“The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.” ~ Lao Tzu
It’s hard to believe how far my family and I have come with our lifestyle in the last five years. It also continues to amaze me how much driving force and passion can lie within a mother for her children.
My first step towards a more natural lifestyle all began with an email forwarded from a family friend containing this exact article on why babies should skip rice cereal. In fact, it has been almost 5 years to date (I got the email on 10/30/11). Andrew was nine months at the time and I was completely ignorant to the whole world of natural living. I had weaned him off breastmilk at just shy of five months — an experience that I struggled with from day one — and had put him on the standard commercial formula.
When I read that email my heart sunk to the floor.
Whhhat? Babies bodies are not meant to digest grains? What?
I was shocked. Why did my pediatrician encourage me to start my baby on this food at 4 months when his body clearly couldn’t handle it?
Why I Skipped the Rice Cereal
Without getting completely scientific on you, the main reason I ditched the rice cereal as soon as I found out for Andrew (and why I didn’t start Layla on rice cereal) is because baby’s bodies don’t produce an enzyme called amylase. Amylase is the enzyme responsible for being able to digest starches and according to this article, the “pancreatic amylase (what you need to actually digest grains) is not produced until molar teeth are fully developed!” (source) Rice cereal is also a high glycemic food which causes the baby’s blood sugar to spike and then crash. Not something a young infant’s body should go through.
So what happens to the undigested rice cereal when baby consumes it? It essentially rots in their sweet little bellies. Yep, that in itself made me throw out all the rice cereal as soon as I was done reading the post. This “rotting” sensation can cause a host of issues down the road like allergies, behavioral issues, and more. (source)
What I Started My Baby On This Time Around
So remember how I said I have that very email that started the journey of a thousand steps for me and my family? I went back and read the threads in it and I asked my family friend what she had started her baby on. She mentioned she started her baby on almost raw egg yolks. As my response, I clearly stated I “don’t really know how I feel about feeding him egg yolks.” It made me nervous because it wasn’t the normal thing to do and there were so many misconceptions out there saying egg yolks were bad for you.
The more I researched, the more I began to trust in the ancient wisdom of feeding babies (like egg yolks) and less on the modern advice given by doctors. I eventually went on to find organic eggs from a local source and started Andrew on soft boiled egg yolk. I fed him egg yolk almost every day and how that boy is smart! Egg yolks from pastured hens are rich in natural cholesterol and omega 3 fatty acids which is absolutely essential to brain development.
I’m so thankful to now have chickens of our own that I can confidently feed Layla the egg yolks they produce (she loves them too!).
Here are the 5 foods I started Layla on:
Note: This time around I did not feed my baby with a spoon. I opted to allow her to tell me when she was ready for foods — and that meant being exclusively breastfed until about 9.5 months. I gently offered some avocado and egg yolk before that time but she simply was not interested. Trust your baby and she will show you when she is truly ready to start eating real food.
- Egg yolks from pasture-raised hens (either your own chickens or a local, trusted source – find pasture-raised eggs and meat with this website or this one)
- Bone broth soups
- Soft cooked meat, veggies (pureed or left in bite-sized chunks), fish (the photo is Layla eating sardines at 10 months)
A Resource I Wish I Had When My Oldest Was a Baby
Even though I felt much more prepared this time around when it came to feeding my second child, I still felt a little lost as to what I could cook her. Not sure if it was simply because of the hustle and bustle of life but I seriously blanked out most of the time when it came to thinking of preparing her food.
When Nourished Beginnings Baby Food arrived at my doorstep, I was beyond thrilled. The world needed a baby food book that was practical and trustworthy and my goodness, Nourished Beginnings truly delivers both of those qualities.
I quickly read through each recipe, feeling happier and less burdened with each page I flipped. So far I have made the Wild-Caught Fish Puree, Steamed Pears with Cinnamon, Baby’s First Smoothie, Herbed Cauliflower “Rice” and Veggie Bowls, Simple and Quick Pan-Seared Salmon, Wild-Caught Tuna Salad, and Garlic Roasted Cabbage Wedges. Each recipe has been delicious and thoroughly enjoyed by Layla and the rest of my family.
Moms need this book. Dads need this book; Caretakers, grandparents, friends, family, everyone needs a copy of this book. We need to take back the health of our children and start them off on nourished beginnings so they can grow into happy, healthy kids (and later adults) who thrive and enjoy a wide array of foods.