Your baby is finally 6 months old and you are out of the woods. You have figured out what he needs when he cries, and what your girl needs when SHE cries, and you are starting to see some glimpses of normal life again.
6 months old is that magical time when a baby enters a new phase of existence and starts trying solid foods. Unfortunately, modern society has done about as well in creating and mass marketing baby food as it has in grown-up food. It is extremely important to educate yourself in nutrition so that your kid does not end up on the typical diet of rice cereal.
Food is what nourishes the body and makes us healthy and strong. We all want our kids to be little warriors! Infant nutrition is critical for ensuring proper development, maximizing learning capacity, and preventing disease. At no other time in life is nutrition so important. But which foods should you give your kid?
The number one rule is to avoid processed and refined foods as much as possible, including many brands of baby food. They usually don’t have the nutrients your baby needs and have added “undesirables.” Try to give your baby foods that have one organic and/or natural ingredient.
A baby’s earliest solid foods should be mostly animal foods since his digestive system, although immature, is better equipped to supply enzymes for the digestion of fats and proteins rather than carbohydrates. This explains why current research is pointing to meat (including nutrient-dense organ meat) as being a nourishing early weaning food.
Finally, DO NOT be scared of fats. In fact, embrace them! Breast milk is mostly made of fat and helps the baby's brain develop. High-quality fats are also essential in the development of bones and tissues.
So now that we know that the concentration should be on meat and fat… what should you feed your baby??
Here are a few examples:
- Egg Yolk - is rich in choline, cholesterol, and other brain-nourishing substances.
- Cod Liver Oil - is an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (also important for brain development) as well as vitamins A and D. You can mix in a few drops into their juice.
- Pureed Meat - helps ensure an adequate intake of iron, zinc, and protein with a decrease in breast milk and formula.
- Avocado - mashed avocado is a great source of healthy fat.
- Mashed sweet potato with butter- a great way to get the essential fats of butter mixed with the sweet taste of the potato.
- Natural kefir or yogurt - MAKE SURE these are not the highly processed version you get in the grocery store. The right variety of these is an excellent source of probiotics to help babies with gut health.
When babies start life with natural, unprocessed foods they tend to grow up and crave junk less and grow up to be healthier adults.