A Deep Dive into the Ingredients Used in Our Baby Fruit & Vegetable Garden
By Sonia Schiess, Nutritionist, PhD
One of the first fruits most babies start to enjoy. Thanks to their sweet-acid, fruity taste, apple is an easy favorite from early life onwards. Babies enjoy them raw or cooked, first smooth as purée and later cut into pieces when your baby can start eating by themselves. As adults, we continue to enjoy apples as part of our meals, snacks or as an ingredient in processed products.
From the nutritional side, apples are known for their vitamins (mainly Vitamin C), minerals, antioxidants and their fiber content (for example pectin). Due to the sweet-sour taste and the high water content, apples give you and your baby a wonderful refreshing snack.
A popular first introduction into solids, banana is often one of the first tastes your baby will try. It is smooth when mashed and also easy for your baby to enjoy when he/she starts eating with their hands. Banana, when ripe, are nice, sweet and nutritious thanks to their high carbohydrate content and will keep your baby satisfied for a longer time than with other fruits. They are also greatly appreciated by all ages for their high potassium levels.
But, getting an organic banana in their right ripeness for your baby, not to mention transporting that banana in your diaper bag is not always easy. That’s why one of our stage 1 products at Amara is a simple banana, nothing more, nothing less. Now you can bring a perfectly ripe organic banana with you, wherever you and your baby adventure. We just take out the water so that when you’re ready to eat it, you can add water, breastmilk or formula. The valuables nutrients like potassium and magnesium of the banana will be preserved as well as the taste and texture of a homemade mashed banana. Squished bananas in the diaper bag no more!
Indigo colored berries, what a joy for the eyes of babies, children and adults! Wonderful when picked up and eaten one by one, or mixed with other fruits or cereals. Blueberries are native to North America, and today we find them in Europe, Asia and South America as well.
From a nutritional point of view, blueberries are low in calories, recommended for our health due to their vitamin and mineral content, phytochemicals, fiber, and a very high antioxidant value. There are many studies on the beneficial effects of blueberries on our health, one being the favorable influence of anthocyanin-rich blueberry in tempering the postprandial glucose levels.
At Amara, we bring you and your baby the blueberry in our popular Oats N Berries flavor - a delicious instant baby meal with organic oats, banana and blueberries.
Mangos are very popular with babies. First as puree and later in larger sizes when your baby starts finger foods. Mangos are rich in color, taste and texture.
Mangos are a great source of vitamins and minerals (vitamin C, beta-carotene) and are a good fat, sodium and cholesterol free fruit.
Maqui Berry is a an endemic fruit from the Patagonia region, sparsely cultivated by hand and native to the rainforests in the southern regions of Chile and Argentina. Maqui fruits grow on an evergreen, small tree that reaches 4-5 meters in height. The maqui berry, known as superfood-berry, is a small blue-black berry of around 5 mm diameter. This fruit has been enjoyed for many years by the locals, especially since the maqui berry turns everything to a bright berry color. Predominantly due to their anthocyanin content, the berries are used for food and dietary supplements and have a high level of antioxidant content.
Combined with our apple sauce, your baby will enjoy the taste and color of our special Amara Apple-Maqui berry flavor.
Potatoes are native to South America and were brought to Europe in the 16th century, where they were first planted as a decorative plant in the garden. Today, they are grown in countless varieties worldwide and appreciated in many ways. They are generally eaten boiled, baked or fried and consumed as a side dish, part of a meal or snack. Potatoes are usually known in shades of brown, but various colored varieties also exist, including yellow, red, and purple as well as different shapes.
Aside from having a high water content when fresh, potatoes are primarily composed of carbohydrates and contain moderate amounts, but a high quality protein. Potatoes are not a high-fiber food, but they may be a significant source of fiber if they are eaten regularly. Furthermore, the potato is a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin B6. To preserve these valuables vitamins and minerals in the potato and to avoid the loss of vitamins and minerals in the boiling water, potatoes should be cooked with their skin. The skin could be removed before serving.
In baby food, potatoes are a great base for many meal combinations due to the high quality protein they have and the vitamins and minerals they possess. Potatoes are used in baby food for their flavor, texture and nutritional value.
One of our favorite superfoods! It is widely cultivated in the Europe, Japan, and the United States. Kale with her nutritious leafy greens full of vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds, belongs botanically to the cabbage family. This vegetable is known for its low energy and fat content, no cholesterol and health benefiting antioxidants.
At Amara we bring the kale superfood vegetable to you and your baby in our Kale Potato Mash recipe. You can make your baby food yourself by just adding the recommended amount of water, breastmilk or formula. For baby foodies, you can add nutritional value by adding a bit of grass fed butter or oil to it. For toddlers or the whole family, you can make kale-potato-pancakes, here is the recipe.
Many mothers will start feeding cereal to their babies and they will discover oats as a valuable cereal for their baby. Oats is a cereal mainly grown in North America and Europe. Consumed as a whole grain cereal, they are a very good source of fiber, especially beta-glucan. They are also high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Known for their beneficial health effects, such as lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, oats have many positive effects on the gastrointestinal tract. For babies, oats are great for their easy digestion and taste, a favorite instant baby cereal for babies.
Oats contain around 60% carbohydrates, 13% protein, 7% fat and 11% fiber.
The carbohydrates in oats are mostly made up of starches and fiber. Oats are known as a good source for the fiber called beta-glucan, which is associated with a range of health benefits. Oats contains around 11-17% of protein, which is higher than most other grains. Furthermore, oats contain high amounts of vitamins (B-vitamins) and minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, selenium and zinc).
Oats are loved by children and adults as cereal for their taste, flavor and sense of well-being. Why not start early, your baby will enjoy the taste and will feel satisfied and full. Amara offers you a delicious baby cereal for breakfast or a healthy snack for your baby based on cereal and fruits like banana and blueberries. Your baby will love it!
Now that you’re familiar with the ingredients at Amara, why is Amara dry? Why do we choose to dehydrate our valuable ingredients and products?
Your baby should get the best of the best. Fruits and vegetables that are in season, the perfect ripeness and freshly served. But not all of us have the time and space to grow our own organic vegetable garden for our baby food, right? Thanks to modern technology, we can now bring you these fruits and vegetables while maintaining most of the original nutrients, colors, flavors and textures of those ripe fruits and vegetables. We just “zap” out the water so you don’t have to worry about refrigeration.
Remember that as you introduce your baby to solids and textures, you are laying the foundation for the nutritional and healthly life. Your baby from a very young age will start to learn and model how to eat. A pattern that is engrained and reflected as they grow older. Once you start introducing complementary foods in your baby’s diet, your baby will begin to expirmient with a variety of tastes, textures and flavors, which will mark their likes and dislikes in the future.
Now, with Amara, you can have those fruits and vegetables, year round in a pouch that is light, shelf stable and easy to prepare. Plus, you can even say you made it yourself.