Why organic?

Organic vegetables and fruits are grown without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, bioengineering or ionizing radiation. Products labeled “Certified Organic” have been inspected by a Government-approved certifier to ensure that the product was produced by USDA organic standards. Homemade Baby carefully selects each ingredient used in each meal, ensuring that only the purest, safest foods find their way to your high chair.

Although there is no research that proves conclusively that organic foods are more nutritious, the reasons to choose organic foods are plentiful. First of all, some of the chemical fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides used by non-organic farmers have been linked in studies to cancer, nerve damage, birth defects and genetic mutations. And the chemicals used on the farm don’t always wash off. More than 80% of the conventionally grown fruits and vegetables tested by the USDA’s “Pesticide Data Program” (PDP) from 1994-1999 contained at least one pesticide residue. 90% of the conventional apples tested for the PDP study contained at least one pesticide residue.

A recent study by a team of federally funded scientists from the University of Washington, Emory University and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that switching to organic foods provides children “dramatic and immediate” protection from pesticides that are widely used on a variety of crops. “In conclusion,” the researchers wrote, “we were able to demonstrate that an organic diet provides a dramatic and immediate effect against exposure to organophosphorus pesticides that are commonly used in agricultural production.” Margaret Reeves, a staff scientist at the Pesticide Action Network North America, based in San Francisco, called the findings “a strong argument that [organic food] is a good way to go, if you have access to it and can afford it.”

Organic farmers use as much as 50% less energy than other commercial farmers, and contribute significantly less to the pollution of our environment. Toxic chemicals used in conventional farming pollute our groundwater, lakes and rivers, wiping out marine life and spreading nitrate contamination in drinking water wells. This means that we’re sacrificing the future of the planet and the ability of our farmers to keep producing food in the long term in the service of meeting short-term needs. Instead of using chemical fertilizers, organic farmers recycle natural materials, resulting in less soil erosion and naturally fertile soil. Organic farming protects the earth’s resources, so that future generations will still have clean water supplies and soil that hasn’t been destroyed by conventional farming.

Organic farming is also better for farm workers, who are exposed to massive quantities of chemical fertilizers and pesticides during conventional farming.

Why kosher?

“Kosher” means “fit or proper” in Hebrew. This term is generally used to describe foods that are prepared in accordance with special Jewish dietary laws, such as not mixing meat and dairy products. But you don’t have to be Jewish to eat kosher food. Foods that are prepared under kosher guidelines meet specific nutritional and hygienic regulations. Most leading food brands are kosher. We believe that by using kosher ingredients, Homemade Baby foods are the healthiest they can be. We prepare every dish without any additives, meat or dairy ingredients. This ensures the utmost cleanliness and quality for your child.

Why non-gmo?

GMO stands for “genetically modified organism” and refers to a plant or seed that has been modified by scientists to perform better. Plants and seeds are modified in order to be more disease-resistant, more hardy in the face of tough weather, or even to resist chemical herbicides used to kill weeds.

Some of the problems with GMOs revolve around the issue of sustainable farming, which is a philosophy of food production that promotes respect for our earth’s resources, social responsibility and conservation. GMOs spread unnatural strains of man-modified organisms when their seeds are carried by the wind to nearby farms, reducing biodiversity. These modified plants and seeds are manufactured and controlled by large corporations, allowing them to more easily dominate smaller farms, who can no longer compete using natural plants and seeds.

The other issue with GMOs is that we don’t know the long term effects, if any, that these genetically modified plants will have on human beings when consumed year after year. Homemade Baby feels that the jury is still out on GMOs, and therefore avoids their use in our foods.

Why fair trade?

The Fair trade system helps family farmers in developing countries to compete in the global marketplace, receive fair prices for their products, and achieve a higher standard of living for their families. This means that owners of small farms can offer quality products and still compete with big corporate farms. Fair trade also promotes sustainable, environmentally sound farming practices that respect our environment.

Can I freeze my Homemade Baby Meals? If so for how long?

Yes. Almost all frozen foods keep for up to two months. Homemade Baby cups are best thawed overnight in the refrigerator. Sometimes we throw a frozen one in our diaper bag when we know we’ll use it within a few hours. We also place our frozen cups in the microwave, according to the defrost mode instructions. Be sure to stir and test the temperature before feeding your baby. And never refreeze thawed food.

I’ve heard it’s hazardous to microwave food in plastic containers. Is that a problem for microwaving my Homemade Baby cups?

Many plastic products contain compounds known as phthalates, or plasticizers, which make the plastic more flexible. When you store or wrap food in plastic, small amounts of phthalates migrate into it. While, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that most Americans now have detectable levels of phthalates in their blood, it’s not yet known what long-term effect, if any, these compounds have on our health. High acid content (as in tomatoes) or high fat content (as in cheese) and heat (microwaving) increase the likelihood of phthalate migration.

Homemade Baby products are not high in acids or full of fats that would cause migration. In addition, the cup is made from polypropylene, which contains no known dangers. Our cups are also microwave safe and certified by the manufacturer as food grade. Plus, you only need to warm our food at medium (50% power) for 30 seconds. The cups are top-rack dishwasher safe, so you can re-use them for non-food purposes — like arts and crafts and storing colorful things.

Local Shipping

If your destination is inside the yellow area around Los Angeles, your food will arrive by UPS Ground, the following day, excluding holidays and weekends. Orders received after 1 PM PST will be shipped the following day. Orders received after 1 PM PST Thursday will be shipped the following Monday.

Or… don’t pay for shipping and pick up your order at our Tasting Room

Anywhere Else Shipping

If your destination is outside that yellow area, you’ll need to use UPS overnight or two-day air. If you want, we can ship an order for Saturday delivery. Unfortunately, we can’t ship to PO Boxes or APO & FPO locations. For orders going to Alaska or Hawaii, please call us at: 1-800-854-8507 and we’ll figure something out for you.

Cool Deliveries

Consider shipping us to your office (it’s a discrete container — no one will even know it’s baby food!) to keep cool in the office fridge until you go home. If you’re traveling, you can have us shipped ahead to meet you at your hotel.

Where can I find Homemade Baby?

Homemade Baby sells its products over the Internet (at www.homemadebaby.com) in order to offer 24-hour shopping convenience to busy parents. This direct distribution to its customers provides the company with the utmost quality control over every stage of the process – allowing it to document everything from the field where each specific ingredient was grown, to the date and minute that an individual signed for the delivered product at the baby’s front door.

You can also buy Homemade Baby at Vicente Foods, at 12027 San Vicente Blvd. in West Los Angeles. Or visit The Grove every Thursday where we give away free food during the Kid’s Club in the Town Square.

Or take advantage of our Farmer’s Market Special at the Pacific Palisades Farmer’s Market every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Purchase individual cups for $2, or six-packs for $10.

What’s the minimum order of Homemade Baby?

For internet orders the minimum order is one bundle, which equals 12 four-ounce cups. You can select a variety of flavors of your choice in each bundle, or select 12 cups of one variety, or any combination you choose.

How is Homemade Baby packaged and shipped?

Homemade Baby packages each meal in a recyclable four-ounce cup. The cups are sold in individualized bundles of twelve. Each bundle contains a customized 10-degree gel pack inside unique high-tech insulation to provide a constant 35 to 40 degree refrigerated environment during delivery. All of Homemade Baby’s packaging is recyclable and the gel packs are biodegradable and freezer-friendly. Homemade Baby guarantees you 20 days of refrigerated shelf-life, for maximum freshness. While Homemade Baby products can be delivered on a pre-arranged weekly basis to maintain ultimate freshness, Gift Certificates may be purchased online to provide friends and family with any personalized timely delivery of baby food.

Your order will be shipped via overnight delivery to arrive fresh at your door.

How do I introduce my baby to solid foods?

Around six months of age, gradually introduce one nutrient-rich infant food each week. Iron-fortified infant cereals are a good first food. Variety is less important at this early dietary phase, since breast-milk or fortified infant formula meet an infant’s needs for the entire first year. Following infant cereal, explore pureed vegetables and fruits, choosing single ingredient options like Homemade Baby’s So Smooth dishes Just Peas or Just Pears. Present each new food ingredient 5-7 days apart to check baby’s responses. Progress to mixtures of different ingredients only when all ingredients have been successfully offered separately…otherwise it will be difficult to determine which food is causing a negative reaction if one should appear. Once each individual ingredient has been served successfully and baby is ready for a more adventurous texture, you may branch out into Homemade Baby’s Good Mushy dishes such as Piwi (pears and kiwi) or Roasted Acorn Squash & Apples.

What is a balanced diet for my baby?

Infant “diets” are inherently unbalanced! From birth to the first birthday, breast-milk and/or fortified infant formulas will supply the primary nutrients baby needs. Most pediatricians recommend breast-feeding if at all possible and for as long as possible. Globally, health agencies advocate one to two years of breast-feeding. Breast-milk boosts your baby’s ability to fight infection and increases their chances of better adult health. If you are unable to breastfeed, or if it just doesn’t work for you, always select infant formula manufactured in the USA and postpone cow’s milk until 12 months of age.

What is a balanced diet for my toddler?

Food choices start to resemble the family’s dietary patterns from 12-24 months – the toddler stage. Transition toddlers away from bottles to covered cups at about 12-15 months and continue to broaden the dietary experiences of toddlers with five or six eating occasions per day. Toddlers have small stomachs, and burn through their body energy reserves about every 2-3 hours.

Toddler “diets” have slightly more balance than infant diets as solid foods gradually begin to replace breast milk and formula.

Below is a sample menu for a typical toddler day:

2 cups of pasteurized, Vitamin A and D fortified whole (full fat) milk or an equivalent dairy product providing calcium and protein
4-8 tablespoons total of fruits and vegetables (strive for five different kinds in one day)
2-4 tablespoons of cooked and minced meat, fish, poultry, egg, tofu or legumes
3 servings of breads or similar foods with an emphasis on whole-grains
1 serving of iron-fortified cereals
2 cups of milk, or calcium enriched Soy Milk

Don’t stress out over daily nutritional requirements. Look at the foods consumed by your toddler on a weekly basis for a better nutritional picture.

When is my baby ready to try Homemade Baby?

Signs that your infant is ready to try Homemade Baby’s So Smooth meals include:

  • She holds her mouth open — ready to accept a spoonful of food
    She uses her eyes to track your hand movement as you bring an infant spoon to her mouth
    She shows interest in foods or table activity
    She lifts her head up while lying on her stomach
    She sits up with some assistance from an adult

Signs that your infant is ready to try Homemade Baby’s Good Mushy meals include:

  • She successfully enjoys pureed foods such as the So Smooth meals
    She has tried each of the individual foods on their own (to check for negative food responses)
    She directs many food and non-food objects to her mouth with some accuracy
    She starts to roll to one side or rolls over completely
    She grasps objects with her whole hand
    She babbles in one syllable sounds

Signs that your infant is ready to try Homemade Baby’s Kinda Chunky meals include:

  • She has tried each of the individual foods on their own (to check for negative food responses)
    She successfully sits up on her own
    She grasps objects with her whole hand and controls placement of objects in her mouth
    She has more precise control over her fingers when picking up foods

What age should my baby stop drinking formula or breast milk?

Pediatricians and dietitians recommend breast-feeding for as long as mom and child both want to continue. Ideally, babies should breast feed for the first year of life…but some amount of time is better than none. The next best choice for first year nourishment is formula, which should be discontinued at 12-15 months. At this point in development, the infant/toddler should be eating enough semi-solid and solid foods to provide sufficient nutrients and energy. This is the best time to “wean” a toddler from a bottle to promote better tooth, mouth and speech development. At this stage of development, the bottle probably won’t deliver milk in sufficient volume for good nutrition, and it’s probably a good time to curb reliance on the bottle as a pacifying device. Additionally, most toddlers have a good number of erupted baby teeth at this stage, and bottles are notorious for bathing teeth in natural milk sugars that promote bacterial growth, increasing tooth decay.

What nutrients does my baby/toddler need?

The nutritional goal for adding fruits and vegetables is to introduce baby to Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber-rich foods. Excellent sources of Vitamin A include sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, and apricots. The body can store Vitamin A until it’s needed, so regular (but not daily) sources are fine.

Vitamin C, which is required daily, is found in foods such as broccoli, kiwi and melons. Citrus fruits, tomatoes and strawberries offer a superior source of these nutrients for the older baby or toddler who doesn’t have problems with diaper rashes. Fresh fruits retain 20% more Vitamin C when sautéed or stewed/boiled than if they are canned, which is why Homemade Baby’s freshly cooked dishes are so rich in this important nutrient.

When an infant’s bite matures and she can move foods around their mouth with enough care to limit choking possibilities, it’s time introduce more hearty and fibrous foods. Uncoated, whole grain round or square cereals made without wheat can be served as finger food to help build baby’s grasping skills. Kidney beans and lentils are exciting new foods for older infants and toddlers to experience. During this phase, it’s time to try Homemade Baby’s Kinda Chunky foods, which feature more heartily textured blends of several ingredients.

Many animal foods such as pureed meats or poultry provide introductions to higher protein foods with more iron-rich offerings than fruits or infant cereals. Older infants and toddlers can join you at the dinner table and begin to savor small servings of mashed, boneless fish or cubes of cooked egg yolk.

Why are vitamins and minerals important for my baby?

Children and adults alike eat foods organized into collections called diets for the purpose of providing nutrients to the body. All nutrients are actually chemicals that provide for bodily growth and repair, energy, and regulation. The essential nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water:

  • Carbohydrates and fats fuel or energize the body,
    Proteins, vitamins, and minerals aid growth, regulate body functions, and repair cells and tissues, and
    Water assists or lubricates all body processes.

An infant’s monochromatic diet of breast-milk provides these six essential nutrients conveniently and in the optimal amounts until 4-6 months of age. At this point in development, the infant body needs additional sources of the important mineral iron. Solid foods come into play at this stage to meet baby’s growing nutritional needs and complement the breast-milk or formula. If your infant started on non-fortified infant formula, switch to an iron-fortified formula after the first year. By the time the first birthday is celebrated, an infant should have integrated some solid foods into her daily diet to insure adequate nutritional intake.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to provide Vitamin D (the “sunshine” vitamin) to infants who are exclusively breast-fed, have darkly pigmented skin, or do not get regular sunlight exposure. Outside playtime a total of 2 hours a week is all it takes to meet most fair-skinned infant’s needs . Key food sources such as fortified infant formula or Vitamin D fortified cow’s milk at 12 months will meet the Vitamin D need, too. Aside from milk, most dairy foods like cheeses or yogurt are not fortified with Vitamin D. They do provide top-notch nutrient sources of calcium, protein, phosphorus and potassium.

How can I be sure my baby is getting the right mix of nutrients every day?

Your health care provider/physician will measure your infant and toddler at periodic visits. You’ll know your infant is doing well by the number of wet or soiled diapers they have per day and how long they’re growing.

How much should my baby eat each day?

A typical serving size for an infant or toddler is one tablespoon per year of life. So within one eating occasion, a 9-month-old infant may have just less than 1 tablespoon each of pureed peas, prepared infant cereal, and minced tofu. Focus on the novelty and joy of eating without becoming preoccupied with the amount of foods consumed. Recent theories on adult health suggest that life-long eating behaviors and attitudes start with infant feeding experiences. Your child will speak to you about their appetite and satisfaction using body language; if she loses interest or turns her head away, it probably means she’s full.

Should my baby eat three meals a day? What’s a healthy feeding schedule?

Most pediatricians recommend feeding infants breast milk or formula based on their demands and not a schedule. Around their first birthday, when infants become toddlers, they’ll gravitate to an eating schedule. Look for the 18-24 month old to start adhering to more traditional schedules of 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day. The biggest difference is the amount of food offered during each eating occasion. Toddlers should consume about 1 tablespoon per year of life of each food they eat.

Why are additives and preservatives a problem?

Food additives are government-regulated chemicals added to extend the lifespan of food or to improve its flavor, aroma or texture. Salt, honey and white sugar are all common food additives.

The food industry is challenged to produce massive quantities of food for cost efficiency and population demands, transport the food for greater distances and under greater temperature extremes with the expectation that a food will last 7 days or 28 months! Many consumers also want foods prepared more quickly, with fewer utensils and greater consumption ease. It is only through food additives or innovative technologies that many of these characteristics can be achieved.

There is a trade-off in packaged or processed foods, and many parents are now selecting fewer food additives in their family diets. The additives that have the greatest health impact appear to be those that have sodium in their chemical structure. Greater sodium levels raise blood pressure in sodium-sensitive people and put greater demands on the kidneys.

What kinds of foods are babies typically allergic to or should be avoided?

The US government is revving up its consumer education about 8 foods that are the most allergenic to children and adults alike. Leading allergens which must now be labeled or identified on processed food labels include wheat, soy, milk, fish, shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts. Infants and toddlers are likely to have negative reactions (not necessarily allergic responses) to citrus fruits, strawberries, and chocolate.

How will I know if a food is upsetting my baby or they are allergic?

Begin with single-ingredient foods and allow 5 – 7 days between each new food ingredient. This way if your baby has a reaction, you’ll know which ingredients to blame. Some usual signs of food allergies are:

  • a red rash around the anus
    vomiting or increased spitting up
    general cranky behavior
    rash on the face

Keeping a written record of what your baby eats is a good way to identify any allergies, and it’ll be helpful for when you speak with your pediatrician.

What kinds of foods might make my baby choke?

Foods that are dense in texture and about the same size as an infant or toddler’s throat:

  • Hot dogs or wieners
    Appetizer-sized sausages
    Whole grapes
    French fries
    Raw baby carrots

Foods that are sharp or angular:

  • Tortilla chips
    Potato chips
    Bagel chips

Foods that are small enough that they can be accidentally inhaled instead of swallowed:

  • Sunflower seeds
    Shelled nuts

These are guidelines we hope you find helpful. Please remember to discuss all your baby’s nutritional needs with their pediatrician.