HOW TO GET YOUR BABY USED TO THE WORLD OF FOOD
Babies have 'brand-new' systems and for that very reason we parents find ourselves hesitant as to how exactly start.
As a rule of thumb, it's nice to work your way up from easily digestible to more complex foods.
People also ask, when is the right time to introduce foods to a baby. Well, it's a decision between you and baby! Say you've been breastfeeding and the logistics of your life require some changes, or - you notice baby being hungrier and needing something more solid! Digestive enzymes are put in place all the while and baby could be ready for food any time from 4 - 6 months, choose later if you can, opt for earlier if you must.
FRUIT is really only distilled water, natural sugars and enzymes - very digestible! The problem with fruit only for a long while is that baby may become so used to the lovely sweetness that s/he wants nothing else. A suitable sweetness for baby is the sweetness of 'freshly baked bread'. Try out one item at a time and - this brings out the scientist in you - watch baby's digestive cycle to check for any intolerances. Choose fruits that are Mother Nature's ready-made baby foods - mushable without having to cook them, e.g. banana and paw-paw. (Raw fruit creates alkalinity, cooked fruits acidity.)
Alternate fruit meals with VEGETABLE meals - choose sweet, starchy veg, e.g. butternut, carrot, sweet potato. To make babies' veg taste fab, add little additions of ghee, or a pinch of veg stock powder, or a drop of olive oil, or a drop of BRAGGS (salt-free seasoning) or a dollop of goat's cottage cheese, or some avo, or, a bit later, almond, cashew or macadamia nut butter or tahini.
The 8 months age is often a time when more complex foods are suggested. The maturing of your child’s digestive system is paralleled by the cutting of teeth! Offer starches and proteins and make your decision based on how you experience your baby’s needs for nutrition.
Millet flour and rice flour are excellent for soft porridge. (We stone-grind flours on our factory premises and in the Bryanston store; ask for organic brown rice!)
Bring 1/2 c water to a boil.
Stir 1/2 c flour with 1/2 c cold water.
Add into the boiling water. Close the pot.
Let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.
You can add a bit of ghee and a touch of barley malt or certified organic rice malt.
Rice, or barley, or potatoes can be mushed with veg, or with softly cooked lentils.
Steam some tofu along with your veg and puree the lot.
Add almond, cashew or macadamia butter or tahini to the veg for some added protein.
A really beautiful blend is equal parts of banana and avo, though this sounds strange it is really good.
Make the food tasty - you're probably going to find yourself eating part of it, too!
When baby struggles to sleep through - and you haven't had an uninterrupted night for months - leave the porridge for the evening and serve the fruit in the morning! Starches stimulate serotonin production and are therefore calming, whilst fruit gives energy for when you can utilise it – in the morning!
Often babies have a greater appetite before they engage in a growth spurt or new developmental phase – as if they were fattening up for the work of growing!
When our baby suffers, we suffer - and it is quite natural to run to the doctor to put us out of our shared misery - quick!
Bear in mind though that some of the allopathic medications can be a bit too overcompensatory for baby's soft, new system - kind of like an AK47 to kill a moskito.
Here are some gentle baby-specific options that you may find a use for often:
COLDS & ‘FLU - baby can't drink - from breast or bottle. Crush and dissolve a tablet of Ferrum Phos tissue salt with a drop of filtered water, give on a spoon up to 5x a day.
SLEEP - 5 drops Avena Sativa in a little water will help a baby six months or older to sleep.
FEVER - Belladonna D6
TEETHING - WELEDA Teething Drops. Yogi Tea is a combination of ginger, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon & cloves and is mildly analgesic. Weak yogi tea with milk and honey (dissolve it in the HOT tea) goes down well. Give your baby pieces of dried mango to chew on – they are very handy in a little fist.
RUNNY TUMMY - Detoxinol is medicinal charcoal powder that 'binds' a runny tummy. Mix it with a bit of water and offer it to the little one on a spoon. Or use Digestodoron Drops. When baby has had a course of antibiotics, use the up-to-one year's specific colonic flora called INFANTIFLORA and for older-than-one-year's use KIDDIE FLORA.
CRADLE CAP - When you have a cup of rooibos tea, leave the teabag to cool down a little and pass over baby's head. You can also dab your baby’s scalp with colloidal silver - a multi-purpose anti-bacterial agent that is very suited for internal and external use.
NAPPY RASH - colloidal silver gel. You can also rub this stuff on your nipples in between breast feeds if baby has oral thrush and give baby a teaspoonful of colloidal silver (liquid).
BABY MASSAGE - use WELEDA’s Calendula Baby Oil, it has a warming and grounding effect and apart from moisturising the skin, gently massaging your baby is delicious for you and baby.
CONSTIPATION - Dilute 50 ml prune juice with 50ml water; or, soak 1 TS linseed in ½ cup of water and give the strained liquid. Goat's yoghurt is also useful for making the tummy work.
To increase: Dill Drops
To wean: Sage Drops
TAPIOCA PUDDING – is a useful food to help produce breast milk
Barely cover 1/2 c tapioca with water in a pot and leave to soak for 1/2 hour.
Add 2 c milk or milk substitute, pinch of vanilla and 1 TS fructose. Bring to a boil, stirring, and let simmer for 5 minutes or until the tapioca balls are clear. This is really delicious, hot or cold. Have it with Apricot Sauce which is a natural source of iron.
APRICOT SAUCE - cover 1 c dried apricots (preservative-free with no added sugar) with water in the blender and leave to soak overnight or for some hours. Blend in the morning and pour it over a fruit breakfast or the tapioca pudding.
WHICH MILK WHEN could be the subject for a dissertation – it is such a big topic!
Here are some suggestions: The use of soya-based formulas is at times discouraged: soya is a 'complex' food that baby cannot digest well at a tender age. What is not digested becomes a liability and may predispose one towards allergies. Potentially allergy-causing foods can be offered moderately at a later stage when the child's digestive system is more mature to engage and may, then, not cause a problem at all. It really is worthwhile prepping your child to be free of allergies!
GOAT'S MILK is physiologically closest to mother's milk - despite the staggering lack of visual semblance between goats and moms! - and evidenced by the fact that a goat's milk fed baby eliminates the same kind of odourless mustard-coloured stuff like a breast-fed baby - sorry for the detail! Goat's milk comes frozen and keeps for 5 days in the fridge after thawing. It may look a bit 'crumbly' as if it was split but when you warm it up it becomes smooth again. For convenience, we also have the ALPI Goat's Milk Powder. One mom, Karin from Caledon, invented a great combo: She mixed goat's milk and carrot juice half and half - the relative sweetness of carrot juice got diluted by the goat's milk - and her child got rosy cheeks!
Another child-friendly and vegan milk is ALMOND MILK Cover blanched almonds in the blender with filtered water and allow to soak. Drain the water, start blending, and slowly add the blending water as you liquefy the almonds. Strain this through a nylon tea strainer.
In addition to goat's milk, you can also offer your baby goat's yoghurt and goat's cottage cheese.
A WORD ABOUT COW'S DAIRY: Surprisingly, unpasteurised and unhomogenised organic milk results in far fewer allergies. Why is that so? Flash-heating (as in pasteurisation) - apart from rendering the milk acid-producing - kills the milk’s natural enzymes too which help it being digested. As we recall, pasteurisation was invented in the industrial age with its problems of rapid population growth, accompanied by poor sanitary conditions. TB was widely contracted through cow's milk and pasteurisation curbed these statistics. Regrettably, today, because pasteurisation 'neutralises' bacteria, it ends up being the fix-all for less-than-perfect hygienic conditions in dairies. (Great, so now you have dead bacteria in your milk!) Our organic milk from TB and CA free herds comes from a very special dairy that prides itself on squeaky-clean conditions - the milk is so unbelievably amazing that it keeps fresh for 8 days! (Come in for it on Tuesdays when it gets delivered!)
BARLEY MALT - this mildly-sweet, mineral-rich, grain-based sweetener promotes the decongestion of lungs. In the first 7 years of life, children tend towards more mucus than older children and adults. Find ways to assist with this tendency, e.g. offer fruit to take care of some of your child's longing for sweets!
RICE MALT - we import this certified organic grain sweetener from Japan, in addition to its absolutely amazing texture it causes no allergies whatsoever.
ALMOND BUTTER - the less of the common allergens a child ingests the higher will be it's tolerance towards foods that occasionally cause allergies in some individuals. Almond butter has so much to offer in terms of nutrition that it's worthwhile offering it to your child; it also has a child-friendly taste.
TAHINI - our locally produced tahini is nuttin' but ground sesame and 5% cold-pressed sesame oil for a smooth texture. Great source of calcium and protein!
FRUITS & ROOTS BABY FOODS: We have diminutive portions of Butternut & Carrot and Pears & Prunes in the freezer - of course additive-free!
GM-FREE MEALIE MEAL - if it's organic it's automatically GM-free! Choose true foods not genetically made-over modified ones
GHEE – clarified butter. Gently warmed butter gets strained to remove water and milk particles, making it dairy-free dairy! Get all the taste of butter minus the lactose! A wonderful food for lactose-tolerant AND lactose-intolerant! One of the best inventions of India! Keeps at room temperature without spoiling. Keep a pastry brush next to it and ‘paint’ your toast! Studies in India have shown that it reduces cholesterol..
BRAGGS – we import this non-fermented and salt-free soya sauce. In addition to its fine health credentials (the only soya sauce you want to use when you have candida) it tastes brilliant on plain steamed veg – and anything else.