Tag Archives: Sally Fallon Morell

Podcast March 5, 2013

Podcast

Topics include pre-conception nutrition for mother and father, childbirth, breastfeeding, vaccines, childhood illnesses, child spacing, attachment parenting and more!

I was asked to be interviewed with Sally Fallon Morell for the Food Integrity Now website. You can hear the recorded interview that Carol Grieve conducted, and/or read the following summation. Learn more about the Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care.

  • Sally let us know that there are now 16,000 members of the Weston A. Price Foundation.
  • Preconception: Most modern mothers who are planning to conceive are simply told to take prenatal vitamins, no other preparations are recommended. Traditional cultures engaged in specifically feeding for both parents for at least 6 month before conception. Sally mentioned the published recommended diet. We’ve now had 10 years of babies being born to mother’s following this diet and they are essentially, a bundle of joy.
  • The Importance of raw milk. Raw milk so much more available than even 7 or 8 years ago.  Sally would suggest that it is worth moving to a place that raw milk is available because raw milk ensures optimal development of the child.  Raw cheese and bone broth would substitute for bone broth.
  • Preparing for the baby. Note that the father’s diet is also important – we know, totally based on science, that the quality of the sperm at time of conception is based on father’s diet.  It needs to be a family a diet, followed together.
  • Cholesterol. For women, there is no such thing as high cholesterol, there is no greater risk of heart disease for women at any level, even if it is in the thousands [see The Benefits of High Cholesterol and corresponding references].  The tragedy of making a villan out of cholesterol is our children. Our children are paying the price because cholesterol is absolutely critical for forming the baby – hormones, development of brain, nervous system and most critically for the development of the gut, to get the good type of non-leaky gut.
  • Eggs. In our presentation, based on Sally Fallon Morell’s presentation, we recount that a pregnant woman will eat up to 10 eggs a day if she can afford them.  I was told by a nutritionist who practices within our community that even having 2 to 3 eggs a day would be prohibitive [being that she favors a focus on rotational eating]. There is still a persistent fear of eggs.  Sally points out that even the most ardent  proponents of the cholesterol theory, such as Ancel Keyes,  was very infatic that the diet did not influence cholesterol levels and that is why they started pushing the drugs, because they couldn’t bring cholesterol levels down in a consistent way.  There have been a number of studies exonerating eggs, including a man who ate 50 eggs a day, and he had normal cholesterol. So we are demonizing one of the most nutritious foods. The egg white is very difficult for some people to digest.  If that is the case, use them egg yolks in smoothies and make custards with the yolks.
  • Nutrition for Fetal Development. Sally highlights the importance of Vitamin A during the first trimester when the organs are being formed.  It is the concert master of fetal development.  It gives the stem cells the signals to become heart cells or kidney cells, and so forth.  If you don’t have enough Vitamin A before you become pregnant, than things can go wrong.  This underscores the need to build up our stores of Vitamin A before we get pregnant and then continue with these Vitamin A rich foods such as egg yolks, liver, fish eggs.
  • Cod Liver Oil.  Provides a nice balance of Vitamin A and D that is critical to fetal development.  It is recommended that it is taken before, during and after pregnancy and given to babies early.  It is recommended that one start early.  Sally puts her cod liver oil to a small shot glass and mixes it with warm to hot water.
  • Prenatal vitamins.  Not recommended. All synthetic, made in big factories … almost 100% of them are made in China, where there is no oversight on how they are made. Vitamin A in these are from carotenes, and one may get to much carotene which can actually disrupt true Vitamin A.  Also of concern, GMOs are used to produced these vitamins through a fermentation process. Dr. Ron’s multi-vitamin without Vitamins A and D in case one insists on taking them, along with cod liver oil. Saturated fats are highly recommended while pregnant, despite popular advise to avoid them.
  • Weight gain – Sally suggests that if one gains more weight during pregnancy than is advised, not to be worried. She said it is better to gain a little more weight than less. When wants to lose weight, the recommendation is to cut back on carbohydrates.
  • Ultra Sounds. Beyond once or twice while pregnant, there are dangers of ultra sounds. They are  associated with left handedness, delayed speech, delayed development.  Fetal monitors are also a form of ultra sound. Find a doctor that will use a fetal scope, which is stethoscope to listen to the baby.
  • Natural Childbirth is recommended, in part because an ultrasound is on the whole time during a cesarian.  The noise is like a train coming into a station.  Nonetheless, the cesarian is a life saver.  Good nutrition, the fat soluble vitamins A and D will also support and quick and [relatively] easy birth.
  • Homemade Baby Formula – Sally acknowledges that she has received a lot of criticism from breastfeeding advocates asserting that she is against breastfeeding. She clarifies that she is not against breastfeeding. She considers herself a realist. Breastfeeding doesn’t always work, there is an estimate that 10% to 15% of women simply don’t have enough supply. This is true in the animal world. Sally has dairy cows and explains that amongst the cows, there is a variety of production, some produce 4 gallons, others give half a gallon. These mothers need a good nutritious formula which is based on raw milk, as an alternative to commercial raw milk. See this related post on the topic.
  • Criticism of Baby Formula – I spoke to the fact that there are those who suggest that the homemade baby formula is an “easy option”. That some suggest that mothers aren’t getting enough support in breastfeeding, that there may be an issue that hasn’t been uncovered related to why the breastfeeding isn’t successful. Sally suggested that may very well be true, however one doesn’t have a lot of time.  They need to feed their babies.
  • Donor Milk – I spoke to the fact that there are those who think that donor milk “should be” the next option before formula.  I also address the concern expressed that the milk in donor banks is pasteurized and one may not know the quality of the mother’s diet.  Sally highlights the fact that there is a section in her book about donor milk and resources, but she does wonder how realistic it is to think that all of these mothers who can’t nurse are going to find donor milk! That is a lot of milk!  Again, you simply don’t have a lot of time to figure out what you’re going to do if your baby isn’t thriving on what you can produce.
  • Quality of Breast Milk – I raised the assertion I often hear in our discussions that “Even the worst quality breast milk is still better than any formula, commercial, homemade or otherwise.”  The Le Leche League asserts, “Your milk has every vitamin, mineral and other nutritional element that your baby’s body needs … There’s no reason to worry about the quality of your milk. Eating more won’t make more milk and not eating enough won’t make less milk.” The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Eighth Edition, La Leche League, 2010. Sally explains that she spends a lot of time in the book showing, with scientific studies with references, the great disparity you can have in nutrients in the milk depending on the diet. Sally is very proud of the fact that this is the most scientifically based book on babies out there with pages and pages of references, which is not typical. See this related post on the topic.
  • Soy Infant Baby Formula.  Soy is a goitrogen and causes thyroid problem.  When talking about the development of the child, it is an endocrine disruptor that passes through the placenta that causes changes in the baby. Animal studies show much more anxious rats. Soy infant formula is like the kiss of death.  Hard on the digestion system.  There is no greater example in Sally’s opinion of how wrong we’ve gone in our society than if we think it is okay to give soy infant formula to babies.
  • GMO’s. There is a strong warning against genetically modified foods in the book.
  • Vaccinations.  Squarely against vaccinations. If your child is fully vaccinated, he will have 36 shots by the age of 5 and that starts on the first day in the hospital. They don’t stop at that age. Sally and Dr. Cowan assert that they lead to is autoimmune diseases. Children who are vaccinations get sick more often. Children who are not vaccinations develop their own immune systems and are healthier all around.  If you must vaccinate, Sally suggests you at least wait until the age of 2.
  • Whopping Cough.  We spoke about this article, posted on our blog earlier this week, and how it was a rare disease in during Sally and Carol’s childhoods.  Sally speculated that the disease may be somehow more prevalent because of the vacine just as Leslie Manookiann did.
  • Dangers of Fluoride – it is an enzyme inhibitor and thyroid suppressant. Even our government warns now that children should not have too much fluoride it toothpaste being that it leads to modeled teeth.  Dr. Price didn’t find any natives using fluoride and they all had beautiful healthy teeth. Vitamin K is the key nutrient for healthy teeth.  If you have adequate levels of vitamin K in your saliva you won’t get cavities.  Vitamin K from liver, cheese, egg yolks, the fats of grass fed animals. It is recommended that one install a water filtration system to remove fluoride.
  • Child Spacing – I mentioned that this is one of the more controversial topics we’ve discussed. Sally explains that people can do whatever they want however,  both tradition and the science affirm that the ideal spacing between children is 3 years or more. Not only for the physical health of  the baby and the mother but, for the child’s emotional development.  It gives the mother a chance to recover.   In regard to the desire to leave it all up to God, Sally likes to think of it as a partnership with God. Traditional people were very, very attuned with the spiritual world and they certainly believed that it was entirely their responsibility to eat properly and to space between the children. If  you use that argument, you might as well say, it doesn’t matter how you eat, it’s all up to God.  And that is what a lot of people do say, when things so wrong, they just blame God.  See this related post on the topic.
  • Ear Infections - antibiotics are no longer routinely given to children. Number one is to get them off pasteurized milk products. It is associated with frequent ear infections.  Breast milk is found to be of value in clearing up ear infections. See our Facebook discussion on the topic.
  • Chicken pocks, measles and mumps. These diseases have been in decline for many years, long before vacccinations.  The child should have these diseases strengthens the immune system.  Fevers are important. Usually the illnesses are very mild.
  • Attachment parenting. Sally couldn’t disagree more with this theory. She thinks that it is a tremendous burden on the mother and the child. The child doesn’t want or need to be held all the time. Sally talks about alternating between putting the child in a baby like seat at a 45 degree angle so he can watch whats going, and then baby needs to be unfettered on the floor, learning how to roll over and sit up and crawl, and then the baby needs to be held and nursed.  Sally asserts that  is not good for the mother or baby to be held all the time. Baby’s like to be alone just like adults like to be alone.  Baby’s need a lot of developing to do and they need to do that on their own alone. Sally’s babies didn’t want her to hold them.  I referred to this widely popular banner that ended up being viewed over 100,000 times and liked and shared over 850 times,  whereby the consensus was that a baby can’t be held too much yet, Sally said that she thinks a baby can, in fact, be held too much.

What do you think about the many opinions shared?  Let us focus on ideas and not individuals.

12 Comments

Filed under Babies, Childbirth, Dr. Price's Research, Fertility, Nourishing Our Children, Raw Milk, Soy, Vaccination

Nourish the whole child with finger painting!

Finger Painting

Therapeutic

As a former art therapist and learning specialist, I often utilized finger painting in my practice. Finger painting is an age-old activity that fosters children’s creativity as it captivates their interest.

Kerry Greasley explains, “Finger painting has existed for centuries, but was established in its modern form in the 1930s by Ruth Faison Shaw. She was one of the first to recognise its therapeutic potential and was hailed as “a pioneer in progressive education”. At a time when many thought children should be seen and not heard, she saw finger painting as an important way for children to communicate their unexpressed words and feelings. The instinctive nature of finger painting, she said, “aids the imagination and gives a delight in creating things subconsciously – things that one may not even have seen or dreamed of before”.

Benefits

Dr Elsie Calitz, a mother of five adult children and a grandmother of six, offers this list of 15 reasons to finger paint:

  1. Kids can learn informally about mixing and exploring colours.
  2. Sensory integration is promoted.
  3. All the senses are involved: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and (if you use edible paint) tasting!
  4. Finger painting strengthens the finger and hand muscles, thereby improving fine motor development .
  5. The development of hand-eye coordination is supported.
  6. If you place the paper on the floor, large muscle control and balance could be improved.
  7. Finger painting is easier for little fingers that are not yet ready to manipulate a brush with skill.
  8. This is a non-prescriptive way of promoting children’s self-expression.
  9. There is a focus on the process, not on the end result or the finished product.
  10. Finger painting is therapeutic – children can express their feelings visually without using words.
  11. It stimulates creativity and imagination.
  12. Finger painting is an excellent way of creating shared art work with a group of kids working together.
  13. The finished art work and the process are stimulation points for discussion on the creative process, the colours, the themes, the design etc., thus language development is promoted.
  14. Kids learn that they can manipulate and be in control of their surroundings.
  15. It is messy, which also means it is fun!

Red finger paint strokes

Homemade

Store bought finger paints can be filled with toxins and synthetic colorants. Make your own finger paint using non-toxic, safe, organic ingredients!

Jeannie Lyon has published a non-toxic finger paint recipe:

Ingredients

3 tablespoons organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup organic corn starch
2 cups water
organic food colorants such as Maggie’s Naturals, NaturalFlavors , IndiaTree or make your own instructions below

Instructions 

Add a couple of drops of natural food colorants to a muffin tin or other container. Add all of the other ingredients to a small saucepan and continually stir over low heat until the mixture thickens to a paint consistency. Pour equal amounts of the paint mixture into each muffin section. Mix each of the paints up until the color is evenly distributed. Get painting!

Make your own food coloring

Yellow
Bring 2-cups of water to a boil.
Let the water cool for 1 minute.
Add a small amount of turmeric to the water.
Continue adding little bits of turmeric until you reach the desired color.
Store in a glass container after cooling.

Red
Add several medium-size, unpeeled beets to a pan and cover them with water.
SImmer the beets for 35 minutes or until they can be pierced with a fork.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool.
Peel the beets.
Chop the beets and put them back into the pan with the water.
Leave the pan for several hours, watching as the color of the water changes.
Strain the liquid through a piece of cheesecloth into a glass jar.
Mix 2 teaspoons of organic white vinegar into the water.
Shake well and store.

Green
Place 2-cups of fresh spinach leaves in a pot.
Cover the leaves with water.
Boil the leaves for 1-minute.
Let the pot simmer for 10 minutes.
Allow the water to cool.
Strain the colored water through a cheesecloth into a galss jar.
Store with a tight fitting lid.

Source: http://organic.lovetoknow.com/Natural_Food_Coloring

Additional ideas to make your own natural food coloring.

Let them be

Once you set your children up to finger paint, consider this advice: “Don’t teach them, don’t praise them, don’t correct them, let them experiment, play, imagine and create the world they want to live in.”  Written by Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Thomas Cowan, MD in their new book in regard to the serious business of play. “For children, play is a serious business in which adults have no right to interfere. That’s right; notwithstanding the advice of countless childrearing experts who advocate “play time” with their children, parents should not share in a child’s play activities. Children’s play is an activity so foreign to an adult consciousness that no parents can really play with their children. … Note that playing baseball or soccer doesn’t count as play.”

What do you think about these statements about play?!

What is your experience of finger painting?  Did you do it as a child?  Do you have your children finger paint? Have you made your own?

Read some public comments about this article made on Facebook.

9 Comments

Filed under Activities, Nourishing The Whole Child

A new Nourishing Traditions book focused on babies and children

5 Stars

I was delighted to discover that I was the first person to post a review Amazon!

The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care

I think this is a invaluable addition to Nourishing Traditions and The FourFold Path to Healing. I have awaited a comprehensive resource like this for some time. I have a sense that this book is an “all in one”. It not only teaches us how to nourish ourselves and our children, it covers strategies on how to heal our children from many childhood illnesses as well. What a gift to have several chapters of expert recommendations from Dr. Thomas Cowan on how to treat high fever, eczema, rashes and ear infections, to name only a few. The book covers a wide range of topics ranging from holistic treatments for morning sickness, an overview of child rearing philosophies through time, autism, toys, childproofing, attachment parenting, the serious business of play, story time, supporting a child’s developmental stages, toilet training and elimination communication, vaccinations, sex education, child spacing and birth control. It serves, in many respects, to answer frequently asked questions for how to raise a healthy, well adjusted child from before they are even conceived into adulthood. The book is more than a practical “how to” guide however. It also offers insight into the evolution of a child’s soul by illuminating the work of Rudolf Steiner in a chapter titled “From Birth to Adulthood.”

There are a recipes included, but this is not a recipe book. Nourishing Traditions has already covered recipes in depth. I like that there are resources throughout for further reading, and information on where to find the recommended products or therapeutics. I envision this would be an invaluable reference book in every parent’s home and plan to give it as a wedding and baby shower gift myself!

This book leaves me with the hope and belief that even in this modern era, it is still possible to nourish a child’s wide, radiant smile – both structurally and emotionally.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Book Club

Join us in reading this book as a community on Facebook starting in March, once our readers receive their books:  Nutritional Wisdom Book Club.
The book is available to be shipped immediately from New Trends Publishing. It is also available on Amazon with a February 10, 2013 ship date.

Meanwhile … 

Read the chapter on Feeding Newborns.
Read Sally Fallon Morell’s thoughts on breastfeeding.

18 Comments

Filed under Babies, Book Reviews, Nourishing Our Children

Sally Fallon Morell on Breastfeeding


Sally Fallon Morell and Thomas S. Cowan, MD have written a new book focused on how to nourish our children! The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: Preparing for your Baby
Chapter 2: Fetal Development
Chapter 3: A Healthy Pregnancy
Chapter 4: Your Baby is Born
Chapter 5: Newborn Interventions
Chapter 6: Vaccines
Chapter 7: The Feeding of Newborns
Chapter 8: Bringing Up Baby
Chapter 9: Nourishing A Growing Child
Chapter 10: From Birth to Adulthood
Chapter 11: Child Spacing & Birth Control
Chapter 12: The Role of Illness in Child Development
Chapter 13: Strategies for Infectious Disease
Chapter 14: Treating Diseases of the Ear, Nose & Throat
Chapter 15: Treating Allergies, Asthma & Eczema
Chapter 16: Treating Neurological Disorders
Chapter 17: A Catalog of Childhood Illnesses
Appendix I: Therapy Instructions
Appendix I: The GAPS Diet Protocol
Appendix III: Recipes
Appendix IV: Resources
References
Index

Source: http://nourishingourchildren.org/Table-of-Contents.pdf

Order Now

The book will be available in February. You may order now! Amazon has offered a pre-sale opportunity! I have placed my order! http://tinyurl.com/cxrn5n3

Some have wondered, what is the author’s position on breastfeeding?

Sally sent me the chapter that focuses on breastfeeding, and I reprint the introductory remarks by permission:

“It is assumed that any pregnant woman reading this book plans to breastfeed her baby. Mothers who recognize the importance of diet in the physical health of their infants will opt for mother’s milk—a food uniquely designed for the infant—rather than commercial formula based on powdered milk, industrial oils, refined sweeteners, questionable additives and artificial vitamins. The trend towards more natural methods of childrearing began with a comeback for breastfeeding during the 1970s, as much a reaction to a medical establishment deemed paternalistic and insensitive to women’s needs as a recognition, backed by many scientific studies, of breastmilk’s amazing properties. For most women, breastfeeding comes easily. Immediately after birth, baby is put on mom’s chest. He turns his head to the breast—he may even wiggle up her torso to the breast—roots his head back and forth to find the nipple and latches on. If the baby is healthy and strong, he will latch on with a tremendous, sucking grip, giving first-time mothers something of a shock. As baby sucks, mom feels a let-down reflex and the milk begins to flow. Baby nurses only a few moments at first, then longer and longer with each nursing. Within a few weeks, baby nurses for twenty minutes every two to three hours, steadily gains weight, and is contented between nursings. Mom and baby settle into a routine and all is well.

But for some women, even many women, all does not go well. Breastfeeding may be painful, mom may develop sores, baby may not latch on properly, and most seriously, baby does not gain weight, cries a lot and is obviously hungry. Or, mom may be exhausted or sick; breastfeeding may make her feel resentful, or even embarrassed; she may need to return to a work environment that makes breastfeeding difficult if not impossible. Or, she may not have any milk at all—due to illness, surgery or the fact that she has adopted her baby.

Most of this chapter will be dedicated to addressing these problems—not because we don’t think breastfeeding is important, but because little needs to be said about normal, successful breastfeeding. After all, women have been breastfeeding for thousands and thousands of years. Those for whom breastfeeding goes smoothly will not even need this chapter; those who are struggling need detailed and specific advice.

Unfortunately, discussions about infant feeding today have become polarized, even acrimonious. Whereas fifty years ago, the medical community pressured women into giving formula as the scientific and modern thing to do, today many women feel pressured into continued breastfeeding even when baby is obviously not doing well. Breastfeeding literature tends to be judgmental—often implying that lack of breastfeeding success is the mother’s fault, and that if she switches to formula, she is a bad mother.

We need to accept as a fact of life that breastfeeding is not always successful, in spite of the best efforts of the mother. In fact, it would be amazing that out of all the organs in the body, women’s breasts had the unique property of working well under all circumstances. Fortunately, we now have homemade alternatives to breast milk that are much healthier than commercial formula. The important thing is to provide the information needed to maximize either breastfeeding or formula-feeding success. Let’s keep in mind that breastfeeding is not some kind of contest between moms to see who can do it longest and best, but away of providing maximum nutrition to the infant; and that our role as parents, mentors, advisors and friends of a new mother is to provide information in a calm and rational way, and then to support her in whatever decision she may make.”

What do you think of this perspective?

When I post content that may be controversial, I keep in mind Bill Cosby’s words: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

If you don’t resonate with the author’s perspective and want to express an alternative viewpoint, please keep your discussion focused on ideas and not individuals.  We are deeply committed to cultivating discourse that honors the principles of Nonviolent Communication.

Again, the book will be available in February. You may order now! Amazon has offered a pre-sale opportunity! http://tinyurl.com/cxrn5n3

40 Comments

Filed under Babies, Childbirth, Nourishing Our Children

If we eat animal brains, will we be smart?

Photo of Lamb's Brains

Yes, I would venture to assert that we are more likely to be smart.  In order to develop our human brains, we need vital nutrients that are found in organ meats, such as animal brains.  Many of the key nutrients needed for brain development: Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Choline, DHA, Zinc, Tryptophan, and Cholesterol are found in organ meats.

I visited with my family in Southern California this past weekend.  My mother was born in Marrakech, Morocco and raised on their traditional diet, which included organ meats.  Yesterday, she shared with me and my siblings that she fed us lamb’s brains as soon as we were eating solid foods.  She simply sauteed them in a skillet because the brains didn’t need any additional fat.  They already had the “good kind of fat”, she explained.  I read today in the Cook’s Thesaurus that:

“Even adventurous eaters often draw the line at brains, and it’s just as well, since they’re loaded with cholesterol [which my mother's culture didn't fear].  Those who do eat them often scramble them with eggs.  It’s very important that brains be fresh, so either cook them or freeze them the day you buy them. Substitutes:  sweetbreads. Brains and sweetbreads can be used interchangeably in most recipes, but brains aren’t as well regarded.”

My mother explained that organ meats are routinely served in Morocco with onion, garlic and parsley. As the Weston A. Price Foundation states, “Organ meats are the most nutrient-dense part of the animal—from ten to 100 times richer in vitamins and minerals than muscle meats—and traditional cultures always consumed them, usually in rich dishes that included cream and plenty of butter. Such fare is truly food for the body and soul!”

Why Organ Meats?  Sally Fallon Morell explains,

“Compared with muscle meats, organ meats are richer in just about every nutrient, including minerals like phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium and iodine, and in B vitamins including B1, B2, B6, folic acid and especially vitamin B12. Organ meats provide high levels of the all-important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, especially if the animals live outside in the sunlight and eat green grass. Organ meats are also rich in beneficial fatty acids such as arachidonic acid, EPA and DHA. Organ meats even contain vitamin C—liver is richer in vitamin C than apples or carrots! Even if you add only small amounts of organ meats to your ground meat dishes, you are providing your family with super nutrition  . . .  in ways that everyone likes and are easy to consume.” Sally explains how to hide organ meats for those who are not amenable in her article: Cooking with Mystery Meat

My mother told me that she fed us all the organ meats …  kidney and liver as well but, brain was my favorite. She said that organ meats were highly valued in Morocco and France, where I was born and raised my first five years. When we migrated to America, she discovered that organ meats were not embraced by the predominate culture. She could eat very economically going to an Iranian grocer and buying organ meats for a fraction of the cost because no one wanted them. It has been reported that human children who grow up eating the brains of animals have healthier brains and nervous systems than those who didn’t.

My mother also told me that one of the culinary traditions she was taught was to soak kidneys and liver in lemon juice or vinegar in order to purify them. Interestingly, Sally Fallon Morell offers the same instructions in her book Nourishing Traditions, available via our Amazon affiliation.

I found this recipe for brains that I have yet to try but, it is similar to what my mother described, without the flour:

3 eggs
1 tbsp. flour
1/4 c. minced parsley
Pepper
1/2 c. butter
1 tbsp. white vinegar such as Spectrum Naturals
Salt
1 1/2 lbs. beef, lamb, pork or veal brains
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Rinse brains well under cold running water. Combine 1 quart water, the vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt in saucepan and bring to boil. Add brains, and boil briskly, uncovered, 10 minutes. Drain and plunge into very cold water. When cool, drain well on paper towels. With small sharp knife remove any membrane and veins. Cut and sprinkle flour, add seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, add eggs, saute in butter in large skillet until eggs are done, or until lightly brown.

While brain is one of the most nutritionally-dense organs found in any animal, unfortunately it is also an organ that can carry a concentrated amount of disease. Mad cow disease refers to the degenerative and fatal condition that occurs in cows, which essentially creates holes in an infected cow’s brain. Cattle can become infected with the disease by eating feed that contains infected tissue. We recommend that one consume the flesh and organ meats of cows eating grass, yet most cows Americans eat are fed grain fortified with finely ground-up meat for protein. The chickens that were ground up as protein for the cows were probably themselves fed grain fortified with ground-up cow, and so on. If disease enters this feed-and-be-fed-to system, it’s suddenly everywhere.  So to ensure safety and nutrient density, we recommend that one eat organ meats that are from animals that were out on pasture, eating their natural diet exclusively.

Here are some Gourmet Organ Meat Recipes provided by the Weston A. Price Foundation, including one for sweetbreads, which I’ve read are interchangeable with brains:

Pan Broiled Sweetbreads Alpine Style

Sweetbreads are the name given to the thymus gland of the calf. The best quality sweetbreads come from milk-fed calves. They are delicious and have the consistency of chicken, but they must be very fresh.

Serves 6

Ingredients, some of which we recommend through our Amazon affiliation:

3 pairs of sweetbreads
2 quarts salted water for blanching
1 lemon, sliced
1 1/2 cups or more salted butter
3/4 cup sourdough bread crumbs
1 teaspoon sea salt, such as The Spice Lab, Celtic Sea Salt and Real salt.
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup unbleached flour
6 thin slices Italian prosciutto ham
6 Portobello mushroom caps, sliced (save the stems for mushroom soup)
Juice of 2 lemons, strained
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup homemade beef stock
2 tablespoons parsley, freshly chopped
6 slices toasted sourdough bread
fried parsley for garnish

Instructions:

  1. To pre-prepare the sweetbreads, wash them and trim off all connective tissue.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the salted water to boil with the lemon slices.
  3. Drop the sweetbreads into the boiling water and blanch until the meat turns whitish, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove to a colander, rinse with cold water and pat dry.
  5. Place a weight on the sweetbreads to flatten and chill well.
  6. Peel off the membrane and divide into 6 portions.
  7. Dredge the sweetbreads in a mixture of bread crumbs, salt, pepper, thyme and unbleached flour.
  8. Melt the butter or coconut oil in a cast iron skillet and sauté the sweetbreads on both sides until brown.
  9. Remove to a heated platter and keep warm in the oven.
  10. In the same pan, sauté the sliced mushrooms, adding additional butter if necessary.
  11. Remove the mushrooms and add more butter.
  12. When butter foams, deglaze with white wine and beef stock.
  13. Reduce until the sauce thickens.
  14. Stir the chopped parsley into the sauce.
  15. To serve, arrange the slices of toast on heated plates. Top each with a slice of ham and place the sweet breads on the ham. Arrange the mushrooms around the toast and drizzle sauce over the sweetbreads. Garnish with fried parsley. (Note: to fry parsley, drop in a fryer basket into hot fat, preferably tallow, for about 10 seconds until crisp.)

More ways to prepare organ meats

  • Jessica Prentice of Three Stone Hearth, who supported my efforts to establish Nourishing Our Children during our first year, has supplied us with a Swedish Meatball Recipe that includes liver.  I have made it successfully without bread while on GAPS™.  One of our supporters, Tandy Batt, made the recipe and photographed the dish.
  • Angie Needles of MamaKai, one of our former volunteer presenters, has supplied us with this recipe for meatloaf which includes organ meats.  I served this meatloaf to Solis McGruther, Jenny McGruther‘s son, who was 5 at the time, and he ate it without hesitation!
  • Sherry Rothwell, one of our supporters, has supplied us with the “Best Liver Recipe Ever for those afraid to try or convinced they don’t like it but wish they did”!
  • Here are more reasons to eat liver and recipes from around the world from Lynn Razaitis.

I’d love to hear your experience of organ meats and any helpful hints you have for our readers on how to prepare them so that your family will enjoy them!

 

Disclosure
Please note that we serve as an affiliate for Amazon, in addition to allied organizations and individuals whose products and/or serves we recommend. In some cases, we receive referral bonuses or commissions for our promotional efforts. This enables us to sustain our educational efforts.

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Filed under Nourishing Our Children, Nutrient Dense Foods, Recipes

Nutrient Dense Baby Formula

We have all heard that “breastfeeding is best”.

Sally Fallon Morell, author of Nourishing Traditions reminds us, “We need to keep our eyes on the goal—which is healthy children. Breastfeeding is the best way to accomplish this goal, if the mother has a healthy [nutrient dense] diet and if her milk supply is adequate. To pretend that all women can breastfeed without difficulty, and that all breast-milk is completely nourishing, does women and their children a great disservice.  … Women need to know that there are other options besides commercial formula, and that a healthy supplement can be given to a hungry baby even while he suckles at the breast.” Read about successful breastfeeding and successful alternatives.

Before I receive a plethora of protest from mothers who want to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding, please note that this is not a post disparaging the virtues of breastfeeding in any way, shape or form but, rather a post offering an alternative to commercial baby formulas if and when that is needed.  Ann Marie Michaels of Cheeseslave wrote what I think is a vulnerable accounting of  her experience needing to supplement with baby formula in this blog post How to Make Baby Formula.

Photos of Glass Bottles of Homemade Baby Formula

Why homemade baby formula?

  • Not every woman can breastfeed successfully.  Some mothers do not have enough supply.
  • There are circumstances in which breastfeeding is not an option, such as adoption.
  • Human milk will be lacking in vitamins A, D, B12 and other fat soluble vitamin if the mother’s diet is poor. Junk foods full of trans fatty acids will reduce the fat content of mothers’ milk and cause trans fatty acids to be present in mothers’ milk. Homemade whole food baby formula will be more nutritious than the milk of mothers on a junk food diet.

Here is everything you need to know about the various homemade baby formulas we recommend, including recipes and a how-to video:

What is wrong with commercial infant formula?

Let’s look at the ingredient lists as reviewed by Naomi Baumslag, MD, MPH  in her article Tricks of the Infant Food Industry:

Water: May contain high levels of fluoride.
Corn Syrup: Contains glucose. Mother’s milk contains lactose as the main carbohydrate. Not all brands of formula contain lactose.
Sucrose: Contains no lactose. The wrong sugar for babies.
Soy Oil: Processed using high temperatures and chemicals, bleached and deodorized. Likely to be rancid.
Whey Protein: High temperature processing likely to destroy fragile whey proteins.
Soy Protein Isolate: Highly processed, contains phytoestrogens that can adversely affect baby’s hormonal development and depress thyroid function. Does not have Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)  status.
Carrageenan: Extremely hard to digest. In most ready-mixed formulas, carrageenan is one of the main causes of digestive disorders in formula-fed infants, not lactose-intolerance. Caused liver problems and retarded growth in rats.
Soy Lecithin: Extracted from the soy oil sludge. Likely to be high in pesticides.
Synthetic Vitamins: Often have the opposite effect of vitamins naturally occurring in food.
Free Glutamic Acid (MSG) and Aspartic Acid: Neurotoxins formed during processing of milk and soy protein powders. Levels are especially high in hypoallergenic formulas.

What is wrong with soy formula?

As Sally Fallon Morell explains, “An estimated 25% of North American babies receive infant formula made from processed soybeans. Parents use soy formula in the belief that is it healthier than formula based on cows’ milk. Soy promotional material claims that soy provides complete protein that is less allergenic than cows’ milk protein. When soy infant formula first became commercially available, manufacturers even promised that soy formula was “better than breast milk.” … “The most serious problem with soy formula is the presence of phytoestrogens or isoflavones. While many claims have been made about the health benefits of these estrogen-like compounds, animal studies indicate that they are powerful endocrine disrupters that alter growth patterns and cause sterility. Toxicologists estimate that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day.”  Read more about the problems with soy infant formula.

Here is a testimonial about the homemade baby formula:

Making Homemade Baby Formula

My adopted son Tate started on the homemade raw milk formula when he was three days old-and has thrived on it. Since I knew I would be making formula for my baby, I was able to prepare ahead of time. I love to cook, but like most people, I took one look at the raw milk formula in Nourishing Traditions and was a little apprehensive with the long list of ingredients. Actually, I added one other ingredient-1-2 tablespoons cow colostrum to each batch.

I knew that sleep deprivation was in my future! Nevertheless, I forged ahead with optimism, and to my great delight, after the first few times of making the formula, it became easy as baby-pie! It only takes 20 minutes to make from start to finish, including clean up!

Here are some of my tricks. First, before Tate arrived, I made ice-cube portions of the whey, cream and colostrum. A typical cube section in a tray equals two tablespoons. This is the perfect amount for the formula; four tablespoons or two cubes for the whey and two tablespoons or one cube for the cream and colostrum.

Here’s my early morning routine. First I rinse off everything with hot water to make sure there is nothing foreign on my utensils. I fill an 8-cup glass measuring bowl with a pour spout with 2 cups of filtered water, then scoop out 2 tablespoons to make 1 7/8 cups. I pour this into a stainless steel pot and add the gelatin. I turn the stove on between low and medium to just warm the ingredients, not boil. Then I add 2 frozen cubes of whey, and 1 each of cream and colostrum. I also add the coconut oil to the pot so that it melts sufficiently. In the same measuring bowl I used for the water, I add the milk and the rest of the oils and dry ingredients (which are available at most health food stores and/or Radiant Life. By the time I am done with that, the frozen ingredients are melted and I add them together in the big glass measuring bowl. At this point I blend the formula in the blender. I found when left unblended the oils in the formula do not combine well enough. Be sure not to blend for too long, as the cream may curdle.

Then I pour the formula back into the measuring bowl, divide it into glass baby bottles, add the nipples and tops, and that’s it! Even with sleep deprivation, I find this process to be easy and doable. For the actual feedings, I use a bottle warmer that heats with steam instead of going to the stove to boil water each time. When you have a hungry baby, as many of you know, warming a bottle is something you want to happen sooner rather than later.

Once you do it a few times, it’s easy. . . and our baby has thrived on the formula!

Jen Allbritton, CN, Evergreen, Colorado

Please read more testimonials

The Radiant Life Company is deeply committed to supporting our collective health and wholeness.  They have many of the ingredients for the homemade baby formulas ready to be shipped to your door if the need arises with 11% to 17% discount when you order the items as a kit to be shipped in the United States!  They also have kits available for international shipping.  We do not receive a referral bonus from Radiant Life.

We highly recommend the books Nourishing Traditions and Nourishing Traditions Book of baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon, available via our Amazon affiliation.

Update: There is a robust discussion on this topic on Facebook, which has proven to be controversial. Some recommend that before one turn to homemade formula, that they explore the notion of donor breast milk from mothers who are consuming a nutrient dense diet.  This source was recommended: http://www.hm4hb.net/

Have you tried making your own baby formula? Please share your experiences with us!

Disclosure
Please note that we serve as an affiliate for Amazon, in addition to allied organizations and individuals whose products and/or serves we recommend. In some cases, we receive referral bonuses or commissions for our promotional efforts. This enables us to sustain our educational efforts.

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Filed under Babies, Nourishing Our Children

Double Duty: Breastfeeding While Pregnant?

Back on October 14, 2011, I inadvertently set off a firestorm of debate related to the question of breastfeeding while pregnant.  I had read this question on the Natural Parent’s Network on Facebook: “Brooke asks: “Does anyone have any advice/insight on weaning? My 2 year old still nurses a couple times a day but I’m 7 weeks pregnant and my doctor just put the fear of God in me about the risk of miscarriage. Help! I really don’t think either of us could do cold turkey, but I need to speed up the process.”

I shared the question with the Nourishing Our Children Facebook community: “The comments on the attached post are of interest. I wonder if the traditional cultures that Price observed faced this concern with their spacing practices – about 3 years between children. I wonder if they breast fed much beyond 2 years?” — and had a 52 fairly passionate responses.  Some expressed that they breastfeed through numerous pregnancies, and even tandem breastfed more than one child at once and assured us all that everyone involved was healthy and happy.  Others raised concerns: “I do not think its very healthy for a pregnant woman to nurse. It would be a huge task to make sure you would be consuming enough nutrients for both mom, baby, and for healthy milk.”

What side of the question do you land on?

A photo of an Eskimo woman with her baby

As a result of this debate, I followed up with this post:

“Yesterday, in a discussion I initiated here on Facebook on the topic of breastfeeding while pregnant, Tiffany of The Coconut Mama expressed this concern: “I (personally) would worry about not giving my nursing child and unborn child enough nutrients, leaving them undernourished.” I found the concern to be quite valid and consulted with Sally Fallon Morell, the President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, who wrote in response “Yes, I would have the same concerns. Moms need to finish nursing before they give birth, even before they get pregnant. That means spacing your children. Sally” She followed up and wrote, “It really isn’t fair to the unborn or new child for mom to be putting so much of her nutrition into breast milk. Sally”

I looked at the research of Dr. Weston A. Price in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration to see what he discovered on the topic. There is quite a lot of content so this will be the first of several posts. He writes:

“It is significant that while these important factors are just coming to light in our modernized civilization, the evidence clearly indicates that several so-called primitive races have been conscious of the need for safeguarding motherhood from reproductive overloads which would reduce the capacity for efficient reproduction. For example, G. T. Baden |3| in his book “Among the Ibos of Nigeria” states:

“It is not only a matter of disgrace but an actual abomination, for an Ibo woman to bear children at shorter intervals than about three years. . . . The idea of a fixed minimum period between births is based on several sound principles. The belief prevails strongly that it is necessary for this interval to elapse in order to ensure the mother being able to recuperate her strength completely, and thus be in a thoroughly fit condition to bear another child. Should a second child be born within the prescribed period the theory is held that it must inevitably be weak and sickly, and its chances jeopardized.”

Similarly, the Indians of Peru, Ecuador and Columbia have been familiar with the necessity of preventing pregnancy overloads of the mother. Whiffen |4| in his book “North-West Amazons” states:

“The numbers (of pregnant women) are remarkable in view of the fact that husbands abstain from any intercourse with their wives, not only during pregnancy but also throughout the period of lactation–far more prolonged with them than with Europeans. The result is that two and a half years between each child is the minimum difference of age, and in the majority of cases it is even greater.”

It may also be important to note that the Amazon Indians have been conscious of the fact that these matters are related to the nutrition of both parents. Whiffen states that:

“These Indians share the belief of many peoples of the lower cultures that the food eaten by the parents–to some degree of both parents–will have a definite influence upon the birth, appearance, or character of the child.”

This problem of the consciousness among primitives of the need for spacing children has been emphasized by George Brown |5| in his studies among Melanesians and Polynesians in which he reports relative to the natives on one of the Solomon Islands as follows:

“After the birth of a child the husband was not supposed to cohabit with his wife until the child could walk. If a child was weak or sickly, the people would say, speaking of the parents, “Ah, well, they have only themselves to blame.”

We recommend these books, via our Amazon affiliation, for natural family planning or fertility awareness: The Garden of Fertility and Honoring our Cycles.

References

1. MURPHY, D. P. Reproductive efficiency and malformed children. Surg. Gynec. and Obst., 62:585, 1936.
2. MURPHY, D. P. The duplication of congenital malformations in brothers and sisters and among other relatives. Surg. Gynec. and Obst., 63:443, 1936.
3. BADEN, G. T. Among the Ibos of Nigeria. Phila., Lippincott, 1921.
4. WIFFEN, T. North-West Amazons. N. Y., Duffield, 1915.
5. BROWN, G. Melanesians and Polynesians. London, Macmillan, 1910.

Eskimo woman holding her baby

Read more from Dr. Price on our facebook posts here and here. We also highly recommend the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston price.

Copyright

These photos are reproduced by permission by the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation who holds the copyright. Please do not use the photo without their express written consent. You are welcome to simply share this post.

What are your thoughts on breastfeeding while pregnant?

Disclosure
Please note that we serve as an affiliate for Amazon, in addition to allied organizations and individuals whose products and/or serves we recommend. In some cases, we receive referral bonuses or commissions for our promotional efforts. This enables us to sustain our educational efforts.

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Filed under Babies, Dr. Price's Research, Facebook Archives, Nourishing Our Children

Avoid Chocolate

Chocolate Photo

Chocolate is a way in which a fair number of you satisfy your sweet tooth, according to the question I posed on Facebook . The Weston A. Price Foundation considers it an “avoid”, on their list of dietary dangers.

I am likely one of the few who isn’t drawn to chocolate?! so it is easy for me to avoid. But, clearly for many, it isn’t something they are willing or inclined to give up!

In her book Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon Morell writes: “Chocolate cravings are a sign of magnesium deficiency.” She also writes, “It has been said that if coffee were introduced as a new drug today, it would not receive FDA approval. It is best to avoid all sources of caffeine and related substances—not just colas but also coffee and tea, decongestants, pep pills, aspirin, diuretics and—we’re sorry to say—chocolate.”

She has several side bars in her book on the topic as well:

“Suspected as a migraine causative for decades, chocolate has been cleared on the basis of insufficient evidence. Now things may be changing, thanks to new findings from a study by biochemist Vivette Glover . . . . Twenty heavy migraine sufferers volunteered for the study—12 eating real chocolate and eight eating a carob placebo made to taste identical to the chocolate. Twenty-four hours after volunteers ate their test samples, five chocolate eaters experienced pounding migraines while the placebo eaters showed no symptoms. Asked what chemicals in chocolate brought on the migraines, Glover said that they had not as yet been isolated. Yet, two of the strongest suspects are catechin,also present in red wine, and the obromine, a biochemical cousin to caffeine in coffee.” – James F. Scheer Health Freedom News

“In the spiritual tradition of India, it is said that if you could taste the soul, it would be sweet. Indeed, the human condition in some of its most precious moments is perceived as “sweet”: “the sweet life,” our “sweetheart,” “sweet dreams,” or “the sweet smell of success.” Sweetness is an experience, and food is just one doorway that leads us there.

The Sufis believe that every object and sensation on the physical plane has a corresponding mirror image on higher planes. In their view the sweetness of food (on the physical level) is reflected in the sweetness of love (emotional), which is reflected in the sweetness of divine ecstasy (spiritual). Even though the sweetness of a chocolate truffle differs radically from the sweetness shared between lovers, the metaphoric connections still exist.

In fact, scientists have recently discovered a chemical compound in chocolate—phenylethylamine—believed to mimic the physiological sensations of love. Even more fascinating, in the religious traditions of the Hindus, Taoists, and Tibetan Buddhists, mystics have referred to an ecstatic state where a sensation of indescribable sweetness spontaneously arises in the mouth.

Contemporary accounts of this phenomenon are widespread among meditators and practitioners of religious traditions of the East and the West. Furthermore, the Austrian philosopher-scientist Rudolf Steiner pointed out the role various foods have played in the evolution of consciousness in different historical epochs. Sugar is seen as a food that has had a powerful effect in helping to expand personality force, creativity, and self-consciousness. Even today historians are at a loss to understand why so many wars have been fought over sugar and different spices. I offer this reason: Sugar and spices were the drugs of earlier cultures. When these foods were first introduced, their effect was even more powerfully narcotic and mind expanding than they are today.

When we eat sweets, our desire is not just for food. Our longing is for the experience of sweetness, something we can taste on the tongue, in the heart, or in our most sacred thoughts. However, because it is more difficult to find a sweetheart or sweet Jesus, the mind often considers sweet foods an acceptable substitute. Food happens to be the most available form of the sweet experience. Can you see how we instinctively crave sweetness on several different levels? Do you understand why it is a perfectly natural biological phenomenon? Sugary food is one of the most popular forms of substitute love. Its effect is even more potent when combined with the love-inducing chemicals in chocolate. The downside of repeated substitution is the same for sugar as it is for drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes—dependency. We become mechanically bound to sugar because it fulfills an immediate need and exerts a powerful narcotic effect.

It is important to note that the need for the sweet experience is inborn; but as every nutritional scientist knows, there is no physiological requirement for refined sugar in the diet. Quite the contrary. Excess sugar in the diet promotes tooth decay and obesity and has been implicated in heart disease, diabetes, hypoglycemia, immune deficiency diseases, digestive disorders, and allergies. Perhaps the most fascinating and best kept medical secret about sugar is that excessive consumption causes calcium loss, which leads to a much publicized disease of our day—osteoporosis.” – Marc David Nourishing Wisdom

End Notes 

Original photo by Natasha Loeffler-Little and edited by Sandrine Hahn

This post first appeared on Facebook.

Further Reading

You can read more about  chocolate in an interview Ann Marie Michaels of Cheeseslave conducts with Rami Nagel on the topic of tooth decay.  She reports:

Anti-Nutrients in Chocolate, Coffee and Tea

I’ve always wondered why Sally Fallon Morell advises against chocolate. Rami told me that chocolate is very high in phytic acid. Chocolate is made from the cocoa bean — it’s a bean seed! (We call it a bean but it is a seed.) Again, seeds are the worst. Raw chocolate is very high in oxalic acid and leaches calcium from the body.

Coffee, too, is a bean seed. It is also rich in oxalic acid, as is tea.

So I guess all these people eating raw cocoa nibs aren’t actually doing themselves any favors. And I guess those of us who have a sweet tooth (we know who we are) need to watch our chocolate consumption.

And for those of us who love our coffee and tea (again, we know who we are), have another reason to avoid it.

I’ve heard some proclaim, “give me chocolate or give me death” …  Sally Fallon Morell recommends carob as an alternative. We recommend these brands of raw organic carob, available via our Amazon affiliation: Swanson Organic, Live Superfoods and One Lucky Duck.

Update December 18, 2011

I have since found this related article of interest written by Yolks, Kefir and Gristle: Chocolate. We’ve also had a robust discussion on this topic on Facebook.

We also recommend the following books on healing protocols: Cure Tooth Decay and Gut and Psychology Syndrome. You may buy these through our Amazon affiliation.

Do you find it challenging to avoid chocolate?!  Do you offer it to your children?

Disclosure
Please note that we serve as an affiliate for Amazon, in addition to allied organizations and individuals whose products and/or serves we recommend. In some cases, we receive referral bonuses or commissions for our promotional efforts. This enables us to sustain our educational efforts.

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Filed under Facebook Archives, First Steps

What I learned from mothers about baby’s first foods.

My perspective about life is that it is a classroom and every day we are presented with curriculum on the art of being human.

While I have firsthand knowledge of the dietary principles we recommend, having integregrated them into how I live day to day since 2004, I am not a mother.  I haven’t given birth, breastfed, or nourished a child through the years.

Yesterday, I learned a fair amount from what appeared to be mainly mothers who commented in the aftermath of my post on Baby’s First Foods – When and What, in addition to Ann Marie Michaels post  When to Feed Baby: Why Start Solids at 4 to 6 Months published on her  Cheeseslave blog.

While I interpreted some of the feedback directed at Ann Marie as harsh and challenging for me to read, I took away the following I wanted to share:

Cereal.  While cereal is the most often recommended early weaning food, no one seemed to protest that we recommended egg yolk, liver and cod liver oil instead.  The debate seemed to be centered on when.

Development vs. Calendar.  One mother commented, “I would really like to stress that one should watch the baby, not the calendar.” From the feedback I read on Facebook and in the comments on the two posts, it is clear to me that some babies are ready for solids as early as 4 months and some are not really in earnest until one year.  They simply aren’t interested or physically prepared.  Some vomited the recommend pastured egg yolks they were given time and again, and only in their own time were ready to receive them … and even ask for them as they grew!  So perhaps it would beehove us to recommend that parents be aware that babies may be ready as early as 4 months, but that for some the recommendation to introduce solids 6 months is simply not apropos because baby isn’t ready or willing.  I like the notion of recommending that babies be introduced to solids such as egg yolk, liver and cod liver oil by 6 months but, if they aren’t ready, they aren’t ready.  Just honor that and try again in a week or two …  or more, for some it was months .  All along, mothers are encouraged to follow this Recommended Diet for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers.

These comments by Terese in response to the post published by Cheeseslave  resonated with me.

I’m just going to chime in here and say that there is no way that one way of doing things is going to fit all children. So there is no way that everyone is going to agree with this post. This method of feeding does work, just perhaps not for all children. This is why it’s is utterly important to know your child and watch and see if they are giving you cues that they need more in their diet or if they are content and growing happily with breast milk. Breast milk quality is not the same for everyone, so no one can claim that all children would be fine with breast milk only. Both of my children showed very strong desires to want to eat solids by 4 months of age. My daughter would even try to feed herself by 6 months. I nursed them and then gave them an egg yolk as well (and cod liver oil I believe around 6 months). They were both more content, slept better and even put on more weight, which is something that they needed. I eat a very healthy, whole foods, from scratch diet, but nursing has been hard. I didn’t want to supplement with homemade formula because I wanted to keep my own supply up as high as possible. The little bit of extra calories and nutrients they received from the egg yolk made a big different in them both.

Avocado photoAvocado.  In a question I posed on Facebook, avocado proved to be the most popular first food, followed by our recommended egg yolk.  So, I looked it up as a baby food and found this:

Dr. William Sears (1988) notes that avocado is “one of the first fresh fruits a baby can enjoy.” It is a time-saver, served raw. “Low in sodium and cholesterol-free, avocados contain [many] valuable nutrients “. For example, “Ounce for ounce, avocados contain more potassium than 45 other fruits, juices or vegetables… and they are one of the only fruits or vegetables which contain monounsaturated fats, essential for baby’s development.”

In an interview with the California Grower (October, 1989), Dr. Sears stated, “When you think about it, …avocados are an ideal first food for infants. Avocados have a delicate flavor and a smooth, creamy consistency which makes them a perfect food for babies. …Avocados provide infants with more vitamin B1 B2 niacin, folacin, potassium and magnesium per 1 5 gram serving than any of the other frequently recommended fruits and vegetables [and are second to the highest in several other vitamins and minerals.]”  Source

Knowing that animal foods are the most nutrient dense, my instinct is to continue to recommend egg yolks first and foremost.  Here is an article that Caitlin Weeks of Grass Fed Girl sent to me yesterday: 10 Reasons to Eat Your Yolk  However, if baby rejects egg yolks initially, with or without the grated liver as suggested by Jen Allbritton, a Certified Nutritionist in her article on Nourishing a Growing Baby, perhaps avocado is a viable alternative as a first food to introduce, at least initially.  It appears that many parents re-introduced egg yolks over time and baby eventually accepted them.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding.

Lastly, as a point of clarification, I would like to address what I perceived as an accusation:  Sally Fallon Morell, the Weston A. Price Foundation, and our own educational initiative by extension, is not against breastfeeding.  Sally’s homemade baby formulas were created for those who don’t have enough milk, or don’t have it as long as they hoped … or have adopted a child.  I have heard from a fair number of women who report that their babies thrived on these formulas.   Sally did breastfeed herself and you can read about her own experience here:  A Breastfeeding Saga

Also, we know that the quality of a cow’s milk is greatly impacted by her diet and lifestyle.   Whether a cow is on pasture eating green grass as she is design to or in confinement eating grains such as corn and soy, which is an unnatural diet for a cow, will impact the nutrient density of her milk. Vitamins A and D will not be in the butter, cream and organ meats unless these animals are on pasture in the sunlight and eating green grass. As soon as animals are put in confinement, and given hay and dry feed, vitamins A and D disappear from the butterfat, and the levels begin to decline in the organ meats.  The quality of a woman’s milk is similarly impacted by her diet, so we recommend that women consume a nutrient dense diet, as outlined here:  Recommended Diet for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers

Update December 16, 2011 – This is a wonderful follow up article: When Should Baby Start With Solids by Heather Dessinger of Mommypotamus.

I highly recommend reading these books by Sally Fallon: Nourishing Traditions and Nourishing Traditions Book for Baby and Child Care. You can buy these via our Amazon affiliation.

What were your babies’ first foods? Please share in the comments below!

Disclosure
Please note that we serve as an affiliate for Amazon, in addition to allied organizations and individuals whose products and/or serves we recommend. In some cases, we receive referral bonuses or commissions for our promotional efforts. This enables us to sustain our educational efforts.

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Baby’s First Foods – When and What?!

What has proven to be one of the most controversial issues within our Nourishing Our Children community is the recommendation that children be introduced to solids by 6 months, and for some mature babies as early as 4 months.  Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation and author of Nourishing Traditions, talks about the fact that traditional societies all started to introduce solids by 6 months, and she stresses the importance of it.

Once again, no primitive culture does exclusive breastfeeding past six months. … The problem with delaying solids is lack of iron, and probably choline, both needed for baby’s developing brain.  A lot depends on the maturity of the baby, of course, but if baby gets good quality breastmilk or the homemade formula, he or she will be ready by six months, sometimes sooner.  Of course you need to introduce food carefully … and no grains until at least one year, and even better two years.

Of course, if mother is herself well nourished, she is certainly encouraged to continue to breastfeed. Here is the recommended diet for pregnant and nursing mothers.

What is recommended as baby’s first foods?

Egg Yolks

Egg Yolk – 4 months +

Boil an egg for three to four minutes (longer at higher altitudes), peel away the shell, discard the white and mash up yolk with a little unrefined sea salt. (The yolk should be soft and warm, not runny.) Small amounts of grated, raw organic liver (which has been frozen 14 days) may be added to the egg yolk after 6 months. Some mothers report their babies actually prefer the yolk with the liver, as stated in the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell.   Jen Allbritton, a Certified Nutritionist and the author of the article on Nourishing a Growing Baby  writes:

Egg yolks, rich in choline, cholesterol and other brain-nourishing substances, can be added to your baby’s diet as early as four months, (1) as long as baby takes it easily. (If baby reacts poorly to egg yolk at that age, discontinue and try again one month later.) Cholesterol is vital for the insulation of the nerves in the brain and the entire central nervous system. It helps with fat digestion by increasing the formation of bile acids and is necessary for the production of many hormones. Since the brain is so dependent on cholesterol, it is especially vital during this time when brain growth is in hyper-speed. (25)  Choline is another critical nutrient for brain development. The traditional practice of feeding egg yolks early is confirmed by current research. A study published in the June 2002 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the nutritional effects of feeding weaning infants 6-12 months of age regular egg yolks, enriched egg yolks, and an otherwise normal diet. The researchers found that both breastfed and formula-fed infants who consumed the egg yolks had improved iron levels when compared with the infants who did not. In addition, those infants who got the egg yolks enriched with extra fatty acids had 30 percent to 40 percent greater DHA levels than those fed regular egg yolks. No significant effect on blood cholesterol levels was seen. (26)

Thus, the best choice for baby is yolks from pasture-fed hens raised on flax meal, fish meal, or insects since they will contain higher levels of DHA. Why just the yolk? The white is the portion that most often causes allergic reactions, so wait to give egg whites until after your child turns one. (1,11)

Don’t neglect to put a pinch of salt on the egg yolk. While many books warn against giving salt to babies, salt is actually critical for digestion as well as for brain development. Use unrefined salt to supply a variety of trace minerals.

Around four months is a good time to start offering cod liver oil, which is an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (also important for brain develoment) as well as vitamins A and D. Start with a 1/4 teaspoon of high-vitamin cod liver oil or 1/2 teaspoon regular dose cod liver oil, doubling the amount at 8 months. (12)  Use an eye dropper at first; later baby can take cod liver oil mixed with a little water or [a little] fresh orange juice.

If baby is very mature and seems hungry, he may be given mashed banana during this period. Ripe banana is a great food for babies because it contains amylase enzymes to digest carbohydrates. (1)

Please see the article Nourishing a Growing Baby for references.

Monica Corrado of Simply Being Well who recently created a real-foods chart on introducing solids to babies  wrote the following on Facebook last week:

I guess I took for granted (don’t ever do that, I know) that people would know that nursing a child is the best nutrition for that child, as long as the mother is well nourished. However, from personal experience, as both a mom who breastfed her 10.25 pound son from birth to almost age 3, and a holistic nutrition counselor, that some children are just plain hungry earlier than others. And breast milk doesn’t do it. For those children, I included the 4-6 month column.

Update December 16, 2011: There are two new related posts I recommend you read that may be of interest to you:  What I Learned From Mothers About Baby’s First Foods that I wrote and  When Should Baby Start With Solids by Heather Dessinger of Mommypotamus.

I also highly recommend the book Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon. You can buy this via our Amazon affiliation.

What are your thoughts on this topic?  What were your baby’s first foods and when did you introduce them? 

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