Family Life, Food

Baby’s First Foods

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I figured I would tackle this post as we are still sort of in the throes of the first foods adventure with baby j. We are starting him off pretty closely to the same way m started: following the Weston A. Price Foundation recommendations and using a mostly baby led weaning approach. While I love the WAPF recommendations, we can’t do the dairy as m is allergic, and I am quite sure j is also (more on that later).  The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends:

  • egg yolks
  • raw, whole fat dairy products
  • oils: coconut, olive, avocado
  • avocado
  • yams
  • animal fats
  • no grains for the first year

We started him on avocado, but he is not a huge fan. He will eat a teaspoon or so. I keep offering it to him because it is such a great food, and I hope he will come to love it as much as m and I do (HeyBabeDaddy will feast on delicious guacamole, but he doesn’t dig it straight up…He has his flaws). I feel like now is a good time for me to mention how different the kids are. They are obviously different people, but there sort of is not a more basic scenario in which to remind oneself that every kid is different than when it comes to foods and eating habits. m was ready to eat at 6 months. j took a couple of extra months just to learn what to do with the food in his mouth, and is still practicing. Which, happened to relieve some of my guilt at not offering him more food as early as we did with m. He just wasn’t ready for it, so I cut myself some slack there; but now he is ready, and it is fun to see him enjoy the process so much.

With both kids my biggest priorities were: 1) to have their meals be as nutritious as possible and 2) the ease of execution for me. I am almost obsessively aware that the solids they eat are taking the place of breastmilk which is perfectly formulated for them. Those tiny tummies are hot real estate and I want them occupied by the best, most nutrient dense foods to help them grow. I also realize that if I don’t keep it simple enough for me to maintain on the go, it becomes a slippery slope of empty calories. Since I make a very concerted effort with regards to the health and well being of our family, I want it to be as sustainable as possible. In this case, it means keeping his meal plan simple so that I am not preparing separate meals for him and that I am be able to feed him on the fly whether it be packing a meal from home, or being able to order something for him from a restaurant. I believe in the baby led weaning philosophy which makes meal prep for him no different than it is for the rest of the family.

blwwWith those two simple objectives in place, we surged forward with an at home menu including: delicious golden egg yolk pudding (egg yolk, coconut oil, a splash of liquid: milk {breast, cow, nut…} or water and a dash of salt), avocado, baked yams, various cooked veggies, cooked meats from healthy, pastured animals (whenever available), and fruits. I give him a chunk of the food to adventure with and also intermittently offer him some small bites from my plate. This works well for me. He feels included in mealtime and loves trying whatever we offer him – for the moment.

For when I am on the run, I grab some leftovers which is often some fish, veggies, or baked yams – whatever I have on hand. If I will be out for awhile or am not taking a refrigeration bag, my fall backs are: steamed veggies, avocado, apple, pear, banana or some canned fish, sardines, anchovies or tuna. I love all of these items because in a pinch I can just throw them in a bag and go. Restaurants can be tough if you are looking at the menu as a whole – don’t get me started on the “kids meals” {cue eye roll} in most places. I often find healthful solutions in the “sides” selection. You can usually get a side of some animal protein (sometimes I will just add chicken or fish to my salad and feed him from my plate), steamed veggies, hard-boiled egg (and just remove the white) or just sliced avocado.

I realize that all of this omits diary which in raw and organic forms are great starter foods also. We unfortunately can’t use them for our kids at the moment. Fingers crossed they grow out of these allergies and we can add them in.

 

UPDATE: Hifivebaby.com has a great article with a ton of information and tips if you are interested in boosting your baby led weaning prowess 🙂 You can check it out here.

 

*** I am not a physician. Remember to always consult with your child’s doctor regarding introducing solid foods  and discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.