Guidelines for Starting Solids
One common guideline when starting solid baby foods is to start with one for a few days and then introduce another food a few days later. With this strategy, in the case of an allergic reaction, parents can pinpoint the source directly. I deviated from this recommendation to provide nutrient density at the same time as acceptability of the food. All my sources for his food were natural, organic, grass-fed, or pasture-raised. I really wanted to start with egg yolks as a first food because of the healthy fats, cholesterol, and choline that it provided. However, in my research, The Weston A. Price Foundation noted that some children struggle with the egg yolk by itself. Plus, the yolk is very runny and harder to keep on a spoon than other solids. So, I decided to combine it with a widely accepted first food, avocado, that contains healthy monounsaturated fats, along with vitamins like Vitamin E, minerals like magnesium and potassium, and fiber. I felt that even by introducing two foods at first instead of one, it would be easy to determine which one caused a reaction in the case that it happened.
If you find that your child has a sensitivity to a food, you should stop offering that food immediately and work with a health care practitioner to determine the exact cause. Many allergies can stem from gut issues. So, work with a functional medicine or naturally minded practitioner to see if you can resolve the issue. For many recipes in the book, substitutions can be made depending on the sensitivity. For example, it it is a lactose allergy, use ghee or coconut oil instead of butter. Also, many of the animal proteins can be substituted for other meats or fish.
You will note that many recipes in my E-book or on my blog contain added fat. For the purees, keep in mind how many servings a recipe makes. If you are using, 1 lb of a protein and 1 lb of a vegetables, that may make 8-12 servings depending on your child’s appetite. The first two years of a child’s life marks a period of rapid growth mentally, physically, and emotionally. So, as you child grows past this phase, you can consider reducing the fat content of their meals, if you see that their body does not need as much fat.
Make sure in the first few weeks you pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues. For the first few days, you may only offer a few bites of food once per day, or you may want to offer a few bites at every meal with the family. It is a personal preference. It may differ if your baby has struggled to gain weight or if your baby quickly adapts to having solid foods. Even if you make 4 oz portions, you may want to start by pouring just a few spoonfuls in a bowl. That way, if your baby does not eat much, you do not have to throw away the rest. You are giving your baby high quality food that you worked very hard to make. So, you won’t want to waste it!
You can influence your baby’s taste buds based on what you offer. If you do not offer sweet foods, even fruits, for the first year, they will grow accustomed to savory flavors. Dr. Price found that in the healthiest civilizations all of them consumed some form of animal products in their diet, and the ones with the best bone structure ate seafood. So, I made sure to introduce Noah to salmon as well as shellfish. Now, his favorite food is salmon that he will eat any time of day. I love to feed it to him for breakfast since the Omega-3s make it such a great brain food to start the day!