Foods that feed the body well have so many benefits. Obviously, they keep our little one’s growing bodies healthy and strong, but they also have a huge benefit on mental health – particularly later in life. I have always had an interest in wholesome foods and have tried to only use healthy ingredients in the food I prepare for my children. That said, it can be confusing to know what is wholesome and what is the latest marketing hype. For any parent, it can be very tricky to know what is best to feed your little one.
In Weaning Sense, we tried to separate the noise from the facts, because a lot of what we hear and read about is just not fact. We have been asked many questions about GMO, organic, allergens, etc. and I wanted to share two nuggets of information that can help you make mindful decisions when it comes to these issues:
Don’t buy into the hype
Organic, farm fresh and other similar labels come with a higher price tag. The fact is that food that is sustainably produced simply adds to the cost. For example, a battery egg is going to be cheaper than a free-range egg because giving chickens the space to roam and a quality diet is costs more than force feeding chickens cramped in an inadequate space. The battery egg will also likely contain some undesirable elements, such as antibiotics, to prevent the chicken from getting ill in an over-populated environment.
This goes for beef, milk and veggies too. Healthy food just will cost more. In this day and age when living is so expensive, a parent may need to make choices and prioritise what is worth spending the extra money on.
Here’s a quick guide to know where to spend your money:
- Don’t stress about buying only organic fruit and veg too much. The term is so loosely used and unregulated in many countries. Spending extra money on organic fruit and veggies may not be the best way to to use your budget.
- Likewise, GMO foods may not be the evil it’s often made out to be. GMOs are common place and a necessity to feed a growing world population.
- The one place you should prioritise spending extra money is on free range, organic meat, eggs and milk. Animal produce that is fed antibiotics and hormones to produce more, faster affects our children and our bodies.
Know where your ingredients come from
An overriding principle when choosing ingredients is to know where the food comes from. At every point in the production of food there is a possibility of more additives. So the more processed a food is, the less you will know about what’s actually in there. So know where your ingredients come from and choose ones in their most natural form. These are the foods that feed the body well.
Weaning Sense is a best-selling book co-authored by Meg Faure and pediatric dietician and founder of Nutripaeds, Kath McGaw.
For more about weaning your baby onto solids, download Parent Sense for age-appropriate advice, feeding schedules, meal plans and delicious recipes.