What and When do we Feed our Babies?

 

Isabelle has been exclusively breast feed for 5 and half months and has always been on the 95 percentile for her weight and height..  I hope and plan to  continue breastfeeding Isabelle for at least 2 years, and know that breast milk is the best food I can offer Isabelle, containing all the essential antibodies for our growing children, its natures miracle juice!


But I was starting to explore food for babies and I have these questions…

  • What do I feed Isabelle as her first foods? 
  • Do I need to cook her foods?
  • Can i just give her raw vegies? 
  • Where do I get the information from?
  • Who do I believe?

 

 

 

These were just some of the questions I had as a first time mum, but there were so many more.. so I went about doing a lot of research and have found and read many books, researched on the internet asked other mummas about the topic of which foods first and why?  

What I plan to share with you is the information I found. I don’t intend to offer any nutritional advice or even assume that what I am doing is right! 

These are some the books and websites I have consulted with and I would recommend mums to have a look at. I will add to the list as I read more;

 


What I have found in did find in my research was A LOT of conflicting information on when and what foods to introduce at certain ages. 

In my travels of researching this information I would higly recommend Well Adjusted Babies. This book is one of the most balanced books I have found on raising healthy children. It covers the topics of which foods and why? The importance of calcium, iron but not in the conventional sense, Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani makes aware that cows milk is not the answer and infact leafy greens provide far more nutrients that our main stream conventional foods would like you to think they do! She talks about Immunisation, pregnany and it goes on!

The next book I would recommend is Creating healthy Children – Another fantastic book which looks at attachment parenting, the importance of raw food in our children’s diet and so much more! 

And then there is Baby Led Weaning, Do I do that or do I offer pureed foods. Personally we will do both.

But back to the topic 🙂 … So with all this conflicting information I decided to put together a chart that lists three authors time lines of the introduction of food into a char (I have omitted their names – If you would like this information please contact me personally and I will let you know who they are)  by looking at this chart you can see there are a lot of different stages that they say to introduce foods.  I will update a spreadsheet in the next week or so which highlights the foods we have decided to introduce to Isabelle and when and why!

So why is there so much conflicting information out there?  How are we as first time mums supposed to filter through all of this information and know what is right.

As you can see in the below charts some people recommend foods at different stages! Some experts say to introduce cauliflower and Broccoli at 7 months others at a later stage. Some say Carrots at 4 months others say 9 months.

It wasn’t until I put all the information ( and there are more experts out there but I chose three that I actually like) that I could see how confusing this all can be!

Down load my baby food Comparison chart here




Why is there so much conflicting information out there?
This I don’t have the information for. But what I do have is motherly instinct on what is right for my child..  this is one of the main reasons why I put together a food chart which allowed me to see all the conflicting information and also the correlations.


When do I introduce Solids to Isabelle?
We decided to introduce solids to Issy when she was looking at food and asking for it. For Isabelle this was just before six months. Isabelle is a big baby and her cues were saying to me mum id like some of that!  She lets us know when she is not hungry, I strongly believe that breast milk is the most important meal of all. And she is breastfeed before all meals to ensure that she is getting the essential nutrients first.


Which Foods do we introduce first?
We decided to introduce banana and avocado as her first foods. Why? These are natural encased pureed foods perfect for little bubbas.


Do I steam her foods or just blend her foods.. Surely blending foods is ok?
I found out that steaming foods is not the same as blending, steaming babies foods breaks down the cellulose structure of food is to hard for a babies system to digest. You could say here is your answer as to why not to introduce babies food at all if you look at it from a RAW perspective and some mothers may not. But this is what we decided to do.



Why don’t we just do baby lead weaning?
For us we do a little bit of both. I found that as Isabelle is a bigger baby wanting more food and really asking for it we found that giving her some pureed food and in conjunction with Baby Led weaning was right for us. For more information on Baby Lead Weaning this is great website http://www.babyledweaning.com/


When can I introduce Raw foods to Isabelle?

Along with Baby Lead weaning we believe in the Ayrvadic method for raising children. That means that for the first two years of a babies life we will warm Isabelle’s food, in conjunction with Baby lead weaning we will also offer raw fruit.

We will probably do a blend of both with Isabelle… being high raw and also warming her foods.

Babies and children have a unique constitutional type. According to the Ayurvedic theory of doshas everything in the universe is comprised of different proportions of space, air, fire, water and earth.

Babies tend to dislike the cold or being exposed to windy conditions. On the whole they have low, delicate appetites and love sweet, warm food. Gabriel Cousens talks about this in his book Rainbow Green Live Food see link here

Hopefully some of this information may be useful for you?  And if you have any information on raising healthy children we would love to hear from you!

We do intend to raise Isabelle as a Vegan at the moment, as she continues to grow this might change to vegetarian but her diet will contain a very high percentage and on most occasions Raw Food.

If you know of any authors who have some great information out there! please let us know we can share this information on our face book page! In out world its all about learning and sharing the information we find!

In my next post on this topic part 2 – I will explain a little further why certain foods are introduced at certain ages, and I will also put up a spreadsheet showing you which foods we plan to introduce and when.


Sarah 🙂 and Issy! 

Raw Food for Babies Article

I just found this interesting article on Raw Food for Babies   by Karen Ranzi.
As I am currently researching on which foods to introduce to Isabelle and at what age!

The type of food given to baby is dependant on the age of weaning. All babies require mother’s milk for at least the first year of life to create the strong immunity and bonding necessary for baby’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual development. It contains the important fat and protein that cannot ever be replaced by other foods or formulas. The fat and protein in mother’s milk is sufficient for baby’s growth well into the second year. I encourage mothers to nurse as long as possible. Humans are the latest to mature of all mammals therefore our young require the longest nursing periods. I recommend a minimum of two years.
Only a very small percentage of mothers fail to have sufficient milk, are unable to nurse due to serious health concerns, and/or can’t find a wet nurse. If a mother is unable to nurse for at least the first year of baby’s life, then alternatives could be a wet nurse or a milk bank. If human mother’s milk is unavailable through a local nursing mother, then contacting a milk bank or website focused on breast milk donations would be the next step. For example, www.milkshare.com was formed in 2004 by Kelley Faulkner, a mom who was unable to produce enough breast milk due to a congenital breast abnormality. Knowing the significant benefits that only breast milk can offer, she sought to provide the best possible nutrition for her children using donated breast milk. Thirty generous and loving nursing mothers donated tons of breast milk for her children. Her second son has been exclusively fed with donor milk.

]A last alternative could be raw (unpasteurized) goat milk. The combination of half raw goat milk and half celery/carrot juice has been done successfully for those who were unable to nurse and unable to obtain milk from a human mother.

We must remember that human mother’s milk will always be best for the human baby.
Many infants are unable to properly digest almond milk or avocados at so young an age, and may not increase in weight because of their inability to absorb these fats and proteins. These infants risk malnourishment. Many children are allergic to nuts, specifically because they were introduced too early in life. Many years ago, I attended a class on healthy foods for the young child in which recipes were given for almond milk, and it was stated this alternative milk could replace mother’s milk completely if the mother were absolutely unable to nurse. Although some success has been reported with almond milk in Germany when babies were found to be allergic to cow milk, I strongly feel mothers have got to find a way to feed their babies with mother’s milk—if not their own, from another mother.

Toward the end of the first year, and no sooner, if baby is equipped with teeth to chew, then bite-sized pieces of fresh, ripe, organic fruits can be given one at a time.
Observe any reaction, as some babies are not ready to eat until well into their second year of life. I recommend that as soon as baby is accustomed to digesting a variety of fresh fruits given individually for chewing, that you begin to introduce green leafy vegetables in delicious green smoothies to provide additional minerals. It is best to start with the milder greens such as Romaine lettuce or spinach.

Remember that for each child the progression will be a little different depending on dentition and real desire and readiness to eat. Some children are simply curious about foods but not yet ready to eat. The mother must be observant of her baby to predict the right timing for introduction of foods. Into the second year, baby can have diluted nut and seed milks and avocado for their fat and protein contents, but solid soaked nuts and seeds should not be given until later to avoid the development of a nut allergy as nuts require a greater digestive capacity.

Some mothers ask about adding honey to baby’s first meals. According to Charles Santerre, toxicologist and food scientist, in his article “When Can My Baby Eat Honey?”: “Although honey seems like a wholesome and natural food to give your infant, don’t do it until after she’s at least 12 months old. Honey can contain spores of a bacterium called clostridium botulinum, which can germinate in a baby’s immature digestive system and cause infant botulism, a rare but potentially fatal illness. These spores are usually harmless to adults and children over 1 year old, because the microorganisms normally found in the intestine keep the bacteria from growing.” Signs of botulism are constipation along with muscle weakness, trouble sucking, slack jaw or crying and lethargy.

Fruit is delicious and filled with vitamins, perfect as baby’s first food. Fruit is sweet, not requiring honey or other sweetener to further sweeten it.

The child should not be given solid food to chew until there are many teeth. Another likely sign of readiness for solids is if the child isn’t gaining enough weight from mother’s milk alone, and requires additional food. Some babies don’t ask for or require solid foods until closer to two years of age, yet parents have been led to think their child needs them much sooner.
Some people feed coconut milk to their older babies. The fleshy part of the coconut is high in fat, and so, should not become a big part of the regular daily diet since breast milk is still providing the necessary fat and protein. Coconut water, however, is much lower in fat than coconut flesh and can be easily digested.

During the latter part of the first year, a very limited amount of diluted unprocessed fresh fruit juices may be given. Fruit juices should be used very sparingly for infants as well as older children. It is wise only to give juice to older infants who can drink from a cup. These juices could be 50% water and 50% juice, made of oranges, apples, melons or pears. You could also use the whole fruit and make a very simple watery smoothie after 9 months of age, but only if baby is eager. The fruit juice intake should be limited to not more than 3 to 4 ounces of diluted juice in a day to ensure baby is drinking enough breast milk to provide the fat, protein, and myriad other nutrients for proper development. In addition to displacing the amount of breast milk a baby drinks, dental caries have been associated with juice consumption, therefore it is best to keep it to minimal amounts.

After baby is already eating solid bite-size pieces of a variety of fresh fruit, green smoothies and green juices should be introduced to provide the abundance of minerals from green leafy vegetables. Following are some fun smoothies and puddings to create. They are a mild and delicious introduction to green leafy vegetables.:

Emerald Smoothie
1 banana
1 mango peeled, pitted and chopped
5 Lacinato kale leaves
2 cups of water
Chop banana and add to blender with chopped mango. Add kale leaves to blender with water. Blend until smooth.

Banana Green Fun
2 bananas
1 cup Romaine lettuce
1 cup of water
Blend bananas and water. Gradually add Romaine lettuce. Add more water if necessary.

Bright Sunny Day Smoothie
1 mango
4 peaches
2 stalks of celery
Blend mango and peaches. Then gradually add celery stalks. Use water for a smoothie or leave thick for a pudding.

Pina Colada Smoothie
2 bananas
2 slices pineapple
1 large handful spinach leaves
1 ½ to 2 cups of water
Blend bananas and pineapple with water. Add spinach leaves and blend until smooth.

All of this is described in much detail in the book Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods which is available at www.superhealthychildren.com, www.amazon.com and many raw food websites.
Karen Ranzi, Author, Lecturer, Raw Food Consultant
www.superhealthychildren.com
http://www.Facebook.com/CreatingHealthyChildren.com