide we’re sure that you will find a product on our top ten list that your baby will love. Please take a look above and check out our FAQ if you have any other questions.
USDA Organic Certification
One important thing that we considered when coming up with our top ten list above is making sure that every item on our list was organic. We know that there are many products out there that can claim that they’re organic but one important factor for those going the organic route that parents need to look for is making sure that each organic item followed the regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP). The main thing about this program is they establish the official rules for how organic baby products have to be created and how they have to be processed. This process also includes not just food, but nonfood products as well.
The reason why this process is crucially important is because this program is for crops and livestock, mainly. The organic board is working towards a complete ban on all synthetic substances. For food growers and producers, it must be approved by a USDA – accredited certifying agent who verifies that their products meet the NOP’s stringent guidelines. That’s why we recommend and can’t stress enough for parents to make sure that when selecting organic baby foods their product has this certification.
Overall Nutritional Value
Organic food is all about good nutrients. Going the organic route parents know that they will be getting good nutrients in their family’s bodies without having to worry about certain in chemicals. With organic food there are numerous vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers. For babies just starting out learning the different tastes and textures of baby foods, parents should start with ones that say: Stage 1. Stage 1 foods provide nutrients like potassium, iron, protein, and calcium. Most of these vitamins can be found in fruits and vegetables.
Parents often choose organic products because they’re looking to give their baby the best nutrients. They don’t want to worry about chemicals, processed food or anything with artificial flavors or colors. Baby foods should be real foods for baby rather then something that’s bland or discolored. Your baby is entering the world of discovery and they want to develop taste and learn about every food that’s out there.
Pouches are pretty much the go-to method for baby foods, and we understand why. They travel well, and most of them give you the option of squeezing food into a bowl or onto a spoon. Most of them are easy to squeeze with small spouts, so most older babies are able to drink right from the pouch. For this list, we only chose companies that use BPA-free pouches, with some going so far as to make even the caps BPA-free. However, our primary concern is that the pouches are BPA-free since it’s unlikely that the foods will come in contact with the caps. Even if the food does get on the caps, parents typically wipe that away before feeding or giving the pouch to their babies.
By the way, BPA-free pouches should be the norm, not the exception of organic baby foods. Companies began coating food containers and even plastic wrap with BPA in order to keep foods fresh for longer periods of time. However, organic foods are so fresh and pure that they are not expected to keep for more than two days, even in the fridge. They are expected to be eaten quickly in order to get the most flavor and nutrients from the food. Hence, the usage of BPA goes against the whole principle of organic products, which is why we do not support its use for organic baby foods.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Shouldn’t infant cereal be a baby’s first solid food?
A: Past generations relied heavily on rice, of infant cereals, as a transition solid for babies. It makes sense since it’s very soft, and can easily be mixed with water, breastmilk or baby formula. However, pediatricians in recent years have come to the conclusion that it’s best to start a baby on whole fruits, vegetables, and meats. As long as they’re finely pureed, without additives or preservatives, these foods offer far more nutritional value than infant cereals.
Proponents of rice cereal point out that many brands are fortified with iron, which babies initially receive from breast milk. As babies move onto solids, they need to get iron from food sources, so infant cereal does seem like a good choice. But there’s no advantage in choosing infant cereal over anything else, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In fact, organic, unadulterated fruits and veggies provide the widest range of vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and development. They’re also far tastier, and foster a preference for fruits and veggies that will stay with babies for the rest of their lives.
Q: Do I have to stick to specific foods at each stage?
A: Some parents are religious about which foods belong in each stage, and there’s no real harm in sticking with those rules. Still, each baby is different in needs, preferences, and development. Some babies are ready for the complexities of Stage 3 foods at 6 months old, while others may need to stick with Stage 1 foods for most of the first year. While there are signs to help you decide your baby’s readiness for certain foods, you should always consult your pediatrician in order to make an informed choice. Input from your child’s doctor is particularly important for babies with pre-existing health conditions such as food allergies.
Q: Are glass jars safer than pouches and canisters?
A: There was a time when sterilized glass jars were safer than plastics, which were typically coated with harmful chemicals, notably bisphenol A, or BPA. However, all the plastic food pouches on our list are BPA-free. Some parents still get nervous when the caps are not BPA-free, but baby food pouches usually have small, sealed spouts. That makes it highly unlikely for any of the food to come in contact with the cap.
It should be stressed that BPA is particularly problematic when containers are heated. That’s why baby foods should be gently heated in warm water while it’s still in the BPA-free pouch. There are gentle, safe ways to microwave, but it should always be done in BPA-free containers. However, we’ve found that it’s very difficult to heat baby food evenly in a microwave, which is why we recommend the warm water method over anything else.
Q: What’s the best way to introduce solid foods to my baby?
A: There’s frankly no one answer to this question, but many parents start with placing tiny, soft pieces of food on the high chair tray. Most babies will reach out and grasp the food with a little prompting. Other parents prefer spoon feeding by starting with just a couple of spoonfuls for the first few feedings, ideally after nursing or bottle-feeding. The food should be finely pureed to a watery consistency, which is exactly what you’ll get with the Stage 1 foods on our list. We recommend using a soft-tipped plastic spoon to avoid injuring your baby’s gums.
The foods on our list work perfectly for this method, especially the food pouches that allow you to squeeze directly onto the spoon. If you’re using baby food in glass jars, put a small amount onto a dish or in a bowl. Dipping the spoon back into the jar after it’s been in your baby’s mouth results in bacteria transference, which will stay in the jar for however long you keep the food. Regardless of the packaging, you should use up opened baby foods within two days, since organic foods go bad much quicker than non-organic foods.
Q: Does it matter which food group I introduce first?
A: The general answer is no, although it’s easiest to start with fruits since they’re naturally sweet. They’re also the easiest to puree down to a fine, liquid consistency. There seems to be a prevailing belief that a single veggie or grain should be introduced first in order to prevent the baby from developing a “sweet tooth.” There has been no conclusive evidence to prove this, so we believe it’s best to leave the decision up to each individual parent.
We recommend introducing a new food every few days so that your baby has time to get used to a specific food. Slow, gradual introductions also help you determine if your baby has any food allergies or digestive issues. Once your child is doing well on a variety of single foods, you can transition into simple combinations, like Happy Baby Organic Simple Combos.
Q: What foods should I absolutely avoid?
A: Parents get so excited about the things they can feed their babies, but it’s just as important to know which foods to avoid. Your pediatrician is the best source of information for your specific baby’s needs, but there are some basic foods that should not be given to babies during the first year. On top of our list is honey, especially the raw, organic variety. We recommend avoiding it in all forms, however, since it has been linked to botulism. You should avoid sweeteners for the first year, anyway, even natural ones like honey.
Some other foods that your baby should not have during the first year are shellfish, egg whites, wheat, and citrus fruits. Other foods like milk and peanut products are much more controversial. Peanut butter, for example, was long believed to be the cause of peanut allergies when introduced during the baby years. However, recent research shows that early introduction of peanut butter may actually lower a child’s risk for a peanut allergy. On the other hand, you may still want to avoid foods that you or other close family members are allergic to since food allergies tend to run in families. Your pediatrician can take all these factors into account, and give you a much more customized, comprehensive answer.
- Introducing solids, Informational Blog Article , ,
- Are infant cereals really the best first food for babies?, Informative Article , ,
- Feeding Baby Pumpkin Baby Food – Pumpkin Baby Food Recipes for Baby, Informative Article, ,
- Gerber's history & heritage, Informative Article , ,
- nutrition-infant-food-introduction faqs, FAQ Article, ,