One to Grow On: What to Plant in a Baby Food Garden
4 min read
Pinetree Garden Seeds Guide To Growing Food For Your Baby
If you have a little one that will be weaning or adding solid foods soon, you know you want to feed them the safest, most nutritious and delicious foods possible. But if you have spent any time in the baby food aisle in the grocery store, you also know that store-bought baby foods sometimes add sugars or salts, can use a lot of unnecessary packaging and can add quite a bit to your monthly food budget—especially if you choose organic brands.
Making your own baby food is a surprisingly easy and wonderful way to save money while giving your children a healthy start in life. And if you are going to make your own baby food, why not grow your own ingredients and save even more money? Gardening is a great way to get outdoor exercise, it teaches self-sufficiency, and it instills a respect and love for our natural environment. (And trust us—children absolutely love to dig in the dirt.)
Many Pinetree Garden Seeds customers become home gardeners to help make better, more affordable food choices for their families. They chose Pinetree Garden Seeds because we are one of the few seed sellers to offer non-GMO hybrid, organic and heirloom seeds in smaller quantities at affordable prices—usually about $2 per packet. Follow our Baby Food Garden Guide below and you can start feeding your new baby (and others in your family!) garden-fresh produce for less than $50.
If you are growing food for your baby, we recommend growing that food as organically as possible. Avoid using any pesticides in your garden and know that even some organic pest-control methods, like pepper sprays, are not good for little ones. Talk to your baby’s pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns.
Baby Food Garden Suggestions From Pinetree Garden Seeds
Hannah’s Choice Wild Maine Blueberries Okay, technically, blueberry tubers aren’t seeds. But these lovely high bush berries are bursting with sweetness as well as antioxidants, fiber, and manganese. Our Hannah’s Choice variety starts with sweet pink flowers that become clusters of bright blueberries that children love to pick. They also store well, so you can freeze extra berries for use in the colder months. Most doctors recommend steering clear of strawberries until after baby’s first year and we find blueberries fill that gap beautifully.
Tendergreen Bush Beans This charming heirloom produces stringless, pretty bushes that produce loads of fresh green pods. Pick them on the smaller size and they can be eaten fresh or steamed.
Butterscotch Butternut Squash Doctors recommend butternut squash as an ideal weaning food because it is easy to digest, rarely causes allergic reactions, and is an excellent source of beta-carotene, fiber, and antioxidants. It is also so easy to grow. Our Butterscotch winter variety produces sweeter, smaller squash on hardy, mildew-resistant vines, so it is ideal for gardeners with less space who are trying to avoid sprays.
Heirloom Tendersweet Carrots You won’t have to tell your baby to “eat your carrots!” with Tendersweets. Our customers claim they are the best-tasting carrots Your baby will love the surprise of tugging on the green tops to pull up a bright orange carrot and you will love creating color mashes filled with beta-carotene.
Delectable Corn Sweet, juicy, golden kernels of goodness! Corn is so easy to grow and children love watching it shoot up over their heads over the course of a summer … and turning the dried stalks into crafts come fall. (Corn is not a high allergen food but some babies with eczema can react poorly to corn. Talk to your child’s doctor if you have concerns.)
Ground Control Marigolds Why are flowers on this list? Marigolds have incredible, all-natural nematicidal effects when planted in vegetable gardens—they help to repel bugs and make it easier for you to avoid sprays. They are also bright, beautiful bursts of color your baby will love.
Minnesota Midget Melon (Cantaloupe) Not everyone has the growing season—or enough hours of sunshine—to ripen cantaloupe. The Minnesota Midget Melon grows sweet, fragrant miniature melons in just 60 days. Children love the size, taste, and summertime smell, while parents appreciate the extra Vitamin C and beta-carotene.
Tall Telephone Peas Peas are one of the most nutritious—and delicious—legumes and can be snacked on right out of the garden. Peas sprout quickly in the spring and grow quickly. In fact, by early summer, you can almost *see* them grow.
Sugarbaby Watermelon The name says it all. Another early variety, these delicious little melons are hydrating treats with amazing concentrations of vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, and even calcium.
Wee Be Little Pumpkin These absolutely adorable little pumpkins grow on bushes, not vines, and mature quickly enough for most gardening zones. Safe for babies beginning at six months old, pumpkin purees are high in flavor and fiber. Cut off the tops, roast the pumpkin whole, and mash until smooth. Try adding a touch of cinnamon to introduce your little one to the sparkle spices can add to food.
Pinetree Spinach Mix Spinach is a baby superfood, and we recommend planting our custom mix of nutrient-rich greens. For babies, pick leaves early—as microgreens—and remember to sow another planting in late summer in time for fall.
Lemon Summer Squash Big, bright yellow flowers on long, hardy vines yield round, lemon-sized (and colored) squash all summer long. It’s so easy to gather a few from the garden, steam them, and mash them into a bright summertime baby treat.
We can’t wait to hear how your baby garden—and your baby—grows! We also love hearing about our customers’ best baby food recipes. Stop in and share your favorites or put them in the comments below.