Healthy eating during pregnancy is essential for your baby’s development. The same goes for those moms who opt to breastfeed. After all, what you eat directly impacts your baby, but when it comes time for babies to eat their first foods, it’s important to pay attention to the ingredients.
“First and foremost I am going to say look towards everything purely organic,” says Dr. Corey, ND, health expert spokesperson for Better Health Store and a board certified Naturopathic Doctor at Thrive On Life in Brighton.
Do your research on the companies that own these smaller organic companies, she says. Learn about the different rules and regulations for organic foods. While nothing is pure anymore, she says, because an organic farm in close proximity to a commercial farm could be contaminated through the water table, there are still things to keep an eye out for when it comes to ingredients in your baby’s food.
“If you’re looking towards organic, you’re going to be better. And the reason that a lot of these heavy metals were showing up is because it’s in the water table,” she says, referring to a recent baby food recall due to high levels of contaminants.
Here, Dr. Corey offers tips and information for finding quality baby food for your wee one.
Baby food no-nos
A congressional report in early 2021 found highly dangerous levels of arsenic and other poisons in baby food. If the news leaves you wondering how to select baby food for your little ones, you’re not alone. There are several ingredients to steer clear of as many baby foods contain preservatives, pesticides or artificial colors.
If your baby’s food contains benzoate, potassium sorbate, calcium sorbate, nitrate, sulfites, put them back on the shelf. These are all degrading to baby’s system and are carcinogenic, Dr. Corey says.
Etifelmine hydrochloride, also known as EDPA, is another chemical to stay away from.
“Also, we really want to stay away from the food coloring. Those are classic for causing hyperactivity, ADD and ADHD in children,” she says.
If you see red No. 3, yellow No. 5 — or anything with a color and number — steer clear.
What to look for
It is much easier to cook for baby, Dr. Corey says. Mash up a banana or an avocado, but add some minerals by sprinkling on some Redmond Real Salt or pink Himalayan salt.
“The parents absolutely can get the premade things,” she says. “I think the more simple and few ingredients, the better.”
Look to the ones with the most simple ingredients. If the baby food has preservatives, look for vitamin E and vitamin C. If you see ascorbic acid, it’s synthetic vitamin C and tocopherol is vitamin E — both of which are safe for your child.
Dr. Corey says that parents still want to make sure that baby is getting enough brain fats so be sure to supplement with with fish oil, cod oil or MCT oil. Mix it right in the baby food.
“A lot of the baby foods that are out there are devoid of that,” she says, and babies need that super high fat when developing brain health.
Earth’s Best, Ella’s Kitchen, Happy Tot Organics and Peter Rabbit Organics are some baby food brands that are worth checking out. The Serenity Kids line, which features free-range and grass-fed meats and veggies, are another great option, she says.
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