Hey, mamas! Have you been watching the news? I admit, during my pregnancy I left the news behind entirely. The world looked pretty ugly back then, and the thought of bringing my baby into a world with so many threats scared the poop right out of me. It’s a habit I’m still trying to break. But when my mother sent me a copy of this Consumer Reports article written by Jesse Hirsch, I knew I could no longer keep living with my head in the sand, if only for Lottie’s sake.
In case you haven’t seen it, on August 16th, Consumer Reports posted a study that tested over 50 packaged baby food products for heavy metals. The study tested for cadmium, mercury, lead, and inorganic arsenic. The results? Every single product tested positive for at least one of these dangerous metals. What’s more, at least two thirds of the foods showed levels that the group found concerning, and 15 of the products tested so high that they could potentially put your child at risk even if they only ate one serving of that product a day. Yikes.
Think your child’s safe because you’ve been avoiding additives and GMOs by going organic? Turns out the Consumer Reports study found the presence of heavy metals to be just as likely in organic baby food as it is in standard baby food. The biggest offenders? Rice and sweet potatoes. SWEET POTATOES. I don’t know about your little, but sweet potatoes are my little’s favorite food. And no rice? EVERYTHING is made out of rice: puffs, cereal, melts…
It was somewhere around this point in the article that this mama started to melt down.
Now, the article itself will tell you outright that just because a child has been consuming these foods does not mean they have been or will be damaged. Hirsch even goes on to show exactly which foods to avoid and how to minimize your risk, so no panic attack necessary. However, I had always planned to make my own baby food. I spent months leading up to Lottie’s birth pinning recipe after recipe that I couldn’t wait to try. You know, until baby came, and I discovered just how hard life with baby could be.
The fact of the matter is, it’s just plain easier to buy the premade variety. And when you’re life is already full up with work and cleaning house and managing finances and trying to keep baby happy, well, sometimes easy is the best choice. It means more time for the things and people we love. How you feed your baby is a personal choice, and you know best what is best for you and your child. What is best for me may not be best for you.
That said, Lottie and I will be taking the plunge this week into the world of homemade baby food. I like to cook. I always have. Plus, it’s one more excuse to spend time on Pinterest (I don’t know what you’re talking about, I so do not have an addiction). Want to give it a try? Here are the new recipes Lottie and I are looking forward to trying this week.
Lottie LOVES bananas (Do you all sing the song when you write out “bananas”? I have to sing the song. Every. Damn. Time.), and I’m always looking for ways to get more greens into her diet. That makes this recipe from Because I Said So Baby a top contender for me in the switch to homemade foods for baby. Marla claims these melts will keep in the freezer for up to a month, and she even includes variations for more finger-food fun. I, for one, can’t wait to see Lottie’s face when she gets that first bite of banana goodness (b-a-n-a-n-a-s).
Rice cereal has been a staple at our house ever since we started Lottie on solids. How else do you thicken up all those purees??? So when I heard rice cereal was out, I knew I needed to find a replacement, and fast. This DIY baby cereal recipe from Baby Foode uses quinoa in place of rice. Can you even imagine the nutrition value of this cereal? If Mama plans her diet around super foods, maybe it’s time Baby does, too. Quinoa Baby Cereal can be kept in the freezer for up to three months and can be enjoyed plain or mixed into baby’s purees, just like our old friend.
I’m a big fan of shopping in season, and baby, berries are in season. Seriously, though. I love berry season. Raspberries over softserve. Blueberries in my yogurt. Strawberries and a big ol’ tub of cool whip. But I digress. This recipe from Baby Foode takes advantage of the season’s greatest to make a sweet, healthy puree for baby (and I’m thinking it’d be especially good mixed with that quinoa cereal above). Blackberry Kale Apple Puree will keep in the freezer for up to three months.
Lottie and I are fruit mongers, and I often find myself forgetting to include meat in my baby’s diet. This Chicken Sweet Potato Pea Broccoli puree (I’m beginning to feel the baby food industry as a whole is a rather uninspired bunch in the naming department. I vote we rename this one the Funky Chicken.) from The New Mom Journey is packed full of vitamins and nutrients to keep baby happy and healthy, plus it packs a little savory to counteract all that sweet I keep pushing down my baby’s throat. With a sweet potato base, this one’s sure to be a winner with Lottie. The Funky Chicken will keep in the freezer for two months.
Okay, I’m reigning myself in before I blow my grocery budget right out of the water. Pinterest has that effect on me. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see these recipes in action. Are you a baby food pro? What are your favorite recipes and resources when it comes to feeding baby? Let us know in the comments below, or join the discussion on Facebook. Happy eating!