Every once in a while, news anchors mention heavy metals in baby food. As a parent, I always cringe when I see headlines about this topic. Feeding your baby is such a wholesome experience, it's terrible to imagine something sinister might be in the food.
The best organic baby food is both safe and tasty. Plus, it offers nutrient-dense food to help your baby grow and develop. Fortunately, many organic baby foods are safe and include a variety of nutrients. You can feel confident offering your baby the baby food options below.
Signs of Readiness for Solid Food
How do you know when it's time to start offering your baby solid foods? Here are the tell-tale signs:
- Your baby can sit up independently.
- Your baby shows interest in food. For example, if you're holding your baby while eating, does your baby open their mouth when you do?
- Your baby has doubled their birth weight.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents feed their babies only breastmilk or formula for about six months. Every baby is different. So, be sure to talk to your child's pediatrician about when the best time is to start solids.
Best First Foods for Baby
Which food should you give your baby first?
According to the AAP, you should start with single-ingredient foods. In other words, don't give your baby a combination of peas and carrots. Instead, give just peas or carrots.
Once your child is used to these foods, combining them is perfectly safe. The more variety of foods, the better!
Also, give your baby pureed foods first to prevent choking. You can also give your baby soft foods like scrambled eggs and mashed avocado or banana.
Many parents choose to give cooked and pureed vegetables as their first foods. Sweet potato, carrots, squash, or carrots are great choices. Ultimately, what you feed your baby first is up to you. Have fun with it!
Pro Tip: Add some breast milk or formula to thin your baby's purees until your baby adjusts to eating solid foods.
Avoiding Heavy Metals in Baby Food
Recent studies show that certain foods tend to have more heavy metals than others. In particular, rice, and sweet potato are big offenders. While a small amount of these foods is ok, it's best to keep portions smaller. Or, use these foods as part of your rotation, but don't serve them every day.
Keep in mind that heavy metals exist in more than prepared baby foods. Any sweet potato or rice may have higher levels of heavy metals. These plants simply absorb more metals as they grow. That means parents should also keep heavy metals in mind when preparing homemade baby food.
Approaches to Introducing Solid Foods
When you're ready to introduce solid foods, you want to do it right. From baby led weaning to homemade baby food and food pouches, there are many approaches. Which way is best? It depends on your family.
Here is an overview of your options and how to start feeding your baby.
Baby Led Weaning
In this approach, you allow your baby to take the lead. When your baby is able, offer them soft foods they can pick up and eat.
You might put some chunks of banana, avocado, cooked noodles, or cooked vegetables on your child's tray. Then, watch as your little one explores the food. Start with small amounts and notice which foods your child likes best so that you can offer them more.
Baby led weaning can help your little one develop good eating habits. This helps your baby explore many different textures and types of fruits and vegetables. Plus, your baby can start noticing and following their feelings of hunger and satiation.
When baby led weaning, babies may gag some especially when trying new foods. However, research shows that baby led weaning doesn't lead to more choking than traditional spoon-feeding.
To help avoid choking, parents should always supervise their baby while eating. Also, avoid foods that cause choking such as grapes, small pieces of hot dogs or carrots, and hard foods like nuts or raw vegetables.
Homemade Baby Food
You can also make your own baby food. Simply use a blender or a fork for mashing, or use a baby food maker.
When making baby food you can serve your baby similar meals to the rest of the family. However, it's best to avoid added sugars, salt, and other additives. Instead, prepare food by steaming or boiling it before blending or mashing it.
You can store baby food in single-size servings in the freezer. Then, defrost them when you're ready to use them.
One of the best baby food makers is the Beaba Babycook Solo. It steams, purees, thaws, and reheats food in a few easy steps. Many of the accessories are dishwasher safe.
Give the Beaba a try for easy homemade baby food. When you're making dinner for the rest of the family, simply pop in some of the vegetables into the Beaba. They will be perfectly steamed and pureed in time for dinner.
Premade Baby Food Pouches or Jars
Keep things simple with the best baby food pouches. Premade baby food is simple, just warm it up and serve your baby. Many fruit baby food pouches can also be served room temperature or cold. When your baby is old enough, they can just squeeze out the fruit!
Even if you don't always use premade baby food, it can be easier when traveling or going out to eat. When you do choose premade baby foods, the best organic baby food is an excellent choice.
Top 7 Best Organic Baby Foods
Are you looking for the best organic baby food? Try these brands for tasty baby foods your baby will love.
1. Best Baby Food Pouches: Serenity Kids
Introduce your baby to the best organic baby food with Serenity Kids. Your baby can enjoy pouches of savory vegetables. Some pouches also include delicious herbs, helping your baby build a bigger palate.
Ingredients for these food pouches are just what you'd expect from the best organic baby food: simple. Each pouch contains organic vegetables, water, and olive oil. No added salt or sugar.
Also, try Serenity Kids' baby food pouches that include meat and bone broth. Yum!
Serenity Kids' products meet EU baby food standards and hold the Clean Label Project™ certification. That means you won't find dangerous amounts of heavy metals in your baby's food.
2. Best Variety of Organic Baby Food: Littlespoon
Littlespoon makes life easier for parents by offering baby food in stages. Stage one foods include only one ingredient. Stage two foods offer babies a mix of two foods, such as golden beet and broccoli or corn and roasted bell pepper.
Littlespoon even offers stage three, four, five, and six foods that add a bit of texture and thickness. Offer your baby even more flavors with these fun food packs that include herbs, spices, and more!
You can even find finger foods and healthy, organic lunches for your toddler! Littlespoon provides an infinity of possibilities, helping introduce your baby to a world of flavor.
The best part? Littlespoon also works with the Clean Label Project™, a third-party tester. All of their baby foods are tested for heavy metals and other toxins. Feed your baby with confidence!
3. Best Organic Baby Food: Once Upon a Farm
Coming in pouches, oatmeal bars, and finger foods, Once Upon a Farm makes feeding your child easy. Their subscription system sets parents up for success.
Once Upon a Farm is also Clean Label Project™ certified. Enjoy all of their products with confidence!
4. Best Organic Baby and Toddler Snacks: Yumi
As your baby grows, try more finger foods and nutritious bars. Yumi makes rice-free puffs, a favorite first finger food. Plus, even the pickiest toddlers love their bars packed with fiber, iron, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Their puss have achieved the Clean Label™ Purity Award. So, offer them to your baby as often as they'd like.
5. Best Baby Meal System: Square Baby
Ensure your baby meets their nutritional requirements with Square Baby. Just 2 meals help your baby hit all their dietary needs. Square Baby also works perfectly with vegan and vegetarian diets. Meals are all made from organically sourced ingredients with the exception of salmon.
Simply create your personalized subscription for automatic meal delivery.
6. Best Organic Baby Food for Baby's Growing Brain: Cerebelly
Created by a neurosurgeon, Cerebelly's baby food is simple and uses organic ingredients. Yet, it also includes essential nutrients such as Omega 3 fatty acids from safe sources. When you choose Cerebelly, your little one will get 16 brain-supporting nutrients.
If that weren't enough, they're also Clean Label™ Certified.
7. Best Organic Baby Food for Building Baby's Palate: Lil gourmets
Try everything from curry to gazpacho with lil gourmets. Open your baby's palate with these tasty meals that incorporate flavors from around the world. Feel good about it, as lil gourmets has achieved the Clean Label™ Purity Award.
Which organic baby food is your favorite? Tell us about your journey with solid foods!