Baby Health Tips

Baby Health Tips

Baby Health Tips

 

How to Raise A Healthy Child: from New-born to Toddler

Imagine raising a baby with eczema-free skin, no food allergies and little or no ear infections.

Imagine that baby being a toddler who stays healthy even after starting pre-school.

Imagine a child that is fit, active and doesn’t get the snuffles their classmates get.

Good health and a strong immune system are not for the lucky few. Good health is within every baby and child’s grasp.

And, to make it easier for you as a parent… there is a secret.  Focus on one key aspect and health will follow..

What is that one key focus?

Gut Health for Kids.

The Best Baby Health Tip you will Get

Imagine a thriving garden. Lots of beautifully scented flowers – roses, tulips and sunflowers; flourishing vegetables – cauliflower, broccoli and tomatoes.

What is the foundation of that thriving garden?

The soil.

And, without the right soil, you could plant a 1000 flowers or 2000 vegetables, but none of them would grow.

It’s the work a gardener puts into the soil that enables the garden to flourish and thrive.

So, like the soil is the foundation of a thriving garden – Gut health is the foundation of a baby’s health, both now and in their future.

 

NOTE: if you are wondering what this means for you if you have health issues… I think health similar to being dealt a hand of cards.  You have got your cards, nothing you can do to change that… BUT, you want to play one heck of a hand. Eating well, sleeping and moving the pillars to play that hand of cards well.

 

A Baby’s Gut Development –
the secret to long-term health

In your baby’s first 1,000 days their gut is still maturing.

Think of this time as the time a gardener puts into the soil. If a gardener puts effort into making that soil the healthiest it can be, when they eventually plant a seedling – that seedling will thrive with a little sun and rain. If a gardener doesn’t spend any time nurturing that soil, after planting their seedlings they will have to put sprays and insect controls to help keep that plant growing.
When you nurture your baby’s gut development in their 1st 1,000 days they will thrive and flourish – they will be ‘those kids who never get sick’.


Why are your baby’s 1st 1,000 days important?

This is the window when your baby’s gut lining and gut bacteria balance is developing.  Reaching maturity around their 3rd birthday.

After age three, your little one’s gut bacteria becomes stable. 

Their quality of life will be affected by what bacteria they are exposed to, or,  not exposed to in their first 1,000 days.

Gut bacteria balance is one piece of the puzzle linked to childhood and adult diseases.

Early good bacteria exposure playing a role in three main areas of development. Digestive, Immune and Brain development.

 

1. Digestion and metabolism

Gut bacteria play a key role in normal bone, growth and body development.

Meaning, what happens now in their gut will play a role in your baby’s

  • body shape – their risk of developing obesity in childhood or later.
  • development of strong bones… or not.
  • ability to absorb nutrients from foods, or not.
  • growth, or lack of growth

 

2. Immune System

Gut bacteria play a key role in training your little one’s immune system. This will then affect their short term and long-term health.

Meaning, what happens now in their gut will play a role in

  • How sick they are as a baby and child. From food allergies, skin rashes such as eczema, to ear infections and ‘acute sickness’.
  • How sick they will be as an adult. With gut bacteria being a piece of a puzzle in the formation of adult diseases such as autoimmune, diabetes, obesity, cancer, even heart disease

 

3. Brain and Neurological development

Gut bacteria play a key role in not only their mood but how they react to life situations.

Meaning, what happens now in their gut will play a role in

  • Your baby’s temperament.
  • Your child’s behaviour and ability to throw tantrums.
  • Your precious one’s moods, from depression to anxiety (now and later on)
  • Your little one’s ability to concentrate, learning now and later when in school.

 

Take a pause for all of that to sink in.

Overwhelmed? I was when this was brought to my attention.

But…  there are some simple things that can be done.

7 Baby Health Tips

 

  1. Your health during pregnancy
  2. Mode of delivery
  3. Breastfeeding
  4. Antibiotic exposure
  5. Diet
  6. Lifestyle

These topics will be covered more in part II of this blog…

So make sure you check out part II where you will learn more specifics in how you as a parent or parent to be can maximise this window.

1. HealthIER at Conception

The best gift you can give your future children is to be in the best health possible your-self before being pregnant or during pregnancy.

Fathers-to-be take note as well. A dad’s health at conception plays a role in how healthy that child will be.

So,

If you’re wanting to be pregnant soon or you are pregnant now – Be the best health you can be.

This will be different for everyone as your microbiome was laid down years ago.

But, all is not lost.

Health is not all or nothing. There are varying levels of ‘fitness’.  I can be fitter than I am, just like I can eat healthier than I do right now… doesn’t make me not fit or not healthy.

Become a healthier, (emphasis on health-IER) version of yourself.

Start today by looking at your diet, or maybe it’s more fresh air and movement you need?

Small steps count, when becoming healthIER.

If you’re having five coffee’s a day – try for one less a day.

Is it easy to add in a vegetable or two for breakfast?

Snack on fruit rather than the bakery twice a week.

Invest in a fun drink bottle and leave that in your car or at your desk, to help your drink more water

Find one small thing you can do today or this week and start there. Once that is down as your new habit… choose another

If you’re relatively healthy, do yourself a favour and introduce foods that will be good for your gut…

Pre-biotic and Pro-biotic foods

Download mazing-microbiome-foods list and eat foods which will help you to get your gut in a better shape… This will be helping your baby or baby-to-be.

 

Also, make sure you are eating plenty of insoluble-fibre rich foods:

The easiest way is to base your meals around vegetables… all meals, even breakfast.

Don’t go past making small changes. They add up.

Again, to let it sink in…

What is one step can you do today to become healthier?

2. HealthIER During Pregnancy

“You can eat what you want your pregnant”.

Over four pregnancies this has been said to me too many times to count

If you concentrate just on weight, I can see how one could think this.

But, health is more than weight.. Especially when pregnant.

If you are pregnant or will be in the future, think of pregnancy as the one time when what you eat will play a HUGE role in your little-one-to-be health at birth and health when they are an adult.

So, if you are pregnant right now become a healthIER version of yourself day by day.  Even if it is getting more fresh air. Your baby’s health will benefit enormously.

 

3. Mode of Delivery

Nature didn’t get it wrong.

When a baby comes down the birth canal they get a huge dose of beneficial bacteria. From both the birth canal and the door next to the birth canal.

The differences in the microbiome of infants born via C-section v’s birth canals is huge.

So, if you are going to choose, the best start is coming down the tunnel nature intended.

However.

Sometimes you don’t get to choose.

Or, sometimes a previous birth has left you in a state of shock when thinking about labour and a C-section feels like the safest option.

If you are planning a C-Section or have to have one after being in labour… this happens, the best thing you can do is ‘Seed’ your baby.  This requires taking swabs from your vagina and rubbing in on your baby’s skin.

Sounds gross.

But, get your head around it.

It will help your baby and their future health.

As part of your birth plan make sure your midwife, partner and or doctor knows that you want this done.

A heads-up.  This is relatively new, so don’t expect your doctor or midwife to know about Seeding. It may be your job to help teach them how ‘beneficial’ it is.

 

4. Breastfeeding

Imagine…

Stumbling on an elixir that would guarantee better life-long health. You would drink it, right? You would possibly cross over the mountains to get it?

Exclusively breastfeeding for 6months is that elixir for babies.

Breastmilk is teaming with HMO; Human Milk Oligosaccharides. These little gems cannot be replicated by science and are essential to providing your little one with a healthy start to their beneficial bacteria and gut health.

HMO are not digested by your baby, they are digested by your little one’s bacteria.  HMO feed their beneficial bacteria.

Breastmilk is the only food specifically designed for your baby’s growth and development.

 

5. Antibiotics

Imagine,

A luscious, dense Amazon Rain-Forrest – teaming with life.

Now, image

That same Rain-Forrest just destroyed by a fire.

This is what antibiotics do.

Antibiotics, the microbiome destroyer. Antibiotics mean against life and it’s not just the bad bacteria they kill.

In this time right now – if your pregnant, just had a baby or have a toddler, taking or giving your little one antibiotics will change the landscape of their gut. The effects last for years. Like the re-generation after a fire in the Amazon.

Even longer, if you are in the time when their gut or ecosystem is developing.

It seems senseless to me to destroy this crucial balance when your little one has an ear infection that ‘may’ be caused by bacteria.

Always question your doctor about giving antibiotics.  Yes, they are life-saving.. but quite often they are given when a baby’s life is not on the brink.

As of writing this, I have not had antibiotics in 15 years and 10 into parenting – none of my children have ever had any antibiotics.

Antibiotics are overprescribed and unfortunately their effects last years – maybe even a lifetime.

 

6. Diet

Are you pregnant, or breastfeeding or is your little one under 3?  The food you and your little one is eating is seeding their gut right now.

What can you do?

If your Pregnant or breastfeeding…

Increase your prebiotic & probiotic foods as well as fibre from vegetables.   Download mazing-microbiome-foods list if you have not already and incorporate more of these foods into your diet.

 

Is your Baby is 9 months or younger?

If you have just started your little one on solids or will do soon? Sign up for F.I.R.S.T foods email course. F in F.I.R.S.T foods is Feeding Beneficial bacteria.

 

Is you Baby is 1-3 years old?

If you have a young one right now, diet is important and there are two key areas in good beneficial bacteria boosting foods:

  • Probiotics: teaching your kids to love fermented foods such as sauerkraut is huge. To help my kids accept this food as a ‘normal’ food, we played the ‘who can keep a straight face’ (no screwed up sour faces) when eating sauerkraut. If you are new to fermented foods, you train your taste buds for it too.
  • Prebiotics and Fibre: Meaning vegetables, vegetable and more vegetables.

 

If you’re struggling with getting your kids to eat any sort of vegetables you may have to read Healthy Little Eaters first. Start with their relationship to food first, so they love eating healthy food.

 

This will not only seed their beneficial bacteria, maximizing this window…

But, will keep them healthy.

 

7. Lifestyle

I can still feel the angst in my heart when I think about going to that playgroup

I was living in Canada.

Once a week I would take Rocket and Eckhart who were 2 ½ years old and 8 months at that time to a playgroup.

Walking in we were directed to the line where all kids, parents and babies had to wash their hand with antibacterial soap.

If your child popped outside to play when they came back inside.

Back in line. Washing hands.

Before snack.

Bank in line. Washing hands.

After a snack.

Back in line. Washing hands.

Oh, and if Eckhart, put a toy remotely close to her mouth, it would go into a big bucket to be sterilised.

Yes, then I would be…

You guessed it.

Back in line. Washing hands.

Becoming so preoccupied with bad bacteria aka germs, we have lost the perspective of why we are keeping clean for.

For health.

Why a dirty baby, maybe a Healthier baby.?

Dirt may be a good thing when it comes to life-long health.

Babies who have a pet at home or were raised on a farm and able to dig in the dirt, possible eating a spoon or two have a different bacteria than those who were raised with everything that was spick-n-span with no germs allowed.

And, they are healthier.

Stop waging war on bacteria

Yes, they can make your child sick,

But, bacteria can also make your child healthy.

It’s all a balance

Let your little ones play in the garden dirt or sand at a beach, if they get some in their mouths… no worries.

Teach them to wash their hands after using the toilet.

If your baby has a pacifier, instead of ‘sterilizing’ it, suck it.  This helps seed their gut.

Use your ‘gut instinct’ when allowing them to get dirty.

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Maximise this ‘window’ your baby or young one is going through.

The time when you are pregnant plus their first 1,000 days is when your little one’s microbiome is developing reaching maturity around 3years of age.

 

Overview of Baby Health Tips

  • You and your partner be the healthiest version of yourself, before trying for a baby.
  • Aim to be HealthIER one day at a time when pregnant & or breastfeeding,
  • Have a back-up of ‘Seeding’ if you end up having a C-Section
  • Make breastfeeding a priority
  • Feed beneficial bacteria in your baby’s first foods
  • Teach your toddler to love fermented foods and pre-biotic foods
  • Take antibiotics only when absolutely needed
  • Let your baby get dirty

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HEALTH TIPS FOR BABY

Fermented Sweet Potato

Fermented Sweet Potato

Fermented Sweet Potato

About Fermented Sweet Potato Recipe

This is going to rock your world. It did mine.

I started making fermented food for babies when I had my fourth child. I wanted to give my baby the best start and built on what I had done for my older three creating FIRST foods. F is for fermented foods as this helps a babies gut develop adding in loads of probiotic-rich foods. But I continue to make it to this day. Fermented Kumara as well call sweet potato in New Zealand has become a regular spread in wraps, sandwiches and on top of dosas for both myself and my now toddler. 

This fermented sweet Potato recipe will not only give you and your baby a good probiotic kick but will also give a load of prebiotics.

This is the double whammy for gut health.

What to do when Baby refuses?

Keep giving it to them. It can take 10-15 “trys” before they develop a taste for it. Try with food they already like. Have the expectation that at some point your child will train their taste buds to Fermented Sweet Potato and  eventually they will be happily devouring jam-packed nutrient spread/puree. 

Ingredients

  • 3 Sweet Potato (golden, purple or red all work well)

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • Culture starter or Whey

  • 2 tsp Himalayan salt

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Peel the Sweet potatoes and cut into chunks.

Step 2

Steam the sweet potato until cooked through. 

Step 3

Blend or mash the Sweet Potato with the salt into a smooth paste while hot. Use a little liquid if necessary. 

The mixture should become like a smooth paste. 

(Doing this step while hot makes the paste go smoother without as much liquid)

Step 4

Leave the Sweet Potato to cool. While you are doing that don’t forget to sterilize your jar. 

Step 5

Once cool, add in culture starter or whey and minced garlic cloves. 

Step 6

Spoon mixture into cooled sterilized jar. Pushing down with the back of a spoon so that no air holes are present. 

Step 7

Cut out a circle of baking paper and lay on top of your Sweet POtato mixture to seal it off from any air. Seal with Lid and leave in dark place for 3-7 days. 

Step 8

You will start to see air bubbles form in the sweet potato mixture. This is a sign that fermentation has started. After three days taste a little. The mixture will be a little sour and possibly fizzy. Leave out if you think it needs more fermenting time. 

Step 9

Store in the fridge. Because it is fermented, it can last for months in your fridge, but I am sure you will have eaten it before then. 🙂  

 Want a Road Map to Starting Solids?

Get a free email course that walks you through starting solids.  Tick all the boxes from giving your baby fermented foods to training their taste.

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    Fermented Foods Kids Love

    Growth Mindset For Kids in Healthy Eating

    Growth Mindset For Kids in Healthy Eating

    Growth Mindset for Kids in Healthy Eating

    Have you ever had the same experience as someone, yet when you heard them speak of it later, their perspective was totally different than yours?

    We are each unique, not by what we do or what we have… but because of our differing perspective.

    Diet is no different.

    How we see our diet and our perspective of diet is reflected in the choices we make.

    Imagine raising children that make healthy choices?

    The best way is to that is to teach them a healthy food mindset.

    What is a mindset?

    Let me tell you where I learnt it from.

     

    Want to raise an Adventurous Eaters?

    Get 10 bite-sized easy to digest emails and discover the foundations to Adventurous Eaters.

      Mindsets 

      Carol Dweck in her game-changing book Mindset: Changing the Way you Think to Fulfil your Potential, introduced the world to mindsets.

      A mindset is a way we see life. This is why you and I could experience the same thing,  yet interpret the event in a completely different way.

      Carol broadly identifies two ways to see learning (after all healthy eating is learning).

      A fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

      A fixed mindset is when we think the ability is static. You are born with it and there is nothing you can do about it.

      “Your view of yourself can determine everything. If you believe that your qualities are unchangeable — the fixed mindset — you will want to prove yourself correct over and over rather than learning from your mistake” – Carol Dweck

      A growth mindset is when the ability can be developed. Through learning and effort you know you can grow, despite where you start from.

      Changing our beliefs can have a powerful impact. The growth mindset creates a powerful passion for learning.

      “Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?”  Carol Dweck

      I bet, as a parent the light has just come on in your brain. How mindsets relate to your child’s schoolwork or how you praise your toddler with their artwork.

      In Carol’s book Mindset, she has a chapter dictated to parents that I think every parent would get a lot out of.

       How is related to the food you may ask?

      How to Grow a Healthy Food Growth Mindset for Kids

      Teach your kids a growth mindset with food and you will teach them a healthy eating mindset.

      A healthy eating mindset starts with you and your beliefs about food, your perception about healthy eating and healthy foods.

      Kids learn more from what we do, than what we say.

      It took me 5 years before I realized that if I wanted my children to have a healthy eating mindset, I couldn’t hide in the cupboards gorging on my go-to sugar hit one minute and then tell them no to a cookie the next.

      I had to stop hiding.

      I had to admit I was not where I wanted to be for my kids.

      Owning where I was today, so I could grow tomorrow, was my first step.

      Teaching kids a healthy eating mindset starts with you. In Healthy Little Eaters the first 1/3 of the book is about how changing your mindset will set the stage for helping your kids grow into healthy, adventurous eaters.

       

      Want to parent kids to have a healthy eating mindset?

      There are four mindsets that if you grow into yourself… the way you then parent will change drastically. This will help set your kids up to a healthy eating mindset (while changing some of your afflictions along the way)

      4  Healthy Eating Growth Mindsets for Kids

       

      1. Healthy Eating Mindset is Effort, not Perfection

      Is diet all or nothing to you? Either you’re being good, or, you’re being bad? You’re either eating healthy or, you’re not?

      Black and white thinking, such as being good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, is the seed of a fixed mindset.

      If you are to teach your kids to have a healthy eating mindset it starts with the mindset that healthy eating is not about being perfect.

      It’s about effort.

      Making an effort each day.

       

      Healthy Eating is about effort. It may come as bad news to you, but those families who you think to eat healthily – put in the effort. There will never be a time when everything will fall into place and you will magically get more time to prepare, plan or bake healthy foods. You have to make this a priority and make a little effort day by day.

      The good news is, that when you put effort into making small changes after a while those small changes just becomes what you do. Spending 2 hours on a Sunday preparing healthy snacks… doesn’t feel like effort anymore.

      The quickest way to changing your mindset from perfection to effort is to think: how can I be healtheIER today? Or how can I make my kids diet healthIER today?

       

      As a parent, the effort is not only for your kids but also for you (to lead by example).

      For you re YOU: If you want to be healthier, what change can you make that you are 90% sure you can do?

      For example: if you drink juice, fizzy drinks – can you half the amount that you drink. Start there. Is that an effort that you can see yourself achieving?

      Secondly, you need to congratulate yourself when you do. Congratulating yourself by comparing yourself to you yesterday, not comparing myself to someone else, grows confidence and love for that action.

      Remembering to congratulation yourself will empower you to keep making an effort.

      Try it yourself.

       

      For example re YOUR KIDS: If you have lots of packet foods as snacks. Could you half that by spending 2 hours in the kitchen on a Sunday baking or preparing homemade snacks?  What small change can you make to your kid’s diet that may be more effort for you, is helping them to be healthIER? 

      Takeaway: Healthy eating is not all or nothing. Changing your mindset of healthy eating from perfection, eating healthy… to effort, eating healthIER.

      2. Fixed Mindset is seeded from Labels

      The chicken or the egg, what comes first?

      He doesn’t like vegetables

      She won’t eat tomatoes.

      She’s not a good eater.

      He only likes white foods.

      Kids prefer lollies.

      Every kid loves ice-cream.

      When I was growing up, we occasionally had ice-cream as dessert.

      I remember, mixing it with my spoon for so long that it became a runny, melted mess. I did this for two reasons – 1. to separate the hokey pokey bits out of the ice-cream. 2. my stomach always churned when I had ice-cream, I didn’t feel good eating it.

      But I was meant to like ice-cream and it was not until I got into my teenage years that I felt strong enough to say no to ice-cream. Going against the grain of what people expected me to like.

      When we put labels on our kids, this seeps into the way they see themselves. Labels teach kids that what they are today is unchangeable. It is who they are.

      To teach kids to have a healthy eating mindset, it starts with you as the parents teaching them that what they like, or they don’t like today is changeable. We grow. We change.

      To do this use words like ‘learning to’, ‘growing into’ or ‘challenging’.

      For example:

      He is learning to like vegetables.

      She is challenging herself to taste a tomato.

      She is growing into a healthy eater.

      He is learning to like all sorts of foods.

      Comparing these phrases to the ones above and you will see they change from labelling a child who then unconsciously develops an identity about themselves, to teaching kids that their experience with food today will not be the same as it is tomorrow.

      They are growing, learning and sometimes need to challenge themselves to eat healthier. This will become their new unconsciousness around food.

      Word choice around foods helps to instil a growth mindset, (healthy eating mindset) or a fixed mindset. Choose your words wisely and don’t put your kids in a box by labelling them.

      Takeaway: Change your words – Change kids’ mindset – Change what they choose to eat

      3. Taste is Trained Not Found Out

      I grew up not liking tomatoes. I thought that I would never like tomatoes. When I was 21, my sister had been introduced to tomatoes on marmite toast by her flatmate. When I visited her, she won’t let me use her toilet until I had tried it.

      I loved it. So much so, I  got in trouble for eating their last tomato. laughing

      Taste is often thought of as something set in stone.

      Kids don’t like vegetables, they don’t like lentil curries, they don’t like tofu … If this was true, then how come kids raised in India like lentil curries? How come kids in japan love tofu?

      They like it because those kids are exposed to these foods more frequently than the kids who do not like it.

      If you want your kids to like vegetables from Brussel sprouts to tomatoes… then expose them to it.

      Train their taste.

      Below are 10 ways to train your kids to taste without bribing or using sweeter foods as a reward.

      If you want to learn more about training taste, keep an eye out for next weeks blog.

      Takeaway: If your child doesn’t like a particular food… Try, try, try again.

      4. Growing a Growth Mindset… Mistakes will be made.

      “Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts.” – Nikki Giovanni

      I used to think that if I made a mistake that made me less of a person. That I was bad in some way. The irony of that is I never learnt from my mistakes. I just felt guilty about the mistake I made.

      I unwittingly started to hand this mindset down to my children. When they overate sugar and went a little crazy, I would point it out like it was a bad thing. I am sure their interpretation was ‘I am bad’, or ‘eating ____ means I am being bad’.

      In reality, they had made a mistake. But I didn’t’ teach them how to respond to that mistake, except by making them feel guilty.

      Don’t make the mistakes I made. Or if you have… don’t feel guilty about it. Start to respond differently when your children make mistakes around food.

      How?

      When your child overeats either at a meal and they feel ‘stuffed’ or they overdo the sugar and they go a little crazy.

      When the storm has calmed.  (not in the moment of craziness – you will never get through)

      Sit with them and ask them about it.
      Encouraging them to make their own connections through your open-ended questions to what they ate and how they felt.

      This is what I refer to as Checking-in in Healthy Little Eaters.  Checking-in is a growth mindset that teaches kids to self-regulate through creating in-built mindfulness around food.

      Raising kids with an awareness of how food makes them feel, is a gift I wish every kis grows up with. This awareness starts with seeing mistakes, such as eating too much sugar, or overeating because they are distracted, as the path to food-awareness. Rather than something to berate.

       

      Takeaway: Use mistakes, such as overeating or unhealthy eating as the pathway to self-awareness around food.

      Want to raise an Adventurous Eaters?

      Get 10 bite-sized easy to digest emails and discover the foundations to Adventurous Eaters.

        Growing a Healthy Food Mindset in Children Overview

        A healthy food mindset is seeded in knowing healthy eating is

        • about effort, not perfection
        • not labelling kids as a bad eater or not liking vegetables
        • about taste buds in training
        • make the most of mistakes

        Raising a child who has a healthy food mindset starts with the messages that you give them.

        A healthy eating mindset starts with you and your beliefs about food, your perception about healthy eating and healthy foods.

        Developing a taste for healthy food and healthy food habits come about from a process. Something that requires a little effort each day.

        Instil a healthy eating mindset by teaching your kids a growth mindset to diet.

        Growing children to have a healthy food mindset will be their unconsciousness food setpoint that they will take with them on the path of life.

        Imagine what they can achieve, what they can add to the world if they are healthy, vibrant adults.

        Other Encouraging Healthy Eating for kids Blogs you may like

        7 Reasons Your Kids Refuse Vegetables

        Children typically go through a phase where they look at vegetables (or new food) with the same disgust as a pregnant person feels when someone drops a stinky one.

        But, just like my babies who didn’t sleep through the night –  it can last longer than it needs to…

        Is Baby Health Luck of the

        Even though a baby seems fully formed, their gut isn’t. It can take up until they are 3 years to have a fully functioning gut. How do you make sure their gut is in tip-top shape?  Learn more here.

        Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

        The Healthiest cookies you can bake. Kid-friendly, good for your gut while tasting lip-smackingly good.

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        Baby Health Tips

        Baby Health Tips

        A Healthy Baby can seem like ‘luck of the draw’. But by taking care of an infant’s gut microbiome in their first 1,000 days you can raise a healthy baby and toddler who grow into healthy, thriving kids. These tips to a healthy baby will put your baby on a life-long health journey.

        Growth Mindset for Kids in Healthy Eating

        How to Introduce Solids

        How to Introduce Solids

        How to Introduce Solids

        The Road Map to Successfully Introducing Solids

        How do you start introducing solids?  

        The foods, the texture, the equipment, the amount – it’s a lot to take in.

        Exciting but nerve-wracking in one ball of unknown.   

        Are you tempted to grab some rice porridge off the supermarket shelf and be done with it?

        Don’t, there are betting options…

        Let me tell you what they are.

        I have fumbled and stumbled my way through Introducing solids. It was not until I got 10 years down the track and doing it for the fourth time, I began to think, this is easy.

         

        Introducing solids is easy? 

        It got easier for me because I developed a road map to introducing solids. By my fourth, I knew what mattered, what didn’t matter and everything in-between.

        Want to know the road map that will not only be the best start but also put your little one on the road to being an Adventurous Eater?

        FIRST Foods Approach to Starting Solids

         

        Introducing solids to your baby has three main components…

        1. Providing your baby’s body with the nutrients he/she needs to grow today.

        2. Developing your baby’s immune system for short-term and life-long health

        3. Setting the stage for healthy eating habits

        Sounds like a lot. But not if you have a road map.

         

        Road maps have landmarks to help you identify that you are on the right track.  There are five land-marks to help you make sure you are on the right track when raising Adventurous Eaters.  These landmarks are F.I.R.S.T in FIRST foods…

         

        Sign up to get a step-by-step walkthrough of FIRST foods in a free email course + a 2-week Introducing Solids Schedule

         

        Introducing Solids F

        F: Feeding Your Baby’s Digestive System

        If there is one thing you could do as a parent that would lay the foundations for a healthy baby/child/teenager/adult-child would you do it? 

        Doing everything you can to help your babies gut health as good as it can be… is that one thing.

        If flour is the crux of bread then your gut health is the crux of a healthy immune system.

        Feeding your baby’s digestive system with homecooked vegetables and fruits, continue to breastfeed till your baby is one year or beyond, preparing foods to help make digestion easier are all things you can do give your baby’s gut a umph.

        Extra steps include giving your baby probiotic-rich foods such as giving a little saukerkurat juice or fermented kumara. Nourishing your baby with probiotic-rich foods is the perfect start.

        Introducing Solids I

        I: Ingredients – The best foods to start baby on

        Your baby’s stomach is small. The foods you feed your baby matter.

        Do you want to know the ideal foods to start on?

        The Best Foods For Your Baby Blog outlines in detail what foods and why, so make sure you check out that one.

        Check out this recipe… I made sure all 4 of my children started on this powerhouse of goodness.

        Introducing Solids R

        R: Relationship – fostering a healthy relationship with food

        Are you thinking about your baby having a healthy relationship with food?

        No? Neither was I.

        Are you thinking about how much solid food your baby should be eating?

        How much your baby ‘should be’ eating is the crux of a healthy relationship with food.

        When I first started to feed my baby, I wanted someone to tell me exactly how much she should be eating. Was is 170g or maybe start on 50g?

        I have learnt there are no concrete answers.

        Let your baby decide how much.

        Giving your child the say over how much they eat is the key to life-long healthy eating habits… And it starts when they are a baby.

        One of the signs that a baby is ready for solids is that they can turn their head away. Turning their head away in refusal of food is the sign they have had enough. Trust that.

        Going forward.

        I learnt the hard way that a healthy relationship with food starts when kids are babies.

        Their beliefs about food are grounded in their first year of eating.  I wrote Healthy Little Eaters for parents to help instil a healthy relationship with food in their children.  Although written for with toddlers in mind, the first 1/3rd of the book sheds lights on your unconscious beliefs. Beliefs that you will pass on to your children.  If you have ever said or got told “eat your broccoli and then you will get ice-cream” then you must read this to become conscious about these beliefs.

        Introducing Solids S

        S: Senses – Letting Babies explore when introducing solids

        What do mashed potatoes feel liked swished between your fingers?  Do you remember when you learnt what it felt like?

        Learning about food is so much more than just identifying the name of a food. Engaging your baby’s senses sets them to have up healthier food preferences, especially their sense of taste and texture in their first year of eating.

        For more on training your baby’s taste, make sure you sign up for the Introducing Solids free email course.

         

        Baby Led Weaning v’s Puree’s – which texture is best?

        What is best… Baby Lead Weaning(BLW) OR purees?

        There doesn’t have to be an either-or an OR… You can do both.

        Chewing and swallowing is a leant skill. Combining BLW and purees, for example, Liver & Kumara Puree with paprika Kumara bites in one meal is an easy solution.

        There are no ‘right’ answers here. Work out what best suits you and your baby.

        Introducing Solids T

        T: Timing – When to introduce baby food

        When to start solids, what time of day are questions easy to answer.

         Sign up to the FIRST foods first two weeks email course for more on what time of day is best.  

         The other big T in FIRST is Temperament.  Both theirs…. and yours.  Laying the foundations to good eating habits is seeded with the enjoyment of healthy food.

        I am sure you can relate when I say, I don’t enjoy anything when I am being forced into it.

        My temperament has changed 100-fold over the past 10 years when feeding my children. In hindsight, I can now see that I was 100 per cent responsible for the dinner tantrums my oldest frequently had.

        Don’t make the mistakes I made, get Healthy Little Eaters to understand more.

         

        To be introduced to each landmark step-by-step, with specific foods for first bites make sure you sign up for Introducing solids email course, you will come out the other end more confident with what you serve your baby during their first bites and the direction to take going forward.

         

        Tick all the boxes the first time.

        Get Introducing Solids right with this step-by-step email course. The Road Map to your baby’s first bites

        Summing up How to Introduce Solids

        F – Feeding Digestive System – Gut health is the crux to life-long health

        I – Ingredients – Nutrient dense, your baby’s stomach is small

        R – Relationship – let your baby have the lead on ‘how much’

        S – Senses – engage their sense though different textures and flavours

        T – Timing and Temperament – Is your baby ready for solids? Make sure they are happy and not too hungry when you first start solids.

         

        How to Introduce Solids is not hard if you have the road map.  Make it easier on yourself and either follow the one I lay out in FIRST foods Approach.

        … Or make up your own. Following a path when parenting makes decisions that much easier while making confusion that much less.

        All the best

         

        Wal

        Other Introducing Solids Blogs You May Like

        The Best First Foods For Your Baby

        What are the best foods to start your baby on?  

        From ideal to best specific foods for your baby’s needs. Plus an introducing solids first-week schedule.

        Is Baby Health Luck of the Draw?

        Even though a baby seems fully formed, their gut isn’t. It can take up until they are 3 years to have a fully functioning gut. How do you make sure their gut is in tip-top shape?  Learn more here. 

        Baby Liver Puree

        A power-house of goodness. If there was one puree to feed your baby, this would be it. 

        Tick all the boxes the first time.

        Get Introducing Solids right with this step-by-step email course. The Road Map for your baby’s first bites

         

        Recent Introducing Soilds Blogs You May Like

        Baby Health Tips

        Baby Health Tips

        A Healthy Baby can seem like ‘luck of the draw’. But by taking care of an infant’s gut microbiome in their first 1,000 days you can raise a healthy baby and toddler who grow into healthy, thriving kids. These tips to a healthy baby will put your baby on a life-long health journey.

        How to Introduce Solids

        The Road Map to Successfully Introducing Solids

        Liver Puree

        Liver Puree

        About this Recipe

        At 6 months of age, your baby’s iron stores will start to decrease.  Liver is the powerhouse of baby’s foods – nutrient-dense, high in iron (an iron your baby will easily absorb) and easy to digest.

        Your baby does not eat large amounts, to begin with, so, liver is the perfect choice to start solids with, as what your little one does get, will be jam-packed of nutrients.

        The best bang for your buck! 

        Ingredients

        • 150g chicken liver
        • 1 medium Kumara – peeled and chopped into bite
        • 1 cup Chicken Stock (or water)
        • 2 Tbsp Coconut oil
        • 1/2 onion
        • parsley

        Buy the cleanest source you can, pasture-raised organic if possible.

        Step by Step Instructions

        Step 1

        Boil Kumara in chicken stock with pot lid on, until it is soft. Add more liquid when needed.

        Step 2

        While Kumara is cooking, melt coconut oil in a fry pan and cook onions until they are soft. Remove from pan and keep to one side

        Step 3

        Fry chicken livers in unwashed onion pan until cooked.

        Step 4

        Put all ingredients, kumara with stock, chicken livers and onion with parsley into a blender and blend until desired consistency.

        The Best First Foods For Your Baby

        The Best First Foods For Your Baby

        The Best First Foods For Your Baby

        + Week One Introducing Solids Schedule

        Jen’s on a mission. Her baby is ready to start solids. She wants to get it ‘right’. But the options seem endless.

        Jen reads a gazillion articles in search for the best.. the right food to start her baby on.

        She is still confused.

        Do you feel the same?

        Introducing solids to your baby is a minefield.

        You want to get your little ones first bites ‘right’…

        But which food is best?  Is there a magical first food?

        The Right Baby food to start on is a myth

         

        Best First Baby Foods

        Eating healthy is seen as being black or white. Either it is healthy or it is unhealthy.

        But healthy eating is not black or white… Healthy eating runs along a spectrum.  Like age.

        With age, we can clearly see that a 40-year-old is older than a 20-year-old. But the difference between a 40 and 41-year-old becomes hazy.

        Food is the same.  Chips and ice-cream are not the best first foods to start your baby on. But to find one magical food that will be  ‘right’ for your baby’s first bite… is debatable.

        It is easier and less stressful to put foods on a spectrum.

         

         

        Below are the Best baby foods that are on the healthier end of the spectrum.  From Ideal to Next Best to a few individual foods that I call the Best of the Best.

        If you find that some of the Best of the Best baby foods list are not doable for you – maybe avocados are not in season. Or you have something else in mind but falls on the ‘Ideal’ or ‘Next Best’ lists.  You are not doing harm to your baby. Your baby will thrive.

        Ideal First Baby Foods

        –    ‘Real food’, aka as close to nature as possible. For example, no processed foods. This can also extend to homemade v store brought.  [Example homemade apple puree is better than sucking on a pouch of apple.]

        –    Homemade. Mashed avocado is better than a stage one jar food. Most ideal here is food that has not been tampered with by machines.

        Next Best Baby First Foods

        –    Vegetables – especially root vegetables as they will be easy to digest for your baby.

        –    Meat – either in a puree or put into a mesh pouch to suck on.

        Quality of meats are also on a continuum.  To get the best possible think what did this animal eat.

        ‘You are what you eat, eats’.

        6 Best of the Best First Baby Foods

        Specific foods for your baby’s needs

        1. Egg yolk

        High in the fat your babies brain needs.  Good fat will help your baby’s brain, and nervous system develop and improve their growth. They will be reaching those milestones in no time. Either boil an egg removing the white once cooked or flash fry the yolk in some coconut oil or quality butter). In the beginning, remove all whites then once they start to increase how much they eat…  Add in the white.

         

        2. Liver

        At 6 months of age, your baby’s iron stores will start to decrease.  Liver is the powerhouse of baby’s foods – nutrient-dense, high in iron (an iron your baby will easily absorb) and easy to digest.

        Your baby does not eat large amounts, to begin with, so, liver is the perfect choice to start solids with, as what your little one does get, will be jam-packed of nutrients.

        The best bang for your buck! 

        Buy the cleanest source you can, pasture-raised organic if possible.

         

        3. Fermented Foods

        When babies start solids, their gut goes through a microbial shift. Meaning their gut bacteria explode in number and strains of bacteria (good bacteria).

        To ensure short-term and life-long health gut bacteria needs to be favoured towards the good guys, eating fermented foods during your baby’s first bites will help this.

        Learning to ferment foods is daunting, but it doesn’t have to be, it’s super easy – give it a go… Check out the link to get my favourite, versatile, super easy to make fermented baby food – Fermented Kumara.  It takes about 30min to make, and it lasts for months in the fridge.

        4. Avocado

        Avocados are one of the best complementary foods – Smooth, creamy – the perfect food to stimulate your baby’s developing palate.

        Like egg yolk, avocados are high in the fat your baby needs – their brain development and nervous system development will get a  kick out of these beauties.

         

         5. Kumara (or sweet potato)

        This little goody of a root vegetable is being researched at the moment for potentially being the perfect start to solids.  Kumara or sweet potato is a great prebiotic, which basically means it helps your good bacteria flourish – a big tick in our house.

        Check out this recipe for Paprika Kumara Bites For Baby.

        6. Chicken Stock

        Chicken soup to help get over a cold is not just be an “old wives’ tale”.  Real chicken stock (aka homemade) contains minerals that are easy to absorb.

        I used chicken stock when cooking all my purees in my babies first 12 months.  If you prepare a large batch, you can freeze it into ice cubes.  It is then easy to get out of the freezer when you need a small amount to add to purees.

         

        Chicken stock has been used in babies with digestive problems as it is super easy to digest. If your baby has had colic caused by their digestive system, this is a must to learn how to make – see link for the No Fuss Chicken Stock recipe.

        Don’t have the time to make it yourself?

        Quality chicken stock is appearing at supermarkets. To know if it is a good quality one… it should be ‘gluggy’.  This is a sure sign good baby boosting gut nutrients are present.

        Introducing Solids Schedule

        Pin this or download it. This Introducing Solids Schedule incorporates all of the foods on the Best of the Best list.

        .

        Want a Road Map for Introducing Solids during your baby’s first few weeks of Starting Solids? 

        Get Introducing Solids right with this step-by-step email course. The Road Map to your baby’s first bites

        The Best First Foods for Baby Overview

        There is no such thing as getting ‘Healthy eating’… ‘perfect’ – but to strive for the higher end of the spectrum is a great goal.

        When in doubt think, ideal – as close to nature as possible or not tampered with by machines. When buying meats and vegetables think – what environment did this food grow in – you are what you eat… eats.

        You won’t go wrong.

         

        Want to start your baby with a strong foundation for healthy eating?

        Sign up and get the lowdown of the FIRST foods approach to introducing solids.

         

        Wal

        Other Baby First Foods Blogs You May Like

        How to Introduce Solids

        How to start solids can be a minefield… But not if you have a Roadmap.  Get it right the first time and follow this roadmap for introducing solids. 

        Is Baby Health Luck of the

        Even though a baby seems fully formed, their gut isn’t. It can take up until they are 3 years to have a fully functioning gut. How do you make sure their gut is in tip-top shape?  Learn more here.

        Lier Puree for Baby

        A power-house of goodness. If there was one puree to feed your baby, this would be it.

        Tick all the boxes the first time.

        Get Introducing Solids right with this step-by-step email course.

        The Road Map for your baby’s first bites

         

        Recent First Foods Blogs You May Like

        Baby Health Tips

        Baby Health Tips

        A Healthy Baby can seem like ‘luck of the draw’. But by taking care of an infant’s gut microbiome in their first 1,000 days you can raise a healthy baby and toddler who grow into healthy, thriving kids. These tips to a healthy baby will put your baby on a life-long health journey.

        The Best First Foods For Your Baby

        + Week One Introducing Solids Schedule

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