What to buy Organic

We all wish we can buy everything we eat organic, but for most of us – organic eating is $$$, so we’ve put together a few items that we think is a good start in buying organic.  If you’re a parent or you’re expecting, this word likely passes your lips regularly. It describes produce that is grown without potentially harmful pesticides. Sure, many experts insist such chemicals are safe. But with a baby in the house or on the way, you’re probably more vigilant about what goes into your body and your child’s, and with good reason. “Babies eat more than adults, pound for pound, and are more vulnerable to environmental toxins,” says Alan Greene, MD, pediatrician and author of Raising Baby Green.

To lower your chemical load, you don’t need to take an all-or-nothing approach. Start with a change or two based on what your family regularly eats.

Milk
Organic milk can cost about 50 percent more than conventional milk costs. But, Dr. Greene says, “If you want to make just one change, this is it.” Conventional milk contains antibiotics and artificial hormones, as well as pesticides. Experts worry that all these hormones could kick-start early puberty, considering how much milk kids drink on a daily basis. Plus, recent research from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom found that, compared with conventional milk, organic milk contains significantly higher levels of heart-healthy fatty acids and antioxidants.
Potatoes
Potatoes make the Dirty Dozen list put out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit devoted to food safety, meaning that potatoes are one of the 12 most pesticide-contaminated fruits or vegetables. The EWG also found that 81 percent of potatoes still contained pesticides after being washed and peeled. Kids take in plenty of spuds as french fries — another reason to limit their consumption. Adults, too, love the taters: According to one survey, they account for 30 percent of all veggies eaten by adults.
Peanut Butter
If PB&J sandwiches are a lunchtime favorite with your kids, it may be time to try an organic spread. “The pesticides used on peanuts are found to be especially toxic,” Dr. Greene says. What’s more, since 1996 there’s been a dramatic rise in peanut allergies. Genetically modified soy may cross over into the peanut crop, he adds, which could account for this upswing.
Baby Food
Our body and brain grow faster from birth to age 3 than at any other time,” Dr. Greene says, adding that “if you’re going to pick only one time to go organic, it should be from conception to age 3.” Kate Clow, of Chatham, New Jersey, adheres to this rule: “I try to give Owen, my 10-month-old, all organic because he’s so young, but for the older girls, who are almost 3 and 5, I avoid just the Dirty Dozen.”
Ketchup
The average American consumed 94 pounds of tomatoes in 2006, mainly in the form of tomato juice, tomato paste, and ketchup. Kids love this condiment: It makes the perfect dip for everything from veggies to eggs. It’s superhealthy, too, as it’s the number-one source of lycopene, a nutrient that helps to lower the risk for cancer and heart disease. Research has found that organic ketchups are 57 percent higher in lycopene than their conventional counterparts and dish up double the antioxidants. Also notable is what most organic ketchups don’t have: sugar and artificial flavors — which is why Erica LePore, a Kingstown, Rhode Island, mom of three, buys the organic variety.
Apples
If yours is like most American homes, the fridge is stocked with apples, applesauce, and apple juice. This fruit is the most commonly eaten after bananas and the second most commonly used in juices after oranges. However, apples are second on the Dirty Dozen list. What’s more, the organic version has been found to have higher levels of disease-fighting polyphenols and other phytonutrients, Dr. Greene says.
Beef
Antibiotics are used to promote growth in livestock, and those drugs may make it into your system too. And most American beef comes from cattle that is corn- or grain-fed, which is not healthy for us. Organic, grass-fed beef tends to be leaner and has five times the omega-3 fats, which are good for the heart. Organic beef can be tough to find. To locate organic beef in your area, visit organicconsumers.org or your local farmers’ market.

The Dirty Dozen These earn the distinction as the most contaminated by pesticides; buy organic when possible!
* Peaches
* Apples
* Sweet bell peppers
* Celery
* Nectarines
* Strawberries
* Cherries
* Lettuce
* Grapes (imported)
* Pears
* Spinach
* Potatoes

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Sweet Potato Crunch

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we’re all trying to figure out our holiday menu if we haven’t planned it out already. Here’s one that will definitely impress your mini-diners at the dinner table.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 stick butter, softened, divided
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup corn flakes
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Make It1. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan; add enough salted water to cover them, and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Transfer to a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat in 1/2 stick butter, the granulated sugar, orange peel, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt. Transfer to a baking dish. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

2. In a small bowl, mix together corn flakes, brown sugar, and pecans. Melt remaining 1/2 stick butter, and stir into corn-flake topping. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

3. On Thanksgiving Day, remove potatoes and topping from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat sweet potatoes in microwave for 20 minutes at 50 percent power to warm. Stir. Sprinkle topping over potatoes and bake in oven for 20 minutes.

FREE: Amazon Kindle Downloads- How To Guide to making baby food

Mama Cheryl has been posting some great recipes to make your own organic baby food, which I must say I’m so proud of her for being able to do such with her busy schedule.  For more recipes, you can go on Amazon and get this how-to-guide to making your own baby food. Download the DIY Organic Baby Food: The How-To Guide here for your Kindle. (you don’t need a kindle to get these books – if you have an iPhone, iPad, Droid, Blackberry dont forget to download the app for Kindle and you can still read it!) Enjoy!

Thank you coupongeek!

Baby Food Recipes

Life has been extremely busy lately at the Ng Family household, but thank goodness I have a nanny for Tyler who can still continue cooking homemade meals for him daily. Today he is 6 months and 1 week old – and had his wellness checkup.  He’s 16.11 pounds and 26 inches long.  The doc okayed us to start him on meat, yogurt and start with the sippy cup.  It’s really like a blink of an eye, but my baby is growing up.  Before I know it, he’ll be mobile and on his own, and I’ll have 2 toddlers to chase around.  Sometimes I wonder why I still need to go to the gym when I have 2 active kids in my life.

With that in mind, many of my friends have been asking me for some of the recipes I use for Tyler’s food.  Below are some of my favorite.  I didn’t realize it till I started; but making baby food is actually quite fun and rewarding.  I’ve said it before; even though I read the labels on baby food jar products and MOST of them have nothing that’s bad for your baby; I love that when I make it – I know exactly what is going into the food I make.  My husband and I are adventurous eaters and love to eat every palate under the sun, and hopefully by cooking our own food, my son can grow up to be the same way.

Cinnamon Pea Puree

–          Handful of frozen Peas (enough for a meal)

–          Sprinkle of cinnamon

–          Water

–          Smiddgen of Butter

Cover peas in pot with enough water.  Boil and simmer till tender – approximately 3-5 minutes. Strain.  Puree warm peas in blender while gradually adding water to get the consistency you need for your baby.  Remove and add cinnamon and butter and serve.

Avocado & Banana Mash

–          Quarter of Small Avocado

–          Half of Small Ripe Banana

Mash small avocado and banana with 1-2 tablespoon of formula or breast milk to get the consistency your baby will need.

Plum and Pear Puree with Rice Cereal or Oatmeal

–          Half Ripe Plum (pitted and peeled)

–          Half Pear (pitted and peeled)

–          Rice Cereal or Oatmeal (I personally like the Happy Bellies or Earth Best brand)

Blend plum and pear together to a puree.  Stir in rice cereal or oatmeal  to thicken.  Serve.

Sweet Potatoes with Touch of Cinnamon

–          1 sweet Potato

–          Cinnamon

–          Butter

Scrub sweet potato and prick with fork.  Bake on 400 degrees for about 45 mins or until the potato is soft and tender.  Allow to cool down.  (If you’re in a rush, you can also boil in a pot of hot water – but baking will help maintain the flavor & nutrition of the sweet potato better)

Scoop inside of potato and mash until smooth and add cinnamon and butter.

Now that my son has the OK to start on meat – I’m going to be working on different recipes.  If you have a favorite recipe that works for you; please SHARE.

~Mama Cheryl