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Growing Up Healthy and Strong

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Growing up healthy and strong with organic food
Contributed by Dr. Joey Shulman for Sweetpea Baby Food

All parents want the best for their growing babies. Decisions about the quality and quantity of the food your baby is eating are, therefore, of the utmost importance.

Selecting high quality foods and "going organic" have been shown to have immense benefits, which include:

  • Lowering your baby's risk of developing allergies or asthma
  • Decreasing the chances of having a "picky eater"
  • Optimizing your baby's digestion and immune system function
  • Decreasing exposure to toxic chemicals found in conventional fruits and vegetables

Step 1 - Starting with cereal (approx. 4-6 months)

A hypoallergenic infant cereal such as organic brown rice, barley or mixed grain is the best "starter" food for your baby. Mix cereal with added breast milk, formula or water to ensure it has a soft and smooth texture.

Step 2 - Moving on to 100% organic fruits and veggies (approximately 4-6 months)

Fruits and vegetables are the next solid food category you should introduce on a one by one basis. As a general rule, the more colorful the fruit or vegetable, the more nutrient value it holds. The top organic fruits and vegetables to introduce include avocados, bananas, blueberries, pears, broccoli, peas, carrots, squash and sweet potatoes.

Step 3 - Introducing organic proteins for strong muscles (approximately 6- 8 months)

As your baby's energy and growing demands change, s/he is ready to eat a greater amount of protein and iron. Introduce new protein foods one at time with a 3-5 day lag between each new protein introduced.

Becoming informed about your baby's nutritional and growing needs gives parents peace of mind. Having the right information will help with your baby's continuing growth and development.

To contact Dr. Joey, visit drjoey@sweetpeababyfood.com

References:

1. Environmental Working Group, Overexposed: Organophosphate Insecticides in Children's Food, 1998, pp. 1-3.

2. Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986

3. Nutritional Quality of Organic Versus Conventional Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains," by Virginia Worthington, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2001 (pp. 161-173).

4. http://www.ota.com/organic/benefits/nutrition.html

5. D. Asami, Y.  Hong, D. Barrett, and A.. Mitchell. Comparison of Total Phenolic and Ascorbic Acid Content of Freeze-Dried and Air Dried Marionberry, Strawberry and Corn Grown Using Conventional, Organic and Sustainable Agricultural Practices. Agric. Food Chem., 51 (5), 1237 -1241, 2003.
 
6.
http://ats-sea.agr.gc.ca/supply/3313_e.htm

7. http://www.davidsuzuki.org/About_us/Dr_David_Suzuki/Article_Archives/weekly07060101.asp

8. Natural Foods Merchandiser, June 2001.

9. http://www.nutiva.com/nutrition/organic.php