Peas and carrots go flying! Tomato sauce smeared on the table. Smashed blueberries scattered on the floor. Green beans mushed, chewed up and spit out. No, this isn’t a food fight at an elementary school; it’s my baby girl Quinn expressing her emotions towards eating solid food. Sometimes she loves them, and other times she loathes them. From her eating habits alone, I can see that my little one year old is formulating her own thoughts and figuring out that she can choose what she likes and dislikes and if she wants more or has had enough.
Prior to Quinn being born, my husband and I decided to go the organic and non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) route as much as possible and have been conscientious in selecting and preparing her baby food. Now that she’s eating more solid foods, putting together a variety of toddler friendly meals has become an arduous yet exciting task. Though I enjoy shopping at Whole Foods, coming out with just one bag of groceries worth $50 or more to prepare one week worth of meals for my daughter is not something I’m looking to do on a regular basis. So I’ve been compiling places and brands that have been helpful on my quest to keeping Quinn’s food organic as well as non-GMO when possible.
Trader Joe’s has been one of my favorite “go to” places. I can get organic fruit, vegetables, cereal, etc. at a reasonable price for the entire family. One of my favorite deals is the bag three pound bag of organic sweet potatoes for a little over $3.00
Target actually has a nice selection of reasonably priced organic foods in their grocery section. Not all but some of their Simply Balanced line is organic and may even be non-GMO. I’ve been able to use some of the frozen organic fruits and vegetables to prepare meals for Quinn instead of going the “prepackaged route.”
Annie’s Homegrown is actually a line I stumbled across at Target. Many of their foods are non-GMO and organic. They’re great when I need to prepare a quick meal. My daughter, like most children, loves their macaroni and cheese, and the pasta noodles are small enough for her to chew without choking being an issue.
Earth’s Best has far more than breakfast, but their organic waffles with no growth hormones are the perfect size for my daughter, and this is the first solid food breakfast item that Quinn happily eats up with little to no assistance from me.
Ella’s Kitchen has been wonderful in helping Quinn transition to eating solid foods that require more chewing. She loves the perfectly pleasing tomato-y pasta with plenty of vegetables. I love this meal because it has many nutrients unlike the few organic options Gerber has for toddlers. Though I’ve been successful at replicating the meal by purchasing my own organic ingredients, it is great to have it readily available when Quinn wants dinner “now.”
Plum Organics is our “go to” not just for quick dinner meals but for healthy snack options as well. Though many of Quinn’s snacks are fruits such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries and kiwis, occasionally she gets a packaged snack. When comparing the organic snacks Gerber offers with the ones Plum Organics offers, the latter has more nutrients an less empty calories. (I want to instill the importance of eating healthy with Quinn from the very start)
I’ve located two toddler meal recipe books for preparing healthy, organic meals:
Perhaps my list above will help out some mommy’s and daddy’s going the organic route and looking for more reasonably priced alternatives. If you have any suggestions for me, please feel free to share.
All the best,