William's First Foods
My little boy is growing leaps and bounds every day!! He's really no longer a baby, basically a toddler now even though we're still waiting on him to take that first step!! He's crawling everywhere and loves to walk holding onto our hands. He's very cautious and calculated in his actions and so he hasn't quite worked up the nerve to decide he should venture out to try his first step alone yet.
In this blog I want to talk about infant nutrition and what I did for William for his first foods and why.
Years ago I began researching food and diets for each phase, from pre pregnancy to postpartum to a babies first meal, and so I became very passionate about making sure I fueled my body with the best things possible for myself and my baby instead of just blindly following what "everyone" says to do.
After all, a babies gut health and immune system starts with the mother. Whatever level of health you are at when you conceive and give birth is basically like the blue print of health that the baby starts out with in life.
"When are you going to start him on rice cereals?" That was a question I got several times to which I confidently would reply "I'm not, his first foods will be proteins and bone broth". And that usually got me some weird looks haha.
For starters, rice cereal and oatmeals for babies are fortified which means they have artificial nutrients added in to make them more "nutritious". Secondly, around the age most babies start to eat (4-6) months they don't even have the correct amount of specific enzymes such as amylase to break down carbohydrates. So starchy foods can be irritating to a baby's digestive system, and could increase the likelihood of allergies to this particular food.
Babies are naturally born with a leaky gut because this allows the beneficial antibodies and enzymes from the mother's milk to pass into the blood stream and increase immunity.
And around six months is when that lining starts to heal so it makes sense to feed them foods that won't destroy their little systems but help build it and make it as strong as possible.
One of the most nutritious and healing foods for the gut is bone broth, and being a liquid it's a very easy transitional food for babies. Since they can't eat much at a time it's very important to give them nutrient dense foods.
So when William turned six months old his first meal was... you guessed it, Bone broth!
He was so happy to finally get to eat some big people food, however he seemed rather disappointed because I don't think he found it quite as appetizing as he'd hoped it would be. Poor baby.
The first several times he loved it before it lost it's luster, so I didn't feed it to him as often and as much as I had hope to, but it was alright because he decided that nursing was what he wanted to stick to after all.
Other foods I've given to him are:
Steak- strips big enough he can gnaw on without worry of choking
Pureed chicken noodle soup (without the noodles) with avocado
Sweet potato mixed with avocado and cinnamon
Little shreds of turkey and chicken
Apple slices to gnaw on
Fresh wild salmon
It's important as well to start babies on savory things first instead of sweeter things for obvious reasons ;) If they get a taste of sugar of course they're gonna want to eat sweets over something like eggs any day.
When introducing sweeter things such as sweet potato or banana you can mix them with avocado to cut down on the sweetness and that's also a good way to get some healthy fats in their food as well. And speaking of bananas, they naturally have amylase in them so they are a good first carby food to give to babies because it will help aid in digestion.
William doesn't eat real food all that often, he seems to prefer nursing as the main source which I'm totally fine with because lets be honest, it's very time consuming to prepare baby food and feed it to them.
He loves steak, so I always try to let him eat some when I cook it. And he usually eats eggs with us every morning when we have breakfast.
He's actually a very clean eater for a baby and prefers to takes bites off of a fork or spoon instead of eating with his hands. When he's done, he's done!! He wants to get cleaned up and cries if he feels dirty for too long. He also prefers drinking water out of our glasses instead of using the nifty little nippy cup I got him.
He understands when we ask him if he wants another bite, and is very good at not reaching out for food unless he knows it's something he can have.
I hope this perhaps might be helpful to someone or at least an interesting read.
If you have any questions drop them in the comments and I'd love to answer them. :)