No Maybe for baby: How organic baby foods support babies and parents
Posted by Jane De Graaff on May 17, 2011.
Food Guru takes a look at how organic baby food can set your baby on the right path for a healthy future.
“Babies are pure, I can not understand why you would want anything but natural for your baby.” Says Charlotte Rebbeck, founder and Managing Director of Green Monkey Organic Baby Food.
“We spend thousands on natural clothing, bedding and prams etc, but healthy baby foods set them up for life.”
It’s a good point.
According to Rebbeck, babies absorb more of what they eat than adults.
“That’s why its so important to feed babies the best you can offer for the first three years of life. They are at such a fast rate of growth that we believe it’s the most important time to invest in a healthy and nutritious start.” She says, pointing out that despite their best efforts, most parents today find that time constraints mean adding ready-made baby food the repertoire.
“I Started Green Monkey as I wanted an honest baby food with no hidden surprises.” Says, pointing out that she herself is a mother.
“I wanted to take the guessing out of buying baby food when time restraints meant you couldn’t grow and make it yourself.”
And there were similar motivations for the team behind Bellamy’s organic baby foods when a mother of four started the company over twenty years ago. With plenty of evidence showing that there is an ‘increased risk to the development phases of infancy and early childhood if infants are exposed to pesticides and other toxins in their food,’ the company set out to create a range of products that were 100% safe for their own children, supporting the best possible start in life.
Today the company is still operated by Tasmanian mums, inspired by the needs of their own children. “It's important to start your baby off on healthy, mindful eating patterns because they set the framework for life.” Says Jacqui Porch, creative designer at Bellamy’s. “Establish good habits and reaffirm them, and they will become ingrained in your child's thinking. After all, we all know how hard it is to break a bad habit!”
For Jo Cox, mother of 1 year-old Jasper and expecting baby number two, it’s reassuring to be able to find ready made organic baby products that not only support her child’s nutrition, but expose him to a range of real flavours that aren’t masked by sweeteners, additives or altered by chemicals.
“They’ve got really interesting combinations like sweetcorn, pumpkin and chia.” She says, referring to the Organic Bubs range, and pointing out that the distinct flavours and smells make them much more appealing than the more homogenous non-organic brands. But by far the biggest drawcard for the busy mother is the confidence that she can draw from a dependable organic brand. “Everyone wants to make their baby food, but I’ve seen almost every mother I know resort to pre-packaged when they’re really busy. Using a reliable organic brand alleviates some of the guilt and makes you feel automatically better if you are using pre-packaged food.” She says.
But once you’ve set your baby on a healthy track in life, what kind of future does the planet hold for them? We can’t control their future, but by choosing to buy organic foods we are taking one step towards ensuring that they inherit a healthy planet when we’re no longer around to protect them.
“Organic food is better for you and for the earth.” Says Rebbeck. “It’s food grown with nature in a sustainable manner, rather than trying to control it with chemicals.” In order to ensure your baby’s dinner is not only fit for your baby, but gentle on their future as well, it’s always worth checking organic certification.
“Bellamy's organic products are all independently certified by the National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA).” Says Porch. “The NASAA certification assures parents that we are the real deal.”
And Rebbeck agrees. “If it’s organic, you should look for certified organic logos. This means that the ingredients and the process are up to a standard that meets the certifier’s criterion. Without the logo it can often be very misleading.”
But despite all the uncertainties one thing seems clear, organic pre-packaged baby food is not only a great start for our kids, their health and their planet, but also a welcome and reassuring support when parents are run off their feet.