Congratulations! Your baby is ready to try solid foods for the first time. Whether you decide on making homemade baby food or buy ready-to-eat baby food at the store, you only want what is best for your baby. Scientists agree that what you feed the baby in the first 3 years of his life determines his eating preference and habits for the next 10 years. Therefore, it is important to give your baby healthy and nutritious food. Another question that surfaces is whether or not to buy organic food. Is it really the best choice for your baby’s first solid food?
What is organic food?
Food labeled as organic must meet strict standards. For fruits and vegetables, being labeled as organic means that they have not been sprayed with chemical pesticides. Organic meat means the animals have not been given any antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food generally means pesticide-free, drug-free, and contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
What is conventional food?
This food followed conventional farming and ranching methods. Chemical pesticides are used for plants. Some animals may have been given growth hormones and antibiotics in case of sickness.
Is organic food best for babies?
According to scientific research, organic food does not necessarily mean it is better than conventional food. For babies who are ready to try solid foods (meaning 6 months old), it is best to use organic meat for starters. Keep in mind though that organic food may still contain tiny amounts of pesticide. Organic meat may still be exposed to antibiotics especially if the animal becomes ill.
The best thing to do is to make sure fruits, vegetables, and meat are washed properly. Baby food should be cooked and prepared in a clean environment. If you are buying store-bought baby food, check the labels for ingredients and expiration date.
If you plan to make baby food yourself, always keep in mind that proper hygiene is key. You can use fruit and vegetable wash to remove any pesticides before cooking. You can also opt to buy organic ready-to-eat baby food. Always check the labels. Make sure you know what goes into your baby’s tummy.
Watch out for foods that are common causes of allergies in babies. A general rule to follow is to feed your baby the same food for 3 days straight to see if there is an allergic reaction. Keep your pediatrician’s number close in case of emergency allergy attacks.