Our medical journeys with our daughter opened our eyes on how broken our food system is today. Through experience and research, we learned that a lot of our additives and preservatives in mass produced food are unnatural substances our bodies were never designed to consume and digest. There is a crazy number of dyes and added sugars in many toddler snacks on the market today and several leading baby food companies have tested high for heavy metals. America has been consuming too much sugar for decades and becoming one of the most unhealthy and overweight countries in the world. More and more of our children are being diagnosed with disorders like ADHD and autism, and something as simple as diet could be a contribution to these health risks.
Our feeding journey with Charlie has been and still is one of our biggest challenges. Charlie was 100 percent tube fed her first 1.5 years of life and went thru a period where we were trialing several different premixed feedings for her because it was the simplest and easiest way to feed our daughter through her g tube. We found out the hard way that overly processed food doesn’t help with growth or brain development. Feeding the same diet over and over actually causes food intolerances. When our daughter plateaued on weight even with a feeding tube, we found out that she was actually intolerant to several types of food and her intolerance was in several of the premixed foods and formulas on the market. Our nutrition adventure began when I decided to make all her tube feedings from scratch myself to ensure her diet was full of healthy food that her body could digest. Charlie developed a dairy cow protein intolerance, soy intolerance and gluten intolerance making her recipes very specific. We incorporated goat milk, cut out all soy and gluten and our daughter finally started thriving. We also switched all her produce to organic and used our own fed meats for her protein.
Charlie has only been orally eating for about 6 months, which puts her at an eating age of just a 6-month-old even though she is over 2 years old and has a mouth full of teeth. We still puree or mash all her food since she is not quite ready to chew much and has some sensory issues we are still working on. We always incorporate a gluten free grain, root vegetables, fruits that help with brain development, healthy oils like MCT oil and some type of animal or plant protein. Protein is the building block for neurodevelopment so it’s always important to have the appropriate amount of protein in a daily diet, protein can come from plants or animals.
Baby food in the grocery market is extremely expensive and so easy to make at home to help cut down costs of feeding your baby and control exactly what is going in your precious baby’s body. Mass produced food in factories has a higher change of containing heavy metals that have shown to cause several health issues.
Below is one of my favorite go to recipes for a nice hearty meal for our daughter. Recipes like this can easily be altered by subbing a different type of grain, root vegetable, fruit or protein source.
1.5 cups dry organic quinoa
4 large organic carrots
1 large sweet potatoes
1 chicken breast
1 bunch of fresh parsley
Himalayan salt to taste
Garlic powder to taste
2 TBS MCT oil
Organic pear juice not from concentrate
I bring most of the grains to a boil to soften before adding everything to the Insta crock pot to ensure the grains are nice and soft for our daughter. After boiling the quinoa to soft texture and straining, place the quinoa, carrots, sweet potatoes and chicken breast in the Insta pot. Add water to about an inch from the bottom of the crock pot and cook for 30 minutes on low pressure or the ‘poultry’ setting should suffice. After cooking, temp the chicken to ensure it has an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. After cooling, I hand mash most of the mixture, season to liking, add oil and pear juice to desired consistency and blend in chopped parsley. Depending on the developmental stage of your little one, you can shred the chicken in a food processor or even food process the entire contents to get a complete mashed puree. What is great about making your own baby food is you can play with the moisture and texture to your child’s preference! This recipe will make a large batch, I order the Squeasy Snacker Spill Proof Silicone reusable pouches off Amazon to cut down on as much waste as possible. They freeze and thaw out perfect!