Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Feeding a baby :: Charlie's first foods


I am pretty passionate when it comes providing healthy and nourishing food for me and my family. Especially when it comes to my babies first foods. Starting a baby off with the best foods can be critical for their future health. It's a continuous learning process. With every baby I have gained a better understanding of what the best, and not so great, foods for them are. 

Charlie is 7 months now, and although it isn't out of the norm for a baby his age to not be eating food yet this is the longest I have ever gone. Honestly, if I could I would love to go a whole year with little to no solid foods at all. But this small chested mama just doesn't have a big milk supply to fully satisfy a growing babe without having him on me ALL THE TIME.

I started giving Will baby food at 5 months. He was a big baby, and wanted to nurse every 1.5 hours, and I needed more of a break! Sam was around 6 months when I started him on solids. He was a little guy, and I thought some extra food might help plump him up (it didn't). With Charlie I have been in no hurry at all to start feeding him real food. Being able to pull out a boob wherever and whenever it is needed is way easier than keeping up with food prep (I (mostly) make my own food), and remembering to bring along food when we are out of the house for a long period of time. Not to mention the change in dirty (cloth!) diapers once food is involved. Bleh.

Charlie has been showing signs of wanting more though. If you have food, he's trying to get it, and he's wanting to nurse at least every 1.5/2 hours if not more. I absolutely want to keep nursing too, and will continue trying hard to keep up the milk supply I have! So, thus begins my third journey in feeding a baby.

I plan on doing a few posts on this topic. In this first one I will talk about babies first foods!

What not to feed your baby

For over 60 years now, we have been led to believe that a baby's first (solid) food should be rice cereal, but this couldn't be further from the truth! Not only is it highly processed, but babies lack the necessary enzyme amylase needed to digest ANY type of grain until they are AT LEAST a year.

"If babies are not producing amylase, they are not digesting grains.  Undigested grains can destroy your baby’s intestinal lining and disrupt the balance of good bacteria in the gut." -Ohlardy.com

Keeping your gut healthy is key for having optimal health at any age, not just as babies. An unhealthy gut can result in a whole host of problems, including allergies and behavioral problems.

What should you feed your baby?

Some of the best first foods for a baby are:

Egg yolks (cooked soft)

Avocado

Banana

All super easy to prepare (just mash em up!), easy to digest and loaded with nutrition!

I gave Charlie his first taste of avocado and egg yolk the other day. As you can see he had a blast playing with it. Not much ended up in his mouth, but it was a good way to start getting him used to the taste. I have spoon fed it to him as well. At this point most of it comes right back out, but he'll get the hang of it soon enough!


If you'd like to read more about the dangers of rice cereal (which I highly recommend you do!) here are a few other articles about it:

http://todaysmama.com/2013/05/stop-feeding-baby-rice-cereal/

http://ohlardy.com/why-your-baby-should-not-eat-baby-cereal

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/12/20/get-the-white-out-of-babys-first-foods.aspx

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