Truly, grains are hard to digest and I want her to get all of the nutrients possible and reduce her chances of developing gut permiability issues later on in life. I hope that delaying grains can help with that. So, as we were getting closer and closer to the finger food stage I began to ask myself, "what am I going to feed her instead of puffs and organic cheerios?" Learning to pick up small pieces of food and chew them is important developmentally, and it keeps babies busy! Thankfully, there are many easy options. Before I knew better I would feed my twins canisters of organic puffs like they were going out of style just to keep them occupied while I tried to eat.
Cubed grass-fed butter
Around 9 months Goosey started picking up and sucking down little chunks of butter. Most of it made it on her face but she did get some in her belly. Grass-fed butter is NUTRIENT DENSE goodness!
First among these is vitamin A which is needed for the health of the thyroid and adrenal glands, both of which play a role in maintaining the proper functioning of the heart and cardiovascular system. Abnormalities of the heart and larger blood vessels occur in babies born to vitamin A deficient mothers. Butter is America's best and most easily absorbed source of vitamin A.
Butter contains lecithin, a substance that assists in the proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fat constituents.
Butter also contains a number of anti-oxidants that protect against the kind of free radical damage that weakens the arteries. Vitamin A and vitamin E found in butter both play a strong anti-oxidant role. Butter is a very rich source of selenium, a vital anti-oxidant--containing more per gram than herring or wheat germ. (Weston A. Price Foundation)
Butter is also a source of vitamin D and K necessary for proper growth and facial development. I want my baby to get the most bang for her buck, and butter packs the nutrients she needs.
Roast Organic Chicken
This one is easy too, I just served the baby tiny chunks of soft dark meat from our roast. She gummed them up.
Under one year breast milk
still meets most nutritional needs.
Baked Organic Sweet Potato
Buy a few organic sweet potatoes or yams, bake them for an hour or so at 375. Once cool cut them in to little slices and then cubes. They are soft, easily digested and safe for her. I like to put a potato in the oven for her at breakfast and feed it to her as a snack over the next few days. In fact, as I write this she is sitting next to me picking up her little pieces of golden sweet potato, happy as a clam! I especially like feeding her sweet potato because I can keep it whole in the fridge, pull it out and cut it up and move on. This is our version of convenience food. It would work at a restaurant too, just pull out your potato and cube it!
Boiled Pastured Egg Yolks
Yet another convenience food in our home, eggs can be boiled, set aside in the fridge and retrieved at a convenient time. I like the yolks for Goosey to be soft but still hold firm... So I put the eggs in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Then I turn off the heat and let them sit for about 5 minutes, drain and save for later! When serving the baby I make tiny chunks and sprinkle a touch of Celtic sea salt. Yes, I do. Salt is a necessary nutrient and the eggs taste better with it. We buy pastured eggs from a local farm and the yolks are a vibrant yellow-orange color. A great source of nutrition for myself and my littles. We avoid introducing the whites until closer to one year.
A great additional resource on foods for growing a healthy baby can be found here.
What finger foods do you enjoy making for your babies? I so love this stage of introducing good foods to my little gourmands. Did I mention that compared to pre-packed baby junk this food is all much cheaper, organic, and REAL!?