Tag Archive for 'Baby Food'

Weekly Highlights (4/3/2012) – FDA Says No to BPA Ban and GMO Labeling

Welcome to this week’s highlights, our weekly post that recaps important health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great finds we’ve come across in our internet travels.  If you see anything you think we should feature, please send it to jasmine@purebebe.com. Thanks, and we hope your week is off to a great start!   - Jasmine

In the News:

Ban on BPA? FDA Says No - In a truly disappointing but not surprising decision, the FDA will not place a ban on BPA in food packaging, citing a lack of sufficient scientific evidence to support the ban.

Despite the FDA decision, the FDA has not changed its position that it holds “some concern” over the effects of BPA in children, and the government is currently funding $30 million to conduct additional studies.

FDA Responds to GMO Label Petition - In yet another truly disappointing and, again, not surprising decision, the FDA has decided it needs more time to consider labeling of genetically-modified foods.

While no one should be surprised by the decision, much controversy has arisen over the petition as the FDA has severely discounted the number of responses it received. While the Just Label It organizers say the petition garnered over a million signatures, more than any petition submitted to the FDA in history, the FDA says it has officially received a measly 394.

Some say the FDA has deleted signatures, however I suspect that is not the case. The FDA’s official rules require signatures to be submitted individually via their regulations.gov website in order to be counted. Because the website is difficult to navigate, Just Label It organizers collected and accumulated signatures on their website before submitting them to the FDA.

While each submission may have contained over thousands of signatures, each submission counts as just 1. Ultimately, it is just semantics. The FDA has to understand that there is overwhelming support for labeling GMOs. The question is just if and when they will act.

Alicia Silverstone Premasticates Her Child’s Food - Not long after celebrity Alicia Silverstone posted the video below to her blog, intense criticism ensued for her method of feeding her child.

While I admit I was a bit puzzled when I saw the video myself, I was more intrigued when I discovered that the idea of premastication is actually used in some cultures to promote infant health as it gives baby access to nutrients from foods they cannot chew and promotes immunity through antibodies received in the mother’s saliva.

While some experts express concern over the possibility of spreading disease such as HIV and tooth decay, it depends in large part on the health of the mother and child. And other experts have expressed more concern that the practice is dwindling in some poorer societies where it may be critical to the child’s health.

Hmm, you learn something new every day.

New Research:

CDC: New High in Autism Rates
The CDC’s latest analysis reports that about 1 in 88 children in the U.S. experience autism or a related disorder, nearly double the rate 10 years ago with cases in boys outnumbering girls 5 to 1.

The report analyzed data from 2008 in 14 states, and found rates much higher in some states like Utah; however, increased awareness and access to services are cited as likely factors in those states.

In fact, increased awareness and better diagnoses are cited as major factors in general for the rise, but recent research also points to environmental factors as a possible contributor.

Pinpointing the environmental culprit, however, seems next to impossible when we’re exposed to a veritable soup of chemicals daily. Two large studies funded by the National Institutes of Health are hoping to do just that, though, by examining everything from what mother eats during pregnancy to toxins in the home.

Ultimately, earlier diagnosis is needed. The earlier a child is diagnosed and gets help, the better their chances are for reaching their full potential.

Babies Take Longer to Come Out Than They Did in Grandma’s Day
A comparison of nearly 140,000 births found that first-time mothers today labor longer than they did fifty years ago, about 2 1/2 hours on average. The reason for longer labor is not entirely clear, but today’s mothers are older, delivering larger babies,  and more likely to use epidural anesthesia. Epidurals can prolong labor anywhere from 40 to 90 minutes.

The more striking implication is that OB’s today may be rushing to C-sections based on an out-of-date expectation as to how long a “normal” labor should take. OB’s today still rely on a definition of normal labor that was defined back in the 50′s.

Good Reads:

Weekend Detox For Your Home from Houzz - Some easy steps you can take to green your home and improve your health. Now that spring is in the air, I love the idea of completely unplugging on a Friday night after a long week at work and getting outside, and then waking up Saturday to open the windows and freshen the air.

Pinterest-Worthy Finds:

I came across this image this week as I am working to rearrange and redecorate my family’s home office/playroom. I love this arrangement that creates a fantastic workspace for the entire family. These stools are a little high for young ones, but the concept still applies. As our family grows, I want us to have a place where we can all be together as we do homework, pay bills, blog, etc.

I’m sure something like this could be a reasonable DIY project - cube bookshelves could be used to form the bases. I’d probably choose to use planks of wood for the surface and sand them down as opposed to plywood or other large particle board which often uses formaldehyde-based adhesives to bind.

If you’d like to follow us on Pinterest, find us here.

Recalls, March 27 – April 3:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls

No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls


Weekly Highlights (2/22/2012)

We hope you had a fantastic long weekend! This week’s highlights was delayed a bit so I could devote some time to the arsenic and rice news that came out late last week. Here’s a little more of what I’ve been reading this past week. - Jasmine

In the News:

Johnson & Johnson Recalls Infant’s Tylenol - In case you missed it on our Facebook page, Johnson & Johnson has issued a nationwide recall of all infant tylenol on the market due to reported difficulties using the new dosing syringe.

You may recall that manufacturers of infant’s tylenol were in the process of changing the concentrations and dosing systems to make administering easier and safer. Unfortunately, back to the drawing board for J&J.

No adverse events have been reported, but if you’d like a refund you can visit their website or call for a refund. Consumers can still use the product if the flow restrictor remains in place. The instructional video below issued by McNeil demonstrates how to use the syringe.

Maine Groups Press for BPA Ban After Chemical Found in Baby and Toddler Food - 11 out of 12 major brands of jarred baby food tested positive for BPA in the lids, and tests also showed that the BPA had been found in the baby food. Levels were 1 to 3 parts per billion, but the physiology professor cited in the article says that’s enough to be concerned. Levels in toddler canned foods were found up to 134 parts per billion. Just one of the many reasons I chose to make my own baby food. If you’re interested, you can find tips here: Homemade Baby Food - As Easy as 1-2-3.

EPA Issues Long-Awaited Dioxins Report - After working on the report for decades, the EPA has released the first half of its assessment on the toxicity of dioxins, the most toxic of all man-made chemicals. The first release addresses the noncancerous effects, while the second half of the report is expected to address evidence of the chemical’s cancerous effects.

While the report concludes that dioxins are seriously toxic at low levels, it says that exposures have declined so much over the past few decades that most people should not be concerned. As one scientist put it, though, that statement is “very odd” as it ignores people who are exposed to higher levels or more sensitive to the effects, like fetuses and young children.

FDA Will Not Allow More Fungicide in Orange Juice - Back in January, the FDA halted imports of orange juice and began inspecting them after they received notification that Brazilian growers had been using a U.S.-banned fungicide. Now Brazil has requested an exception for the fungicide until they can phase it out, but the FDA has denied the exception. As a result, Brazil will have to stop exports of concentrated OJ until they can meet EPA limits for the fungicide.

New Research:

BPA’s Obesity And Diabetes Link Strengthened By New Study 
To date, studies have suggested a link between BPA and metabolic problems, but no one was really sure why until now. A new study released last week has determined that BPA fools a specific receptor into thinking that it is estrogen, an insulin regulator, and triggers the release of almost double the insulin actually needed to break down food. When that specific receptor was removed from the subject mice, the effect disappeared.

According to the author of the study, Angel Nadal, “When you eat something with BPA, it’s like telling your organs that you are eating more than you are really eating.” And surprisingly, the effects were seen at very low levels of exposure - a quarter of a billionth of a gram was enough to do the trick. What is most concerning is the impact on pregnant women and developing fetuses, who are particularly sensitive - ”The fetus is not only exposed to BPA but also to higher levels of insulin from the mother, making the environment for the fetus even more disruptive,” says Nadal. “This is a very delicate period.”

Children at Risk for Ingestion of PAHs from Pavement Sealant
Coal tar sealants, commonly used in the Central, Southern, and Eastern U.S. to refresh driveways and parking lots, are a source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, some of which can cause cancer. Researchers from Baylor University and the U.S. Geological Survey have found that children living next to driveways or parking lots coated with coal tar are exposed to 14 times the amount of the chemicals than those living near untreated asphalt. Exposure is primarily through contaminated dust tracked into the home, rather than food as once thought. Coal-tar-based pavement sealant has PAH concentrations 100 to 1,000 times greater than most other sources.

A History of Kids and Sleep: Why They Never Get Enough
I wouldn’t say that the article explains why children never get enough, but a recent review of about 300 studies on sleep duration in children found some interesting results:

  • Over the 112 years the study covered, age-specific recommendations for sleep and actual sleep duration of children has declined at similar rates.
  • Over that same period, children have lost about 75 minutes of shut-eye with overstimulation and modern technology to blame.
  • There’s not much evidence behind sleep recommendations; they’re pretty subjective. Kids consistently get at least 30 minutes less than the recommendations.
  • Different countries have different standards, but American children sleep less than nearly all other children.

Fantastic Finds:

How to Get Rid of Facebook Timeline, Bring Back a Simpler View - Anyone else struggling to get used to the new timeline view? It seems cluttered and messy to me. LifeHacker just published an article with a plugin that can be used to adjust your browser’s Facebook view for a cleaner look. I’m definitely going to try this out.

Clean Protein & Organic Foods, Does it Matter? - An absolutely fascinating read on why it’s important to look beyond the organic label and really understand where your food came from and how it was raised.

4 Health Reasons to Eat Chocolate (and Cons to Consider) - With Valentine’s Day behind us and chocolate floating around the house, this article is timely and informative.

From Playdate to Parliament: Mom Takes Tot to Work - Adorable. Little Victoria Ronzulli conducts important business at the European Parliament alongside mother and Italian politician, Licia Ronzulli.

Recalls, February 14 – February 21:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls

No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it to jasmine@purebebe.com.

Lead Found in Several Brands of Baby and Children’s Food

Courtesty of PhotographyByPaul, Flickr

Earlier this summer the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF), a non-profit organization “dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of human health and the environment” filed Notices of Violation alleging that the toxic chemical lead was found in several brands of baby and children’s foods. In fact, their tests, which were conducted in a government laboratory, revealed that 85% of the baby and children’s food products tested contained what they considered high levels of lead. The food categories ranged from juices (apple, grape) to packaged fruits (pears, peaches, baby food, and fruit cocktail). Surprisingly, several organic brands, including Earth’s Best, O Organics and 365 Everyday Value were included in the long list of food and drinks.

The Notices of Violation allege that the food items listed below violate “provisions of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65), California Health and Safety Code.” In the Letter, ELF says that these companies’ products violate a warning requirement of the Code that requires businesses to warn consumers about products that contain “a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity…”

According to their website , ELF lists a few important points about lead:

1) There is no safe level of lead, especially for children.

2) Lead causes problems throughout the body, especially for children.

3) The effects can be subtle but permanent, long after childhood.

4) Lead exposures and effects are cumulative, over time and from multiple sources.

5) Three sources of lead continue to contaminate the environment and food supply: decades of pesticide application, leaded gasoline, and airborn lead from coal-fired power plants.

I have taken the following list directly from ELF’s website, and have listed both the products that exceeded the legal limit of lead per serving (0.5 micrograms of lead per serving) and those that passed the test. To keep things into perspective, the FDA allows 50 ppb of lead in fruit juices and these juices had 0.05 ppb of lead in them. That means that the FDA allows 10 times the amount of lead that was found in these baby and children’s food products! Most doctors will tell you that NO amount of lead is safe for babies and young children.

Apple Juice

For the following products, one or more samples exceeded the Prop 65 limit of 0.5 micrograms of lead per serving:

Beech Nut 100% Apple Juice
Earth’s Best Organics Apple Juice
First Street 100% Apple Cider from concentrate
First Street Apple Juice from concentrate 100% juice
Full Circle Organic Apple Juice
Gerber 100% Juice Apple Juice
Great Value 100% No Sugar Added Apple Juice
Hansen’s Natural Apple Juice
Kroger 100% Juice Apple Juice
Langers Apple Juice 100% Juice
Minute Maid Juice Apple – 100% Apple Juice
Motts 100% Apple Juice
O Organics Organic Unfiltered Apple Juice Not From Concentrate
Old Orchard 100% Apple Juice
Parade 100% Juice Apple
Raley’s Premium 100% Apple Juice not from Concentrate
Safeway 100% Juice Apple Cider
Safeway 100% Juice Apple Juice
Stater Bros. 100% Juice Apple Juice
Sunny Select 100% Apple Juice
Trader Joe’s Certified Organic Apple Juice, pasteurized
Tree Top 100% Juice Apple Cider
Walgreens Apple Juice from concentrate 100% juice
Walnut Grove Market 100% Apple Juice

For the following products, NO samples exceeded the Prop 65 limit of 0.5 micrograms of lead per serving:

Great Value 100% Apple Juice not from concentrate
Harvest Day 100% Apple Juice from Concentrate
Kirkland Fresh Pressed Apple Juice Pasteurized
Martinelli’s Gold Medal Apple Juice 100% pure from US grown fresh apples
R.W. Knudsen Organic Apple Juice unfiltered
Raley’s Everyday 100% Apple Juice
Sunny Select 100% Unfiltered Apple Juice
Trader Joe’s Fresh Pressed Apple Juice all natural pasteurized, 100% juice
Tree Top 100% Apple Juice
Tree Top Three Apple Blend 100% Fresh Pressed Juice

Grape Juice

For the following products, one or more samples exceeded the Prop 65 limit of 0.5 micrograms of lead per serving:

365 Everyday Value Organic 100% Juice Concord Grapes
First Street Grape Juice from concentrate 100% juice
Gerber 100% Juice – White Grape Juice
Great Value 100% Grape Juice
Kedem Concord Grape Juice 100% pure grape juice
Kroger Grape Juice 100% Juice
Langers Grape Juice (Concord)
Langers Red Grape Juice
O Organics Organic Grape Juice from concentrate
R.W. Knudsen Just Concord Grape Juice
R.W. Knudsen Organic Just Concord
Raley’s 100% Grape Juice
Safeway 100% Juice Grape Juice
Safeway Organic Grape Juice
Santa Cruz Organic Concord Grape Juice
Stater Bros. 100% Juice Grape Juice
Stater Bros. 100% Juice White Grape Juice
Sunny Select 100% Grape Juice
Trader Joe’s Concord Grape Juice made from fress pressed organic concord grapes
Tree Top 100% Juice, Grape
Valu Time Grape Drink from Concentrate
Walgreens Grape Juice from concentrate 100% juice
Walnut Acres Organic Concord Grape
Walnut Grove Market Grape Juice
Welch’s 100% Grape Juice (from Welch’s Concord Grapes)
Welch’s 100% Red Grape Juice from Concentrate

For the following products, NO samples exceeded the Prop 65 limit of 0.5 micrograms of lead per serving:

Old Orchard Healthy Balance Grape

Packaged Pears

For the following products, one or more samples exceeded the Prop 65 limit of 0.5 micrograms of lead per serving:

Best Yet Bartlett Pear Halves in Heavy Syrup
Del Monte Diced Pears in Light Syrup
Del Monte Pear Halves in Heavy Syrup
Del Monte Pear Halves, Bartlett Pears in 100% real fruit juice from concentrate
Dole Pear Halves in Juice
First Street Diced Pears
First Street Sliced Bartlett
Full Circle Organic Bartlett Pear Slices
Gerber 3rd Foods Pears [Baby Food]
Great Value Bartlett Pear Halves in 100% Juice
Great Value Bartlett Sliced Pears in Heavy Syrup
Market Pantry Diced Pears in Light syrup
Maxx Value Pear Pieces in Light Syrup
Polar Pear Halves in light syrup
S&W Natural Style Pear Slices in Juice
S&W Sun Pears Premium
Safeway Lite Bartlett Pear Halves in Pear Juice
Safeway Pear Halves in Light Juice
Sunny Select Pear Halves in Pear Juice
Trader Joe’s Pear Halves in white grape juice
Truitt Brothers Pacific NorthWest Bartlett Pear Halves, in pear juice from concentrate
Valu Time Irregular Bartlett Pear Slices
Walnut Grove Market Natural Pear Halves in Heavy Syrup

For the following products, NO samples exceeded the Prop 65 limit of 0.5 micrograms of lead per serving:

Eating Right Kids Diced Pears Fruit Cups
Stater Bros. Diced Pears Snack Bowl

Packaged Peaches

For the following products, one or more samples exceeded the Prop 65 limit of 0.5 micrograms of lead per serving:

Best Yet Yellow Cling Peach Halves in Heavy Syrup
Del Monte Freestone Peach Slices in 100 % Juice
Del Monte Sliced Yellow Cling Peaches in 100 % Juice
Del Monte Sliced Yellow Cling Peaches in heavy syrup
Dole Diced Peaches, Yellow Cling in light syrup
First Street Yellow Cling Peaches in heavy syrup
Gerber 3rd Foods Peaches [Baby Food]
Golden Star Peach Halves in Heavy Syrup
Great Value Yellow Cling Sliced Peaches
Libby’s Yellow Cling Peach Slices No Sugar Added (Sweetened with Splenda)
Market Pantry Diced Peaches in light syrup
Polar Peach Slices
Raley’s Sliced Yellow Cling Peaches in Heavy Syrup
S&W Natural Style Yellow Cling Peach Slices in Lightly Sweetened Juice
S&W Premium Peach Halves Yellow Cling Peaches in light syrup
Safeway Diced Peaches in Light Syrup
Safeway Yellow Cling Peach Slices in Pear Juice
Simple Value Yellow Cling Peaches in light syrup
Stater Bros. Yellow Cling Peach Halves
Stater Bros. Yellow Cling Sliced Peaches in heavy syrup
Sunny Select Yellow Cling Sliced Peaches in Pear Juice
Trader Joe’s Yellow Cling Peach Halves in while grape juice
Valu Time Yellow Cling Peach Slices
Walnut Grove Market Natural Peaches Sliced Yellow Cling in Light Syrup

For the following products, NO samples exceeded the Prop 65 limit of 0.5 micrograms of lead per serving:

Dole Diced Peaches, Cling in Light Syrup
Dole Diced Peaches, Freestone in Light Syrup
Dole Sliced Peaches
Eating Right Kids Diced Peaches in Extra Light Syrup
Stater Bros. Diced Peaches Snack Bowl

Fruit Cocktail

For the following products, one or more samples exceeded the Prop 65 limit of 0.5 micrograms of lead per serving:

Best Yet Chunky Mixed Fruit in Pear Juice
Chef’s Review Fruit Cocktail
Del Monte 100% Juice Fruit Cocktail
Del Monte Chunky Mixed Fruit in 100 % Juice (peach, pear, grape, etc.)
Del Monte Fruit Cocktail in Heavy Syrup (peach, pear, grapes)
Del Monte Fruit Cocktail No Sugar Added
Del Monte Lite Fruit Cocktail in Extra Light Syrup
Dole Mixed Fruit in Light Syrup
Eating Right Fruit Cocktail packed in Sucralose
Eating Right No Sugar Fruit Cocktail
First Street Fruit Cocktail in heavy syrup
Golden Star Mixed Fruit in Light Syrup (peach, pineapple, pears)
Great Value No Sugar Added Fruit Cocktail
Kroger Fruit Cocktail in Heavy Syrup
Kroger Lite Fruit Cocktail in Pear Juice
Kroger Value Fruit Mix (Peaches, pears, grapes)
Libby’s Fruit Cocktail No Sugar Added (Sweetened with Splenda)
Market Pantry Mixed Fruit in light syrup
Maxx Value Fruit Mix in Light Syrup (peach, pear, grape)
Mrs. Brown’s Fruit Cocktail in Heavy Syrup (peaches, pears, grapes)
Polar Mixed Fruit
Raley’s Fruit Cocktail in Heavy Syrup
S&W Natural Style Fruit Cocktail in Lightly Sweetened Juice
Safeway Fruit Cocktail in Heavy Syrup
Safeway Light Sugar Fruit Cocktail
Safeway Lite Fruit Cocktail in Pear Juice
Stater Bros. Fruit Cocktail in Heavy Syrup
Sunny Select Fruit Cocktail in Juice

For the following products, NO samples exceeded the Prop 65 limit of 0.5 micrograms of lead per serving:

Del Monte Mixed Fruit

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The Environmental Law Foundation’s (http://www.envirolaw.org/) purpose is “to improve environmental quality for those most at risk by providing access to information, strategies, and enforcement of environmental, toxics, and community right-to-know laws.”

Related Articles:
Is Our Food Making Us Sick? The Unhealthy Truth About the U.S. Food Industry
Creating A Healthy Relationship with Food: Interview with Dr. Lisa Hill
Are You What You Eat?

Homemade Baby Food: Easy as 1-2-3

I always imagined that making my own baby food sounded like a time-consuming task, but when my grandmother gifted me this lovely contraption, I decided to give it a whirl.

Beaba Babycook

I love my Beaba Babycook - it steams, purees, defrosts, and reheats. But even without such a contraption, making your own baby food is still as easy as 1 – 2 – 3…

1) Chop

2) Cook

3) Puree

All you need to make your food is a steamer basket, a saucepan, and a blender or food processor. And all you need to store it are a handful of covered ice cube trays, Ziploc freezer bags, and small plastic containers.

Preparation: Always be sure to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables. Chop them into small cubes to speed cooking time. Fruits and vegetables can be cooked in a variety of ways: steaming, poaching, boiling, and roasting, but steaming is the best method as it retains the most nutrients. To steam your food, bring 1 inch of water to boil in the saucepan, and then place the chopped fruit or vegetable set in a steamer basket into the pot. Steam until the food is tender enough to mash easily, and puree. You can use reserved liquid from steaming or breastmilk to thin the puree to your desired consistency. There is no need to add salt, sugar, or other seasonings. Pure and simple is best.

Storage: Spoon the food into covered ice cube trays and let cool to room temperature before freezing. Once frozen, transfer them to Ziploc freezer bags. Label the bags with the contents and the date, and you’re done!

My favorite website for more information on this topic is wholesomebabyfood.com. On this site, you can find nutritional information and preparation tips for various fruits and vegetables as well as meats and cereals. I personally skipped cereal and pureed meats, instead offering them once my little one was ready for table food.

But here are some handy tips:
(Please leave a comment below if you have any to add!)

Cook in large batches and freeze food. The food will last for 3 months in the freezer. Considering baby needs several days between introductions of new foods (for allergy concerns) and will only eat baby foods for a few months before moving onto finger foods, you’ll be done before you know it. I typically set aside 1-2 hours per week, and sometimes every other week, to make a large batch of 1 fruit and 1 veggie.

Suggested fruits and vegetables that freeze well: apples, bananas, peaches, pears, prunes, avocados, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash (acorn, butternut, yellow), zucchini, pumpkin, broccoli, green beans, peas. In some cases, such as bananas and avocados, these don’t even need to be cooked. Just mash and freeze! Bananas and avocados may turn brown when frozen, but it won’t affect the quality of the food.

Cook and swap with friends. Consider coordinating with friends, each preparing a large batch of some fruit or veggie and then swap. I wouldn’t suggest thinning the puree with your own breastmilk in this case, however. :)

Thaw in the refrigerator. The day before, pull out what you need and leave it overnight in the refrigerator. I usually provided 2-3 ice cubes per serving depending on my child’s age.

Do not reheat in the microwave. Reheating in the microwave can cause hot spots in the food. A better alternative is to either pull the food out of the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before serving or, do as I did, reheat it in a bottle warmer. I purchased small BPA-free plastic containers which sat perfectly on the bottle warmer, and I’d just stir as it heated until it reached the appropriate temperature.

Buy organic when pesticides are a concern. If you didn’t see it, refer back to this post for a list of fruits and vegetables containing the most and least amounts of pesticides.

Buy frozen for fruits and veggies that are not in season. Or for those that are just not up to par. I learned this the hard way when I bought a pound of fresh sugar snap peas and spent an hour shelling them only to be left with about ¼ cup of teensy weensy peas.

Make lots of apples, pears, and bananas. They combine well with a large variety of veggies. Some of my daughter’s favorite combinations were carrots/apples, sweet potato/banana, avocado/banana, green beans/apples (apples and pears were interchangeable among all of these combinations).

What were your child’s favorite fruits/veggies/combos?


Foodie Baby? New Earth’s Best Organic Meals

I recently went shopping at the local Babies-R-Us.  It was one of those typical shopping trips where you go in for diapers, blink twice and end up coughing up $100 at the cash register. 


Once inside, I realized that I needed more baby food.  I have always heard that you should expose babies to as many different types of baby foods as possible - early on – so that they’re more open to exploring foods when they’re older.  But how do you accomplish that when the options are so vanilla?! 


I walked to the baby food aisle ready to load my basket with the norm – peas, carrots, green beans. 


That was when I nearly dropped my basket. 


I am embarrassed to admit that I was actually excited to discover Earth’s Best new Organic Gourmet meals, with variations like “Chicken Mango Risotto,” “Creamy Chicken Apple Compote,” and “Tender Beef Spinach.”  They’re not cheap ($0.99/jar), but I let the emotional side of me take over and justified the price for the “gourmet” and varietal appeal.


Of course, I couldn’t resist trying each of the baby foods to see if they’re worth the extra cash.


Tender Beef Spinach.
The taste of this baby food met my expectations – as “delicious” as baby food can be. My daughter, on the other hand, scowled when she tried this jar and most of the tender beef spinach ended up down the disposal (after two separate tries).


Chicken Mango Risotto.
Although these three ingredients sound fantastic to me and usually are, I found this variety absolutely unfathomable. In fact, I had to immediately cleanse my palate to remove the taste from my mouth. My daughter, on the other hand, gobbled up the entire jar.


Since I’m not convinced that adding these gourmet meals to my daughter’s diet further developed her taste buds (or mine for that matter), I will probably skip these meals next time and go for the plain old carrots.

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