In a world of health-conscious parents and confusing ingredient labels, Love Child Organics was created in 2013 on the promise of delivering truly healthy, clean and organic, baby and children’s food products.
Everything started when the founders, Leah and John Garrad-Cole, had their firstborn daughter, Poppy. As new parents, they were shocked (and frustrated) to discover most of the ‘organic’ baby food and children’s snack products contained unnecessary additives that were certainly not ‘real food’ and too often, also contained empty ‘filler’ ingredients that provided little nutritional value.
Leah, an experienced and enthusiastic home cook, began preparing her kids’ 100% clean, organic meals at home, and always added superfoods to ensure that each bite provided optimal nutrition for growth. She wanted her children to grow up with an appreciation for healthy ‘real’ food, right from the start, and for clean, nutrient packed food to be her family’s norm. Prior to becoming a mom, Leah worked for many years as a teacher of students with special educational needs, and she knew, without a doubt, the importance of a healthy diet for children’ optimal growth and development.
With Leah’s homemade recipes in hand, Love Child Organics was born, with the hope that all children could have access to truly honest, pure and delicious organic food that would include as many nutritionally-rich ingredients as possible. As a parent-founded, “values-first” company, Love Child Organics aspires to create only the highest quality organic baby and children’s food, and to run our business with a sense of social responsibility, making a difference on larger scale. We look forward to the privilege of growing our product range alongside you and your families. From the Love Child Organics’ kitchen to yours.
1The Love Child Promise
All of our yummy products are nutritionally-focused, organic and contain no unnecessary ingredients. That means you will never find refined sugars, additives, preservatives or fillers in any of our products.
Our ingredients can be more difficult and expensive to source, but we are unwavering on this. We passionately believe that chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides and GM foods have no place in tiny, growing bodies.
We do not use any genetically modified ingredients in our products. We are currently working towards our Non-GMO certification, and it shouldn’t be hard to obtain because we are already doing it anyway!
When you buy our products you can be confident that not only are they delicious, but also packed with nutrients. Why give your child a snack containing empty calories, when they could be eating something that is both tasty and nutritious? That’s why we put as much good stuff as possible into our products, including superfoods like kale, sweet potatoes, blueberries, mangos, strawberries, quinoa and acerola fruit.
Our company reflects our family values and we take to heart our responsibility to give back, especially to families and children. We are proud to be partnered with First Book Canada™, a highly respected non-profit which provides high quality children’s books to children in need. 1 cent from every product sold goes directly to this amazing organization.
You can count on us to ensure that when you give our products to your children, that they are in safe hands. Our packaging is guaranteed BPA-free and we use only the highest quality, organically certified Canadian companies to pack our products.
We run our company to be as environmentally sustainable as possible, from the use of low carbon packaging to minimizing the carbon footprint of the Love Child HQ.
Most of our product ranges are produced in Canada and, when possible, from ingredients sourced in North America. We have carefully chosen to source our organic quinoa from companies that work in partnership with family-run farms and that are committed to environmental protection, Fair Trade, and poverty reduction.
9We only sell products that we are happy to feed to our children
If we wouldn’t feed our children our products, why would we expect anyone else to buy them? Leah and John, founders of Love Child Organics have two young children themselves. All recipes have been developed with their little ones in mind.
Spreading the Love
Spreading the Love with First Book Canada™
When John and I founded Love Child Organics we knew that we wanted to make the highest quality organic food for children, and at the same time, give back to children in need on a wider scale. We believed it was extremely important to embed this belief into our Company’s DNA, and so made it one of our core values. For the last several years there has been a movement of social entrepreneurship within business, and we are privileged to become a part of that movement through our Spreading the Love campaign. Businesses really do have the power to make a positive social impact and be profitable, and we are so proud that this is a fundamental part of our brand.
Enter First Book Canada™, our partner in Spreading the Love. First Book Canada™ is a non-profit social enterprise that provides access to new books for children in need. Since 1992, First Book™ has distributed more than 115 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children throughout the United States and Canada. Through partnerships with leading publishing companies, First Book Canada™ secures high-quality titles that help educators create enriched learning experiences for their students, transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education.
I am thrilled that Love Child Organics has committed to donate 1 cent* for every one of our products purchased, to First Book Canada™. For most of my teaching career I worked with children from low-income families and I know the far-reaching impact books can have on these children. I thought I had left my much-loved education career behind, but partnering with First Book Canada™ has allowed me to bring just a little bit of it back, and I couldn’t be more excited about that!
Founder (and Mom)
*$0.01 is donated to First Book Canada for each Love Child Organics’ product purchased from May 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017, with a guaranteed contribution of $30,000 per year.
good food choices
Take advantage of this time when you have the most control over what your child eats by making good food choices. Making good food choices now can help create a lifelong healthy eater.
What are good food choices?
1Provide a wide variety of foods.
Choosing to introduce children to a wide variety of foods is by far the most important step you can take to support them to be healthy eaters. Developmentally, children are more open to trying new foods before approximately 18 months of age. Take advantage of this stage and introduce as wide a variety of foods as possible.
Include different foods and different preparations of the same foods. For example, introduce steamed broccoli, raw broccoli, stir-fried broccoli and broccoli in casseroles.
This way of introducing a wide variety of flavours and textures will help children be open to trying different foods. All children will eventually reach the developmental stage when they are more wary of trying new foods. If they already have experience with a wide variety of flavours and textures this stage will be less stressful for both parent and child.
2Minimize artificial ingredients, added sugar and salt.
Focus on real foods with few artificial ingredients, added sugar and salt. There is no need for artificial ingredients or added sugar in our diets. And while we all need some salt, we need very little, much less than most people consume.
The evidence is mixed, but some children may be sensitive to certain food colourings and artificial flavours. For these kids, some of these compounds may cause hyperactivity and difficulty concentrating. Some of these ingredients have been banned in foods in Europe for these reasons, but Health Canada still allows them.
To avoid artificial ingredients, read the ingredient list on all packaged foods. Choose the foods with the fewest ingredients that you don’t recognize.
While you’re reading the ingredients list, also look for words like “raw cane juice”, “brown rice syrup” and any words that end in “~ose” because these are all types of added sugar.
Also, look for “sodium”, as it means the same as salt.
While not one single food is a magic silver bullet that provides all the needed nutrients for a healthy diet, there are some foods that are particularly high in healthy nutrients. They’re such great sources of nutrients that they’re known as ‘superfoods’.
In addition they are real foods that taste great without a ton of artificial flavours, colours, sugar or salt.
So, why not give these superfoods a try? Or better yet, eat these superfoods often.
Dark-coloured berries like blueberries, blackberries, cranberries and acerola berries. Many of the antioxidants and phytochemicals that scientists are discovering to be so healthy for us are connected to the colours in foods. So dark and brightly coloured foods, like berries, are super sources of many antioxidants and phytochemicals. They are also high in vitamin C.
Dark leafy greens like kale, beet greens, Swiss chard, collard greens and spinach. The dark colour of these greens, like the dark colour of berries, signals that these foods are super sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals. They are also high in B-vitamins like folate and vitamin A.
Quinoa. This tiny seed is eaten like a grain, and is similar to couscous or rice. What’s so super about quinoa is that it is the only vegetarian food that is a complete protein. Quinoa is fantastic if you are raising your child vegetarian, or when your picky eater doesn’t like meat, chicken or fish. On top of that, quinoa is virtually unprocessed so it has the benefits of a whole food, such as being high in fibre.
Introducing solid foods
The World Health Organization recommends introducing solid foods at about 6 months of age. Some babies will be ready for solid foods a bit before 6 months, however, there is no advantage to introducing solid foods before 4 months. There is some evidence that introducing solid foods before 4 months may increase the risk for allergy/asthma.
Q: Why introduce solids at this age?
A: Children this age are:
Running low on stored iron. Iron is important for growing babies, especially babies’ brains. While babies are still in the womb, they store iron in their bodies. Because breast milk is naturally low in iron, by about 6 months of age the stored iron is depleted and babies need iron from a new source – solid foods.
Developmentally ready for solid foods. Babies’ mouths at this age are mature enough to learn the complex pattern of movements of chewing and swallowing. In addition, their stomachs and intestines are now mature enough to digest the food.
Q: What food should you offer?
A: Excellent first foods are fruits, vegetables, grains and foods which are high in iron such as meat, poultry, fish, tofu and fortified baby cereal.
Q: What texture should first solids have?
A: Start with a consistent, soft texture. Puréed or fork-mashed is great.
Q: What about water?
A: Provide water in a cup at solid food feeding times. Most of it will end up on the floor – it’s all a part of the learning process. Breast milk or formula will still be meeting babies’ fluid needs.
Q: What about vitamins and supplements?
A: The only vitamin supplement that is recommended is vitamin D. Continue to give breastfed babies 400IU of vitamin D each day.
Transitioning to mostly solid foods
Children from ages 9 to 18 months go through a transition from having most of their nutrition needs met by breast milk or formula to having most of their needs met by solid foods. This is a gradual process but one that all children eventually go through.
It’s not only children who experience this transition; it’s a transition for parents too.
A lot of parents have questions about how to make the transition. This is very understandable, as a lot of the information available is conflicting, and much of it glosses over exactly what to do.
So here’s a step-by-step guide to take the guesswork out of transitioning to solid foods.
Goal: Start to separate solid food times from breast/bottle feeding times.
Why? Because children this age are being torn in two directions:
Desperate to grow up. They try to copy everything that adults and older kids do. The 9 – 12-month old baby most likely is very interested in watching what the people around are eating.
Take the easy way out. Everything is new, so given the opportunity kids will do what is easiest. For 9 – 18-month olds, eating solid foods is still difficult. However, they’re experts at breast/bottle feeding, and if the opportunity presents itself they’ll fill their tummies with milk and have only a short attention span for solid foods.
Separating solid food times from breast/bottle feeding times gives babies the motivation of hunger to work at meeting their nutrition needs through eating solid foods. By maintaining a number of bottle-feeding times each day, parents ensure that their babies will still meet their nutritional needs.
Choose one time a day when your baby is usually hungry but is the least cuddly. From that day forward make this a solid-food time of day, every day. Do not breast/bottle feed at this time.
A time when you are eating is excellent. Your baby can join you at the table for your meal.
The first few days your baby will want to breast/bottle feed – after all, he wasn’t consulted about this change! Expect him to fuss and protest. But stick to it, and after a couple of days your baby will figure it out. Consistency is the key.
Once your baby has settled into the routine in Step #1, repeat Step #1 at a second time of the day. Again, choose a time of day when your baby is hungry but is the least cuddly. From that day forward, make this a solid-food time of day, every day. Again, consistency is key.
You guessed it, repeat Step 1 now for a third time of the day.
Expect hiccups in this process. Babies will revert back to heavier breast/bottle feeding during times of adversity, such as when they have the flu or are teething.
Many kids’ only way to soothe themselves is by breast/bottle feeding. Introduce other ways to be soothed, such as cuddling and reading a story together.
Does this sound familiar? Your child happily ate everything (well, almost everything) for the first few months after you started her on solid foods. She clearly enjoyed mealtime, and loved interacting with you as you fed her. Then, suddenly one day, she wouldn’t eat. Instead she squirmed, turned away, and even screamed.
Welcome to the picky eating years!
Top 3 Reasons for Picky Eating:
- Asserting independence. Very often picky eating isn’t about the food at all. Kids realize at a very young age that one of the few things that they can control is whether they swallow food. And in their normal developmental desire for independence they choose not to eat what they’ve been provided. After all, they’re exploring the concepts of cause and effect and when they refuse to eat, they get a big ‘effect’ from their parents.
- Food wariness is a developmental stage. Most people know about how babies go through a developmental stage where suddenly they are wary of strangers. However, most people don’t know that kids also go through a stage of food wariness. Foods that they may have eaten many, many times before are now suspicious and threatening. It’s frustrating but it’s also totally normal. It normally starts somewhere between 9 and 18 months and kids slowly grow out of it during their school-age years.
- Tricky taste buds. A narrower range of foods honestly taste good to many children. In fact, most people have foods that they like now but remember not liking as kids. Kids simply have trickier taste buds than adults, and sometimes than other kids. It’s normal. Often the foods that don’t taste good to kids are foods with stronger flavours. However, each child will be different. There is absolutely no way to predict what foods a child will or won’t like. For some kids with tricky taste buds it isn’t the food’s taste that they don’t like, it’s the texture. Foods with a smooth, slick (‘slimy’) texture are commonly rejected. Mushrooms are a classic example. Many kids don’t like the texture of cooked mushrooms. But some kids do like raw mushrooms.
The Solution: build a consistent structure and kids will eat
Eliminate the concepts of “meal” and “snacks”. Many kids are not hungry at the times of day when we traditionally serve healthy meals containing 3 or more food groups (aka. “meal time”). Many kids are naturally hungry mid-afternoon. But many people think of mid-afternoon as “snack” time – a time to eat cookies, chips or chocolate. Throw out this concept of “meals” and “snacks” and make each opportunity to eat an opportunity for healthy foods. Offer foods from 3 or 4 of the food groups at each opportunity to eat, regardless of the time of day.
Regularly scheduled opportunities to eat. Kids do best with a regular routine. It gives them security to try new things. At this age they strongly hold on to the predictable. By having predictable opportunities to eat, children will have confidence to try something new. Kids have small tummies (and attention spans) and big energy and nutrient needs. Plan about six opportunities to eat each day, at about the same times each day. To allow kids to develop an appetite, opportunities to eat need to be at least an hour apart.
Control what’s on the menu. It’s the adult’s job to understand healthy eating. The concept of “healthy eating” is too abstract for young kids. Given the choice, young kids will always choose what tastes yummiest to them, not necessarily what’s good for them. It is the parents’ role to provide healthy foods to meet a child’s nutritional needs; in other words, controlling what’s on the menu.
When deciding what’s on the menu:
- Offer 3 or 4 of the food groups at each opportunity to eat.
- Choose food groups that kids haven’t eaten as much of earlier that day.
- Include foods that are familiar and foods that are more challenging.
- Explore different preparation methods. For toddlers and preschoolers raw broccoli is a completely different food than steamed broccoli, which is a completely different food than broccoli cooked in a tuna casserole. For example, many kids will drink foods in smoothies that they wouldn’t touch on a plate.
Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers or pesticides and do not contain genetically modified organisms (“GMO”). They also do not contain any artificial additives or preservatives. Organic packaged foods, like Love Child’s, are made with organic ingredients and are packaged in facilities that are certified to meet strict Canadian organic standards. That means that they are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents or chemical food additives.
Many food products try to appear organic without being so. “Natural” is probably one of the most misleading and overused words in food marketing. Any true organic product will carry the Canadian and/or US organic symbols.
There are a number of excellent reasons to buy organic food, especially for your children:
Organic food is supportive of growing children’s brains and bodies.
The long-term health effects of pesticide exposure are not fully known. What we do know is that children who eat organically grown foods are exposed to far fewer pesticides than children who don’t. Children are small and more susceptible to toxins, so even low levels of pesticides could concentrate more highly in their bodies than in adults. Most experts, therefore, agree that children are among those who benefit most from eating organic foods.
Certain fruits and vegetables are consistently shown to be more contaminated with pesticides than other produce. This list is sometimes referred to as ‘the Dirty Dozen’. The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit environmental research organization, lists the following fruits and vegetables as having the highest levels of pesticides: strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches, celery, grapes, cherries, spinach, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers (2016).
Organic foods are more nutritious.
Not only does eating organically grown food provide the benefit of ingesting fewer pesticides, it’s more nutritious! Several studies have shown that organic fruits and vegetables have higher levels of anti-oxidants than conventionally grown produce. In some cases, organic samples had two to three times more anti-oxidants or vitamins.
Organic food is tried and tested.
By some estimates genetically-modified food makes up 80% of the average person’s food consumption. Genetic modification of food is still experimental and we do not know if it is safe. What we do know, is that genetically modified food is grown with an increasing amount of chemical pesticides. Avoid having your child be part of this wide scale and uncontrolled experiment.
Eating organic may reduce your risk of cancer.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides and 30% of insecticides to be potentially cancer-causing. It is reasonable to think that the rapidly increasing rates of cancer are at least partly linked to the use of these carcinogenic pesticides.
Organic farming is better for our environment and supports biodiversity.
For many people the main reason to eat organically grown and processed food is to support sustainable farming methods that are friendlier to the earth and support greater biodiversity. Organic methods include crop rotation, composting, and use of insects and natural substances to control pests that may otherwise damage crops. Organic farms have less top-soil loss and generate less pollution than conventional farms. GM and non-organic food production is focused on high yield monoculture and destroys biodiversity.
Organic farms are safer for farm workers.
Research at the Harvard School of Public Health found a 70% increase in Parkinson’s disease among people exposed to pesticides. Choosing organic foods means that more people will be able to work on farms without incurring the higher potential health risk of Parkinson’s or other illnesses.