Thursday, September 2, 2010

Redux Wednesdays -- A greener way with peas

We live in a preservative-happy culture. Chemicals and preservatives are everywhere. Does that mean you have to spoon-feed them to your precious little one? Absolutely not!

Homemade baby foods are the best choice for your baby and for the environment! Eliminating the waste produced by boxed and jarred baby foods definitely qualifies you as a green parent/grandparent/caretaker. And eliminating the chemicals and preservatives in your baby's diet qualifies you as a smart one.

Even celebrities have jumped on this bandwagon. In a Good Housekeeping article a year or so ago, Gwyneth Paltrow was quoted as saying, "When I'd read about what pesticides do to small animals, I thought, Why would I expose my child to that?...I just want my kids to be as healthy as they possibly can. And I feel like eating well is the best start for living well."

People magazine reported last year that Tori Spelling made all of her own baby food for daughter, Stella.

And let's face facts, folks; Paltrow and Spelling aren't pureeing peaches because of the cost factor! But that is another benefit for those of us on budgets! I picked up a small handheld baby food grinder at a garage sale for 25 cents! Brand new! I don't even have to plug it in, which gives me a couple extra green bonus points!

But don't just grab a handful of peas or a bunch of ripe grapes and start grinding. Age-appropriate foods are important. Stick with Stage 1 food for babies under 8 months of age. This will ensure less chances of allergic reactions. Most experts recommend not giving solid foods to babies under 5-6 months old and starting with cereals, followed by vegetables and fruits, meats, egg yolks (NOT egg whites!), and ending their first year with cheese and plain yogurts during the last couple of months.

Breast milk (or formula, if you must) can be added to foods as you puree them to give them the runny consistency necessary for babies starting out on solid foods. Don't store the pureed food for longer than 48 hours in the refrigerator. However, you can freeze portions by filling an ice cube tray and popping the frozen meals into containers for easy access.

An excellent website for advice and recipes on making your own baby food can be found at

One last thought on going green and healthy with a grinder or for local produce! Visit farm markets and look for organic foods.

Of course, it would be more convenient to just drive down to the store and pick up a jar or two. But, as I like to say...who said being a parent was about convenience. To quote Kermit the Frog, "It's not that easy being green."

Keeping it green,


Photos courtesy of Anna Cervova and Teodoro S Gruhl

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