This post is sponsored by Beech-Nut® but this post was written 100% by me, and all opinions are 100% my own.
It is unbelievably hard to believe that Ellie is already 6 months old, but she is amazingly already halfway through her first year of life, no matter how much I will her to stay little forever.
We went to the commissary this week and bought our favorite purees, since she has hit the age to start solid foods. I reached out to collaborate with Beech-Nut® Naturals™, because I absolutely love their commitment to only use real ingredients you can actually pronounce; 100% natural ingredients.
We have been moving as a family more towards natural products in our home, and love to use homemade products when possible, but honestly I just don’t have time to puree and make all of my own baby food. On top of that, produce is NOT CHEAP to purchase in Japan. Beech-Nut® Naturals™ is inspired by homemade, so I am more than happy to always purchase their foods and save myself some serious time and money in the process. Nothing better than looking at a jar of baby food and simply reading “sweet potatoes” on the ingredients list.
Ellie was more than happy too, and sincerely enjoyed her orange sweet potato goodness yesterday.
On a side note, because I feel it is important to mention: Ellie girl took her first bites of food today, right at 6 months old.
Did you know that it is actually recommended that infants actually remain exclusively breast-fed until ALL signs of readiness are met, and the same guidelines should be followed if you are formula feeding? This includes sitting upright without assistance, the lack of a tongue-thrust reflex, having a clear interest in foods, and having met 6 months of age (while other recommendations state that as early as 4 months is okay to start solids, our family chose to wait until Ellie hit 6 after reading various studies on the subject.)
So, when my baby is ready, why should I choose natural?
1. There are no artificial colors or preservatives in natural foods.
Are you familiar with the dyes in so many foods that can cause allergic reactions? I was a kid that was allergic to red dye 40, and I used to have to watch EVERY. SINGLE. FOOD. LABEL.
Buying baby food without added preservatives and dyes allows your baby to only get the foods found in nature, not a bunch of added chemicals. Beech-Nut® Naturals™ is inspired by homemade, and their baby foods are vacuum-sealed, meaning many preservatives can actually be left out completely while still keeping the food safe to eat.
2. There is minimal processing, so you don’t have to worry about lots of major allergy risks.
Having a son with a still unconfirmed peanut allergy, and carrying an epi pen around constantly is pretty terrifying, so we are extremely cautious with Ellie now as well. Being able to read an ingredients list that ONLY states that the fruit or veggie is included in the product is a breath of fresh air for an allergy mom. All of the Beech-Nut® purees are free from peanut, tree nut, and soy, though some do contain wheat or dairy. You can use the allergen filter to clearly see which foods could be a concern for your babe, by using the checklist on the sidebar here.
3. Natural just tastes better.
Perhaps this is a statement of opinion, but I would venture to say it’s true in almost all cases. I try everything that I give my kiddos, and I finished off the jar of sweet potatoes that Ellie ate last night after she had taken her fill. Normally I won’t touch purees of veggies, but the sweet potatoes were actually excellent. I loved that they weren’t overly sweetened, and actually taste like what a whole cooked sweet potato would.
4. Natural usually means ingredients are processed as little as possible.
Did you know that the more a fruit or veggie is processed, the more the nutrients cook out of it? Choosing a product with less processing and less artificial ingredients means more nutrients are going straight to your baby. Beech-Nut® Naturals™ is simply prepared using indirect heat, meaning as little cooking as possible is used in order to produce safe and nutrient-rich foods for your families.
5. Simple and uncomplicated flavors encourage your babes to love fruits and veggies.
Keeping your baby foods tasting the same as ACTUAL fruits and veggies encourages your baby to love those same fruits and veggies when they transition away from purees. We plan to do a mix of baby-led-weaning and purees for Ellie, and I am confident that using natural baby foods will allow the transition to munching on solid fruits and veggies that much easier.
Furthermore and aside from anything related to their food, I have been so impressed with Beech-Nut® as a brand. Being a small company of around 300 employees located out of New York, they choose to operate out of a green, energy-efficient building, and they choose to LOCALLY source their ingredients whenever possible— including all of their apples for the Naturals™ range from a farm near Lake Ontario, just down the road from their facility! I’m all about supporting small and supporting local, so that is AWESOME in my mind.
If you are starting solids with your babe, cheers to this milestone! I encourage you to do your research on baby foods, and to consider choosing natural if possible. Our family will definitely continue choosing natural whenever possible, and this little ham will continue loving every second of it.