Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Finger Foods for Babies Under One Year

We have decided to delay the introduction of grains for our precious Goosey until she is about 18 months. This is the official recomendation of the Weston A. Price Foundation and is based on the research that babies do not have the necessary amalyse to digest grains until that time.
Happy baby

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!?


  1. I have to save this for when I have kids :D

  2. There are WAY better ways to get vitamin A than by eating butter.... grassfed or not. The saturated fats are way too high to be giving them to a baby... especially for a snack!!!

    The CDC says "The Recommendation
    Diets high in saturated fat have been linked to chronic disease, specifically, coronary heart disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 recommend consuming less than 10% of daily calories as saturated fat."

  3. I should clarify, they were tiny cubes of slippery butter. This wasn't some kind of butter feast, though that does sound delicious. Vitamin A is fat soluble, in fact it vitamin A so poorly absorbed in the absence of fat that it is nutritionally negligible. But grass-fed butter isn't just a source for vitamin A, you'll find vitamin D and K2, all of which are fat soluble. Fat and cholesterol are critical for babies brain and organ development. Furthermore, grass-fed butter is packed with anti-oxidant vitamin E and more selenium than wheat germ, things which actually prevent heart disease. It's also composed of short and medium chain fatty acids, like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA actually prevents atherosclerosis. And we're not talking about off the store shelves butter here, we're talking about golden butter from grass-fed cows on a farm where I know and send Christmas cards to the farmer. The government has a lot to say about food and medicine and the more I research the more I find they are very off base. There is a great foundation called Nourishing Our Children. They have a tremendous amount of information on nutrient dense diets for children supported with scientific research. It is definitely worth looking into. Here is a link to the first twenty minutes of their film on food and health of children. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCX1QG2df6c Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  4. This sounds awesome! These are the same things I started our little ones on when they were just starting to eat finger foods. IT is so hard to stay away from the convenient crap foods in the stores today. And well, if we believed every thing the CDC recommended...we sure wouldn't be thinking for ourselves. That's why I like the research that the Weston A Price foundation has on their website. Thanks Mommy Flick for putting yourself out there and telling people about yours and many others beliefs about feeding ourselves real nutrient dense food.

  5. Holy smokes, who cares WHAT the CDC says. That is hilarious.

    Babies need fat. If they eat butter as a snack, who is to say that isn't balancing out with everything else they are consuming? Let us not forget the Inuit people, whose traditional diet was something like 80% saturated fat. They lived in extreme cold and really needed it, but that isn't to say that the rest of us don't (or need more than most of us are getting).

    Nice response, Flick.

  6. These were all first foods for my little guy too! He particularly loves his butter. :-) Babies and children NEED fat and have a lovely innate knowledge (if given good, healthy options) of what they need.

    I know for most of us, the low-fat, no-fat mantra is deeply ingrained, but if we take a step back and look at our fat intake today and the # of chronic diseases we are fighting with today compared to 50 years ago...we are dealing with diseases (including heart disease) that are grandparents and great-grandparents would consider rare or even unheard of.

    And if you want to talk biology for a minute - every single cell in our body is made up of a phospholipid bilayer. That means two fatty acids on each side of the cell wall, one fatty acid is mono-unsaturated and the other fatty acid is SATURATED. If you don't have enough saturated fats in your diet, your cells are not structurally sound. It is like putting a sheet of plastic up for a wall in a house. It just sets you up for nasty germs, cancer, bacteria, etc, etc to enter your cells.

    So, I absolutely agree. It is critical that are children be fed plenty of good quality grass-fed butter.

  7. What great ideas. My little paleo primal baby is over a year but we didn't think of some of these cool things. Taking a cooked sweet potato out with us is a great idea for out and about! And I've never given butter straight but we love our eggs cooked in good sweet grassfed butter.

    I had three kids before this one. They were either skinny or chubby with rolls of soft fat. This baby who has been WAP / paleo since birth is solid. She is at the 50th %iles for height and weight, but her limbs are solid! No soft rolls. It feels like muscle under velvet!

  8. I give my daughter spoonfuls of coconut oil never thought of butter! Great idea!

  9. Love this!!! My kids eat butter whenever I let them!! They also eat coconut oil by the spoonful every time I get it out to cook