The Right Way to Feed Babies

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist May 12, 2010

baby_cerealI had the pleasure of meeting a reader from Nashville, TN this past weekend.    She has a 3 month old boy and asked if I would please blog about feeding babies.    This one’s for you, Jamie!

Once Again, The “Experts” Have it All Wrong

If there is anything that our modern culture gets totally wrong, it’s how to feed babies and properly introduce solid foods.   Pediatricians, dieticians, and other “experts” are quick to recommend that the perfect first food for babies at about the age of 4-6 months is rice cereal.  Not only is this advice completely misguided, it is also extremely harmful to the long term health of the child, contributing greatly to the epidemic of fat toddlers and the worrisome childhood obesity problem in general.


Rice cereal is not a healthy first food for babies
.

Not only is it an extremely high glycemic food (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.

dv2093024What happens when a baby’s digestive system doesn’t properly digest a food?   It rots, yes ROTS (my eleven year old asked me to emphasize this point – he said it was so gross that people would pay more attention) in the gut feeding all manner of pathogenic bacteria and fungi ushering the child quickly down the path to allergies, asthma, eczema, and other autoimmune disorders.    I have nicknamed this syndrome “Garbage Gut”.     Over time, the pathogens and their toxins create holes in the gut wall allowing the toxins to spill directly into the blood creating an unpredictable mix of neurological symptoms.    Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD’s book Gut and Psychology Syndrome examines in detail the link between an imbalanced, pathogen dominated gut environment and abnormal behavior and/or autoimmune disorders in children.

Interestingly, avoidance of allergies is one of the reasons cited by pediatricians for using rice cereal as the first food!    While rice may be gluten free, it is by no means disaccharide free and can contribute to the development of allergies and other autoimmune disorders just the same as a gluten containing cereal such as wheat or spelt. This is why going “gluten free” does not solve digestive ailments in the majority of children with auto immune issues linked to grain allergies.   This approach may reduce symptoms somewhat, but it does not solve the problem entirely as the disaccharide molecule is still present in high amounts in non gluten containing grains and a similarly hard to digest starch molecule is present in grain substitutes such as potato flour, arrowroot, bean flours, etc.

Why then, is rice cereal so very popular as a first food to feed babies?    One reason is that it is so readily accepted by the baby (who wouldn’t like a food that spikes the blood sugar?   It is a bit of a “high” after all) and it fills them up like a lead brick leading to longer and more frequent periods of sleeping and more passive behavior in general.    Be aware that there are still some misinformed doctors that advise mothers of babies that do not sleep well to introduce rice cereal as early as 3 months old – sometimes right into the baby bottle if the tongue thrust reflex hasn’t yet disappeared preventing the baby from taking food off a spoon!   This is a recipe for childhood weight problems if I’ve ever heard one.

If your baby zonks out right after eating on a frequent basis, this is a major clue that what the child has just eaten was not easily digested (this goes for breastfeeding too .. a poor diet that is not digested well by the breastfeeding Mother will result in toxins in her breastmilk which will have an opiate like effect on the child).  Dr. McBride’s book mentioned above discusses this huge issue of toxins from undigested food and gut pathogens in the breastmilk as well.   The same goes for adults, by the way.   If you get sleepy after eating, it’s because what you just ate isn’t getting handled very well by your gut.   The body is basically compensating for the brick in your stomach by putting you to sleep so that a sufficient amount of energy can be diverted to digestion.

So What is the Right First Food for Babies?

A baby’s digestive system is much better equipped to handle fats and proteins than carbohydrates.   For this reason, a wonderful first food for babies is a soft boiled egg yolk from a pastured hen.   Take care to only use the yolk and not the egg white which contains difficult to digest proteins.   For my own children, I started giving a taste of a soft boiled egg yolk from my own plate starting at about 4-6 months old.  Just a taste!   If the child is completely uninterested, then try again in a week or two.    If  the child likes the little taste that you put on her tongue or lip, then give her two tastes the next day and three tastes the next day, gradually building up to the entire egg yolk.   Never force the child to eat.   Remember that egg yolk is an extremely rich food and force feeding any rich food can cause the child to vomit.

Egg yolk from pastured chickens contain ample amounts of omega 3 fatty acids and natural cholesterol which are critical to a child’s mental development and may be lacking in breastmilk depending on the quality of the mother’s diet.  Children who receive sufficient omega 3 fats in their diet tend to speak clearly and understand verbal direction from the parents at a very early age.

I just went back and looked at my children’s baby books and all 3 of them (even the boys) spoke short sentences by 15-17 months of age (with first words at around 7 months). While these sentences were very simple (“Get that”, “Don’t want that”, “More of this”) I have no doubt that getting ample omega 3′s from their diet played a big part in their ease of communicating at an early age with clear enough diction to be understood by even those outside the family.

At about 6 months of age, a bit of raw, grassfed beef or buffalo liver can be grated into the warm egg yolk for baby to eat. This mimics the traditional practice of African mother’s who would chew raw liver and then give small amounts to their babies as a first food.  Make sure that the raw liver is frozen for a minimum of 14 days as recommended by the USDA to eliminate any concern over parasites.  Mashed banana is also a wonderful carbohydrate to add around this time as banana digests very easily due to the copious amounts of amylase present – no need for baby’s small intestine to produce it herself.

At the age of 10 months or so, pureed meats, fruits and vegetables can be added.   These foods should be introduced one at a time to reduce any chance of a reaction. Best also to avoid high starch veggies like potatoes and sweet potato, which contain very complex starch molecules which are much more difficult to digest for baby than non starchy vegetables.   Take the time to make your babyfood at home with organic ingredients and mash the veggies with some deep yellow, grassfed butter.   Consumption of veggies with a bit of healthy fat like butter increases mineral absorption tremendously!   You can freeze your homemade babyfood in ice cube trays for a quick thaw in a small sauce pan (not the microwave!) for fast and nutritious meals.    Homemade soups made with real chicken, turkey, or beef broth rank as one of  the most nutritious foods for babies to be eating at this age.    The gelatin in the homemade broth is protective against any intestinal bugs that baby may be exposed to and it also facilitates digestion.

When Should Grains be Introduced?

It’s a good idea to delay introduction of grain based foods and starchy vegetables for as long as possible.   Some experts advise that the child be 2 years old before being given these foods to eat.   Whatever you decide, it is wise to forgo them until well after the first birthday.  Even then, the grains should be properly prepared (either sprouted, sour leavened or soaked) to ensure maximum digestibility through breakdown of the starch, gluten and antinutrients such as phytic acid.

It will take every ounce of your will power to keep the grain based foods out of your child’s mouth until well after her first birthday (the longer the better). Teething biscuits, cheerios, crackers, and bread are all favorite foods for moms to feed as soon as the child can sit up in a high chair and grab from a plate.    The first thing most Moms hand to a baby in a high chair at a restaurant is a piece of bread from the bread basket.    Don’t do it!    Resist the temptation to use these foods as a pacifier for your child and commit to offering only truly nourishing fare at such a young age.    The time will come soon enough when the child will have more control over his/her food choices, so wisely use this time of complete control to make sure every calorie your baby eats is nutrient dense and easily digested!

Skip the Fruit Juice!

On a final note, whatever you do, skip the fruit juice! Fruit juice from the store, even if organic, is just sugar water (all the nutrition has been pasteurized away) and only serves to spike the blood sugar and increase the risk of obesity.    It also kills the child’s appetite for hours, even a day or two.   Many a Mom has told me that when she took away the fruit juice, within a few days, her picky eater suddenly started eating!

The one exception would be freshly pressed juice diluted with some filtered water. Fresh fruit juice is full of enzymes and nutrition and would be an acceptable drink for baby on occasion after age 10 months or so.

*Click here for my videoblog on how to prepare the best first food for your baby.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

 

Comments (348)

  1. Pingback: Starting solids! - BabyandBump

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  4. What are some good grain free baby food books? Seems like their are a million out there, but tend to lean towards unhealthy options. Thanks!!

    Reply
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  6. My almost 9 month old won’t tolerate ANY food. He refuses it. If he does take 1/4 of a teaspoon (total- several very small bits) he throws up. He is very very big and solely breastfed. Should I be concerned? I first tried soft egg yolk, then beef broth, cod liver oil, avocado, banana, mango, bits of meat, liver, etc.

    Reply
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  8. Hi Sarah! Thanks for the great article. It made me made the decision months ago to delay starting solids with our now 16 month old son and I’ve been really happy we did. We are still dairy, nut, soy and gluten free, but now I am considering slowly introducing grains. I’d like to do it in the most responsible manner possible. Do you have a suggestion for what grain to introduce first? I was thinking maybe some soaked oatmeal would be good, perhaps using steel-cut oats if the texture didn’t bother him too much. We also have some local wheat berries (heritage wheats and spelt varieties) and our own mill, so I’d also love to use these to introduce grains to him as well. Thanks in advance for your advice!

    Reply
  9. Erin Miloslavic via Facebook March 28, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I’m sorry but these plant based posts are bothering me. Please focus on vitamin k2, D, A (not carotenoids!!), E, Omega3 (plant and animal is different) iron (non-heme), b12 (no, plant based is NOT the same), cholesterol, saturated fats, glycine, and please look into bioavailability of nutrients. I know we all mean well, but information is power, so get as much as you can before making decisions for another human.

    Reply
  10. Carrie Jayne Ingram via Facebook March 28, 2014 at 9:18 am

    This is one of the worst articles I have ever seen! besides the one of feeding baby to soon, and with rice cereal like on Parents abies have an open gut till 6-12 months and introduction of foods before lead to digestive problems. Also plant based diet is better on the gut and way more nutrient dence then from a third source through animal products! Where do you think animals get their nutrition??? raw foods is the only way to get enzymes we need through fresh fruits and veggies. Avacado and coconut are healthy fats and nutrtient dense! Avacado, Sweet potao, coconut milk full fat/cream, blueberries, mango, strawberries, kale, chia seeds are all great first foods and not till close to a year or even longer if baby is breastfed. Smoothies are a great option to introduce foods that may be chokable otherwise. In the comments she said food introduction due to :most moms” diets are not high and nutrient dense so baby is lacking. But she introduced foods eary, Did she have a bad diet? Why didn’t she give a list of a bf mom should be eating so baby gets enough? Why didn’t she write that mama should still be taking her prenatal? She weaned early too because of being pregnant, but with the right calories/diet that is not an issue! AGAIN this lady is not smart and good health went over her head!

    Reply
  11. Brenda Swader Doggett Cmp via Facebook March 28, 2014 at 8:56 am

    I just took a moment to read through these comments. Not one person mentioned the problem with arsenic in the rice supply. I am on my mobile device, but there is a problem with rice and that should be addressed to.

    Reply
  12. Brenda Swader Doggett Cmp via Facebook March 28, 2014 at 8:44 am

    No..yuck. Great sharing here. I ate real food pretty young. I think useless calories are not what a baby needs at that age.

    Reply
  13. We tried rice cereal with our first and her body rejected it violently!
    Avocado was always a winner along with egg yolk and bone broth. Mango and banana was also offered as first foods.
    They then went straight to gnawing on lamb shanks :)

    Reply
  14. Katy LaLonde via Facebook March 28, 2014 at 5:15 am

    Just gave my baby her first solids 2 weeks ago, all homemade fruits and veggies here, no cereals, my ped said that’s MORE THAN OK! Especially not that Gerber crap.

    Reply
  15. Erin Miloslavic via Facebook March 28, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Josefina Da Fonte Hanson I’m an adult and have learned that I don’t handle rice well. Can’t imagine what problems kids have that parents pass off as “normal.”. While rice offers calories, it is becoming VERY clear that it isn’t just about calories, it’s about nutrition. You can survive on calories, but surviving is completely different than thriving.

    Reply
  16. we do not have the ability to digest such foods like rice potato bread etc until we are about two years old despite these recommendations by the so called experts!. We lose our ability to digest milk at about the same time . I would recommend after breast feeding for as long as possible to start babies on fruits and to use fresh organic vegetable juices sweetened with fresh apple juice. Lightly cooking your own veg and mashing them and maybe mixing a little live veg juice when mashing is a great healthy meal/ Smiles

    Reply
  17. Donna Greener via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I did it when my daughter was a baby, but I would never do it today. I wish I knew then what I know now.

    Reply
  18. La Leche League has long recommended proteins for babies. However, I think it is a little reckless and ignorant of the author not to mention what the solid readiness signs are for babies which varies a great deal. Instead of using age, LLL has always told mothers that solid readiness is better determined by whether the baby has teeth, if the baby can sit up unassisted and has mastered the pincer grasp. There is also evidence that babies with food allergies are often uninterested in solids way beyond 6 months. So to keep trying to introduce foods seems pointless. I have yet to hear of any adult that didn’t make the transition from breastmilk to solids. If baby is growing and meeting all milestones, breastmilk is the superior and primary food in the first year. There are still many benefits to nursing in the second year and in fact the WHO recommends nursing for 2 years. I very rarely agree with doctors but even the AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for infants until 6 months of age and I think this is sound advice especially for people who do not know much about babies, breastfeeding or nutrition. This article does nothing more than keep people believing that babies need solids at 4-6 months.

    Reply
  19. As a practising naturopath with passion for traditional baby foods, here r my views:
    1.
    human milk is top priority
    and if it is less, generate it ! moms must take nutritious foods, more garlic, milk of wheat germs and moderately sprouted nuts seeds legumes. Human milk and all nutrients thru it are easily absorbable for the babe.
    2.
    present day Rice in any form is not advised.
    30 y back Rice and Wheat were totally Good, with less chemical infusions into them while cultivating and growing.
    It is due to Chemical Infusion or Invasion it is causing digestive problems, sticky spurtive pasty mucussy stools causing various diseases.
    3.
    In my place excellent traditional gr ma’s used to soak sprout sundry pulverize and then prepare easily digestible highly nutritious baby foods, Only in cases where human milk was deficient for no dietary fault of mom.

    As such Rice and Wheat WERE once the most popular foods for babes after milk stopped;
    In the interest of innocent helpless baby guys whose life otherwise be VERY MUCH IMPAIRED BY FEEDIN THEM WRONG AND HEAVILY PROCESSED FOODS WITH CHEMICALS THAT WILL HANDICAP THEM FOREVER!!

    Reply
  20. Patricia Duffer Williams via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Doctors do suggest waiting until 6 months for oatmeal cereal. Amylase is 2/3 that of an adult in an infant. There is limited pancreatic amylase in the intestine, but there are other enzymes in in the small intestine that break down the carbs. Isomaltase and glucoamylase are at mature levels in the term baby. Glucoamylase splits the multiple glucose molecules from a complex carb so they can be absorbed. This helps with low pancreatic amylase. Mom’s breast milk contains amylase also. The human body is amazing. No need to rewrite what has been working for the last century or whatever the latest yuppy diet fad is this week. Many kids ARE allergic to egg protein. Be careful. Yes we are smarter and what we do MUST be based on clinical evidence with scientific studies. Here are studies below this article to support. There are many more studies that can be accessed by YOU the mom. Don’t listen to hype and propoganda. http://firststepnutrition.com/should-delay-introducing-grains-your-baby

    Reply
  21. Connie Manning Tompkins via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    My granddaughters both were given rice cereal and promptly threw up. Thought it might be a fluke so tried again, same results. Went from breast milk to pureed people food. They are healthy little girls.

    Reply
  22. Lindsay Brotzman via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    no thanks to rice cereal… finally got it right with baby #4, and he’s the healthiest and most even-keeled of them all. of course, personality is a factor as well as individual rates of development, but he’s the one I worry about the least. definitely makes a difference, skipping the rice cereal!

    Reply
  23. Michelle Zimmer-Maertz via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Avocados for us! For is for fun until one anyhow. Baby is getting the necessary nutrition from mom’s milk.

    Reply
  24. Paula Whitney via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    My grand baby had severe constipation and a serious rash after being started on rice cereal at 4 months, oatmeal wasn’t any better. The eczema rash finally went away weeks later. Grains are out for now, plus they have no nutritional value

    Reply
  25. MissMaddy Grayson via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    the issue overlooked here on both sides is that is is IMPOSSIBLE to find/source grains, including rice, which are non GMO, and that is the culprit to be wary of, especially on a delicate, developing digestive system. Arguing over whether you should or shouldn’t feed them genetically modified Frankenfood is just stupid.

    Reply
  26. Erin Miloslavic via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Josefina Da Fonte Hanson while parts of that are true, there are plenty if better nutrition sources our there. Nevermind the allergenic effect, but grains aren’t a good source of much, unless properly prepared…

    Reply
  27. Stacey Langford via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Most doctors in our area aren’t making this recommendation anymore – ours recently suggested egg yolk and iron rich meats to start.

    Reply
  28. Josefina Da Fonte Hanson via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Thank goodness I easily found this link hidden among the comments quickly enough. So tired of the same old lies being spread about babies’ supposed inability to digest grain. Between 3-6 months of age, amylase production increases significantly.
    Especially with the health conscious population, this grain and starch abstinence/reduction worries me because it frequently leads to calorie restriction. Not a good idea with a rapidly growing child.

    http://firststepnutrition.com/should-delay-introducing-grains-your-baby

    Reply
  29. Erin Miloslavic via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    We didn’t puree much either.
    And yes breastmilk has sugar… It’s lactose though, and it’s packaged with vitamins and fat. Rice has very little of anything…

    Reply
  30. Erin Miloslavic via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Heck WE (the adults) barely eat rice…. Can’t imagine what a horrible start that is for an infant’s blood glucose… No wonder so many kids/teens get diabetes…

    Reply
  31. Daniela Ragusa via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    I was given cereal when I was a month old, and I believe it was the beginning of a lifetime of being overweight. :(

    Reply
  32. Katelyn VanHaitsma via Facebook March 27, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    I disagree with her about pureeing things. We also choose to wait on vegetables until child has their first year molars.

    Reply
  33. I raised three babies on rice cereal and they are in there twenties and they all have either gut, RA or some other autoimmune issue! It showed up early for them which can be a good thing if they correct their diet.

    Reply
  34. Amber Longsdon via Facebook March 26, 2014 at 10:07 am

    So you take the time to answer someone who is arguing with you, but can’t even answer at least one of the people who had genuine questions for you?

    Reply
  35. Jessica M Baker via Facebook March 26, 2014 at 9:33 am

    We introduced egg yolk to our daughters as their first food around 6 months, and both of them developed severe allergic reactions to egg (tested very high for both the yolk and the whites, even though we did not introduce the whites until they were almost 2). These were from pastured eggs. I am afraid to start my son on egg yolk (plus we hardly cook with eggs in the house since our daughters are so allergic to them). What would be another good first food? Is it ok to give a 6 month old bone broth? We have been following mostly the GAPS diet for a few years here, only we do raw goats milk.

    Reply
  36. Debbie Elaine King Radatz via Facebook March 26, 2014 at 9:09 am

    There are whole Nations that are fed white rice mashed :-) I am a true believer of breast feeding but rice cooked and processed in a blender with organic formula and water or breast milk would do . I do not buy anything unless it is organic and Organic best makes a great rice cereal as well as oat cereal :-) we stay away from wheat as much as possible .

    Reply
  37. Vanessa Balta via Facebook March 25, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Babies have trouble getting enough iron, and just one serving of organic rice cereal provides 35% of their dv of iron. Also, once babies have doubled their birth weight (4-6 months) they naturally crave solid foods.

    Reply
  38. Ok! Since I didn’t get an answer to my questions, Does Anybody here know if it’s safe to give your baby raw grassfed milk kefir and other fermented foods? If anybody can please respond to my question I’d highly appreciate it! Thank You!

    Reply
  39. My son still hasn’t been able to eat pastured egg yolk, at 11 mos. He projectile vomited after two bites. He is also allergic to dairy and doesn’t do well with butter. He has never had rice cereal. You have to be very careful feeding egg yolk to babies. A lot do not react well. I give him organic proteins like beef and chicken cooked in broth, and add coconut oil to his veggies. He also takes FCLO and probiotics. Nourishing Traditions for Baby and Child did nothing but confuse things for me. I would have been better off not reading it and using common sense.
    charity\’s last post: Giveaway Winners! Organic Soup Sampler Pack from Wise Choice Market

    Reply
  40. Liza Laine via Facebook March 25, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Can’t seem to find grassfed butter here in Canada…is organic an ok substitute? Also, what’s your take on introducing dairy?

    Reply
  41. hello The Healthy Home Economist! Do you know if it’s safe to feed raw grassfed milk kefir to babies? I always knew the conventional, processed baby foods were no good for baby’s growth and development! But raw grassfed milk kefir can be a strong drink (depending on how long you let it ferment) but i know that the nutrition plus the friendly, beneficial micro organisms will help with the baby’s growth and development!
    Please let me know at your earliest convenience! Thank You! :)

    Reply
  42. Alexis Page via Facebook March 25, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Babies shouldn’t be introduced to solids before 6 months, no matter what it is…their stomach cannot digest anything but breast milk or (if needed) formula before that. Even after that, no matter what a mother eats, the breast milk is complete and will adapt as baby gets older to give the right nutrients that baby requires. “Food before one is just for fun” is legitimate. No, babies don’t need rice cereal…it is junk. But saying that breast milk after 4 to 6 months is not sufficient is old information. The breast milk gets all the good stuff from food before the mother, therefore, she only harms herself if she doesn’t eat a balanced diet.
    Babies also don’t need solely purée either, there are many alternatives, like baby led weaning, where you skip the mush all together.

    Reply
  43. Leanna Zimmerman via Facebook March 25, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    My first two children I breastfed but introduced solids before 6 months and the solids I introduced was “baby foods” and cereals. They were skinny and my firstborn esp. was somewhat sickly. My third child I solely breastfed the first six months then slowly introduced real food such as fruits and vegetables ( not baby foods) and anything that we ate from our table that he was able to handle. I also continued to breastfed him as well. Now at 13 months he is a healthy chubby ( not fat, but not sickly skinny like my first two) little guy who eats solids from the table better than most two year olds. It could be coincidence but I think it is the more natural way to feed babies than the “baby foods” in the store which I feel is more to make a profit than a healthy diet for babies.

    Reply
  44. Amber Longsdon via Facebook March 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Love this and wish I could afford to do all of this for my baby. My question is if we can’t always afford the right eggs and butter should we leave it out completely or is any better than none? Thank you

    Reply
  45. Mica Larimer via Facebook March 25, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Maybe I’m a bit ignorant about these things but I always understood that baby shouldn’t.be introduced to any solids before 6 months and then only have certain pureed foods from a limited list.

    Reply
  46. Before being educated, I fed my first five children rice cereal as their first food, and followed with the Gerber jar foods. This sixth child I’ve followed the healthy recommended GAPS baby diet by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride. As far as speaking sooner, I’ve seen no real difference, actually this sixth child (at 12 mos says 10 words) actually has less words than my other kids did (at 12 mos they all had between 12-16 words) But she follows direction like an older child and understands everything we say and acts and moves like an18 month old. (But all of my kids walked at 7 and 8 mos.) I do however see a link between the kids eczema and their diet though!!

    Reply
  47. Ashley Bennett via Facebook March 25, 2014 at 11:42 am

    the simple fact that you made the statement that breastfed babies online out after eating is warning sign leads me to believe that this is based less on fact and more on your own ideas. pitiful blog to say the least.

    Reply
  48. Laura Winn via Facebook March 25, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Amy Collins oh you are a mind reader! I was JUST thinking about the rice cereal thing and was about to research it! Thank you my dear! :)

    Reply
  49. Jen Ward via Facebook March 25, 2014 at 11:30 am

    The hormone prolactin, which is released when you breastfeed, is what makes baby and mother sleepy. NOT the mother’s diet. The HHE has interesting ideas about breastfeeding

    Reply
  50. Christa Richter via Facebook March 25, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Should be a crime to have these starches on the shelves before 2 years. Who knows what food allergies & auto immune diseases result from this !! The disconnect between industry and science is staggeringly mind-boggling.

    Reply
  51. Lindsay Brotzman via Facebook March 25, 2014 at 11:00 am

    i decided to forego the always-recommended rice cereal with my youngest (#4), and i now very much regret ever having given it to my three older kiddos. #1 never slept from 5 months on (when he started formula and rice cereal), #2 actually lost weight when she started rice cereal (and formula), #3 was diagnosed as having failure to thrive and his lack of weight gain and constipation issues got worse after starting cereal. my 9-mo old has never had cereal- he started on avocado and sweet potato purees… even though he’s also small for his age, he doesn’t have the issues that the other kids had. he is so mild in disposition, sleeps well unless i eat eggs, nurses well, he crawled and cruised earlier than any of the others and in general seems happier and healthier. i do carry a good amount of guilt for having fed my other kids something that isn’t good for them, but hindsight is 20/20 ;)

    Reply
  52. Michelle Perry Moore via Facebook March 25, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Thank you. My girls are now almost 20 months and spoke 130 words by their 18 month appointment. Twins are often slow to speak, but they have a very good grasp on language. They also seem very respectful for their age and have a remarkably long attention span. I’m sure diet has a lot to do with it, as does the lack of battery operated toys.

    Reply
  53. This was recommended to me by a family member. I gave it to my five and a half month old son, and now he’s over six months. The first three times giving egg yolk were a success. The two after that resulted in vomiting. The first vomiting episode was very messy but he never seemed bothered by it. The second time was much more severe. He vomited every five minutes for two hours until he was heaving bile. He became very weak and was distressed, crying and refusing to nurse, which I’ve never seen before. Finally after a short nap he woke looking and acting much better and he’s taking breast milk and Gerber Replenish very slowly and resting.

    The reason I gave the egg a second time after the first vomiting is because the fourth egg was from a different source than the first three, much bigger yolk and I gave him the entire yolk. I thought he just had too much. I waited over a week before trying again, this time with An egg from a different source. Barely gave him two bites as he didn’t want anything to do with it and he got very sick.

    I don’t know if I boiled the egg incorrectly, I followed the instructions from the video and other websites that said the same thing. I saw a comment on here saying she fed her baby raw egg yolk so I thought even if it was undercooked then it would be okay. All I know is that I’m not giving him anymore egg yolk. In fact I probably won’t introduce any more solids for at least another month. He hated the avocado I tried giving him after egg.

    Any moms who decide to try this, please start slow and if your baby vomits the same day you fed him the yolk then it was probably from that, and abstain for a good while. I just don’t want anyone going through what we did which was very scary and uncomfortable for my poor baby. If anyone has any feedback please leave it here thanks.

    Reply
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  59. Appreciate it with regard to giving that with all of consumers you undoubtedly determine what that you are discussing around! Bookmarked. Be sure to likewise seek advice from this site Is equal to). We will have a very link alternate arrangement in our midst

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  62. We are going to be starting our daughter on solids soon and are looking into starting her on proteins instead of grains. We would like to read more about this. You have cited Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD’s book Gut and Psychology Syndrome as a source for this article. Could you please share more sources for this idea? Thank you.

    Reply
  63. Pingback: Acid Reflux or GERD in Babies @ Our Simple Little LifeOur Simple Little Life

  64. Thank you for you info, I will stop giving my child rice cereal at once. But when he is old enough to have solid foods what can I give him we are a Vegan Family.

    Reply
  65. How do you know that the undigested food in a baby’s gut rots? Doesn’t it simply get ushered through to the colon and eliminated?

    And I thought that there was something in breast milk that makes babies sleepy – nucleotides or something?

    Why do you recommend certain foods at certain ages? What’s the science behind that?

    My mom fed myself and my two brothers rice cereal when we were very young (6 weeks I think), and none of us ever had a weight problem, have allergies, asthma, eczema, nor any autoimmune disorders. I don’t disagree that it might be POSSIBLE for rice cereals to cause these problems in SOME children. But I do disagree that feeding rice cereal dooms EVERY child to the health problems you mentioned.

    I appreciate your article and the information presented. However, I wish it were presented in a more balanced way and that your information were better documented. As a new mom, I truly want to do the very best for my kid. But I’m completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of contradictory information and contradictory anecdotal evidence out there, and I don’t want to just blindly believe or disbelieve everything I read.

    Reply
  66. Pingback: What I Did When I Couldn't Breastfeed - More Than Four Walls

  67. Hi Sarah,

    Thank you so much for sharing this article, It’s really informative for my Sister. My sister was a first-time mother of a 5 month baby. So got more more idea.

    Sarah question, it’s out of the article. But I want to know, If you have an idea about..
    BTW you might know if there’s Dulcolax for children? Do you think, that can work?

    Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  68. I dunno if you have considered racial genetics. Kids in India are fed cow’s milk from birth and allergies are way less common there, On the other hand kids born in Indonesia are allergic to cow’s milk from birth. I am from India and I have never heard of any peanut allergies and gluten allergies till I came to USA and was really surprised to see so many kids have it. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/04/30/us-born-kids-have-more-allergies-asthma/
    So many kids are born in vegetarian families and are raised without any issues. I feel what works for one kid may not work for other. Each baby is different, try different kinds of food and do feed what seems right for your baby.

    Reply
  69. I do agree with you on delaying fruits and juice until other solids are established. Feeding babies rice as a first solid food is not a modern thing. it’s been happening for thousands of years, so your claim that today’s fat children is because of grain-heavy diets for infants isn’t entirely sound.

    Reply
  70. Hi there! Do you think it’s ok to give a breastfed 8 month old pastured butter? I let my son try it and he LOVES it. I haven’t been able to find much on the subject online so your opinion would be greatly appreciated. Love the heal thy mouth summit by the way! You had some really great advice tips for oral care. Thanks!

    Reply
  71. I like the idea of doing the egg yolk at 6 months for a babys first food. My question is how many times/day do you do this? I’m assuming just once. When do you start introducing a second meal & third meal? And what foods are you giving for these supplemental meals?

    Reply
  72. Thanks Jenn! Such helpful ideas, especially slow-braised meats for a few months down the road – a great way to get iron, and the meat would be tender, so safer! I’m continuing to nurse 5 times/day, which I’m still enjoying!, and yes!, have tried to reheat foods in cast-iron to get a little iron in them! Thank you for your help!! Blessings to you!

    Reply
  73. Sarah, thank you for your helpful blog! I’ve accessed it several times now for help with GAPS legal receipes, etc.

    Could I ask for some advice on starting our son on eggs, if you have a moment? He is 6 1/2 months and we started solids just before 6 months (I wanted to exclusively breastfeed ’til 6 months but his physical therapist was concerned about his tongue moving more to the right than the left – we haven’t observed this at all – so we started solids a little early). I would LOVE to feed him eggs for the health benefits (although I’ve read beef is also high in choline), but I believe he’s allergic to eggs. I started doing a modified full GAPS diet (pretty much full GAPS but without ferments, dairy, and eggs) because of some possible autoimmune condition I ran up against four months postpartum and also because our son has horrible eczema. I noticed that it flared even more when we started GAPS because the diet is egg-heavy, but when I eliminated eggs, it got better. When we also tried boiled egg yolks, he got a flare and a horrible diaper rash. I strongly suspect he has a leaky gut (for me, too!), and we’ve been trying to give him homemade chicken meat broth when he can and also Baby Biotic (slurps both down!!) to help him heal. I want to make sure he has enough iron but don’t want to rely on cereals – we haven’t given him any rice cereal but have been doing some non-GMO oatmeal – he is still getting used to pureed beef and chicken and doesn’t really like them yet. He does like avocado.

    Any suggestions? Thank you, Sarah!

    Reply
    • I’m not Sarah, but yikes! It’s okay to not feed him eggs if he seems to be allergic to them!

      My kids love slow-braised meats. I cook fatty cuts (pork shoulder/ribs, beef chuck roast, etc) low and slow all afternoon, and the meat just melts in your mouth. Delicious and easy! It’s so tender that my 11 month old has been able to gobble pieces for a few months now, even though she chews with a mouth full of gums!

      With my first, I was very eager to introduce solids. This ended up with him weaning himself earlier than I had planned. With my 2nd, I waited as long as possible (9ish months) to feed her an ounce or so of what we were eating. It became hard to keep her away from our meals, because she was so interested in them, and could feed herself little bites.

      She still nurses 4-5 times a day, and I’m going to continue nursing her as long as I can. And I’m pumping for my toddler so he can hopefully “catch up” what he missed by weaning earlier than 12 months.

      I use cast iron for most meals (unless I want to use vinegar, tomato, or lemon juice), so iron is leeching in small amounts into our food, so I think we’re getting enough iron that way.

      Hope this all gives you some ideas!
      Jenn\’s last post: Balsamic Fondue Chicken with Onions & Broccoli

      Reply
  74. Pingback: Real Food – The Revelation Behind Our Family’s Switch | More Than Four Walls

  75. Thank you for this post. I have a few questions though. My 5 month old has been eating the soft boiled egg yolk for the last few weeks and loves it… but how often do you recommend it? He eats close to the entire yolk now during a feeding, along with 7 ounces of formula. I have also been giving him some avocado mashed up as well. How many feedings per day would you recommend for the egg yolk though ?

    Reply
  76. I think it is really important to note that not all babies can eat egg. I tried giving my baby soft boiled egg yolk after reading this post and ended up in the ER because it turns out, he is highly allergic to eggs, even through breastmilk. It is the one of the top food allergies which are cropping up more and more in young babies. Be careful what you feed your baby! Breastmilk is just fine.

    Reply
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  78. I’ve been looking all over and can’t seem to find a reliable source. Why is it that if we are breastfeeding, we are recommended to give our babies vitamins particularly vit D? Is it necessary and why or why not?

    Reply
  79. Just wanted to add to the “discussion” that my 7-month-old just had egg yolk (soft boiled) for the first time, and has thrown up 3 times in the past 2 hours. Obviously something about it didn’t agree with her little tummy, so egg yolk is going to be shelved for a while. She’s successfully had banana, avocado, and has tasted beef broth, zucchini, celery, green bean (all whole and barely cooked – she used them as flavored teethers), and accidentally, bread (little stinker literally stole half of my roll from my hand while I was distracted with her big brother), and hasn’t had a negative reaction to any of those things. She has been exclusively breastfed, just got her first tooth, and is in the 90th percentile for height, and 75 percentile for weight. Mothers, please use your common sense and listen to your instincts when it comes to your kids, regardless of any new fads that charge into popularity.
    Jenn\’s last post: Every Four Years

    Reply
  80. I think you are mistaken. You have not offended me in the slightest. I tire of reading your comments, and usually stop after a couple sentences. My point is, what you are saying has no weight or significance to those of us who respect Sarah and this blog. That’s all :) I just hope you can find something else to spend your time on.

    Reply
  81. So what do you feed an exclusively breastfed infant who is almost 10 months and is falling off the charts for weight? Avocado seems to give him issues, or maybe he is getting too much of it? How much do you give them? He isn’t fond of egg yolks, but we kep trying. And the fruits and veggies……I try to limit because of the low caloric intake they have, and he desperately needs calories. I think my milk supply is starting to drop, so keeping him only on breastmilk isn’t a good option. We have tried meats, but he isn’t very fond of those either- I keep trying. In desperation I even tried a little rice cereal, but he cannot tolerate that either. He is the fussiest, gassiest, most miserable baby when I eat anything with spice, and as I wrote, he just can’t handle most foods…….at almost 10 months. I just want to give up and give formula, I don’t know what to do anymore, and I’m so tired……he is my 4th and is taking up so much of my time from fussy/no sleep. WHY DO I HAVE SUCH TOUGH BABIES?????? 3 of my 4 have been awful. But I think he is probably the worst and I just don’t know what to do or what to feed him.

    Reply
    • Heidi, myheart is breaking for you! Please, please, please, get a support structure around you. Find a church group or something to help and love you, regardless of what you believe. Maybe find a MOPS group in your area? Then demand answers and help from your pediatrician. Eating should be a joyful (even when messy and crazy with kids) experience, and if it is causing you so much stress, your little ones will also find it and stressful, and could make any problems they might have harder to solve. You CAN figure it out, because you are their mother and you love them fiercely. Feel free to contact me on my blog, even if you just need to vent.

      Reply
  82. I have read you blog with more that a little bit of alarm. What I find most upsetting is that you appear to promote yourself as an “expert” in so many areas, when truth be known, you are the very definition of a person who has just enough knowledge to be dangerous!

    As an example let’s talk about just one part of the article “The Right Way to Feed Babies,” where you discuss rice cereal.

    I find it interesting that you can find so many issues with a staple of baby’s diets that is used the world over. It is fascinating that you and a handful of others have found problems that hundreds of thousands of experts have not found for literally hundreds of years.

    But then I read further is see where your lack of knowledge has so severely misled you.

    You say “Not only is it an extremely high glycemic food (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.”

    It is true that the baby’s digestion system produces very little amylase when compared to an adult. But have you ever considered why this may be so?

    The fact is that amylase is also found in the mouth. In fact, in babies it is found in very large amounts. So much so that compared to an adult a baby actually does a better job of digesting grains than adults do!

    I find many things on your blog disturbing and wish that you would limit yourself to discussing topics for which you have adequate formal education. I think you are doing far more harm than any good that could possible come from your work.

    I did however find one little aspect of you blog quite amusing. I loved the fact that while I was reading the article on feeding babies there was a rotating ad off to the right promoting baby cereal.

    Apparently your strange standards as to what is right does not extend to your taking money from the very companies you demonize.

    Reply
    • Advertising is based on YOUR search profile and history, not the bloggers. What exactly do you think humans were fed prior to manufacturing and processed food? It’s pretty simple: whole foods grown in the earth and in the soil. That’s how we survived for the past 4,000+ years.

      Reply
      • So it’s OK in your mind for a blogger to sell all control of what appears on their website.

        I was doing research on breast diseases for work the other day. Now I should be subjected to ads from porn sites? And that would be OKd in your mind?

        Amazing how low people’s standards can go.

        Reply
        • Bloggers are allowed limited control over what types of advertising appears in relation to food, clothes or other genres of content. There are laws preventing solicitation of pornography, and bloggers may always exclude over 18 content from their websites. Feel free to do your own research of advertising practices if you have additional questions. I’m simply pointing out to you how these things work, and that your brash judgements of the author are invalid. Furthermore, don’t place assumptions and judgement upon my statements either. I made no comment about what was “ok” or “right”; I simply explained to you how advertising on blogs work, which you clearly don’t understand. Attacking my moral character by telling my I have low standards is not only an attack, but an insult, and is neither helpful nor argumentative in this discussion.

          Reply
  83. When is it ok to give babies actual rice? Not rice cereal! But just soaked brown rice? Should that also be postponed till molars or 2?

    Reply
  84. I posted on August 16th, but then after reading some of the moms who are writing in defense of Sarah’s blog, I decided to re-read mine to see if or how I wrote it could have been offensive. I want to apologize if my words came across harshly. I do enjoy Sarah’s posts and actually agree with much of the education she puts out there. I was simply pointing out the cultural considerations. However, when I looked to the posts written before mine, I can see how mean some of them really are! Downright insulting! I agree wholeheartedly that there’s no need to name call. Those people writing negative and insulting posts should probably take a good look at what they’re eating (physically and spiritually!) There’s just no need. Thank goodness for people like Sarah who take the time to help inform other moms.

    Reply
  85. I find it ironic that many of the angry comments share the same way of speaking/typing. Makes me wonder if one person is trying to strengthen their side by making it seem they have more support than they really do… hmmm… ; )

    I personally plan to feed my daughter primarily breastmilk for the first year with very limited solids starting around 9-10 months and even afterwards I plan to continue breastfeeding in addition to solids. From the research I’ve done it’s what feels right to me, though plans may change depending on my daughter’s interest (or lack thereof) in solids.

    This site is hers, we are coming here for her opinion. Why should she sugar coat it or dumb it down simply because some people get their panties in a twist after reading something they don’t 100% like? If you don’t like what is written, then go elsewhere. Problem solved.

    Reply
  86. I don’t understand why some people have a problem with the way this article is titled or written. So what if she is straight-forward in what she says, and confident in her convictions about this matter. I am grateful for Sarah and this blog and the advice she brings. If I don’t agree with something she says I will research it, but I don’t get offended at a controversial wording of a title or article. I believe she is just passionate and relaying what she has learned to whoever will listen – humbly. If people are “turned off” by the way she writes, that’s their problem. And that’s too bad for them. Obviously there is more to learn for all of us, including the author of this blog post, but I am thankful that she brings awareness and valid points to things most people don’t know about (such as the problem with rice cereal).

    Reply
  87. Sarah,

    I think it’s wise to be careful on how to advise people to feed their babies. Your article just comes off a bit righteous, even if I agree on most of it! My babies weren’t fed rice cereal – instead, we did what my husband’s family has given babies interested and ready to eat. After soaking (washed) colored beans overnight, it is cooked with bits of pig fat. The finished liquid, with some beans squashed (leaving skins out) is given as the first food for baby. This is what my kids got. However, raw meat or even egg yolk is unheard of in my husband’s culture (he grew up in a tiny farm town in the Andes). Kids are healthy, strong, beautiful facial structure and teeth and no allergies! American women in the US, sadly, don’t have their own roots to rely on and no way to learn. I have my mother-in-law and family, who still reside in this part of the world, that can teach us their way. But it’s just relative to culture and where you grow up. Otherwise, moms may make mistakes or get turned off. It’s really unfortunate. So compassion and consideration for the culture and where we live, what we have access to, is needed.

    Reply
  88. Sarah, I trust that you have thick skin. ;) I find myself longing to defend you when I read such attacking posts. I will refrain. Everyone must do his/her own unbiased, in-depth research. No matter which approach we take to feeding or immunizing our children, each can be seen as a calculated risk. We must research like crazy (on both sides of the issues), then try to make wise decisions, praying that they are the right ones.

    Clearly, something is desperately wrong with our nation’s children, so things must change somehow. Time and more research will (hopefully) tell. And won’t those who speak so critically of you feel a bit small if further research reveals that THEY, in fact, have been in the wrong? I sincerely hope that you receive some apologies in the years to come.

    Interestingly, the more I educate myself on both sides of these issues, the more the side YOU present emerges as valid. As I have researched further, it has become evident that your recommendations are well-founded. I have recently read (and have been challenged by) “A Compromised Generation,” “Healing the New Childhood Epidemics,” and Dr. Sears’ “Vaccine Book.” I am also enjoying “Nourishing Traditions.”

    I appreciate the work you do. It spurs me along in my “digging deeper.”
    May those who read your blog read with a bit more open-mindedness and respond with a bit more grace.

    Blessings!

    Reply
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  90. Please use legitimate research. August 1, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I think you should stop giving your advice in a manner that you state as fact. I find many troubling things within your post. The one that sticks out most is that you call butter a healthy fat… You should probably take some science classes and learn about anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and development. By the way people…. The idea that vaccinations cause autism was completely bunk in case you missed it. Please educate yourselves on how to do appropriate peer reviewed research.

    Reply
  91. You mentioned using butter with veggies. I cannot afford the good quality butter at this stage in life. Is the normal store bought butter ok to give my child, or is baby better off without that kind then?

    Reply
  92. You're all idiots July 21, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I am SHOCKED to see so many ignorant women who actually believe ANYTHING this woman has to say. All of you are crazy! Follow me…..I’ll take you all to the looney tune house….NOW! Unbelievable.

    By the way, this bad modern medicine and these stupid doctors you’re all talking about….well, they most likely will be saving your life one day!! ***idiots***

    Reply
  93. Do you have links to the research that says breast fed babies fall asleep because their milk is “toxic”. I’m fascinated by this unknown tidbit but it needs proof to hold water. Thanks!

    Reply
  94. I find it interesting that none of your input about when to feed babies solids is backed up by research based organizations. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for 6 months, and then given solid foods.
    I too, agree that babies should not be given rice cereal, and a great approach to feeding babies it to wait until they show the signs of being ready to eat solid foods, and introduce baby lead weaning.
    Additionally, recommending that something be frozen according to the USDA guidelines is not an optimum idea, considering that this organization is full of corruption, and they tend to recommend many things that are not nutritionally sound.

    Reply
  95. I am wondering if I should give my 3 month old egg yolk next month. He has two siblings with egg allergies. He also has eczema, which shows me that something is going wrong with his immune system. My diet great, so not sure what is up. Advice?

    Reply
    • My daughter had slight patches of eczema on the back of her legs, even though our diet is very allergen free. We cleared it up by skipping baths (she splashes with her brother about 2 times a week) and using Neutrogena Norwegian formula hand cream on the patches (which my dermatologist had recommended for my contact exzema), and it went away! His skin could be reacting to many many things, not just diet!

      And have you considered not rushing the introduction of solids? If you think of breastmilk as all they need for food and drink, you can easily and slowly introduce bits of what you eat. My son and daughter both love slow-braised meats, and they are both great eaters.

      Reply
  96. I gave my first son egg yolk beginning at 4 mos he loved it. I tried the same thing with my second son, he did not take well to it and after only just a small taste he vomitted all of it up within a couple of hours, so I have tried every month or so to reintroduce but he does the same thing each time he is now 9 mos old. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I have heard that it is common in the second born child? Any thoughts?
    Thanks

    Reply
  97. just curious..
    why isn’t there a favorite approach to food based on a simple diluted broth of the selected food,.. skipping perhaps some impractical cases like banana..

    Reply
  98. Hmm….well….when my sister was a baby she threw everything, I mean, everything up. We fed her rice cereal mixed with her milk and she was able to keep this down. She turned 15 this year, kid has barely been to the doctor in her life. Sometimes there isn’t a monster in the shadow, sometimes it’s just a shadow.

    Reply
  99. Thanks, Sarah, for this great article. My baby is 6 months old now but was 2 months premature. Her head was so tiny at birth, she weighed 3lb but dropped to 2lb 12oz and spent nearly a month in the NICU. She was diagnosed as small for gestational age. She is also an identical twin, but we lost her twin at 6 mos gestation due to intrauterine growth restriction.
    I just want to give my surviving baby the very best chance to develop as I know that there can be problems resulting from prematurity. I’m supposed to follow her adjusted age (4 months) for everything concerning her development. But I was wondering if I could start giving her egg yolk now rather than when she is 8 months (6 months adjusted).

    Also I was wondering what books or or other resources you would recommend for diets for breastfeeding moms (well pumping moms…she never did latch so I am exclusively pumping and feeding from a bottle). I was intrigued when I read that if a baby falls asleep instantly after feeding that it may be signal that something is not right with the milk. My baby also has developed severe gastro-intestinal distress. She has so much gas that I’m shocked all of that could come from such a tiny body. She wakes suddenly screaming in pain. I am at a loss. I know my diet has been terrible. I have never really eaten well (and scarcely know how) but it’s been especially bad lately as I believe I may be depressed still over the loss of the other baby. My husband and I have been trying for years to conceive and these were our miracle babies with the help of fertility treatments.
    I truly want to help this little one thrive. She has not been gaining weight well lately. I am willing to eat/do what I need to for her (since I haven’t been able to do it for myself). Any suggestions? (Sorry for the long post. I tend to be wordy when I’m sleepy. Thank you to anyone who read this far down!)

    Elise

    Reply
    • Elise, if she is getting her nutrition from your milk, she is basically eating the same things you are – both good and bad. So getting your own nutrition back to optimal status is of key importance. Healthy Home Economist has some great information on this, but to start off with, the most important things to do are to eliminate all packaged foods (because they have so many nasty chemical preservatives!) and make sure you get healthy fats in your diet, like good quality pastured butter, coconut oil and organic pastured milk (raw if you can obtain it and are comfortable with it.). Oh, and adding fermented cod liver oil supplements into your diet will also be great for your nutrition.

      I would also recommend you take a good probiotic. Bio Kult is a good one, you want one that has the most different strains of probiotics in them – the kind you get at the grocery store usually has only one strain. Your baby will get some beneficial probiotics through your milk, and if she was a C-section baby, she did not get the initial colonization of probiotics that happens during vaginal birth. In order for the gut to function properly, she will need some healthy flora in her gut, and you can help her get that through your milk.

      Reply
  100. Do you have a growth chart or some kind of idea where babies growth should be at in their first year as far as weight, height, head circumference, etc?? I just took my 8 month to a ped for a check up and according to her and their growth chart, my boy is in the low percentile to the point that she doesnt think he’s getting enough nutrition. I haven’t fed him any cereals, rice, etc. Since he was 6 months he has had an egg yolk with some flax seed meal and a whole banana every morning, and a serving veggies in the afternoon, a little kefir every day, with some sweet potato or melon or avocado on occasion. I feed him 4x a day, and when he has trouble with breastfeeding (which is 50% of the time) I’ve supplemented with either raw goat milk, (more recently), and your homemade formula recipe. My ped thinks I should stop the goat milk altogether (even if I made it with your homemade formula recipe).
    Anyway, I guess I am just wondering if my baby is fine where he is because he is lean…and if he is in the “low percentile” according to THEIR chart because “most” babies have rice cereal and are maybe “too heavy/chubby…” ? He is 16.5 lbs and 24 inches long. Do you know what your babies’ measurements were at 8 months?

    Reply
    • Personally, I think you doctor is correct. Of course, i differ from the writer of this article, I acutally have formal education in the filed of pediatrics. (Gasp) i even make my living doing it on a daily basis!

      Reply
      • So I looked it up. Your child is in the 4th% for his weight and the 2nd% for his height.

        In other words 96% of the kids in the developed world weigh more than him, and 98% are taller then his is. These are all kids the same age as him AND the list includes kids with chronic health issues! (Could that be a hint that something is wrong?)

        Most doctors would be putting the child in the hospital to test for any illness that can cause them to not grow properly. They would also put him on a (gasp!) regular formula to see if he gained weight.

        If they could not find any illness that would prevent or slow his growth and development, and the child gained weight on a regular formula and diet, then Child Protective Services would be notified. They then have the option of removing the child from the home due to malnutrition and neglect.

        The big question is what is the child’s FOC. The FOC is the size of the baby’s head. Taking into consideration the child’s height and weight I am willing to bet that it is undersize. HERE IS THE BIG ISSUE! It is a well-documented fact that children with head growth that is delayed are at very, very high risk for mental defects and lowered IQ later on in childhood! This is a permanent condition and will not improve as the child get larger and older.

        But don’t worry. All you need to do is to keep following the horrible inaccurate and incomplete information you read here and you will have no problems-because you will have no child to worry about. Instead you will have a piece of paper where you parental rights have been terminated.

        Reply
        • Actually, I took him in a few weeks later at 9 months and he was up to an average percentile that satisfied the pedi. I had been trying to keep breastfeeding, but at that point I was barely hanging on to 1 or 2 feedings a day…I’m thinking he wasn’t getting enough from me (as I was drying up), and so I just stopped altogether and switched entirely to Sarah’s homemade baby formula. Then I just added a third meal of veggies and/or protein (no rice cereal). And that’s all it took to help satisfy the pedi and her charts :) Now he’s 1 and healthy, never touched rice cereal, and has been on primarily the homemade formula and organic produce and proteins (meat and beans). Lots of people comment to me on how “sharp” and “smart” he seems for his age :) So…I’m not worried. I know he’s healthy and amazing, and has an amazing destiny.

          Reply
          • So now your child is up to the 6th or 7th percentile, and the Dr. is not not saying anything. How does that make your actions the best for the baby? The fact is that many times the Dr. simply quits making comments because he/she knows that they are wasting their breath.

            I have another question. I am a grey headed old fart and have been around a while. In my 50 plus years on this earth I have NEVER, not once, seen or heard of anyone telling a mommy “your kids as dumb as a brick,” or any other comment that could be seen as insulting. Tell a mom that her kid is “sharp” and “bright” is a normal.

            I myself made those exact comments to a monther of a child the other day. The I went and discussed the causes of the child’s severly delayed development with the doctor.

            So has YOU ever heard anyone make horrible, insulting remarks about a baby?

            Personally, I hope your child is a genius and finds the cure for AIDS or something. Lord knows we need all the help we can get on this earth.

            I will also be the first to admit that when I was a 19-year-old single father trying to raise my child alone, I was a total idiot. I had no idea what I was doing.

            Lucky for us, kids are a tough bunch. Try as we may, it is actually quite hard to screw them up too badly.

          • Thanks. He probably will find the cure to AIDS. :)

            Really, whatever insults and condescending things you decide to spout off means nothing to me and won’t make any difference in the readers’ lives, so you might as well save your breath. No one is going to listen to a bitter “old fart” who makes assumptions and rude comments and is just plain disrespectful.

          • My, are we testy. Did I hit on a sensitive subject?

            I was not trying to be insulting. I was however trying to point that you were assuming that since the baby gained weight he was getting proper nutrition. He would have gained weight on a diet of Snickers and Cheetos. That in no way means it is a healthy diet. Fact is, the vast majority of people truly educated on the subject would find much of the nutrition information on this very appalling.

            When you are talking about my being insulting and condescending, I can only assume you are talking about my comments about people being polite. However, I never said anything to imply that your particular child was not sharp or bright. I just pointed out that what is common polite conversation is not evidence of anything. Surely you have made comments at least once about how cute someone’s child was when what you were actually thinking was “that would be a great kid if that child was not such a holy terror!”

            I went out of my way to say I hope you have a great child that grows up to do great things. I then even went to the point of insulting myself!

            In fact, the only thing I insulted here was the horribly inaccurate information posted in this blog.

            I am sure that you found the information in my first post upsetting. But however upsetting it is to you, that does not make it any less true.

            In my daily life I have had to deal with many cases of children who have been abused, neglected and even harmed unintentionally by well-meaning parents. That all tend to find these same facts upsetting.

            Perhaps the most upsetting thing I keep running across in this blog is half-truths about breastfeeding. I think breastfeeding is a great and wonderful thing. However, I keep seeing the blogger talk about breast fed babies as being smaller and thinner. Having dealt with literally thousands of babies in the last few years I can assure that this is simply not true. Most breast fed babies are fat, plump and very healthy.

            The breast fed babies that are small are the ones that are generally transitioned to other feeding methods. I noticed that you said your child’s growth rate increased when you added more produce and proteins. As for Sarah’s homemade formula, it is a viable replacement for breastfeeding, abet a very poor one.

          • I think you are mistaken. You have not offended me in the slightest. I tire of reading your comments, and usually stop after a couple sentences. My point is, what you are saying has no weight or significance to those of us who respect Sarah and this blog. That’s all I just hope you can find something else to spend your time on.

  101. Hi Sarah!
    Really enjoying your website and all the information I’m learning. I’m new to real food and the horrors of conventional “food”.
    At the time when my daughter, coming up on 4yrs old, was born and getting into solids I didn’t know thing one about Real Foods and just how harmful conventional foods where to her and us. Sadly, I fed her just as the pediatrician prescribed. She has had major problems with allergies (seasonal, pet, hard water, pollen, molds, and from certain laundry soaps/softeners..etc) AND eczema. Both are now still also getting worse despite lotions and creams (prescribed and non-prescribed). Problems for children that you just described are basically exactly what we’re battling with and my daughter is uncomfortable daily because of it!! The only advice several of her doctors have been able to give me is steriod prescrip creams and 24hr childrens over-the-counter allergy medication to be administered daily. No preventative advice, just sympton management. I hate giving her these things, but seem to be the only thing that give her relief for just a little bit. I want to throw all of it out!! What treatments and foods can I give my daughter to banish these problems and undo damage once and for all? please help!!

    Reply
  102. Pingback: Raw Egg Yolk for Babies?

  103. We will soon be foster parents to a four-month-old and I will be required to follow certain protocols regarding formula-feeding and health care. Any suggestions on nourishing and boosting a little one’s immune system within the guidelines set forth by the system?

    Reply
  104. Thank you so much for all this info :) I have a question about starchy foods like potatoes and sweet potatoes. My daughter is 15 months-at what age do you think it is safe to introduce starchy vegetables, if ever? Thanks so much!!!

    Rachel

    Reply
  105. Hi Sarah

    I am a first-time mother of a 4 month baby who prefers the bottle to my breast. I want to make the formula you show on your video as I am sure the commercial one (organic….. yes, they are all the same…) is making my baby gassier but I have a problem: folks from Radiant Life do not ship to where I live (Norway) and I do not know what to do… at least I have access to raw milk from pastured cows but it is the only thing I have access to now. Can you possibly give me some insight in order to fix this problem? Maybe another brand?
    I also do not know what to do in order to get that FCLO and the butter oil….

    I also have access to eggs from pastured hens. Is it enough to give my baby the yolks + your baby formula (if by any chance I can get the other ingredients) + avocados/bananas from 4-6 months (not all of these every single day I think)? Are soups with good bone/meat broth enough from 6 months on? Could you give me another insight about this?

    Thank you SO much :-)

    Reply
  106. Pingback: 8 Feed Babies Sites - 3/31/2012 - Feeding | allaboutbabies.org

  107. Is it correct to say baby only needs yolk and raw liver until he’s 10 months?

    Also. What about dairy? When can I introduce raw milk and yogurt?

    Reply
  108. Pingback: PaleoFX – Babies, Toddlers and Children « Pushups and Carrots

  109. Pingback: 10 Feed Babies Sites - 2/26/2012 - Solid Feeding | allaboutbabies.org

  110. woww!! youve got some heck of a nerve thinking you know the right way to raise everyones kids!!!! i am appalled at your extremely ignorant post. what makes you think you know whats best for kids? oh, and i love the way you slam the “experts” as you put it. it makes no sense at all that YOU should know more than people who actually do this for a living. you are FALSELY advising all of the parents on here!!! your post was rediculous. EVERYONE EATS GRAINS BEFORE THEY ARE ONE. they are actually quite important in a childs diet. you do not know what you are talking about, and before you miss advise parents again you may want to check with one of those “experts” you are slamming. they know a heck of a lot more about childhood feeding than you do. as far as the juice thing goes, if you get 100 percent juice (which EVERYONE does) then it is NOT just sugar water and it is a great way to get childrens fruit into their diet. please refrain from posting things that are untrue, and stick to talking about things that you actually know.

    Reply
    • Caroline, your ignorance is quite visible and obnoxious. For being such an expert yourself, at least I would expect you to make some EDUCATED statements. “100 percent juice….is NOT just sugar water” I would recommend you do some research before you make such statements that do nothing aside putting you in ridicule. Many toxins have been found in what you so strongly assure is 100% juice. I could say so much more, but I will for now, simply direct you to do some research so that you may actually have an educated opinion.

      Reply
    • Caroline! I applaud you willingness to stand up for sanity! This blog is crammed full of asinine and dangerous information posing as fact. As I read I am beginning to wonder if one would not be better off just doing the opposite of what is posted here! This should be illegal!

      Reply
  111. Pingback: Fried Bananas for Babies?

  112. Pingback: Current Giveaway: Green Toys Feeding Set!

  113. I’m late to the party here, but oh well.

    So I was very interested in this article when I saw it posted on facebook the other day and was digging it as it talked about ditching the rice cereal as a first food advice, but then my interest waned after that. I think the article should be called the 1/2 Right Way to Feed Babies. Babies absolutely don’t need rice cereal. It’s absurd doctors still tells us otherwise. Mine did just a month ago.

    However, the other piece the experts are still telling us that is also WRONG is to SPOON-FEED PUREES. There’s no need for and it can actually be harmful. Babies are smart and should be allowed to control what goes in their mouth (much like breastfeeding). You set up a safe eating environment where the baby can sit up well, start them on soft foods they hold like banana or a ripe bear, and let them explore the food. They will learn to mash the food up with their teeth or gums and to swallow. If they don’t want to swallow it, they will gag (not choke) it up. This is the most intelligent and appropriate way for them to learn to eat solids. Pushing pureed foods in to the babies mouth can lead to aspiration when all they can do at that point is inhale the food. No thanks.

    Baby-led weaning (aka baby-led solids) makes more for sense biologically and nutritionally. They eat real food with the family and learn by doing.

    Also, breastmilk is the only sustenance that is needed for the first 12 months not 6. It is about playing and learning not nutrition before that point. Babies don’t need the extra nutrition until their first birthday. You can start solids at 6-12 months whenever baby is ready interest and development wise.

    My two cents.

    Reply
    • I figured this very thing out for my second. I spoon fed my first child for his entire first year (!), and it was so exhausting. He was a great eater, but my goodness, spoon feeding took forever, 4 times a day. For our 2nd child, I started by letting her play with some of the food we were eating at each meal. Her fine motor skills shot through the roof, and this little girl can get food to her mouth so quickly! I knew that breastmilk was the foundation of her diet, and was providing everything she needed, so I finally wasn’t worried that she was getting a “balanced” diet. She now eats everything we eat at 11 months (we eat a low-ish carb, wheat-free diet in our home, since my son seems to have a wheat sensitivity of some sort, and it’s easier to cut it out for all of us), and is growing, sleeping, and developing very well.

      Great two cents, B. :)
      Jenn\’s last post: Balsamic Fondue Chicken with Onions & Broccoli

      Reply
  114. Sarah,

    Just curious, as my daughter approaches 1 year of age., when I switch from raw milk formula to just plain milk… should I continue to add some of the ingredients from the formula for added benefit, or is it not necessary anymore?

    Thank you, Kim

    Reply
  115. Would love to see the research studies that support your recommendations. Any comments on research showing that delaying the introduction of gluten beyond 7 moths of age increases the risk of celiac disease? What research do you have to support waiting 2 years? If you could send them to me that would be great! I assume you have resources and research to support your very strong statements.

    Reply
  116. Are you kidding me??? You want me to start my kid off on a cholesterol ridden food, then add in the filter out of an animal’s body? And you work for Weston A. Price??? How disappointing. Please read the China Study…my rudeness aside, please read it.

    Reply
    • If you knew anything about WAPF, then you would know that kids NEED cholesterol. While liver may filter toxins, it doesn’t store them, and yes, it is very nutritious. China Study has been debunked before.

      Reply
  117. Both my sons were breast fed and self weaned when they were ready. I had to return to work so I pumped and stored milk and continued to pump as long as possible. When I started to dry up we started adding a goat milk formula (home made similar to the one on the Mercola website but a little different) fortified with various vitamins and minerals. They have both done great on that formula and we had the peace of mind knowing what was in it!

    We did give them egg yolks from our own free range hens as well as banana, advacodo, home made apple/pear sauces as they were ready. They started reaching for our plates around 8 months so they got a little taste of what ever we were having along with their food. I did chew the meats for the boys as needed.

    Both boys are vaccine free and very healthy very active kids!

    Reply
  118. Hi there!

    I was wondering whether some of you have practised chewing food for your babies/children? Seems pretty natural to me, and was the nearly only way to make my baby eat meat.

    I suppose that traditional cultures were doing that and this way you give the baby your bacteria too (I guess that in our sterilised and pasteurized culture that may sound horrifying to some people, but to me it is a good thing :))

    Reply
    • I did that with my kids. Yes, I did get some funny looks from DH and others but I didn’t waver. Neither one of my kids was eager to eat meat so I used that especially for meat but for other food, too.

      Reply
  119. Research shows that breastfed babies should not be given anything but breastmilk before 6 months. Also, baby led weaning is where it’s at!

    Reply
  120. Hi Sarah. I am so thankful to have read some of your articles. I am trying to do my best to transition feeding my baby the better foods for him. Just like most everyone, my pediatrician recommended me to start on cereal and then jarred foods. Now, as I’m researching I’m realizing that is obviously not the right way to go. Besides the egg yolk and raw meat, is there any other foods that I can puree for my baby? He’s almost 8 months old. Are there any vegetables that I should stay away from because they won’t digest very well? Also, he’s starting to get teeth and you mentioned to not give him the teething biscuits, cheerios, etc. What can I give him as snack/finger food that will be nutritious and good for his health?

    Reply
  121. My 11 month old has been refusing egg yolks since 4months do I waited till he was 6 months and to this day he still won’t eat them alone, with sea salt, or liver so I make him a raw milk, banana, egg yolk, berry, and liver smoothie and he eats it like a champ. He still breast feeds primarily but I’m not wasting what little calories he gets from solids on crap like cereal. What a wasted opportunity to get the important fat soluble activators and minerals! Fortunately he thinks cod liver oil is delicious so we don’t have to fight over that one.

    Reply
  122. Great article. I wish I had known all this stuff when we introduced solids to our son. I did know to give him more fat and I was happy when he ate meat…I avoided grains as much as I could but I barely knew why I was doing it. I didn’t know all this stuff. Anyway, I eventually started giving him grains more and I think that contributed to his food issues he has now. Oh, if only I could turn back time!
    Lisa C\’s last post: Wordless Wednesday: Grape Harvest

    Reply
  123. I agree with almost everything that you’re stating on *what* to feed babies. Great advice. However, I strongly disagree with your time frame for introducing solids. I think that 4 months may have worked for your kids but in general is WAY too early for most babies. I cringe when I see people recommending introducing solids so early.

    According to my mother who was a home birth midwife/nurse midwife/labor & delivery hospital administrator for a combined 20+ years, a baby’s stomach lining is not fully formed until around 7 months of age. Prior to that it is not fully capable of properly digesting solids. Some may do ok but the vast majority have issues with gas, constipation, and various other issues. She recommends not introducing any solids until at least 7 months. As a scientist myself I don’t take her word as gospel but most of the reading that I have done backs up her statements.

    And as others have said, babies do not need any nutrition other than breastmilk until at least 1 year of age. As long as the mom is healthy, eating a diverse and nutritous diet, and producing enough milk to satisfy her baby, that’s all that’s needed. :-)

    Reply
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  126. Hi Sarah. My son is 12 months old, breastfed & eats (grain-free) homemade baby food. I plan to breastfeed for at least another year. The babies around him are eating everything that he doesn’t (waffles, breads, nutrigrain bars, fruit juice, you name it!). : ( Boy, is it turning into a challenge, but no worries, mom will not give in. : ) Is there a food guide book/cookbook out there for mom’s in my situation? At this stage, I don’t know what more I should be doing, what he is ready for….less breastmilk, more solids, cows milk, etc. Your help will be so appreciated, Sarah. Thank you.

    Reply
    • I’m not Sarah, but I wanted to chime in with what I did. By 12 months both my boys were pretty much eating anything I was (except for something very spicy which I don’t eat much, anyway). My older breastfed till he was 3 and I’m still BF my younger who just turned 2. You can start introducing anything you’re eating, especially the more nutritious things: fats, organ meats, veggies, etc. Unless there is a history of allergy in the family you are safe. Oh, you might want to wait on nuts.. I think I did till the kids were older though my younger one has been eating nuts for a few months now. JMO…

      Reply
  127. This article has made so much sense of my 6 month old and the trials we’ve had!!
    I am so ready to jump on this with one exeption- I just can’t fathom giving my baby raw meat! I have half a grassfed cow in my deepfreeze and so I have ample opportunity too. I’ve already introduced many organic fruits and veggies with no seen bad reactions, but he recently got sick and has gone back to soley nursing. Should I keep him on strictly breatmilk and start over again? Introduce egg yokes…… Ect?? Help me overcome my fears in feeding him raw meat……!!! Please :)

    Reply
  128. I’m so glad I found this article today! My son is five months old, and he just started eating mashed bananas a few days ago. I had hoped to keep him exclusively breastfed a bit longer, but in addition to an insatiable appetite (eating every two hours, sometimes more, during the day and around four feedings at night), he started grabbing and crying for my food whenever I ate. He can’t get enough of his bananas now. He opens his mouth wide and makes “mmmm” noises after each bite. My gut told me to not start him on rice cereal, and I’m so glad I listened! Thanks for the information! He’ll definitely be trying some egg yolk soon.

    Reply
  129. I was wondering about quinoa as a first food. It doesn’t act like other grains in the body (from what I’ve read) and is loaded with nutrients. I have no kids of my own…yet ,but I am slowly trying to make changes in my lifestyle for overall health and in preparation for that time. Thanks for all your great information.

    Reply
  130. I love this idea and my daughter-in-law is planning on using this plan. But what alternative would there be to start with other than the egg? Some people in our family have egg issues and we are afraid to try it on her. Thank you for any help!

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      You can just do the grated raw liver frozen for 14 days minimum if you like. But, why don’t you try putting a bit of soft boiled egg yolk on her skin first and see if there is a reaction. If not, try just a tiny taste and work from there.

      Reply
  131. Hi Sarah. “Beans are one of the worst choices you could feed a baby”. Are lentils included in this statement? Thank you very much.

    Reply
    • Just wanted to chime in that lentils might be okay. From GAPS perspective lentils are legal (i.e. easier to digest than beans) while only white beans are but both are advanced foods, so should not be introduced if there is digestive trouble. I myself would wait till they’re 12 months or so…

      Reply
  132. Michelle Clapper July 6, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Hi all – I am the mother of twins – they turned one on the 4th of July (which was more a celebration for their father and me) :) My question relates to egg yolk – we got away from feeding this for a while as we were trying other foods (which now I wish I had not) – when we fed him the other day an egg yolk again, he gots red blotches all around his mouth. He did not seem to have any other reaction. We thought maybe it was a fluke so tried it again yesterday and the same thing happened – and we noticed it is specifically where the egg touched his face. Has anyone else seen this kind of reaction to egg yolk – not sure if it is allergic or what. The only signs is the redness – nothing else. Thanks!

    Reply
  133. my now 10 month old baby vomited every single time we tried to give her cereals… it did not matter the type (rice, oatmeal)

    Reply
  134. I loved reading this post! I know it’s been a while since you first posted this so I’m hoping you still can see responses to it..but what would you recommend in the diet of a breastfeeding mom? My son is 3m old..hitting all dev. milestones but is not gaining weight very quickly..non-vaccinated. He falls asleep quickly at the breast and want to nurse constantly. I’d appreciate any suggestions…thank you!

    Reply
    • Sorry – I tried to do this post from my phone and it didn’t post it all. Is there anything you would recommend to help get rotting food out of the gut. I always felt weird about giving my daughter cereal, and she didn’t get very much, but I’m sure it was enough to still be sitting there. :-(

      Reply
  135. I sadly went through a phase when I stopped listening to my grandmothers and started lsitening to the standard food rhetoric. It was really only with the sixth of my ten kids but I was trying to eat “healthier” because of their grandfather’s heart attack. We started drinking skim milk, eating Egg Beaters, dropped butter for canola oil and the like. What happened with my 11 month old baby? Well, an anaphylactic reaction to the Egg Beaters. Seriously.

    All the egg white proteins in there (it’s egg whites, starch, dyes, and preservatives) caused him to have labored breathing, swelling in his throar, hives and needed a ride to the E/R where he needed IV antihistamines, injections of epinephrine and a week to wean off steriods. Not good but better than dead. The allergist told me to stay away from egg whites until my babies are at least two and not to eat store bought baby food. And no store bought breads either to make sure that they were egg free. We ALL went on a serious corrective diet (actually more like what I grew up on) and none of the four kids since have had any trouble. Now my kiddo is six and healthy and can eat egg yolks all day and whites in small amounts in baked goods. Wish I had NEVER seen a carton of Egg Beaters.

    When new mothers ask me how I can be confident in how I feed my kids, I tell them that for thousands of years there was no baby food companies. We thrived throughout the world without instant rice cereal. Mothers need to stop listening to anyone advocating Gerber foods and go back to what women fed babies for thousands of years. Thanks for being a force to be reckoned with, Sarah.
    Melissa @ Dyno-mom\’s last post: Nourishing New Family Traditions

    Reply
  136. Hi Sarah. Despite eating a NT diet for 2 years, I had a premature baby by emergency C-Section at 29 weeks, due to a placental abruption. The baby was a good weight for 29 weeks at 3 pounds 1 ounce (90th percentile, thank you NT!). However, I lost half my blood volume, was in surgery for 7 hours, ended up with a partial hysterectomy to stop the bleeding, and basically almost died. Thankfully, I’m still here. :) Modern medicine does have its place in crisis situations. I’m an older mom, at 41 years old, and we also have a 3 year old.

    I pumped for my baby since day 1, and he was able to be fed breast milk exclusively until he was 3 months old (a few weeks after his due date). He was in the NICU for 56 days, and once they started feeding him by mouth, a few weeks before he came home, the neonatologists said they suspected he had reflux because his heart rate would drop shortly after a feeding. So with no real way to know for sure that he had reflux, they put him on Prevacid (!!!) and started adding 2 tsp. of (you guessed it) rice cereal to every feeding to “weigh the milk down” and hopefully help the supposed reflux. AARRGGHH!!! This was all before he even weighed 5 pounds! Plus they asked us for our consent for HepB before he was “due” and still weighed less than 5 pounds! We declined. No vaccinations for us! They didn’t pressure us at all about our decision, surprisingly enough.

    He came home on Feb. 11th, about 3 weeks before his due date of March 2nd. I quit giving him the rice cereal within 2 days, because I KNEW in my gut it would do more harm than good. I also weaned him off the Prevacid within a few weeks, because again, I knew it was a horrible thing to give him.

    As is the case with a lot of moms in my situation, continued breastfeeding was a struggle, and soon his intake outpaced my production. We never really got actual breastfeeding down, and pumping became too much. I already had the raw milk formula ingredients on hand, since I knew I would never give my baby store bought formula. I so wanted to be successful with breastfeeding, but I transitioned him fully to the raw milk formula about 2-3 weeks ago. The only diffence is that I am using Baby Biotic probiotics sold through the Gaps Diet online store instead of the single strain in the WAPF recipe.

    All this background to say that my son is hugely constipated, with only one bowel movement every 2 – 3 days. He has horrible gas (although it’s getting a little better), and I mostly blame that stupid rice cereal! He was also on antibiotics a few times while in the NICU, in addition to the C-Section, so I’m sure his gut is not in good shape. Do you think in time the constipation and gas issues will resolve, now that he is on a nourishing raw milk formula diet with probiotics? Is there a possibility of long term damage to his gut from about 3 weeks of getting the rice cereal in his feedings? Is there anything else I can or should be doing for the constipation in such a young infant? He is now about 9 – 10 pounds, and 3.5 months old (though only a bit over one month according to his due date). I hate the thought of giving suppositories, but I wonder if it will harm him to go so long between bowel movements. His pediatrician (yes, we have to have one for now becasue he is on a monitor for heart rate and respirations) said it’s not a problem as long as he doesn’t go more than 3 days, but as a mom I know that has got to be pretty miserable for him. Of course I know you’re not a doctor, but I would appreciate any “mom” and NT suggestions you might have in this situation. You’re site is wonderful, and I thank you for getting the truth about diet and other important health issues out there. Finally, I apologize for such a long comment!

    On a good note, we actually have a great pediatrician who is fine with us not vaccinating. So far, at least.

    Reply
    • I would consider taking him to a holistic chiropractor to be adjusted. Preferably a “Maximized Living” chiropractor if you can find one in your area. This could likely stop the reflux. See the book Well Adjusted Babies by Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani.

      Reply
    • Hey, I just wanted to tell you that I was told by my pediatrician (I know…. an evil word around here… :) who is very pro-parent and has never pressured us to vaccinate, etc., that it is normal for a baby at that age to not have regular bowel movements. My oldest son (now 5) went through a long period starting around 4 months old where he only went once a week. His Dr. said he was just very efficient with his food and there was no waste. He was only nursing at this time, so the situation may be entirely different. But I just want to give you an offering of hope that perhaps it’s not a big deal after all. He never showed signs of discomfort, so we didn’t worry about it. Eventually, he started going more often, but we thoroughly enjoyed changing fewer poo diapers :) Anyway, if that doesn’t satisfy you, a suppository-free remedy (also offered by our pediatrician, if we weren’t comfortable not letting him go) was to insert a lubricated q-tip into his rectum about 1/2 inch for a few seconds and it would stimulate his body to “go”. Just beware that it can happen very fast and to be prepared, so you don’t get covered in poo :)
      Myriah\’s last post: The Riddle Family: Expecting!!!

      Reply
    • My first child also was a once a week pooper even though he was breastfed. He was also a very fussy baby but I don’t think it was related to the pooing. When he did go number two, he REALLY went – if ya know what I mean. Hang in there, and keep doing right by your little guy!
      Megan of RojerThat.com\’s last post: Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

      Reply
  137. Sarah,
    We’ve started our son on egg yolk and most recently banannas mashed with a bit of breastmilk or goatmilk formula to thin it out. Is it true that bananna can cause constipation? My son struggled with this early on when we were trying to find a formula he could tollerate. Is there cause for concern if he is eating bananna every night? At 21 weeks what else might I try? Is it too early to start meat and/or other fruits like apples?

    thanks

    Reply
  138. I’m an “old Mom” as my kids are now 35, 33 and 23 — but they were all breastfed (or raw goat milk), started on egg yolks at about 5 months, and went from there to meats and roasted winter veggies (like squash), plus a few green beans and peas tossed in as they acquired a yen for new tastes. One of their favorite foods (all 3 of them) was beets. Mashed beets with a dollop of real butter, a dash of gray salt and sometimes a few drops of breastmilk if things were too thick. Another favorite food for them was mashed avocado with a little gray salt and maybe a squirt of lemon juice.

    All 3 are healthy, active, thin but not too thin adults. They junked it a bit when in high school, but always prefered real food — and I’m sure it’s because that’s what they were used to from the start.

    Reply
  139. Hi Sarah,

    I’ve done everything you’ve written about above for my son who is now 9 months. We went to his 9 month check up yesterday and the Dr was not pleased that he has not gained too much weight since his 6 month check up. My daughter was the same way, very petite and they recommended her to a specialist. My son’s Dr. said to start feeding him grains (which I have not done) which would include rice cereal (I never would!) and cream of wheat (which I will not do). What are your thoughts on a small baby? I feel like I am doing something wrong, everyone critiques me and says that my children are small because they really only eat fruits, vegetables, no sugars, and small bits of meat. I feel pushed and I’m struggling. My son is 28 inches and only 15lbs. I know that his weight in comparison to other baby boy’s will be lower since he has only been breastfed, never formula fed (he still nurses every couple of hours a day) and he never has had any grains. Oh, and he seems to have an egg allergy, which breaks my heart. He gets extremely sick every time I feed him egg yolk. As a mother, I felt that I gave him that allergy by feeding it to him before he was ready (6 1/2 months old). Any advice or input would be great. Thank you!!!

    Reply
    • 6.5 months old shouldn’t be too young to start egg yolks, if your sure you’re removing all the white. He may have a true allergy though. Also, if he wasn’t ready, he would have rejected the egg in some other manner, like gagging or turning his head when the spoon approached his mouth, etc. I would not worry about what a pediatrician has to say. They’re as ignorant as can be, especially about nutrition. They judge babies height, weight and other “milestones” by other babies (which is wrong) and by superfluous charts put out by the baby formula companies (in which most doctors have mega-stock holdings). You should read the book called How to Raise A Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor by Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn, who was himself a pediatrician for 30+ years and now knows the folly of his ways. It’s available at Amazon.com or any book store for a reasonable price. It was written back in 1984 and still has loads of very pertinent and useful information. Mother’s have been hoodwinked for almost 40 years, can you believe it?

      To me, as a mother from way back, a “well baby check” is one of the most ridiculous ideas ever to have made an appearance in the history of babies. Why on earth would anyone take a well baby to the clinic?? It’s the pediatrician’s way of getting you in there so they can vaccinate your baby. Plain and simple. Don’t do it. You are perfectly capable of weighing and measuring your own baby for heaven’s sake! It sounds like you are doing most everything else right, so I would not give it another thought if you baby is healthy otherwise. He’ll eat when he’s ready, you have to keep offering foods to him. Try mashed avocado (mixed with a little breastmilk and some butter and just a smidge of gray salt). Babies love it. All those good fats are essential for growing bodies.

      I learned much of my baby-raising knowledge from my grandparents (yes, the grandfathers contributed much, too) and I don’t regret listening to their advice one bit. It was more useful than anything any doctor ever tried to tell me from the get-go of raising my babies.

      Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist January 31, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      Hi Kristin, of course your children will be smaller than the ones the doctor is seeing all the time as they are all growing too fast for their age and many will end up overweight by age 10 or even earlier. You didn’t mention anything about your diet … You may wish to look at your diet because if what you are eating is high carb and low fat etc your milk will not be nutritious enough for him to gain proper weight. The Mother’s diet is extremely important when it comes to breastfeeding. You need many wholesome fats to produce good milk.

      Reply
  140. Sarah,
    Last evening our 17 week old had his first taste of a soft boiled egg yolk….and we belive based on facial expression and subsequent tastes that he “liked” it. I hate to waste the remainer of the egg but could not eat it soft boiled. I remember eating soft boiled eggs as a child but haven’t done so in years. I’m going to need to acquire a tastes or waste eggs!

    Thanks again for this post – it has been very beneficial.

    Blessings!

    Reply
  141. Thank you so much for posting this!!! I am trying to learn as much as I can about how to best raise my 4 children and eat right myself. I can’t tell you how much this has helped!!

    Reply
  142. I thought of this article this morning. I am a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology and part of our scope of practice is feeding and swallowing disorders. I was in a meeting this morning with fellow clinicians that are working at a preschool with me this quarter- and we were handed a worksheet on the normal feeding milestones of infants. And I quote…Stage 1:-Introducing Solids “Every baby is different, but a rule of thumb is four months. Start with rice cereal; most babies don’t have an allergic reaction to rice. Start with a thin mixture of 1 to 2 T warm breastmilk or formula with 1 to 2 teaspoons of rice cereal.”

    I will certainly not be making this particular recommendation!

    Reply
  143. GREAT article!! Do you know when it would be okay to introduce raw milk? We have a 5 month old. I know the homemade baby formula is made with raw milk, but apart from that is there a timeline for it?

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist January 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      Joanna, use the homemade formula until a full year old and then you can go to straight grassfed raw milk.

      Reply
      • He is breastfed, sorry for the confusion! I totally worded that comment wrong, sorry about that. I meant to ask, while being breastfed, when is the best time to introduce raw milk into his diet? Is there a recommendation for that?
        Joanna\’s last post: NAET Session 16

        Reply
        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
          Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist January 5, 2011 at 11:02 am

          Hi Joanna, you can being to introduce it anytime after your baby is 1 year old. I nursed until my children were 2 so they really didn’t take much in the way of other liquids besides breastmilk until then. Of course they were eating food as well, but breastmilk was their primary liquid until I weaned.

          Reply
    • Babies can have raw goat milk from birth on, if necessary – like if you can’t breastfeed for some reason, or if you prefer a bottle in church rather than breastfeeding in public, or whatever.

      Here’s what Sally Fallon from WAPF has to say about babies and raw cow milk:
      “as with all foods, raw milk must come from healthy cows and be carefully handled and stored. The same technology that we use to pasteurize our milk also allows us to keep raw milk fresh and clean. If you are buying directly from a farmer, be sure that the cows are mostly on pasture and that the barn is kept clean. The milk should go directly from the milking machine into a stainless steel tank or clean containers and be kept chilled. It should be used within a period of one week, after which it will begin to go sour (although it is not dangerous when it does so). With these precautions, raw milk is not only healthy but a safe food for all members of the family, even babies.”

      Taken from this link: http://www.realmilk.com/raw-milk-babies.html

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
      • Do you know when it is ok to give a baby kefir –either from raw or pasteurized milk? My baby is 9 months and I have been giving her homemade yogurt, so I don’t see why homemade kefir would be a problem, but was wondering if anyone had any thoughts. Perhaps kefir made from raw goat’s milk would be ok/better than cow’s milk? I’m looking to supplement my breast milk with something else (besides pumping) when I have to leave her for a few hours. Thanks!

        Reply
  144. Thanks for this post. I really need to look into baby led weaning, etc more. With my son I breastfed for 2.5 years, bu I certainly don’t have a good enough diet to have done that exclusively for long.

    Here in the UK they tell us to wait until 6 months, and not to give egg until a year old! I started with rice like many do. And quickly moved on to veg. I had to mash for a long time because my son did not develop teeth until he was much older.

    I am worried that with my second child I will need to return to work before she is 6 months. I am really concerned about pumping enough milk and convincing the childminder to feed in this way. (I won’t be able to pump at work)

    Rather than plague you with questions about introducing foods I will look for the book you suggested…
    amy@BreadandCircuses\’s last post: Flavourful Fish

    Reply
      • Thanks so much for the reply! :)

        My baby is 7.5 months old and I had already started feeding her the way most people in the US do. I am phasing her into better first foods.

        I found she was very satisfied with the avocado when I tried it this morning. In fact, she ate a smaller portion size than if she would have had jarred fruit and was nice & full.

        Reply
  145. What is wrong with beans that are soaked, etc for babies? Same issue as grains, an enzyme lacking still? Would beans be ok at a year then also?
    I used to grind up beans with the grains and soak them b4 cooking around 9 mos old with my last 2 babies. One was not BF after awhile (I normally BF 2 yrs) and we could not afford to buy the milk and the stuff to make it healthy for human babies, we had to use the WIC formula. So I freaked out about her nutrition being dead milk, can you get any deader than POWDER? I fed her all I could. Thankfully I had been able to BF till 8mos. The other baby, I had poor supply again by 5 mos but I was able to keep up a little, so I kept her on it (she refused a bottle too, no matter what) and again obsessed about her solids. I have PCOS, which is a hormonal disorder; it messed up the hormones controlling milk production too, once the pregnancy stuff wore off. (I always have enough milk for triplets, with these last 2 it just quit tho and I even started my period at like 3 mos old–thats WITH night nursing in bed with me! unbelievable)
    All this to say, they seem fine still and no obesity either. My older babies I just didn’t really feed solids to till around a year, maybe 9 mos tops. But one (21 yrs old) always had a wgt problem of sorts, esp as she got to be an older teen. Interesting.
    I may have another baby and probably will have major, major no-milk/little milk by 6mos again due to my PCOS. So I’m interested in the “early”solids debate still. (to me, early is ANYthing b4 9 mos as I really think breastmilk is proved to be complete till that age, maybe till a yr…and the mom can eat better to cover the bases, such as vit D supplements herself, etc)
    Thanx for the great site!

    Reply
  146. Thank you Sarah! I did not know that and I will check out the eggs at our local dairy and find out if they are pastured or free range.

    Blessings

    Reply
  147. Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Yes, quite a significant difference. Free range hens may or may not be pastured. Pastured hens are hens that have access to pasture where there is lots of dung from grassfed animals – cows, sheep, horses, goats = this dung attracts tons of bugs which the chickens use as their primary source of food. This is a natural as bugs are the REAL food for chickens, not chicken feed. Hens that have access to lots of bugs via unsprayed pasture where grassfed animals are grazing is the best possible scenario for hens and it is where you will get the healthiest, most nutrient dense eggs.

    Reply
  148. Not to be gross, but for me the surefire test to whether my son is digesting anything is what comes out in the diaper. A baby fed grains ends up with grains in his diaper. My little brothers would have whole pieces of corn in there! Clearly it wasn’t getting broken down. When I see pieces of a food in the diaper, I stop giving that food for awhile. From what other moms have said, I hear grains start to be digested well between 18 months and 2 years (based on diaper evidence).

    We are doing baby-led weaning, and I truly believe it’s much better this way — trusting a baby’s instincts as to when he’s ready to reach for food, letting him practice chewing before he swallows anything, and not giving him any food he can’t put in his mouth himself. My son ended up having a lot of food sensitivities, even from my milk, so I’m glad we waited till six months. Eggs are on the list of things that gave him problems (even though he is unvaccinated), so we started with other foods. Ground beef is his top favorite now at eight months old, but he also enjoys shredded turkey, avocado, sweet potato, and pumpkin.

    I definitely second those who have said mother’s milk is all a baby needs till six months. The iron stores he is born with don’t run out till then or later, and the gut is also much more permeable at that age. I think it’s much better to play it safe and wait till six months or a little later, rather than risk food leaking through that permeable gut and causing allergies and other problems.

    Reply
  149. i just have to sace i sooo appreciate this post and everyone’s comments (as well as the entire healthy home enonomist blog!!) As I type this (one handed) I sm breastfeeding our 3 month old son. Already I have family asking when I’m going to start cereal in his bottle because it will help him sleep,ugh!!!!! I will be tryimg the soft boiled egg yolk when the time is right. This gives me a little more confidence to resist the rice!!
    My diet, nor my husbands are where they should be but we are working toward it and i want to start our son off better than we did.

    Reply
  150. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist November 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Hi Melissa, considering that babies barely chew at all prior to getting teeth (my children didn't chew much until well after a year old, salivary amylase would be of no help until chewing occurs. Regarding pancreatic amylase, I would suspect that the 8 months mark that you are pointing to would be for the average baby. Unless you plan to have your child's production of pancreatic amylase tested at 8 months old to see if it is sufficient to digest carbs, then I would recommend taking the conservative approach and waiting until after a year old.

    Reply
  151. Thanks, Sarah. I hope I'm not coming off as being argumentative. I truly appreciate your knowledge on this subject and it has been a great starting point for my own research. The point that salivary amylase will not digest grains is only partially true, since digestion does of course begin in the mouth, where food mixes with saliva and salivary amylase breaks starches down to maltose and dextrose. Of course pancreatic amylase does play an important role, too. I finally found a source that discusses its presence in infants, though it was measured in urine and therefore may not give the whole picture. It's here if you're interested: http://www.springerlink.com/content/q013732151177737/ They found that pancreatic amylase appeared to reach levels comparable to those found in adults at about 8 months of age. Thanks again for your information!

    Reply
    • I realise I’m a bit late here, but for the benefit of others reading I’ll suggest Nina Planck and particularly her book “Real food for mother and baby” as an appropriate resource. She specifically discusses timing of first foods and why grains need to wait, and (to me at least) does it in a non-preachy way.

      Reply
      • I really appreciate the comments in this section. I too am looking for scientific studies to bring to my pediatrician. My intuition says that grains/high carbohydrate foods are a poor choice for a baby, especially from a blood sugar standpoint, but that doesn’t mean anything to the doctor. I have read multiple blogs that mention the lack of amylase in babies. Most of them either point to the nourishing traditions chapter which does not offer a footnote to support that claim, or they just state it as fact without any source at all. That information must have come from somewhere; I doubt Sally Fallon made it up. :-)
        The links above are a helpful start. If anyone has run across additional information, I’d love to see it posted here!

        Reply
  152. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist November 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Melissa, production of salivary amylase is not going to digest carbs for your child. The amylase production we're talking about here is in the GUT, not the mouth. The absolute best books I've ever seen on how to feed babies are Nourishing Traditions Cookbook (this an entire chapter on this) and Nutrition and Physical Degeneration which outlines how the children of healthy, traditional cultures ate. First foods were ALWAYS animals foods (liver, meat, eggs etc), then fruits/veggies. Grains were always LAST if ever. Grains and starches are the most difficult foods to digest. Children who eat them too early even if high quality are prone to allergies and obesity later on. The obesity sometimes doesn't set in until age 9 or 10 so the detrimental effects don't show up until years later in some cases, although fat toddlers is becoming quite common these days due to the high grain diet that babies are weaned on.

    Reply
  153. Hi Sarah, thanks for your reply. I'm still looking for sources that support this information, however, and would be very interested to read any you may point me to. Of course the avoidance of such refined starches as those you mention is important, but everything I am finding on infant amylase production suggests that by 6 months or so, infant levels of salivary amylase are comparable to those of adults (see this study, for example: http://www.ajcn.org/content/39/4/584.full.pdf)and therefore that there is no contraindication for the avoidance of carefully prepared, high quality grains in the healthy infant of six months or older. I definitely want to consider all of the facts in making decisions regarding my infant's diet, so any other resources you can recommend are much appreciated!

    Reply
  154. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist November 18, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Melissa, babies all develop at a different rate but generally speaking after 1 year you can begin giving soaked, sprouted, or sourleavened grains to toddlers with no ill effect. I would forgo any modern wheat products like refined carbs (goldfish, cheerios etc) for as long as possible though I realize the child will come across it at some point at a party or whatever. These products should NEVER be in your home.

    Reply
  155. Thank you for the great information! I receive regular scolding from my 8 month olds pediatrician for not having offered her rice cereal, and I don't intend to give in to that. I have yet to introduce grains of any kind, and am struggling with the decision of when to do so, but need more information to convince my husband to wait as well. Do you have any sources, or anything you recommend that I read and share with my husband and the pediatrician regarding amylase production at different ages and stages of infancy and early childhood, etc.?

    Reply
  156. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Grace, egg yolk starting around 4-6 months, banana is great around 6 months as it has a lot of amylase in it (the enzyme for carbohydrate digestion). Most babies don't produce much of this enzyme on their own until about 10 months.

    Reply
  157. Excellent article! We decided to not give our 9 month old any grain products until she's well over a year old and it's been difficult to deal with family/friend's questions (and rude comments) about our resolution. Lately, I've been wavering a bit in my mind about the subject (those teething biscuits and melting puffs look oh so appealing and convenient!), but you post was so encouraging and reaffirmed our decision to wait on the grains.

    How do you prepare your egg yolk? Do you boil the egg (shell on) and then scoop it out (nourishing traditions way)? or is there an easier way of doing it? Also, why are beans such a bad choice for baby if they are prepared the right way (soaked overnight, etc.)? At what age can baby have beans?

    We do most of our shopping at our local farmer's market and buy pastured meat, etc. (follow nourishing traditions diet, etc.). I noticed in NT when we were first debating when to start giving our daughter foods (and then in your post as well) that we should wait till 10 months to start on pureed foods- why? Is the only thing you recommend giving them until 10 months egg yolk?

    I struggled with the 10 month timeline because our daughter started reaching for (and clearly enjoying) food around 6 months. She loves banana and avocado and pureed meat (with homemade stock). I've read a variety of different books on the topic and opinions are so conflicting about when to introduce solids to your child. We've pretty much tried to pay attention to our daughter's signals and only give her nutritionally sound food when she is interested (as well as making sure I'm getting nutritionally sound food as well since she is still breastfeeding all the time).

    Thanks!

    Reply
  158. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 6, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Beans are one of the worst choices you could feed a baby. A soft boiled egg yolk may gross you out (not sure why?), but it is the right food for baby at that young age. No plant food would come close to being as digestible or nutritious. Don't rely on your own reasoning here as the results could be disastrous in the long run. Traditional cultures have way more understanding on this.

    Reply
    • I just gotta say something: Although the ideas on your blog are enticing, and many FEEL like good advice, the authoritarian voice with a lack of proof or sources leaves me feeling wary. More sources, and not just anecdotes, would be an improvement to this site.

      Also, on another page (comments now closed), you talk about the low probability of contracting a debilitating disease as a reason to not immunize. Isn’t it uncommon to contract these diseases because they have been almost eradicated by immunizations?!

      Reply
  159. This is very interesting, and I appreciate the info. I really don't want to feed egg yolk to my baby though. We have a history of allergies in the family, and eggs is a very common allergen (not just the white). I also think it's gross. I'm not a vegetarian, just grossed out by many animal foods. What about beans? Would smooshed beans be a good first food, since they have protein, or are they too starchy?

    Reply
  160. I know this comment is a long time after you posted this article, but I hope you will be able to read it. I just wanted to say thanks for all of the great information it has helped me a ton! I also have a question regarding what to do after you have followed modern medicine and it has caused problems with your child. I have a two year old that is starting to have some serious health issues that I think have been caused by following modern medical advice such as giving him vaccinations and feeding him the standard American grain filled diet. He has always had many allergies and now I think is about to be diagnosed with juvenile rhematoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder. You said in your article that going gluten free would not solve anything for autoimmune disease. Does this mean that if I can put him on a completely grain free diet it might reverse or stop the damages? Then help his gut to heal and possibly have a chance at being normal? There is so much on the internet and I'm just trying to digest it all and weed out the correct information. I'm sure you do not want to give medical advice, but if you could point me in the right direction I'm willing to do what it takes. Thanks for this great website.
    Monica

    Reply
  161. Stephanie B. Cornais August 12, 2010 at 3:13 am

    My daughter is 9 month's old today and she LOVES egg yolk. I feel like she would eat three a night if I kept feeding her. We do baby led weaning, so egg yolk is the only thing I actually spoon feed her. So I just give her one a night. Should I be giving her more? Or maybe give her one at each meal? She really only eats dinner but its starting to want to pick at my breakfast and lunch meals.

    P.S. I am in LOVE with your site. Its been such a help so far. I have been slowly, but surely, incorporating WAP and traditional foods into our life, but only having the NP cookbook to go off has been intimitading. After seeing your Kombucha video, I finally had the guts to order a scoby and stop buying it (not that I can right now anyway).

    Reply
  162. Anonymous, you don't say WHICH island you're on. How much of your food supply can you shorten to your own doorstep? Tomatoes and zucchini will grow almost anywhere. Get chickens, and feed them table scraps and let them forage for grubs and grass so their eggs will be nourishing. Does anyone around you have a backyard pig? Can you buy a share in it to get a piglet, or half the meat when the sow is butchered? Backyard animals generally eat better than (industrially) farmed animals.
    Being in a remote location means that your diet will not be as varied as it could be, but people have lived on very monotonous diets for millenia and survived.
    Check out the GAPS diet for all three of you.

    Reply
  163. I find every ones post so informative and interesting and so very scary . I have a 3 moth old baby and I was asking my self what In the wold I am going to feed him here on this Forsaken Island when time comes for solids. There is NO ,I REPEAT NO organic food here ,let alone grass fed hens. All food available has been imported from the US and because of the cost ,no one bother to import anything Organic ,because the regular food here cost 3 times more than the Organic one in the US .I have 8 y.o w/t Autism and feeding him is a nightmare ,He is extremely picky and his diet is so limited. Of course the little one is not vaccinated and I was and am determent to breast feed as long as I can . The baby is only breast fed ,but MY diet is horrible (not by choice ) I also live w/t my In Laws and On a daily basis am criticized that don't give the baby water and formula. I can find eggs and liver here,but they are w/t horrible quality and the veggies are like You are chewing on a rubber ! They have NO juice in them . If it is Not for Rice and potatoes My oldest will starve him self to death .My diet on the other hand Is what ever My Oldest don't eat from his plate and PB& J sandwiches and Oats and some Pesticides Fool Fruits if I can afforded ,For comparison One Apple here is minimum of a $1 one pear is minimum of $2 and so on ! This days I feel ,like I have a reaction from just about anything I put in my mouth ,so it is obvious that I have GI inflammation and need to be on a strict diet ,just as My older son .I have little bit of Probiotics w/ch I save for My 8 y.o. So there is No way I will take his Supps .No Organic yogurt here .I can go on and On .
    So ladies ,Please advice me what to do ! How and w/t what exactly to feed the little one when time comes .He has good appetite and is a chunky baby (unlike his brother ) But My milk gives him colics sometimes and I hate to see him cry and it is all my fault (what I eat fault )

    Reply
    • Make your own yoghurt and grow your own greens even indoor in pots if you have to. It is easy and good for you

      Reply
  164. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist July 17, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Contact your WAPF Chapter Leader and he/she should have a list for you of local egg producers.
    westonaprice.org

    Reply
  165. Beautiful post. I've been trying to find organic, pasture eggs for so long, but without success. There is always corn and/or soybean included – even at the Farmers Markets. Any recommendations for L.A./Ca?

    Reply
  166. I meant to add that, as far as baby-led solids go, in addition to not pureeing anything (if baby can't eat it in a simply fork-mashed version of its regular form, that tells me he's not ready yet), I also will not spoon-feed anything.

    I'll put it on a spoon and let him put it in his mouth and decide how much he wants to chew and/or swallow, but I do not "feed" it, and do not under any circumstances play the airplane game. :)

    Reply
  167. I love this post, and agree with the vast majority of it – but I have to say something about the baby-feeding style.

    I think that biology shows us clearly that babies are meant to get only mother's milk for most of the first year, and mostly mother's milk for most of the second year. The patterns of most babies naturally raised & naturally fed show this – I could talk forever about it.

    But the problem with this is the mother's diet, as you mentioned. I followed my children's cues, and they nursed exclusively for at least 9mo, and still nursed for most of their nutrition until 18mo, and weaned on their own at around 2.5yr.

    But their cavities – OH!!! Each one was worse, till my fourth child's four front teeth wore to the gumline before I could stop it – and he was eating no sugar, grains, or fruit. It was MY sugar-laden diet that deprived him.

    Still – the children's cues and instincts are clear. They want and need to be nursed, w/o solid foods, for a very long time. The answer is clearly to nourish the *mother*. And I strongly believe that a well nourished mother need not and SHOULD NOT offer solids to her baby before at least 7-8 months.

    Yes, a 6 month old grabs food and shoves it in his mouth – just as he does with forks, glasses, sticks, paper, and for one of mine, a picture of the Pope! This doesn't mean he wants to eat.

    My answer is to let him chew on non-edible things, b/c that always makes him happy and proves he just wawnts to chew (not swallow), then between 7-9 months, offer something small & nutrient-dense. I never puree anything, in my opinion, his ability to eat it indicates his readiness to eat it.

    (Now, if a smaller child wasn't happy with chewing on a spoon, ever, would it be fine to offer a bit of egg yolk earlier and see what he does with it? Sure. But I wouldn't recommend *encouraging* him to eat it if he wasn't interested at four months old. Yikes.)

    So grassfed liver or pastured egg yolk or fermented cod liver oil is our first food offered, but much later than you recommend, and never pushed or even "encouraged," but if the child swallows it and asks for more, I let him. And if not, I might see if he wants it 3 or 4 weeks later. I had one child who chewed on things for half an hour, but refused to swallow anything until he was 12 months old.

    I believe that the best solution is to follow the child's lead AND nourish the mother, so that the benefits of baby-led solids, natural weaning, AND nutrient-dense foods for both baby and mother are all realized. This includes the natural child spacing of 2.5-3.5 years that WAP observed in the societies he researched.

    In the case where the mother is poorly nourished and won't or can't improve her diet quickly enough, I would probably encourage your techniques at 6 months, and introduce solids more regularly, encouraging more of them, even while continuing to try to increase maternal nutrient intake so that solids need not be so important so early.

    Reply
  168. Some good info, thought I'd add a bit of my experience so far. My son never drank juice until around 2 he was completely happy with just water, so I'd say just start with water and don't focus on juice at all if you can help it.

    Also with my daughter I decided to forgo pureed foods and also wanted to nurse her as long as she was happy with just nursing and didn't want to "force" her eating solids…I am not in any rush to wean her and mom's milk actually DOES have everything they need…your milk changes to suit their needs, and even if mom doesn't eat a "perfect" diet her milk will be fine, it will just take more of a toll on mom's body. I'd like to see the research that states that mom's milk is not sufficient for her baby past 6 months..I have yet to see conclusive evidence of this…other than the standard "knowledge" that pediatricians pass off as science/fact (just like the rice cereal info you talked about). Also mom's milk has the perfect amount of nutrients plus their liquid fulfillment as well so a breastfed baby rarely should need fluids other than breast milk even up to a year…the water (and purees) is only taking the PLACE OF breast milk in their body, not adding to it…because they will drink less and less, and eventually will wean…and study after study shows that babies should be drinking mom's milk AT LEAST for a year minimum but 2+ is even more beneficial for them.

    My daughter is 11 months and just eating a few bites of things that we eat, in normal form, no purees and blending/mashing etc…I had (and still do at 4 yrs old) a hard time getting my son to transition from purees to normal foods. Baby may want to eat more often, but sometimes it's just for a quick drink in between longer meals…and if she's in a growth spurt she might fuss a bit if she's wanting more, you just keep nursing her and your supply will jump the next day or two. Also continuing to feed at night is important for exclusive nursing as that is a huge portion of their intake as well, so if you aren't nursing at night it would be hard to maintain an exclusively breastfed baby past 6 months, unless you nurse 8-10 times a day. Since 6 months we've been nursing about 4-5 times during the day and 2-3 times at night, during growth spurts sometimes and extra feed in the day and 1-2 at night. and to add, my son was always tiny, my daughter is a chunky thing, and neither are ever sick, no ei's or colds or flu. :)

    http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/delay-solids.html

    Rachel J…did your friend vaccinate her child? One of the common ingredients in vaccines is egg and egg embryos, and that is injected into the blood stream so it's very possibly that could have played a roll in her allergy to egg. We don't vaccinate so I have no problem giving my little ones eggs, yolks specifically.

    Reply
      • Of course you won’t, dear! That’s because of all the evidence against you! Vaccinations have been linked to so many horrible things, of course you can’t say anything besides “won’t even go there.” I’m sure your also eating a pretty S.A.D. diet, and you blindly follow whatever else the mainstream media/government/medical establishment tells you. Maybe one day you will start asking questions and making decisions for yourself.

        Reply
      • not at all. Vaccination is an abomination. I was a victim of this barbaric practice. You are quite simply wrong.

        Reply
    • Vaccines are NEVER injected into the blood stream. How do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you can’t even get your facts right? Oh, that’s right because you’re not interested in the facts. If you were you would do the responsible thing and immunise both yourself and your children but it is far easier to believe in conspiracy theories than it is to educate yourself.

      Reply
  169. I didn't know any better with my first, and she had rice cereal at 4 months — and a ton of allergies. We worked through a period of gluten-free, then grain-free, then GAPS, and now as long as she has sprouted grains and raw dairy she is fine. She is 2. My son had tiny tastes of meat and eggs starting around 6 months, and started to actually "eat" around 8 months. At 10 months now he'll eat just about anything. We really don't offer him grains, though he's occasionally stolen a bite of his sister's sprouted items. Oh well. He didn't get any until 10 months and then it was properly prepared, and I don't "feed" it to him. Mostly he enjoys eggs, guacamole (that's a favorite!), any meat, plain homemade yogurt, and is starting to eat some veggies. He had trouble with fruits/veggies for a long time, too rough for him to digest. Meat/dairy was definitely best (and ironically, he had all kinds of problems with dairy through my milk at birth!).

    I tell everyone this sort of thing (I've blogged about it too), but most just think I'm overly cautious and a little crazy, even in the alternative world. Someday….

    Reply
    • thanks for the article. I was sold on not using rice cereal when I first read this post back in May (I was 5 month pregnant then). Now, our little fellow is 3 1/2 months and as we look toward “solids” I re-read this and also your link to the article. This is also helpful ammo for those in the family that think rice cearal is the absolute only way to go. “you had rice cereal and you’re just fine” ugh!

      thanks again!

      Reply
  170. In theory I love the idea of starting off with egg because a pastured egg IS such a wonderful source of nutrient-dense food. However, having a friend who's child has an anaphylactic allergy to egg makes me a little nervous about this suggestion. She exclusively breastfed her child until he showed signs of wanting food (older than 6 months) and offered lots of veggies/meats, none of the typical SAD baby diet foods. This appears to be his only food-related issue. Given the damage done to so many people and by default, their children as well (even if they have taken care to really cut out processed foods, sugar and take other measures to have a healthy pregnancy) by GMO foods, processed and conventional foods, I hesitate to recommend egg as an early food for babies.

    I do think that liver is an excellent first choice and I gladly added that to my little one's avocado or chicken.

    Reply
  171. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist May 14, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks for the input, Wendy. I agree that you should never force the child to eat and as long as the baby is happy nursing, no need to mess with that. It is a good idea to give them a taste of the egg yolk, though, to see if they might actually be interested starting around 4-6 months.

    Reply
  172. I agree with Bambi. As a lactating mom of a almost three year old, I'd say the best food for babies is mommy's milk. There is no need to introduce solids until the child shows interest in solid foods and can sit up on their own. It is recommended that infants are exclusively breastfeed at least for 6 months, but ideally for one year. If your infant is spitting up food that you actively put in their mouths it is because the have not developed the ability to swallow and process foods other than mother's milk and the regurgitating is a natural defense mechanism against the introduction to solid foods too early. There is no evidence to support the need to supplement your infant's diet with anything other than breast milk. If you are worried about the nutritional content of your milk, supplement your own diet with whole foods and that will take care of any problems. Unfortunately, our society and work places don't often support breastfeeding families and exclusively breastfeeding can be an extreme challenge. Contact your local La Leche League or breastfeeding group for support and ideas. While breastfeeding can seem like a hurdle, it really is only for a short duration in regards to your child's life time. It is also much cheaper and less work than feeding and cleaning all of those dishes! However, Sarah's input on the types of food to introduce to your food-curious little one is fantastic!!!

    Reply
  173. Bambi, there comes a point, LONG before the age of 2, where Baby switches from nursing quietly in the sling while Mama eats with her other hand (with enough practice, one can even handle chopsticks this way) to grabbing the food on Mama's plate and stuffing it into his or her mouth. That's when it's time to start feeding them regular food in addition to nursing. With both of my kids, this happened at about 6 months–right around the same time they became able to sit up in a non-reclining wooden high chair without propping.

    Reply
    • I’m sorry, but just because a baby can grab food off a plate, doesn’t mean that they are ready to eat it. Babies grab EVERYTHING! And everything goes straight to their little mouths to suck on. This includes anything that is within their reach. I have just never understood the argument you have. The majority of babies will get everything they need from breast milk. If the mother has a good diet. (That is not necessarily defined by only eating raw, organic foods either…)

      Reply
  174. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist May 13, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    This posted this morning on the WAPF Chapterleader discussion board from Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I appreciate your feedback, Sally!

    "Excellent article. I like the way you introduce the egg yolk. A key
    reason for giving egg yolk is Choline." Sally

    Reply
  175. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist May 13, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Bambi, yes, I would introduce food even if the baby is nursing full time because the vast majority of Moms do not have a good enough diet to supply all the baby needs past about 6 months. Table food is fine (I fed my babies soft boiled egg yolk from my own plate) but only if the table food consists of what the baby should be eating in the first place (meat, nonstarchy veggies cooked in butter, non citrus fruits). I prefer to puree the food as it is so much easier for the baby to digest as they can't chew very well until almost 2 years old when they have some molars and food that is not chewed well contributes to pathogenic activity in the gut. I weaned my first 2 children at age 2 (parent led) as I did not want to be pregnant and nursing as I thought it would possibly take nutrition away from the growing fetus and I just didn't want to take any chances with that. My third weaned herself at about 3 1/2.

    Reply
    • I have to disagree with your statement that moms cant provide enough nutrition in their breastmilk past six months. I breastfed twins with no solids till 7 months, and i had to really entice them to eat solids even then. they were not interested and were growing well, never sick etc.

      Reply
      • I also disagree. I exclusively breastfed my daughter until 10 months and then introduced solids very slowly. She was and is one of the healthiest kids I know.

        Reply
    • I wanted to mention it is perfectly safe for a well nourished mother to nurse through pregnancy. It is also safe for a well nourished mother to nurse both an infant and a toddler.

      Reply
      • Agreed. I breastfed my twins exclusively for 9 months before introducing avocados and bananas. They were doing great!

        Reply
    • hi sarah, nonstarchy veggies is a big surprise to me, i have visited a lot of real foodie mom’s sites and as they also suggest egg yolks, liver, fish eggs etc instead of rice cereal, they also promote sweet potatoes, carrots and pumpkins, why do you not suggest it?

      Reply
    • I will disagree as well! It has always been food for fun before 1! There is no food that can replace the nutrition of breast milk! Babies have a virgin gut, which means it is open directly to the blood stream till 6-12 months! This is for easy and fast absorption of fats and nutrients. the amount of food baby would eat before a year would NEVER benefit baby more then the fats, calories and nutrients in breast milk. My children have not eaten first foods being avocado (because of the healthy fats) and sweet potato till 11-18 months and have always been super healthy and chunky. You should be reminding moms to continue on a whole food prenatal supplement and to not exercise of be concerned with weight loss till after baby is weaned. I have nursed while pregnant and tandem nursed while pregnant. I can assure you that all of us were fine! I got my prenatals and extra calories. By you saying babies should be eating these things to early is no different then the dr’s saying it trying to “supplement” nutrition instead of teaching good eating habits and the things mama needs in her diet while nursing. Eggs are EXTREEMLY allergenic and more so since vaccines came out, I would never give eggs till proly after 2 years or more if at all. Healthy fats like coconut full fat milk/cream and avocado and greens and fruits all fresh are the best most nutrient dense foods available! Eating your nutrients through a third source, through an animal is silly. Eating things raw is the best way to get the enzymes for easy digestion! We need enzymes in our diet. You CAN NOT get proper nutrition without enough raw foods daily. Even little oens who can’t chew or might choke on say Kale can get it through a smoothie. Also you do not mention that eating foods to soon can cause allergies due to the virgin gut! That babies born via C-section do not have all the good gut flora since they did not pass and gain flora from mama. Also that the American Academy of Pediatrics now firmly says that NO foods should be given till 6 months of age and breastmilk or formula (they are still learning lol) should be babies main source of food till a year. You also did not mention that the reason baby cereal was invented is to introduce iron to babies. When formula was pushed and said to be better then breast milk in the 50′s babies got low iron from not being breastfed so they cam with this great idea that they would feed rice cereal fortified with iron…BUT it NEVER WORKED!!!! Sadly it backfired but of course manufactures wouldn’t say that! This article could of been WAY better with more in it! Just cause the person writes that she gave egg yolks and 4-6 months makes it healthy right…so we all should do it right….haha, I think you ought to stick to the logistics and how babies gut works and what it needs not supplementing due to poor diets, and what she does!

      Reply
      • Unless you can chew, regurgitate, chew again, regurgitate, chew again and then pass your food through three stomachs…you are not capable of breaking down raw food for optimal digestion. I used to think raw was best too and did my best to eat everything raw. Then I found out my thyroid was misbehaving and started to do more research into this topic of raw food. Turns out, we’re not ruminants therefore for optimal digestion our food must be slightly broken down in order for us to digest it properly. Not to mention the fact that most people do not have the strong digestive systems to do the kind of work that it would take to break down and assimilate raw anything.
        doyouhave3stomachs?\’s last post: Magnesium

        Reply
  176. Why would you introduce any table food at all if the baby is nursing full time? Why wouldn't you continue nursing until the child weans itself naturally?

    Reply
  177. Great blog, Sarah, and so dear to my heart. I would put grass-fed/pastured lamb and chicken livers (as well as lamb broth) up there on the list as well. Even more important, keep your baby at the breast until 2yrs old. Consider rearranging your priorities and finances to stay home with your babies/kids indefinitely. You will never regret it. :-)

    Reply
  178. Jamie and Trey + One May 13, 2010 at 3:08 am

    I am so glad I got to meet you on Sunday. This post is so helpful and answered all of my questions. Thanks for the shout out :)

    Reply
  179. Sustainable Eats May 12, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    I run a reflux website (http://www.pollywogbaby.com) and completely concur. The first thing the doctor does is advise to add rice cereal to the bottle and suddenly the baby isn't spitting up as much but is constipated and has horrible gastric distress then the mother who tried to pump in order to have something in a bottle to add the rice cereal to switches to non-allergenic formula and discontinues pumping.

    The one thing I would add to this is any eggs given to a child that young should be from chickens that are not fed corn or soy and should be organic. Non organic feeds are almost entirely GM corn or soy which I believe is part of the reason for the rise in autoimmune disorders as well. All we eat is food made from GM corn or soy or food that was fed GM corn or soy and is therefore GM corn or soy.

    If you are pregnant the best thing you can do is switch entirely to organic foods and get your own chickens so that by the time the baby comes your chickens are laying and second nature for you to care for.

    Reply
  180. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist May 12, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Fantastic, Amy Lee! Your daughter will thank you on bended knee one day for your early vigilance with her diet, I have no doubt.

    Reply
    • Hi,
      I’m 35 weeks pregnant, first baby, 41 years old. Currently on bedrest with short cervix. I’m a fairly healthy, clean eater. A good friend referred me to you site. I have loads of questions. I would love help. I am single in the journey right now, and the folks in proximity to me that may help me the first 3-6 months are not into integrative health. I am gluten free and even find it challenging at times. I want to have a healthy baby and infant and toddler. But I have limited resources. I don’t eat liver so I don’t think I’ll be giving her liver. In fact, I JUST reintroduced grass fed beef into my life 2 weeks ago, after having stopped eating beef 20 years ago. I also do not eat pork. I eat mainly seafood and lentils for protein and eggs….I’m feeling a bit confused as to what else baby should eat at 4 months besides milk and egg yolks. I know the doc will say rice milk. Will just an egg yolk fill her up. and how often does a baby eat/drink just milk after the first 3 months? I wish there was a chart of what babies can eat for each trimester of the first 1 year. Also, If grains are not to be introduced until after 1 years old, what are replacement, healthier snacks instead of cheerios and bread?:-)) I’m a newbie in all of this. But I’m in the middle. Mainly b/c I feel I don’t have the resources or support or enough research on benefits of everything. If I can get some simple basic ideas/tips that I can use for the first 3 months of my baby’s life and then the next 3 months that would be so helpful. Again, I’m new to this. :-)

      Reply
  181. THANK YOU!!! My sister in law insisted on giving me a box of rice cereal for my baby. When I got home, I looked at that and wondered, 'How can this be good for my baby?' So it still sits in my cupboard, unopened. She does like steamed veggies of all sorts and she does like eggs too.

    Reply

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