Archive for the ‘Feeding Baby’ Category

My little girl is now 6 1/2 months old. Where does the time go?! The transition to solid food has been easier than I imagined for her – she loves it! It’s amazing what foods get mixed together that I never thought I would try. Spinach & carrots, applesauce & eggs, pear & avocado, etc. Of course anything mixed with banana pretty much tastes like banana.

If you read my previous post on feeding the primal baby, you know that I decided not to give my daughter the quickly recommended rice cereal or oatmeal and decided to make most of her food (however, having a few jars of organic baby food isn’t a bad idea in a pinch). I don’t think rice cereal or oatmeal are “bad”, they just aren’t necessary for their diet and as I’ve found with my daughter, she prefers thicker, chunkier mashed up food to the liquid food they call “solid”. So far at 6 months of age, she has had: Avocado, banana, broccoli, carrots, kale, spinach, pears, apples, blackberries, blueberries, rasperries, and our newest one – eggs. I add applesauce, avocado, or banana to the eggs to help it go down a little better, since they are a little dry, and she loves it! A few bites of the protein powerhouse, avocado and egg, goes a long way!

We did have to introduce a little formula into her diet as my milk supply has been decreasing. I did not want to do this and stressed over it for weeks (could have been one of the reasons my milk supply went down), but realized that all she really needed was a few ounces a day in addition to the breast milk. Although, now that she is usually eating 3 meals of solid food a day, she can go 4 hours between feedings and my body is able to produce the milk she needs!

When we started looking at a formula to supplement with, we saw there was actually a lot to consider. First you have organic versus non-organic. After reading almost everything I could find after typing in “organic baby formula versus non-organic” into google, I concluded that because of baby’s smaller body, chemicals, pesticides, and all other added ingredients can have a more damaging effect. So, we went with Earth’s Best Organic formula. Then, we quickly realized there was another decision to make: milk-based or soy based? In my research over the past couple of years I have read a lot about the overuse of soy products, especially in the American diet, and the ill effects they can actually have on our bodies. Some parents choose soy based formula because they are afraid of or their baby has an allergic reaction to cow’s milk. Others may choose it because they simply think it is the healthier option.

(Disclaimer: I realize that there are some babies that have specific needs and soy-based formula may be the best option. As with everything on my blog, I am an advocate of doing research on your own and coming up with the best option for your family.)

Some child-advocacy groups claim that consuming soy-based formula could accelerate puberty and cause developmental and reproductive abnormalities and thyroid disorders later in life. – USDA

“Soy-based formula has been commercially available since the sixties,” Wiggins says, “but few studies have examined the long-term consequences of exposure to high concentrations of estrogenic compounds during infancy. No one consumes more soy per kilogram of body weight than infants who are fed soy-based formula. Infants should consume about 115 calories per kilogram to maintain normal growth.” – USDA

There is no doubt that breast milk is the best thing hands down for your baby and I would encourage every mom to persevere through the hard times! I received invaluable help from lactation consultants and talking with friends going through similar struggles. However, as a breast feeding mom, I understand it can be extremely taxing on your body, emotional state, and sometimes it just simply doesn’t work. These are the times I am thankful for modern technology. But, it doesn’t mean that we should just concede to whatever conventional wisdom or the next new fad tells us. As hypoallergenic formulas have become more common, medical advice regarding soy formulas have been highly scrutinized over the past few years. You deserve to know why.

4 concerns with soy based formula (The information below comes from Mark Sisson’s site here.)

1. Most of the worry with soy based formula involves its estrogenic effects. There has been concern that soy products could be a result of the increasing early onset of puberty in girls.

2. Concern over high aluminum levels. In 2006 the Royal College of Australian Physicians put out a very strong warning against soy formulas.

3. Questions regarding the legitimacy of the nutrition equivalency of soy based formula and the traditional cow’s milk formula. In particular the absorption of minerals, the importance of the lactose from the cow’s milk colonizing the intestines with good bacteria, and the essential intake of the complete family of amino acids.

4. The extremely high levels of manganese in soy based formula is a cause for concern, as it is 80 times more than human breast milk. Manganese is an essential nutrient, but can be toxic at high levels.

The studies on soy based formulas are not extensive and little is conclusive about the effects of soy in the later years of life. For instance I was fed soy based formula, as were many of my generation Y friends (80’s babies) and I am now a healthy adult. However, everyone who smokes does not get lung cancer, just food for thought.

So, I would encourage you to research, ask questions, and trust your decision knowing that ultimately YOU are the thing your baby needs the most!


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Lots of people ask me how they are supposed to eliminate grains from their kids’ diets. This is a hard topic to answer for me especially since I did not have any kids. It’s easy to give answers, but with no experience to back it up, it was hard to empathize. Now that my daughter is 6 months old and starting to eat solid food, I thought it might be helpful to write about her eating habits in an effort to give support to those moms out there trying to do their best nutritionally for their children, but unsure exactly where to turn. (Note: I am not an expert and you should talk with your child’s pediatrician about your choices.)

As my daughter began to approach the 6 month mark, I started thinking about feeding her solid foods. I was bound and determined to not give her anything but breast milk until the day she turned 6 months old, but her curiosity and impatience won out. Every bite of food I put in my mouth she was grabbing and trying to eat it and would stare at my food the way a begging dog does at your feet. So, a couple weeks after she turned 5 months I caved.

As I dove deeper in my research of baby’s first foods, almost everything I read suggested that I had to start with rice cereal. As you know by now, I like to question conventional wisdom and knew that this didn’t have to be the only way. The main reasoning I found for starting with rice cereal was that it is (theoretically) an easier transition for baby than real food (taste & consistency). However, if you wait until baby is closer to 6 months to start eating food, they have usually developed the skills to eat a more textured food. It isn’t even necessary to make separate baby food. There may be times when buying jars of baby food may be the most convenient, but when you think about the fact that a large part is water (to maintain consistency) it really may not be the most cost effective. I found that just picking a vegetable we were having for dinner and mashing it to a consistency she could handle was the easiest approach. It also keeps us accountable for what we eat. If we are eating fries and a milkshake, we will obviously not have food to give her from our dinner.

Her first bite of real food was avocado. This is a great first food because it is high in fat, which baby needs, and nutritionally puts a whole bowl full of rice cereal to shame. The first few bites were definitely video worthy – hilarious. But, after a few bites she became curious and seemed to really enjoy it. I knew that it was best to wait a few days after introducing a new food to make sure she did not have any allergies, so I waited a few days then fed her more avocado and some carrots. This time, it was like she knew what was happening, she couldn’t wait to eat! She ate about 1/8 of an avocado and some steamed carrots I had mashed up with my fork, and loved it!

So by 6 months she has eaten avocado, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, cauliflower, spinach, banana, and sucked on a piece of apple that I was eating by grabbing it out of my hand! She just had her 6 month check up and she is growing right on track!

More updates to come as she grows…

What was your experience with feeding your little ones? What were some good first foods you tried or things you may have done differently?

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