Babies do not have food biases like adults. They crave a wholesome, gut-healthy diet and will gladly enjoy flavorful, healthy foods you offer to them. Come along as I share what we feed our 11-month old son and have been feeding him since he was around 6-7 months old. I am sharing a wholesome, gut-healthy diet for babies and I’d love to provide you with some ideas to feed your little one!
Around the time that babies begin eating solids, their brains are developing at a very rapid pace. This makes it vital for us to feed them nutrient dense foods at this time.
Contrary to what doctor’s still recommend, rice cereal is not nutrient dense, so please do not feed this to your baby at any age. You are simply setting them up for an addiction to chemically processed foods. (Source)
I fully believe that food under one is just for fun, so there is no need to stress over the foods your baby is getting at this time. But, why not prepare them and their gut for a lifetime of healthy eating habits?
Vitamins and nutrients vital to baby development
Babies will get the majority of their vital nutrients from mother’s breast milk or formula (I’ll save our formula story for another blog post). Healthy breast milk is designed perfectly for baby’s physical and mental development. However, this is only true when mom supplies her body with the right nutrients. Otherwise, there will be gaps in the nutrients baby is receiving from mother’s breast milk.
To ensure the gaps are filled, babies need ample amounts of protein, zinc, iron and B-vitamins. These are often deficient when weaning begins and babies eat more solids. Meat, preferably grass or pasture-fed, has ample amounts of each of those vitamins/minerals. (Source)
Many parent’s lag behind on letting their babies taste meats, but their bodies crave and need it! Just make sure the bites are appropriately sized!
When to begin solids
All babies are different. We were actually advised to begin solids at 5 months with our son when he was lacking the proper weight gain, according to his doctor. I knew he was not ready for solids quite yet at this age, and especially not the rice cereal that was recommend to us by his doctor. A simple switch to a homemade formula, supplemented to my breast milk corrected his weight gain issue. I knew at 5 months he was just not ready for solids yet.
Our son was breastfed as well as supplemented with homemade raw milk formula until about 6 months of age. At that time we began egg yolks and soft vegetables. However, some babies are not ready to begin solids until closer to 7 or 8 months. Listen to your baby and follow their lead.
The main indicators that a baby is ready to try solids are: baby can sit up unassisted, they are beginning to lose the tongue thrust reflex when a spoon enters their mouth, and they show ample interest in foods.
Some babies prefer purees, some solids, and some a mixture of the two. Our son prefered a mixture and I simply mashed or pureed whatever foods my husband and I were eating.
Babies don’t need special meals prepared just for them
My philosophy is that baby eats what we eat. Our family eats a whole-food diet comprised of grass or pasture fed meats, mostly organic fruits and vegetables, and very little processed foods. There is no reason that our son can not eat anything we are eating.
I also do not skimp on the flavor for his foods. If we are having tacos, he eats the seasoned taco meat we eat. Giving babies a diverse palate early on is key to keeping them eating a variety of foods in their future! Plus, who wants bland, flavorless food?
Early on, I did puree up several meals for him to eat throughout the week since his food did need to be very soft, but other than that, I’ve always just given him whatever wholesome, gut-healthy foods we are eating.
Babies need probiotics
A baby’s gut is not mature until around the age of 6 months or later. This is why solids are not recommend before this time. (Source)
A healthy gut equals a healthy immune system, therefore I believe starting early is the perfect time to prepare our children to have a healthy gut. This sets them up for a good immune system, less stomach issues, and the ability for their bodies to properly process out toxins that are harmful to the body.
To do this, we avoid all sugars and make sure to feed him plenty of gut-healthy, fermented foods. Contrary to what may be the norm, babies love the taste of fermented foods. They seem to inherently know that their bodies need this and love this salty, sour taste, so just give it a try!
Sauerkraut, fermented pickles, fermented salsa, milk kefir ranch dressing are all probiotic rich foods that my son eats almost daily. I believe sauerkraut is his favorite!
Supporting a baby’s healthy gut at an early age, hopefully ensures that when they do eat birthday cake several years down the road, their gut is prepared to process it properly. Ideally, a healthy gut will help eliminate underlying issues so many children face today.
Now that I have shared some background knowledge behind WHY we feed our son this way, here are some sample meals he eats throughout the day!
Most of these meals are the exact same things my husband and I are also eating. We keep it simple around here!
Watch the video below for some cute baby clips! He loves his food!
He is also learning to drink from an open cup at this age!
Watch the video
Breakfast is the same almost everyday! Eggs, eggs, eggs! My dad raises chickens so we love our farm-fresh eggs. We have plans within the next months to raise our own chickens! I usually make a batch of sourdough muffins at the beginning of each week for us to add to our breakfast! Sauerkraut often makes an appearance at breakfast as well.
- 1 whole egg, 1/2 chopped Avocado, sauerkraut, Homemade Instant Pot Yogurt mixed with Daily Greens Powder
- 1 whole egg, 1/2 chopped avocado, sauerkraut, homemade sourdough banana muffin
- 1 whole egg, sauerkraut, homemade sourdough blueberry muffin
- Salad: Finely chopped spinach, fermented pickles, fermented salsa, sauerkraut, fried or boiled whole egg, topped with milk kefir ranch dressing, — We probably eat a version of this salad for lunch at least 3 times per week.
- Homemade garden fresh spaghetti with zucchini noodles
- Fried egg, sauteed spinach, sauerkraut, crispy potatoes, fermented salsa
- Pizza with sourdough crust (babies are not ready to digest grains until well past the age of 1) Since sourdough is pre-digested a few bites here and there are great for babies!
- Any fruits- We love watermelon, blueberries, frozen bananas, peaches, kiwi, strawberries
- Sourdough muffins
- Homemade Instant Pot Applesauce / homemade pear sauce and spiced pears (coming soon)
- Instant Pot Greek Yogurt with peanut butter & chia seeds
- Chia Pudding: Mix 1/2 coconut milk, 2 T chia seeds, & cinnamon. Chill in fridge before serving
- Smoothies– This is my favorite way to sneak in extra vegetables/nutrients for my husband and my son!
Here are some combos we love:
— Watermelon, frozen cherries, frozen blueberries, spinach, beets, carrots, daily greens powder , collagen peptides, water to blend
— Homemade Instant Pot yogurt , frozen blueberries, frozen bananas, spinach, peanut butter (Check for allergies first and the only ingredients should be peanuts & salt), Collagen peptides, water to blend
— Homemade Instant Pot yogurt OR Milk Kefir , Maca Powder, 1 T coconut oil, frozen banana
I hope this post as well as the video of my son enjoying these wholesome, gut-healthy foods has encouraged you to try out some new foods with your little one!
Shop Our baby Feeding Favorites:
Our favorite daily greens powder
Open Cups (we used these same mason jars for his bottles)
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