Ginger chicken with bananas and brown rice, baked sweet potatoes with white beans, and for dessert roasted pears and apricots. Sound like an inspired meal?
It's baby food from Sprout, organic gourmet baby food cooked up by Chef Tyler Florence of the Food Network, father of three, cookbook author and gastronomic entrepreneur. As he says, giving babies healthy choices early on establishes food preferences for good food. After all, they’ve got something like 7,000 more tastebuds in their tiny mouths.
Last year I heard Dr. Alan Green decry that the #1 choice of most doctors for babies’ first solid food was processed white rice cereal. The author of Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care, blames long-term health problems on kids’ dependency on sugary starchy food, and it all begins with that first bite.
“It’s a dramatic reversal,” he said, proudly explaining the thinking behind “Color In” for babies. No need to sneak fruits and veggies into kids' diets, if they've started with a banana.
"White Out" and "Color In"
Today, young parents are choosing to skip the rice-syrup filled mushy goop, making their own purees. In 2009, Treehugger reported on "7 Great Green Baby Foods," noting that unfortunately organic baby food wasn’t as common as it should be.
In just a few years, there are plenty of delicious, gourmet options for tots and tykes, if Expo West is an indication. And without thickeners, added sugars or salts. Plus most of these foods are packaged in BPA-free pouches that can be upcycled through TerraCycle.
Plum Organics is still going strong, and there's also Baby Gourmet's Veggie Lentil Dahl, Oh Baby'ss gingery Wise Punkin and minty greens, Ella’s Kitchen Four Bean Feast, and Happy Family’s line of superfoods mixed with banana, peach and mango.
I don’t know about kids eating popped puffs, even if the colorful fruits and vegetable snacks and have only one gram of sugar. But with tastes like blueberry & purple sweet potato, spinach & apple, and strawberry & beet, maybe Plum Organics could make them for adults? Yum.