Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jadon's First Food: Egg Yolks!

Jadon tries boiled egg yolk with celtic sea salt...

I thought that my diet was in good shape until I started researching what my unborn son needed me to eat. Before becoming pregnant, I faithfully followed mainstream nutrition recommendations: eat fresh fruits and veggies, whole-grain breads and pastas, a moderate amount of white meats, unsaturated fats, and low-fat dairy products. However, as my belly grew, I found out that only some of these guidelines were actually healthy. This past year has marked a slow and steady journey to feed my family truly healthy foods.

The most helpful guidelines for me these days come from the Weston Price Foundation. In essence, the foundation advocates nutrient-dense "traditional" foods. My new rule of thumb is as follows: "If my great-grandmother would recognize it as food, it's good to eat." Would my great-grandmother know to eat a "Go-Gurt?" Probably not. But she would recognize things like bacon, raw whole milk, homemade buttery pie crusts, eggs, red meat, and lard, all of which I used to avoid or eat "sparingly." Today, as much as possible, I try to make meals from scratch to avoid additives, "natural" flavors, and ingredients I can't pronounce. I'm hardly an expert, nor a purist, when it comes to following the Weston Price recommendations, but it's incredibly helpful to have a starting point for eating healthy.

The Weston Price Foundation has great advice for babies starting on solid foods, too. As explained in this article on their website, meats, not cereals, are the best choices for babies' first foods. A baby's body can break animal foods down much easier than grains because "his digestive system, although immature, is better equipped to supply enzymes for digestion of fats and proteins rather than carbohydrates." After all, more than half of the calories in breast milk are from fats. The foundation says that babies as young as four months old can start eating boiled egg yolks. The cholesterol in eggs is fabulous for brain development. Egg yolks also improve babies' iron levels, but show no significant effect on blood cholesterol levels. However, if babies don't show a readiness or interest in solid foods at that time, egg yolks can wait a month or two.

Soon after Jadon turned four months old (the beginning of January), he tried farm fresh egg yolks for the first time. I was surprised that he started making chewing motions during the first try! Since then, we have fed him egg yolk every few days. Most of the yolk never makes it to his tummy, but Jadon clearly enjoys the new activity. He leans forward to get this new yellow stuff in his mouth. He also studies us whenever we eat now. With practice, his body will soon be enjoying the benefits of this new food source.

What a fun, new, healthy food journey we have ahead of us!

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