12 Jun 13 Weaning Tips for Optimal Health
When your infant is approximately 6 months old (but not before 4 months) they will start to give you signs they are interested in food and ready to move to solids, this usually happens alongside the arrival of their teeth. They may display their new found interest in food by either watching what you eat, trying to grab your food or they are hungrier in between their milk feeds, especially if they want extra at night.
Follow these handy tips to help you at this important time in your infant’s development – preparation is the key!
13 tips to support your infants development
1. Avoid store-bought baby food as much as possible because it contains chemicals such as preservatives and emulsifiers.
2. Set aside a power hour to prepare all their purees for the entire week. When cooking vegetables, steaming and roasting is the best method to retain the nutrient content of the food.
3. Prepare meals using fresh or frozen organic vegies. This delays introducing harmful chemicals (herbicides and pesticides) found in conventional produce.
4. If using non-organic food, wash it thoroughly in a water and vinegar bath to remove as many toxins as possible. Check out our post 12 FOODS THAT TOP THE PESTICIDE CONTAMINATION LIST – a list of the most toxic foods.
5. Freeze purees into small portions in silicon moulds and store in the freezer for ready for use.
6. Store-bought food is OK for emergencies. Even ‘healthy’ organic brands without chemical additives are boiled at high temperatures to kill off potentially harmful bacteria and this process destroys the nutritional value of the food.
7. Stick to mainly vegetables while the friendly bacteria living in your child’s gut is still trying to establish themselves. Fruit is high in natural sugar which can feed bad bacteria and fungus which can undermine the immune system.
8. Stay away from bread because gluten and wheat can damage the gut wall and it contains too much salt for their kidneys to process.
9. Don’t add salt to their purees because their kidneys and liver cannot process it yet. If you are feeding your child ‘family’ meals, remove their portion before seasoning the family meal with salt.
10. Introduce new foods individually and wait 3 to 4 days before trying the next food to check for adverse food reactions such as allergies or intolerances.
11. Add bone broth to their meals to heal and seal the gut lining to support their developing immune system and brain function.
12. Dilute the puree with either breastmilk or 1 tablespoon of bone broth for a smoother consistency. If your child is on formula, add bone broth to support the gut wall structure. Check out our recipe for bone broth in the blog.
13. If your child was born by C-section, add fermented vegetable juice to the puree. This will help to support their numbers and species of friendly bacteria to flourish. They only need small amounts, say 35 to 40 mls per serve.
FIONA STOCK | THE CHILDREN’S NATUROPATH
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