My beef with baby food

I don’t have a lot of time so I’m going to come right out and say it: What’s with the sugar, hydrolyzed cow’s milk protein, corn maltodextrin, and palm olein in baby formula and baby food? Moms these days are ridiculously savvy when it comes to their child’s health and everyday they have their “food fraud” radars on, demanding the best for their kids through informed consumption. So why does the most popular brand of baby formula/food still have pro-inflammatory, allergenic, obesity-promoting ingredients that just burden young immune systems so that they are start life off with a GI tract that is already in a state of shock? Either parents haven’t caught on, or the powers that be just don’t care enough to change.

This past weekend I attended the Baby Time Show to promote a nutrition company that encourages moms to make their own organic baby food. It was a pleasure to speak with moms and hear their concerns over their little one’s first foods, growth rates, picky eating and potential allergies. And, of course, I’m just gaga over some of the chubby bunnies that rolled into the booth to sample our fresh mash of avocado, blueberries and banana.

Baby’s first food should be as close to natural as possible. Organic baby food is big business but that’s not the point. You don’t have to shell out for one-jar-fits-all commercial baby food. Once baby is ready for solids around the 4 to 6 month mark, he/she should eat what your family eats, i.e. you’re having brown rice, puree some brown rice for junior. Carrots and broccoli going into a stir-fry? Toss a few into boiling water to steam and puree it for baby. This way you’re on the road to dining together instead of making separate meals for the kids.

Discussions about first foods easily turned into questions over ideal body weights. Thin is always in – except in the nursery. Every mom seems to want a chunky monkey with rolls and creases to squish and clean in between. I genuine feel for those who approached with equally adorable babes to confess,”he’s 10 months and only 16 pounds.” But who’s to say that’s not a healthy weight for that child? And, more importantly, who’s to say that the 10 month old who weighs 25 pounds is more healthy?

To answer that question, one must look at the child’s diet. Are they getting fat off the ingredients I listed above, or are they reaping the benefits of breast milk from a mother who cares enough to eat a variety of greens and good fats with minimal refined sugar and trans fats? Research proves that high maternal intake of trans fats in particular will change the fat composition of breast milk in favor of obesogenic, atherogenic fats. (I write about this is my upcoming alive article.)

So don’t judge your baby by it’s number on the scale, and keep making food that is wholesome and naturally yummy, okay Mummy?

Here’s a quick recipe for iron-rich baby cereal:

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup quinoa or quinoa flakes
1 tsp blackstrap molasses
expressed breast milk or goat’s milk as needed to thin to desired consistency

Bring the water to a boil, then add the quinoa. Turn off the heat and let sit, covered for 15 minutes. Add molasses, then blend. Add ebm as needed and blend again. Fresh fruit can also be added for iron-aiding vitamin C and extra yumminess.

 

 

Author: Emily

Emily wants you to become your own nutrition expert. She has dissected countless food products and nutritional supplements to discover which (if any) could benefit her clients. As a nutritionist, her goal is to teach and inspire you to eat best foods for your life – foods that will have a lasting impact on your current vitality and future well-being.