Friday, May 25, 2012

Natural Babyfood at home

When my little man was ready to start foods, I thought I would do what I did for the rest of my children; but this time I wasn't sure it was the right thing for my little guy.  Cereal is always what to start with isn't it?  I was so surprised when I read the ingredients in Rice cereal.  I excepted rice to be the only ingredient and it was not.  I decided right then that I was going to make my own baby food.  It was really easier than I thought and so much better for him.  I did some research and decided to start him on the GAPS baby diet with no grains for the first year or so.  The idea is to make sure the digestive system is ready to digest food. The best foods to start with are seeded and peeled vegetables.  Squashes, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower are great starts.  I cook them in broth for the added fats.  Animal fats are great for development and easy to digest. 

I started with yellow zucchini and a broccoli head and spoonfuls of broth.  I also will add in a fat like coconut oil or Ghee {clarified butter, I'll share how to make this soon.}  Introducing different fats is important. 

The first times I blended it very smooth.  This didn't last long before I left it a bit chunky.   Now at 7 months I have already added in unblended foods like meat and pickles.  He loves ferment carrots as well. This way of eating is traditional, something our diets have lost in the western world.   As you can see he is a happy baby!!

How do you know if your baby is ready?
Between 4-6 months of age a baby may be ready to introduce foods.  Nursing babies usually do fine until 6 months,, when bottle feed may want it sooner.  I have always waited until 6 months to start my children on foods and never used purees for more than a month or so.  Some children may seem less interested in eating or may just play with it and spit it out.  If they are nursing or feeding well, don't worry, it is just practice for them.

 Babies have a high gag to protect them at this stage. If they are interested in eating foods they will grab and try to put them into their mouth.  This may be the first indication a baby is ready to try foods.  Do some research on what you want to do for your little one and don't stress about it.  They will get the hang of eating.  Here are some places I have looked into to make decisions on how to feed my little man.

Baby led weaning is teaching a baby to eat whole foods right from the start.  They are introduced to raw or cooked foods with out purees or special treatment.  No baby foods either.  I have always done a mix of purees and whole foods.  Raw carrots are great to chew on when new teeth are coming in.
I am always there to watch and make sure he is safe while eating.

I am sure you have heard of or seen the article that Time magazine put out on Breastfeeding.  The World Health Organization has intervened with America's views on nursing to 1 year and recommends nursing to two years.  I have enjoyed nursing and plan on nursing my guy to 2 years.  I know it has helped all of my children and am excited for the added support that hopefully will change the views of Americans about this way of feeding and nourishing our children.

Here is some more on GAPS diet

Gaps is a diet that is for recovery of the gut.  I have chosen to do it for my two boys that struggle with ADHD.  I have decided to use this to start of my youngest to make sure his gut is well populated with gut flora, for proper digestion.  I love the start off for babies, but the gaps diet for children can be extreme.  It was a good choice for our family and I have seen good results from it.  Let me know if you have considered it for your children.  I am glad to share our experience with it so far.

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