Monday, April 14, 2008

Organic Baby

That's what we call her... I guess she pretty much is, so far! Hasn't had any shots/treatments/drugs as of yet, and has a pretty simple diet. We are following Nourishing Traditions ideas on baby feeding, and it's interesting, to say the least. They recommend beginning around 4 months by feeding one egg yolk daily to your little one. Now, this egg yolk needs to be a decent one; we use our homegrown ones. Nice orange yolk. You boil the egg for 3 1/2 minutes only. Of course, egg whites (the protein part) are to be avoided, so removing the (still VERY soft) yolk from the white can be a challenge. Into this, stir in a dash of sea salt. We use RealSalt.

Beginning around 6 months, Baby can start eating mashed banana. Banana has it's own amylase, the enzyme required for it's digestion, so is a good choice. Also at six months, you can begin grating 1/2 tsp. of raw*, organic, grass-fed beef liver into the egg yolk. Yes, I said liver. Yes, I said raw. Yes, I know it's gross. But mother's milk is low in one thing - iron - and liver is a great source of iron. Raw because of the tremendous amount of helpful enzymes (which are denatured when heated) in it. Before reading Nourishing Traditions, I thought lions and other predators were 'gross' for eating the organ tissues first from their prey. Now I know they'd probably not survive otherwise.

That's pretty much it (except for nursing, of course). This will continue until around 10 months or so, when I'll start introducing cereal grains and other fruits and vegetables (and meat). Why be so backwards from conventional baby-feeding ideas? Well, biology will tell you that a baby's digestive system is geared for one basic thing; mother's milk. Eventually it develops the ability to produce the enzymes needed to digest (hopefully) all foods. Mother's milk is rich in fat, with only one basic carbohydrate; lactose. Of course, milk has lactase in it, which is the enzyme required to digest lactose! Baby's system doesn't need to produce lactase (sidenote: ever heard of 'lactose intolerance'? That condition exists because milk is pasteurized (cooked) which destroys the natural enzymes in it, including lactase - hence the difficulty some have ingesting lactose). Baby's system is first ready to digest animal fats and proteins. Cereal grains are among the last things they develop the ability to digest well, so it makes sense that egg yolks come before rice.

So far she's enjoyed our backyard egg-yolks, some appropriate liver from my mom's freezer (thanks Mom!), and the occasional organic banana. I wish she could figure out the difference between swallowing some food and spitting it right out. Seems like she's taking longer to master that! In any case, since we renamed Li'l Artist, we thought Baby deserved a new label too. As she's so organic and all, I'll be henceforth referring to her as Organique. Rhymes with Monique, kinda.

So here she is: Our Organique!

*Freeze liver for 14 days to kill any possible parasites.


home handymum said...

We aim to incorporate some of the Nourishing Traditions stuff into our diet too.

Miss1 had an egg-yolk mashed with butter every day for a very long time. Good New Zealand grass-fed diary butter. Mmmmmm.

She got too hungry to just eat egg yolk and banana for long though, and we had constipation issues - banana was binding her up. Avocado was a good addition. And root vegetables etc before introducing grains (although we did use baby rice as being very convenient when out - just made sure it was rice, not wheat or soy meal)

EllaJac said...

MMMMmmmmmmm butter. I DO have the saved-cream from some fresh milk I get, and it churns up SO nice and yellow. I might go for that. I tell you, boiling that egg for 3 1/2 mins doesn't do much for 'cooking' the yolk. It does say it should be 'warm and runny' though. It's a trick to extract only the yolk... I was thinking about avacados for her.. We'll see about it when she learns to 'eat' the food a little better!

home handymum said...

I know what you mean about not cooking the yolk well! I gave up. I just brought the water to the boil with the eggs in it, then turned the water off and left them sitting in the hot water for 5 minutes. I figure we lost some enzyme goodness by cooking the yolk, but I hardly ever managed to successfully cook the white to remove it easily without cooking the yolk. Miss1 didn't like the dryness of the yolk so smoothing it to a paste with boiled water and butter seemed to work well.

Even just using your cream without churning it first would be yum.

EllaJac said...

Usually I bring the water to a boil with the eggs in it too, then "start" the 3.5 minutes when I notice the beginnings of "boil". Then I put them quickly into ice water. Sometimes (especially if the yolk is off-center) one side will be more cooked than the other. Usually the white comes off okay; it's the little white-ish membrane around the yolk that is hard to remove when it's mostly-runny. Today, however, I forgot about them... They ended up hard-boiled, and I did mix in a little butter. She still gagged on it, so I expressed a little milk to make it soup-ier, then ran it thru the baby food mill to get rid of some chunks. She did okay with it, but not great. Will have to try again tomorrow and watch it closer... :) Wow, I can't believe there's so much to write about feeding one food to a baby... Hehe!

annie said...

wow, and here i thought i was doing good by making my own baby food from organic whole fruits and veggies and not allowing well-intentioned grandmas and la leche league ladies to give my daughter animal crackers from sam's club.

i am sad my library doesn't have this book.

EllaJac said...

la leche league tries to give your kiddo animal crackers? Wow. Thought they were a little more militant-nutritionist than that. :) The book is worth the price, and having to return it to the library would be sad.. I got mine thru amazon for a good deal; can't say I recommend them, because my purchase issue from November is unresolved... I'm so stubborn.

annie said...

Well in their defense, they were labeled as organic animal crackers. :) To me, and it drives mymother nuts, it's the same thing. Just because it's organic processed food doesn't take away the fact it's still processed.