Humans are hardwired to prefer sweet flavours, a fact not lost on commercial baby food manufacturers. That is why so many of their savoury meals are mixed with fruit, making it difficult for babies to learn what individual foods taste like on their own – this can encourage fussy eating habits.
Another consideration is the extraordinarily high levels of heat used in the processing of commercial baby food in jars and pouches. This high heat method helps kill bacteria and enables the product to be shelf-stable without refrigeration for a long period of time. Unfortunately, it also breaks down nutrients and destroys enzymes essential for proper digestion.
DIGESTIVE & IMMUNE HEALTH
One of my biggest passions is digestive/gut health and its connection with the immune system. It’s hard to believe that 70-80% of the immune system resides in the gut. The digestive tract accommodates a very complex part of the immune system that houses immune cells which help to defend against invading microbes such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.
The probiotics or beneficial bacteria in our microbiome act as mighty warriors for our immune system. They are allies for these immune cells, not only helping to boost immune function, they protect the gut wall and keep the bad bugs at bay so they don’t enter further in to the body. Maintaining healthy populations of good bacteria in the gut is so important. Without them, the immune system cannot do its job effectively.
It’s great we can look after these little guys so easily through our food. The substantial amount of fibre in each of The Baby Pantry meals provides babies with an amazing prebiotic source. Prebiotics encourage the growth and re-population of our good bacteria.
Food intolerances are an issue we see regularly in clinical practice in children and adults. If we focus on veges and a small amount of fruit for baby’s first food, we can minimise the risk of developing food intolerances. Their wee digestive and immune systems simply aren’t mature enough to deal with much else during their introduction to solid foods. In addition, they also get fantastic levels of nutrients for boosting gut and immune function.
Organics isn’t just the latest fad, it’s the way we farmed and ate for most of our history as a species. It’s a way of farming that nurtures the health, not only of humans but of the land itself.
It’s fair to say we are living in world that is different to a generation ago. Today there is increased exposure to many chemicals ranging from herbicides and pesticides through to artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.
Organics isn’t just the latest fad, it’s the way we farmed and ate for most of our history as a species. It’s a way of farming that nurtures the health, not only of humans but of the land itself. By nurturing the soil, we replace the need for toxic chemicals and we can grow high quality produce packed with nutrients that really nourish the body.
What I love about The Baby Pantry is their quest to minimise your baby’s exposure to these chemicals by sourcing high quality, super-fresh, seasonal organic and spray-free produce.
Growing a Healthy Human requires a strong nutritional foundation by using simple, organic wholefoods to provide the best start in life.
Kerryn McArthur is a medical herbalist and naturopath: www.medicalherb.co.nz