Friday, May 4, 2007

Organic for Babies? YES!!!

Now that organic has gone mainstream, it's more affordable. Now that you have a baby, you're probably thinking more about the environment and how the environment affects your baby's health. That thought process usually leads to the question.....

Should you buy organic for your baby?


WHY? Pesticides are chemicals meant to kill bugs, mold and other things that hinder a plant's growth and development. Common sense dicates that they can't be good for humans--and science backs it up. Pesticides can be particularly harmful during periods of rapid growth--infancy, puberty, pregnancy--times when important organ systems are developing or growing rapidly. Some pesticides are thought to be endocrine disruptors, which could make a difference to the development of sexual organs.

Baby's First Food: Babies get only one source of nutrition--breastmilk (or formula) for the first 5-6 months. If you figure that all your baby's nutrition is coming from a single source, the quality of that food is of vital importance.

Breastmilk, of course, is the gold standard for infant nutrition. If you're breastfeeding, it's a good idea to consider organic for yourself, at least for some of your foods. (see chapter 3 in Baby Bites for info on how to avoid other environmental chemicals while breastfeeding.)

If you're feeding your baby formula, or a combination of breastmilk and formula, there are several organic options:

Similac Organic
Earth's Best Organic (regular and soy)
Parent's Choice Organic (Available at Walmart)
Ultra Bright Beginnings Organic
Baby's Only Organic (Toddler regular and soy)

Baby Food: Making Your Own

When making your own baby food, (which is really easy especially if you use the simple guidance found in Baby Bites,) you'll want to use organic products, at least for the produce highest in pesticides. Remember that if you buy fresh organic produce, you want it to be as fresh as possible. Another option is to use organic frozen produce, such as Cascadian Farms.

The price of organic can still add up, so you might want to buy only the organic produce that has the most pesticides. The Environmental Working Group has compiled a list of the Best and Worst for pesticide residues. Find it at and more info at:

Baby Food: Organic on the Grocery Shelf
At your local grocery, you'll find:

Earth's Best
Gerber Organics

You'll find more at stores like Whole Foods and Wild Oats:

Plum Organics (frozen)
Happy Baby (frozen)
Bobo Baby (in Canada)
Sweetpea (in Canada)

Additionally, there are some regional organic baby food companies:

World Baby Food-Seattle
Sprouts (home delivered Seattle)
Bohemian Baby (fresh organic) -Southern California
Full Tank Foods-L.A.
Homemade Baby-L.A.
My Nami-L.A.

The sales of organic baby food increased a record 21.6% last year--which means more choices, more competition and better prices for consumers. For current news about organic baby food, see

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

New Fruit-Veggie Juice for Kids!

OK, so your kid loves juice, but you know you shouldn't give him too much because it's a concentrated source of calories and natural sugars. Good news--there's a new fruit-veggie juice combination from Juicy Juice called Harvest Surprise. Slightly lower in carbs and higher in other nutrients due to the veggie addition, you can feel a bit better about the next glass of juice you pour for your toddler.

Remember the AAP recommends a limit of 4-6 ounces. Kids often want more than that--other ideas to making less, more:
  • water it down by up to half
  • add club soda for a fruity soda

Check out the Harvest Surprise Juice at

Lots of cool info and printable stickers too!

Eating Dinner While Watching TV--------------------More Reasons NOT TO!!

We know that eating as a family fosters much more than just family memories-it helps children build vocabulary, it provides a chance for to parents be good role models for their kids and it even reduces the risk of risky behavior for teens.

BUT--eating together WITH the TV on tends to negate some of the positive effects. In a study conducted by the NY State Department of Health, kids who ate dinner with their families while watching TV ate fewer fruits and veggies than when there was no TV.

Bottom Line: Turn the TV off during meals! The AAP recommends that kids under 2 watch no TV; over 2 should limit to 1 or 2 hours of high quality programming. With an emphasis here on high quality, leave the adult sitcoms, crime investigation and other adult themes for TIVO. When you have little ones, you're just destined to have a television diet more aligned with The Wiggles, Dora and Disney!