Alrighty, so you’ve popped out your little bundle of joy, what now? Clearly we want our children to have the best, to have a better life than our own. Therefore we want them to develop and survive in this world, so we must evaluate the way we feed our children starting at day one (or even pre-conception as we looked at yesterday). Today’s world is laced with processed foods and the food industry and pharmaceutical companies have their hands in not only what is available, but funds the studies done. We must stick to what we know, and look back to those healthier traditional societies, before we demonized fats and promoted whole grains. Of course we must first look at breastfeeding. Obviously we looked at the benefits yesterday: ideal nutrient for baby (granted the mother’s diet is nutrient dense), beneficial for mother’s future health, and it bonds mother and child. Other benefits for mom are that it:
- Stimulate hormones
- Helps mom lose weight
- Protect against breast cancer and osteoporosis
Breast milk is full of great fat! Of course we have cholesterol. This gives the baby energy, as well as helping its little body grow bones and muscles. Babies fed low-fat or low-cholesterol does not grow or thrive as well as babies fed these essential fats. Another big one of course is the fat-soluble vitamins, namely A and D that allow proper development as well. Lastly, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (AA, DHA, and EPA) are a must, and deficiency is linked not only to visual acuity, but learning disabilities. The brain is largely fat; therefore it must be fed fat! Nowadays formula feeding seems to be custom. Well of course the baby food and formula industries are in the billionaires of dollars range, meaning they’re in control. Why would they want someone breastfeeding, if they don’t turn a profit? Let’s face it, as usual it’s about the dollar and not our health. The government and the food industry, don’t give a damn about you, nor your little tike for that matter. Faulty ingredients hidden in formula waiting to disturb your baby’s digestion and growth include: water (probably with fluoride), corn syrup, sucrose, soy oil (most likely rancid), whey protein (denatured protein), soy protein isolate (bad news for hormones), carrageenan (digestive disturber), soy lecithin, synthetic vitamins (that don’t react to your little one, like naturally occurring vitamins do), free glutamic acid and aspartic acid (check out the MSG post last week). These ingredients are cheap and easy to produce and cheap to force down your baby’s throat. What is the solution? Well for starters, a healthy diet for mommy dearest, and breastfeeding. If not feasible a homemade formula may work better, this ensures that you know exactly what is going into your little guy’s tummy. Its’ a shame that many breast are going unsucked because of the market scheming put forth by the formula industry. Don’t buy into their poison or greed!
So now your baby is growing up so quickly (and we almost want to slow down the process as they change from day to day and try and cherish each new task), and food/nutrition is just as essential, how do we assimilate them into other foods? To begin, we don’t feed them carbs or cereals as is usually suggested. Their poor little bodies don’t produce the amylase needed to break them down. Let’s see, this leaves us with, you bet’cha fats and proteins. After four months egg yolks are a good option to begin incorporating. Boil the egg and mash it (not the white which they can’t process yet, wait until they’re one for the whole egg), sprinkle with a little unrefined sea salt (which not only provides trace minerals, but helps with digestion and brain development). The cholesterol in the yolk is important, but so is the choline (check out this post on Eggs and this neurotransmitter) for brain health. This may also be an appropriate time to start including cod liver oil or fish oil (1/4 tsp, but look for quality and pharmaceutical, not something cheap, we’re talking about their future here). After 6 months start adding a little grated raw organic liver (frozen two weeks before) to their yolks. After 6 months start incorporating pureed meats as well (why meat? Because your baby is used to the fat found in animal fats that will provide AA and omega-3 if it is grass-fed. Also protein will provide the baby with minerals that is so desperately needs, like iron and zinc, not to mention the liver will be providing it with B12, which is found only in animal proteins, and it also provides those oh so important vitamins A and D). Cook in stock until tender, let cool and grind, before finishing by adding water or breast milk. After six months try adding vegetable purees too. Great starters include: squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas, carrots and beets. Mash them and mix in raw organic butter (remember your baby needs the fat that it was getting from breast milk still, and it also needs the vitamin A and D in the butter). Start with fruit as well, like: peaches, nectarines, apples, blueberries, cherries, and pears. Boil, simmer and puree (with fruit and vegetables, clearly organic rules because they’re little bodies cannot deal with potential toxins in GM foods, but if you don’t buy organic make sure to remove the skin) and add butter or cream. Raw fruits may include: avocado, mangos, papaya and bananas (bananas actually make a great first mashed food because the amylase in them helps the babies digest them). Other things that won’t hurt to introduce: buttermilk, kefir and yogurt (to grow accustomed to sour), lacto-fermented taro or sweet potatoes work too. After eight months begin with vegetables soups (creamy), homemade stews, mild harder raw cheese, and cottage cheese. Wait for a year to incorporate nuts and seeds, leafy greens, citrus fruit and whole eggs. Now it’s important that you try foods with babies. Introduce new foods one at a time and check babies reactions (everyone is different, so they may have reactions to different tastes, textures, etc.) Try a couple of times, don’t get discouraged or quit if they don’t like something the first time. Try at least twice, but never force the baby to eat anything. Things to always avoid include:
- Commercial dairy (especially ultra-pasteurized)
- Modern soy
- Fruit juices
- Reduced or low-fat foods
- Extruded grains
- Processed foods
This goes for you too, especially when lactating. You need to lead by an example. As your little bundle of joy continues to grow, incorporate them in the family meal. Let food before something they appreciate and take pride in, that they associate with love and family. Have them grow and develop a taste for fat and salt, rather than sweet (trust me sugar does not taste so good if you don’t have it-violently sweet- nor does it react well to your system). Oh I don’t have time. I’m a new parent; I’m short on sleep and have to work to support my current lifestyle (excuse after excuse). Again this goes back to how big a priority your health and your child’s health is. Prepare ahead of time. Make larger batches of mashes and freeze them. Let them thaw in the frig (to retain nutrients better) before serving. Once you know what your baby likes, cycle different foods everyday, while making sure they get ample amounts of good fats and protein. Also, babies should be chubby (yes baby fat is a good thing). Rolly polly’s turn into slim, trim adults. Start enforcing health while they’re young and the better off they and you will be.