By: Hillary Bennetts
The phrase “baby food” typically conjures up images of pureed pears and bits of banana. What food doesn’t often come to mind? Bacon. But with an impressive profile of macro- and micronutrients, I’m here to tell you why it should.
Babies grow at a rapid rate and have important nutrient needs in order to support their development. The brain, for example, grows from 25% of adult size as a newborn to 80% of adult size at age three. During this time of growth, the brain is forming critical connections that allow its cells to communicate with one another. To do this, it needs foods rich in nutrients like iron, zinc, and protein. Other organs and systems are in similar stages of development and require high amounts of these nutrients and others, like vitamins A, B12, C, and D, and calcium, iodine and omega-3 fats.
With limited space in the bellies of little ones, getting foods that are dense in these nutrients is a prudent approach to ensuring they get what they need to grow and develop. While it might not be the typical “baby food” that comes to mind, animal proteins are a great way to pack in the nutrients and calories needed to support a growing baby’s body, which is what brings us back to the topic at hand: bacon.
It’s important to note that when we talk about the benefits of bacon, we’re referring to high-quality uncured bacon made from well-sourced responsibly-raised pork. Like all food, quality matters. And there is evidence to show that the nutrient profile of higher-quality meats like pasture-raised pork is superior to that of conventionally-raised meats. Conventional production systems typically involve permanent indoor housing that restricts the movement and behavioral expression of animals. In free-range and organic systems, animals like pigs have access to the outdoors where they have opportunities for exercise, foraging, rooting, and exploration so that they can grow and thrive.
Just like humans, when pigs have access to good quality food and exercise, they are healthier animals. While you’ve probably heard the phrase, “you are what you eat,” there is an updated version of that — you are what you eat eats.
One study explored this theory and found that the nutritional profile of higher-quality meat is indeed superior to that of conventionally-raised meat. It found that pig meat from free-range systems has a higher proportion of omega-3 fatty acids and a more favorable (lower) ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids acids compared with pig meat from intensive systems. Omega-3 fats are important for brain and heart health in babies, and most diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids while containing excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. This imbalanced ratio can feed inflammation and contribute to other health concerns. The study also found that the pastured pork contains more vitamin E and iron than its conventionally-raised counterparts, both critical to baby growth and development.
It is for these reasons that Serenity Kids created its Uncured Bacon with Organic Butternut Squash and Kale pouch. They source high quality pasture-raised pork from reputable ranches and responsibly process the meat in order to maximize nutrient density. In the process of curing pork, the smoke and salt removes water which concentrates nutrients and results in a higher amount of fat and protein per ounce. One pouch delivers a tremendous bang for your (nutritional) buck.
And if fears around sodium and nitrates are holding you back from bringing home the bacon, know that Serenity Kids Uncured Bacon baby food is made with just a small amount of sea salt, which contains trace minerals that are beneficial for all bodies, both big and small. In addition, as it is uncured, it contains no added nitrates or nitrites.
So feel confident knowing that Serenity Kids pouches are full of the best of the best, and whether you are making your own food or relying on the convenience of Serenity Kids, aim to fill that limited belly space with nutrient-dense whole foods that will support your little one in their critical early years of development.
Serenity Kids Baby Nutrition Quickstart Guide
Nutritional Benefits of Higher Welfare Animal Products, June 2012 report
Hillary Bennetts is the founder and owner of Purposeful Plate Nutrition. A member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, she provides nutrition consulting services to individuals and businesses. Hillary holds a BA in Economics from Washington and Jefferson College, an MBA from Emory University, and an NC from Bauman College. A marathoner, mountain climber, and mama, she lives in Colorado with her husband, son, and golden retriever.
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When Della was born, all of Serenity’s attention rightfully went to the baby, and I discovered how much emotional and practical support I had grown dependent on. It’s hard to admit, but on an unconscious level I still want someone to take care of me. Now suddenly my wife has an actual child to raise, and any parental-like support I used to receive went to Della. I had to step up to not only parent my new child, but also to parent my inner child.