Grown-ups have Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s that make it simple to find nutritious organic foods, but finding organic baby food isn’t always so easy. Sometimes the hardest part about finding organic baby food is simply knowing where to start! We’re here to help with that part. Once you get started, you will realize it isn’t all that complicated. You will find some brands you trust and feeding your baby will be a new fun adventure for you both! We put together a guide that truly covers the basics and hopefully answers all your questions.
P.S. This guide includes tips for making your food or buying it! Fed is best.
How Will You Be Feeding Your Baby?
Keepin’ It Traditional
If you are planning on keeping it traditional, this means you will be spoon feeding your little one. You will start out with purees and mashes. You can either make these or buy them, we’ll go over both options below!
I know that sometimes trying the new trendy thing is tempting, so I just have to pop in and say that you really just need to do what’s best for you and your baby. I had to spoon-feed my last babe because of palate issues. She also just ate way better when I spoon-fed her, so that’s what we did!
Getting Down and Dirty with Baby-Led Weaning
Baby-led weaning is so very messy, but also so very fun. It has recently become very popular and something many new mamas are trying out. With baby-led weaning, you skip the purees & mashes and go straight to solid foods. It gives your baby full control and also teaches them to chew (gum on!) before swallowing. When it comes to finding the best organic baby food in this case, you can simply just go to the organic section of your grocery store.
Keep in mind, you don’t want to introduce food through baby-led weaning until they are about 6 months old. This is according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. I would also recommend reading a book like “Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide” to help you prepare safely. If you don’t feel like reading the book, just be sure to research what foods to start with, how to watch for allergies, and how to know the difference between gagging and choking.
Why Buy Organic?
USDA certified organic food is produced only through approved methods and is verified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent before being labeled as such. Organic food contains no genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and the use of most synthetic pesticides and fertilizers is prohibited. Part of organic food certification is that it is produced in an environmentally friendly way, as well.
Of course, you want to limit your baby’s exposure to things like pesticides and that is why so many parents choose to feed their baby organic foods. Feeding your baby organic is just a good way to start them out on the right foot.
Making Your Own Organic Baby Food
Step 1- Buying Organic Foods
Making your own baby food isn’t too tricky if you just keep things simple. You will start your organic baby food journey at the grocery store by picking out the best organic produce and meat. Almost every grocery store will have an organic selection of some sort, and you will see the USDA Organic Certified sticker on the product somewhere.
Mashing, Pureeing, & Slicing
If you will be making fruit and veggie purees a simple blender will get the job done. To be honest, at the very beginning, all you need is a fork. You can easily mash up foods like avocados or bananas this way. However, you can also invest in a baby food maker if you’re feeling fancy! I do recommend making organic baby food in batches so that you don’t feel like you’re always stuck in the kitchen. You can freeze extra servings in an ice tray or in little containers, like these! Then you just have to thaw them out overnight or put them through a defrost cycle in the microwave.
Produce, grains, meat, and organic baby cereal will all require different steps to be turned into pureed baby food. Some will involve dicing and taking the core out and cooking, others can be thrown straight into the blender. There are tons of baby cookbooks out there that go over how to make baby food step by step. One of my favorites is “The Big Book of Organic Baby Food” which has everything from beginner fruit purees to finger foods and full meals for babies and toddlers.
Slicing & Chopping
For baby-led weaning, you simply need to wash the produce and then cut it into grabbable strips for your little one. The stick shape makes it is easy for the baby to grab and put it in the side of their mouths where they can gnaw and munch. Some foods, especially in the beginning, won’t even need to be cooked. When you do get to the cooked veggies like zucchini and sweet potatoes, remember no seasoning is necessary. Just saute them in a pan, let then fully cool, and then serve them to your baby!
Here is a great video to watch if you’re more of a visual learner (skip to 4:20 if you’re impatient like me and just want to see the chopping and serving!). Check it out.
5 Best Organic Baby Food Brands
Scouring each package of food and ensuring that all of the ingredients are organic is tough, and with a baby on your hip, it becomes nearly impossible. That is why it is important to go into the grocery store knowing which brands can be trusted. We’ve listed 5 of the best organic baby food brands below to get you started. They all offer food for different stages and have tons of options.
I do recommend buying your baby food in bulk once you know what works for you and your little one. That being said, buy single packages first and try them out. Make sure they work for you guys before stocking up. You don’t want meal time to be a fight. Instead, find healthy foods your baby loves and start building a healthy lifelong relationship with food for them!
You can find Beech-Nut Organic baby food in most grocery stores and it comes in glass jars or pouches. They keep the ingredients simple and real, which we love. You will find all the beginner’s single foods like apple, sweet potato, and carrots. As your baby grows, you will find jar and pouch mixes. The pouches are a lifesaver on busy days and you get to skip the mom-guilt since you’re still giving your little one organic real food!
The glass jars are infinitely-recyclable, so this choice keeps things environmentally friendly!
This brand offers beginner food jars, pouches, and finger food snacks. Of course, they are all organic! Their food is USDA certified organic and is always non-GMO. The companies mission is to put babies before business, just as it should be.
My favorite thing about this brand is all of the healthy snack options for when your baby is a little older. Whatever beginning food path you take, keep this in mind for the toddler years!
Plum Organics is another great organic baby food brand that offers food for every stage, and they offer plenty of unique foods for your little one to try. All ingredients are non-GMO and they don’t add any salt or sweetener.
Most of the food they sell comes in a pouch, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it comes to Plum Organics. The pouches are non-BPA and have recyclable lids. This makes them more environmentally friendly than some glass jars! Plus, you can put the lids back on the pouches and save some for later if your baby only eats a small portion.
Earth’s Best is an awesome brand that makes everything from baby food to formula to oral care for little ones and even diapers and wipes. Their baby food is USDA certified organic and non-GMO. You can get their food in either a glass jar or a pouch.
Earth’s Best offers turkey and chicken purees for Stage 1 in jars, which is a rare find but might be something you’re interested in trying out!
This classic, well-known brand (that you probably ate as a baby!) is still a great choice to feed babies of today. This is especially true if you buy from their organic line which has baby food, pouches, juices, and snacks.
I also recommend checking out their Freshly Picked Homestyle Purees. They are thicker, similar to if you made baby food at home. It’s great for your baby to get used to new textures like this!
I hope this list has helped you feel at ease with your baby’s next big milestone, eating solid foods! Whatever route you take, organic truly is best for both your little one and the planet. Whether you are making baby food, buying baby food, or doing a combination of both you can feel good about choosing organic.
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