Health Canada Recommends Meat as Baby First Food

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist April 7, 2014

baby first food

One of most misguided and damaging pieces of advice coming from the vast majority of pediatricians, dieticians, and other “experts” is to give rice cereal as a baby first food around the age of 4-6 months.  This advice is extremely harmful to the long term health of the child, contributing greatly to the epidemic of fat toddlers and the exploding problem of childhood obesity.

Rice cereal is never a healthy baby first food. Not only is it an extremely high glycemic food when eaten alone (spikes the blood sugar) but it also contains ample amounts of double sugar (disaccharide) molecules, which are extremely hard for such an immature digestive system to digest. The small intestine of a baby mostly produces only one carbohydrate enzyme, lactase, for digestion of the lactose in milk. It produces little to no amylase, the enzyme needed for grain digestion until around age one.

Now, at least one governmental body is waking up to the harmful notion of cereal grains as the “ideal” baby first food.

Health Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Pediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and Breastfeeding Committee for Canada has issued new guidelines for transitioning a baby to solid food and two of the first weaning foods recommended?

Meat and eggs!

While these guidelines are certain to rile vegetarian and vegan groups, the fact is that meat and eggs are indeed perfect weaning foods for a baby. Not only are these animal foods extremely easy to digest compared with cereal grains, but they also supply iron right at the time when a baby’s iron stores from birth start to run low.

The inclusion of meat in these baby first food guidelines is in line with the wisdom of Ancestral Cultures which frequently utilized animal foods for weaning.  A traditional first food in African cultures is actually raw liver which the mother would pre-chew in small amounts and then feed to her child.

The guidelines specifically note the role that ancient wisdom played in the decision to no longer recommend cereal grains and instead suggest meat:

“While meat and fish are traditional first foods for some Aboriginal groups, the common practice in North America has been to introduce infant cereal, vegetables, and fruit as first complementary foods.”

Soft boiled egg yolks are also an ideal choice as a baby first food as they supply ample iron as well as choline and arachidonic acid which are both critical for optimal development of the baby’s brain which grows as its most rapid rate the first year of life.

Unfortunately, while the suggestion of meat and eggs is a good one, the joint statement from Health Canada also inexplicably includes tofu and legumes which are both a terrible choice as a baby first food.   The starch in legumes would cause the same digestive problems as rice cereal and the endocrine disrupting isoflavones in tofu would be a disaster for baby’s delicate and developing hormonal system.

But, let’s give credit where credit is due.  At least meat and eggs are appropriately included on the baby first food list. Good on you Health Canada! Perhaps your neighbor country to the South will wake up and get a clue about how to properly feed babies based on your lead.

I’m not holding my breath.

 

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source:  Meat, tofu among recommended iron rich foods for Canadian babies

Picture Credit

 

Comments (211)

  1. As someone who writes guideline recommendations for a living it always amazes me how certain people can twist and turn them to serve their own agenda. The actual Health Canada guidelines recommend the following: “iron-rich meat, meat alternatives, and iron-fortified cereal as the first complementary foods.” But I guess that would be a boring article.

    Reply
  2. Where I agree with NOT offering the rice cereal, and I agree with the egg yolk, I completely disagree with offering the “meat” aspect at the age of 6 mos. Why are parents so eager to offer food so early? Especially if you are breast feeding? Let me ask you… most babies do NOT have a full set of teeth by the age of 6 mos. do they? the digestive system is not completely developed for the variety of foods by way of enzyme production until they have cut the full molars between 18 mos/2 yrs. old. introducing, egg yolks, veggies, fruits but meats I believe should def. wait.

    Reply
  3. Kindra Keller via Facebook August 30, 2014 at 9:15 am

    We didn’t do baby cereal, found it was pointless and almost no nutritional value. Might as well give them straight sugar.

    Reply
  4. Sylvie Cormier-Arsenault via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Baby led weaning. Just let the baby/toddler start when they want and let them eat what they want. It was stress free and no special meals. You just have to chose real food and nothing processed :)

    Reply
  5. Amy Julia Swanson via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    I never gave purees to my babies…I just let them take small pieces of soft food as they showed interest and supervised them. Breast milk was enough for 6 months anyway and then around about 5 months they started to be interested in my food and I would give them little pieces to gum on.

    Reply
  6. Nicole Ramsay via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Thankfully my pediatrician was against rice cereals and was was big on real foods and a traditional diet!

    Reply
  7. Andrea Feucht via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I turned out ok despite cereals as a baby, BUT, I was vaginally born and breast-fed, so I had a better starting gut than half the kids out there now. If I’d had yolks, maybe I’d be super-powered! :-)

    Reply
  8. Marlo Pabst Hughen via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    My pediatrician also recommended this 3 years ago for my middle child – he said it was recommended by the children’s hospital denver.

    Reply
  9. Jennifer Collins via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    they also now advise breastfeeding until at LEAST TWO! maybe people will give me a break with my 2.5 year old!

    Reply
  10. Abbey Byrd via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    My pedi just told me at my sons 4 month check up that new studies are advising serving rice cereal between 4-5 months to lower risk of type 1 diabetes. Maybe she thinks I’m gullible because I’m a young mom..
    1) No. We hold closer to the “food before 1 is just for fun” belief and let them snack and explore when they’re ready.
    2) it’s laughable that something that spikes glucose could prevent diabetes.
    3) Gut health people!
    Bone broth mixed with soft boiled egg yolks will likely be my sons first food.

    Reply
  11. Leanna Zimmerman via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Eggs, veggies, and fruit followed by meat were the first foods for my youngest sating at 6 months. Prior to that he was solely breastfed on demand. I continued to breastfeed along with solids till 13 months (i wanted to go longer but it just didn’t work out). I never gave him babyfood. At 18 months people often comment on how good he eats.

    Reply
  12. Laura Duvall Huckins via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Why is just the egg yolk recommended? If there is no family history of an egg allergy why not do the whole egg? My daughter is almost 11 months and has been eating the whole egg without issue since eating food at 9.5 months. Pediatrician gave his okay.

    Reply
  13. Heatherand Hobie Brewer via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Ummm there’s no way meat would be a first food for my babies! I’m not for all the cereal junk either but mine started on veggies and fruit.

    Reply
  14. Kate Sharp via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 11:38 am

    My baby started solids around 8months in addition to breast milk. Mostly chicken, and avocado at first. Fed him egg yokes. Then some scrambled egg and the pediatrician freaked out on me! “No eggs until 3″ I was like yea ok

    Reply
  15. Jessica Jansen via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Here I thought I was strange for avoiding rice and oatmeal for our kids. We went with veggies most of the time with some fruit maybe added.

    Reply
  16. Sarah Kelly via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I boiled eggs and ate the whites myself. Saved the yolks for my baby. Mashed them smooth with breastmilk and that was his first food. Avocados were also one of his favourites.

    Reply
  17. Lauren Alicia Wood via Facebook August 29, 2014 at 9:41 am

    My ped recommended meat with my youngest. She was ebf 6mos, then only had roast beef, avocado, eggs and sweet potato for a couple months before introducing other foods. No digestive issues and she’s a genius :) My oldest was a different story and had SO many digestive issues and eczema.

    Reply
  18. Pingback: Canadian Healthy Eating Guidelines « Recipes for Health

  19. meat might be difficult to get down to the right size – what about putting ground meat through the blender with some whole milk?
    Soft boiled egg sounds nice and easy though.

    Reply
  20. Is it ok to sub raw liver with desiccated liver for a 6 month old? I can get the raw grass fed liver but it may take a while and I have the desiccated liver from Radiant Life at home. Any thoughts? Also how much would I give say per day?

    Reply
  21. What a bunch of BS this is. I raised vegetarian children; and they were so health my daughter missed only eight days of school K through 12. My son, which suffers migraines due to an accident missed 13, due to migraines. Both are in their 30′s very healthy, active and thriving. But I also fed them home cooked foods- little sugar. Come on…get with medical science. And did you notice tofu was in that list….oh please stop the BS.

    Reply
    • Did you miss the part of the article that is about “baby’s FIRST food”? And that meat or eggs are just added suggestions over what is most likely the highly processed and industrial rice “cereal” so prevalent in baby food isles?
      Reasons given as in: (and where is your science to refute? hearsay?

      Rice cereal is never a healthy first food for babies. Not only is it an extremely high glycemic food when eaten alone (spikes the blood sugar) but it also contains ample amounts of double sugar (disaccharide) molecules, which are extremely hard for such an immature digestive system to digest. The small intestine of a baby mostly produces only one carbohydrate enzyme, lactase, for digestion of the lactose in milk. It produces little to no amylase, the enzyme needed for grain digestion until around age one. – See more at: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/new-health-canada-guidelines-advise-meat-as-baby-first-food/#comment-245714

      Reply
  22. For those concerned about egg allergies–the source can make a huge difference. I react badly to eggs from GMO fed chickens while do great with truly free range/organic chicken eggs (not the fake free range that you often see in supermarkets). My kids are 25-35 yrs of age and I started them on soft vegetables–they did fine with that. My youngest is pregnant right now and going with the Nourishing Traditions way of eating–I will tell her about your blog! Thanks!

    Reply
  23. I don’t have a child yet but i like to buy books that may come handy someday. So i was wondering if anyone could recommend me a GOOD book about weaning, with information about which food should be given other than breastmilk, when and how it can be consumed..? I read the article and comments but i need to know more.

    Reply
  24. Shannon Otto via Facebook April 9, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    My babies couldn’t have egg yolk till after 9 months, the richness made them vomit! But after that it is a regular food!

    Reply
  25. Just last night I met a man, probably older than me and I’m 50, showed the doctor’s orders to his mother to start feeding him the following foods at 2 months old…
    …pudding (I presume homemade)
    …jello (if not homemade, I presume the gelatin in the boxed kind was superior to what we have nowadays)
    …cottage cheese
    …egg yolks

    I was nodding and smiling… foods full of fats and proteins.

    Reply
  26. Interesting article,

    Is it interesting to note that it appears as if most people advise against eating properly prepared legumes and grains. Are properly prepared grains still recommended are they to highly processed for anyone of any age in general?

    Reply
  27. Jacqueline Fitzgerald via Facebook April 8, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Had us some egg yolks just this morning. Will move on to avocado next, but it’ll be awhile.

    Reply
  28. Kathy Harrelson via Facebook April 8, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Good to know! I’ve offered several real foods, and mine prefers meat and fruit. He loves pulled or ground grass-fed beef and pork (doesn’t like pureed). Also likes egg yolks. Not interested in any veggies, other than sweet potatoes, even with added fat.

    Reply
  29. Deanna Worley Vaughn via Facebook April 8, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Started my youngest with eggs and bone broth. BLW with her and she my best eater, most healthy child!

    Reply
  30. Katelyn VanHaitsma via Facebook April 8, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Wonderful news! Instinct told me to start with grassfed lamb liver for both of my children. They have never been given iron fortified garbage and surprise! Never iron deficient. ;)

    Reply
  31. Francoise de Rougemont, if you clean up your lifestyle and eat a nourishing traditional diet, the animal foods you eat will help prevent cancer by keeping your body well nourished and able to repair itself in the way it was deigned to do. If you already have cancer or are one of those few who gets it despite the far lower rates among those living a non-toxic but well-nourished lifestyle the best way to go is probably the Gerson Therapy, which no longer includes any animal foods although it did in its original form.

    Reply
  32. Christa Sabin, I’ve known of several people to cure an egg allergy with the GAPS program. I’ve been on GAPS for 18 months now and have benefitted tremendously including but not limited to curing my food allergies with anaphylaxis that began in the mid 1970s. It’s not uncommon in our society for people’s bodies to have a bad reaction to a food that should be healthy for them. But despite all the harm we’ve done ourselves with our poor diet choices and toxic lifestyles there is hope. ;)

    I highly recommend the book Gut And Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride.

    Reply
    • Meat doesn’t have to cause cancer. It produces more free radicals when digested, which can damage DNA but in children these are quickly mopped up and the damage is repaired.

      Adults do not have as good a DNA repair system as children and need a balanced diet of both meat and veg / fruit as fresh fruits and veg (not frozen or dried) provide antioxidants which mop up the free radicals produced from meat digestion.

      Eating just vegetables can be as bad as eating just meat, as you will not get the correct ratios of minerals and amino acids needed for maintainence of the body. The brain suffers the most from lack of meat – its no coincidence that our ancestors got smarter when they started eating meat.

      Meat makes sense as a first baby food because it is the most similar to milk, and is the easiest to digest (digesting vegetables takes a lot more effort and more enzymes, humans arguably don’t digest vegetables very well as it is – we need to cook them to get any nutrition out of them as we cannot break down cellulose).

      Fruit might be taken readily but it is mostly sugar and doesn’t provide much iron and provides negligible protein and fats.

      Vegetarians may not like it but the truth is that meat really is superior to tofu or legumes for a baby’s first food.

      Reply
  33. Christa Sabin via Facebook April 8, 2014 at 1:56 am

    My baby ended up getting very sick the third time giving egg yolks. Have not given him eggs since. They were organic cage free. He even had a reaction to chicken!! I hope his egg allergy doesn’t last long for him.

    Reply
    • It’s not exactly illegal. You can buy a small ‘share’ of a cow or goat and receive milk that way. It’s only illegal for the farmer to sell. I’ve done the share thing and it works well.

      Reply
  34. Pingback: Health Canada Guidelines Advise Meat as Baby First Food » Nourishing News

  35. why do we even care about the guidelines set up health canada when the guideline includes things that should be not included? that to me shows that the entire advice is not to be taken seriously, why are we just taking what we want to hear and ignore what we don’t want to hear?

    and exactly when do babies have amylase properly developed? if we avoid gluten for babies for at least the first year or two, what about sources of energy?

    Reply
  36. Pingback: Cerealele pentru bebelusi | GangBlog

  37. ” the epidemic of fat toddlers” That’s even more news. For two children in a row we were given orders to keep babies chubby to support brain growth.

    Reply
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  41. Dr. Carey Reams, who created RBTI, Reams Biological Theory of Ionization, a health program, did not recommend children to consume meat until they were 12 years of age.

    “I also discovered that babies’ gastric juices are so diluted, so weak they cannot digest the foods that adults eat. By mathematical calculations I worked out the foods that a baby could digest from the very earliest time that it could take food until its gastric juices became strong enough to digest the foods of an adult. Consequently, my children did not get any nut, or nut meats, or nut butters (coconut being the exception) until they were eight years old. (Or, unless the nuts are steamed soft in a pressure cooker, or boiled until soft. … I also discovered children could not digest meats until they were 12 years old … Besides meats and nuts the children should not eat shell fish, oysters, clams, lobster, or any soups with meat or meat broth in them. Children cannot digest chocolate, iced tea or coffee. Our children never tasted coke, or carbonated drinks. We always had fresh fruit drink” (Choose Life Or Death, P. 59,60).

    Basically, he recommended a WAPF type diet for children less than 12 without meat or fish. He allowed FCLO, dairy, eggs, etc. At 12 years of age, he would slowly start to introduce meats.

    According to RBTI practitioner Michael Olszta, “children under 12 get more energy from a dilute source, that is, they run on a lower octane gasoline. This is why so many children are sick, that is, they are being fed the diet of an adult and thus are getting too much higher octane fuel when that fuel should be lower octane. They not only are minerally deficient because of a wrong diet, their bodies have to deal with getting rid of the heavier foods which they cannot digest.”

    According to RBTI, the body’s digestive system under normal health starts to work at its best around 18-20 years of age. Adults require a a heavier diet.

    Curiously enough, Carey Reams created RBTI at a time when Weston Price already indicated soil depletion started to show up as a problem in modern society. Incidentally, RBTI focuses on addressing the lack of nutrition in our foods because of exhausted soils. I am trying to reconcile traditional suggestions to feed children meat versus RBTI. Can it be that depleted soils have caused weak digestion in children? Weston Price noted in his book that as soil declines, so does the health of a society.

    Although, Reams seemed unperturbed giving non-GM0 soybeans to his kids, which I consider questionable, he raised kids that never had a cavity or misdeed a day of school due to illness. With that said, as anyone observed their children doing better before 12 on going without meats and fish that with these items?

    Reply
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  44. This is my first time on this page and i have to say, pretty disappointed in the attacks and sarcasm. There are many studies advocating varying approaches to diet ( both for and against meat/animal consumption) and i have a half vegan/ meat eating family. Some people asked about digesting red meat, here’s an article i found interesting. http://www.livestrong.com/article/500353-can-the-human-body-digest-red-meat/. Either way, be tolerant of one another and leave the name calling for your kids in the schoolyard.

    Reply
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    • Did you try feeding your baby the warm egg yolk with a little butter and sea salt added? Try it off your finger rather than a spoon for the first few times. That’s how I did it to begin with and they loved it. Also, if your baby will drink from a bottle, mix a little soft-cooked egg yolk with your breastmilk in a bottle, and at least baby will get the nutrition from the yolk, even if it is a slow process to begin with. There are all kinds of tricky ways to get babies interested in real foods.

      Reply
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  48. This might not be perfect, but it’s a great start and I’m glad to see the Canadian government doing something right. The dietary habits of future Canadian adults might be off on a better foot now.

    Reply
  49. I wish some of you ladies lived in my area of the country and could help me to educate young mom’s about first foods for babies. I have been providing infant day care for eight years, and before that I provided all-age day care, and I can assure you I have trouble trying to un-do the damage the pediatricians have done, insofar as first foods, vaccinations and breastfeeding vs formula. It’s astounding how really uninformed most of these people are, and the sad part is – - – they don’t want to learn anything new and they think I’m off my nut when I suggest no rice cereal (only oatmeal if they think they must give a baby cereal) and they REALLY think I’m in left field when I suggest soft egg yolks or mashed avocado, both with a little butter and sea salt; but they think I’m from the moon when I suggest pureed meats. They are just in horror and all of them say to me “I’ll talk to my doctor about it”. Well, I know right then that I’ve lost them.

    I really don’t know how to turn it around but in all my years of providing care I think I’ve maybe had three successes in getting people to at least look into it or give these foods a try. The only food some will even consider trying without asking their doctor is yogurt, but then they go to the grocery store and buy Yoplait that’s loaded with sugar and has absolutely NO fat in it, even though I explain to them NOT to do that. I’ve printed out articles to send home, but I think they use them to line the birdcages or something because they surely don’t read it or pay much attention. They listen and politely nod their heads while I’m talking to them, but you can see the disengagement and the lack of interest, and the continue to stuff their babies with cereals and then they wonder why their babies are constipated about 90% of the time.

    It’s very frustrating but I do keep trying.

    Reply
    • *** I should add, all together I’ve been providing day care for a total of 23 years, and my own children are 37, 35 and 25. So it’s not like I have no experience with feeding these types of food. My kids grew up on real food because I learned all about this from my two gramma’s and my lovely mother and mother-in-law. They were all a bunch of very smart cookies!

      Reply
    • D – It’s sad really. I have many friends who are still going by whatever their doctor says (which is funny because every doctor seems to have a different opinion anyway and most are just concerned with the pharmacuetical industry so they can make money). My first food for my 5 month old was avocado and he absolutely loved it! We haven’t done any meats or soft yolks yet, but I will be once we have gone through all of the first fruits and vegetables. I’ve given him oatmeal twice, but I knew from the start I did not want to give him rice. My MIL and other family members kept telling me to give rice, or put rice in the bottle, etc. etc. I kept my ground and said no. I make all of his food myself.
      Keep trying – many of the younger mothers seem to be becoming more open minded about things – well at least they are in my area anyway…

      Reply
  50. Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for the post. Could you say something about when to give an infant who is not on breast milk soaked oats. When and how to introduce other grains?

    Reply
  51. My grandma’s “going home from the hospital’ directions for my mom were to feed pureed meat at 2 weeks!!!! (She’s a vegetarian now. Coincidence?) She thinks I’m a weirdo for giving my baby broth and meat before 1 year. I guess the vegetarian ‘instinct’ didn’t pass to me.

    Reply
  52. Pingback: New Health Canada Guidelines Advise Meat as Baby First Food | All Health Sources

  53. One of the few things I remember from high school bio is that amylace is primarily present in saliva (and the pancrease too). The only real evidence presented in this article is the second small paragraph referring to the lack of amylace in the small intestine as proof. Knowing that amylace is present elsewhere, this doesn’t make a good argument to me, plus, I’d like to see how the spike in blood sugar from cereal compares to breast milk. …in short, where is the science??

    (on a side note, how could the detoxifying organ, liver, be good to feed to your baby!?)

    Reply
    • @ Kate: It’s not amylace it’s amylase, and there are two types alpha and beta. Look them up and study them.

      Lots of people eat liver so why shouldn’t it be given to a baby? Science??? Why would you trust science? Trust your instincts and watch the development of your baby for the science. If it was damaging to babies to feed these foods, do you think others would have been doing it for centuries? I’d rather see people feed their kids liver than formula any day of the week.

      As to your question about breastmilk – - well, it shows your lack of education in food matters and the human body, too.

      Reply
      • D – enjoying your posts! Science has been so corrupted by big business, the only reliable info now is what your grandmother said. And when people cite the AMA and CDC, I have to stop from laughing…..

        Reply
    • The spike in blood sugar from cereal is because it is a simple carbohydrate. It is not a complex carb. Complex carbs are broken down into simple carbs which take longer to digest and therefore keep your blood glucose levels at an even keel. Are you serious in wondering how it compares to breast milk? Though breast milk is sweet, it has far more nutrients than cereal could ever have. Naturally occuring nutrients and antibodies too, not fortified crap.

      Liver, though a detoxifying organ, is high in iron. It also filters the blood, those toxins leave the body.

      Reply
  54. Roseann Ligenza-Fisher via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    To all the vegans…we don’t go on vegan Facebook pages to knock you, so please refrain from saying how disgusting you think we are because we eat meat. Go eat some tofu and leave us to eat our juicy, grass fed steaks dripping with grease and blood, topped with portabella mushrooms sauteed in grassfed butter with garlic and onions. There ya go…run to the bathroom to puke…LOL

    Reply
    • Thanks for that I’m 8 months pregnant and now I’m starving. Throw a baked potato and some carrots on that plate for me too yum.

      Reply
  55. Pingback: New Health Canada Guidelines Advise Meat as Baby First Food | CookingPlanet

  56. Iyisa Gardner via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    ???? i’m not against meat, but this is shocking, from a physiological perspective. people aren’t necessarily designed for it. but i like @Maria Szucsova’s point.

    Reply
  57. Maria Szucsova via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    For the “against-meat” people… I guess you consider placenta eating gross as well? What would vegans recommend as the first food respecting the development of different enzymes at different times, please?

    Reply
  58. Shannon Riddle Neda via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Oh my, the vegans are out in force. My 6 month old loves his “dead” yolk and begs for more. He sure isn’t repulsed.

    Reply
  59. Pingback: New Health Canada Guidelines Advise Meat as Baby First Food | BlackFlash

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  61. ummmm….plants are alive, too and often have to be killed in order to be consumed. Just because they aren’t “cute” and don’t tug your heart strings doesn’t mean they aren’t living, too. Maybe we should eat rocks.

    Reply
  62. Sandra Benge via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    how ridiculous.. putting something dead into your babies mouth.. something murdered.. how repulsive.

    Reply
    • Then tell me why vegans crave for meat and eat meatless burgers and things like that to fool their bodies of what their bodies need? I guess it is your inside voice tells you: “You are starving me. I need nourishment not a constant body cleanse.” I always hear vegans talk about how they miss meat the most (notice, not sugar, the most addictive food) and they never stop this craving while sugar takes about 2 weeks to overcome.

      And a word about murder. Don’t you kill plant to eat it? What all vegans consider to be alive is enzymes in food that makes food alive vs. cooked food and not literally alive, kicking, and moving. Raw meat and eggs plus raw dairy have enzymes as well, so it is alive food too. Also, while we need to kill an animal in order to eat it or cut a plant from it’s roots, eggs and dairy are not get “murdered” at all. Plants die when you cut them of. You can prolong their freshness with moisture and refrigeration. But don’t we put meat in a fridge and a freezer to prolong it’s freshness as well? Oh boy, we should all be ashamed of killing and eating animals and plants. We can’t stop eating, right?

      So my baby gets the best, full of enzymes and richest live food available in form of egg yoke.

      Common, check an egg at least, there are no live chicks in it, I promise.

      Reply
    • that poor pile of murdered soybeans you ate for lunch. how heartless to not let them sprout and produce their own little sproutlings. cut down at their prime of life. they never had a chance. all so you could not starve to death.

      Reply
  63. Pingback: New Health Canada Guidelines Advise Meat as Baby First Food | ViaViente of Zionsville, IN

  64. Roseann Ligenza-Fisher via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Yep…we found an Amish farmer who pastures his animals and we get our grass fed raw milk, cheese, cream, butter, eggs and meats from him. We have to travel an hour each way, but it’s worth the trip.

    Reply
  65. I was going to share this on Facebook until I saw the MOX NEWS logo at the end… is this a real story or some sort of parody?

    Reply
  66. Amanda Wayne via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Woot! That’s how we’re going with the little man. None of this rice cereal crap for us! Egg yolks from our Amish friends and he can gnaw on whatever we’re eating. :-) He is exclusively breastfed right now, and he can’t handle it when I eat wheat, so we’re not introducing grains to him till he is well over a year old, maybe closer to 2.

    Reply
  67. Roseann Ligenza-Fisher via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    @Eloah…where do you get your medical info from? I’ve never heard any such thing about eggs causing blood cells to stack? I’ve been eating eggs since I was a baby, I fed my daughters eggs when they were babies and now my 8 month old granddaughter enjoys poached eggs. None of us have heart disease or high blood pressure or high cholesterol. I HAD high cholesterol when I fell for the low fat high carb diet that conventional medicine is pushing on everyone, but I dropped my cholesterol by eating grass fed full fat meats, eggs, cheese, butter, lard and bacon and cutting the supposedly healthy whole grains and vegetable oils.

    Reply
  68. Roseann Ligenza-Fisher via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    My granddaughter started eating meat at 6 months. She loves it!! Nothing gross about giving your baby the nutrition he/she needs.

    Reply
  69. Julie Gerasimenko via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    My girls have been eating eggs, meat, nuts, cheese and whatever else I eat since they were 5-6 mos. at that age id just Smash it up for them.They also breastfed at that age too. They don’t have any food allergies!

    Reply
  70. Thank you for your informative posts. I really enjoy reading them and have learned a lot. I have a lot of health problems and have been trying to change my diet. My husband and I are in the clumbsy stages of trying to get to the GAPs diet by at least trying to be gluten free and trying to get to grain free and incorporating the diet over time. I’d like to get to GAPs or a paleo diet by the end of the year. Your recent posts about fats and oils have been really helpful. We are hoping to have kids in the near future so this post was great to read. It really does make sense, especially to someone who is knowledgeable about healthy foods and what is really good for you to eat. Thanks again!

    Reply
  71. #3′s first food was a nectarine he attacked while I was holding him and having a snack. After that day I pretty much fed him whatever I was eating with the exception of shellfish, chocolate & peanuts. Avocado, black beans & salmon are among his current favorites.

    Reply
  72. ELoah Christos via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Shannon eggs cause the red blood cells to stack 30 minutes after consumption which is not good. Wonders if you missed the memo, eggs are chicken menstrum

    Reply
    • This is a blood condition that can be caused by poor protein digestion or too much protein in the body, not just by eggs.
      Other known causes are stresses caused by coffee(caffeine) cigarettes as well as being dehydrated.

      Reply
    • Well you’re just dumber than dirt, do you ever think to at least check Wikipedia before you rebroadcast your accumulated ignorance?

      “Rouleaux (stacks of red blood cells) formation is retarded by albumin proteins.”

      ALBUMIN! Ring a bell? No? Didn’t think so, I’ll give you a clue, as in EGG WHITES. Is it starting to make sense? This is why eggs are a Super Food.

      My advice is that you keep on avoiding them, the sooner people like you go extinct the better life will be for the rest of us.

      Reply
      • It’s pretty ignorant of you to not know the difference between ALBUMIN and ALBUMEN Albumin is produced in the liver and found in the blood!!! It’s the main protein in blood plasma. High Albumin levels in the blood are almost always caused by DEHYDRATION.

        ALBUMEN is the name for an egg white – it contains ALBUMIN proteins. Egg white contains almost every amino acid required for life – Which makes sense considering an egg is the building block for a life.

        Reply
          • While all of the information on egg whites is true, you don’t feed the whites to a baby, only the yolks. After they are a year old they may have the whites, but that is the portion of an egg which will produce an allergic reaction if they’re going to have a reaction at all.

            And never rely on wikipedia for information. Not a reliable source for anything. Neither are web sites from the dot gov or the dot edu or the dot medical sites. Maybe mayo clinic occasionally, but otherwise keep going before relying on “searched web info” for your bottom line advice. Take advice from people who have been there, done that. Anecdotal, yes, but much more reliable in real life.

          • D – yes egg whites are introduced later, but you can introduce scrambled eggs as soon as 9 months – sometimes even sooner if you have a food tolerant family. Egg white intolerence isn’t overly common. And even those intolerent of egg whites can sometimes handle them in small amounts. As for an egg allergy (about 1% of babies), babies can be allergic to both the whites and the yolks. Those who are allergic to yolks can usually tolerate whites and the other way around too. And most babies that are allergic to eggs don’t overcome this allergy until around 5 years old, and some are allergic for life. (though this article isn’t really about the whites!) :)

          • @ Jennifer: I never gave my kids scrambled eggs until they were older than 1 year, so I don’t know about all that information you gave, I only know what I was told by my elders, who never failed me on anything else. We only fed yolks, with added butter (real butter usually homemade) and sea salt. We didn’t go by science or percentages!

          • Wikipedia is certainly not a good or recommended source of any information, particularly for health. It is nearly totally controlled by the medical/pharmaceutical industry. Read it if you want to know when Johnny Depp was born, otherwise look elsewhere for the bottom line on science, health, and even history. It’s for crap, with powerful censors controlling information.

    • as for the last part – who cares? they’re tasty! we eat them fried, scrambled, boiled, raw, sunny side up. you may choose not to, more for those who do! (not to mention seeds are a kind of aborted life, too, if you snatch them out of nature before they can sprout and grow. you can’t get away from the fact that you must eat living things in order to survive.)

      Reply
    • Don’t forget though, many people’s elders tell them to use rice cereal. Did your family have an egg allergy? Because the theory of an egg allergy must have come from somewhere…
      How I feel about it – the instance of food allergies in children has risen by over 300% – and the regulations on food have gotten stricter before that. In generations before mine is a little absurd to wait 6 months to start solids and then once they started pretty much everything was fair game.
      D – your elders were wise! As long as your kids are healthy now, then you did things right. Every family is different with different beliefs and ideals.

      Reply
      • @ Jennifer: My elders didn’t even know about rice cereal. There was no such thing, but they did know about eggs.

        I’m almost 60 y/o and just had my fourth grandchild on Wed. October 3rd, 2012. So even my Mom and mother-in-law didn’t know about rice cereal. When my oldest sister had her first baby in 1962, they had a product on the market called Pablum but my gramma’s told her it wasn’t necessary and to stay with real foods. We also didn’t feed our babies fruit until they were a year old, on the advice of elders, as well. I guess they knew about sugar problems! They always told us that the nutrients available in fruits were also available in other, less sweet foods. Their motto, more or less, was that you could get any child to eat something sweet, it’s just more appealing. So we were told to try to develop their palate to want other foods first. So that’s what we did. I don’t think the word allergy even entered the picture for my gramma’s generations, or even my Mom’s generation. In my family, I do not believe I was exposed to the word allergy until my third child was born in 1987 and even then it wasn’t a common issue with children. Convenience foods have made allergy a common word as well as a common issue because now every kid from birth through high school is allergic to at least five different things and needs this pill or that shot. It’s malarkey most of the time, and if they would change their dietary habits from boxed/convenience foods to real foods all of those allergies would most likely be taken care of – naturally.

        Reply
        • D – I completely agree with convenience foods being a problem. Very insightful post, thank you very much for sharing that history!!
          I do believe that many allergies and illnesses are food industry related (at least here in the united states) it’s all part of the effort to push prescription drugs in my opinion!

          Reply
        • D,
          I realize this is a old post.
          But I’m older then you, and my kids are grown,..
          Both my children got formula, and when they where 2 weeks old got that rice flakes junk mixed with there formula..

          My two grown children are healthy, Slim, and active. with children of there own.
          We didn’t hear about allergies back then, and they do not have any allergies.
          My son has 3 grown kids, and one has allergies. She was nursed etc.

          Now I have a 8 mo old, Great Grand Daughter, who is being nursed, and starting to eat fruit and Veggies. She is a chubby health happy baby, like all the other kids.

          I think we go through different cycles all the time..

          I thought meat for a baby was hard to digest , as it is for adults!!

          What I like is the little baby food steamer (William Sonoma ),
          You put veggies in there, it steams them, then the processor comes on and you have Organic steamed and Pureed , or larger pieces of baby food.
          Annie\’s last post: Health Canada Guidelines Advise Meat as Baby First Food

          Reply
  73. ELoah Christos via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

    just because they “recommend” it doesn’t make it gospel. i see that chip on your shoulder over veganism is still nipping away at you. We need more love and acceptance in this world. Regardless if we agree on all matters one thing is for sure, staying divided rather than banning together to resolve planetary issues isn’t going to do anyone any good.

    Reply
    • ELoah, what are you talking about? “Love and acceptance”. What do you mean? Sarah is giving nutritional advice based on research. If you love eating plants, it’s your choice. I want to read her articles because they give me great information. I am pretty sure Sarah loves you, vegans, very much, but it will not make her a lier to be political correct. She will tell you that what you do with your diet is unhealthy period. There are too many others who would sing to your ear.

      Reply
  74. Bethany Gordon via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 11:54 am

    My baby just turned 6 months old and loooves egg yolk with liver and is starting meat, it’s been great. I never considered rice cereal thanks to Sarah.

    Reply
  75. Sarah Wakefield Dye via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 11:50 am

    The thing is, you could probably ask any grandmother im sure meat or non-gerber food was the menu for any baby:)

    Reply
  76. Iben Henriette Olsen via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 11:44 am

    good meat, fish, eggs and veggies are far better for a growing baby than crappy flour/rice gruel that baby can´t digest -so awesome

    Reply
  77. I’m so interested in getting to the bottom of some contrasting information I’ve heard. On the one hand, some call animal foods “easy to digest” and grains as “hard to digest.” On the other hand, some point to “bowel transit time” as an indicator of the relative ease/difficulty of digestion, and say that short bowel transit time is indication of ease of digestion. My INSTINCT (given what I know about the relative nutrient levels of animal vs. plant foods) would say that if it is true that animal foods take longer to get through the digestive system it could be because there are far more nutrients to digest, and so in that regard the longer bowel transit time would be a good thing.

    What do you know about the idea of “bowel transit time” and whether short or long transit time means anything regarding nutrition and health?

    Thanks for another great post!
    Jill Nienhiser\’s last post: Curried Chicken Salad

    Reply
    • bowel transit time is a hard thing to go by, because food as a whole can take up to 48 hours to be fully digested. Some keys to digestion – easy to digest is not necessarily a good thing. Simple sugars as opposed to complex carbohydrates are easy to digest, because it is already broken down to 1 sugar molecule. This is why if you eat a sugar packed meal or white breads, rices, etc. you tend to be hungrier sooner. Complex carbs are made up of more than one chain of sugar so they need to be broken down and then broken down a second time into sucralose (table sugar). This is a longer process which leaves you feeling fuller longer and helps to boost metabolism as well. I can’t quite remember now how it works out for meats, which are mainly fats and proteins. Fat digestion starts as early as your mouth, as saliva begins to breakdown the fat molecules. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are the better fats. Saturated fats have no double carbon bonds hence the carbon is fully “saturated” with hydrogen. Fats are an essential part of the diet because they provide the body with energy. I do believe that fats move slowly through the digestive system, as do proteins

      Reply
      • And not to mention the complications to digestion when inadvisable food combinations are taken. Carbs such as rice would produce a different microbial balance, when taken with, say, egg yolk or some “predigested liver” (as in ancestral cultures). And that would result in a more difficult digestion.

        Reply
    • I also forgot about fiber – soluable and insoluable. Insoluable fibers do not get digested (good example is corn skin) soluable fiber like what you find in oatmeal is very good for cholesterol because it binds to bile and make the liver produce more bile which the body uses cholesterol to help the liver produce bile.

      Reply
  78. Kristen Millar Epstein via Facebook October 4, 2012 at 11:35 am

    That’s great! I’m Canadian but have been living in the States for 7 years now. I get excited when I see Canada make strides like this and can only hope that the States will follow! HOPE…

    Reply
  79. I fed my first 2 vege’s and meat. I had tried rice cereal with the first but he always spat it out. I didn’t learn about better nutrition until I had my 3rd, and he had raw egg yolks from 6 months. All 3 ate huge amounts of avocado too, they could never get enough of it. I wonder, is this a good first food too? I always thought it to be. We had moved overseas to the netherlands before our 3rd was born, and I am constantly astounded by the nutritional advice given to parents here. From 6 months, parents are pushed to give brown bread with margarine as a first food. I was often asked why I was not giving my son bread, as it is important fibre that the baby needs for digestion! margarine is also pushed by child nutritionists, to give children the vitamin a & d they need. What a shame! there is so much beautiful grass fed butter here!

    Reply
    • The reason for giving babies butter (I don’t know if I’d give margarine, it’s usually synthetic) is that fats in foods help to better absorb fat soluable vitamins. Complex carbohydrates are very good for digestion.

      Reply
      • margarine is usually synthetic? I thought it was always synthetic – or are there genetically modified margarine producing cows now? I give my kids heaps of butter, I know its importance for absorbing the fat soluable vitamins. I merely was stating the advice given to parents here by the dutch children’s health network. They advise to give margarine so that children will get the vit A & synthetic vit D that is added to it. No thanks.

        Reply
  80. Pingback: Lessons from History | Principled Passions

  81. I feel like the tides are turning for quality food advice and traditional cooking/nutrition. Maybe it’s just in my mind, but when I hear that my sister bought a pasture-raised side-of-beef, I feel hope. Blogs like yours, Sarah, are making a difference. I read it frequently and have learn a lot. Thanks.

    Reply
  82. Wow, I’m impressed with with your children speaking full sentences prior to 1. I have an 11 month old who can barely get dada down appropriately. But I’ve never given cereal or grains to him. I tried baby led weaning and he’s just not that interested in food (we still breastfeed.) It’s a celebration when he actually swallows something, and that doesn’t happen but every few days. But as they say “food for fun until one”, I keep having to remind myself this.

    Anyway, I have a question on how to feed meat to him. Do you puree it or just hand him a chunk. I’ve just handed him chuncks of meat and he sucks on them and tries to mess with them but never swallows anything. I’ve just recently tried a soft boiled egg yolk. Which btw, I’ll also take tips on how to handle that a little easier. It’s been a mess. And I just recently bought a frozen liver (will let freeze for 14 days just to be sure) to start giving him. So I guess my question is, how to you give the baby meat?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Sara has a video on how to do this, you should check it out! In short you grate the frozen liver with a cheese grater. I grated the whole frozen liver with a food processor and re-solidified in ice cube trays. This made serving it a matter of leaving a cube in the fridge to thaw the night before.

      Reply
    • Your idea about grating frozen raw liver is a good one. Even easier is what our paleo ancestors would have done: Chew a small piece of meat a bit, then pop the chewed wad into baby’s mouth. Yum! And perfect for toothless babies. (Except Sarah’s remarkable kids, who had a full set of adult teeth by the age of 3.) But this would probably make modern moms a bit squeamish.

      Reply
  83. I eat plenty of healthy fats and my little began eating egg yolk at 6 months. She is almost 13 months and is not speaking. She started at 4 lb. 9 oz. 18.5″ (no known reason). She is now in the 90th percentile for height and about 20% for weight. She just does not seem as far along as my first two were by age 1. Maybe it went to making up lost ground? I don’t know.

    Reply
    • None of my three sons spoke a word before 21 months, yet they spoke 50 words by their 2nd birthdays, and it snowballed from there. They are very bright and do well in school now many years later. I think all babies develop a little differently and not to worry much about one area as long as other milestones are met.

      Reply
  84. Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

    Fantastic testimonial Caitlin. My three children were also all speaking sentences before age one even my 2 boys who are typically slower to learn to speak than girls. My first child I did feed rice cereal early unfortunately as I didn’t know better at the time, but I was still breastfeeding and eating lots of fat even though it was pasteurized organic dairy (blech!). Now we only do raw dairy which is so much better and more digestible.

    My next two children got egg yolks and bits of grated raw liver (frozen for 14 days prior to ensure safety) as their first foods and they did speak even earlier than my first.
    Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: New Health Canada Guidelines Advise Meat as Baby First Food

    Reply
    • I’m curious…what was the first food(s) you fed your children? I don’t ask in judgment at all! I’m nearly 55, my kids are grown, and I have 4 grandsons. But I’ve learned so much since my kids were babies, and I can’t even count the number of things I would have done differently had I known. Thank you for the work you do. I appreciate what I have learned and continue to learn from you.
      Michele Moore\’s last post: The Bread’s in the Oven

      Reply
  85. With my fourth daughter I was unable to breast feed after 4 months so I was extremely careful about making homemade formula. At around six months I began adding a bright orange raw egg yolk from a pastured hen to her bottle every single day. Now at 11 months she is eating bits of meat and raw cheese (no grain, whatsoever) and some fruits and veggies, usually cooked with butter, as well as her bottle. She is BY FAR my earliest developed mentally. She takes commands and responds to questions with both intelligible words and signs and interacts with people on a greater level of understanding for her age compared to my other three. I credit the egg yolks!

    Reply
    • My first 3 babies had quite a rough start with allergies, severe eczema, etc. I started them all on rice cereal because I didn’t know any better then. I was also a vegetarian part of that time and very restricted in what I could eat while breastfeeding; seemed like everything bothered my babies. All 3 of my sons have had ongoing health struggles that are only now starting to resolve on GAPS, years later.

      Soon after my twins (2nd and 3rd babies) were born, I discovered WAPF and gradually changed our family’s diet. When the twins were 5, I gave birth to a much healthier son who still had allergies (my gut is not 100% healed yet), but did a whole lot better than his big brothers. I also had learned by then that rice cereal was a bad first food, so I fed him mostly liver (he couldn’t tolerate eggs at first) for many months, with some muscle meat added in occasionally. He also got FCLO every day, from my milk and then directly, and plenty of bone broth and healthy fats.

      This boy is now two years old, enjoys abundant health, and is far more intelligent and aware than his older brothers were at this age (and his brothers are/were not dummies). He is already able to read a lot of words and is eagerly learning more words each day … since when can a 2yo READ? I am in awe, and I’m certain that his diet has everything to do with this.

      I can’t wait to have another sweet baby to nourish like this. :-D

      Reply

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