Babies First Foods and Choosing Organic

 Baby’s first solid food is an exciting step, but it can be daunting trying to decipher what you can give them, what they are allowed and how to make sure you’re giving them the best.

Kauri Kid chats to the beautiful team at Only Organic to dive into how to prepare your baby’s first foods, why to choose organic, plus making sure your babe gets all the nutrients they need. 

 

KK - What are the key differences between organic / non-organic food?

OO – By choosing certified organic ingredients, you are consuming ingredients as nature intended. Grown naturally, with no chemical fertilisers, no pesticides or herbicides. It's similar to what you'd get if you were to grow fruit & veg in your own garden.

At Only Organic, all our food is certified organic by an external body here in New Zealand, to ensure we use the highest quality ingredients.

  

KK - What are the benefits for baby?

OO – Like any parent, we only want the best for our babies, and this starts by feeding them organic food.

Unlike us parents, babies have not been exposed to all the chemicals in other highly processed foods; by providing them with organic food at this young age, we help ensure they get a good healthy start in life by being less exposed to chemical residues.

 

KK - What is the best way to prepare baby’s first foods to ensure they get the most nutrients, and how to ensure they get enough iron?

 OO – Until the age of around six months, ALL of baby’s nutrition comes from breast milk or infant formula. Most babies are ready to try solids around four to six months. Babies are born with a store of iron that starts to deplete at around six months, so it is important that breast milk or infant formula are complemented with rice cereal that has been fortified with iron.

It’s often recommended to start with simple ingredient foods, to protect from potential allergies while also helping baby explore and isolate new tastes.
Offer the same food once a day for a few days, then offer another new food. Remember to only offer one to two teaspoons the first time, then gradually increase over a few days to one to two tablespoons. If baby rejects a food, try again the next day. Sometimes it can take up to 10 tries before a baby accepts a food!

You can start by offering single-grain cereal like our Only Organic Baby Rice, that you mix with a little breast milk or formula to achieve a very smooth texture.

 

KK - What are the best solids and textures to start with?

OO – Baby cereal is a good way to introduce solids, as this can be easily mixed with your baby’s milk and provides a smooth transition in flavour and texture.

If introducing new ingredients, start with something very smooth and remember that all your baby has experienced to date is milk, so they are only just learning how to eat and swallow. Our range of Only Organic recipes use different textures and flavours to evolve with your baby.

 

KK- Is ready-made food as good or as healthy as home-made?

OO – Homemade meals made with organic fresh fruit & veg will always be the best option, but it all comes down to the quality of ingredients you cook with.

We believe our organic purees & meals are the next best alternative, as we carefully select the growers & farmers we work with to source the highest quality, organic ingredients.
Becoming a parent naturally makes your life a little busier and Only Organic is here to provide a large variety of recipes in handy formats to help in this new chapter of your parenting life.

 

KK - Food or milk first? And how much do they need?

OO – Until around 9 months, milk is still the most important food and solids should be offered after breast milk or formula.

A baby’s appetite will vary from day to day so expect that they will eat different amounts on different days. Check with your child’s health nurse about the number of breastfeeds or bottles of infant formula that your baby needs at their current stage.

Remember that while most of baby’s nutrients will come from your breast milk or infant formula, your baby will be developing a taste for different foods.

If your baby is happily eating solids, continue with what you are doing and introduce new varieties and flavours every few days. Varieties with different flavour, colour, texture and smell are key!
 

KK - How to know when to start feeding baby solids?

OO – Most babies are ready to try solids around four to six months.

However, every baby is different; age works as an indicator but should not dictate when to start.

Signs that your baby is ready for solids:

  • Your baby is able to hold their head up
  • Forward tongue thrust or extrusion reflex has disappeared so they can take food from a spoon and swallow it (if baby is still poking their tongue out, this means they are not quite ready for solids).
  • Watches you eat and becomes very excited when they see food
  • Chewing movements even though probably have no teeth yet.
  • Remember to offer your baby the milk feed first, wait a little while, and then offer a small amount of new food.

 

Recipes:  Two light and bright vegetable blends to get you started with baby food.

Recipe one

You will need:

  • Olive oil
  • A small piece of pumpkin
  • ½ a kumara (sweet potato)
  • 1 carrot
  • 30g of Only Organic Baby Rice

Process:

  1. Peel vegetables and cut into small pieces. Sauté in a little olive oil for a few minutes, then cover with water and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer until the vegetables are tender. Drain the cooking water into a bowl and put it to one side.
  3. Puree the vegetables, adding the cooking water until you have a smooth, runny puree. Stir in the Baby Rice.
  4. Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays.

 

Recipe two

You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 leek
  • Handful broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 6 tsp Only Organic Baby Rice

Process:

  1. Slice the leek and sauté in the butter. Add the broccoli, cover with water and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer until the broccoli is bright green and all vegetables are tender. Add the peas and cook for another minute. Drain, putting the cooking water to one side.
  3. Puree the vegetables, adding the cooking water until you have a smooth, runny puree. Stir in the Baby Rice.
  4. Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays.

 

Only Organic have a wide range of beautiful purees and first foods available at most leading supermarkets. Try playing with some of their flavours to see what your baby does or does not like before you invest your time and money in fresh produce and meal prep.

 

Check out the full Only Organic First Foods range here.