The jolly green toddler

We do the best we can for our babies by breastfeeding them for as long as we possibly can. But what about when they move onto solids? What’s best then? We follow the same principles available in all the literature out there, starting with bland foods and gradually moving on until our kids reach the finger food age.  What most people don’t think about is what’s actually in the food we give our toddlers to eat.

I started becoming a lot more aware of organic farming principles when my kids first starting eating solids. I was keen to make my own baby food, partly for cost-saving reasons and partly in order to control what my twins were eating. Organic eating had recently been made popular by all the celebs and I was ready to see for myself what it was all about.

Chemical soup
Most commercially grown fruit and vegetables are treated with chemical fertilizers during the farming process to reduce the growth time as well as routinely sprayed with pesticides to minimize crop damage. Both fertilizers and pesticides contain harmful chemicals. Pesticides and fertilizers are used in the farming process but a lot of food will be exposed to even more chemicals and additives during food processing. 

It’s quite difficult to lead a completely organic lifestyle in South Africa due to limited availability of organic produce. But the more demand there is, the more available it will become. Major supermarket groups such and Pick n Pay and Woolworths, have quite large organic fruit and vegetable ranges. There are also quite a few brands of preprepared organic baby food available in most retail stores.

I often stumble across random items of organic produce in the canned vegetable and non perishable food products aisles (tomatoes, beans, etc). Organic food is coming down in price due to higher demand and although it’s still more expensive than the regularly farmed produce, the prices are nearly on a par.

What I find even easier and cheaper is ordering from a local organic co-op or small organic vegetable supplier. Most of these organisations will deliver direct to your door for a minimal fee or you can collect from an outlet in your area. Try the following organisations:


Mama city
  • Choose Health: is an online store of quality natural and organic products for South African consumers who wish to follow a healthier lifestyle.
  • Ethical co-op: is an online organic market offering an extensive range of affordable high quality organic fruit, vegetables, dairy, baked goods, tea, coffee, body and household products
  • Wild organic foods: Offer seasonal organic boxes for delivery or collection at numerous points in Cape Town and surrounds.

Buying organic encourages you to cook more creatively. As it’s naturally grown, it’s also seasonal. So the variety of food available isn’t the same year round. The more organic food we buy, the higher the demand and the cheaper and more available it will become.

Do you use organic food? Know of any other good suppliers elsewhere in the country?

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