When should I start my baby on solids? What should he eat? This is a common topic among mothers, especially if one is new to the Traditional Foods way of eating.
I heartily agree with most everything in the Nourishing a Growing Baby article from the Weston A. Price Foundation; with the caveat that all these foods should be started when the baby is almost 1 year of age and not at 4 months. If you have not read this article and have asked this question, it truly is a MUST read.
Pay close attention to the end of this quote (from the Nourishing a Growing Baby article):
“Meats will help ensure adequate intake of iron, zinc, and protein with the decrease in breast milk and formula.” (emphasis added)
This article assumes that a mother is DECREASING in nursing or bottle feeding. Why in the world would I want to start preparing all these time consuming foods for a baby that I can still breast-feed 24/7? If for some reason, one is unable to continue breast-feeding or is not able to, then I can understand the need for starting earlier. Otherwise, if the mother’s diet contains all these nutrient-dense foods, I strongly believe waiting until baby’s first birthday before even beginning the process towards solids.
Even when a baby starts to eat solids, it is not guaranteed that the baby will like egg yolks, liver, or what have you. This is where nursing comes in all the more handy. I can rest assured knowing that baby is getting all the nutrients he needs because of my diet and not necessarily from his.
As baby grows and is nursing less in the 1-2 year age range, or if the baby is not nursing at all anymore, I find it most useful to get them used to smoothies. I can put homemade yogurt in there, raw goat or cow milk, a little bit of sucanat, maple syrup (honey when over 2), and any superfoods I want to ensure he is getting all he needs. I like to add 1/8 tsp of moringa once or twice a week. I also like to get the growing tot used to eating a teaspoon of fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend off a spoon.
When babe is between 1-2 years of age, I like to make sourdough crackers with lots of butter and pink salt for a quick snack if need be on the go. Who needs goldfish when you can give your child a traditional, nutrient dense snack that takes hardly any time at all to make? Here’s the recipe I have come to love:
Mix 1 cup spelt flour, 1 cup starter, 1/4 cup softened coconut oil, tallow, or butter. Stir it all together and let sit overnight. Roll them out, brush with oil, sprinkle pink salt on top. Bake at 350 until browned about 20-25 minutes.
This little person has a fresh start on life, why not start him out right? Loving real, nutrient dense, traditional foods.