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Feeding tiny groklings

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  • Feeding tiny groklings

    Looking for some discussion, on allergies and introducing solids...
    I know what WHO, LLLI, and the AAP say about introducing solid foods. However, I'm not 100% sold on this idea of waiting until 6 months to introduce table food to infants. The policy seems contrary to "watching cues", which is the main way that I parent my babies. Both of my older kids were really into exploring food before 6 months (and before they were sitting up independently), to the point that I actually could not eat in front of them between 5 and 6 months without having to tolerate screaming and crying. And handing my babe spoons or other eating paraphernalia never made a difference. It felt cruel to not let them try some food; not because I felt that breast milk was inadequate to meet their nutritional needs, but rather because it seemed that they were telling me they were ready to experiment with something more.

    Second point: it's very common for people to allow their teething babies to chew on non-edible toys like plastic teething rings, or even organic cotton teethers, but it's taboo to let them chew on something edible, like a blunt organic carrot. Why? If the babe has no teeth, it's unlikely that any of the carrot will make it to the babe's intestines or pose as a choking hazard. It's not as if the teether is completely inert: bits of lint probably come off, and the plastic probably leaches into the babe's saliva.

    Third point: it's not uncommon among (neolithic) indigenous cultures for newborns to be fed cereal gruel instead of colostrum (many cultures believed that colostrum was poisonous to the newborn), and yet the incidence of allergies among those groups is almost nonexistent. It would seem as if there is more to the puzzle of allergies than merely when the baby was first exposed to solid food.

    Third point (though this is a weak one): if Grokling was screaming for a bite to chew on, would Grokette have said “oh, no you're not 6 months old yet” before giving him a smooth stick or bit of food to gnaw on? Probably not. So why is it so important to wait until 6 months before letting edible stuff pass into a baby's mouth?

    For a little boring history, I gave my first baby rice cereal with breastmilk at 4 months (stupid? Yes. And I knew better). He later developed eczema and still has environmental allergies (though his food allergies seem to have abated) which sometimes induce an asthma attack. I started my second baby on solid foods at 5 months, and instead of rice cereal via spoon (she did get a little of this, but not much) I placed bits of smooshed food like avocado, sweet potato, ground beef, etc. on her highchair tray for her to feed herself. She has no known or obvious allergies, and no asthma. My third baby is now 4 months old, and I've already given him a carrot to chew on (last night). He LOVED it, meanwhile I was able to clean the kitchen and eat a little food. We'll have to wait to see if I've irreparably damaged him.

    I have a little hypothesis that it's not really the age when solid food is first introduced (though I think it's important to wait as long as the baby will tolerate it), but rather the manner and amount. If tiny amounts of food are introduced at a time, (I think) the body has more time to acclimate to that food by producing more of the enzymes specific to that food (am I describing that clearly?) What do you think?
    my primal journal:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...Primal-Journal

  • #2
    Saoirse,

    Mother Grok would chew her food well, and spit it into Groklings mouth. That is the name of that tune! There were no such things as baby food laced with High Fructose Corn Syrup and Trans Fats. No such things as teething rings, nibbles, and other junky things. They played with rocks, sticks, and probably put dirt in their mouths. They crawled around in the sun without sunscreen. CW makes me sick.

    Best of health to all,
    Grizz

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    • #3
      My babies loved to gnaw on bones. I have darling pictures of them with lamb chop bones in fist, and smears all over their faces. They really can't hurt themselves on the bones and the seemed to really like the flavor.

      As they got older, I gave them mashed avocado, scrambled eggs, mashed salmon, and anything else I could squish up with a fork.

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      • #4
        Grizz- there's some concern about chewing up food and putting it in the baby's mouth. The main one is the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria. Granted, I'm not completely sold on the idea that cavities are 100% caused by bacteria, but it's still a concern for me as I really don't know for sure (both of my older kids had horrible tooth decay at a very young age requiring dental surgery at 2). Sorry to be uppity, but I've never fed my kids jarred baby food with HFCS in it. Even when I was stupid enough to do rice cereal and jarred baby food (which was a very short time), it was organic with whole food ingredients. We also don't do sunscreen (okay, rarely do we use sunscreen- my kids and I burn very easily), BUT we live in a northern climate so Vit D isn't available all year 'round from the sun.

        LIghtlystarched- bones, eh? Interesting concept. So, you don't buy into the taboo about "nothing shall pass the lips before 6 months?"

        What do you guys think about my earlier stated hypothesis regarding food quantities and enzyme production?

        --Rachel
        my primal journal:
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...Primal-Journal

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        • #5
          There was some instincto experiment instincto's did- they gave a newborn girl food- real raw food, meat, fruit etc; I can try to locate the info but the point was the newborn was able to digest it 100% just like breastmilk. Of course neolithic foods were not given and the baby sniffed it first and stuck her tougue out to taste the food, there was no gag reflex or anything. I found it highly interesting.

          That said, I did delay solids with my last 3. They were all over one year before they started, my oldest son was not interested in solids until he reached 15 months. I did try and he just pushed it away. I gave all 3 avocados as their first food (I was also a raw foodist though non vegan) and I gave them raw cucumbers and celery to teethe on. I didn't want to give them fruit or sweets so they wouldn't develop a preference for sweets.

          After a few months of simple eating and seeing how well they were digesting they ate more variety.

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          • #6
            I'm no expert and don't have kids, but I've never understood the concept that at 5 months and 30 days a baby can't do something, then the next day they hit that magic number of 6 months and KAZAM! Suddenly the toys don't need sterilising, etc etc etc.

            My gut instinct (/ignorance) would say that if they're given something harmless in terms of chemicals - eg a carrot like you say - plus supervised to minimise choking risk - then what could go wrong? It sounds like you can "read" your children well and know that they're ready for something else.

            It would make sense to me for exposure to foods to trigger enzyme production, Without OVERexposure causing problems. Simple stimulus -> response.

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            • #7
              Well, after three kids and two are now adults, I can say that I never waited until the magical age of six months. Whenever they were ready for whatever. Start off with soft stuff and see how it goes. Try Braunschweiger dipped in broth---but don't give 'em too much as they will get fat on the stuff!

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              • #8
                Oh yeah, bones are great for teething. Hubby and I would eat dinner, and I would cut most of the meat off of a lamb bone, or pork chop bone, rib bone, whatever we were having, and give 'em to the girls. Since they have no teeth, they were basically just sucking and gnawing on them while we ate. They bothed loved it, and still now at ages almost-10 and 7 we as a family argue over who gets the bones. They love the marrow from osso buco too.

                I don't remember what age....old enough to be interested, to sit in a high chair, and hold it.

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                • #9
                  In the time of caveman, or Grok, I'm convinced mother would chew the meat and pass it to baby. I've done this a few times with my baby when it came to meat. I've see documentaries on Eskimos where a daughter would masticate raw meat for her toothless mother. So it must have happened for the toothless babies too... along with lots of breastmilk. I've tried to keep my 15month boy as primal as possible. But lately I have given into playgroup pressure and started giving him crackers.. now I have to cut him off because he is now refusing fruit in favour of crackers.

                  When we give him a chop bone, he LOVES it! sucks, chews, rubs it all over his face and hair. Throws it around.. He also loves the fat, especially from pork ( which I love too,). He also eats.. sucks on lots of rocks, infact, he sucks off the dirt, spits out the rock and finds a new dirt encrusted stone. Once he had so many pebbles in his mouth he couldn't close his mouth properly! It was soo funny! I've never worried about him choking.. he's never had a problem. The only thing that has ever caused a choking responce once was when he stuffes the whole banana in his mouth and he did choke on that.. I just put him on the ground and knocked it out of him. But really, he loves stickes, dirt, millapeeds, meat and bones. Groklings would have had more dirt than our kiddies get today. I let him eat his fill of dirt... believe me, it took a bit of time to get use to this. Its good for them and it doesnt seem to hurt him.

                  I started him on solids at 5.5 months because he seemed ready and was interested, so that was good enough for me.

                  Girzz.. Again I totally agree with you. We don't put sunscreen on him (except under extreme sun like tropics when he went a bit pink) other than that I let him have sun so he can make his own Vit D. I don't use suncreen anymore either, and if I am getting too much I use a hat or shade. I do tan well so that helps.

                  Some of the posts I have read here suggest that while on Primal food, they don't burn as easily.. I think its true.

                  God I hate the pressure us mothers are put under to folllow CW for our babies. I'm not perfect and have been relenting to some of the pressure, but I don't like it.

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                  • #10
                    Grizz, thank you for your various links. I have found them very helpfulll indeed!

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                    • #11
                      Saoirse, on the point of your giving your first baby rice and the child later developing allergies, our first had all sorts of nonsense at about 6 months (while still breast feeding) including gluten, whereas our second we were much more careful with. The first lost all eczema at 2 and now reacts to nothing, whereas the second is now 3 and still has eczema reactions to dairy, soy and eggs. So it seems there's more to it than just how early major allergens are introduced.
                      My primal journal
                      You might find these handy: Free gluten free restaurant cards in 50+ languages
                      In Praise of the Primal Lifestyle

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                      • #12
                        I always gave my little ones bits of hard vegetables or fruit to gum on. Its just for a bit of flavour as they can't actually get any pieces off. When they were a little older they'd get a strip of steak or roasted meat to suck on. Its natural for babies to put everything in their mouths so where the idea came from that nothing must pass their lips, who knows?
                        If I had another baby now, I'd definately chew bits of food and pass them on. I'm sure if all that was available to Grok was berries and bison, thats what baby grockling would have eaten too.

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                        • #13
                          I think what/when to feed Groklings probably is highly dependent on them as individuals. And you as their mamas. Were there frequent yeast infections and flora imbalances during pregnancy? Did baby pass through a birth canal that had a flora imbalance? Was there long history of use of oral birth control, antibiotics, etc. by mama? That can really disrupt baby's gut.
                          The GAPS book has a good discussion on this as it relates to allergies (and other things like ADHD and autism).
                          http://shop.gapsdiet.com/product.sc?...1&categoryId=7
                          p.s. LOVE the bone idea!

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                          • #14
                            We did baby led feeding with our second and third. First born had cereal at 4 months, then she flat out refused all food except for avocado and cheese until she weaned at 18 months... go figure.

                            Anyhow, we followed our babies cues. Our second mostly self fed, but we did spoon feed her a bit. The third was never ever spoon fed. So, it was mushy fruits & veg (banana first, avocado, sweet potato, soft meats etc etc). If they can grab the food, and get it into their mouth - and its soft enough for them to chew - then solids begin (this was at 5 months for both of my self feeders). I never prepared anything special or different, just allowed the babies to eat what we were eating.

                            Our second baby did get cereal, because I thought I had to give it to her. She never ate it though. Smart girl!!

                            Our third would have had soaked oatmeal & rice but other than that, no significant grains/cereals in her diet. Of the three, she is the one who leans most instinctively toward primal eating (she is now just 2 months shy of 3 and was just weaned from the breast). We certainly allowed her the most freedom of choice in her foods (you learn as you go - third time's the charm), and I think that played a very significant role in her food choices to this day. I also suspect that because my diet was better while I was nursing that influenced her tastes - I have not consumed considerable amounts of sugar since she was born.

                            Anyhow, I think feeding babies is another one of those parenting areas where we just need to trust our knowledge of our babies needs and do our best to respond to them ignoring pretty much all conventional wisdom along the way....
                            Robin
                            ~primal mama to 3~

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                            • #15
                              I read something about pemmican being a great first food for babies.
                              A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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