Considering my recent announcement, I was thrilled to be offered a chance to check out the new book, Super Nutrition for Babies by Katherine Erlich M.D. and Kelly Genzlinger C.N.C/C.M.T.A. (This is not an eBook- it’s a 240-page paperback.)
Upon it’s arrival, I was excited to discover that this book is “rebellious” as I am when it comes to our society’s ideas of how children should be fed. Not only do they recommend raw milk for kiddos (Raw is all Prairie Baby has ever had…) but they whole-heartedly advise against rice cereal (I can’t stand the stuff!) and conventional “kid” junk, aka ‘health’, foods. Yee-haw!
This book is written from a traditional foods perspective (think Weston A. Price style), and has no problem tackling the controversial aspects of feeding your kids. Not only will you find lists and guidelines for feeding babies and toddlers of all ages, there are plenty of recipes packed into the pages as well.
I was thrilled to also have the chance to ask the authors a few questions of my own. Check out their responses below, and after that find out how 2 lucky readers will win a copy of Super Nutrition for Babies!
(My questions are in green– the authors’ answers are in black)
Q1. My husband has had severe environmental allergies, food allergies, and asthma since childhood. Our firstborn daughter is (so far) free from any of these conditions. (I have been very particular about her diet and breastfed her for over a year) In your experience(s), what are the chances that our future children will possess these problems if we are careful about proper nutrition?
A1. There is no way to ensure that your daughter or other future children won’t have similar allergic conditions to your husband. But by feeding yourselves and your children the cleanest and most nutritious of diets, you will be improving your family’s ability to detoxify and enable your bodies to work most efficiently. By doing so, you will be providing yourself and your family the best possibility for healing and reduce the chances of illness.
Breast feeding is by far the best thing any mother can do for her child/ren, but still plenty of mothers who breastfeed have children who still get allergies and other issues. As good as breast feeding is, if the mother is deficient of nutrients or overwhelmed by toxins during her pregnancy or while nursing, it will not be alone enough to protect her children. The best prevention is to start our program the earliest possible, most ideally BEFORE a mother even becomes pregnant. If a mother can minimize toxins coming in, maximize her detoxification, and maximize nutrition BEFORE becoming pregnant, she will create an ideal environment for that new baby to develop within. This is what our ancestors did and what primitive cultures continue to do. If we follow their guidelines, we too can improve the health of future generations. Healing has to start somewhere.
Q2. Do you have any advice for busy moms who might find it difficult to find time to prepare the traditional foods found in the book?
A2. There are mom-to-mom tips throughout the book to try to help busy moms. We know first-hand as we are busy moms! Keeping a running list for the grocery store, farmers market, and online ordering helps – then having a day per month that you online order and a day per week that you go to the farmers market or grocery store. Taking one morning or afternoon each weekend to prepare food ahead – such as making broth, meal planning, marinading meats, etc. Involving your kids in the kitchen – often kids love to measure, concoct recipes, and experiment in the kitchen – it can be a fun family time that allows you to get things done and spend quality time with your children. Finally, as much as you can afford to do so, get the tools you need – makes life much easier (Vitamix, dehydrator, extra freezer, etc.).
Q3. Can you explain your concerns regarding rice cereal in a nutshell? (I’ve run across several people who were horrified when they found out I never fed rice cereal to our daughter. As you know, it is very much considered a “staple” of modern childhood…)
A3. First, rice is a grain. Babies at 4-6 months do not make amylase – the starch-busting enzyme and thus can not digest rice well. Secondly, the rice cereal commonly used is a refined grain – having had almost all of the natural nutrition and fiber stripped from it – resulting in nutrition-deficit as well as an unnecessary spike in insulin after eating it. Third, the synthetic nutrition “fortifying” the rice cereal is poorly absorbed – so while the box reads as being nutritious, it isn’t actually helpful for optimal growth and development of your child. Further, highly sugary/high carb foods predominating the diet at young ages may result in a tendency to have a diet high in such foods throughout life. Lastly, have you ever tasted rice cereal? I taste everything first before feeding it to my kids. Rice cereal tastes disgusting.
Q4. How important is the nutrition of a pregnant mother, in regards to her developing child’s nutrition?
A4. As discussed in the answer to your first question, nutrition for the pregnant and nursing mother is of utmost importance. Sadly, many mothers leave ensuring that their baby develops optimally to a single pill each day (the prenatal vitamin). I often ask expecting mothers: What is your baby made of? Meaning, as their baby is growing, bones are made of minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus; muscle tissues, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and neurotransmitters are made of amino acids (protein). Our brain and nerves are coated in fat. I once put a picture of a baby with a label of “ingredients” underneath reading: high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, red dye no. 5 – that really drove home the point. Our babies are built of nutrients, and run on them, so what a mother eats while pregnant and nursing determines whether or not her baby receives sufficient nourishment to grow and develop optimally. We see what nutrient deficiencies can do: miss out on the mineral iodine and your thyroid suffers, miss out on vitamin D and chances for diabetes and cancer are higher, miss out on vitamin C and develop scurvy, miss out on folic acid and your baby has a higher risk for neural tube defects, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on. Nutrients are critical to avoiding all sorts of health problems. The newer classes of children’s issues (we call them the 3Cs – autism, allergies, asthma, ADHD, diabetes, obesity, etc.) are showing in research to be a combination of deficiencies: probiotics, vitamin A, D and K, Omega-3s, and others.
Q5. Any advice for the parents of the “picky” eaters out there?
A5. Believe in what you are feeding your children. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t feed it to your kids. Once you remove all those foods that you wouldn’t eat yourself, then remove or reduce from your home all those foods that you and your family crave. Wheat, sugar/juice and dairy are the typical main addictive foods. Once those addictive foods are not present, often taste buds become more responsive to new foods and kids become more adventurous in what they will eat. Try and try again – taste buds do evolve, so often the first time a child eats something they may not like it – especially if coming off a juice/grain type diet. Keep trying. Also, use a chart system with stickers showing healthy eating progress – or some other visual aid in terms of progress and positive efforts. Reward children with non-food based rewards for healthy eating – more time together, a trip to the park, computer / game time, a new lego, etc. Show your joy when they eat something you prepared to nourish them – as opposed to your anger/disappointment when they don’t like it. Parents can use their praise to positively motivate. Be creative in the kitchen to try different recipes and options until something seems to work. Often including kids in the kitchen helps open kids’ minds to trying new foods.
A HUGE thanks to the authors for taking the time to answer my questions. Absolutely fascinating stuff here!
And now, a chance to win a copy Super Nutrition for Babies for yourself! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
Giveaway ends 6/13/2012 at Midnight. Winner will be drawn randomly and announced on the Rafflecopter widget.
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