Before becoming a mother, I didn't concern myself with the quality of the foods I put in my body. Whatever was easy, quick, and usually pumped full of mystery ingredients was just fine for my young mind and busy schedule.
Boy, becoming a parent can open your eyes! When my oldest daughter began eating solid foods, these things suddenly struck me, and hard:
- This child's health is in my hands.
- I wanted to instill good habits from a young age.
- We teach by example, so the foods that had been stocking our cabinets could no longer serve as the norm.
The author received compensation from Organic Valley for this article. All thoughts and opinions expressed are her own.
On top of all of this, my mini-me was only going to become more active, so gifting myself a healthy lifestyle was no longer on my "someday" list.
It was time for a change, so I began researching. Shortly after, smoothies were a new breakfast habit and steamed veggies were on our plates every night, versus once or twice per week. My little one was a fan of everything we ate, and serving her organic options became a no-brainer.
The chemicals in the food I feed my family are just as important to consider as the food itself. After further research and some trial brands, I landed on Organic Valley milk, and shortly after added their butter and cheese to our grocery lists as well.
We all enjoyed the taste, but I also loved knowing they support small organic family farms, adding new ones into their cooperative and joining forces to fight the "get big or get out" sentiment.
Since then, my family has grown and we've explored more Organic Valley products. I'm thrilled they offer lactose-free options for my dairy-loving lactose-intolerant secondborn!
Their product line also now includes Prenatal and Postnatal Smoothie mixes. The chocolate Prenatal Smoothie mix includes folic acid, folate, and DHA, and was a staple while I was pregnant with my son!
Purchasing clean, non-GMO food is something that is worth the research and investment, and giving my own family these advantages has become a part of my personal parenting mantra. Organic Valley was a sort of trailblazer to that end, having fought for a decade to help develop the first USDA organic dairy standards.
Other things we like about the Organic Valley co-op:
- Pure & simple: They have always believed food should be pure and simple. They never use antibiotics, synthetic hormones, or feed treated with harsh pesticides.
- Animal care: Organic Valley’s Dairy Animal Care Standards, which embrace a natural philosophy to let cows be cows outside. Their average herd is small – less than 80 cows – and they spend more time outside on pasture than 95% of US dairy cows. Because they spend more time outside, they have a more nutrient-rich and diverse diet, and more grass in their diet than organic standards require.
- More on the animals... healthy chickens = healthy eggs: All Organic Valley chickens have access to organic pastures, where they spend their days clucking, strutting, and pecking at bugs and earthworms. On rainy days, the chickens stay in the coop, but keeping them happy and healthy is the highest priority.
- Small and family-centered: They are an independent co-op of small organic family farms, rather than big factory farms or mega-corporations. They are passionate about doing what's right for people, animals, and the earth and are committed to bringing ethically-made organic food to families everywhere.
Farm Tour with Organic Valley and Macaroni KID!
Macaroni KID recently hosted a Facebook Live Farm Tour with an Organic Valley Farm. We visited with the cows as they grazed in the pasture, checked in on the calf barn, and we even got the opportunity to name a calf! Watch the video to see what we named him!