At Lil’ Orchard Baby Foods, all our products are handmade using market fresh fruits and vegetables. My goal here is to explain why I believe our food is more nutritious than the over-processed, room temperature baby food pouches and jars that line the grocery store shelves. Here is my personal take on things, with some help from the internet.
As an example, let's take apple puree and do a quick comparison. At Lil’ Orchard, we hand-pick our apples and do a taste comparison to select the right type of apple. We wash, peel and core our apples and then steam, puree, strain and flash-freeze them. This process duplicates the typical way people make baby food at home. Many large-scale commercial baby food companies use apples; some from the tree, some may be half-rotten from the ground. They collect huge vats of apples and dump them into large grinders/pulverisers (with the peels, cores, and all) and then cook at insanely high heat (‘heat-treating’ or sterilizing, is a standard in commercial baby food production according to a study released by the Open Toxicology Journal), which further strips nutrients. Additives, such as ascorbic acid (a synthetic form of vitamin C) may be added. Preservatives, such as ‘lemon juice from concentrate’ (water, concentrated lemon juice, sugar, colour and benzoic acid!!), may be added to prolong shelf life. The majority of the grocery store baby food is unnecessarily sweet with large amounts of water added; sometimes there is more water than any other ingredient! At Lil’ Orchard, we add as little water as possible, only enough to get our fruits and vegetables moving in the blender.
Due to brilliant marketing, many of these large-scale baby food companies lead you to believe that their ingredients are as beautiful as the images on their packaging (even though many companies use less than desirable fruits and vegetables, which can’t make it to a grocery store produce section). I assume that most people buying these products read ‘apples’ on the ingredient list and think they are feeding their lil’ ones high quality, nutritious apples but that is likely not the case.
Once I discovered the above information, I didn't want to feed these products to my daughter, although, I have a couple of times. When I went looking for healthier options, I couldn’t find any. This is what inspired me to start Lil’ Orchard Baby Foods. My goal is to provide babies a healthy start and provide families with nutritious baby food that is simple, convenient, delicious and affordable. Our food is available at Chongo's Produce Market in Calgary, AB and online for delivery right to your door. To view our current product selection, please click here.
Owner/Operator of Lil’ Orchard Baby Foods
Photo from: 123rf