During our lifetime, our nutritional needs change. Of course one things stays constant, there is no need for processed foods, which contain GMO’s, white flours, and sugars, additives and artificial sweetners. One thing that we need to keep in mind is that baby formula’s and baby cereal contain GMO’s, and currently there is a bill in the works to prevent this, but as of right now, it is not in effect. Baby cereals as well are what I classify as processed food. There is no reason, nutritonally speaking, to give your child cereal over a whole food. Infant vitamins are a wonderful way to supplement any nutritional deficit.
This is going to be a 6 part post, starting with Birth, and ending with older adults. I will cover menopause and breastfeeding as well.
Birth to Three Months:
Breast-feed if at all possible: Breast milk is the ideal food for babies and contains maternal antibodies that help the baby to develop a resistance to infections during the early months of life.
Supplements are important but if the mother has a nutritious diet and supplement regime, the baby will require nothing extra during this time. You can also use boiled, cool water and diluted, fresh apple juice (not tinned) if
the child can tolerate it. If colic is a problem, try drinking dill water, fennel water, and chamomile tea. These are all excellent remedies for colic and the active constituents will pass through to the baby in the milk. To make use of dill or fennel seed tea, use 1-T to 1-cup of water, let the seeds steep for 10-20 minutes, and then strain carefully.
If the mother cannot breast-feed, use a balanced formula. Do not use cow’s milk, which can cause gastrointestinal bleeding in infants, increase chances of a milk protein allergy, cause kidney issues and affect fluid balance, and does not provide necessary nutrients, such as iron, vitamin C and E, and essential fatty acids. Goat’s milk is preferable to cow’s milk, as babies are less likely to develop an allergy to goat’s milk and it is easier to digest. However, it still has nutritional deficiencies and needs to be supplemented with vitamins A, D, C, iron, and folic acid. (Speak to your pediatrician, as supplements must be used cautiously with infants.)
Five to Six Months:
At this age, the child needs extra vitamin C, A, D, iron, and B12 (particularly if the mother is vegetarian). Introduce organic cereal, then mashed vegetables one at a time. Ripe mashed avocado is excellent. If cooking, do so lightly so as not to destroy nutrients. Concentrate on whole, unprocessed fresh, organic foods. Avoid feeding the child tinned or processed baby foods, or foods that are sweet and sugary. Even organic jarred baby foods have chemicals used to seal the lids. If you can manage it, prepare your own baby food from organic fruits, vegetables, and cereals. It is often preferable to introduce a range of vegetables before moving to sweet fruits, as biologically we all prefer sweets so you may find baby prefers applesauce to beans. An excellent book for all parents is Super Baby Foods by Ruth Yaron.
Vitamin supplements may be sprinkled or mashed into foods, particularly if the mother is no longer breastfeeding. Daily B12 requirements are small, but vital. Use supplements designed for infants to ensure accurate dosage.
0-6 months 0.4*
7-12 months 0.5*
1-3 years 0.9
4-8 years 1.2
Note: This table presents either Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) or
Adequate Intakes (AIs) followed by an asterisk (*)47.
By this stage, the child can move on to mashed root vegetables, ground seeds, millet, and fruit. Try ground sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds, and almonds. These can be ground or prepared as nut or seed milk drinks. Soak the seeds in water overnight and liquefy the following morning. You may need to strain the liquid for a young baby, but older babies can drink it as is. Add banana, cinnamon, or dates for added flavor and nourishment. Note that raw honey should not be used as some raw honey can be contaminated with botulism. Suitable grains include brown rice, millet, oatmeal, barley, or buckwheat, steamed or prepared in a casserole, then pureed or mashed thoroughly. Vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, yams, celery, potatoes, and all green vegetables can be steamed and mashed.
Twelve to Fifteen Months:
At this stage, heavier starches and more protein foods can be added, try freerange eggs, seeds, tofu, sprouts, nuts, and grains. Avoid wheat and cow’s milk if the child develops mucus and coughs.
Two Years and Up:
By two years old, a child can eat a full range of whole foods with the rest of the family (except choking hazards). Introduce supplements if you have not already done so, such as kelp granules, brewer’s yeast, and lecithin granules. Avoid processed food, sweets, ice cream, and candy as much as possible.
**All of these facts were taken directly out of my school e-book from ACHS, however, as you can see from my pictures, I have first hand experience in raising a child and I would not do anything differently then what my school has taught me. I breastfed my son until he was 6 months old. Looking back, I wish I had breastfed longer. My next child will be fed using the information I have gained during my schooling. Nutrition during these developing years is so important, and if I had to pick a time in life to eat organic whole foods, this is the stage I deem it to be most important.
- ACTION ALERT: Get GMOs out of Infant Formula – Sign Petition to Similac (Abbott Laboratories) (foodconsumer.org)
- Starting a Baby on Solid Foods: When, How, and Why (everydayfamily.com)
- Homemade Baby Food: Save Money and Go Green (everydayfamily.com)