Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Solids, Organics & CSAs

Since having Isis & recently starting her on solid foods, we have really done some research on food. It's such a basic part of all of our lives & you'd think we'd be interested in it already, but it has really changed for us since we became responsible for another life. We feel like we have just a few years to really provide her with a great nutritional start in life & we want to do the best we can. This had led to several conclusions for us. We've done a lot of research & had a lot of discussion. This is something every parent has to do on their own & they may come to different conclusions than we have. I personally don't believe that the conclusions are the important part with this topic. I think it's the research & the interest in providing what you feel is best for your child. Here are our conclusions:

We want Isis to eat organic as much as is within our power to provide this for her.
We will not be feeding her red meat for several years & when we do, it will be organic, locally raised meat.
We want to teach her about supporting her local farmers.
We want to provide her with a variety of tastes & spices to hopefully help her develop a diverse palate.

I recently picked up the book Organically Raised by Anni Daulter & Shante Lanay. It has great advice related to fresh home-cooked, organic meals including homemade baby food recipes. I'm really excited about learning from this book! I already learned several new tips & ideas just from skimming through it.

We also have decided to become part of a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture is a system where local farmers offer "shares" to members of the community. When you purchase a share, you receive a box of produce or sometimes other items including meat, poultry and/or eggs weekly throughout the growing season. It provides benefits to the farmers through cashflow at the beginning of the season & connection with the people who eat their produce. It provides benefits to the CSA members by supplying them with fresh, locally grown foods & a pride in their local community farmers.

We just recently found out about CSAs from Maria at Ria's Rhetoric. (Check out her blog for some great gluten-free recipes!) We didn't get on board with this at the beginning of the season. Normally shares are sold beginning around January & payments are expected in full by the end of May. I've contacted several local farms to see if they will allow us to jump in at the middle of the season. Hopefully they will. If not, we will be starting next year!!

Do any of you participate in CSAs?
Do you have any tips on providing your children with organic foods?
Do you have any great baby food recipes?


Mrs. Mother said...

I need to see if anyone does CSAs locally. I would love to join a program like that. I love fresh, homegrown products.

Asashia said...

I'm not able to buy organic as much as I would like---I just don't have the finances for it. But I do have a small vegetable garden in my backyard where I don't use any pesticides, just some plant food so I don't know if adding the food makes it still qualify for organic.
In terms of food for your little one, I too made all of my baby food. If we were out and about and I didn't have enough, I would definitely buy organic (I *heart* Plum Organics). An awesome resource for me was cookbooks by Annabel Karmel- Superfoods for your Baby and Top 25 Baby Purees (I think those are the titles but you can definitely research her by name).

J. Is A Bird said...

I'm fortunate that I live in Los Angeles where I can go to a Farmers' Market every day of the week and buy local and/or organic for less than what I would pay at Whole Foods.

My children are now (almost) 4 and 2 so it's a bit more of a struggle to keep them away from gold fish crackers and the like. But overall, I think starting them on fruits & veggies and such a young age has gone a long way to developing better eating habits.

Cameron said...

Mrs. Mother - make sure you check out that site - that's how I found out about the ones in my area! Or you could ask at your local Farmers Market if you have one of those!

Asashia - I think that just doing what you can with what you have is the most important thing! A vegetable garden is perfect!! If I didn't live in a townhouse right now, I would absolutely be starting a vegetable garden! I want to do an herb garden on my back porch! I will look for the Plum Organics! I do need some packaged baby food sometimes, so I'll have to check that out!

J is a Bird - I think what you're doing sounds great!! I definitely can see that it'll be more of a struggle to keep them eating great things as they get older! That's why I'm just trying to take advantage of the time that I have.

Jackie H. said...

I've made babyfood for both of my boys. I LOVE the recipes on this site.
Best resource for me. If you didn't already discover it in your research, check it out!

The Planet Pink said...

We are part of a local food co-op here and it is WONDERFUL. We can actually order all the food online and then pick up once it's delivered. And we love taking the princesses to our local farmer's market, and of course we've exposed them to gardening this year. I just feel very strongly that kids grow up knowing that food doesn't just come in cardboard boxes.

The Planet Pink said...

Oh, and I second Annabel Karmel's books. Excellent resources for feeding your baby!

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