I was never the most health-conscious person, with my favorite food being fried chicken, satay, laksa, BBQ stingray, all the Singapore yummy hawker food! Just writing them out is making me hungry..
When baby E started her solids, that’s the first time ever, I wonder if she needs organic foods. Is it really necessary to buy the same food at double (and sometimes 10x?! E.g. Broccoli, beets) the price when they gives the same nutritional values? I mean, we all grow up eating non-organic food and we are still fine, right?
Well, actually we did grow up eating organic foods. Or at least I remembered the vegetables I used to eat when I was young, were full of “holes” (bugs ate them before I did). Probably not full organic, but pesticides, antibiotics were probably too expensive/advanced for the poor farmers of my era.
And considering how much time, efforts, research were made to ensure our little one eats heathy homemade food, but end up the foods are packed with pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs (genetically modified organism)… It kinda makes me feel like my efforts are being washed down the drains!
But going full organic will break my bank as organic foods are grossly expensive here in Singapore (one stalk of organic broccoli at S$9?!, yes I’m very sore about my broccoli ;( ). So here are some guides to buying healthy foods for your little ones without robbing the bank!
Here is a list of foods according to Environmental Working Group the cleanest (least pesticides) foods that you can buy non-organic. Listed here those that I find are suitable for lo. For the full list, please click here.
Yes! Say no to expensive organic avocados! Organic ones are really rare anyway. It’s my favorite breakfast fruit for my lo. Mashed avocados with banana, milk and/or yogurt, top with cornflakes/raisins and flaxmeal/chia seeds, yummy and nutritious!
Sweet peas (frozen)
Peas was one of my lo first finger food, although it’s small but packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. She used it to practice her pincer grasp. It’s also easy to prepare, just thaw and steam!
I love asparagus! My lo too! It’s flavorful on its own, stir-fry with garlic for better fragrance and wonderful benefits of garlic!
Yes we all know about the loads of vitamin C in it and be happy to know non-organic are fine too!
A cruciferous vegetable like broccoli but often overlooked. They have almost similar nutritional values but broccoli has much higher percentage of vitamin K and has vitamin A which cauliflower doesn’t have. Nonetheless, being a cleaner food can make this an alternative to broccoli sometimes, although broccoli is not that far off the clean chart.
They are sometimes said as the best first food for lo. But bear in mind too much sweet potato can cause constipation and the beta-carotene can cause yellow skin. Especially when you need to follow the 3 days guide, be sure to let lo drink plenty of fluid. But packed with nutrients and simply sweet by just steaming them!
My lo favorite food. No matter is it steamed, baked or fried, she always finish the mushrooms first. We seldom read about in websites of baby food as it’s more of an eastern culture. But it’s packed with vitamin Bs, antioxidants, like selenium, copper, vitamin D etc.
Best thirst-drenching fruit! Ideal for Singapore humid weather. Lo also loves the juicy, naturally sweet fruit. For younger babies, please pick out the seeds!
Another of my lo favourite (she loves fruits)! It’s great to blend with milk, yogurt and some chia seeds as a smoothie or put into a Popsicle mold to freeze as a cool treat!
Foods to buy organic
Below are foods you should always try to go for organic. There is also the way of soaking foods in vinegar water to wash away the pesticides. But sometimes for convenience I will just pick up the organic ones.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But apples are the dirtiest foods on the list. Not so healthy anymore huh? Relatively affordable at S$5+ for 6 apples (NTUC Fairprice), I will just buy and let LO munch the whole apple.
Now, sweet corn is really clean of pesticides. So why buy organic? Because according to this list, corn is one of the most frequently GMO food. There is no definite answers as to whether GMO really poses any risk to our health in long term consumption. But if you want to be safe, buy organic.
Lo is now on fresh milk. There are way too many different opinions about milk and I shall not go there today. Milk is still essential for my lo, it’s kinda like my lo comfort food to ask for whenever she feels a little down. I prefer organic since she drinks at least 2 cups a day. I mean, she was fully breastfed, of course I would want my replacement to be good too!
Strawberries and other berries
Really hard to find organic, but that’s always the way to soak with vinegar water! It supposedly will extend strawberries shelf-life too! Alternatively, I find this freeze-dried organic strawberry from iHerb is great too! It simply melts in the mouth tasting like fresh strawberry! Using freeze dry method which retains the nutrients and last for a long time! Expensive but oh so convenient to add a few slices in my lo breakfast cereal.
Like strawberries, hard to find organic but soaking in vinegar can wash away the pesticides too. My lo loves grapes and it makes a convenient snacks to bring out.
The list is really endless but at the end of the day, it is how comfortable we are about the foods we give our lo and organic foods or not, we still have to ensure the preparation process is kept clean and hygenic and of course, whether our lo eats it or not is another problem lol.