To help other mommies out there trying to feed organic, or all natural, here is what we have done. I know I needed ideas, and hopefully this helps others.
WHERE TO SHOP?
Where we live in central IL, there is no Whole Foods or Trader Joes to frequent. We mostly grocery shop at Schnucks, so it is nice that they have their own organic brand in many of their selections. It's called Full-Circle. Full circle has also been a lifesaver brand when it comes to food Scott and I eat as well, since we are trying to transition to ALL organic in the house. We also go to County Market, which I think is comarable to Schnucks. When I can't find something organic at Schnucks, County Market most likely has it. We also go to a locally owned organic store, called Food Fantasies. While it is a little bit more expensive than either Schnucks or County Market, they have just about ANYTHING organic I would want, and if they don't, they will order it for me. We also buyfresh fruits and veggies (when I can't get them at the previous three stores) at another locally owned store that supports local farmers- Country Market. There is also a locally owned meat store/butcher where we can get natrual/organic meat- Mid State Meat Co. Target is also another place where we have been able to find quite a few organic baby and toddler goodies.
For breakfast, Rowan has been on a toast kick lately. We either buy locally made (with organic ingredients) bread, or Nature's Pride at our grocery store. Rowan gets the Whole Wheat version since the 12 Grain has too many seeds in it. We use organic butter and organic strawberry or grape jelly. She eats anywhere between 1/2 to 1 slice. While I used to make her Earth's Best organic baby cereal and mix it with pureed or easy to smash fruit, she is really growing out of that. I still try to mix it in here and there when I can. Another breakfast Rowan loves is oatmeal. We get Rowan the variety pack oatmeal, and she has liked them all. I am so glad she's not picky (yet). I also like to give her fresh fruit, like bananas and strawberries.
She usually likes them and eats the entire package/jar. Some of her favorites are Earth's Best: Chicken and Stars,
And Plum Organics training meals.
These are chunky enough that she doesn't hate them. She has tried all the kinds we can find, and eats all of them really well.
Another brand we found that Rowan adores is Annies. She really likes the mac and cheese, and we mix peas in it so she gets her veggies in. (We have found frozen organic veggies at both Schnucks and our local organic foods store.) Annies has different varieties, like regular mac and cheddar cheese, or shells with white cheese. She likes both. They even sell small individual packs that can be microwaved- perfect for when she's at Grandma's house.
Again, fresh fruit is on the list during these times as well. I try to get in as many veggies as possible too, since I think most kids tend to hate veggies when they get into the toddler stage. (This is what I've noticed in my experience working with daycare kids.)
This is my favorite category. This is by far the easiest category too. We can find a lot of organic fruits and veggies at Schnucks and our local store, so fresh food is always a go to for snack time. Other things Rowan loves are:
Earth's Best to Revolution Foods.
There are quite a few other organic snacks out there that we have tried, but these are the "main" ones. I have found a lot of stores now have an oganic section, so that has been an amazing help when I am trying to find variety for Rowan. Even our favorite store, Target, is now carrying some organic snacks that Rowan will be able to eat when she's older.
There are so many other things we want to try with Rowan. I thought that feeding her organic foods was going to be really difficult, but it turns out there are so many options out there now. I am really happy with what we have found thus far. I would have to say the biggest challenge is changing our own diet, since eventually we will all be eating the same food. We have had to adjust our grocery budget so that we can buy organic food for Scott and me as well. That is our biggest challenge- trying to eath better, but on a budget. I think once we get everything worked out, we will be fine.
Hopefully this has helped other mommies out there trying to do the same thing. Also, let me know if you've got any tips/suggestions!! I would love to hear them!