Make Baby Food

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Great! You want to learn how to make baby food. It’s not difficult, it just takes a bit of planning and a few pieces of equipment. After a few days you’ll be a pro.

I can think if 3 reasons why making your own baby food is superior to buying the stuff at the grocery store:

  1. Studies have shown that commercial baby food has lower nutrient content than home made. By making your own you ensure baby gets fresh, wholesome, nutrient dense food that is not watered down and is free from fillers.
  2. Sometimes synthetic vitamins and minerals are added to commercial food but these are poor substitutes for the real thing as they are hard to absorb – better to get real nutrients from real homemade foods.
  3. Your choice is very limited at the store. By making your own you can offer a wider range of tastes, textures and nutrients.

But don’t worry… if you don’t have time to make your own, once you understand the nutrients needed for optimal growth you can learn how to “supercharge” commercial baby food to make it more nutrient dense.

About Quality

When choosing raw materials to make baby food, it’s best to go organic for as much as you can. Babies’ systems are sensitive to pesticides and chemicals and they can trigger allergies and disrupt development. Studies have shown that adopting an organic diet does reduce our exposure to harmful chemicals.

If you don’t want to make baby food and prefer to use commercial baby foods, go organic (the ones in glass jars – as opposed to plastic – are best. There are also some good frozen foods now available).

Why? because many of the ingredients found in commercial baby foods are high on the pesticide and/or GMO list and are thus more likely to trigger allergies.

What to offer…

When starting out keep meals simple – one food at a time is best and look for reactions. Keep a chart to track which foods you have introduced.

Fats, saturated and unsaturated, as well as cholesterol are important for proper brain, eye, heart, and immune system development.

A low fat diet for baby is not a good idea. Add generous amounts of butter or coconut oil to vegetables, use whole fat dairy products, add cream to soups (once milk has been introduced), include meat and organ meat.

What to do if you suspect a food sensitivity?

If you suspect a sensitivity, note it down and retry the food in a month. Sign and symptom might take 3-4 days to show up. If you need help, contact me.   We also talk a lot about what signs and symptoms to look for in my Thriving Babies on-line class.

Understanding food sensitivities is a must-know for parents! Many health complications can be avoided by paying attention to the early signs of food sensitivities

 

I don’t recommend starting with grains… and here’s why…

It is not necessary to offer commercial fortified baby cereal as long as you make sure baby is getting enough iron from other foods.If you don’t know how to do that, you’ll want to check out my video training series here.

North America is one of the only parts of the world that introduces babies to grains right away. Health Canada has actually just changed its recommendation to include all iron rich foods as baby’s first food. Here’s my blog post about how I feel about the new guidelines.

Here’s the abridged version of why I don’t recommend starting with grain cereal.

If you work with the premise that nutrients, rather than convenience, should be the driving force behind choosing baby’s first foods, then grains fall short.

In particular, we know that at around 6 months of age, when most babies are ready to start accepting solids, breast milk no longer supplies appropriate amounts of zinc and iron – nutrients that are critical to development.

Do grains contain zinc or iron? Not in significant amounts. Animal foods supply these in a readily digestible form, (along with essential fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins A and D, cholesterol, and saturated fat which are also critical at this age).

Grains became popular because they can be processed and fortified, which makes them convenient.

Babies don’t fully develop the appropriate enzymes to digest carbohydrates until around 24 months. So meat and eggs make great starter foods.  Choose grass fed meat as it contains higher amounts of essential fatty acids and no growth hormone or antibiotic residue. Omega 3, free range egg yolks provide fatty acids,cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins and choline. If you don’t want to introduce meat, be sure to offer high iron fruits and vegetables and monitor for signs of anemia. Grains, especially those containing gluten, are hard to digest and should be put off until later.

Adding a bit of breast milk into foods, especially grains, helps make them more digestible.

For more answers to your infant-feeding questions check out my FREE video training

 

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