Last month I talked about how to make your own baby food and what that calls for. I loved everyone’s comments, and from them, I have new ideas for recipe development. But what I didn’t talk yet was what so many parents ask me about- the other choices out there and why they aren’t as safe and nutritious as you may think they are for your baby. Other baby foods claim to be healthy and organic, quick and easy. But you need to have all facts before you make your decision as to what to feed your little one.
Shelf-Stable = Over cooked and over processed
Foods found in the baby aisle haven’t changed much for 70 plus years. Where is the innovation in the baby food aisle? Why do we have better, fresher options for adults (and our pets!) but babies are overlooked? My thoughts exactly! All choices given are still processed without much regard to freshness and nutrition- and isn’t that what’s important? This Momma on a Mission behind Pure Spoon thinks so! These shelf-stable baby foods use a process called High Heat Pasteurization (HHP) to keep their meals safe on the shelf for up to a year and giving our babies the freshest, most nutrient dense meals possible got lost along the way. How did convenience overshadow quality?
Manufacturers take the ingredients, often cook them down to a syrup-like consistency losing critical flavor and nutrition, package them in a jar or plastic pouch and then reheat/cook them in the packaging so the food can stay on a shelf for as long as possible. Convenient- maybe? Nutritious and fresh- no. It can then sit on the baby aisle at your grocery story for ages. Plus, when you chose the pouched version of baby food, you can’t always trust what is on the inside. There have been reported instances of mold and even scarier, botulism inside these pouches - http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/02/organic-baby-food-pouches-recalled-for-botulism-risk/#.WVUxmojys2w.
One thing to remember is that here at Pure Spoon we do not use High Heat Pasteurization- which depletes the yummy flavor and nutritional qualities of your food. We use high-pressure pasteurization, a process which uses pressure instead of heat, maintaining the structure, content, and color of your baby’s food- https://purespoon.com/blogs/blog/what-is-hpp. Like cold-pressed juices, it’s found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store or delivered cold right to your front door. It’s fresh, hand-made, and full of all its original vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients. We also believe in transparency. From the whole, raw fruit and veggies we use (we never use pre-made purees- we make it all by hand), to our allergen-free, certified organic kitchen, to the transparent containers we use to package our meals- everything is as clear as it seems. We want you to know exactly what you are feeding your babies.
The Other Baby Food Puree- What does a ‘banana puree’ or ‘apple puree’ tree look like anyway?
Don’t be fooled. ‘Apple puree’, ‘peach puree’ or ‘pear puree’ is not the same as the actual fruit. Commercialized baby food often uses fruit and veggie pre-made purees. What’s wrong with a puree as a listed ingredient? Well, what exactly is it? Many of these companies source their ingredients from other manufacturers who boil (we always recommend keeping the ingredients raw or lightly steaming them to maintain the nutrients, color, and taste) the fruits and vegetables down to purees, sometimes add preservatives to keep the pre-made purees “safe” for transport and to extend the shelf-life, then they fill them in plastic bags while hot to make them shelf-stable for shipment. Once received, the baby food companies cook it again, add in other flavor purees, reducing the contents to “food” that no longer resemble their original fruit and veggie source. The resulting purees also contain an excessive ratio of sugar. But even scarier to me is that studies have shown that sugar contents on some of these baby foods are under-reported by almost 87%!
We all know how detrimental sugar is to our health, imagine what it can do to your baby. Our baby’s first foods most definitely lead to their choices as an adult. If we feed them commercialized food full of sugar and lacking nutritional content, they will eat fewer fruits and vegetables as they mature, instead leaning towards prettily packaged highly processed foods that will fuel their cravings for sweet. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27079145.
I am passionate about making food for your baby that is exactly what it says on the container. Pure Spoon only uses raw, whole, certified organic ingredients; never pre-made purees. I want your baby to have the same thing as Riley did - homemade, fresh, pure, organic meals.
What Else is in There?
Over the past few years, there have been many discoveries of other ingredients making their way into shelf stable baby food. The color of commercialized food is not right. It’s off in some way, and this is due to its over-pasteurization process. But it’s the reporting of mold and other things growing inside that made me shy away from the pouch. http://www.parents.com/recipes/scoop-on-food/recall-alert-your-applesauce-pouches-may-contain-mold/.
I regularly read the labels of everything I buy, not just to eat. But with Riley’s food, I am a stickler, and that is why I learned very early on how to read the ingredient list. Take the case of Plum Organics- last year, the CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) cautioned the company for mislabeling their baby food pouches with misleading ingredient claims. In the Kale, Apple & Greek Yogurt blend, the first three ingredients were apple puree (not apples), water, and pasteurized yogurt (dead bacteria) – kale was fifth on the ingredient list. And the apples were not real apples, just a puree.
I don’t know about you, but I want to know what is in my baby’s food. Exactly and in the right order.
I created Pure Spoon to fill in this gap- and I work tirelessly to do so.