This article appeared here for Paleo on the Go
FULFILLING YOUR ROLE AS A PARENT GUILT-FREE:
It’s hard to fathom choosing anything other than the best foods for our babies; but then getting them to eat it is a story in itself!
That’s precisely how we should see it; as two different things. Your job as a parent is to provide healthy food for your child. It’s not your job to make him eat it. I’m sure you’ll agree that if nothing else your baby knows when he’s hungry! We’re born with an innate ability to listen to our bodies. What if feeding your baby was as simple as asking him to select what he wanted? No, this isn’t just another mom-petition (the mommy world of competition for anything to do with your baby) way of undermining all the parents who’ve struggled to get their babies to eat anything but Cheerios.
WHAT DO THE FACTS SHOW?
While a long time ago and perhaps the only study of its kind, size and longevity; In the 1930s, Pediatrician, Dr. Clara Davis, conducted a six-year feeding experiment with 6-11month old babies. She offered a selection of nutrient dense foods – soured raw milk, sea salt, bananas, real orange juice, barley, cornmeal, peaches, gelatinous bone stock, tomatoes, beets, meats, bone marrow, raw lettuce, cooked and raw eggs, oatmeal, wheat, peas, cabbage, apples, cooked glandular organs, lamb and chicken – and allowed the babies to choose as much of whatever.
Despite the pool of foods being the same, individual choices varied widely, and amazingly changed with need: overall no babies were fat or thin, there was no constipation, diarrhea, vomiting or serious illness. Interestingly most chose raw beef, beets and carrots! There were also no nutrient deficiency diseases – babies previously with rickets (vitamin D deficiency) cured themselves eating vitamin D rich foods and interestingly when cured they stopped choosing those foods. They also selected in the right quantities and variety the right food to get all their essential nutrients, energy and digestive health needs. Dr. Davis called this ‘wisdom of the body’.
I am a new mum. My baby is experiencing his first foods. Notice I say “experiencing.” Mostly he squishes food between his hands and throws it, then spends the next five minutes trying to see where it ended up. Fascinating stuff this food thing. Offer him some mushy lamb and he’ll turn his head (it was quite nice as I obviously ended up eating it); then offer him some beet juice, yuuum. At lunch he had a small amount of salmon, some butter, some coconut oil and bone broth. Hmm, tasty huh? Chased it all down with a bit of mom’s milk. The man knows what he wants and it’s different at every meal, every day.
Food values like this, selection, as well as the all important source and processing, preparation, timing of introduction, the best quality and working combinations, are all important in the protection of your baby’s health.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Common feeding practices and ‘kid-friendly foods’ aren’t protecting our kids. If anything they’re contributing to the development of chronic childhood diseases.
In answer to the question above, is this just another mom-petition way of undermining other parents who’ve struggled to get their babies to eat anything but Cheerios? If we give them Cheerios, they’ll choose. If we asked an adult what they’d want they’d probably say chocolate (I would) but a baby has no idea about chocolate until we give it to him. He just tries food and says what he feels like. Give him a nice selection of Paleo real food options and see what his little body is really asking for.
Best to hide the Cheerios otherwise his innate body wisdom won’t stand a chance!