I was referred here by the PaNu blog. I'm a mother to a 9 month old infant and have a few questions related to his nutrition. So far we've been feeding him: organic sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, apple sauce, omega 3 egg yolks, kefir, whole milk organic yogurt, raisins, pears, carrots, and no hormone/antibiotic chicken. He loves everything and is a healthy boy. My questions are as follows...
After reading the PaNu blog is this too much fruit even for an infant? He does not have fruit at each meal but maybe 2/3 meals.
The label "organic" I read seemed to be deemed useless. Does this mean I should just buy conventional fruits/vegetables?
We're on a tight budget and it's hard to find grass fed animal products around here. However with such an emphasis on animal products I worry about the added hormones and antibiotics from feedlot animals. Does it matter?
I'd like to give him Vitamin D and possibly Omega 3 supplements. We have Carlson's fish oil and Vit D liquid drops (2000 units per drop). What is the recommended range for infants?
Thanks in advance!
I wouldn't give so much fruit. I give my 17 month old a serving of fruit about once every 2 or 3 weeks, and it is never raisins or other dried fruit -- that stuff is very concentrated in sugar and sticks to the teeth. Mainly, I just don't want him developing a strong taste for it. I want him to believe that meat is the day-to-day food, and fruit is a treat.
You don't have quantities written -- is your darling getting enough meat? Does he ever get beef or lamb? I think that even if CAFO meat isn't ideal, it is still better fuel than any non-meat source. Ruminants are arguably the best meat. My baby's main food is ground beef. He loves it, it's relatively easy on the wallet, high in healthy fats, and it's easy to chew.
I'm a mom to a 6 month old and I feel she is eating too much fruit. Sweet potatoes make her so gassy, errr. Anyways, I buy organic and/or local for peace of mind. I have given her Carlson Vitamin D drops for months in addition to exclusively breastfeeding.
That diet sounds excellent for an infant/toddler. Keep going the way you are and introducting new veggies and fruits and meats.
I would say that you should keep buying organic produce as much as possible. And especially buy the hormone free meats. I absolutley hear you in regards to the budget - so expensive to keep the whole house organic - especially in the winter where we live.
The vitamin D is essential for little ones. I am unsure as to the omega 3 supplements - Personally, we fed our little guy lots of salmon and I cooked practically everything we fed him in coconut oil or butter - he loves anything in butter or coconut oil!
Way to go on raising a little paleo!!!
At 9 months can they start to feed themselves finger food? My daugher is 2.5 and I can't remember when she was able to start doing that, but I am firm believer in a child's ability to choose the right foods (at least over the course of a few days). Offer them a variety of healthy options at every meal and they'll get what they need over time. Maybe that means they binge fruit for one meal and then ignore it for another. I think that's fine. I think (especially since they hopefully have not yet been tainted by SAD) they can probably figure out right foods/ratios better than we can.
It means throwing away some food at each meal, but just keep the portions very small and refill as something is finished. I think this also helps them learn to better self regulate and of course builds fine motor skills early. It's messy, but worth it. May be difficult for some to set aside concerns about messy faces and messy outfits, but I think the right thing to do.
How about liver? WAPF recommends giving babies grated beef liver mixed with soft egg yolk to babies.
Also, at that age you could probably just give your babe straight cod liver oil. 1/2 a teaspoon is enough. Then he's getting EFA's, Vitamin D, and A all in one go. Whole food sources of vitamins are always better. :-)
another good thing to add is grassfed butter to every meal. Smorj icelandic, Kerrygold, and Organic valley Pastures limited edition are all easy to find grassfed butter sources. The K2 apparently works with the Vitamin D and A to ensure healthy bone structure. Also... it's delicious.
Thanks for all the input! Yes we are still breastfeeding about 4 times a day right now. Ground beef and liver are great suggestions and we were thinking about adding those in soon. I've seen grass fed butter at Whole Foods and that's definitely doable. Do you all buy grass fed meats for your families? I know they're far superior but I'm working less to stay home with my little guy so we're penny pinching. Great suggestion for the cod liver oil too. I'll try that as well!
Concerning pasture vs. conventional beef, this came up not too long ago. Don Matesz did a set of posts on the topic which are linked to in one of the answers to that question. The short answer is, if hormones and antibiotics are your primary concern, pastured beef is probably not worth the expense.
In the overall scheme of things for healthy living, I personally feel pastured beef falls pretty far down the list. Conversely, I'd put good, pastured dairy pretty high on the list, though your guy should be at least a year away from that.
Good luck. And there's been lots of good baby/kid questions. You might try browsing through the pertinent tags for additional "hack" questions.
my 16 month is instinctly paleo. i swear he will eat any vegetable, meat and fruit i give him but get him dairy. ha.
you say you have a whole foods near you. -they actually have the best price (in my area) for kerry gold butter $1.20 less than the main chain grocery store. -pastured ground turkey is a bargain, it's higher in omega 6 but 1/4lb made into turkey "fingers" goes a very long way. -do you have access to a farmers market or co-op? i am extremely lucky here in western PA to have access to a year round farmers market. the price for grass fed ground beef at my whole foods has gone up $1/lb to $7/lb this past year BUT i can still get it for $5/lb directly from the farmer. www.eatwild.com is a good resource. oh, and once a year around the 4th of july, whole foods will have grass fed ground beef on sale. stock up then! -get good eggs. whole foods sells vital farms pastured eggs but again sourcing them from a farmer is cheaper. -i don't do organic for fruits/veggies not in the "dirty dozen" i can get organic veggies at the regular grocery store for cheaper than at whole foods. plus, whole foods doesn't even give me the option to buy non-organic sweet potatoes or onions, things i don't need organic. -whole roaster chickens are a good bang for the buck. plus you can make bone broth with the carcass. -you can also cut costs by making your own yogurt, kefir, applesauce, etc. etc.
i just asked my pediatrician about omega 3/dha and his stance is, while research does not indicate omega3/dha is harmful, there's also no difinitive research that shows it's helpful. he prefers we get everything from food. my guy will eat sardines and salmon. wild planet sardines are great and bpa free (their tinned salmon is not bpa free last i checked). you can buy them for cheap on amazon.
hope some of this helps.
Sounds like a great starter diet! Bones and stew meat are cheap! Bone broth is easy in the slow cooker, and the meat gets very soft. I do think it's worth it to get grass fed meat. In the long run the most cost effective meat is to get a freezer and buy in bulk. We started by splitting a 1/4 cow with another family and now get a full side of beef in the fall, which lasts all year and ends up being cheaper than grocery store beef. New freezers go on sale late summer at some big chains. Or you could look for a used one. When I got pregnant, we got a freezer and not a crib! After she started walking and became very active, my daughter required more carbs. She loved rice and salmon, or with og butter and nori flakes.