Food / Nutrition

Feeding a Creative Mind – Part I: What to Feed Baby

Everyone has a specific belief about food. From “Everything in moderation” to “Strict Raw Vegan” there’s a specific niche that each person chooses to suit their lifestyle. This is great when we are old enough to understand the cause and effect of food in = performance of body. But how do we make these decisions for our kiddos?

I, for one, know that an occasional night of drinking will equal two days of payment. But do I still do it?

You bet I do.

I feel fine making this decision for myself knowing that I am ok with the consequences. However, I would not make this decision for my daughter. I want to fuel her with as much healthy food as I possibly can and enable her to have a high functioning, properly fueled system with which she can make her own decisions (eventually) about what she wants to eat.

Until weening, I believe that the best thing for a kiddo is to be fed. If you have the opportunity to breast-feed, even a little bit, I believe the science is there to confirm the benefits of breastmilk over formula. I am lucky enough to be able to exclusively pump for my daughter – we never got the hang of breastfeeding exclusively, so we breastfeed when we can and I pump the rest of the time. We supplement with formula for those days where I don’t make enough to keep her satisfied. That’s what works for me. I have friends who wouldn’t let a drop of formula touch their kids lips and I also have friends who chose not to breastfeed. It’s what worked best for them. And you know what – they both have really happy, healthy kids. My question is – what do you do when it’s time to introduce food?

I have a really sensitive system when it comes to carbs and sugar. If I have a day where I eat something sweet in the morning (hello French Toast with syrup and butter – YUUUMMMMM… and yes I capitalized French Toast because I care about it that much.) I will pay for it the rest of the day. But some days it’s worth it. Similar to my opinion about binge drinking, I don’t want my kiddo to have to pay for my decisions about her food. There seems to be a ton of rice cereal products that are packaged for convenience.  But if I were to eat these products, I would feel sluggish, irritable and just plain crappy in general by the afternoon. Not to mention the constipation and bloating. The list goes on. So what should we do to give our kiddos the very best?

I loved this article by Momtastic Wholesome Baby Food that talks about the foods that the WHO (World Health Organization) suggests as the best to give your baby. Lots of these work great, but what about when you are out and about and need some food in a pinch? I noticed that Cheerios and Puffs were not on the list, so I dug a little further. I found another excellent article at Be Well Health and Wellness about what is actually in all of those baby puffs that I see on the grocery store shelves. These are all of the things in the foods that I typically crave (cheerios with banana anyone?!) but usually make me feel like crap. It’s not to say that we won’t ever give these to her in a pinch, but as the article says, now I know that it’s actually more of a treat than an actual healthy snack.

So what do we do instead? There are dozens of sites and books available that provide easy recipes for baby. I especially love the ones you can make ahead of time. This is my current favorite recipe book as I plan to get started on solid foods in the next few weeks. I plan on making time each week to cut up bite sized treats and freeze them so I can thaw and enjoy as needed.

We aren’t there yet – our daughter is only 5 months. But I already envision myself having a little mini-cooler in the car so I can bring healthy snacks in the car. In my research, I also ran into this great article from the Science of Mom. I had no idea that breast milk is so low in iron!?! I loved the detail on the hypothesis on why our breastmilk is so low in iron. While there are a ton of iron rich foods that we can make for baby, as this article again from Momtastic Wholesome Baby Food states, if I am to select a puff or snack, I’ll definitely select one that is iron fortified.

It seems I could go on and on about this topic. I’d love to hear what worked for those of you who opted to trade puffs for other types of snacks. I sense more on this topic later.

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