My daughter is 4.5 months and already seems to be showing an interest in our food. My wife will continue to breast feed, but I don't think it will be too long before we start introducing solid food as well. Surprisingly, our pediatrician said meat was a good one to try first because it is so uncommon to have an allergy to it. Needless to say, that got me pretty excited.
I know we can get beef baby food in a jar which would probably be fine, but I already have lots and lots of pastured beef from a source I trust. I think I could just run some cooked beef through our baby food grinder and then stir in some breast milk to make it more of a liquid. Would that work? Any better ideas/recipes?
Also, as far as cut of meat and cooking method, I was originally thinking of just browning some ground beef, but am now thinking a gentle cooking method would be better and sticking with an actual cut might be safer too. Maybe just boil a piece of steak? Or would that suck out too much flavor? Or cook it in the slow cooker with some moisture? Or bake it? Thoughts?
Thanks all! Very helpful. This isn't our first child (read: ain't my first rodeo), so it's not really about excitement or me trying to get more involved in the feeding. I am very happy with the convenience (especially for the father) of breast feeding.
We are both firm believers in child directed feeding. I think children (infants and toddlers alike) know much better than we (adults) do what their bodies need each day (especially if they haven't been tainted by engineered food). I think the best strategy is to give them healthy options at every meal and let them choose. I would say this extends to infants as well. Yes, of course, they should always be offered the breast, but if they show interest in other food, let them try it.
I don't necessarily agree that "food before one is just for fun." There must be variation in the population and not every child would be healthiest on exclusively breast milk until exactly the same age. As mentioned below, some say breast milk alone may not provide enough iron for children over 6 months of age. Whether you agree or not, I think the child herself can give us the best answer by letting her take the lead.
The idea of liver is intriguing. I eat liver once a week for nutrition, but I'll admit I don't love it. Perhaps had I eaten it from the start, I'd like it a lot more. I had been hesitant about eggs, but now I remember that it's most often the protein in the whites that could be an allergen, so yolks will work. And, it sounds like my idea of gently cooking some beef and then mincing with breast milk could work too. WAPF article has many great ideas as well.
The WAPF recommends egg yolk and liver as baby's first foods. Egg yolks for their brain building DHA, choline, and cholesterol. And liver for it's B12 and iron (which baby's start to run low in after 6 months old).
Also, consider 'baby led weaning' which is the logical way to feed our young once they want something additional to breastfeeding. And remember, food before one is just for fun (breastmilk should be making up the bulk of her diet)!
Link to baby led weaning here: http://www.babyledweaning.com/
Honestly, I don't know much about babies because I never had any, but I do know about biology, thus my 2 cents here: My thought is to boil it or bake it with some broth until it is very very soft, then mince it or put it in the food processor with some broth or water to make sure it is soft. In some aboriginal cultures the mothers chew the meat for their babies and then feed it to them. The salivary action of the pre-chewing helps give the digestion process a head start for the baby, who's digestive system is not fully developed for solid food yet.
I would seriously consider waiting until the baby is 6 months old to start solid foods. I know it's exiting to get to the next stage, but the most important thing for your baby right now is breast milk. When you do decide to start solids, and especially if you wait until at least 6 months, I think ground beef would be a good choice. Just make sure the pieces are very small. Here is a website I referenced a lot when my babies were small. Just disregard the non-paleo foods.
My son didn't do well with the egg yolk so his first foods were lamb and liver. However, just because they are showing interest doesn't mean they are going to actually eat it. We let our son touch and play with small amounts of food from age 5 1/2 months and on but it wasn't until he was close to 8 or 9 months till he actually ate any discernible amount and it wasn't until he was 13 or 14 months till he was eating 2-3 actual meals a day. Before that he'd sometimes still have all breastmilk days. I know it sucks feeling left out of the breastfeeding relationship which is what makes solids so much more exciting, but this is the arguably most important time in your child's entire life besides in-utero for deciding how healthy they will be for the rest of their life. What goes in to your child's belly is what will populate his gut forever and breastmilk is paramount to their immunity. Keep your significant other well nourished, bring her water, change diapers, etc. Your child will lead you towards what he/she's ready for on her own if you don't push it. For a while I was worried because my one year old still wasn't eating real meals and then a sudden switch went on a few weeks ago and he literally started taking my hand and leading me to the refridgerator to fetch him foods. He often even points to what he wants! (grassfed cheese, butter, applegate organic hot dogs, bananas and chicken are major hits.) My favorite kid quote is from Finding Nemo:
*Marlin: How do you know if they're ready?
Crush: Well, you never really know, but when they know, you know, y'know?*
Also here's a helpful article for being involved as a dad http://www.breastfeeding.com/reading_room/dad_help.html
I think that giving your child food as they show an interest in it is fine. Your baby might go back and forth between wanting more booba or more solids.
Have you given any thought to just chewing the meat and then giving it to your baby? As you are all eating, just chew some and give it to her.
My daughter didn't want solids until she was a year old, but I offered them to her. Each child is unique, and you should follow your baby's lead. Definitely, there are some foods not to give such a young baby (strawberries, peanut butter, honey), but you know your child best.
We started with eggs (yolks only) then went to avacado and then on to meat. We basically just take whatever we're having for dinner and puree it with an immersion blender. Fruits will need more fat, so we usually add coconut butter to them. We don't buy anything pre-packaged, I don't want him getting any preservatives. I enjoy his food, and I think that's a good sign. If you wouldn't eat it, why make you baby eat it?
Basically we do any of the following (all pureed with the immersion blender):
Next up we're going to try
We've also started playing with some whole foods now that he has 6 teeth. We've done 1/4 blueberries and small chunks of cucumber. He's still not pretty good with them, but he's practicing chewing and eating food.
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