5.18.2011

Baby Food Part 1

In my transition to make healthy lifestyle, especially food-wise, a priority in my life again, I've been putting a lot of focus (and time) on my newborn's baby food. I want to give her the best start possible as she's growing and developing a healthy digestive, immune, endocrine, and all those other amazing systems affected by the food we eat.

A little history . . .

My now-toddler started crying when I finished nursing her around four months. I knew she was still hungry, but my supply just wasn't keeping up. I refused to switch to formula, so I tried a couple of things.

1. I started taking supplements that boosted my supply. They worked, but because they were so expensive, I didn't keep up with them as I should have, and my supply went back down again.
2. I tried pumping at random hours of the night. Since my hubby gets up at an ungodly hour to go to work, if I wasn't already up feeding, I got up with him and pumped.

Both helped a little but not enough. So, I decided that it was time to introduce solids. I went out and bought organic rice cereal, mixed it with what little milk I had pumped, and we were on to solids. Soon I was adding bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, and whatever age-appropriate stage-one organic baby food I could find. I wasn't patient enough to introduce one food at a time, and before too long, her face started breaking out into circular red patches. And later they started to ooze. We switched cereal brands, switched laundry detergents, I made my own food when possible, we eliminated foods, etc., but nothing seemed to work. I finally opted for a teensy bit of steroid cream that final cleared things up. Since then we use sporadic amounts of the cream whenever her now-diagnosed eczema shows up (and it's not just on her face--it pops up everywhere).

Two important things I've learned since then:

1. Studies are now showing that babies' digestive enzymes are actually not capable of properly processing rice and oatmeal for at least the first year of their lives. Since they can't break it down properly, the body does strange things with it to try and get rid of it (e.g., eczema).
2. A good friend of ours has diabetes. He's had it since he was a kid . . . and it showed up soon after he had a steroid shot to treat a bad case of poison ivy. The doctors didn't ever tell him there was a link, but he overheard them discussing it in the hallway.

Needless to say, I've approached feeding my second newborn solids a lot differently. I'll give more details in my next blog. Stay tuned.

**photo courtesy of stevendepolo

1 comment:

This Is Us said...

My husband's side of the family tends to have a lot of serious food allergies. I was so worried about it that I started Sophie with rice cereal. So far, no signs of allergies for her. I'll still be careful about what I feed Mabel, but I'm definitely not starting with rice cereal this time. A friend just recommended Ellen Satter's book _Child of Mine_. I'm curious to hear what she has to say about feeding your baby. I've also heard a lot about _Baby Led Weaning_ and hoping to borrow a copy from a friend. It would be nice not having to puree everything. I spent a lot of time making Sophie's baby food, but planning on feeding Mabel more of a baby version of what everyone else is having for the meal. We still have two more months to go. I'm curious to see how you're doing things differently.