Natural and Organic Baby Foods
Food manufacturers have increasingly started to offer foods made with natural and organic approaches to reduce your baby’s exposure to pesticides and food additives. This “green” food movement is an ideal fit for parents who are becoming increasingly concerned about natural products for their families. Natural and organic food products include cereals, formulas, dried fruits and blended baby foods.
What Is Natural Baby Food?
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate baby foods labeled “natural.” However, a natural label means you can expect the food does not contain artificial preservatives or sweeteners before packaged. In some instances, a natural label also means the food does not contain artificial ingredients.
What Is Organic Baby Food?
“Organic” foods are produced using special farming methods. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does regulate these foods. Organic baby foods must be grown without pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers and bioengineered genes. Foods that have gone through the USDA process will have a stamp-like circle labeled “USDA Organic.”
Is Organic Food Better for You?
Research studies have not clearly determined if organic foods truly are healthier for adults or babies. The decision typically comes down to personal preference for parents as well as taste considerations. Remember also that organic products are not always healthy options. Read food labels carefully to ensure the foods do not contain excess sugars and calories.
How to Transition Baby to Table Food
Babies typically transition from breast milk or formula to foods such as rice or oatmeal cereals anywhere from 4 to 6 months. These cereals often contain added nutrients for your baby, such as choline, which helps support brain development and eye health.
As your babies continue to grow, they can usually start to enjoy solid foods, such as blended fruits. These are often packaged in squeeze pouches for easy feeding, freshness and convenient cleanup. They are reusable and can be refrigerated after your baby enjoys his or her meal.
While it can be tempting to introduce all these new foods into your baby’s diet at once, the U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends incorporating new foods one at a time. This helps you to identify any potential food allergies your baby could have.
What Are Teething Cookies?
Teething cookies and wafers are a popular and tasty snack for babies approaching their first birthday. The cookies are designed to minimize baby’s urge to bite while also easing painful gums. Baked organic puffs are another popular option that commonly contain veggies and added nutrients for babies to munch on and enjoy.
Teas for Nursing Moms
Moms nursing babies that are experiencing colic and excess gas may benefit from nursing teas. These teas contain herbs that may help enhance milk production while reducing digestive issues for mother and baby. More research is needed to confirm that these herbal teas are effective. Ask your doctor before taking any kind of supplement when you’re nursing.
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