grow healthy® Food Program
Real Nourishment Using Nature’s Principles
Cooking homemade food for your child develops a lifelong taste for wholesome flavors and provides real nourishment to build a foundation for health. grow healthy® Food Program offers staples to be combined with fresh, organic produce for a comprehensive, balanced nutritional program for your child’s optimal healthy development.
1. What is the grow healthy® Food Program and how is it different from other baby foods?
The grow healthy® food program philosophy is based on offering nursing mamas and babies balanced nutrition from eight food groups, or building blocks, to build a foundation for radiant health and a taste for wholesome flavors from the beginning. The first products introduced by grow healthy® are organic, sprouted whole grains and beans to be combined with fresh, organic, local, and seasonal produce.
These products include:
Nurse & Nourish® Organic Whole Grains for Nursing Mamas, a blend of sprouted sweet brown rice and sprouted brown rice to help support healthy breast milk production.
Radiant Baby® Organic Whole Grain Supercereal®, a blend of sprouted brown rice and sprouted sweet brown rice to help support baby’s healthy vitality and well-being.
Blissful Belly® Organic Whole Grain Supercereal®, a blend of sprouted sweet brown rice and sprouted millet to help support baby’s healthy digestion.
Mighty Muscles® Organic, Naturally Sweet Beans, sprouted adzuki beans to help support baby’s healthy strength, stamina, and digestion. They are also a great food for nursing mamas to help support healthy breast milk production.
Other baby food brands often focus on convenience and their nutritional offerings are commonly achieved by artificial enrichment. grow healthy® offers real nourishment using nature’s principles, and resources for making homemade baby food convenient and easy for your lifestyle.
2. What are the eight groups that make up the grow healthy® building blocks?
The eight building blocks for the grow healthy® food program start from the bottom up, beginning with Breast Milk. Next is Whole Grains and Vegetables, then Protein-rich Foods and Fruit. Fermented foods, Seasonings, and Beverages are introduced as baby grows.
Breast milk, fed exclusively for about the first six months, and then complemented with other foods until a child is at least one year of age, is the ideal nutrition for a child’s optimal growth and development. Food from the following groups supports healthy breast milk production.
Whole grains offer many major nutrients: complex carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, without artificial enrichment. Uncracked whole grains remain intact, preserving their vitality and longevity. They taste delicious and provide a sense of wholesome satisfaction, while supporting immunity and healthy sleep. For best digestion, soak grains, then cook, and puree them to an age-appropriate texture.
Vegetables that are fresh, local, organic and grown in season have vitality and flavor for helping children cultivate a taste for natural sweetness. They offer vitamins, minerals, and fiber and are most digestible when cooked. Sea vegetables provide a multitude of minerals.
Protein-rich foods are essential to provide energy and strength for healthy growth and development. Both plant-based sources, such as beans, nuts, and seeds and animal-based proteins including fish, eggs, yogurt, and poultry provide energy and nutrients. Avoid animal foods that have been raised with antibiotics or growth hormones.
Fruit offers natural sweetness and is a delicious treat for satisfaction. Serve cooked and separately from grains or proteins for optimal digestion. Select from your climatic zone, if possible.
Fermented foods have probiotics to help build a strong immune system. Natural pickles, yogurt, miso, and sprouted grains and beans can aid digestion and offer healthy bacteria to boost immunity.
Seasonings offer sensory satisfaction as well as nutritional value. Quality fats in unrefined oils, such as sesame, olive, or flax seed oil are essential and vital for health. Monitoring the quality and quantity of your baby’s salt intake helps regulate many body functions and affects food cravings. Because babies receive salt through breast milk or formula, added salt is not necessary until around 12 months. Choose quality, unrefined salt without chemical additives and pay attention to the impact of salt intake on your child’s condition. Natural sweeteners such as brown rice syrup, have a lower glycemic index than refined sugars and are easy to digest and assimilate.
Beverages provide fluids for hydration. For your child’s first few months breast milk or formula is the primary beverage. As he begins to become physically active and eat solid foods, beverages such as soup broth, herbal teas, diluted fruit juice, rice milk, or coconut water provide hydration, nutrients, and satisfaction.
3. Why are the grains and beans sprouted?
Most grains and legumes contain many anti-nutrients in their raw state that inhibit the absorption of nutrients. While cooking may reduce some of these, sprouting, or germination of whole grains and beans activates enzymes that can neutralize these anti-nutrients converting the grains and beans to a more bioavailable state for easier digestion and nutrient absorption. Sprouting also naturally increases the available nutrients of the grains and beans, such as zinc, iron, and calcium. Amylase is also increased by sprouting, an enzyme found in saliva and pancreatic fluid that breaks down complex starches into simple sugars for easier digestion.
4. Why do you recommend grains as first solid food for babies?
In addition to its nutritional benefits, soft cooked brown rice has a consistency similar to that of milk, is naturally sweet and easy to digest, and rarely related to food allergies. Breast milk or formula can be added to ease the transition. The amount of solid food will be small in the beginning, so baby will still rely on breast milk or formula for their main source of nutrients.
5. Can babies digest whole grains and starches as a first food?
Some resources available on the web have said that babies cannot digest whole grains due to their lack of amylase production until about one year old. Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down complex starches into simple sugars for digestion. While it is true that babies do not produce pancreatic amylase until one year old, they do produce salivary amylase and glucoamylase which allows for starches to be properly digested. Breast milk also contains a considerable amount of amylase, so most babies do not have a hard time digesting whole grains. Click for more tips on foods for healthy digestion.
6. What are adzuki beans?
Adzuki beans are small legumes mainly grown in east Asia that have a naturally sweet flavor. They are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, iron, and magnesium.
7. Does Nurse & Nourish® increase breast milk supply?
There is no scientific evidence that Nurse & Nourish® blend of organic, sprouted sweet brown rice and sprouted brown rice will increase breast milk production. However, the fat, protein, and carbohydrates provide nursing moms with the energy they need to breastfeed and may help increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is involved in prolactin release, which is a key hormone in lactation. We recommend a balanced diet of nutritious whole foods, cooked with plenty of liquid for a soft, moist consistency to help produce nourishing breast milk. Consult your doctor or lactation consultant if you are having trouble producing enough breast milk. Visit growhealthygrowhappy.com for recipes and resources to support breast milk production.
8. Why is Nurse & Nourish considered “traditional” grain?
In Japan, mochi (pounded sweet brown rice) is made for nursing mothers to encourage the flow of breast milk and for restoring strength and stamina after giving birth. Nurse & Nourish® is a blend of sweet brown rice and brown rice to continue this Japanese tradition for nursing mamas. Visit growhealthygrowhappy.com for the Mochi for Nursing Mothers recipe.
1. What is the shelf life?
Each individual bag will be printed with a “best by” date for optimal freshness. This is based on an 18-month shelf life once the product has been sprouted and packaged.
2. How do I store the uncooked grains & beans at home?
Store uncooked grains and beans in a cool, dry place. You can also store in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain longer freshness.
3. How long can I store the cooked grains & beans in the refrigerator or freezer?
The USDA recommends that homemade baby food be stored for 1-2 days in the refrigerator or 3-4 months in the freezer. Frozen baby food should be thawed in the refrigerator. Do not heat, store, or save baby food that has been mixed with breast milk or formula.
4. These seem to take a while to cook, why do you say they are convenient?
While they do take approximately an hour to cook, it doesn’t require constant monitoring and the portions you get from one recipe are enough for several meals, depending on your baby’s age & appetite. Refrigerate or freeze individual portions in food storage containers for multiple meals that simply need to be warmed. Make a large batch at the beginning of the week or cook alongside your evening meals. Organization yields convenience, and with just a little time you know exactly what your baby is eating and can customize to what you and your baby like.
5. Can everyone in my family eat the grow healthy® grains and beans or are they only for baby & nursing moms?
The organic, sprouted whole grains and beans are a healthy choice for the whole family!
6. Do you have any tips for cooking family meals with grow healthy® grains & beans?
You can cook grow healthy® grains and beans for the whole family and strengthen the family bond by eating together at the dinner table. By adjusting the water or cooking liquid you can create the different consistencies needed for everyone. Cook & set aside the adult portions first, then add more liquid and continue to cook until rice is softer for your child’s needs. Slowly reduce the liquid as your baby gets older and develops chewing skills.
7. Where are the grains and beans grown and packaged?
All grow healthy® grains are grown in California, and the adzuki beans are grown in China. The sprouting & packaging process is completed in Canada.
8. Why make homemade baby food?
There are a lot advantages to making your own baby food, some benefits include:
- Best nutrition & taste
- Safe ingredients
- Simple, single-ingredient foods
- Custom-made baby food
- Save money
- Easy to make
- Organization yields convenience
- Decrease your carbon footprint
- Strengthen the family bond
9. How do I introduce my baby to solid foods?
The time to start solid foods can vary from child to child, but some signs your baby may be ready to try solid foods include:
- Your baby sits upright without assistance
- Holds their head up with confidence
- Grasps small objects and brings them to their mouth
- Nursing or taking a bottle more frequently, more appetite
- Showing interest in what you are eating and table food
- Usually around 6 months in age, this can vary by child
Start by introducing Radiant Baby® or Blissful Belly® pureed to a liquid consistency and mixed with breast milk or formula for a familiar taste and easier transition. Be patient and try again later if your baby does not take to solid foods right away.
10. Can I mix the breast milk or formula with the grains and beans?
Yes, adding breast milk or formula to cooked & pureed grains can help baby transition to solid foods. It should be the last step, do not add breast milk or formula during the cooking process, and only add to the portion you plan to serve right away. Do not store or save any puree that has added breast milk or formula. The Mighty Muscles® adzuki beans should be introduced at a later stage once baby is more familiar with solid foods, so adding breast milk or formula may not be necessary to help transition. Continue to breast or bottle feed baby during the solid food introduction, as baby will continue to get most of their nutrients from breast milk or formula for the first year.
11. How do I change the consistency as my child gets older?
Decreasing the amount of cooking liquid as your baby gets used to eating solids will create lumpier consistencies. Rather than using a blender, you can start using a food mill, grinding bowl or masher to get thicker consistencies.
A general guideline for introducing textures starts with creamy & smooth at 6-12 months, crunchy & crispy at 12-18 months, and chewy at 18-24 months+. This will vary by child and follow their lead. If you are concerned about your child’s feeding development, consult your doctor.
1. Why are they unfortified?
The grow healthy® whole grains & beans are unprocessed and still in their raw, uncooked form, so no artificial enrichment or fortification of minerals or nutrients have been added. Nutrients that naturally occur in whole foods are often more efficiently absorbed than nutrients absorbed from artificial sources, especially when eaten with whole foods containing complementary nutrients for optimal absorption. For instance, vitamin C helps to increase iron absorption so foods rich in both vitamin C and iron should be eaten together.
Also, many companies add vitamins at very high levels, some over 100% daily value needed. If your baby is not deficient in these nutrients, their body and kidneys will have to work harder to discharge these excess nutrients, which can be taxing on their still-developing systems.
Continuing to feed your baby breast milk or formula in the first year while introducing a variety of whole foods will help ensure they receive the nutrition they need.
2. Will my baby get enough iron?
Healthy, full-term babies usually have enough iron stores in their bodies to last for at least the first six months. Iron in breastmilk is better absorbed than other sources, so continuing to breast feed will also help keep baby’s iron levels in a normal range. Once your baby starts to eat solid foods, introduce foods that are naturally rich in iron and vitamin C, which helps iron absorption. Some examples include sweet potatoes, sea vegetables, dark leafy greens, beans, and tofu. Babies who were born prematurely, had low birth weight, or born to mothers with poorly controlled diabetes may be at a higher risk for iron-deficiency or anemia. Consult your pediatrician to see if supplementation is needed.
3. Do these contain any allergens, such as wheat, nuts, dairy, soy, eggs, and shellfish?
grow healthy® grains and beans are processed and packaged in an environment that is free of common allergens, so no cross-contamination from shared equipment can occur. The products themselves are also free of any ingredients that are common allergens.
4. Are these vegan and gluten free?
Yes, each product is naturally vegan and gluten free.
5. Are your products certified Non-GMO & organic?
6. Are these Kosher?
Yes, each ingredient has been certified by OU Kosher.
7. Are the premade baby food pouches and jars available on the market bad for my baby?
The premade baby foods are a very convenient, grab-and-go option for your baby, and today it is easy to find healthy, organic options. They are not an ideal first food, as they are usually a mix of various ingredients and it is hard to know if your baby reacts negatively to a specific ingredient. They also tend to mix vegetables and fruits, which can cause digestive issues for your babies that are still developing a strong digestive system.
8. Are the bags/packaging recyclable?
Yes, the bags are recyclable plastic #4 and may or may not be acceptable for your curbside recycling program. Please check your local recycling program for more information on accepted plastics. If your curbside recycling program does not accept plastic #4 for pickup, you can deposit the pouches in the receptacles for recycling grocery bags available at certain grocery stores.