When I was pregnant with Logan, a friend lent me the book “Real Food for Mother and Baby” by Nina Planck. In it she presents an interesting notion about how and what to introduce for a baby’s first foods.
At the most basic level, Planck suggests giving baby real, whole foods. Nothing packaged, nothing pureed. She suggests that the best place to obtain real nutrients is from real food – ie) we get iron from meat, not cereal.
I was quickly on board with most of her ideas: Give baby whole foods,( a pear for example,) and let them chew away. Babies have hard gums – they do not need teeth to chew. She suggests that good first foods are proteins (meat and yogurt) and good fats (avocado and olive oil). She sees no need for purees and spoons.
Having been down the puree road with Tristan, I was interested and intrigued to try this new approach with Logan. There was just one thing that I thought Ms. Planck went a little far with. She told a story of her little baby happily chewing away on a meat bone.
“Seriously?!” I thought. “I can see myself working with a lot of these ideas… but I don’t think I’ll be handing Logan over a T-bone anytime soon…”
Fast forward to around Logan’s six month birthday. He was sooo interested in food and it was evident that he was telling us he’d had enough of a purely liquid diet. Not quite ready to give in entirely to the “whole food” notion, I had decided I would try a little of the puree, and a little of the whole food, such as whole smooshed blueberries.
He put up with the purees for a whole two days. Mouth clamped shut, he wanted nothing to do with the spoon coming toward his mouth. Whole peas on his plate? Yes please! Green mashed up goo on a spoon? Not a chance.
I’m so glad that I read this book and had these other options at the forefront of my mind. I may have thought he wasn’t interested in food, when what he was really telling me was that he wasn’t interested in mush.
Around the six and a half month mark, we BBQ’d some steaks for Luc’s birthday…
… and Logan had one of the most satisfying meals of his short life.
Never say never, right?
Whole asparagus spears and steak quickly became one of Logan’s favourite meals! Not a tooth in sight, and Logan would eagerly plow through six asparagus in a single meal. Along with the t-bone of course.
After 6.5 months, Logan never had to endure another spoonful of puree. I fed him real foods. He happily gobbled up small pieces of chicken, cooked carrots, baked apples, steamed broccoli.
Fast forward to eight months when we learned that Logan had been struggling with reflux. In hindsight, it’s no wonder he resisted the purees so intensely. Whole food (besides being so much more appetizing!) probably felt a lot more comfortable in his tummy and were much easier to keep down than liquid!
Logan continues to enjoy eating real, whole food!
If you’re interested in finding out more about her theories, you can find a quick summary of Nina Planck’s ideas here.