In short, we don’t consider rice cereal, organic or otherwise, to be babies perfect first solid food.
[This post was revised on January 10, 2012 to clarify the intention behind it and to further expand upon our recommendations for baby’s first solid foods:]
Yesterday, I read the following list of recommendations on what to feed your baby – organized by age and published by a blogger who shared that as a Registered Dietician she “hopes to inspire people to move from processed foods to whole foods in their natural state”. I decided to re-publish and discuss this list since it raises several concerns in my mind. 1. My first concern is that if the goal is to inspire people to move away from processed foods, then this dietitian, like many other health practitioners, has what I would consider to be much too narrow of a definition of what processed foods are. 2. I am also concerned that the following recommendations may produce a child who will have a compromised gut and other serious health problems. Before I proceed: I want to make it abundantly clear that this post is not about the dietician who published the recommended list, but rather about some of her recommendations which any google search will reveal are fairly typical. This is about ideas not individuals or as I wrote in the original post – about principles and not personalities.
Here are the recommendations, with my own red highlights to discuss momentarily:
- Iron fortified cereal (rice, barely, oat) thinned with breast milk or formula is the first food of choice by most pediatricians. The cereal will provide your baby with iron, B vitamins, and protein. It is a low allergen food.
- If you feel comfortable and with your doctor’s approval, you can add mashed banana, avocado and applesauce to your baby’s diet. Adding applesauce fortified with vitamin C will help your baby absorb the iron in the cereal and formula.
- Add cooked pureed vegetables and fruit to the cereal or baby’s diet. You can use a blender, fork, or good grinder to mash the cooked vegetables. If you feel comfortable and you have your doctors approval use sweet potato, apricot, peach, plum, pumpkin, carrot, peas, mango, and other great vegetables. Fruits and vegetables will add vitamin A, C, and B to your baby’s diet along with fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, and manganese.
- Adventure into other grain products: millet, quinoa, oatmeal, etc.
- Introduce whole fat yogurt and ricotta cheese
- Add flax seed oil, flax seed meal, coconut oil, blackstrap molasses, and chia seeds as nutritional enhancers.
- Add hard boiled egg yolk (no egg white) to your baby’s pureed food for additional iron, choline, fat and protein.
- Add stronger vegetables such as broccoli, kale, asparagus, green beans, beets, etc.
- Start to introduce finger foods such as mashed up homemade macaroni and cheese, pancakes, soft cooked vegetables, etc. Let your child feed him or herself to learn about food and how to use their fingers. Try to use different colors, textures, and smells.
- Introduced finely shredded or chopped soft meats and white fish. Let your child join you at the table and eat the foods you are eating mashed to the appropriate consistency. However, do not give your baby foods that are processed or high in salt and sugar.
Note the last recommendation: “Do not give your baby foods that are processed” … yet the first item on the list is to give iron fortified cereal — which I consider to be highly processed.
Gerber Organic SmartNourish™ Single Grain Cereal – Brown Rice
Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour, & Less Than 2% Of: Tri- And Dicalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Choline Bitartrate, Mixed Tocopherols (For Freshness), Electrolytic Iron, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide (A B Vitamin), Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid (A B Vitamin), Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, (Cyanocobalamin)
Dr. Weston A. Price discovered that there were no processed foods in any of the diets of the healthy people he studied. The diets contained no refined or denatured components.See an overview on this preview of our DVD.
My definition of processed foods
I will define what I consider unprocessed first: foods from an animal eating its natural diet, in its whole, completely natural state such as raw milk from grass fed cows (which is not pasteurized and not homogenized) … or a food item that comes from a tree grown without pesticides, herbicides and the like such as an organic apple … or from the earth comprised of unadulterated soil such as organic beets. I would include traditionally harvested sea salt in a list of unprocessed foods, as well as traditionally prepared olive oil, coconut oil, yogurt, butter, sourdough bread and so forth. Virtually everything else I would consider to be processed food. Quite a wide definition, eh?! What I mean by that is that my definition widens the parameters of foods that one may consider to be processed. If it comes in a box, a can, or a package – even those labeled non-GMO, natural, fortified, organic or otherwise, it is still likely processed and even highly processed – Gerber Organic SmartNourish™ Cereal is a case in point.
So now onto my list of items highlighted in red:
“Iron fortified cereal (rice, barely, oat)”
What’s wrong with infant cereal? Kristen Michaelis of Food Renegade summarizes in her article Why Ditch The Infant Cereals?
1. It’s not traditional.
Traditional cultures didn’t (and don’t) feed their young babies infant cereal. Among the few cultures who fed their babies a gruel of grains, their practice radically differed from what we do today. First, they only introduced the gruel after the baby was more than a year old. And second, they ensured that the gruel was mildly fermented by soaking the grains for 24 hours or more.
2. Babies can’t digest it.
In order to digest grains, your body needs to make use of an enzyme called amylase. Amylase is the enzyme responsible for splitting starches. And, guess what? Babies don’t make amylase in large enough quantities to digest grains until after they are a year old at the earliest. Sometimes it can take up to two years. You see, newborns don’t produce amylase at all. Salivary amylase makes a small appearance at about 6 months old, but pancreatic amylase (what you need to actually digest grains) is not produced until molar teeth are fully developed! First molars usually don’t show up until 13-19 months old, on average.
3. Feeding your baby grains displaces other, more important nutrients.
If you feed your baby cereal or other grains, you’re doing more than simply sticking them with an indigestible food. You’re feeding them an indigestible food in place of something more nutrient-dense. You’re feeding them something their body can’t really use and starving them of the nutrients they need to grow a healthy brain, nervous system, and bone structure.
Dr. Cate Shanahan, author of Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food and Food Rules: A Doctor’s Guide to Healthy Eating, wrote a guest blog for Kristen Michaelis on the topic of iron fortified cereals. Be sure to read part 2 as well. Her conclusion: supplementing iron when iron levels are already normal can lead to serious health problems such as:
Early atherosclerosis, or “fatty streaks”
My take away from these articles was that a seemingly modest excess of iron can be bad for everyone, and especially for children. If baby does in fact need more iron, which can be verified by a test, rather than supplement with fortified “food” – we would recommend including iron rich foods in the diet. Heme iron is more easily absorbed by your baby’s body. It can be found in meats including beef, chicken, lamb, pork and turkey. Chicken livers is another recommended source and one we include in our list of baby’s first solid foods.
Sally Fallon Morell writes: “Commercial infant formulas are highly fabricated concoctions composed of milk or soy powders produced by high-temperature processes that over-denature proteins and add many carcinogens. Milk-based formulas often cause allergies while soy-based formulas contain mineral-blocking phytic acid, growth inhibitors and plant forms of estrogen compounds that can have adverse effects on the hormonal development in the infant. Soy-based formulas are also devoid of cholesterol, needed for the development of the brain and nervous system.” If baby formula is needed, this homemade version is our recommendation.
“Applesauce Fortified with Vitamin C”
If you want more Vitamin C – I would recommend eating more whole foods that contain Vitamin C. Who knows what form of Vitamin C the applesauce has been fortified with and how it’s been done. I personally am not in favor of taking nutrients out of context and supplementing with them.
“Adventure into other grain products: millet, quinoa, oatmeal, etc. at 6 – 7 months and Macaroni and Cheese, Pancakes 7 – 12 months”
It is our recommendation to wait 1-2 years to feed babies grains, being that they do not have the enzymes to digest them. I personally would even wait until 3 years. The later the better in my opinion. Grains are not nutrient dense. They are problematic for many reasons. They displace other more nutrient dense foods.
“Add hard boiled egg yolk (no egg white) to your baby’s pureed food for additional iron, choline, fat and protein.”
We would recommend only slightly cooked, mainly raw egg yolk. From Mama and Baby Love: “Heating the yolks destroys some enzymes, reduces certain nutrients and destroys cysteine (amino acid) which helps make glutathione, which is the master antioxidant. They are also just plain easier to digest raw. Raw egg yolk is the perfect complete protein.” Read more about raw egg yolks from Rami Nagel. So this is an apropos moment to talk about …
Our Recommendations for Baby’s First Solid Foods
Comprised of recommendations made in articles written by Sally Fallon Morell Feeding Babies, Jen Albritton Nourishing a Growing Baby, AnnMarie Michaels When to Feed Baby: Why Start Solids at 4 – 6 Months and Kristen Michaelis Why Ditch The Infant Cereals?
Egg Yolks, Liver, Cod Liver Oil
The first solid foods we recommend you introduce to babies are nutrient dense: pastured raised egg yolks, grass-fed liver and cod liver oil because they are rich in fat soluble activators A, D and K2, plus cholesterol, iron, zinc and choline. They are also foods that are very easy to digest. We recommend egg yolks from hens on pasture who preferably have no soy or corn in their supplemental feed. As Jen Albritton explains, “Thus, the best choice for baby is yolks from pasture-fed hens raised on flax meal, fish meal, or insects since they will contain higher levels of DHA. Why just the yolk? The white is the portion that most often causes allergic reactions, so wait to give egg whites until after your child turns one.”
People avoid egg yolks because they have been taught to fear cholesterol. As Ann Marie Michaels highlights: Cholesterol is crucial for the insulation of the nerves in the brain and the entire central nervous system. It supports fat digestion by increasing the formation of bile acids and is required for the production of many hormones. Since the brain is so dependent on cholesterol, it is especially vital during this time when brain growth is accelerated.
Jen Albritton writes, “A study published in the June 2002 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the nutritional effects of feeding weaning infants 6-12 months of age regular egg yolks, enriched egg yolks, and an otherwise normal diet. The researchers found that both breastfed and formula-fed infants who consumed the egg yolks had improved iron levels when compared with the infants who did not. In addition, those infants who got the egg yolks enriched with extra fatty acids had 30 percent to 40 percent greater DHA levels than those fed regular egg yolks.”
Boil an egg for three to four minutes (longer at higher altitudes), peel away the shell, discard the white and mash up yolk with a little unrefined sea salt. (The yolk should be soft and warm, not runny.) Small amounts of grated, raw organic liver (which has been frozen 14 days) may be added to the egg yolk after 6 months. Some mothers report their babies actually prefer the yolk with the liver. From Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell.
In the published list above we are advised not give our babies food that is high in salt which I think is easier to avoid if you’ve eliminated processed foods as we are directed do. Yet if you are making homemade food, Jen Albritton counters: “Don’t neglect to put a pinch of salt on the egg yolk. While many books warn against giving salt to babies, salt is actually critical for digestion as well as for brain development. Use unrefined salt to supply a variety of trace minerals.”
AnnMarie Michaels suggests, “If your baby doesn’t react well to egg yolk, wait and try again in a month. Most babies can digest yolks; it is the whites that are most likely to be allergenic. You may also want to check to see if your farmer is adding soy to the feed. If you can find soy-free pastured eggs, you may find that your baby does not react.”
In regard to cod liver oil, we believe that fermented cod liver oil is the best choice. Keep in mind that not all cod liver oil is created equal. Fermented cod liver oil has the recommended ratio of vitamins A and D. Also, it is not heated like other brands of cod liver oil and is naturally fermented so it has enzymes and probiotics.
More Foods to Introduce
After your baby is consuming egg yolks, liver and cod liver oil, we recommend you introduce the following foods as baby begins to show readiness and interest:
- Bone broth – homemade chicken stock or beef stock
- Naturally fermented foods – kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles – foods fermented in salt and/or whey, not made with vinegar
- Healthy fats – grass-fed butter, cream, tallow, lard and coconut oil
- Grass-fed meats – ground up, pureed or pre-chewed
- Organic cooked fruits and vegetables – it is recommend that they be cooked in and/or served with traditional fats
Foods to Avoid
- Baby foods that come in a jar
- Grains – it is best to wait 1-2 years [or even later] to feed babies grains, as they do not have the enzymes to digest them
- Honey – babies should not get honey prior to one year
- Soy – even properly fermented soy is not easy to digest
- Nuts and seeds – wait until baby is over a year, and then always soak and/or sprout
- Grapes and other small foods that pose a choking hazard
- Raw fruits and vegetables – these are hard to digest and should always be cooked or fermented (with the exception of banana and avocado)
It is recommended to introduce foods one at a time, waiting at least a few days to a week in between new foods.
The dietician whose list I republished states that iron fortified cereal (rice, barely, oat) thinned with breast milk or formula is the first food of choice by most pediatricians. While I am not a mother, a dietician, a nutritionist, a pediatrician, or a health practitioner, what I know for sure is that the healthy population groups that Dr. Price studied didn’t use iron fortified cereals, fortified apple sauce or the like. When I look at the mouths and faces of people on a traditional diet that Dr. Price captured, and the mouths and faces of most children who have been feed what I would consider to be this highly processed first food, I would recommend you go with tradition and follow their lead.
Related How the Teeth Tell the Tale
I highly recommend reading the book Nourishing Traditions for Baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon, available via our Amazon affiliation. This book contains a wealth of information!
31 Responses to How do you define processed foods?
Sandrine, what a FANTASTIC summary of the problems with the typical recommended baby foods and all the great resources, documentation, and blog posts supporting these “real food” recommendations for babies. I have bookmarked your post to share with all my clients! :-)
Thank you, Annika! I am delighted to support you, as a nutritionist, and your patients by compiling this information. I hope when parents search online for what to feed their babies, this will come up, and they will reconsider the common dietary advice we see put forth such as this!
I gave my baby lightly cooked egg yolk as Nourishing Traditions recommends, & my baby loved it but threw it up every time. :(
While many babies do well with the egg yolk, we’ve had some reports like yours. Sally’s recommendation is to try in a month and see how your baby does then.
Good points! Except for the controversial rec to start solids between 4 to 6 months, which I think is a faulty recommendation, this is an excellent list which I will be happy to share with my older daughters who are nearing their child-bearing years.
Sadly registered dieticians rarely seem to get it right; it’s good to have resources with reasonable information to share, like you.
With regard to the chart on introducing solids to babies http://cookingforwell-being.com/Baby-Chart.html: I did see that, and I happen to have had a child who was ready at 4-5 months for solids, so I can relate. However, the recommendation to start solids between 4 to 6 months falls right in line with formula companies’ efforts to undermine exclusive breastfeeding. Those efforts result all too often in breastfeeding diminishing or stopping altogether, which is unfortunate because breastmilk is a complete nutrient and any solids a baby might ingest when months old don’t come near to human milk’s nutritional value.
As for choosing 4 to 6 months to recommend starting solids because of babies seeming hungry, 3.5 to 4 months is a classic time when babies appear hungry but in reality need to build mom’s milk supply. Growth spurts happen then, and new developmental milestones are reached which throw things out of harmony so that moms think babes are not getting enough when they really just need more time at the breast. Unfortunately, many moms are feeling the need to do more things without babes in arms and cannot meet babies’ needs for increased nursing, plus the moms are often being criticized for continuing to nurse their babies (as if that’s a problem!) and get lots of societal opposition to continued EBF (exclusive breastfeeding). Any mom who nurses at all is doing her baby, herself, and the world a favor; it’s a shame that the pressure is to stop rather than to continue nursing as along as a baby needs it (which is for years rather than months).
That is why the babywearing practiced in traditional societies is so invaluable–you can have babe at breast while you move around doing the chores and projects and jobs you as mom need to do, with breastfeeding happening all the while and with most people not having a clue that you are multi-tasking in quite so marvelous a way!
I guess the message is, read and respect your baby’s cues, and offer solids when the signs of readiness are clear, but keep breastmilk as the bulk of your baby’s caloric intake– increase nursing times/sessions if baby seems to need more. Solids in the first year are experiential, not really meant for nutrition. AND every baby is different, so what works for one might not work for another, but ALL will benefit from longterm nursing.
Sandrine, I find your site full of so many helpful tips and interesting ideas, but I can’t help but wonder if meeting people where they are and educating them– versus putting them down for being ignorant– would help more people in the long run? I happen to know the R.D. you write about and she is a deeply caring person whose clients are making a transition from heavily processed diets to more whole foods, with her help. For the population she expertly serves, it’s not as simple as flipping a switch. She meets them where they are and helps them to transition. I would use the analogy of teaching someone to swim: If you just throw a non-swimmer into the deep end maybe they’ll make it to the side and be excited to jump back in again? Or maybe they’ll be terrified and decide they never want to go near a pool again? In the latter case, you have lost your opportunity to teach them. But, if you take a more gentle, loving approach and explain a simple stroke, model it for them, then take them into the shallow end first, then gradually helping them move deeper and deeper you gain someone’s trust and you have a chance to make them a confident, expert swimmer who could maybe even go teach someone else how to swim…
Not everyone is so blessed to be so well-educated or savvy when it comes to growing/purchasing and preparing foods. I would hope that all of us in the food, nutrition, parenting and cooking community could be thankful for those who are, and be a little more patient and more open with those who are working towards that end. It is only by appreciating that we’re all here, but on a wide spectrum of where “here” is that we can hope to positively impact diets going forward.
This post is in no way intended as a personal attack of any kind, nor did I see evidence of that when I re-read it in the aftermath of your feedback. If you would like to re-write the post in a way that feels more comfortable to you, please feel free to propose an alternative and I will consider a revision.
While I am certainly considering your feedback seriously, I feel compelled to share that I don’t believe that any of us need to publish what I would consider to be dangerous dietary advice in order to meet people where they are at. I also don’t believe we need to shy away from the timeless nutritional principles we teach.
What I have written is at the heart of our mission.
We were established in 2005 by Sandrine Hahn as a non-profit, educational initiative of the San Francisco Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation in order to address the dramatic deterioration in the health of our children. This decline is evidenced by the rise in child obesity, dental deformities such as crooked teeth, learning disabilities, behavior problems and chronic diseases such as asthma, allergies and diabetes. Years of research initiated by nutrition pioneer Dr. Price have linked these and other conditions to dietary deficiencies, among other causes. Our cause is dedicated to educating parents on the serious nutritional risks of today’s standard American diet, and to restoring to that diet the nutrient-dense foods that are crucial to the health of our children.
What separates our cause from others who are focused on nutrition?
Our cause not only identifies the problems with Oreos, cola, candy and other obvious junk foods. We also present research that illustrates how foods widely assumed to be nutritional – including packaged foods commonly described as “organic”, “natural” or “fortified” – are themselves heavily processed and stripped of nutritional value. While these labels provide a convenient way for parents to determine which foods to buy, the items associated with those labels often betray the standard of optimal nutrition.
Even more important, we will demonstrate that many traditional foods now considered unhealthy are, in fact, vital to the growth and intellectual development of our children. We intend to help parents see the facts behind the spin, so that the decisions they make about the food they buy is not determined by commercials, labels or lobby groups, but rather by timeless dietary principles.”
Sandrine, I truly appreciate that there are passionate people like you who make it their life’s work to inform, educate and reform so that all of us can work towards being healthier. Philosophically, I am drawn to your nutrition principles and think that your level of research and background is amazing. I am thankful to have this resource.
My advice and feedback was simply in the context of not putting someone else down in your quest to educate others. This article could have just as easily been written with a positive spin. You are a great writer, with phenomenal background resources. I get that “being kind” only gets you so far…and I understand that your organization needs to hold firm to principles and be unwavering in your advice and resources. But, when you have so much to offer, I would err on the side of lifting people up, versus putting them down. My humble advice would just be to keep that in mind the next time you are writing a compelling article.
As a matter of clarification, I engage in this role as a volunteer, so while I am, in fact, quite passionate about educating folks about these principles, it is not actually my life’s work at this time. Perhaps one day it may become so. I am blessed to have a visual communication business that sustains me. My contributions to our cause and our community may very well prove to be as the creative director who has created educational materials that are appealing to folks. Most, not all, of the information that our educational materials focus on are taken directly from the Weston A. Price Foundation and from Sally Fallon Morell … in the case of this particular post, I took information also presented by some of the Real Food Media bloggers.
My intention was not to put someone down but, to highlight the disconnection between the stated goal to inspire folks to move away from processed foods and the recommended food item in question – iron fortified cereal, which I hoped to proved is, in fact, a processed food. This kind of disconnection is emblematic and I wanted to draw attention to it. It is at the heart of our mission:
“Our cause not only identifies the problems with Oreos, cola, candy and other obvious junk foods. We also present research that illustrates how foods widely assumed to be nutritional – including packaged foods commonly described as “organic”, “natural” or “fortified” – are themselves heavily processed and stripped of nutritional value. While these labels provide a convenient way for parents to determine which foods to buy, the items associated with those labels often betray the standard of optimal nutrition.”
I don’t have any formal training in this field. I have no related credentials. I believe we need to be mindful about what recommendations we follow, even from those with credentials, especially when it comes to the physical development of our children. I hope folks will be as discerning about the recommendations we give as well and do their due diligence.
I have revised the article in hopes of eliminating a sense that there is any kind of personal attack being made. If you do not perceive my efforts as having been successful, again, I am open to receiving your proposed revisions.
I do appreciate your feedback. One of my favorite well wishes is “May the wind be with you.”
Thank you for editing the article. With the changes you thoughtfully made, I think that it now captures the essence of what you were trying to communicate in a much more general, and positive way. As a reader and supporter of your work, I truly appreciate you making these changes and look forward to reading further information from you, and other passionate writers in this burgeoning field.
I love this! When my son was born, I had planned to breastfeed him, but my milk never came in, so I started making the homemade baby formula from “Nourishing Traditions.” Every time I take him to the doctor, I have to explain myself to them. Doctors just don’t get it. And I never fed him the baby cereal either. His first food was a soft boiled egg yolk (pastured, of course). He has also never been vaccinated, so of course I’m the subject of ridicule when I step in the door. When they see that I’m somewhat educated on the subject, they no longer want to discuss it with me. The good news is, that since he’s not vaccinated and is rarely sick, I don’t have to take him to the doctor very often. He’s 10 months old now and doing GREAT!
Jennifer, I love this testimonial … and would love to include you in our Nourished Families portraits! http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Families.html If you are inclined, please send photos and a testimonial to firstname.lastname@example.org … thanks!
Nourished Kitchen sent me, I am grateful for the info. I drink only raw milk. Only eat grass fed beef and bought a freezer to buy 1/2 cow. Only eat farm antibiotic free eggs. Buy organics and have found some sites that actually have coupons for organics. Thanks.
[…] Why cereal should NOT be one of baby’s first foods Have a question or comment? Ask Annika Rockwell, Certified Nutritionist on Facebook, or schedule […]
Great article. I like how you keep it simple and I totally agree with every thing you say. Well done on getting this out and fro your research! Weston Price rocks!
I love your article Sandrine. I find it hard to believe that someone can consider fortified rice cereal a whole food! I would also say that the dietician’s recommendations were way better than many recommendations I have seen in articles and books! There is so much poor advice out there when it comes to feeding babies. I love your research and the articles you quote. Thanks.
Paleo all the way! I have learned alot about natural foods, and processed foods since having my son 6 years ago. This time around with our second child I am excited to finally incorporate my Paleo diet. We will never buy or give our next child processed baby food, or cereals. Thank you for your article, it was very refreshing to read similar beliefs.
Now i’m still ambivalent regarding the information and facts in the blog post. Will it be actually possible to get over the conception probability by following these quick advices? Ok , i will try.
[…] How do you define “Processed Foods”? […]
This information couldn’t be more timely…my son just turned 6 months old, and it’s been a gut feeling that rice cereal is just not an ideal starter food for him. Yesterday i chose to make him his first meal of grass fed beef bone broth and he LOVEd IT. Next up we’ll try the egg yolk. I intend to follow many of the other suggestions you have made here too. Thanks for the informative article…i feel like i can be armed with information when questioned by others/his pediatrician.
[…] Article: Why cereal should NOT be one of baby’s first foods […]
[…] may be surprised to read that we don’t recommend rice cereal as baby’s first […]
Hello- I am writing to suggest that you revisit your recommendation, by reference, to occasionally feed infants with small quantities of raw chicken liver. This is a REALLY BAD IDEA from a food safety standpoint. Raw , or undercooked chicken liver is a primary cause of food poisoning world-wide, as a source of e-coli, campylobacter, and other highly infectious, very portable bacteria. The suggestion that a 48 hour freezing of the liver will kill these bacteria is patently false. To introduce this risk to an infant’s undeveloped immune system can only be justified on some ideological basis (paleo-diet, or whatever), which does not take food processing/handling practices or food speed- to- market realities into account. Unless you are growing, butchering, and handling your own chickens and have a highly developed discipline and knowledge of the effects of time, temperature, and sanitation on all of those steps, you are subjecting your child to the consequences of the incompetence or carelessness of others.
[…] How do you define “Processed Foods”? | Nourishing Our … – Virtually everything else I would consider to be processed food. Quite a wide definition, eh?! What I mean by that is that my definition widens the parameters of foods that one may consider to be processed. If it comes in a box, a can, or a package – even those labeled non -GMO … […]
[…] How do you define “Processed Foods”? | Nourishing Our … – Jan 09, 2012 · [This post was revised on January 10, 2012 to clarify the intention behind it and to further expand upon our recommendations for baby's first solid foods:]… […]
[…] How do you define “Processed Foods”? | Nourishing Our … – My definition of processed foods. … including packaged foods commonly described as “organic”, “natural” or “fortified” … We will never buy or give our next child processed baby food, or cereals. Thank you for your article, … […]
[…] How do you define “Processed Foods”? | Nourishing Our … – Jan 09, 2012 · [This post was revised on January 10, 2012 to clarify the intention behind it and to further expand upon our recommendations for baby's first solid foods:]… […]
[…] don’t recommend that grains be introduced that early, or sugar or chocolate … really at any age, so what is a parent to […]
Wonderful article! One additional concern I have about baby cereals is that they are “fortified” with folic acid, which is the synthetic form of folate. Roughly 40% of the population has some variation of an MTHFR genetic mutation, which makes it difficult to impossible for them to convert the synthetic form (folic acid) to the active form (methylfolate). Their bodies do not produce the enzyme necessary to make the conversion, but when they consume folic acid (the synthetic form), not only do they not convert it to the usable form, but it also prevents the *real* folate from other dietary sources from occupying the receptor sites, resulting in potentially severe folate deficiency. This is another reason why most prenatal vitamins are disastrous for roughly 40% of women (because so many women have MTHFR gene mutations)–most prenatals contain the synthetic form, folic acid.
[…] resources for further reading: Resources for Baby’s First Solid Foods. Please note that we don’t recommend rice cereal as baby’s first food or any other grains until 2 years […]
Thank you SO much for this detailed and educational article. I will be sharing this with people who question my sanity as I introduce foods to my baby the Nourishing Traditions way. Sure wish I had been raised this way, maybe I wouldn’t have a dozen food allergies today.