When I had my first born, like many new mothers, I was overwhelmed and though I purposefully thought twice about many things, what to feed my son as his first food was not one of them. I was duped into the train of thought that a grain cereal, like rice or oat was the way to go.
By the time my daughter was born I had done my research and when she was ready to start eating solids at nine months, we started with some homemade vegetable purees. Though not a bad first choice, I now know that there is something better, which leads me to my third child, who started on his journey with food this morning. Enter the egg yolk.
Before getting into the whys, let me start by explaining some things. First, breast milk by far contains more nutrients and brain building substances than any solid food, so I don’t recommend starting solids until a baby is fully ready. I also believe that breast milk should be the main source of ‘food’ for a child’s first year of life and that the longer a child is nursed, the better off he or she is as far as receiving the benefits from the wonders of human milk. Second, we all do the best we can with the information that we have, so though I wish I had never given my firstborn
junk in a box, rice cereal, I do not beat myself up about the choice that I made.
WHY NOT RICE CEREAL?
Any form of grain-based infant cereal should be avoided. “When flour is refined to make cereal, the most nutritious part of the grain is removed, so the flour essentially becomes a form of sugar”(Mercola).
According to Dr. Mercola, the Weston A Price Foundation, and many leading experts in the alternative health fields, “Feeding infants cereal has been associated with an increased risk of type 1 diabetes and may prime your baby’s appetite for a lifetime of processed carbs in the form of white bread, cookies and cakes. A diet based on these types of refined carbs is responsible for many bulging stomachs and fat rolls in thighs and chins, and even worse, high insulin levels that lead to diabetes and suppress two other important hormones — glucagons and growth hormones — that are responsible for burning fat and sugar and promoting muscle development, respectively. Insulin from excess carbohydrates promotes fat, and then wards off your body’s ability to lose that fat. Excess weight and obesity not only lead to heart disease but also a wide variety of other diseases later in life”(Mercola).
In addition, a baby’s digestive system is immature and does not produce a sufficient amount of the enzyme required to break down the carbohydrates of the grains (Nourishing Traditions).
WHY EGG YOLK?
Egg yolks supply essential nutrients important for the development of the brain, as they are rich in choline, good cholesterol and iron.
“Egg yolk supplies cholesterol needed for mental development as well as important sulphur-containing amino acids. Egg yolks from pasture-fed hens or hens raised on flax meal, fish meal or insects are also rich in the omega-3 long-chain fatty acids found in mother’s milk but which may be lacking in cow’s milk. These fatty acids are essential for the development of the brain. Parents who institute the practice of feeding egg yolk to baby will be rewarded with children who speak and take directions at an early age. The white, which contains difficult-to-digest proteins, should not be given before the age of one year. Small amounts of grated, raw organic liver may be added occasionally to the egg yolk after six months. This imitates the practice of African mothers who chew liver before giving it to their infants as their first food. Liver is rich in iron, the one mineral that tends to be low in mother’s milk possibly because iron competes with zinc for absorption” (Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD).
HOW TO PREPARE THE EGG
What you need:
1 Farm fresh, free range, organic egg. It is super important to make sure that the eggs you use come from healthy chickens on a grass fed diet. See more about this here: Drugs pumped into supermarket chickens.
1 pot of boiling water
optional – 1/2 teaspoon grated, frozen liver (frozen for at least 14 days)
How to cook a soft boiled egg:
Bring the water to a boil, place the egg in the water and set a timer for 4 1/2 minutes (time will vary depending on altitude). When the 4 1/2 minutes are up, take out the egg and run it under cold water so as not to burn your hands when peeling. Peel the egg and separate the egg white from the yolk, which will still be runny. Make sure that there is no white on the yolk. Grate the liver on top if so desired (as recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation).
The egg yolk is very rich, so do not give the whole yolk to the baby during his/her first time trying it. Start with one baby spoonful and increase by one spoonful each day until the baby works up to eating the whole yolk.
RECOMMENDED READING*: Nourishing Traditions and The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Childcare
Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD. Nourishing Traditions. Washington D.C. New Trends Publishing. 1999.
Mercola. Get White Rice Out of Baby’s First Foods. December 2010. Web.
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